Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: Day 2: [State] Tag, You're It!

7.05.2010

Day 2: [State] Tag, You're It!

Today's agenda was reaching Stratton, VT by way of Massachusetts,
Rhode Island, Maine, and New Hampshire. The route I chose turned a 70
mile ride into an almost 450 mile stretch but it was a very
interesting culture shock both as a motorcyclist and as an American.
Today's temperature hit the mid-90s and was at triple digits in some
parts. I had to pull out the evaporative cooling vest again just to
save myself from broiling.

I left Albany at about 8AM and made my way across to MA and into the
very tiny Rhode Island, stopping in Providence. The town was
completely dead due to the fact that it was July 5 and Brown
University was not in session. I filled up gas and continued on back
toward Boston.

Upon reentering MA, I noticed several things. First off, as I was
approaching the city, people's driving beacme increasingly more
erratic and sudden. Sometimes, a car would swerve across two or even
three lanes with minimal signaling. Lane changes involved squeezing
into gaps no larger than the car itself, and tailgaiting was the norm.
I was forced to perform several evaseive maneuvers myself and
intentionally kept more than a five-car distance from the car in front
of me just to allow everyone to pass. This, by far, was the worst
display of driving (if I can even call it that) that I've ever seen.
Matt often told me about their legendary vehicular skills, but it's
very clear to me that they've earned the badge, "Massholes." I was
glad to finally hit the New Hampshire border.

So I hit New Hampshire and here come the tolls. A dollar here, a few
quarters there. About 40 miles later and after waiting at a
drawbridege, I'm in Kittery, ME eating authentic and VERY fresh
lobster rolls at Herbert Brothers Seafood. Look these guys up on
Facebook. This is the place to go for legit Maine lobster. They're the
first restaurant you'd hit crossing over the bridge from Bridgeport,
NH.

After that culinary escapade, it was back through NH into Vermont
where an additional 160 miles brought me to the Stratton ski resorts.
However, riding through New Hampshire game me a bit of the creeps.
Lots of the (male) motorcyclists rode shirtless and none of them waved
to me, even the ones on sportbikes. This is the only state I've ridden
through where I've felt that I was given the cold shoulder. I don't
understand that mentality, but I tried to wave anyway.
And then here's Vermont. I wave at a biker, that person waves back.
Repeate over a couple dozen times and now I'm back with friends again
at the WOW Ride-In. This is a beautiful state to ride through with a
nice mix of twisted roads and routes alongside rivers.
And for your reference, here are the helmet laws for the states I
crossed today. Of course for me, a helmet is ALWAYS mandatory.

New York: mandatory
Massachusetts: not mandatory
New Hampshire: not mandatory
Maine: not mandatory
Vermont: mandatory

See you tomorrow!