In 1808, while still mayor of New York City, De Witt Clinton began championing a grand vision: a system of canals providing the first all-water commercial shipping link from western New York and the Great Lakes to New York City, and from there to the rest of the world. At the time, many considered "Clinton's Ditch" to be a huge folly. Even President Thomas Jefferson, a fount of great visions himself, considered the idea of a 340-mile long, hand-dug canal from Albany to Buffalo to be "just short of madness." Nevertheless, in 1817, Clinton, now governor of New York, convinced the legislature to begin funding construction of the Erie Canal.
Without warning, the clock radio fires a loathsome pop song wreathed in static across the room, piercing my harmonious dream state like a perfectly targeted broadhead arrow burying itself in a dusty hay bale. "Oh Britney, you're frighteningly 'Toxic' at 7:00." But thankfully, the brilliant, blue sky and soothing breeze flowing through the open window quashes my groggy grumbling and spares the offending timepiece a second, unusually heavy-fisted jab at the snooze button.
If you're up for it, this rugged, cross-country adventure could be the trip of a lifetime. Roaming from spectacular valleys where antelope caper to high plateaus where wild horses still run, we crossed river rapids and deserts and the undisturbed wilds of the western ranges. We stirred up the dust in ghost towns and slept each night beneath the stars.
When last we heard from them in the tropics, our world travelers Ramona Eichhorn and Uwe Krauss had crossed Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras on their KTM 640 Adventures. They now take us into Guatemala to explore the Mayan heartland of Central America.
The Ojibwe people called it "Missi Sippi," Great River, and perhaps no other geographical feature has been traveled on, along, and written about more than this one. Samuel Clemens, using the pen name Mark Twain, turned the Mississippi River into a living entity, untamed, unforgiving, and yet harmoniously bound to the people and towns on its banks. Winding through many of these towns, you will find the Great River Road and other explorers drawn to the Big Muddy.
I love Aussie meat pies. Like Vegemite, they're a staple in the Australian diet. But I also discovered recently from Food Standards Australia New Zealand that the ubiquitous pie may contain any of the following: beef, buffalo, camel, cattle, deer, goat, hare, pig, poultry, rabbit, sheep and/or kangaroo, including snouts, ears, tongue roots, tendons and blood vessels!
Boasting an inline four-cylinder engine that displaces 1352cc, the new ZX-14 is currently the biggest and most powerful sport bike in production. With the assistance of its ram-air system, the bike is said to produce 187 crankshaft horsepower at 9500 rpm. Even without the aid of forced air, stock engines have been pumping out over 170 bhp at the rear wheel on various dyno charts. But either way you measure it, the new Kawasaki has some monstrous levels of power available.
The quiet back roads north of San Diego inspire a lazy, humming rhythm as we zigzag toward our planned coffee stop. The guys from Honda are leading the way and I'm sure the other journalists in the bunch are, like myself, kicking back, relaxing, and enjoying the scenery. Mornings like this epitomize the carefree joys of cruisers, and Shadow 750s have been producing the pleasures of this kind of ride for nearly twenty-five years.
In keeping with its progressive nature, the Victoria Police Department in Victoria, BC, Canada, set out to select a modern motorcycle for their Traffic Section. While fiscal responsibility has always been a consideration in selecting vehicles for the department, officer comfort and safety are primary concerns, as well as the desire to have a motor that embodies as many current technologies as possible.
BMW has officially entered the midrange motorcycle fray with the all-new F800 series, featuring the sporting S and the touring-oriented ST. The Bavarians invited us to test both in an exotic and very demanding setting: The Big Island of Hawaii.
Western North Carolina has some of the finest motorcycle roads in the United States, many of which just happen to be a stone's throw from the palatial confines of the RoadRUNNER offices. So when we got an offer to visit beautiful Asheville and spend a very unconfined day riding Star Motorcycles' brand-new V Star 1300 - well, let's just say no one heard any clatter from my keyboard for a while.