Four Corners Tour – Ride Day 28 – Tour Day 0 – August 11, 2015 – Tuesday
Start Time: 5:48 AM EDT
Stop Time: 6:17 PM EDT
Start Location: Whispering Pines, RI
Stop Location: Front Royal, VA
Lodging: Front Royal RV Campground
Breakfast: Campsite (cereal with almond milk)
Lunch: Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips (fish and chips)
Dinner: Campsite (turkey and cheese on flour tortilla)
Miles Traveled Today: 472
Weather: 68-93, Rained cats and dogs the first half of the day, then a few afternoon showers, and finally clear sunny skies again
Route: I-95, I-495, I-66.
It had to happen sooner or later, and what better day for it to happen than today? I finally had a bad weather day, rained buckets all through New York and Baltimore, and had multiple showers throughout the day.
Today’s ride started extra early as I knew it was going to start raining around 7:00 AM in Hope Valley, Rhode Island, and although I don’t really mind riding in the rain, I did not want to break camp in the rain if I could avoid it.
The breaking camp before the rain set in was a resounding success. This was one of those days that the weatherman nailed it. As soon as I got rolling good, It rained, and rained and rained.
But the rain was not all bad. Today’s ride was a perfect storm condition for a really, really stressful day. The ride included New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and DC, and New York was just on the back side of rush hour, with DC being just a tad before rush hour.
The good part was the rain slowed the pace considerably, which worked in my favor. First, the slower pace is less stressful when riding in a metropolitan area alongside lots and lots of tractor trailers. And a second benefit to that slower pace is that it makes it easier to see (keep in mind that a Gold Wing does not have a windshield wiper).
Just a few minutes after I got rolling, I picked up Connecticut, but could not get a photo of the sign with all the rain gear on.
A little later, I entered New York, but I never saw a sign (not that it mattered, it was pouring down rain, and I had on all the rain gear, which does not allow me to take any photos. Then New Jersey, saw the sign, but could not get a photo.
I ran through a portion of Pennsylvania, but I got that sign a few days back on the way to Maine (again, never saw a sign).
I stopped at one of the Motor Plaza’s for gas and lunch and was surprised to see an Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips there. Ordered a Fish and Chips platter, and found out pretty quickly that this is NOT the Arthur Treacher’s I remember as a kid back in Birmingham, Alabama. It was OK at best, but definitely not as good as I remember.
I did manage to catch a tiny sliver of the Welcome to Maryland sign (look real close at the right edge).
The first 3/4 of the day was also toll plaza hell. Just one example was as I left New Jersey, who clipped me for $35.55 (I’m not kidding, one toll for $35.55), then 2 miles later I get clipped for $6.00, the just a couple more miles I get clipped for $8.00. In the span of less than 5 miles, I paid $49.55, and for the day, I paid $55.55 in tolls.
The grand total of tolls for this tour is $119.90.
One of the highlights of the day was going through the Baltimore Bay Tunnel (which also has a toll).
One good thing about all the rain is I got a free bike wash, as a matter of fact, I got one really long one, and about six shorter ones.
I will say that considering where I rode today, the distance I covered, and the weather conditions, I only had a few yahoos try to take me out. Thank you Lord for allowing me to survive one of the toughest roads in America to ride on a bike.
Tomorrow I’m back in glory land, with nothing but miles and miles of sexy roads to ride with phenomenal views.
Two more camping nights, and then I’ll be getting reacquainted with my Tempurpedic (and maybe my wife if she’s game).
By the way, I have shown you my kitchen galley, so here is a peek at the same area after the galley was closed up and setup for sleeping (I don’t do sheets and blankets, just use either the sleeping bag for cold weather, the bag liner for mild weather, and both for frigid weather).
An iPole (aka: selfie stick) is a necessity when touring alone.
After several other cup holders, I settled on a RAM cup holder, and it works so well I just don’t think much of it anymore. I do like to keep an insulated cup in it, and transfer any drinks I might buy, or have left from a meal into.
I give the RAM cup holder a four out of five stars. It really does a great job, but the swivel joint seems like a weak point that may break one day, otherwise I would give it five stars.
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