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Friday, November 19, 2010

2010-2011 International Motorcycle Show - Dallas

The Progressive International Motorcycle Show kicked off in Dallas, TX this past weekend (Nov. 12-14, 2010).  The show featured most major manufacturers; however, I was disappointed that Triumph, BMW, and Victory did not have booths.  Victory was represented by two local shops (Family PowerSports & Rick Farless' Strokers Dallas).  The IMS website states that Triumph, BMW, Ducati, and Victory will be at selected shows.  I am glad Ducati was at the Dallas show.

I forgot my camera, but my son took some photos with his phone. I am going to only a few photos, but if you would like to see some great pics go to Torch's Midlife Motorcycle Madness Blog. He posted a lot of great pictures using 5 different posts.   IMS 1     IMS 2       IMS  3     IMS 4     IMS  5

My son and I enjoyed the show.  We took in the Team No Limit Stunt Show with Jason Britton and his TV co-star, Eric Hoenshell.  My son actually watched it twice and took a lot of pictures, but that phone camera is not that good.
Team No Limit Stunt Show
I am impressed with what they can do.
There were several other special show features including Women Ride, Custom Bike Show, Demo rides,... - Link for all the show features and manufacturers.

The highlight for me was found at the Ducati booth.  I have been impressed with European bikes for a long time although I have never owned one.  I have also started developing a desire to purchase a dual sport and do some riding on the mountain roads in Colorado.  I spent some time talking to "Elvis Jr." of European Cycle Sport in Plano about the Ducati Multistrada 1200.  The technology on that bike is awesome.   I think that is the dual sport bike for me.  Just don't know when that will happen. 

Ducati also gave North America it's first look at the Diavel.  The Diavel really caught my eye.  It is a nice looking bike with quality finishing.  I think I will have to make a trip down to European Cycle Sport and do a test ride.  
The Diavel looks fast!
The International Motorcycle Show is worth attending.  There are vendors for gear, accessories, etc., the big manufacturers booths, and several special features.  You can touch and sit on a lot of bikes and see the new models.  The difficult part is going home without so many things that I wish I could have.  Oh well, it sure is fun to look.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Kick your boots off and put up your feet

There are a lot of great roads in Arkansas to ride and plenty of scenic routes.  One can take leisurely rides or drag pegs all day around the curves.  In either case you will need a good place to rest and get some "shut eye" before the next day of riding.

Recently four friends and I took off for three days of riding and two nights near Mena, AR in the Ouachita National Forest.  One in our group reserved a 3 bedroom cabin at the recently opened Mena Mountain Top Motel/Cabins.

The entrance to Mena Mountain Top Motel/Cabins is about 2.5 miles south of Mena on the east side of US 71 (across from the Fish Net Family Restaurant).  The sign for the cabins is a little difficult to see so slow down when you see the restaurant - entrance is about 50 yards farther.  If you are riding up from the south the entrance to the cabins is about 1.5 miles past the Christian Motorcyclists Association's Iron Mountain complex.

The Mena Mountain Top Motel/Cabins roads are paved, but the parking area in front of cabins are gravel.  The road is steep so gear down.
Our bikes in front of the big cabin.
The cabins sit on the hill side and provide great views to the west, south, and northwest.  We could see part of the famed Talimena Scenic Byway and the Queen Wilhelmina Lodge from the back porch of the "Wilderness Cabin" we had.
From the back porch we could see the valley and the Ouachita Mountains to the north.
The cabin had a front and back porch, grill, gas fireplace, kitchen with cookware, refrigerator, dishes, etc., living area with satellite TV, three bedrooms each with TV, and two bathrooms.  The two downstairs bedrooms each had a double bed.  The upstairs loft had a double and twin bed along with a bathroom and in the living area was a sleeper sofa.
Twin bed in the loft.
Living area as seen from the loft.
All of the fixtures and furniture is high quality and add to the country feel of the cabin.  There were plenty of dishes for our dinner.  We stopped by a store in Mena and bought what we needed to cook our dinner at the cabin.  The cookware, silverware, and dishes are all nice.
Kitchen and living area.
Late afternoon looking north from the cabin's porch.
The beds were comfortable (at least that is what I was told as I slept on the sleeper sofa) and the rooms nice. A good amount of space for luggage and motorcycle gear was provided in each bedroom.  Both bathrooms were roomy and completely stock with extra towels and toiletries.

We enjoyed a great day of riding in Arkansas and two restful nights.  I highly recommend taking a trip to Arkansas and staying at the Mena Mountaintop Motel/Cabins.  You will enjoy the roads and the scenic views.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lesser known but absolutely beautiful

When something is located near a world renown site it can easily get over looked.  That is the case with the Mesa Falls in Idaho.  Just 50 miles southwest from the west entrance to Yellowstone lies two awesome waterfalls, the Upper Mesa Falls and the Lower Mesa Falls.

The Mesa Falls Scenic Byway (ID 47) is a 29 mile road that runs east of US 20 and connects with US 20 at both ends,  Ashton, ID on the south end and  9 miles south of Island Park, ID on the north end.  The Mesa Falls Scenic Byway also intersects the Teton Scenic Byway just east of Ashton and both are great roads to ride.

The Henrys Fork River runs through the Caribou-Targhee National Forest and is a tributary to the Snake River. The river cuts through the basalt rock and surrounding landscape to create two eye-popping waterfalls.

We took US 20 from West Yellowstone to Island Park where we stopped for breakfast at Pond's Lodge in Island Park.  The restaurant/gas station is a nice establishment with friendly service.  The log siding building is charming and it has sportsman decor.  More importantly they served a great breakfast.
 The trophies on the wall watch over the customers
Huckleberry Pancakes

My son and I enjoyed huckleberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, and hash browns.  These were our first huckleberry pancakes and they were delicious.  The eggs and hash browns were great.  All the others in the group left with full stomachs, so I guess you can say we were satisfied.

Heading south away from Island Park we turned east on ID 47 a.k.a. Mesa Falls Scenic Byway and rode 13 miles to the entrance of the Mesa Falls area.  The road and parking lot are well paved.  There are restrooms, a visitor center, a gift shop, boardwalks and a viewing platforms.  The park is well maintained.  Fees are $1/ motorcycle $5/car.  Access to view the Lower Mesa Falls is from the Grandview Campground.and Overlook.
Upper Falls in the morning sunlight
The Upper Falls is 114 feet high and 300 feet wide (the Upper Yellowstone Falls is 109 feet).  The roar of the falls can be heard long before it is seen.  The morning sunlight and spray from the falls create an impressive rainbow.  The spray creates a lush ecosystem on the side of the canyon below the forest.  The secluded area was peaceful and crowd free.  We saw various birds including an osprey and wildflowers.
We thought this rock at the base of the Upper Falls looked like a bear.
The falls are the last two major undisturbed waterfalls in Idaho.  Most have been used for irrigation or hydroelectric projects.  The pristine wilderness around the falls is a hikers paradise, although grizzly bear are in the area.  There is a one mile hiking trailing from Upper Falls to Lower Falls.  The trailhead is located at Upper Falls between the two parking lots on the east side.
Photo opp!
The river heading toward Lower Falls.
Lower Falls is not as high, but it sure is beautiful.  Notice the hiking trail on the edge of the canyon.
When you are visiting Yellowstone taking some time to visit the Upper and Lower Mesa Falls well be very rewarding not to mention you will encounter a lot less congestion.