Southeast Motorcycle Touring

Travel Blogs

These are re-posted blogs from past tours. Some where originally posted to the Poverty Riders International email list. the PRI is a loosely organized group of riders here in the Southeastern United States. I have called myself a poverty rider for many years and have even spread the PRI gospel to other continents. Our motto "Food & Gas" pretty much explains the Poverty Riders. The ride comes first before flash motorcycles or lux accommodations. others are reposted from friends emails and other postings.

1) Ohio 2009
2) Isle of Man 2010
3) My son Aidan's first tour
4) Barber Vintage Races 2011
5) George and Andrew's TT 2012

Ohio Trip

June 2009
Here's my short contrabution to the PRI bloging season. 6/11 First day stop at TWO in Suchas. 380 miles in 7 hours. had to stop twice for rain. Cindy and I both are a little sore but happy. The general store closes at 7 and TWO only cooks on the weekends which is not how it used to be but it's still a great place. We rode back to Dahlonega for dinner, kinda a quaint town, too quaint really. Trying to decide if we will stay 1 or 2 nites. Fires lit,so no more silly typing, will post this next wifi I come to.

Day 2: we decided ride on but I kinda wish we had stayed. Last time I was in kentucky I was unimpressed and so far as i can tell not a lot has changed. We are in a hotel after not finding a campground with tent sites. Does anyone one know of place to camp in this state?

Day 5: Well kentucky gets it's props back. Riding through Danial Boon national forest and then on US 27 through rolling hills and farmland was a lot of fun. The occasional hay wagon was easy enough to pass and the rythym on the sweapers was easy. The food in Lexington made up for the crap at the state park "resort." we stayed at thursday nite. visiting friends in Cincinnati but the Hofbrauhaus, Cindy's new favorite bar, is across the river in KT. And that's where we've been hangin. Headed to Columbus, on Monday to see Slow hand and Steve Winwood

Day 7: Get up in the morning to the sound of rain outside oh well roll over, check-out's not for hours. Yea that's right stayed in a hotel last night, sever thunder storm warnings on the TV don't ya know. And a good choice it was too. Wait for a slack in the down pour, put on a steal face and head out the door, oh yea and frogg toggs too. Riding in the rain on this 4 lane but still winding road brings a whole new stratagy. Stay away from other trafic especialy big rigs and their huge spray. Ride fast past a group of cars then ride slow to stay between the clusters untill you are forced to make another pass. It's funny how the spirits rise and fall with the change in weather as we ride first in rain then sunshine and then rain again. But in the end it's all fun. The north carolina border brings the end of rain and the stoney knob cafe at exit 21 on i26 north of ashville. it's outstanding, sun shining, great view outside in the shade and amazing Food. the day turned quick. Headed for chimney rock and then who knows.

last post: Well we've been home a couple days now so I guess i should wrap this up. we spent the last 3 days in North Carolina camping at Blue ridge motorcycle camp for 2 and the last night at a cabin in Haysville. all the riding we did in and around the area was great, typical NC. and it sucked to leave. Just as we got south of Atlanta on the ride home the heat wave hit us and it was hell from that point on when we staggered into Tally in the afternoon the bank sigh said 102 deg. Ugh. someone said they where calling this stationary system the ring of fire and it's an apt name. You gus on the road should think about staying there for a while:)

a few short stats.

  • 2100mi
  • $146 of High test
  • a best of 51mpg
  • and low of 42mpg
  • the frogg toggs came out twice
  • 3 nights camping
  • 3 nights in a hotel
  • 3 nights in friends homes
  • one kicking concert
  • and a bunch of great info etc... from PRI et all.


3 shots from our Ohio tour

Isle of Man TT 2010

TT #1 June-8
Sitting in the beer garden of the railway pub in Union Mills for 2 hours withing nothing going on is not that engaging. Calling it a garden is a stretch to begin with and the low conversations are in twos and and threes. Then I catch the sound of a race engine in the distance. It's here and gone so fast I bareley have time to clock the red and yellow sidecar outfit but it's sound effects the whole place. there are gigles, smiles, knowing glances, and out right laughter. Everybody is talking to everybody else all bariers gone in one fell swoop. It's 6:00 and the happyness lingers long after pratice is over at 9:00.

It's a short walk back to Glenlough campsite and the end to two long days on the road. I started in a rent-a-car in Cwmbran drove 130 mi to Bournmouth to drop the car and pick up a Vstrom 1000. Then back Wales to load the bike and ride 200 mi to Liverpool to catch a 3:00 am ferry to Douglas. Cindy and I got the tent up about half 6 but it was too hot inside so after I inflated the bed we put it on the ground took a nap in the morning sun. Then a little snack and off to the pub. Now it's home to bed and sleep like a log till morning:).

John & Cindy

TT #2 June-10
Well we've had two days of racing and a day of sight seeing and a wide varity of weather. I have been in shorts and T-shirt and then bundled up in a frezzing rain sometimes in the same day.

We ran into Shaun at the pub on day two and along with George and Andrew our mates from Wales we drank many pints of OKells with race bikes at 120mph about 8 feet away. The guys arrived early in morning and our camp is now well established with a large tarp between our tents and the flags of all our nations flying. Shaun is camping with Bill's bike tours UK group.

We started out to ride the 130 year old steam train on our day off raceing. But we missed it by a few minutes so we wet to the museum instead. The spitfires were grounded by weather:( so we had a look at lady Isabella the world's largest waterwheel. Then back to camp via Tesco to cook a deluous pasta dinner and a hear good little band in the beer tent before going to bed. I could be happy now but we still have days to go. Anyway there's a handfull of poverty riders having a blast at the TT.

TT #3 June-11
Wednesday we got all set at Braddan bridge to watch the second sidecar race and the 600's but the weather went from bad to worse and after a handful of postpondments they finaly cancled the whole days raceing. We ended up eating our lunch in an old church to get out of the rain. When I say "old" I mean most of the head stones where unreadable but I did see one from 1600's. You could watch the racing from the graveyard, if there had been any that is.

The storm got even worse in the eveaning. I'm sure the gusts where reaching 45 mph. We battened down all the hatches and prepaired to ride it out. but then got an invite from a mate of George's to watch all the previous races on "telly" at his home just around the corner from the pub. Chris has a large screen high def and recorded all of it and his wife Sue orders a mean take out:) After we got all the tv coverage of the racing we had seen live we walked down to the pub for a few pints and then home to bed.

The rain has stopped but the wind is as strong as ever. Worm in bed with the tent flaping like hell I'm going to sleep now.


Ian Hutchenson, Racing Sidecar, Our Camp

Two responses from the PRI at large

Hey John;
      Glad you're having a good time, wish the weather was cooperating a little better for you.
Oh!!! and by the way quit rubbing it in you lucky Bastard.


       I hate when i get worms in my bed.... you guys must be having a blast!!!

Stormy and Billy

TT #4 June-13
Yea typing on this little iPod is cumbersom. then it decides to change to the word it thinks you ment and I can't sppeel anyway:)
i hope the pics came through cause they are too big for this thing to display. I got two more to send this time, been saving them up till I found a wifi,

Thursday morn was no different from Wed night. But by noon It had settled down enough to race. We went back to Braddan bridge after puting the campsite back together and watched races all afternoon in the warm sunshine. We ended the day with Chris and Sue plus friends and family in tow all at our place for a big BBQ. Shaun showed up after trying to ride lap of the track on his hire bike. A fellow brought a trailer of bikes to IOM and Shaun rented one for few days. There was an acident in Kirk Michael I think and the road was closed so he did not make it all the way round.
There's been a few road fatalities, not a lot but of course one is too many. Considering there's about 10,000 bikers on this small island it's not too bad same or less than Daytona. Good day all in all.
John & Cindy

TT #5 June-13
Friday's senior was marred buy Guy Martin's crash on the second lap. We all heald our breath but thankfuly his injuries where not that bad. The race was red flaged because they had to get a fire truck on the track to put his bike out. They restarted from scratch with 4 laps instead of 6 and it was a fight between John McGinnus and Ian Hutchinson. The veteran vs. an up and coming who has now made the history books by winning 5 TT's in one week. Ian is so quiet that you have to strain hear his interviews but i must say job well done and Guy will be back next year.

The weather was again windy and cold but Cindy an I managed to cook under sever conditions a Tex-Mex meal for our Walesh friends. It was comical things flying off the table, tent flying away or on to our heads. But it tasted great.

John, Andrew, George, and Cindy in Castletown on the Isle of Man

After dinner we went down to the prom for the White helmets vs the purple helmets motorcycle stunt show and fireworks, and Bushy's beer tent:)

Senior race race day is a national holiday on IOM and the whole island shows up on the waterfront in Douglas for carnaval rides, bands, beer, fireworks and general mayhem. And I must say we where proud to help them celebrate.

TT #6 June-13
Saturday we finaly got the train ride we missed earlyer in the week. Not realy motorcycle related but riding behind a 140 year old steam engine lovingly maintained and still going strong was a thrill for me. It was about a 25 mile (one way) trip to Port Erin for a cup of tea and a different view of the isle. After that we watched footy on the telly at Chris and Sue's home. One all between USA and England was a good result considering where these two US supporters are at the moment.

Port Erin, the end of the line of the steam railway

Click here for the wrap up of this tour, posted on another page

Aidan's first Trip

July 2011
Just a short tour to Blue springs and then Cheaha mt. With Aidan. But it is his longest ride to date. We did the two short legs yesterday and today, tomorrow will be the longest ride but home is at the end of it so that should keep the spirits up. It's still kinda hot even here at 2400 ft. But Alabama Route 49 from Tuskegee was a good road. This is no time to be riding here in the Southeast but sometimes you just got a go.

In the campground Cheaha Mt.

Barber Vintage Race Weekend 2011

All right here's a few pics from our vintage races. It's a fuzzy pic of Mitch I hope there are some better ones out there. The others are from the parade lap, the attack on Charlotte, and the ride home. Here is my impresion of the Motus MST we saw in the desplay area. On the way back to Tally from "Cheeahaw" we stopped in La Fayette Al. to let the rain pass while Don, Mark, and Ken rode on. After that We didn't have any more rain until Bainbridge. We did make a stop that I have been meaning to do for a few months now at the Civil War Navel Museum In Columbus Ga. They have a couple of ironclad hulls there that have been salvaged from the river. All the displays where well put together and the stop was well worth it. I learned the fascinating story of the CSS Alabama which is well worth the read. Thanks all for another great Rally.

John and Aidan

My mate Mitch in his racing debut

The hull and iron props of an Ironclad at the Civil War Navel Muesum in Columbus Ga.

George and Andrew's TT 2012, so far

Friday June 1st
Well Folks, established base camp in IOM, brilliant practice night last night, now for catching up around the island

Sunday June 3rd
John McGuinnes. 17 TT wins, Record 131.578mph. Be humble in the presence of Greatness