Where to go?? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 24 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 12:12 pm Thread Starter
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Where to go??

I have had by 2004 LT just under a month now and I am ready to take my first "long" trip. In a few weeks my wife and I will embark from Rhode Island on the LT for 4 days.

Being my first trip, I'm not really sure where to go. I'm looking at the following destinations (along with approximate travel times per MapQuest)
  • Niagara Falls, Canada (8 hours - 475 Miles one way)
  • Lake George, NY (4 hours - 230 Miles OW)
  • Montreal, Canada (7 hours - 390 Miles OW)
  • Pocono Mountains, PA (5 hours - 235 Miles OW)

My wife and I have been to the Poconos before (not riding, though) but have not been to the other places. I guess what I'm asking is where would you go?

Taking into account the time of year (end of September), weather, road conditions, scenery, "fun-ness", etc... What is my best bet?

Please post your thoughts as to where, along with WHY, you feel that is the best bet.

Thanks everybody for you input! This site ROCKS!!!


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post #2 of 24 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 2:10 pm
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Re: Where to go??

If I were you, I'd go NORTH!!

Take 395 up to the Mass Pike. Get off on Rt 23, East Otis, ride west to Rt 183 and take it up through Housatonic, Stockbridge and Lenox. You're heading into the Berkshires!

Just head north from Lenox and you'll run into RT 7, take this all the way to Bennington then turn east on Rt 9 into Wilmington. In the center of town, turn left on Rt 100, the backbone of Vermont.

Take Rt 100 ALL THE WAY to Stowe, Vermont. The Grandmother of eastern ski areas. You will pass a dozen ski areas on your way up from MA.

This is a great, classic ride.

Great history too, in all the towns along the way. You'll pass lots of B&Bs, nice restaurants and museums!

This is the time of year for Vermont.

J. Averill Townsend
Bloomfield Hills, MI


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post #3 of 24 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 4:07 pm
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Smile Re: Where to go??

And join the local BMW club! http://www.oceanstatebmwriders.com/

The Adirondacks will be beautiful this time of year!

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post #4 of 24 Old Sep 12th, 2008, 12:05 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Where to go??

Thanks for the ideas so far... Anybody else care to chime in?

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post #5 of 24 Old Sep 15th, 2008, 9:34 am Thread Starter
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Re: Where to go??

OK - here's what we came up with... Instead of going one place for a few days, we have decided to go on one long ride and visit multiple locations. Here's our rough itinerary:

Day 1 - Rhode Island (A) to Montreal (B) ~7 hours
Day 2 - Montreal (B) to Niagara Falls (D) ~7.5 hours
Day 3 - Niagara Falls (D) to Lake George, NY (E) ~6 hours
Day 4 - Lake George, NY (E) to Rhode Island (F) ~4 hours

We'll be stopping for a bit in Toronto (C), maybe check out the Hockey Hall of Fame then it's on to Niagara Falls - we plan on staying on the Canada side.

Here is a picture of the route (from MapQuest):


Any thoughts on this route? This being my first long trip, is there anything I should know before attempting this route? Also, are there any scenic routes just off the main routes that may be worth riding through? I plan on riding through Grand Isle, VT (I hear it's absolutely gorgeous!) then up Rt 225 over the border into Canada (might even save some time there as I'm sure the border wait there is much shorter than the interstate!) Are there any others?

Thanks everybody for your expertise.

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post #6 of 24 Old Sep 15th, 2008, 10:02 am
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Re: Where to go??

If you'd like a route from Lake George to Oxford via secondary roads, I can send one to you. You could catch 146 from there into RI.
Do you have a GPS unit?

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post #7 of 24 Old Sep 15th, 2008, 10:30 am Thread Starter
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Re: Where to go??

I do have a GPS. I'm not sure which model, but it's the Garmin that I assume came stock with the bike in 04 (it says ColorScreen under the "BMW Motorcycle Navigation" on the front).

I'd love to see what route you have!

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post #8 of 24 Old Sep 15th, 2008, 11:28 am
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Re: Where to go??

CN Tower might be a good stop in Toronto, especially if the sunset can be straddled. Head up to the rotating restaurant an hour before sunset, take two hours for dinner and catch the sun setting and the city lighting up. Do hit the top for a look straight down! Quite interesting! It's been a good 15 years since I last ate there. It was a flat $25 per person and including everything except alcohol. Could be $50 by now I suppose. And if you go later this week you might catch a Red Sox game in the neighboring skydome. It's a nice park with a hotel that has rooms with windows looking out over right center. If raining, the dome is closed. If nice, it's open and you can see inside from the tower.

I've done Montreal to Ottawa to Toronto before, years ago. I would allow more time. Toronto is quite the busy city. QEW, even at six or seven lanes can be quite the challenge. And if really windy the bridge in Hamilton on the QEW to Niagara tends to close.

Mark
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post #9 of 24 Old Sep 15th, 2008, 12:21 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Where to go??

Thanks for your insight AliMar...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AliMar
CN Tower might be a good stop in Toronto, especially if the sunset can be straddled. Head up to the rotating restaurant an hour before sunset, take two hours for dinner and catch the sun setting and the city lighting up. Do hit the top for a look straight down! Quite interesting! It's been a good 15 years since I last ate there. It was a flat $25 per person and including everything except alcohol. Could be $50 by now I suppose. And if you go later this week you might catch a Red Sox game in the neighboring skydome. It's a nice park with a hotel that has rooms with windows looking out over right center. If raining, the dome is closed. If nice, it's open and you can see inside from the tower.
My wife is afraid of heights - I can comfortably say that CN Tower is not a place we will be visiting there!! Actually, we may not even stop in Toronto. That would just be an added bonus. The main thing is to get to Niagara Falls. Now if the Sox WERE there when we are going that would be another story! I would love to catch the Sox while there but we'll be going the last weekend in September - it's the only weekend I have off all month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AliMar
I've done Montreal to Ottawa to Toronto before, years ago. I would allow more time. Toronto is quite the busy city. QEW, even at six or seven lanes can be quite the challenge.
What do you mean it can be "quite the challenge"? Traffic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AliMar
And if really windy the bridge in Hamilton on the QEW to Niagara tends to close.
Is there an easy "go-around"? Looking at a map, it appears if we go into the city we can get back on the QEW there (probably have to deal with city traffic though, I'm sure).

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post #10 of 24 Old Sep 15th, 2008, 10:42 pm
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Re: Where to go??

I'm certain some of the locals could offer better info on local road conditions around Toronto. What I can say is that in my travels through the area traffic was a bitch, day or night and if stuck in the left lanes when you should'a been in the right lanes, well good lock movin' over. It's always busy damn near any hour. Key is keep a sharp eye on the GPS, pay attention, ride safe.

On bridge closures, it takes a bit of wind to shut it down. I made it over once and it closed shortly after. My ride was tense that day, near scary in an e-class no less. In so far as alternate route, seeing the amount of traffic heading over that bridge I would think that Hamilton couldn't absorb that much going through downtown.

Mark
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post #11 of 24 Old Sep 16th, 2008, 7:08 am
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Re: Where to go??

I would consider splitting this into 2 or more rides. For me the quality of the ride is as important as the destinations. This looks like too many destinations so your having to sacrifice the ride itself. Your routes have you on Highway's for most, which make time, but aren't usually the best scenery. I can tell you that 90 in NY is toll road and boring. I would suggest you save Lake George for next year and go to Americade if you like rallies or just go up on a weekend. Great roads up there for riding in the Adirondacks.

I would also take alternate routes from Niagra Falls consider winding through NY around the Finger Lakes region to places like Ithaca and then on to Catskills etc.

Or drop South from Buffalo into PA and pick up route 6 and ride that back East.

Just a thought.

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post #12 of 24 Old Sep 16th, 2008, 7:03 pm
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Re: Where to go??

Quote:
Originally Posted by razman10
I do have a GPS. I'm not sure which model, but it's the Garmin that I assume came stock with the bike in 04 (it says ColorScreen under the "BMW Motorcycle Navigation" on the front).

I'd love to see what route you have!
Try this route (attached)
Attached Files
File Type: gdb Lake George to Home.gdb (65.3 KB, 48 views)

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post #13 of 24 Old Sep 16th, 2008, 7:22 pm
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Re: Where to go??

+1 on Adirondacks!!!!!!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWphreak
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The Adirondacks will be beautiful this time of year!

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post #14 of 24 Old Sep 16th, 2008, 10:04 pm
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Re: Where to go??

RaY,

I could't open Pauls route, but the adirondacks would be great. Get off I 90 at Utica, N Y to 12, 8 and to 28 down to Lake George. If you have more time, 12 to 28 to Lake George.

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post #15 of 24 Old Sep 17th, 2008, 8:25 am Thread Starter
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Re: Where to go??

Quote:
Originally Posted by surfran
I would consider splitting this into 2 or more rides. For me the quality of the ride is as important as the destinations. This looks like too many destinations so your having to sacrifice the ride itself. Your routes have you on Highway's for most, which make time, but aren't usually the best scenery. I can tell you that 90 in NY is toll road and boring. I would suggest you save Lake George for next year and go to Americade if you like rallies or just go up on a weekend. Great roads up there for riding in the Adirondacks.

I would also take alternate routes from Niagra Falls consider winding through NY around the Finger Lakes region to places like Ithaca and then on to Catskills etc.

Or drop South from Buffalo into PA and pick up route 6 and ride that back East.

Just a thought.
Surfran,

Thanks for the concerns/suggestions. I just found out yesterday that there is a trade show going on in Toronto that weekend so we will definitely be heading up there (makes the trip a write-off; yipee!!!) If we decide not to go to Lake George, I will definitely take your idea of going down into PA and shooting across route 6. However I think the wife has her heart set on Lake George. We may just end up at Americade next year anyway!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_Schuyler
RaY,

I could't open Pauls route, but the adirondacks would be great. Get off I 90 at Utica, N Y to 12, 8 and to 28 down to Lake George. If you have more time, 12 to 28 to Lake George.
Jim,

I'll check Paul's route when I get home tonight (don't have MapSource here at work) but I LOVE that route you suggested (12 to 8 to 28). Looks great on a map, but I'm sure it's better actually riding it! Great suggestion!


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post #16 of 24 Old Sep 22nd, 2008, 11:54 am Thread Starter
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Re: Where to go??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tat_n_Telle
Try this route (attached)
Good stuff!!!

I'll be sure to use it. In fact you being near Rt 395 I'll hop on that home! I live about 25 minutes from Rt 395 (I forget the exit number - Rt 138).

Depending on the timing of it all, we MAY just stop in and say hi!!!

I have already plugged everything into my GPS and am anxiously awaiting Saturday for our trip to begin!

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post #17 of 24 Old Sep 22nd, 2008, 8:03 pm
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Re: Where to go??

Quote:
Originally Posted by razman10
...and am anxiously awaiting Saturday for our trip to begin!
Better have rain gear at the ready. Here in the North East it's looking like Friday (noreaster) and Saturday (tropical) storms are more likely by the minute and offer up a good dose of rain.

Mark
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post #18 of 24 Old Sep 22nd, 2008, 8:23 pm
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Re: Where to go??

We like Vermont and the white mountains,
I think it was the Kankamangus highway,
the Adirondacks are nice.

We all have "different" ideas of what a good time or a good ride is,
I don't know the roads all that well up in the North/east,
but it looks to me like most of your route is interstate,

I've done I90 to Niagra and I promise you I will never do it again but then I feel that way about most interstate highways,

I'll use them if I have to get somewhere but if I were planning a ride/vacation the interstate would not be any part of it,

Instead of making your trip about the destination,
I'd recommend just making it "about the ride"


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post #19 of 24 Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 7:12 am
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Re: Where to go??

Quote:
Originally Posted by AliMar
Better have rain gear at the ready. Here in the North East it's looking like Friday (noreaster) and Saturday (tropical) storms are more likely by the minute and offer up a good dose of rain.
Yeah, that figures. Saturday I'm supposed to be riding point in a biker wedding procession......

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post #20 of 24 Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 9:11 am Thread Starter
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Re: Where to go??

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
Instead of making your trip about the destination,
I'd recommend just making it "about the ride"
Thanks Hans,

Actually I agree with you. However, as much as it's "about the ride" for me, it's more about the destination for my wife, she just wants to get there. What I am trying to do is employ the best of both worlds. On my route, I have included both Interstate, to make up some time, then secondary roads for the ride / scenery. Once we get to the destination there is more riding / exploring as well so I'll sacrifice some pleasant riding along the way (interstate) to make her happy and get there.

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post #21 of 24 Old Oct 1st, 2008, 12:38 am
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Re: Where to go??

I see your planned rout is through Onterio CA , I was there this summer ( in the car with the family) But the wine country on the niagra penn. is fabulouse

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post #22 of 24 Old Oct 1st, 2008, 11:34 am Thread Starter
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Re: Where to go??

Just returned last night. Great ride, however we had to cut the ride short due to rain on Saturday.

I'm putting together a ride report that I will post in the next couple of days.

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post #23 of 24 Old Oct 3rd, 2008, 3:14 pm
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Re: Where to go??

Looking forward to your ride tales.

Saturday's weather was horrible. The couple getting married called everyone Friday night and told them to leave the bikes at home, the whole ceremony was being moved inside. Good thing, because it absolutely POURED the whole time.
Too bad, we all missed the "hot dog guzzle".

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post #24 of 24 Old Oct 8th, 2008, 10:33 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Where to go??

Ride report is posted in the Ride Tales section.

Here is a link: http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41086

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