Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Tennessee to Alabama

After my rest day Sunday I set off early in a mere 72F and cooling mist, for Manchester Tennessee. T Shirt and jeans as the day was going to reach the mid nineties. Burnside KY, and Route 27 was quiet and the road changed from a wide 3 laner, to a nice twister with plenty to keep me busy.
Within an hour or two it was 80F and climbed to 94 before the 314 mile day was up. My target for today was Manchester #12 and then on towards lucky #13 in Alabama.
Not sure where I was going, I got in behind a group of Harley riders who eventually stopped to get some shade. They quickly put me right and I ignored Helga (my nutty GPS lady), and once again ended up at a bikers favorite haunt, the Jack Daniels Distillery. To make the 92 degrees bearable I looked for a beer........ No, this is a dry town ! Lemonade???
Jack Danny but no alcohol for sale.......
Cheered up by a couple I met last Friday at Deals Gap, I set off once more and managed Manchester by three o'clock,,,, except it was only 2pm as I had passed the Eastern to Central time zone line, now that is strange. One side Eastern Time a step west and central time. You can arrive an hour before you left ! Result.
Still by 4pm eastern time I had managed to find no one in at Manchester TN as it is a public holiday weekend, took some pics and you guessed it, hit the road again. 5pm in Madison Alabama with 314 miles added I gave up and sit once again in AirCon bliss. Within a few days I hope to be heading north again via Ohio and Michigan.
Take a look at http://www.us129.com/ where pictures of every rider thru' the Dragons tail are listed. Thursday last week and about page 10-12 you will find pics of me hitting the dragon. (Tourers pages) I have ordered copies and will download them asap.
At last that universal question you ask a stranger..... " Oh Manchester UK, my friend 'fill in' lives there do you know him?" Only 6 million Manc's to choose from, in this case, NO.

See more on my facebook/roadtomanchester page

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Cumberland Kentucky

Manchester Kentucky

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-13365503 just for fun, a pre-trip feature on the BBC website.

Temps heading for the 90's today again, having a rest today, I am in Rockwood Kentucky and missed a custom car show yesterday. Arriving at Cumberland Falls, the GPS on the bike had a 'bad mood' moment again and sent me north back the way I came from. With nothing but road for 15 miles, I decided to call it a day as it was 5pm and I had not eaten since my breakfast of nuts, water and cerial bars. Arriving at the first hotel I was told it was full. Then stepped in Jonny 1. Boss of a working gang building a coal power station down the road, John insisted they could sort out a bed. His team had been there a month and had 'settled in'. After some sorting out I stayed in Jonny 1's room and he joined one of his team in a 3 bed room. What a gent' mad as a frog, but friendly and helpfull beyond anything I have found to date. We had a great evening by the pool, Jonny 2 a tobbaco chewing Liberace look alike, joined in with Jeff and a few other guests having a great BBQ of steak and salad. Many towns in Kentucky are 'DRY' and alcohol not on sale, so the guys travel 40 miles and stock up with Miller Lite in 32 can packs..... 10 at a time. (This part of Kentucky is 'a li'l damp', as they say around here.

5300 to go, 19 days. (Wow !).

I am a bit homesick today, missing my family & dogs.8o(

Sunday, and as its memorial day, and I have had 12 days on the bike, I guess I am having a day off. A local boat owner invited me on a powerboat trip around the massive lake nearby, (on Monday) but I will be 400 miles south in Georgia, Alabama or Tennessee by then. (Damn).

Saturday, 28 May 2011

A Tale about a Dragons Tail

Bought the T Shirt, rode the Dragon

381 Bends in 11 miles 4500ft up a mountain. Am I skying? No just ridin' the Dragons Tail.

The USA has a secret bikers paradise, we in the UK know little about. The area in and around the Appalachian Mountains have enough fantastic roads to keep anyone busy, but there are a few specials. The Dragons Tail is one of them. The Dragon is a series of 381 bends that have become the bucket list of many a biker. Today I met riders of all types of motor sickles, Two stroke classics, BMW, Ducati, Yamaha, Honda, Moto Guzzi and the standard HD's. Riders from Canada, a guy from Jersey (as in UK), all have a great passion for the constant bends, lack of straights and the fantastic scenery. I completed an on bike video, which will eventually be on the media, but for now believe me when I write. The area is brilliant, the roads are mind boggling, the people friendly, and the experience is a life changing one. Perhaps there are better roads out there I have not ridden yet, but this one was like being on skis. Having taken the big and heavy Goldwing down there, I was lucky enough to back back up and follow another wing'er doen. This guy was 400 lbs, and had a pillion. But he knew the road and knew his bike. Great day, great fun and I fell in love a little with the area. Bucket Lister..... oh yes.

I'll be back.

Oh Yes ! I finished the day on Manc #11 in Kentucky.


Friday, 27 May 2011

Blue Ridge Parkway

Bends that really do go almost 360 degrees.

Cool Tunnels the odd wake up call, and a laptop that won't turn pics,

From Boone NC, (as in Daniel), this morning I took the Blue Ridge Parkway. Doesn't sound much does it? Do not be fooled, this is a +400 mile 'old road' that takes in some of the most stunning riding and views I have seen on this trip. Great surface, fantastic bendy bits and vistas around every corner.

As you climb ever higher the peaks are still above you as the road reached 3500ft or so. Once again the bikes sat nav gave me some odd calls, this was made more frustrating as I wasn't actually using it to navigate , it was set for my destination, and kept trying to send me down the 'fastest' route.

As I approached Waynesville in Haywood County, the glorious weather I had enjoyed all day, became darker, cooler and just ahead..... clouds of the thunder storm variety.

I hit the first hotel and booked in. Within 20 minutes, it came with a vengence. Fully blown thunder and lightening, and heavy wind and rain.

Hopefully tomorrow will be back to 'great', and down to the Dragons Tail at last.

This is one area I would come back to (on a bike of course). Loving my Bennetts Biker Dream.

Thursday, 26 May 2011


Short blog tonight. Why????
351 miles, Average 83 degrees F, 11 hours on the road, highest peak on the bikes 'Surrounding Air temp' gauge 109F. at 1pm. not eaten yet. I am in Boone in the Appelation Mountains, North Carolina. The Sat Nav got me lost a dozen times today, and the lap top took 2 hrs to sort out due to internet issues.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Home from Home

The last couple of days have been a busy time. Lots of miles to make up, and two more towns called Manchester under my tracks.

Manchester Pennsylvania was another quiet place, with no one in at the Municipal or the Fire buildings. A few pictures and a cooling hour in a diner, the increase in heat today (Monday) was a shock to the system after all the rain of the previous week.

Manchester Maryland was only 40 miles away, so I saddled up once again and headed a little further south to a nice reception from a fireman, who gave me a great badge, and the staff at the small town office. The people I have met throughout the trip have been so nice, and welcoming, as a 6ft 3" bloke in a space suit, who then speaks in tongues, arrives unannounced.

The real prize came later as I was invited a few days ago for a Roast Beef dinner and English beer.

Chris and Mellisa live in Middletown Maryland and being from the UK, Chris found a story about my trip on the BBC news website. I was promised a dinner and beer as long as I brought tales of my adventure to the table. (Little did they know how I can talk !!). I found the house after a short rain shower had resulted in re-dressing in my riding gear. And within minutes, was welcomed with open arms, an open can of Boddington Beer, and a room for the night. A real bonus was getting a great dinner, and my laundry washed and dried. many thanks to C & M the kids and the 3 dogs, who took me in and treated me like an old friend. Talking of which, Melissa mentioned the village she was from in Cheshire, England, and we have a common link with a guy I know there. What are the chances of that.

Many, many, many, thanks. Mel had to hide Chris's bike keys this morning 8-)

Tonight I am 265 miles south and 140 miles short of Manchester No 10 in North Carolina. 91 degree F, today ..... that really burns at 80mph. (No not me officer.....).

Tried route 301 to get off the hot freeway..... that was too slow and burned more.

Tonite I am in another motel about 265 miles south.( Roanoke Falls ). I think I will go to Manchester , tomorrow.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Blessed Bike and a great day.

I promised myself a day off every 7 days, and today Sunday, was the first. But hey, what do I do on my day off ?????? I go for a ride.

Yesterday I was told about a diner on route 40 south of Buffalo, that is frequented by bikers. So up at 6am yet again, and packed and off by 7.45, I headed for the border and had a chat with the very nice customs lady.

About two hours later I stopped in a diner (not the right one) but had breakfast and was told about a BIKE BLESSING in Hamburg, about 13 miles away
Arriving at the McKinley Mall, there was already about 100 bikes there. What a mix, O.K. mainly HD's , but within a few hours about 1000 (or it seemed that way).

With a mention over the PA, kindly arranged by a photographer, I was met with the usual greetings and awe at my trip.
After speeches and the National Anthem, the priest blessed the bikes as they/we, rode out a few miles to a BBQ n Beer in a farm. I stayed a few hours and decided to get underway as it was over 300 miles to the next Manchester (No 8) Pennsylvania. I also had an appointment with a Roast Beef dinner in Maryland.

Heading down the great roads in this area I eventually hit Hornell NY about 6.30pm and called it a day. 240 miles tomorrow to Manc#8 and straight on to Maryland for cold beef sandwiches (Hope they have English Mustard Too !!! )

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Lost in Space

Manchester Ontario Canada. Manc#7

138 miles each way, and back to Niagara Falls for Saturday nite in town,. Its Victoria Day, so fireworks over the falls. Worth staying another night in the Candlelight Inn. (Good WiFi).

7am start this morning and another Highway Blast.
Manchester #7 is more than likely the smallest 'town' I will visit, comprising of a gas station, diner and a few buildings. Its not on the big USA map I am carrying, its not on the Sat Nav, it is on the intersection of R7 and R7a. An hour of asking and wandering once in the 'roughly over there' area.......

Nice diner though, and a coffee and Chicken n Bacon wrap (late breakfast early lunch). Big biking country this , with a quick meet at a service halt with 10 riders off to Smallville (???) NY, where there is a popular bikers cafe. (maybe tomorrow).

Within 10 minutes of arriving a dozen bikes of all types had stopped, passed or were just leaving. Then the obligatory..... my wifes mother was from Doncaster (did you know her !!!! LOL) from the OAP in his 75 Corvette Stingray.

Classic cars, trucks and all manor of bikes out today. Canadians take their 'motors' seriously.

Sunday I'm heading south for Pennsylvania via that Springfield small ville or what ever it was called !

have a nice weekend.

The best news of the day.... 26-28 degrees, hot and dry.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Today I will be mainly getting wet

Fully suited with the wet gear, I had a late start from the hotel and within 6 mins was in a full rain storm as I hit Route 90 again. Its a shame that I am missing some on the 'real' NY countryside but miles need munching to get me to Niagara Falls and into Canada today. An hour later, too hot I removed the suit in the dry only to be got again, no warning, as they say up north (uk) a reet good soakin !.

Niagara Falls is a surprize, its not in the Jungle..... its in the middle of two massive cities. The USA side and the Canada side. A few shots and video and I was back on the bike to Manchester Canada (#7), Just over the bridge and through the check point (all of 3 mins), I was back in yet another downpour and decided to call it a very short day. Motel for the night, just outside the centre and within 10 mins, the sun is blazing and my suit is drying on the fence.

Tomorrow 130 miles each way to Man#7 near Oshawa, then back to the good 'ol USA. Next stop Pennsylvania 300+ miles south.

Bennetts Biker Dreams are running this theme again this year, worth a punt !

Thanks BBD 's good call.

1170 miles down, ....... no don't even think about it.

Damp pants, downtown Niagara, Ontario, Canada.

PS Thanks to to +5000 visitors to my ramblings here and on Facebook/Twitter, makes it all worth doing.

Did I mention the rain

Short blog tonight, its 9pm, and it's been a long day.
Albany to Manchester New York 200 miles.
Rural NY started with a warm morning and a late get away. Gloveless, no liner in my jacket, visor open and starting to feel the force. Guy in the petrol station ($4 a gallon !!!), was born in Manchester UK..... UTD or City, the universal question for any Manc from Manchester UK.
Tried the cruise control on the Wing and it was nice to have hands free for a change.
40 miutes later on the freeway..... total wipeout, the first rain storm came over just where I couldn't stop. 40 miles to the next service halt, I dried off and zipped up the vents in my pants and jacket. Ten minutes back on the road, it was 80 degrees in my gear.
Manchester NY the double town and a nice reception at the town hall, free t-shirt and few provisions from the supermarket. Once back on the freeway It was 100 miles to Niagra Falls, 40 miles out, the big one hit. ZERO VISABILITY often means it was heavy rain, spray etc: NEVER have I experienced REAL zero viz. Couldn't see the screen on the bike and thats only 2 ft away. Scariest and wettest 12 miles I have ever ridden.
Staying 40 mins outside NF in Batavia NY. Tomorrow NF then Canada and Manc#7

Tar Tar For now....... P

Thursday, 19 May 2011

More Manchesters

It's been a couple of days since I have had internet access, so here goes.
Running out of man#2 New Hampshire, I went via Portmouth and Route 1 along the coast, North. Antique shops, fish restaurants, forests and great roads. Still raining though, I was aiming to get to Man#3 (Maine) 161 miles away in good time. As`I passed the above antique shop I turned around to take a closer look. Part shop part museum, Bill Johnson (no relation), colleccts anything old and has even bought complete buildings and relocated them on his plot. Signing his guest book, Bill played an original 78rpm record of King Edwards (Mrs Simpson) speech on a wind up gramophone. complete with large brass horn speaker. A great 30 minute break.

Manc#3 had little to offer so with a bag of nuts and a coffee, I retired to bed at 10pm after a quick photo.

Golf course,lake, petrol station....... rain.

Next day and a 7am start to get over to Vermont. The plan was to get to Mount Washington ride the road to the top (As recommended by Ben Slavin of NH)

The weather once again dropped a few millions of gallons on me, and getting nearer to the turn off, I stopped for fuel and breakfast to be told the road was closed. Had a nice chat with an avid MAN UTD fan. (can't go anywhere without footy being mentioned).

This was a long day with almost 300 miles covered . damp but not tired (Liar), I arrived at the MANCHESTER BAR & GRILL on the outskirts on Man #4 Vermont, at around 5.30pm. With a motel just across the road, Ben, Hank and a few customers enjoyed my tales, as I enjoyed Jerk Chicken and a few beers.

Bed` by 10pm. (Thanks to the above for the excellent time and MB&G hoody).

Tomorrow, Connecticut 127 miles if I go the right way !!!!

Wednesday: 5.45 am.

had a message from the Manchester Journal in VT, so went off into town for some breakfast. Up For Breakfast a great cafe fed me with a fry up (naughty but nice), coffee and pancakes. My savory tooth, can not handle sweet at that time in the morning, so i had a nibble then called it a day.

9am and a visit to the MJ office for interview and photos (see facebook).then off to Connecticut , in the rain.

The roads in this area are hit by frost in the winter, and a good pounding by the logging trucks and hold a few humps, bumps and potholes for the unwary biker. Wet, windy and slower than I would of liked, I arrived in CT (Man#5) at around 2pm, and met the Town Clerk and staff, the local Fire Chief popped over and a few photos and gifts changed hands. Great people and just another friendly welcome (Videos to follow). What a nice Manchester.

After a few pictures outside, I decided to carry on towards Man#6 New York 305 miles away. The rain had stopped and it was warmer and more humid, so I could take a layer off, and open the air vents on the jacket.

Managed to stay alive around Springfield in the rush hour / highway / nutter combination stakes.

Hitting the Turnpike to get some miles under the wheels, I headed north on R90 for about 100 miles and hit fog, rain and cold around 4.30pm. (Great, layer back on). Still managed a good turn of speed (only keeping up with the locals officer !), and arrived in Albany NY at around 7pm.That was a long day with about 300 miles done, which put some of my 400+ targets into perspective.

Its only 200 to Manchester, New York (before breakfast.)

Now 8.45 pm I need food, and sleep. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

PS: Thanks to to 5000 visitors here on my blogette. Enjoy and see more at


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Manchester NH to ME

Thanks to Dr.Benny (Ben Slavin and Amber) for their welcome to Man2 in New Hampshire. Had `a meal at Arrow Diner and quick beer and some advise about the best roads through NH and Maine Wide awake at 6 am again' Then a call from a Manchester NH radio station for a quick interview. Find Ben on advrider.com and buy his video about riding Mexico.

Took a few hours to sort out a US mobile phone and an internet dongle, but eventually in the pooring rain (again), got underway by 10am. I headed for Portsmouth aiming for the Route 1 coast road. Fantastic insight into this area, with Antique shops, Thrift Shops and every other store was a sea food restaurant. Clams, Lobsters, you name it. This is one occasion during my trip that I should have stopped, but to early for lunch, I carried on stopping at Bill Johnsons Antique Museum/shop.
Stepping back 100 years, I was entertained by Bill and his customers and signed his visitors book. Bill buys buildings.... yes whole buildings and ships them to his plot. Along with lots of collectables and old stuff, I enjoyed a half hour break and created` another warm memory.

In Man #3 Maine tonight. Not a lot to see here, so starting out towards Vermont tomorrow. Hope the rain stops....... please.

I have lots of video to send to Bike Torque TV once I get the hang of file downloads, but meanwhile see my video on facebook or youtube.

Early nite again. White Mountains tomorrow. 230 miles to do.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

I'm singing in the rain

Wet Wet Wet, thats my weather report for today.
Started the day with a 2nd shower as a big 4x4 hit a "road-lake" just beside me, and manage to send 40 gallons of water straight at me. That was 1 mile from the hotel, so add wet roads, and fully 10 gauge rain by 3pm, it was a great start.

Despite the overnight rain, I left Boston at 7am and was in Man#1 by 8am. Manchester-By-The-Sea. Breakfast of easy over eggs, bacon and coffee for $7.94 cheered me up, and a long chat with a local chap, made my breakfast an interesting one.

M-B-T-S as the locals call it, had the "by the Sea" title added to make sure the town was not confused with the New Hampshire , Manchester. I am not sure when this happened, but I bet it was when Sateleite Navigation Units became available. (Tee Hee)

This part of Massachusetts is fantastic and shows signs of a certain 'wealth' within the North East. Some of the best houses I have ever seen..... ever. And I have seen some nice ones.

Here are` some pics taken today, but my battery went early on. (the only one I didn't charge).

Between Manc #1 and #2 in New Hampshire, I set the Goldwing sat nav to 'avoid highways', which I took for meaning Freeways ...... oops !

The advantage, some great backroads, but the rain was getting heavier by the hour, and by 2pm total deluge, so on the outskirts of Manc' New Hamps, I pulled into the Best Western, (I know , getting soft !). Tomorrow a skip around the town, more photos and video, and then off to Manc#3 Maine.

Thanks to all invites from www.advrider.com forum (Brit Passin Thru).

And if you find youself in Boston...... go see..... by the sea.

More stuff on my facebook/roadtomanchester page.

(Missing Shaz, Lexi,Harley & Ruby XXX)

Saturday, 14 May 2011

The Beauty & the Beast

No comments which one is which, But here it is. My office for the next month.

Many thanks to Boston Honda (Victory) dealers in Foxboro, Boston. Who went out of there way to help and even asked me to join them for lunch and a meal tonight.

Thanks guys.

Goooooood Morning USA


Friday 13th 9am Manchester UK

Hello from Boston Massachusetts.
Well what a shock the last 48 hours have been. TV and Radio interviews, Newspaper stories. Over 3000 extra 'Red Dot' hits on my Revolver Globe. (see below right). Twitter followers up t0 1100. The Bennetts Biker Dream machine is really getting started.

After 21 hours on the go yesterday, I arrived in Boston around 10 pm local time (3am in my head).
I am collecting the bike today from Boston Honda, and starting the search for Manchesters just 30 miles down the road in Manchester-by-the Sea. (MA). New Hampshire, Maine then Vermont.

Over the next few days I will be adding photos, video and comments that can be seen here,or facebook/roadtomanchester or twitter/road2manchester or on facebook/bennetts

Thanks to all at then office for their help and support, and a quick hello to my friends and family back home.

LATER DUDES.... as no one has said around here. (yet !)

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

OK here it is then......

Boston to Manchester (in front of each) and (= miles to). (Read left to right, not up and down)
Massachusetts (30). > New Hampshire (72) > Maine (161) > Vermont (252)
Connecticut (127) New York (304) Niagra Falls (89) Ottawa (150)
Penn (Pitts) (367) Penn 2 (366) Maryland (36) Nth Carolina (448)
Deals Gap (362) Georgia (256) Alabama (211) Tennessee (162)
Kentucky (250) Ohio (167) Indiana (105) Michigan (280)
Wisconsin (223) Iowa (195) Illinois (266) Missouri (90)
Arkansas (483) Louisiana (359) Texas (348) Oklahoma (370)
Kansas (183) Minnesota (505) Sth dakota (272) Montana (841)
Washington (667) California (756) San Francisco (101)

Somewhere in there the odd day off.
So these are the towns, the route between each is 'in theory'. I am hoping to keep off the highways if at all possible, but with some high mileage between some.... who knows.

Sunday, 8 May 2011


The Cheshire Town of Northwich came alive today. Despite windy, raining on and off, red hot, sunny.... weather mixture throughout the day. The crowds were out for the Thundersprint, where a short track rings out to the sound and smells of classic bikes at full blast.

Brilliant day, with hardly any chance to get off the stand and have a look around.

The other BIG NEWS, is that I am leaving the UK a week early NEXT FRIDAY, due to commitments at the other end of the month. (More later).

So by this time next week I will be somewhere in the North East USA, (Maine, New Hampshire area), on the start of my journey.

See Bennettsbike on facebook and twitter for more pictures of todays show.

Off to do some packing,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, LATER.....................

Thursday, 5 May 2011


Northwich, Cheshire. Sat-Sun 7-8 May Bikes Bikes Bikes.

Spanning the town centre and the River Weaver , the small Cheshire town of Northwich comes alive with the sound of music, (well bike engines anyway).

When I say 'Town Centre', the streets become bike parking, the pubs and shops stay open, and the dealers and traders share the side streets, car parks and footpaths with the whole biking world. The big bonus is the array of modern and classic bikes that take on the time trial. A small +/- 700mtr car park track, that over the years has seen just about everyone on the 'who's who' list in the 'biker' world, take their turn.

Add live music and lots of bike fans, and the weekend is a great spring event. (Sunday remains the main day for the events.).

The Bennetts Biker Babes will be giving out goody bags, and your truly will be taking my bike there on Sunday for display on the Bennetts stand.

Started to get my 'packing' sorted with the usual 1st pile, that will inevitably be reduced greatly to ensure the Goldwing is packed to the gunnels with stuff I will probably not need.

Twitter: Reached my 1000+ followers target today. Thanks to all that have taken time to join.

See you at Thundersprint or ............... on the Road 2 Manchester