North East BDR, Part Two

Once again, by pure chance, I’m staying with friends who live down the street from the route of the North East BDR. Yesterday was the first rain-free day since… I don’t even know when, so it was my day to sample a bit of this segment as well.

As before, I went one direction a bit, returned to base, had lunch, then went the other direction a bit. All in all I covered about 60 or so miles of the BDR, centered around Canaan, New Hampshire. There were no difficult areas like in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, just a fun mixture of mostly quiet paved and dirt roads. It was just the sort of ride and relaxation I needed as I move slowly toward establishing what van life will be for me, rather than us.

One highlight included passing a BMW M3 on my Kawasaki KLR650. OK, so it was on a kind of rough dirt road that an M3 has no business being on. He also pulled over and let me by when it became clear that I had the right vehicle for the conditions and he didn’t. But still, I passed an M3 on my KLR, and nobody can take that away from me.

I also flipped the 10,000s digit of my odometer for the first time since I bought the bike at around 21,000. I did it on the BDR, which was quite appropriate. This bike has taken a licking and kept on ticking through the worst I could throw at it, and it’s held up better than I have. I had to clean and tighten my chain a bit before this adventure, but that’s just regular maintenance. I’m impressed.

For the first time in a long time, I also captured a fair bit of video. I used to do a fair bit of motorcycle videos on my personal YouTube channel. I may start posting there again — extended versions of motorcycle-specific videos, while I share shorter snippets at Smokey Da Van along with the usual van life stuff. What do you think? Would that interest you?

I did have to take a minor detour off the BDR. With all this talk of Jeff Bezos winning the billionaire space race, I thought it was important to remember where this all started. In the little town of Warren, New Hampshire, there’s a Redstone missile inexplicably standing in the town square. There’s an excellent write- up about it at Atlas Obscura. The Redstone, an evolution of the infamous V-2 rocket of World War II, was not only one of the first to carry nuclear weapons, it also carried the first two Americans on suborbital flights into space. Alan Shepard (a New Hampshire native) and Gus Grissom both took rides on Redstones before John Glenn got all the way into orbit on a more powerful Atlas rocket. Back then, Americans went into space to push the limits of what could be done, not because they had way too much money to spend.

Today it’s back to New England’s new normal of rain, rain, and more rain. It’s like the Pacific northwest’s weather suddenly came here. Temperatures have dropped to 60 and below the past two nights, leading me to completely close up the van for to trap heat for the first time since staying on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Meanwhile, the actual Pacific northwest became northern California, being constantly on fire. But no, climate change is a myth, right?

Anyway, today’s a good day to work on consolidating and editing some video. There will be no fancy premiere this week because on Friday I’ll be working the New England Forest Rally. It still seems far away, but it’s only a few days out. I’m sure it’ll slap me upside the head soon enough.

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