We started planning updates to our gear and broad strokes for our upcoming trips back in January. Found an aftermarket windscreen and radiator guard for the Duke. Added KTM hand-guards and ordered new Shoei Neotec II helmets along with the Sena integrated communications. Early trips to Town Moto seemed like advanced warnings, but shipping times and backorders need to be accounted for these days.
Then we waited. Spring in Ontario is fickle and can be three weeks ahead of schedule or a month behind. As we have learned over time, mother nature will make up the timeline it so chooses and our will and plans will need to adapt to that schedule and not our own. This year we are three weeks behind, but that did not stop me from a long weekend cross border ride down to Front Royal, Virginia for a famous Spelunkers burger and fries.
Laura had a trip planned with her Mom and Sister on the west coast. I spent the two weeks leading up to her departure looking at long range forecasts and decided one early morning that I was going to try and get across the border for the first time on the new Tiger 1200. We purchased the Tiger in March of 2020 and have followed it up with Laura’s purchase of the KTM Duke in April of 2021. The weather window for the trip looked very promising with increase temperatures and limited rain and/or snow flurries in the 10 day forecast.
This trip around the April long weekend was somewhat of a tradition for me in the past. I used to ride an awful lot with my friend Andrew over the years. Recently he and his partner Amy moved to the East Coast to start a family.
Laura needs another month before weather becomes a little more predictable and we can start our travels together. So this was back to my roots as a solo rider and picking a new set of roads to explore with a known turn around point in Front Royal.
The route is as follows. Toronto to Olean. Olean to Front Royal. Front Royal to Corning. Corning to Toronto.
Like I mentioned earlier weather is the big unknown at this time of year and I have grown to expect whatever mother nature has in store. What has changed over the years is my bike and gear have become ever increasingly more advanced. Between my Aether clothing, TCX boots and Triumph accessories even subzero conditions and snow flurries didn’t seem too bad during the final morning ride from Corning, New York back to Toronto. Alternating hands in-between the crotch and heated seat was still needed until I hit Buffalo and the early morning temperatures rose to a balmy 7 degrees celsius. The ride south to Virginia was perfect as I moved from 10 degrees on Thursday afternoon to 25 degrees Friday afternoon. This is exactly what I needed for the reentry to long distance riding again. New roads, new people and slowly pushing me beyond my comfort level again. Simply sticking to the present. Fuel, lodging and food was all I needed to concern myself with and I quickly fell back into a good rhythm and pace.
In a couple weeks Laura and I will start out on our first big ride of the year. The KTM Duke will make its first journey across the border as we ride to Penn Yan, New York. Last year Laura put more than 5,500 kilometres on the Duke in less than six months! With the addition of the new farkles, we have planned some significant tours this summer.
Looking forward to keep this page updated with our upcoming travels and get ourselves pushing out new and exciting boundaries.
List of the Tom Tom maps for each day of the route