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Old 11-23-2011, 09:56 PM   #1
jrou111 OP
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Location: Birmingham, AL
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You gotta start somewhere, right?

This is my first ride report so y’all be gentle…


I bought Captain Highlighter’s SV650S about 3 weeks ago with the intention of taking weekend trips. It turns out that over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had 4.5 days free. Woohoo! My goal is to ride 1300 miles from Birmingham, Al > Destin, FL > Mobile, Al > New Orleans, La > Grand Isle, La > Natchez, Ms > Columbus, Ms > Birmingham, AL.

I started prepping my bike for a longer trip. Originally I had planned to go up to Deal’s Gap/BRP, but I’m planning a second 1200 mile trip for that since I’ll have to head that way in December on business. Hoping to use my new GoPro HD Hero 2 as well.


From last week:







I installed a Vista Cruise throttle lock since most of the trip would be farting around on scenic highways. I also added a Fieldsheer Eiffel 2 tankbag, Firstgear tailbag, and Bilt saddlebags. Now I found out while packing the night before all that is a LOT of luggage for a 4.5 day trip. But I’m on call 24/7 for my job and I had to take my laptop which would only fit in the tailbag. If I didn’t have to take it, I could have done it all in my tank and saddlebags.


Still at work, SO ready to go!:






I dipped out of work a little early to beat the traffic. Other than some gridlock and panic braking, the ride south from Birmingham was not too bad.


Boring interstate pics ahead:



















Finally off the interstate:








Slabbed it from Birmingham to Montgomery, then got on HWY 331 which is pretty much just as flat and boring. And as fast paced too. I was kind of in a hurry to cover a lot of ground since I left so late in the day and daylight was fading fast.


Fields, flat land (i.e. no hills or sweet curves )






Check out this trailer:






I did manage to make a few stops though.








Here’s what I managed to cover today:





Not much mileage-wise, but the fun is in the journey.

jrou111 screwed with this post 11-24-2011 at 07:52 PM
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:17 PM   #2
Signal
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looking forward to the costal stuff
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Old 11-24-2011, 02:37 PM   #3
HPTuner
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Yep, I'm interested in the next leg of your journey. I may be headed down to Carrabelle soon.
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:27 PM   #4
jrou111 OP
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I slept poorly as usual. Just a few hours. Originally, I planned to leave the hotel by 6am but I didn’t leave until almost 7. The weather forecast was 55 and windy…It felt more like 45! There was a strong north wind blowing me all over the road as well. Sorry, most of the pics I took turned out blurry.


Here’s the route I took:






Off we go! There’s hardly anybody on the road.









Wonder if they sell Jeeps?








Beautiful morning on the water.









Some dunes











advmarina.com?






Somewhere a leprechaun is scratching his head.





I stopped to turn around and took this pic. You can see the island I meant to go to in the background.






Somewhere after this, my camera switched to movie mode and none of the shots I took while riding were saved. Too bad cause the beach along here is so pretty. I did get some pics from the GoPro though.














I then arrived in Pensalcola Beach. I’ve been along here many times, and so I wanted to go somewhere I’d never been to. There sign for a lighthouse so I figured I’d check it out.


Check out this pic. It was so windy, I got blown around right as the GoPro took the shot. It’d be cool if the buildings and power poles were really like that though!












So on to the lighthouse. I follow the signs and come to a security checkpoint. It turns out that it was closed today. Oof.






So I turned around but not before snapping this picture.






Onward toward Orange Beach and Gulf Shores.




























Around 10 I stopped for breakfast to charge my cameras. It turns out that I forgot to turn the GoPro back on. Oh well, most of that route from Gulf Shores to Fairhope was boring. Once I got to Fairhope I looked around at the park a little.















Then I passed through downtown Fairhope on the way to Mobile.






















I was ready to see my family, so I made quick work of HWY 98 and got to the Mobile Causeway.


























Had to stop here. I’ve already gotten 2 other pics with my bike parked next to aircraft, what’s one more?
































Now I really had turkey on my mind.





Rode through the tunnel going under the Mobile river.





Just a few more bridges to go.











Finally pulled in to my family’s house around noon.



Here’s where I’m heading tomorrow:



jrou111 screwed with this post 11-30-2011 at 11:17 AM
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:29 PM   #5
HPTuner
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Nice report....ride safe!
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:39 AM   #6
jw18
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I took almost your same route the first of the week. It was for work though in my car. I am down there once a month and go all the way through to Gulfport MS, then back up through Hattiesburg MS. The coast is beautiful during the early hours and I sometimes stop and appreciate it.Safe travels man!

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Old 11-28-2011, 10:52 PM   #7
jrou111 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HPTuner View Post
Yep, I'm interested in the next leg of your journey. I may be headed down to Carrabelle soon.
Carrabelle I've only driven through once in a car. Pretty much anything around the Apalachicola area is beautiful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HPTuner View Post
Nice report....ride safe!
Thanks! I learned a lot about the whole ride report process, and also about documenting my travels. I've come to realize I don't really stop to smell the roses, see the sights, etc. I need to work on that. I usually just get on the bike, hop on a back road, and chug away at miles. I rode for 9 hours over 400 miles on Saturday trying to beat a huge storm. Will get to that story later though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jw18 View Post
I took almost your same route the first of the week. It was for work though in my car. I am down there once a month and go all the way through to Gulfport MS, then back up through Hattiesburg MS. The coast is beautiful during the early hours and I sometimes stop and appreciate it.Safe travels man!
What a cool picture! Yeah I love this area. I wound up riding through Hattiesburg in the rain, so I stopped at Rainbow City diner and had an awesome lunch with a friend who lives there.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:28 PM   #8
jrou111 OP
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Friday morning I got on the road around 8am. It was still cold, close to 45F and winds were 10-20mph. Perfect day for riding along the beach! I was bundled up with my thicker gloves so I didnít take any snapshots until it got a little warmer in Gautier, MS.


Check out the gas prices.




In the zone.





Passing through Ocean Springs, MS.





Then I hit a few bridges.














First set of casinos in Biloxi, Ms.














HWY 90 through coastal Mississippi is one of the prettiest drives down here. Even when itís cold and windy. I was living in Mobile when Katrina hit the coast in 2005. Hereís a pic of my familyís front yard after the hurricane hit (compare to the one above)


Pic of the bay from October 2005.






I remember coming down and visiting Biloxi just 1 month after the storm came through. Many areas were closed, National Guard trucks were everywhere, and many of the historic homes from the 1800ís were completely gone.





Itís good to see that a lot of the area looks back to normal.


























I then saw a lighthouse and took a break for a photo op.














Whoops, messed up the timing!






Time to get back on the road.











I then made my way across the bridge into Bay St. Louis, MS. Technically, this is where Katrina made a direct hit. This was a really cool town. I liked their park.
































After leaving Bay St. Louis, I headed towards Louisiana. Pearlington, MS. is the last down before crossing into Louisiana.




















Finally, I made my way into New Orleans. Saw this cool place and so I turned around to check it out.








Then I made my way into the French Quarter.









And hit a lot of this.












Eventually I got through and met up with a friend who took me to the roof of a 35 story building. Check out the view.












































































This is how far I ended up riding. Notice I didnít get down to Grand Isle, LA like I had planned. Iíll explain that one laterÖ


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Old 11-29-2011, 10:49 AM   #9
Mullet
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Strong first ride report man. Good job.
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:11 AM   #10
High Country Herb
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Good report. My favorite pictures are the one with your blue bike sitting next to the Blue Angels plane, and the reverse angle shot looking past your face back through the corner from the first day. Those always remind me of the onboard cameras used during bike races, and really give the perception of movement.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:14 AM   #11
jrou111 OP
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Strong first ride report man. Good job.
Thanks! I still need to finish writing up the last day in New Orleans
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:15 AM   #12
jrou111 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High Country Herb View Post
Good report. My favorite pictures are the one with your blue bike sitting next to the Blue Angels plane, and the reverse angle shot looking past your face back through the corner from the first day. Those always remind me of the onboard cameras used during bike races, and really give the perception of movement.
Here's the video:

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