Monday, July 28, 2008

Wild Crow Motorcycle Tour by Stephen Vose

Wild Crow Motorcycle Tour - Part I

As the week progressed, I continued to keep a careful eye on the weather. Predictions were that it was going to rain buckets all over the state for somewhere around an eternity. By Thursday evening, I began to feel my chances at starting a statewide bike tour were vaporizing before they had even begun. Friday morning, however, was another story and as I climbed out of bed skies were threatening but the predicted rains were not falling. I decided at that moment that Mother Nature be damned I was going North! Quickly packing a small backpack, I jumped on my Yamaha V-star and the beast roared to life. As I hit the throttle, my MP3 player shuffled to Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild” and I sped off toward Presque Isle.

Steely gray skies threatened, but I still managed to make it all the way to Lincoln before the heavens opened up and the thunder and lightening rained down upon me. God may be forgiving but Mother Nature is a vengeful bitch. Deciding against the repetitive nature of the interstate, I had opted for the more scenic and isolated route two but as my engine lost power a full 45 minutes from Houlton I began to wonder if this had in actuality been a good decision. I stopped at a small rest area (the only one) to assess the situation and after a through inspection decided that it was best to have a short breather and let the engine cool. Despite the fact that one tail pipe was stone cold, the bike had plenty of oil, only 10,000 miles and the idiot light had not yet come on . . . things were looking up!!

I rested about a ½ an hour as the rains pounded down and silently wished that I smoked cigarettes. Jumping back on the bike, I managed to limp along under ½ power until I reached a small engine repair business just on the outskirts of Houlton. Once out of the rain and in the garage the issue was immediately apparent. Water had worked its way in around my spark plug and arched out the cylinder. Apparently Yamaha Motorcycles are “water resistant” and not “water proof”! A little bit of WD40 and 30 minutes on repair work later I was back on my way to the North country.

My MP3 player droned on and the miles continued to melt away as I sped toward my destination. Heavy rain on a motorcycle has the unfortunate side effect of causing a rider to develop tunnel vision and I am certainly no exception. Somewhere on the other side of Mars Hill I narrowly missed being broadsided at 4:00 in the afternoon by a 320 lb black bear. A prayer was said and a bladder was almost emptied.

The final stretch into Presque Isle, however, is what motorcycle riders live to see. The rains let up, the clouds parted and for a moment I even saw a few glimmers of sunshine. A moment of calm washed over me as the first leg of the trip was completed and I let out a small sigh. Somehow experienced trip difficulties make the little things that much more enjoyable. Cruising into Presque Isle my confidence was soaring and I knew that the remainder of the trip would be awesome . . . remaining story to be posted shortly!
For the rest of the Wild Crows Motorcycle Adventure See:
Wild Crows Motorcycle Tour Part I
Wild Crows Motorcycle Tour Part II
Wild Crows Motorcycle Tour Part III
Wild Crows Motorcycle Tour Part IV
Wild Crows Motorcycle Tour - Podcast


  1. So good buddy, your bladder almost emptied... that must mean that your seat wasn't wet from just the rain... All jokes aside, I'm curious as how you came to the 320 pound estimate??? Was it a big as Shaq or have you been next to a 320 pound bear before???

  2. This would be the perfect set-up for a well placed "wife" joke but since I don't roll that way I will instead insist that my estimates were based on a careful inspection of the bears massive neck and ground dragging belly as I sped by at approximately 55 MPH!

    I anticipate that by duck season the weight we be up to 400 lbs . . . LOL!


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