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Old 01-23-2015, 08:22 PM   #1
Beezer Josh OP
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Joined: Jan 2013
Location: 15.6 miles from the U.S. Capitol
Oddometer: 998
Eastern North Carolina on an R75/5

I was looking back through some pictures and wanted to post some of a trip with my wife. It was definitely one of the best days of my life, combining riding, good food and beer, and spending time with my lovely wife. In fact, this was her first ever trip on a motorcycle, outside of the short runs around town.

I moved to the Washington, DC area in late 2012. Unfortunately it took another 14 months for my wife to find a job up here, so she stayed back in North Carolina to continue working. My BSA stayed down there as well. I got tired of wishing I had a bike; I wanted something both reliable and old. My thoughts drifted towards an old BMW so over to Bob's BMW I went. In his warehouse of "project" bikes was an old 1973 R75/5. I was told it wouldn't pass Maryland inspection because the steering was notchy. I called my wife to make sure spending the dough was ok-after some paperwork the bike was mine.

I was living behind the house of a family and had no space to work on the bike, so my buddy Jim volunteered his garage for some space for me to get the bike running well. The steering notchiness was simply dried 40+ year old grease, some gasoline to clean up the bearings, some fresh grease, and all was right with the world.

As I was still a North Carolina resident, the bike needed to be registered in North Carolina. Antique vehicles (35+ year old vehicles by North Carolina law) only need to go through an initial inspection to verify the serial number at the county's DMV office-you have up to a year from initial registration to do this inspection. This meant I had to make a trip home. I borrowed a trailer from a work buddy and took the bike south.

Trip Report:
In the six years I lived in North Carolina, I never took a ferry. I thought it would be a shame to move away and never to have that experience. Leaving from our house in Washington, NC, the plan was to ride down 264, get off on 99, ride through Bath, NC and get on the Bayview-Aurora ferry (it's free!). The day was beautiful! Clear skies lots of sun-a beautiful September day. We arrived at the ferry terminal a bit early and were first in line.

The ferry finally arrived and offloaded a few cars.

The ferry goes over to Aurora, NC; it has a huge phosphate mine.

Nice calm seas meant the bike had no issues staying on deck.

After departing the ferry at Aurora, we took back roads down to the historic town of New Bern. It was the seat of the colonial government of North Carolina during British rule and then the capital of North Carolina after the Revolution. Today, though, we were just heading to eat, not to visit the historic city. There's an awesome little restaurant called The Chelsea. We had fried green tomatoes for starters.

Next came a nice beer. I had the New Orleans Pasta and she had the chicken. It was all spectacular.

Next, I wanted to stop by the Ada Mae. As an archaeologist, I would do occasional work for the Institute for International Maritime Research. This was a vessel the Institute owned. For those that grew up in the sounds of North Carolina and in the Chesapeake Bay region, skipjacks used to be plentiful. The Ada Mae is the last surviving North Carolina-built skipjack (1915), and one of maybe a couple dozen left in the world. She is a splendid sailer and wonderful (and fun!) to work on.

Persimmons, the restaurant behind the boat, is also a good place to eat. Unfortunately all good things must come to an end and we headed back home. All in all, a lovely day!
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:32 PM   #2
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Apr 2006
Location: Gray GA
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Not every ride has to be around the world to be epic. Your day spent on the bike with someone you love was probably more meaningful than most long rides. Nice story.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:00 PM   #3
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Joined: Feb 2013
Location: NOVA, not by choice.
Oddometer: 309
Nice pictures, neat ride. I am from New Bern and use to know the owners of the Chelsea. I now live in N. VA. I've taken that ferry a many a time, along with all the other ferries.
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Old 01-24-2015, 06:06 PM   #4
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Joined: Jul 2012
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What a wonderful day. Thanks for sharing it with us!
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:53 PM   #5
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Joined: Oct 2012
Location: Madison, WI
Oddometer: 205

I like that bike. It reminds me what mine used to look like. I have a green SWB R75/5, which used to be a toaster tank until about 30 years ago when I sold the panels, got black kneepads, and then traded up to a large tank anyway. I never thought the toaster panels would be desirable. Oh well.
Had it since 76. I recently did a Saddlesore1000 on it.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:19 AM   #6
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: NE N. Carolina
Oddometer: 24
I make the run down to Bath, NC often on my way to Oriental, NC., love that ferry. Usually not crowded. There's a friendly Lab that lives in that house across from the terminal, that will visit with you while you're waiting. If you don't see him at first, walk over and drop some coins into the outside snack vending machine. If he's in the vicinity he'll show up.

There's two ways to Oriental after you get off that ferry (Near Aurora), I prefer the longer less direct down, faster more direct route coming home. Good seafood in Oriental, good coffee shop there too. I like sitting down by the water and watching the sailboats. Short note:
On the longer way down to Oriental, (It's the highway that follows the peninsula down the eastern side) there's a big junk shop/barn on the right, with the word "PICKERS" painted on the side. Lots of junk worth picking through. Just don't ask to buy the Triumph sitting in there. I think he's a widower, and it was his wifes bike, judging by some of the older pictures he has up in the shop. His Sportsters for sale though.

Bath has some cool history, home of Blackbeard, and there's still some buildings/homes from that era, and a small museum/gift shop. If you turn down into the neighborhood towards the water, there's a nice park down at the end of the street.

If you're passing through Bath on your way to the ferry, you'll cross two bridges. One on the west side of town, and one on the east side. Heading east, just before you cross the eastern bridge, there's a convenience store on the right. It's a marina as well, sells gas, bait, etc. But in the mornings, they make the best home made biscuits, eggs, sausage, etc. And great hamburgersat lunchtime as well. You can sit outside at a picnic table, and enjoy the water view. From there to the ferry is a short run.
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