Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: September 2013


Day 12-14: The Long Haul, Mother Nature's Free Bike Wash, and a Return to Peoria

**This series of posts recap my two-week trip to Billings, MT and back from July 1-16, 2013. For the entire list of my featured rides, click here.**

We left Buffalo, WY a little after 5AM and powered on toward Pierre, SD with absolute minimum stops for food, stretching, and biological needs. The first stop for gas in the morning is usually the longest because of breakfast. The tchotchkes I come across in the middle of nowhere are quite amusing.

Because motorcycle?
Several of our stops for stretch/bathroom breaks were quite amusing because of their outdoor art. Like this one in Wasta, SD (mile marker 100 on I-90 eastbound).

Stopped by a teepee. Because we had to go pee pee. It's crude. It rhymed. Deal with it.
We stopped in Pierre, SD for the evening. Check-in at the Super 8 there was a bit weird because it turned out the front desk had thrown out Rebecca's hotel reservation that she did online on her phone during breakfast (which was faxed from the reservation center afterward, and seriously, how do you do fail that?) and of course, they had to put us in a 2nd floor room on the other side of the building, far from where our bikes were parked. Anyway, good, authentic Mexican food makes it all better, and Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant just happened to be next door.

Surprisingly good Mexican food in Pierre, South Dakota right next to the Super 8 we were staying at. The service here? Great. The service at the hotel? No comment. Let's just say that my co-rider was *this close* [pinching fingers really close] to dropping a biotch.
We left at 4AM the next day to get as much ground covered before the sunrise. About 35 miles into the ride, we pulled over in Reliance, SD to put on the rain gear after watching a eeringly beautiful lightning show in the distant eastern skies. We then headed right into a hefty rainstorm that blew us around for 100 miles and leaked rainwater in every possible orifice on our bodies and our bikes. After stopping in Mitchell, SD (home of The Corn Palace) for an extended break and breakfast, we continued on through the remainder of South Dakota for another couple hours and into southern Minnesota where we were able to finally shed the rain gear later that morning and let the sun naturally dry us out. It was a straight shot through Iowa and then across the Iowa-Illinois Bridge back into the Land of Lincoln.

It was another hard-riding, 700-mile day, with short stops and long distances in between fuel tanks. Considering we were both on top-end touring bikes, getting through the straightaways was comfortable but quite boring since we didn't have any radio communication between the two of us. So waving and intermittent rounds of hand puppets and rear-view mirror Rock, Paper, Scissors had to do. Perhaps I'll get a CB radio installed on my bike when I grow up, or find more friends to ride with full-time.

We parted ways after a night stay in Moline, IL in the Quad Cities area, about 120 miles from Peoria, my second-to-last destination before heading back to Cleveland. Rebecca rode into the night for the long haul to Pennsylvania and then eventually back to Massachusetts. And if I had to mention one additional thing I learned from this very spirited trip, a well-timed bottle of Corona Light is a good thing after riding hours. Until next time!

When one rides a Honda Goldwing, bugs are never an issue. Eleanor, however, eats them up like cookies and likes to share them with me. Thanks for the adventure, Rebecca!


Quick Bites: Lure Bistro (Willoughby, OH)

I had wanted to head over to Lure Bistro in nearby Willoughby for their seasonal All-You-Can-Eat crab leg special. I finally was able to make one and had my fill. Lure Bistro is also known for their special seafood-based dishes, but for this visit I was scarfing crab legs. I'll go back for the sushi and the lobster nachos another time. Meanwhile, here is a preview of some of the goodies.

House salad with several types of lettuce and an original vinegarette.
Sorry about the mess. I managed to nearly fill a beer bucket of crab pieces. There was cole slaw and french fries included too. I have no idea where those went either, but they were sure tasty.
I even managed to score a "Cookie Monster" dessert which consists of two freshly-baked chocolate cookies with dulce de leche gelato sandwiched in between them.
I did enjoy the ambiance of the outdoor bar and it's on my wish list for a nice romantic dinner if someone *cough cough* would take me there.

For more information about Lure Bistro, visit Did I mention they offer free valet parking?

UPDATE (9/29/13)! I had the chance to revisit this place with a friend where we went for a clambake with clams, crab legs, sushi (spicy tuna roll and crunchy eel roll), and complementing sides of mashed sweet potatoes and a Crème brûlée cornbread. Super fresh seafood and surprisingly addicting sides. Let this photo add to your temptations. I have a feeling I'm going to frequent this place.

Lure Bistro on Urbanspoon


Day 11: Beartooth Pass, Chief Joseph Highway, and (Re)Conquering US-16

**This series of posts recap my two-week trip to Billings, MT and back from July 1-16, 2013. For the entire list of my featured rides, click here.**

Stick a fork in me, I'm done.

Pretty much wiped after the last few days of running with my hair on fire (for a good cause, might I add) I slept in a bit and took my time leaving the hotel, saying goodbye to the friends and fellow riders who didn't leave at the crack of dawn to return home. That actually worked out quite well because, frankly, I didn't have much of a plan in place on my return route back. My strategy was more of the "keep heading east until Ohio shows up." Not a bad plan, but it wouldn't have been as fun as tagging along with my friend Rebecca for a few miles. Okay, fine...more like 1200 miles.

It turns out that she needed to return home to Massachusetts by Tuesday for work and was heading in the same direction as me. She also likes scenic roads and was cool with splitting costs on a hotel room for the night, so it was very much a win-win situation for both of us.

We headed out of Billings around 11AM and headed to the Beartooth Highway with the plan to connect to the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway. As soon as we made it out of civilization, that's when the fun really started.

That's a different Columbus, but eastbound is the general direction I'm heading.


Food Review: Sabor de Cuba (Frederick, MD)

Thanks to a very impromptu ride to Maryland last weekend to see a relative who happened to be in town, I had the chance to try out this restaurant in downtown Frederick, MD. Nicely settled in a very old portion of the city, this venue adds even more cultural flare to an area that takes pride in its history. And after sampling several of their dishes, I need another excuse to make it out here and have another go at this place.


Days 8-10: Getting to Work on The Main Event - 27th WOW International Ride-In™

**This series of posts recap my two-week trip to Billings, MT and back from July 1-16, 2013. For the entire list of my featured rides, click here.**

So now I actually get to talk about the main reason I rode to Montana, not that hanging out with several of my good friends isn't a good reason in itself. (Thanks, y'all, by the way.)

Just for starters, here is a giant pancake topped with strawberries and cream from the Billings Hotel and Convention Center's main cafe that I enjoyed on that Monday before the Ride-In™ mayhem began.

A ceremonial pancake/waffle for me is important before starting any official WOW business. This stems back to the waffle machine at the Super 8 us WOW Board of Trustees members stay at in Lincoln, NE.