Tag: adv

A Royal Enfield Adventure Ride in the Berkshires

A Royal Enfield Adventure Ride in the Berkshires

One of the things I love most about the Royal Enfield is that even though it doesn’t go fast, it goes everywhere. Sure, it doesn’t look like the typical “adventure bike” but the little Bullet sure-footedly carries me along gravel and fire roads with confidence. The two of us just scurry along without a care in the world.

The beauty of simple machines.

fuzzygalore royal enfield in the berkshires

It’s challenging to balance a family with two motorcycle riding parents but my husband Kenny and I find ways to make it work. While we were away for the weekend at a cabin in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, we divvied up our time. Saturday was my day to get out and do some forest road exploring on the Enfield, while on Sunday, Kenny got to spend the day braaaaping around on his KTM.

That worked out for the best. These days I’m more of a flower sniffer, squirrel watcher and picture taker while Kenny relishes the challenge and focus of off-road riding.

Last year during the Berskhire Triple, I learned what a capable and fun bike the Royal Enfield is for dirt and unmaintained roads. If there are no major ground clearance issues, you’re golden on the Bullet.

fuzzygalore's royal enfield in the berkshires

On the ride to the cabin, fanciful imaginings of bouncing along leafy lanes with heart-shaped clouds of dust rolling in my wake occupied my thoughts. After unloading all of our gear, I set off the spend the afternoon traipsing around in the autumn sun. The light at this time of the year is almost magical. It takes on a unique hue that gives everything in its purview an amber-colored hug.

goats

Bigfoot’s shadow!

Some goats have perfectly good grass all around them and yet they want what’s on the other side of the fence. It would be so much easier if they just stopped, looked around and took in the goodness within easy reach. Instead, they crane their necks and do things the hard way. Newsflash, goats: same stuff.

royal enfield on lovers lane

I have passed the sign for Lovers Lane a dozen times. And a dozen times the sign disappeared in my rearview mirror and I thought, “next time, I have to stop and see what’s down there.” One day, you just have to make a deal with yourself and go find out what secret has tugged at your curiosity those twelve times before.

If I told you what the secret was, it wouldn’t be a secret!

With the early setting sun, I made my way back to camp around dinner time. It gets dark quickly on those already shady lanes. And as everyone knows, dusk is when deer and chupacabras come out. Though the mighty little Enfield can bounce over ruts and rocks without much fuss, I don’t think you want to tangle with either of those critters. I’m adventurous, but I have my limits.

A 1919 Ride Report : Across America By Motorcycle

A 1919 Ride Report : Across America By Motorcycle

While skimming through some feeds, I saw a link to a motorcycle trip report on ADVRider from 1919. Yes, that’s right. Nineteen ninteen.

Enjoy!

ACROSS AMERICA BY MOTOR-CYCLE
by C. K. Shepherd

…I purchased a motor-cycle and set out to cross the continent to the Pacific, and I have it on the best authority that this was the first time an Englishman had ever accomplished the trip on a motor-cycle…

america by motorcycle ck shepherd

Royal Enfield Adventure Riding – Kickin’ it Helmet Stories Style

Royal Enfield Adventure Riding – Kickin’ it Helmet Stories Style

The Berkshire Triple, an event hosted by the Berkshire Trail Riders in Massachusetts allows riders to choose between an adventure ride, a dual sport and a turkey run. Since I have not really spent any time riding off road this year the adventure ride was the perfect choice.

fuzzygalore royal enfield adventure ride

The route featured 140+ scenic miles that rambled through tar, dirt and seasonal roads in the gorgeous Berkshire Mountains. When I first saw the length of the route, my butt contemplated a revolt. Sitting on the Husky TE310 for 140 miles is a unique brand of torture.

My darling Kenny, perhaps half kidding at first, suggested that I do the ride on the Enfield. Laughter ensued. (Not by me.) But you know? It really seemed like the perfect choice. Vir, Harsh and the gang over at Helmet Stories ride their Enfields up and down the Himalayas, for cryin’ out loud. Dirt roads in Massachusetts oughtta be a piece o’ cake, right? Any street bike can do that.

So, I decided that the little Enfield that could would be my steed for the ride.

Again, laughter ensued.

“Hahahahaha, we’ll ride behind you to pick up all the stuff that falls off! Hahahahaha.”

😕 ::shakes fist::

fuzzygalore and kenny

When Kenny and I rolled in to camp, and my pokey, petite, low-slung bike mingled amongst the tall, leggy fleet-footed dirtbikes there was some more doubt that floated around. BUT I BELIEVED in the little Enfield 🙂

When Sunday morning dawned and we made our way to the riders meeting, I pulled in on the little Enfield feeling excited and happy.

fuzzygalore ride staging area

Riding along on the dirt roads the Bullet seemed perfectly at home. The way that it carries its weight and its physical size immediately put me at ease. Strangely enough, I don’t think I’ve ever had quite such an easy comfortable ride on any bike on dirt. The Enfield just happily scampered along through the woodsy roads. We were never far behind any of those leggy orange beasts.

fuzzygalore and the unicorn hunting gang up on mount greylock

By the time the ride was just about to come to a close, while I enjoyed the big pan-like, sprung seat – I watched my fellow riders wiggling around, hanging cheeks off, standing up – trying to find some relief for their sittin’ muscles. THAT was when me and the little Enfield had the last laugh. 😆

The Bullet performed beautifully. Nothing fell off, nothing felt scary or weird. It just motored along, puttering up and down hills like a little mountain goat. It turned out to be the perfect bike for the day. It was the most fun I’d had on a ride… since last time.

Riding AltRider’s Conserve the Ride 2013

Riding AltRider’s Conserve the Ride 2013

hello my name isOn Thursday afternoon, I watched Friday’s weather like a hawk. By all accounts it would be raining, the question was how much?

When Friday dawned and it came time to hit the road towards Pennsylvania for AltRider‘s Conserve the Ride 2013 adventure weekend, I was glad that we would be making the slog in Kenny’s truck. We were traveling out of the soggy clutches of tropical storm Andrea.

I cozily drifted in and out of sleep, lulled into dreamland by the steady whoosh of the windshield wipers. We were both thankful for the dry comfort of his Ridgeline while the bikes got a bath in the bed.

rain rain go away

When we pulled off of I-80 and headed towards the campground at Woodward Cave, the frog-choking rain that dogged us for 200 miles petered out to barely a sprinkle. The unicorn fairies must’ve been watching my back. They just knew I didn’t want to set up our tent in the rain. Thanks, unicorns!

Though the humidity hung around, the rain was just a memory. As the late afternoon settled in a trickle of motorcycles began to snake into the campground. I think. After I finished setting up the tent I may have accidentally taken a nap. When I woke up? Bikes were everywhere 🙂

home sweet home away from home

kenny at penns view overlookAfter our initial check-in with the AltRider crew, the evenings festivities were kicked off with a delicious dinner and beer. As a public service, I made sure that I stopped drinking said beer before my verbal filter shut down.

If you’ve never had “the pleasure” of seeing me drink too much… let’s just say, I get way too silly for my own good. And anyone within 5 yards of me. And I *might* to curse like a sailor. And… and… and… 

Milling around talking with people, I really got a dose of travel envy. People were talking about motorcycle trips through the lower 48, the Continental Divide, Alaska, Canadian Provinces, Peru, New Zealand… *Stamps feet* I never get to go anywhere!

Of all of the nice folks we met, Kenny and I really connected with two fine gents from New Jersey – Bill and Art. After much chit-chat, dinner and drinks when it came time to get groups together to ride out the following day, the 4 of us clicked.

your host and hostess of this here blog

As Saturday morning tiptoed in with overcast skies, I was greeted by the usual dread and self-loathing about making people wait for me on the trail.

I suppose I should have warned Bill & Art that I’m on the pokey side. And scared of everything. But they were patient and funny and all around good guys who never complained.

Kenny took one for the Fuzzmop team and hung back with me for most of the day and we just met Bill and Art at the end of the optional sections.

Whattayagonna do? It’s not that I don’t know how to ride a motorcycle I’m just… timid and slow offroad.  One of these days everything will come together for me and I’ll just be normal. Until then, I’ll just continue to be the little engine that could.

Rockin’ Out

If you’ve never ridden there, let me tell ya ~ Pennsylvania is rocky. All day long you’re jiggled and shaken across the boney terrain. I found my hands had gotten quite tired from hanging on.

altrider conserve the ride

I only wish that the photos and video would do the surface justice. But, you know how it is – they always flatten out the terrain.

Adventure Riding at its Finest

The route set up by the fine folks at the Seven Mountains Conservation Corp (SMCC) for AltRider was a scenic 120 mile adventure ride with 7 optional legs from the main route.

dirt road bald eagle forest

The main route was mostly gravel and dirt roads throughout the Bald Eagle State Forest. It was beautiful and green and featured some wonderful vistas looking out over the rolling mountains.

altrider conserve the ride 2013

The optional sections of the route gave riders a little more of a challenge with ruts, rocks, mud and water.

into the slop

AltRider provided the group with a picnic lunch at Hairy Johns Picnic Area. Bill made sure to point out that we might not want to touch the toilet seat in such a place. Duly noted and agreed!  😀

lunch at hairy johns picnic area

There were about 85 riders on the ride. Other than when we pulled off at a turn or stopped at the end of an optional section, we didn’t really encounter many other bikes on the actual trails. All of the riding groups were well spaced out.

a quick stop for a drink

As the ride began to loop its way back toward the campground, some of the riders like my Kenny spent a little time monkeying around in a quarry-like area.

kenny in the gravel pit

After an absolutely great day of riding, the crew returned to camp for a pig roast, more beer and a presentation by Dakar racer Jimmy Lewis.

Putting in a full day on the bikes left me feeling so sleepy. Though I wanted to stay up to hang on to that sweet feeling of having a great time a little longer, the sandman was calling my name. I don’t think I even made it until 11pm.

Y’all Come Back Now, Ya Hear?

Yes, the riding was fantastic but it was the shared experience with Kenny and our new friends that stays with me. I hope AltRider comes back to PA next year, because I’d love to do it all over again. What an excellent time.

%d bloggers like this: