Trip: Grand Rapids, MI to Owensboro, KY
Date: November 4,-7, 2016
Distance: 1,000 miles
Time on bike: 20 hours
With the weather forecast nearing 70°F, I had to put together a last minute trip. I had just gotten my new bike a few weeks earlier and wanted to spend a weekend getting to know it. At least for me, I’v found it takes about 1,000 miles or so to really get to know a new bike. How it handles in different situations, what rev’s it likes to shift at, how the suspension reacts. Any now with this bike, with all the riding modes and suspension settings is even more to get used to.
Given the time of year, I figured it best to head south where it would hopefully be even warmer. I had always wanted to check out Brown County State Park, but for mountain biking. I figured between that and the Hoosier National Forest, I’d find some good riding.
I left my house around 6pm on Friday, by the time I got to my hotel in Fort Wayne, IN, it was about 45°F and pitch black. For some reason I didn’t think I would need my balaclava since I had a small neck warmer, but I missed it most of the trip.
The next day I rode from Fort Wayne to Owensboro. Nashville is a cool little town, looked like a mild tourist trap. I didn’t stop because it was extremely busy. It took about 10-15 minutes just to get through the town because of all the traffic. The terrain around Brown County was beautiful, as soon as I reached that area the ride was worth it. The trees were a little passed their prime color, but the curvy roads and terrain made up for it.
I headed over to Bloomington for lunch, before heading toward Owensboro. It was close to 70°F by this time, an absolutely perfect day. Owensboro was about 2.5 hours away and I had about 3 or 4 hours to get there so I switched the GPS to prefer curvy roads. It found some great roads on the way there, some of where were gravel, which was a huge bonus. I haven’t tried the prefer off road mode yet.
Funny story: Nearing Owensboro, the GPS said next turn in 15 minutes, it was currently 4:45, and destination would be reached at 5:00. So naturally, I figured I was 15 minutes from my destination. Which was great because I was getting tired, was low on fuel, water, food, etc. However, after making that turn, it said next turn in 50 minutes! Apparently, my destination time was in a different timezone. So moral of the story is, always know where you are and what timezone your destination is, I guess. Day light savings also ended that night as well. Good times.
I got to Holiday Inn Express in Owensboro right as the sun was setting. Luckily there was a restaurant / bar in the hotel, I was pretty tired from riding all day, so I had a quick meal, few beers and was off to bed.
After running a couple miles and an over priced hotel breakfast, I hit the road. It was around 45°F when I left, a little chilly but the sun was quickly warming up the Earth. Today I decided to pick my route in Google Maps then download that into my BMW Nav V. Not an entirely easy process, but it proved worth it. The route I chose was great. A bunch of curvy roads and very little traffic at all.
Where I live, in West Michigan, most of the terrain is relatively flat and the roads are fairly straight. This ride was great because none of the roads were straight and there the terrain was very hilly. Made for some great riding and scenery.
After getting through Brown County State Park it was early afternoon so I headed over to Columbus for some lunch. From here I shot up to Fort Wayne again for the night, taking mostly highway which I usually avoid, but I wanted to get there before it was dark out. I checked in right as the sun was setting.
The next day was a fairly short ride up to Grand Rapids. I haven’t travelled south much with my motorbike, I was surprised how nice the two lane roads are when avoiding that main highways. It seemed like I made just as good time, but I got to take in more of the area and go through many of the small towns. Northern Indiana is a lot of farm land. I made it home by early afternoon.
Here are some clips from my trip home: