We had the bike, the fabricator and the design, but a week ago it dawned on us that we had to get the BMW up to Claude, whose shop happens to be in Pennsylvania. Great... right?
I'm not sure what's happening, but the entire USA appears to be engulfed in a heat wave. Being from Texas, we are well versed in riding in an onslaught of sunshine and heat - at some point it just becomes unbearable.
So, we came up with a plan: we would just ride 5 or 6 hours a day during the morning and take our time getting up North. Our route treks across a good chunk of the country while trying to avoid the heat. The Blue Ridge Mountains definitely being a highlight, both because of the sights and the climate reprieve.
It turns out that there is no where to hide...
There was quite a bit of highway riding to make miles.
We stayed a night on the mighty Mississippi, though the shower was not quite as mighty.
After I was stung by a kamikaze bee, I was rewarded with this amazing gift for my bravery.
After boiling for 3 days, the Blue Ridge Parkway greeted us with fog, rain and 65 degree temperatures.
We rode through a cloud for the first couple of hours and I don't think I've ever been happier to be riding through terrible visibility. As the day rolled on, the fog seemed to roll off the mountains above, across the road and finally took rest in the valley below.
All in all, the parkway was magnificent. I got to have fun leaning the huge GSA over through turns and Kristen had a ton of opportunities for photos.
Eventually we had to leave the parkway and hit the highway again to make up time. We rolled past Winchester, Virginia and Kristen's parents' first home (where Ryan was born) and finally to Claude's shop in Middleburg!
It should be noted that the first thing we came across when we finally arrived was an unbelievably cool sidecar rig that Claude had made specifically for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The rig was made for a 16-year old boy with muscular dystrophy. His father contacted the foundation when his son's condition started to worsen; eventually the doctors gave him the difficult prognosis of only having a couple of years to live. At this news, the father retired from his job and decided to fulfill his son's wish of seeing the world by motorcycle.
The Foundation funded the entire build and the family will now be able to drive Nicolas' motorized wheelchair into the back of the sidecar. The rig itself is just insane. The amount of work that went into making such a heavy duty frame and car is really remarkable. It was due to be picked up very soon - we'll try to post some links when photos of their travels become available.
We eventually made our way inside and had a dramatic reveal of our new sidecar in its early stages.
Claude has really been listening to our requests and somehow is making them a reality. This thing is incredible! Kristen was happy about her newly found leg room. I can even stretch my legs all the way out. I guess it's about time for Kris to take control of the bike so I can relax.
One of Kristen's ideas was to incorporate a lockable box located in the nose of the sidecar. It will be such a great location for her to store her cameras while riding. Claude wondered why they hadn't done it before.
The amount of storage on this thing is just crazy. I'm pretty sure I could get inside the trunk. It will definitely make packing and living on the road much easier.
There is so much to be done (powder coating, racks, a few more additions to the body, building the frame, etc) but it's out of our hands now. We've made all the decisions we need for Claude and team to move forward!
It's going to be a long 6 weeks!