Where Is Maggie Mae?

Blasting Away....

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See ya on the road!

Getting Ready

Bike Preparations


I am about a month out from departure to Virginia and  eventually Michigan & Canada.  I just changed the oil and will do so one more time prior to leaving.   I am guessing we will be traveling roughly 3,000 on this trip so that last oil change should last until I get home. 


RTM has ordered new Avon Tyres for me.  I put nearly 8,000 miles on this set and could not be happier. They are just great tires.  I love the way they grip when cornering and they gave me about 3,000 more miles than the OEM tires.


Thanks to Sue & Steve at Hudson Valley Motorsports Parts (hvmp.com) for my new bar-end weights.  Riding the Blast is, well, a blast.  However it is a single cylinder “thumper” and definitely has vibration.  The HVMP bar-end weights not only look great, they significantly reduce hand/wrist fatigue. 




I have been riding every day to work which means more traffic laden roads (think lots of clutch work).  Where my fingers used to get sore, numb and tingly – NO MORE!   Thumper is even considering a set for his new FJR 1300. If you ride, you should have a set of HVMP bar-end weights – they will make your ride more comfortable and your hands will thank you.


Hhhmmmm, can’t wait to hit the road!

Rain Rain Go Away

The plan was to be on the road by early afternoon. Clinic on Thursday is usually

done by 11 or 12.Well, as luck would have it, it was a never ending clinic and I

did not get out until after 2:00.  


The luck continued.  The drought we had been experiencing decided to take

this afternoon to abate and the rain came on with a vengeance.  It figures –

months with no rain and it picks “my afternoon” to let it loose.


I went to check the radar again, thinking the green blob would magically disappear. 

 It did not.   Might as well run some errands.   


Thumper decided to check the radar again.  He had the special touch. This time

 the green blob did magically, well, move.  A little.  Was enough for me.  Off we

were at 6:30.  Rain suits on, gassed and ready to go. 


Odometer reading:  14, 879


At 109 miles my Buell decided to sputter and I had to switch to reserve.  This

was unusual  - 150 miles is the mark I look for to hit reserve.  Is it the extra weight

from the bag?  Wind?  80 MPH constant speed?  Or all of the above?  Will find

out when we exit the big road and hit the two lane highways we love so much. 


By 10:15 we arrived in Lake City, Florida and decided it was time to rest and

prepare for tomorrow.  I have a feeling that green blob will be back.


Hi Hapi – here we are in our room at the Hampton – Thumper is on the phone

with you…..

Friday June 2, Saturday June 3

Hot Spot or Hot Tub?


When I last left you we had made it up to Lake City, Florida.  We got an early start on Friday morning and continued on the big road (i.e. I-75) to Macon, Georgia.  That was where the real fun would start.  US 129 is one the most famous motorcycle roads in the US. Known as “Deals Gap” where it crosses from North Caroline into Tennessee. But it is also a beautiful ride all the way from Florida up. We picked it up in Macon and continued onun til we were just north of Dahlonega, Ga. 


From there we picked up 60 north, to GA 5 which becomes TN 68 when it crosses the state line. This is a “green dot” road, which Rand McNally translates to scenic drive.  And boy was it ever. Mountain curves, up and down, in and out. It was my first taste of putting the Buell through it’s paces and it was an absolute Blast!  Until that green blob showed up. Yep – it happened.  The rain reappeared and there was nowhere to go accept onward. Just outside of Sweetwater, TN we stopped for fuel and met Chuck & Bill.  They were on Wings and were travelling to Michigan from North Georgia. 


We scooted down the mountain with them and when the clouds became a little more ominous, we followed them into the Tellico Plains Café.  It was obvious they knew the area well.  We took cover while the storm blew overhead.  Bill and Chuck were great company and had many cycle tales to tell. (Thanks for the company guys!) When the rain let up to just a sprinkle we continued on our way into Sweetwater. 


I would have posted this last night but when we had our choice of a hot spot (internet connection) or hot tub, and you have just ridden over 500 miles, well, the hot tub won out.  Had a nice chat with William and Cheryl at the hotel, nice folks from Alabama.  (Hope you enjoyed your weekend away!).  


This morning we continued our northerly trek.  I wanted to follow 27 north to 150 west in Kentucky.  Once on 150 we rode for a while and suddenly the 150 signs were replaced with US 127 north signs. Have no idea where 150 went but I pretty much knew I did not want to go where 127 was going. In Harrodsburg, KY I found 152 which headed south back towards 150.  What a great mistake. This turned out to be one of the best roads I have ever ridden.  Long, sweeping curves, through rolling hills, served up in heaping platefuls of joy as only Kentucky can do. It was a 55 MPH speed limit, with very little traffic. But, watch out for those tractors because they always show up on the other side of a blind hill in a curve!.  If you are ever in this part of Kentucky, this road is a MUST DO. 


Donated my dollar to the fire department in Bloomfield, KY and stopped for a photo-op. This is a beautiful, old, historic town.


We stopped for a beverage somewhere around Taylorsville (on KY 55 N) and met some nice folks out for a ride themselves. This is part of what makes traveling by motorcycle so great. You are truly part of a brotherhood in every town you ride through.


And finally, we made a little detour to find a hotel in Frankfurt, KY.  Here we ran into another Michigander – Jim.  He is from a small town between Lansing and Ypsilanti (Go Green). You gotta love his Wing.  It’s beautiful – check the picture in the photo album – look for the “hog plate”.  This is his little bit of humor as he is getting lots of ribbing from his friends in the Hog Chapter back home for selling his Ultra and buying a Wing.


Tomorrow we head for the Ohio river to cross into Indiana.  Hope we can find the bridge!


Pics posted in the Michigan Trip Photo Album

Who Cares?

We found it!  Yep, we hit the road in the cool morning temps.  Way cool for The Magster – I was forced to put my cool weather pants on, just not used to 50 degree mornings with no humidity.  After roaming the Kentucky countryside, we found the bridge and crossed the Ohio river at Milton, KY on 421.  After a photo-op we picked up Indiana 56 – also known as the Ohio River Scenic Route.  This road meanders along the river and through many tiny little towns.  Everything is a bright green and the aroma of spring flowers fills the air as we cruise by.


We headed north on Indiana 1 and in Brookville found a couple bikes parked outside a placed called “Who Cares?”  Now I can totally identify with the idealism of giving a tavern a name such as this.  Just think.  When you are heading out the door and you are asked “where ya going?” you can simply say “who cares?”.   Or get home a little late, where ya been? Who cares?.  So, where was Maggie Mae today – Who Cares?


A few minutes later were here inundated with bikes.  We had happened upon a local poker run.  After meeting a few locals (among them, Steve & Mary, Connervilles, IN) we headed out and met up with them again a the Overtime Sports Pub. They invited us to continue the journey up US 27 to Richmond, IN and have chow with them.  We stopped in long enough to say hi, find a hotel down the road and off we rode.


Brent & Debbie – wished we had known ahead of time we would be in Richmond today, would have called to let you know. But that is part of what makes this type of journey so much fun – we never know where are going or when we will get there. 


As we head into Amish country in northern Indiana tomorrow, I believe we will see an end to the hills and curves, unless we are pleasantly surprised. 


My bike clicked over 16,000 today – I added a touch of oil.  So far, flawless performance. I am having the time of my life  Thanks Erik Buell!!


To all those we have met on the road – thanks for helping to make our journey all that more enjoyable.


Sunday June 4 – Ft. Wayne, Indiana



Michigan - I made it!

Monday June 5, 2006


I love it when something works out the way you want it to.  I am learning to work with new tools to help us navigate the countless beautiful back country roads we love to travel.  I utilize the traditional old style map/atlas along with the new technology of a GPS.  This enables me to plug in a projected route each morning and then ride worry free that you will not get lost.  And even if you do, the good old GPS will get you out of any bind you find yourself in.  This lets you really get off the main roads and traverse rural roads through farmland and small towns.


We found ourselves riding through northern Indiana Amish country.  This was Thumper’s first experience seeing the simple way these people live and he was taken aback by it. Little or no electricity, no cars or motorized farm equipment. 


You start seeing farmers in the fields with horses pulling the plows, long bearded men riding bicycles. Women wearing plain dresses with hair tucked neatly under a bonnet hanging clothes up to dry. You have to admire the tenacity to persevere in this uncomplicated way of life in the face of modern day technology.


At the Blue Gate Restaurant & Bakery we had a delicious homemade lunch of beef & noodles, followed by fresh made apple dumplings with vanilla and cinnamon ice-cream.  I can’t begin to describe how great this meal was.  Served by friendly Amish young men & women eager to please.  Fresh bread was served with homemade apple butter and peanut butter mixed with maple syrup, brown sugar and honey – indescribable. 


Following Indiana 5 into Michigan, it becomes M-66.  The sign proudly proclaims “Welcome to Sturgis”.  Far from the biker infamous Sturgis, SD, this town is also an Amish farming community.  Although rumor has it that they do hold a sister event to the big one in South Dakota.


We had made it!  The little Buell Blast had travelled over 1,400 miles to haul the Magster all the way back to her Michigan roots.  A dream come true.  Ever since I started riding I had wanted to ride my own bike home, Thumper made it happen.  Love ya Thumps, you are the best.


After riding 1,400 to get to Michigan my sister and brother in law took us to dinner. I guess the numerous restaurants in town just wouldn’t do and we rode for an hour to arrive at the Farmers Steakhouse in Mulliken, Michigan.  It was worth the trip. Not only did Thumper have a great steak, I rode the buckin’ bronco!  Thanks Eric & Sherrie for a great ride.


Tomorrow – I think I will go to Hell.

A Day In Hell

666 – Once in a Lifetime!    That would translate to 6/6/2006.   The local and national news would do their best to make more of the day than what it most likely deserves.  So what to do on this infamous day?  Well, go to Hell I suppose.  That is where all the media folks were hanging out.  So with the help of my Mom – I plug a route into the GPS and off we go.  “Have fun in Hell” I hear her call out as we ride off.  Hhhmm, that sounded just a bit sarcastic.


The road into Hell is paved, but very rough.  As it meanders through small and large farms, the aroma of dairy farms (ya gotta love it!) permeates the air.   It weaves back and forth under a canopy of trees before eventually arriving in the city of Hell, Michigan. 


Cars line the roads, TV cameras and vans fill the parking lot.  Before long hoards of people are gathered all attempting to get their hands on one of the limited edition t-shirts that proclaim “666 – Once in a Lifetime”.  They only printed 666 of them. You can buy tons of stuff for just $6.66 all emblazoned with the Hell Fire logo. 


The Devil himself was there.  Yep, he too is a biker.  Saw him myself.  Even took of picture of him, I wasn’t scared!   He was actually kind of nice.  All the reporters clambered for the opportunity to interview him.  What a story, interview the Devil, while he sits proudly on his chopper in Hell on 6/6/06.


We met members of the metal band ANIDYNE – they didn’t appear to be afraid of the Devil either.  They were just hanging out in the shade (yes, it was hot in Hell) watching the spectacle as people waited in line for hours just to nab a piece of history in Hell. 


We made it out of Hell intact (Thank God). Rode to Fowlerville, Michigan to find the Bloated Goat Saloon.  By now we are in complete withdrawl  from Ralph’s wings at The Bloated Goat Sports Pub in Wesley Chapel, Florida.  His rival?  The olive burger at The Goat in Fowlerville (cooked up perfect by Ruth Ann). 


On to Joe’s Gizzard City Inn in Potterville. This is the town where I grew up and my first apartment was in the next block over from Joe’s.  We were fortunate enough to chat with Little Joe Bristol who took over the bar from his dad, Big Joe (of course!).  We hope to still be in town next weekend when he plays the host for the annual Gizzard Fest.


Until tomorrow, I am still alive, still riding and still having a blast!  Mmm


PS:  Thanks to my buddy Phil and sister Tonia for taking care of my two furry little children at home, Bonnie & Clyde.  Tonia even helped them post a message to me in the guest book.  My love to you both, Mommy will be home soon, be good!.



Rain Rain Go Away

Wednesday June 7, 2006

It was raining over night.

It was raining in the morning.

It was raining all day long

and then it started storming.

The bikes they did not move

the covers left in place

I'm sitting here unhappy

with a frown upon my face.

Tomorrow it should clear

with the sun all warm and bright

Then off I'll go down the street

smiling with delight!

Happy Trails :)


Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Irish Eyes Are Smiling


You will see the pictures of the old bridge just outside of Eaton Rapids, Michigan in the photo album.  By the looks of the eroding pavement, this bridge is barely hanging on. This beautiful stretch of road, M-50 runs from Charlotte, through Eaton Rapids and would continue on to Monroe – but we wanted to take the long way over.


I had another animal encounter with a dog when we stopped to check out the map/GPS  near Bunker Hill while looking for M-52.  I took evasive action, didn’t hit him and he was nice enough to hang out for a photo-op.


We came across a HD/Buell dealership in Tecumseh along a lonely stretch of road and could not resist pulling in to have a look around.  The store was awesome. They had several old/classic bikes on display which made the stop completely worthwhile. Met Bill (see pic) in the parking lot who was nice enough to tell us about Pete’s Garage – the local bike hangout.


We found our way to Monroe, near Lake Erie and after a quick check at the hotel, found Pete’s Garage.  Great place to hang out, eat, etc. 


Later we took full advantage of the sauna, hot tub and pool and then fell  into bed exhausted.   Tomorrow was another day.


When we awoke in the morning and looked out the window I could not believe what I was seeing.  There was a white car parked in the lot and it was covered nearly black.  So too the truck and trailer parked nearby.  I prayed my bike’s cover would not hold the same surprise for me.  My prayers did not work. The bugs were on everything. Everywhere. Even the ground.  They crunched under our feet as we made our way to the bikes.  They were easy enough to shake off but they still gave me chills.  I was told they are fish flies.  As they get worse. This was just beginning. I will take love bugs any time over this – I could not imagine having to try and get into a car that is covered.  Eeeewww


Venturerider.org is the place (internet) to meet great folks, mostly Yamaha Venture riders but not exclusively.  These people not only love to ride but also love to share in the camaraderie that brings motorcyclists together.  So it goes without saying that once they knew we would be in Michigan they wanted to show us a good time. 


Personally I was just a bit afraid. The last time we hooked up with the folks from Michigan they were in  Florida.  Wanting to show them a good time we took them on the  Brooksville hills and curves tour.  Yes there are some curves and hills in Florida. Anyway, as I am sure you have read elsewhere in this site, we got lost, ended up on a dirt road and my animal attraction continued as I nearly got taken out by a runaway cow. 


So naturally I thought they would want to get even.  Instead they took us on a wonderful tour of the Ford Motor Company grounds &  through Greenfield Village. We saw the big washer & dryer in the sky, translated to the Ford Credit towers which look just like two matching cubes rising into the air. 


We meandered through the Irish Hills and saw Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. 


The ride ended in Jackson – home to The Parlour.  I have never seen so much ice cream disappear by so few people in so short a period of time.  You go Guys! They put it away.  


I hated to see the day end.  Al, Diane, Eddy, Denny & Daren  - Thanks for a great day.  See you in August at the Tail of the Dragon ride at Vogel State Park, Georgia. 


The Ledges

Spent the last couple of days riding around south central Michigan. Saturday we visited Grand Ledge and went to see The Ledges. These are rock formations that history says used to be part of a huge underwater cavern system.

Met Billy & Marty there. These two guys have a passion and dream themselves. Just as it was my destiny to ride from Florida to Michigan on my little 500cc bike, they are on a quest to play all the "Disc Golf" courses in Michigan. In case you have never heard of this sport, we hadn’t, it is golf by way of a Frisbee. The rules are the same as golf, each hole has a par and you score just like in golf. They are serious players – even used different discs of varying weights, just as you would choose a club. Hey Phil – wanna change your game around a little? Thumper said he would go disc golfing with ya!! You will see photos of Billy & Marty in the photo album.

Then it was off to Ron & Val Clewley’s for rest and relaxation. They have a beautiful home that is situated at the edge of a cornfield. This is my definition of heaven. Peaceful and beautiful – we truly enjoyed the company. Ron, the Master Griller, cooked up burgers and dogs and everybody brought a dish. Unfortunately the photographer was too busy doing other things and she neglected to do her job. I am sorry gang – we had a great time, but I have no photos to prove it. Thanks for your hospitality - and for having us over.

Sunday we met up with my sister Sherrie her husband Eric again. Eric and fellow riders from The Bloodbrothers, Bob & Melissa, Chris & Carry took us on a great ride through the country and then on to lunch.

Later we were privileged to have my niece and nephew along for a ride. John boarded Thumpers ride and Elainnie jumped on back with me (brave girl) and off we went to Thornapple Lake. It was a great way to end the evening.

Monday we head north to see my older brother Mike and catch up with his better half Karen and son Ryan and his girlfriend Ashley. Then off to Mackinac Bridge and the U.P.

Happy Trails

The Bridge

Wednesday June 14, 2006   8:50 PM


Manistee, Michigan


We have had a couple of very busy days.  Spent Monday morning just meandering north towards Clare and Farwell, where my brother Mike lives.  Made it to Clare and was lucky enough to get my nephew Ryan on the phone and hook up for pizza. 


Ryan was very knowledgeable about local history and when we asked about a good hotel he was quick to suggest the Motel Dougherty.  Rumor has it that during the days of the Purple Gang they used to hang out at the Motel Dougherty and that there are tunnels under the motel used as escape routes.  Ryan even had a friend in school who lived in a house which had one of these tunnels that connected to the Dougherty. 


After relaxing in the hot tub we rode out to Mike’s house.  He lives in a beautiful home in Farwell.  While deciding on dinner the conversation turned to deer and wouldn’t you know it, just then a little doe walked right into the street in front of the house. I decided it was time to go back to the motel and park the bike.


Mike & Karen picked us up and we met up with Ryan & Ashley for a great dinner at Yackies Riverside Grill.


Tuesday we got an early start – we were both excited about our destination – Mackinaw City and St. Ignace in the upper peninsula  



It was awesome!  First we stopped for a pre-crossing photo-op and then it was off to ride the bridge. I had always dreamed of riding a motorcycle across the Mackinac Bridge and I DID IT.  I think I would have rather ridden in the right lane – it was paved. But luck was not on my side  They were doing bridge work and the right lane was closed.   Thumper’s bike did great. My bike was a bit squirrelly on the grated surface, but it was not as bad as I though it could be. Once across we stopped again to rest and take some pictures.  There we met Brian from Alberta, Canada.  He was heading south to ride with friends in Kentucky and Tennessee.


Odometer:  17,303, just about 2,424 miles since leaving Wesley Chapel.


Back across the river we stopped at the Dixie Saloon in Mackinaw City. This place was named for the road it was located on, The  Dixie Highway which was the major route linking Miami to Mackinaw in the early 1900’s.    Katy & Jim were also at the Dixie Saloon celebrating their honeymoon. Congrats! 


At the local IGA we ran into Phillip & Paul who where riding to Milwaukee.  In a most interesting journey – they were going to put their bikes on a ferry which goes across Lake Michigan and lands them right in Milwaukee – how cool!



At JR’s Tailgate we met Ruth and Calvin.  They are there on his custom made motorcycle, which he gladly allowed me to sit on for a photo-op. 


Wednesday we headed down the coast on M119 and M22 – through Cross Village, Harbour Springs, Petoskey.  Beautiful roads along Lake Michigan.  The roads could use a bit of work and I had to fight potholes and gravel, not fun in a corner.


Tomorrow we head back to Charlotte where and begin our journey back to Florida.


Special hello, hugs and kiss to Gaynell McKenzie - Thumps Mom & Hapi


We miss all our buddies back home – Trent, Marisol, Ben, Amy, Phil, Tonia, Kevin, Toshia, Clayton, Bobby, Dale, Ralph, Amanda, Shea, Shelly & all the Bloated Goat Gang, Glenn & Kelly & all our friends at Hog Pen – we will be home soon!

Blowing through Ohio...

Saturday June 17


Friday we rode all day. We made it from Charlotte, Michigan through Ohio and into Maysville, Kentucky which is just over the Ohio river. 


The last part of the day was on Ohio 41 which is a scenic route. And the last part of 41 was through some foothill mountains.  I did not know they had this type of terrain in Ohio.  It was challenging to ride but fun.


Today we will be heading generally south on Kentucky 11 and 66 – check out Google Maps, find Maysville and look at the roads – we are in for lots of curves today!!


66 ends in Pineville, Kentucky – from there we will decide on a game plan. 


Plan is to be home by Monday or Tuesday.


Sending a hello out to Wanda, Allen and to Crystal and Scarlett at Bloated Goat Saloon!

Hi Hi Seka & Bob Elliott

Hi Mom, Hi Dad

Hello to Eric, Brian & Tom at RTM - will need to see you when I return!



The End Is Near

Monday June 19, 2005

Lake City, Florida   2:00 PM


Yeah – I know here it is just two o’clock and we have already called it a day.  Many reasons.  We rode about 250 miles, the rains were catching up to us and heck, we just wanted to spend one last night pampering ourselves in the hot tub. 


It was a great journey.  The ride down Kentucky 11 was a bikers dream.  I learned the fine art of  cornering with an uneven surface and some gravel thrown in just for kicks.


Sunday found us among some of the most congested areas we have traversed so far due to the tourist factor.  Cherokee, NC is beautiful, but very crowded.  We decided against hanging out and continued on down the road. 


By late afternoon we had made it half way through Georgia and called it a day about 30 miles northeast of Macon. 


This morning we headed south on 129. This road, heading north is the same road that Trent & Marisol will be riding come Tuesday – Deals Gap – where 129 crosses from North Carolina into Tennessee, The Dragon – 318 curves in 11 miles – have fun guys!


Tomorrow this trip ends but the memories of the journey live on in our minds continuously as we plan and prepare for our next adventure. 


When it is all said and done….


The Buell performed magnificently.  The only problem, a minor one, was when the carb boot came off and needed to have the clamp tightened down. 


Departing odometer reading: 14,879

Final odometer reading:         19,100


Total trip mileage:                  4,221


We visited Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, crossed the Mackinac Bridge to St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula, Ohio and North Carolina.



And I am ready to do it all over again.


To all those we met on the road – thanks for the memories, meeting new friends like you is what makes motorcycle travel so much fun.


Thanks for hanging with me.   Keep a watch on the site, you never know where I’ll be next,



Maggie Mae


Final Note:

On every trip there is a guardian angel - on this trip it was

Terry & his Wife!


We met Terry two and a half weeks ago as we were preparing to

depart for Michigan. Tonight Terry & his Wife informed the desk

clerk I had inadvertently switched my ignition too far and left the

running lights on.  Thanks you two for your thoughtfulness

and kindness. 


Happy Trails....