|Travelogue -- Dr Bob's US Northeast Motorcycle Ride|
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27 July 2014
My US Northeast Ride, aka US1 Ride, is finished. I did every mile on US1 and I counted every traffic light on US1. I counted lights on US1 north from Lighthouse Drive in North Palm Beach to Fort Kent, Maine and on US1 south from Lighthouse Drive in North Palm Beach to Key West. I have seen several numbers for the total mileage of US1, I found it to be 2,374 using Google Maps. Wikipedia says it is 2,377. Wikipedia also says it is 2,369. Since my number is about halfway between the two Wikipedia numbers, I will use mine.
How about the number of traffic lights? My count may differ a little from others may have counted. Why might there be a difference? I had to ride the US1 Truck Route for some distance in New Jersey just before the George Washington Bridge due to construction on US1. There was construction on US1 in Jacksonville putting me on a detour. There may have been other detours, but I don't remember them at the moment. As a result the numbers may be different because of the different routes. My count was 2,516 traffic lights. I have been unable to find a count using Google. So, whenever web crawlers find this number, maybe it will show up. How would most people search for this? Maybe by asking how many stop lights or traffic lights are on US1 or Route 1 from Key West to Fort Kent. Did I get all the key words? Here's another attempt to make web crawlers happy. There are 2,516 stop lights or traffic lights on US1 or Route 1 between Key West and Fort Kent. I will check in a month or two and see if this shows up.
I make the following declaration: There are 2,516 traffic lights on the 2,374 miles between Key West and Fort Kent.
We have two winners of a chocolate shake. No, they don't have to share one shake. Maybe I should say two winners of two chocolate shakes. Even that doesn't sound right . They don't each get two shakes. Would you believe that both winners are from Indiana? And that I met each of the winners last year on my US Northwest Ride? And that I have a picture of each of them from that ride? I have no idea if they know each other.
So here are the winners:
Dean from Indianapolis, Indiana having guessed 2,132 lights from Lighthouse Drive to Fort Kent. The actual number was 2,116 in 2,131 miles per Google Maps. Here's Dean from Indianapolis and his ride with me in Indianapolis.
And Phil from New Albany, Indiana having guessed 186 lights from Lighthouse Drive to Key West. The actual number was 400 in 243 miles per Google Maps. That's right, exactly 400. Here's Phil from New Albany and his ride with me at I65 Exit 9, near New Albany.
We have not discussed what size shake the winners get. I might spring for a medium shake, maybe even a large shake. Dean, somewhere off in dreamland, made the following suggestion:
Let me jump to a different topic for a moment, my ride next spring. I have two different rides in mind, and I have not decided which will come first and which will come second. Earlier I had thought of combining them in one ride, but now I think it might be best if it is two rides.
I want to get the remaining US capitol cities. I am thinking I will get Columbus, Ohio and Lansing, Michigan in one ride, going through Louisville where I have a sister and Indianapolis where I have two brothers, plus a number of nieces and a nephew in Indiana. I also might ride north in Michigan to the Upper Peninsula. This ride would be 4,000 plus miles.
The other ride would pick up Topeka, Kansas and Denver, Colorado, and Boise, Idaho, and Phoenix, Arizona, going through Denver where I have a niece (it's not just a capitol city) and Pocatello, Idaho where I have a niece, and Ridgecrest, California where I have a daughter. This ride would be 7,000 plus miles.
When I do the ride that goes through Indianapolis, I will meet with Phil and Dean and present the awards to the contest winners. Who knows, maybe the three of us can get together for the ceremony.
Back to my US Northeast Ride. I have updated the map that shows all the rides I have taken on my motorcycle(s). Click on the map to see a larger version.
On this ride I completed my mission to visit all 48 Lower States. And, I really rode through Canada this time. Last year, you may recall, I rode about 500 feet into Canada just to say I had been in Canada.
I met with more people on this ride than usual. There was Darryl and Susannah and Sophie and Nick and Sam in Virginia. Then Jim in Marland. Next was Eisuke in New Jersey. And then Larry and Marie in New York. Next came Margot and Ephraim in Boston. Then Stan in Portland. And then Kurt met up with me in Maine to ride. Then Cindy and Bob in Maine. Then Nick and Anne in Vermont. Then Dottie and Eric and Sarah in New York. Then Rayana and Terry and Matt in Kentucky. And then Jim in Florida. That's 12 different stops along the way. Unusual for me.
This ride was harder on me than normal. You may recall that my Blue Ridge Ride was difficult because of back problems and some medication I was taking. In some ways the Blue Ridge Ride was more difficult than this ride, but in other ways this ride was more difficult. Why was this ride difficult?
1) It may have been because of the slow ride with numerous traffic lights in high temperatures the first 10 days. That part was difficult for me. Normally my rides are earlier, in the spring, but this time I did not have a sufficient block of time until July when the temperatures are higher.
2) It may have been that I was not getting enough sleep, I did better the last week, getting 8 or 9 hours most nights. You can tell how late it was some nights by looking at my byline. You will see a number (actually eight nights) that said 11:59 PM. Well, don't believe it. That was the time I used when it was after midnight and actually the next day. I wanted to keep the day correct, so I fudged the time to put it before midnight.
3) It may have been because I had surgery a few months ago, I had prostate cancer which was diagnosed three weeks before my US Northwest Ride last year. I delayed the surgery, not the ride. Everything seems to be OK now. All you men out there, make sure you have the proper tests for prostate cancer, one out of seven men will have prostate cancer.
Would I encourage other riders to do US1? Yes, but with some qualifications. Make sure you are going to be OK with all the slow speed limits and numerous traffic lights in towns and cities. If so, you are good to go. If you would like to ride US1 but don't have the patience for those slow speed limits and numerous traffic lights, ride the parts of US1 that are in the country, and use a by-pass for the city areas.
Here are some numbers from my ride.
Traffic Lights: 2,516
Days on the road: 25
Average miles per day: 256 (only my Blue Ridge Ride was lower)
Gallons of Fuel: 147.9
Average miles per gallon: 43.3
Highest miles per gallon tank: 49.0
Lowest miles per gallon tank 37.9
Pictures taken: 584
Bike problems: 0
States visited: 19: FL, GA, SC, NC, VA, MD, PA, DE, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, NH, ME, VT, WV, KY, TN
Capitols visited: 15: SC, NC, VA, US in DC, DE, NJ, CT, RI, MA, NH, ME, VT, NY, PA, WV
Don't forget to visit my page showing all the capitals I have visited while riding a motorcycle at http://rhopkins.us/uscaps/.
Since I don't have a specific plan for a ride next year, I don't have a web page to give you. Once I decide, I will add the new ride page to my home page at http://rhopkins.us/ where you can check under Motorcycle Rides and it will be the first one listed.
That's about it. I cannot think of anything else to say, except to thank all of you for following my ride. See you next year.