RIDE JOURNALS

Below are links to journals of most of the places I have ridden my motorcycles.  The pages include a lot of photographs and information about each trip.  Each year has a separate web page, and all of the photos for a particular year are on the same page.  The "Shortcut Links to specific rides simply go to a "Target" on the annual pages.  You can scroll through all of the rides without returning to this page if you wish.  Some of the photograph thumbnails might take a little while to load since all of them are actually on the same web page and the thumbnails for all of the photographs have to download.  If you don't see the photos immediately please be patient.  As of 11/11/07 there are 424 thumbnail images on the 2007 Rides page and the 2006 page has 173.  It may take a few seconds for all of them to download.

In some cases I have included GPS coordinates of the places I visited.  The coordinates may have "+/-" after them to indicate that they are approximate.  I normally try to remember to save an exact coordinate when I arrive at a destination but sometimes forget to.  If I forget I use my GPS software to determine the coordinate and show it as approximate.


2011 Ride Journal
(Shortcuts to individual trips are listed below)

January - March, 2011
January 1 - March 12, 2011
   

2010 Ride Journal
(Shortcuts to individual trips are listed below)

January, 2010
January 1-31, 2010
February, 2010
February 1-28, 2010
Old Stone Fort State Park - Manchester, TN
March 6, 2010

Natchez Trace Parkway
March 27, 2010
Natchez Trace Parkway
April 3 & 4, 2010
Out and About
April 10 & 11, 2010

Out and About
April 17 & 18, 2010
Bikes, Bikes, Birds, and Blooms
May 8, 2010
Out and About
May 29-31, 2010

Out and About
June 5 & 6, 2010
Out and About
The Rest of June, 2010
Too Hot To Ride
All of July, 2010

Downtown Nashville
August 8, 2010
Trees Along The Trace
October 30, 2010
 

2009 Ride Journal
(Shortcuts to individual trips are listed below)

New Years Day 2009
January 1, 2009
Rainy Days
January 4, 2009
Close To Home
January 11, 2009

Closer To Home and the NTP
January 17 & 18, 2009
Arizona and California
January 30 - February 6, 2009
Gray Skies and Waterfalls
February 14, 2009

Lousy Weather in Tennessee
February 21 - March 1, 2009
Out and About
March 7, 2009
Out and About
March 21, 2009

Clarksville and Tullahoma
April 4 & 5, 2009
Just Out Riding
April 12, 2009
Just Out Riding (Again!)
April 18, 2009

George Patton Museum and Radnor Lake
April 25-26, 2009
Here We Go Again - More Rain!
May 1 & 2, 2009
Short Rides
May 9 & 10, 2009

More Rain!
May 16, 2009
New River Gorge - Beckley & Fayetteville, WV
May 23 & 24, 2009
Homeplace 1850 / Ft. Donelson - Tharpe & Dover, TN
May 30, 2009

Natchez Trace Parkway - Metal Ford
June 6, 2009
Savage Gulf State Natural Area
June 13, 2009
Three States and a Bonus
June 19-20, 2009

George Dickel Distillery
June 27, 2009
Holiday Weekend
July 3-5, 2009
Out and About
July 11 & 12, 2009

Enjoying The Weather
July 18 & 19, 2009
Waterfalls and Glasses
July 24, 2009
300 Miles of Nowhere
August 1 & 2, 2009

Hot and Humid
August 8-16, 2009
Great Weekend for Riding
August 22 & 23, 2009
Labor Day Weekend
September 5-7, 2009

Remembrance
September 12, 2009
Out and About
September 13, 2009
Rainy Weekend
September 19-20, 2009

Southern Comfort
September 27, 2009
Western Trip II
October 1-18, 2009
Trees Along The Trace
November 1, 2009

Great Riding Weather I
November 7 & 8, 2009
Great Riding Weather II
November 14 & 15, 2009
Great Riding Weather III
November 28 & 29, 2009

Lousy Riding Weather I
December 5 & 6, 2009
Lousy Riding Weather II
The rest of December, 2009
 

2008 Ride Journal
(Shortcuts to individual trips are listed below)

New Years Day 2008
January 1, 2008
Cabin Fever!
January 5, 2008
Cycleworld International Motorcycle Show
January 19, 2008

Day Ride
January 27, 2008
Day Ride
February 2, 2008
Jackson Falls - Natchez Trace Parkway
February 9, 2008

Land Between The Lakes NRA
February 16, 2008
Another Gloomy Weekend
February 23 & 24, 2008
East and West
March 1 & 2, 2008

Winter Returns
March 8 & 9, 2008
Cumberland Gap National Historical Site
March 22, 2008
Stamps And The Trace
April 5 & 6, 2008

Great Ride, Lousy Ending!
April 20 & 21, 2008
Close To Home
May 4, 2008
Ft Donelson NMP
May 10, 2008

Indiana Stamp Quest
May 17, 2008
Memorial Day Weekend
May 23-26, 2008
Former TDPC Pistol Range
May 31, 2008

Cragfont and Rock Castle
June 7, 2008
Day Rides
June 14 & 15, 2008
Missouri and Illinois
June 21 & 22, 2008

Dayton, OH
July 5-7, 2008
Atlanta, GA
July 19, 2008
THC Stamps
July 26, 2008

Fall Creek Falls
August 3, 2008
Day Out With The Boys
August 9, 2008
Chattanooga, TN
August 17, 2008

THC Stamps
August 23, 2008
Labor Day Weekend
August 30 - September 1, 2008
6 States, 4 Days
September 13-16, 2008

Fun Weekend!
September 27 & 28, 2008
A "Rocky" Day
October 4, 2008
Fall Fun
October 12, 2008

Trees Along The Trace Part I
October 18, 2008
More Fall Fun
October 26, 2008
Trees Along The Trace Part II
November 2, 2008

Trees Along The Trace Part III
November 16, 2008
Playing In The Cold on Pearl Harbor Day
December 7, 2008
Playing In The Cold Again
December 13-14, 2008

Christmas Day
December 25, 2008
Post-Christmas Ride
December 26-28, 2008
 

2007 Ride Journal
(Shortcuts to individual trips are listed below)

New Years Day 2007
January 1, 2007
Natchez Trace Parkway
January 6, 2007
Castle Heights Military Academy
January 27, 2007

Natchez Trace Parkway
February 18, 2007
Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace
February 22, 2007
Stones River National Battlefield
February 24, 2007

Russell Cave National Monument
March 4, 2007
Natchez Trace Parkway
March 10, 2007
Cyclemo's Motorcycle Museum
March 11, 2007

Stamping Quest to Tupelo, MS
March 24, 2007
Clarksville, TN
Easter Sunday - April 8, 2007
Chattanooga, TN & Ft. Oglethorpe, GA
April 21, 2007

D&H Cycles - Cullman, AL
April 28, 2007
US Space and Rocket Center - Huntsville, AL
May 5, 2007
Stamping Quest to East Tennessee
May 12, 2007

Hopkinsville, KY and Adams, TN
May 20, 2007
Chattanooga, TN
May 28, 2007
Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
June 2, 2007

Radnor Lake State Natural Area
June 9, 2007
Natchez Trace Parkway
June 10, 2007
Arnold AFB - Tullahoma, TN
June 23, 2007

East TN, NC, and south VA
June 29 - July 4, 2007
Ft. Donelson, Cross Creek NWR, Dunbar Cave
July 14, 2007
Rock Island State Park
July 21, 2007

Jackson Falls (Natchez Trace Parkway)
July 29, 2007
Waterfall Witch-Hunt
August 4, 2007
The New VFR800
August 7, 2007

Out and About, Fighting The Heat
August 12, 2007
130 Mile Breakfast
August 18, 2007
Fall Creek Falls State Park
August 25, 2007

Out and About (Again)
September 1 & 2, 2007
Henderson, TN
September 15, 2007
Crossville, TN
September 16, 2007

Natchez Trace Parkway - Metal Ford
September 23, 2007
Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
September 29, 2007
Couchville Lake at Long Hunter State Park
October 6, 2007

Burgess Falls - Sparta, TN
October 13, 2007
Crossville, TN
October 20, 2007
Out And About (Yet Again!)
October 27 & 28, 2007

Clarksville, TN
November 3, 2007
Trees Along The Trace - Part I
November 4, 2007
Trees Along The Trace - Part II
November 10, 2007

Fall Creek Falls State Park
November 11, 2007
Winter Arrives - Kind Of Cool Now!
November 22 - December 1, 2007
End Of Year
December, 2007

2006 Ride Journal
(Shortcuts to individual trips are listed below)

Natchez Trace Parkway
July 3, 2006, August 12, 2006, September 9, 2006
Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride - October 21, 2006
Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
July 8, 2006 & July 15, 2006

Fall Creek Falls State Park
August 5, 2006
Port Royal State Park
September 3, 2006
Stones River National Battlefield
September 4, 2006

Shiloh National Military Park
October 8, 2006
Jack Daniel's Distillery
November 19, 2006
Cheatham Lock and Dam
November 24, 2006

Center Hill Dam
December 10, 2006
130 Mile Cup Of Coffee
December 22, 2006
Miscellaneous Places


AGIRL'S 4-CORNERS TOUR 2006

Click This Link For Her Ride Map

My friend AGirl (aka Stromette) took a 4-Corners Motorcycle Tour between September 6 and September 24, 2006.  I set up a map to track her progress during her trip and it can be viewed by clicking the link above.  I couldn't be there with her on the road so I kept track of things here!

She is a habitual traveler and she now has her own web site with a number of reports from some of her trips this past year.  It is still under construction (for one reason because I can't keep her still long enough to do ride reports!), but check it out.  I handle her web site and may move her 4-Corners map there at some point.  I've already set up the entire day-to-day ride report there.  Her site is at www.SeizeTheJourney.com


MOTORCYCLE FACTS OF LIFE

Click This Link For More

Apparently a lot of people think a motorcycle is a magical machine with a plastic bubble around it to protect them from the elements.  That isn't so, and this page was written for prospective riders who want to know the true Motorcycle Facts of Life.


WIND CHILL CALCULATIONS

Click This Link For Calculations

Ever wondered what the windchill is at a particular temperature?  Here is an easy way to find out.  I ran across a forumla on the National Weather Service web site at This Link that shows how to calculate wind chill for a given air temperature and wind speed.  The program on this page will show the wind chill in 5 mph increments from 5 mph to 100 mph for a temperature that you provide.


V-STROM BUFFETING

Click This Link For More

A number of people have experienced a severe buffeting problem with the Suzuki V-Strom, and to some it is severe enough that they have sold the bike.  It isn't a problem for me but I have added this web page to compile information from people who are having the problem (or even from those who aren't).  If you are having this problem there may be some information here that might help you find a resolution.  If you aren't having a problem you might want to share what you have done to resolve the problem.


NATIONAL PARK PASSPORT STAMPS

Click This Link For More

Many of the National Parks have "Passport Stamps" that can be used to stamp a passport "Book".  Collecting them is addictive but fun.  My friend AGirl got me interested in them, and since that time I've logged a few miles on a quest to capture some of them.  I only have a few so far, but more will be acquired this year!  Click the link above for more information.


BACKGROUND

After a 30+ year hiatus from riding motorcycles I decided I wanted another one.  I looked at numerous different models before I found one that I felt suited my needs and wants.  I first looked at sport bikes, but the seating position just didn't look that comfortable to my 54 year old frame.  I don't care for the true "Touring" bikes or the "Cruisers" and I didn't want a dirt bike.  That left the "Standard" and "Dual-Sport" categories.  Many of the "Standards" are naked bikes and I prefer a fairing (or at least a partial fairing) and windscreen.  I ran across photos of the Suzuki V-Strom and that was all I needed to see.  I looked at them at the local dealers, mulled it over for a couple of weeks, and bought one.

Somewhere along the line the motorcycle endorsement on my driver's license went away so I had to get that reinstated.  I also decided that because it had been so long since I was on a bike I needed a "Refresher Course" in how to ride one.  Succesfully completing an approved Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course precludes one from having to take the written and driving test for a motorcycle license or endorsement in Tennessee, plus I knew it would give me the valuable instruction I needed after so many years away from motorcycles.  To that end, before I put one single mile on the motorcycle, I took the Basic Rider's Course from Mid-South Motorcycle Training Center.  In two days of riding and classroom activities I learned how much I had forgotten, and got back enough confidence to take my bike out on the road in a relatively safe manner.  I strongly recommend this to new and returning riders, it is without question the smartest thing you can possibly do.

I also took the MSF Enhanced Rider Course from Volunteer Motorcycle Training Services on October 29, 2006.  At that time I had slightly over 6,000 miles on my bike.  The ERC is basically the same riding maneuvers as the BRC, however they are done on your own motorcycle.  In many cases this is a much different experience than doing them on little 250cc trainers.  Once a rider gets some experience under their belt this is something I highly recommend.  The course teaches you how to do things on your bike that might make a big difference on the streets.


MY BIKES

I have two bikes, a 2006 Suzuki DL650 V-Strom and a 2007 Honda VFR800FI Interceptor.  I bought the V-Strom on May 1, 2006 and the VFR on August 6, 2007.  When I bought the VFR the V-Strom had over 17,000 miles on it.  I decided I wanted something a bit sportier and with a bit more power.  After looking around at what was available I decided on the VFR.  Both of these bikes are fabulous machines in their own right, and both are excellent for different purposes.

The DL650 has a 15 month head-start on the VFR so it has a few more "Farkles" on it.  I'm not sure how long that will last though.

2006 SUZUKI DL650 V-STROM

MAINTENANCE ITEMS REPLACED DUE TO WEAR ...

2007 HONDA VFR800FI INTERCEPTOR

MAINTENANCE ITEMS REPLACED DUE TO WEAR ...

ITEMS THAT CAN BE USED ON BOTH BIKES


ANNUAL STATISTICS

Year

Total Miles

Longest
Trip
(miles)


Longest
Trip
(days)


Longest
Single
Day (miles)


States
Visited


Through Date

  2006     7,901     265     1     265     3   December 31, 2006
  2007     15,765     1,546     6     469     7   December 31, 2007
  2008     15,695     1,800     4     605     11   December 31, 2008
  2009     16,676     2,944     8     556     14   December 31, 2009
  2010     5,069     150     1     150     1   December 31, 2010


RIDING GEAR

I'm a firm believer in ATGATT (All The Gear, All The Time).  Or, perhaps more appropriately, "MOTGATT" for "Most" of the gear all the time.  The bottom line is that I don't ride without protective gear.  I did my time sliding on asphalt when I was young and I didn't like it at all.  I've still got the scars to prove it to.  Like most young people I guess I felt invincible but now that I'm older I know better.  I know how easily and how quickly things can go wrong.  I may get hot in the summer but I know I'm doing all I can to improve my chances of not getting hurt.

Warm / Hot Weather Gear:

o  Full-face Arai Quantum-2 helmet
o  Teknic Supervent mesh jacket
o  Joe Rocket Phoenix 4.0 mesh jacket
o  Draggin' Jeans
o  Held "Steve" leather gloves
o  Olympia textile gloves
o  Sidi B2 boots
o  Alpine Stars Web Goretex boots

Cool / Cold Weather Gear:

o  Full-face Arai Quantum-2 helmet
o  Full-face HJC helmet
o  TurtleFur "Shellaclava"
o  First Gear Rainier jacket
o  First Gear Kilimanjaro jacket
o  First Gear heated jacket liner
o  Draggin' Jeans
o  Joe Rocket Ballistic pants
o  Joe Rocket Revolution gloves
o  Gerbing heated gloves
o  Alpine Stars Web Goretex boots

Other Gear I Have Used:

o  Full-face Fulmer helmet (1st helmet, don't like it)
o  Nitro mesh jacket (didn't fit well, gave it away)
o  Joe Rocket Nova jacket (too small now)
o  Cortech textile gloves (wore them out)
o  Tourmaster insulated gloves (too bulky, too cold)
o  Alpine Stars leather gloves (too bulky, too cold)
o  Generic Combat-style boots (still worn to work)
o  Joe Rocket Steel Jeans (not very comfortable)
o  Gerbing heated socks (the ultimate source of pain)


LINKS TO VENDORS ABOVE
Arai Helmets HJC Helmets Fulmer Helmets Joe Rocket
Cortech / Tourmaster First Gear Alpine Stars Teknic
Held USA Gerbing Heated Clothing Draggin' Jeans Turtlefur
Sidi USA  

Obviously the gear listed above is dependant on the weather and temperature, and it is frequently in a state of change.  I pick different jackets and gloves depending on the expected temperature.  I also replace gear regularly when I find something that I feel will be more comfortable or provide better protection.  In fact I went through several pairs of gloves during the winter of 2006 trying to find some that were warm (the Joe Rocket Revolutions are good when used with handguards and heated grips!)  My wife gave me some Gerbing heated gloves for my birthday so I expect my hands to stay warm this coming winter (December, 2007 Note: They did!!)!

One thing that is constant every time I get on a bike is a full-face helmet.  I absolutely refuse to get on a bike without one.  I've had far too many things bounce off of my face shield that would be in my face or eyes, and I will not take that chance just to feel the breeze blowing in my face.  I just cannot understand how some people will take that chance with the only brain and the only pair of eyes that they will ever have.  I ride in Kentucky from time to time where the helmet law gives me the option of wearing a helmet or not.  In my opinion there is no choce, my helmet is always on my head.

Every rider can do what they want as far as I'm concerned.  Some prefer comfort to safety, others tend to put "Looking Cool" ahead of safety.  I think the guys riding with shorts and t-shirts are foolish, but that is their business.  I suspect that most of them have never been down yet.  I know for a fact that sliding on pavement hurts, I've been there and I've done it.  It is said that there are only two kinds of riders; those who have gone down and those who will.  I treat EVERY ride as if it will be one when I go down again and I do everything I can to minimize the damage.  There are just too many drivers on the roads that do not pay attention to motorcycles.  When I got this bike I decided that it wasn't worth taking the chance.  My choice is to protect myself, and that's the way I ride every time I get on my bike.


FAVORED VENDORS

I buy a lot of motorcycle items over the internet and there are literally hundreds (perhaps thousands) of online dealers.  I can find companies all day long that provide average prices or service but so far I have only run across a handful of companies that provide above average service or prices.  When I order something I expect it to be shipped within 24 hours, I expect to be notified if there are any problems with the order, I expect competetive prices, and I expect assistance if I have an issue with the order.  There are far too many companies floating around the internet these days to expect anything less.

The links shown below are to vendors and manufacturers who have never, ever let me down.  Every single time I have ordered from these folks I have gotten exactly what I ordered, it is shipped on the day I order it, and if I have a problem I know for certain they will do everything they can to make it right.  I'm pretty picky and there are some very well known companies that didn't make my "A-List" for one reason or another.  There are some pretty well-known companies I hesitate to order from for one reason or another, and there are some I categorically refuse to order from again.  Everyone has their own favorites and their own reasons for liking or disliking a company.  These are my good ones.

Notice that I have absolutely no affiliation with these companies whatsoever other than being a well-satisfied customer.  They don't give me free stuff or discounts to put up a link to their site.  They are just plain good people to deal with.  They are listed in alphabetical order, not in order of preference.

o  Cycle Gadgets
o  Dennis Kirk
o  Nelson-Rigg
o  New Enough Motorcycle Apparel
o  New Enough Street Parts and Accessories
o  Sport Tour Ltd.
o  Southwest Moto Tires

This is a group of vendors and manufacturers that I have dealt with once or twice and have had very good luck with.  Some are somewhat specialized and I don't need what they offer very often.  Others I just haven't ordered from very often.  Regardless, what little experience I have had with them has been good and I would not hesitate to buy from them again or recommend them to someone else.

o  Aritronics (Scorpio Alarms)
o  Hyperlights
o  Madstad Engineering
o  Motorcycle Superstore
o  Murph's Kits
o  Pat Walsh Designs
o  Zero Gravity
There are also a few that have been removed from this list.  One of them was a company I had ordered from many times.  Their service was always excellent, my orders were always shipped no later than the following day and I always had it in just a few days.  The last three times I ordered from them my order took over a week to get to me.  Never a call, never an email nothing except leaving me hanging and wondering where my order was.  After waiting a week for two of the orders I called check on them and talked to someone who acted like I was interfering with her lunch or something and really didn't want to be bothered talking to a customer.  After I received my last order I sent them an email expressing my displeasure with their service and my confusion as to what had happened to their previously excellent service.  I never even got a response to that email so they are off my list.  I won't spend my money with companies like that because there are too many good ones around.

Vendors take note: I can find companies all day long that provide average service and average prices.  That is not good enough.  Why would I settle for less than excellent service when it is readily available.  This is the information age.  Word of mouth spreads at the speed of light these days, and that can be either good or bad.  If you provide exemplary service to your customers you will get more good recommendations than you know what to do with.  If you provide poor service then you can expect to see poor reports splattered everywhere.  That choice is yours.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
  • Yes, I know I'm crazy to ride a motorcycle in Nashville.  We learn very early in our riding career to watch out for ourselves because it is certain that the car and truck drivers don't watch out for us!
  • Yes, it may well be some sort of second childhood.  Whether it is or not I'm having fun with them and that's what counts.
  • They are my toys.  Some people have bass boats or ski boats, others have golf carts.  I have a pair of bikes.
  • The V-Strom has a 654cc (approximately 40 cubic inches) fuel injected, 2-cylinder, V-twin, liquid cooled engine that makes slightly more than 60hp into a 6-speed gearbox.  Dry weight is 414 pounds.
  • The VFR has a 781cc (approximately 48 cubic inches) fuel injected, 4-cylinder, VTEC V-Four liquid cooled engine that makes around 110 hp into a 6-speed gearbox.  Dry weight is 475 pounds.
  • I don't know how fast they will go.  I've had the V-Strom to 90 mph (actual by GPS) and that was enough for me.  The VFR will do 90 as well and it gets there a lot quicker than the V-Strom!  Truth be told they will both go a lot faster than I will.  The V-Strom should top out around 125 and the VFR at around 145.
  • Expected more horsepower?  Stop and think about it ... According to sources on the internet a Corvette Z06 has 550 horsepower and weighs 3,130 pounds.  That works out to 6.2 pounds per horsepower.  My VFR has 110 horsepower and weighs 475 pounds.  That works out to 4.32 pounds per horsepower.  Even if I add my weight it is still about 6.36 pounds, or about the same weight to horsepower ratio as the Z06 Corvette.  Even my V-Strom has 6.3 pounds per horsepower, and both of these are "Little" bikes and both are on the heavy side.  Imagine what "Big" bikes are like!  A Suzuki GSXR1000 has about 175 horsepower and a weighs about 379 pounds for 2.16 pounds per horsepower!  Does that put things in perspective for you?
  • Yes, I do know what ATGATT means.  It means "All The Gear All The Time", and I live by it.  When I ride I wear a full-face helmet, a padded jacket, gloves, boots, and heavy pants.
  • No, it isn't misspelled, it is supposed to be "Strom".
  • I'm not exactly sure what "V-Strom" means.  That is a common topic of discussion on some forums.  The "V" presumably refers to the "V" configuration of the engine.  The "Strom" part is what everyone is confused about.  In German it supposedly means "Current" or "Stream".  Personally I think it loosely means "High Energy V-Twin" but I could be wrong.
  • What is the farthest you have ridden on a motorcycle?  That depends on the definition of "Far".  Farthest from home?  I rode a motorcycle completely around the island of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands in 1970, but I flew from Nashville to Honolulu.  Continental United States?  I rode to San Simeon, CA in 2009, but I flew from Nashville to Phoenix, AZ and picked up a motorcycle there for the ride to the west coast.  Riding from home and back I guess my longest ride would be from Nashville to St. Augustine, FL and back through South Carolina in 2008.
  • Where was the background photograph taken?  That's a little bit hard to say.  There are 24 different background photos that rotate on an hourly basis.  The photograph that you see depends on the time of day you are viewing the page.  All of the photos came from my ride reports listed at the top of this page.  I know there aren't many of the VFR but I'm working on that.
  • What kind of camera do you use?  I have three digital cameras (as well as a couple of 30-year-old 35mm film cameras) that I use on motorcycle trips; a Sony DSC-P50 that I seldom use any longer, a Sony DSC-H9 "Advanced" non-SLR, and a Nikon D-60 Digital SLR.  I frequently carry my Sony H9 because it takes up less space than my Nikon.

You can usually find me on the Strom Troopers Forum or on the VFRWorld Forum


Copyright © 1997-2016, Scott A. Craig, All Rights Reserved