Sunday, June 3, 2012

Second 2012 adventure ride: Vince’s “Not dead yet” ride

May 20, 2012,  2 o’clock in the morning, I’m wide awake.  To go or not to go?  That is the question.

Retrospective:  In January, I received a tweet to participate in Vince’s “Not dead yet” ride in Massachusetts.  300 miles to go and 300 other miles to come back, plus 120 miles of adventure riding.  Nonsense, I will forget that.  (See the map below indicating the ride’s meeting point.)

View Larger Map

One week before the date I sent an email to the ride staff to see if there were still some available spots - almost hoping the answer would be no:  I had mixed emotions between the thrill of the experience and the nonsense of going that far for a day ride.  The staff email answer: “Always, there is never a max!”

So…unable to sleep…let’s go!

At 3:15 am, I’m on my way to Otis, Massachusetts.

I87 South, Adirondack

A few hours later, there I was on the I87 South.  I quickly noticed that heading south did not necessarily mean increasing temperature.  When I left home I was comfortably riding with a jacket, boots, gloves and a pair of Jeans.  But in the Adirondacks mountain area, it was much cooler!  My visor went foggy and I had to set my heated grips at ‘hi’.  That ride is most likely similar to crossing the Laurentides Park in Quebec early in the morning.  For those that do not support heat and traffic, it’s perfect.

Otis, Massachusetts


[Some of the bikes there]  Since I cruised at a fast pace, I was able to reach my destination 40 minutes before the planned departure at 9am.

First thing I told to myself arriving there: if Harley is the king of the cruiser market, KTM and BMW share the honor in the adventure bike world…at least, that was my impression.  There were lots of 1200GS, F800GS and F650GS, and many Adventure and other KTM models.  I saw some KLR, one V-Strom and 2 Versys!  Hey!, I was not the only mad person riding a V for this dual sport adventure day!  After asking the question on the next day at home, I found out that the driver of the second versys was a friend of the owner of the Versys who was riding a 1200gs with a side car!  Small world.

Then I registered, paid, and took my stuff: a sticker to put on the windscreen and the road plan printed on a 8.5 per 11 sheet.  I took a look at the plan and I quickly realized that it was gibberish to a neophyte like me.  Hmm, how will I make this ride?  I also noticed that many people where cutting the plan instructions to make a long paper strip with adhesive tape.  Why?  Should I do the same?

8h45 – Meeting at the registration desk


[Vince Lee]  Here is the ride organizer, Vince Lee.  Vince has been fighting a cancer for many years and other complications have added to his disease.  However he is in good spirits, he seems in pretty good shape and still healthy enough to organize this ride where all profits are for charity.

After Vince addressed the crowd,  I felt the emotion when everybody warmly applauded him for his courage.  Thoughts and prayers for you Vince! 

Now that I think about it… helping a good cause was probably my biggest motivator for this crazy ride.

Thumbs up

Note: Vince is an active member on

To be continued…part 2

No comments:

Post a Comment