Thursday, April 4, 2013

2012 Riding Season Recap

2012 was hands down, one of the best riding seasons I have ever had. At the end of each year I like put together a photographic recap of the year to reflect on.  I know I am a bit late on this one, so with our further delay: Here is my 2012 riding season recap. 

In 2012 I participated in the Waffle House Grand Tour.  The goal of this rally was to take a photo of your bike with the supplied rally towel in front of as many WH's as possible.  Before the rally went "bust" I ended up tagging over 250 WH's in almost 20 states.  It was a lot of fun while it lasted and it contributed to a big part of my riding season in 2012.

In March of 2012, Mike Brown, Dad and myself completed a SS2000 on the way to the IBA Pizza Party in Jacksonville, Florida.  As part of the WHGT, we stopped at 13 WH's along the way as well. We completed just over 2000 miles in less than 48 hours. We seem to like taking the long way to Florida now. 

It has been a goal of mine for quite some time to make it west of the Mississippi River.  This year I crossed it  during our SS2000 ride on the way to the Pizza Party, via Texas.  This photo was taken on the eastern bank of the river in LA next to a casino.  

The Pizza Party is held around the same time as the Daytona Bike Week.  While we were in  area we made a stop in Daytona to check it out.  The LD bikes didn't exactly fit in with the rest of the crowd.  I found it funny that in a parking lot full of "customs" the LD bikes were truly the most custom of all.  (And the cost much less, too)

It wouldn't be Bike Week with out some good scenery in the vendor area.

And then the "clothing optional" theme goes a bit too far....

A few weeks after our trip to Florida we decided to head to GA for the Master's RTE.  Joey, his parents, my parents, myself and a couple others headed down for the event.  There were close to a 100 bikes there by time we went in for food.  It was good to see everyone again after Florida.

Inside the main room at the Master's RTE.

On the way home from the Master's I decided to spend the night in Charlotte visiting with friends from college.  After a night of having beers in the garage I decided to head west the following morning to gather some WH tags and get some riding in.  While I heading into Boone, NC I ran into some heavy storms that included strong winds, cloud to ground lightning and hail. I avoided the storm as long as I could, but eventually I got stuck in it.  I rode a few miles in nickle sized hail before I made it to this gas station.  I end up riding in and out of this storm all the way home.  INTENSE!

Moonshine!  This year I decided to make the trek to Moonshine, Ill for a Moon Burger.  I left Wednesday night around 11pm, headed west to Nashville, TN gathering WH tags along the way.  At 8 am on Thursday morning I met up with Darryl and Bill to continue our WH tags to Moonshine.  When I arrived at the hotel Thursday night I had traveled over 900 miles and tagged 45 WH's. 

Cinnamon Roll! The Cinnamon Roll lady came on Saturday morning to sell her nearly word famous rolls. 

While I was in the Mooneshine Store parking lot I decided to put this one on.  The sticker is right... It was a rainy, nasty day and I rode in temperatures below freezing to get there. Yes, it was worth it.

My first Moon Burger. It was pretty good! 

When Joey and I were leaving the dinner Saturday evening we pulled over in a bank parking lot to get a few photos of the sunset. 

This was the route I ended up taking that weekend for Moonshine.  It was a bit out of the way, but it was worth it. 

I was on my way to Charlotte one morning when a pair of troopers pulled out  in front of me on the entrance ramp.  Apparently there was a lane change going going ahead of me but I found this situation pretty humorous after my ticket in Atlanta.  5-0 trying to slow me down...

This photo was taken later that day while on 221 outside of Blowing Rock, NC. This rock has always amazed me.  It was worth the time to get the photo.

Memorial day weekend.  I moved from Raleigh the summer prior and I hadn't been back since.  I had the long weekend off and I was looking to get some WH tags on the eastern side of NC so I planned my trip and crashed at a buddies house all weekend.  When I arrived I was greeted with a cold beer fresh off the keg.  There are some things I miss about Raleigh.

After riding around Raleigh and the surrounding areas for 2 days I headed north to VIR on Monday.  My college buddies were doing a track day here so I came up to get some photos and show some support.  It was good to see them dragging knees and hauling ass.

While we were in Florida for the Pizza Party, Dad and I met Joey  Lawson and his family.  Turns out they live about 30 miles away from us AND he managed to get my vanity tag after I let it expire.  What are the odds of that?  Joey and I ended up going on several rides together year and he spent many nights in the man cave with Dad and I as we farkled the Vstrom and the FJR.  Thanks for all your help Joey! 

In late June the McCrary family took a motorcycle vacation to Wisconsin.   We went up to join the MTF crowd in New Glarius for some riding in the area and took the opportunity to visit my grandparents in Beaver Dam.   When I was 6 my parents loaded up the dirt bikes in a Uhaul and we took a road trip to their place so they could see me ride my dirt bike.  Since we were are the farm with bikes again we took the opportunity to remake a classic photo of Dad and I.

When I was younger I used to spend my summers in Wisconsin helping my grandparents on their dairy farm.   It is kinda hard to spend that much time in Wisconsin and not become a Packers fan... This trip I was determined to get up to Green Bay and see Lambeau Field.  While were there we ended up taking a tour of the stadium as well.  Next step: Get to a game! 

After visiting with the grandparents for a few days we headed west to New Glarius.   Here is Mom and Dad with the MTF sign in front of the host hotel. 

Some how I got roped into doing a rough road ride with a few guys on this trip.   Actually I was pretty excited to do this rough road ride. I hadn't had the Vstrom off road yet and I was looking forward to trying it out.  It handled like a pig but over all it did pretty well in the gravel.  I really enjoyed it! 

After leaving the MTF crowd we made a trek north to visit with my  cousins from Minnesota.  We headed west to Iowa and then went north following the Mississippi River.  That was a really cool ride! I am looking into planning a ride for the future that follows the River from start to finish.  

Photo of my grandparents and my cousins.  Sarah, Me, Granny, Papa, and  Meg.

On the way home we managed to find this massive storm! We rode through the edge of it in Iowa and then skirted below  across Indiana and Illinois.  Eventually the storm got the better of us and we had to find a hotel for the night and hunker down.  This stormed ended up knocking out power in homes from Illinois to Maryland and  as far south as Virginia! 

I came home from the Wisconsin ride and went back to work for a couple days before heading to the lake and celebrating the 4th of July with my buddies. The Friday following the party I got back on the bike and headed to Connecticut to see Taylor and meet her family.  I was still playing along in the WH rally so I managed to hit all I could on the way up. 

A riding season isn't complete with out making a stop at my favorite riding spot!

I have to make it Deals Gap once a year, too. This trip was my last though.  I received a  ticket for doing 55 in a 35 while exiting a hair pin, down hill corner on wet asphalt.  Yea, bogus as hell.  The ticket was eventually dismissed after the trooper failed to appear for two dates.

Dad and I took a long day ride up into WV and VA to "leaf peep" this fall.  On our way home we stumbled across this... a church on route 666. Interesting. 

Late in the season Joey found ourselves on this gravel road along the Mt. Mitchell ridge line.  That was an entertaining trip!

We did find a cool water fall off the side of the gravel road though!

Took this shot of Joey on the BRP earlier that day. 

On the left is how I purchased the Vstrom in October of 2011 and on the right is how she looks now. (for the most part) Lots of changes in a year.

In 2012 I rode over 16,000 miles through 23 states.  I doubt I will ride as much in 2013 as I did in 2012.  I am looking to attend a couple music festivals this year along with a trip or two to Connecticut my vacation time has been accounted for.  I am hoping to still get out on the weekends for day rides to the mountains and possibly the beach.

No comments: