We made plans to head to York, Maine to visit some friends (and to see Maine). We looked at the map and decided that our first night would be in Erie, PA, then Syracuse, NY, (by way of Niagara Falls) and then to York. We drove from Michigan through Indiana and Ohio to Pennsylvania.
I started looking at places to stay and things to see in Erie and realized that there was a bike rally there this weekend. Roar on the Shore. I looked at the events and it looked like a lot of fun. I wish we could have stayed for the entire weekend, but it was probably a good thing we didn’t. One of the events was a kickoff parade that anyone could ride in for a donation. The plan was to leave Kalamazoo in time to be a part of the parade. Well, by now, if you have been reading the blogs, you know that we never leave on time. We ended up leaving about noon and rushing (only stopping for gas) to get there before 6pm when the parade started. We made it, only to find out that we needed cash for the donation. We quickly rode across the street to the gas station, got the cash from the ATM, paid the fee, got our flag and got in line with several hundred motorcycles in order to be in the parade. It was pretty amazing. People were lined up all along the route, waving, cheering and wanting hand slaps. There was even an old guy on a scooter. (that was pretty funny) Apparently, people on this ride throw candy to the kids along the route. Had I known this, I would have bought some candy at the gas station to throw. Still, it was so much fun. We were at the tail end of the parade. There were only three bikes behind us and the trail car, but it was still great fun.
I have to say that I have never seen a city so excited to have a bike week. They were very friendly and accommodating to all bikers. I recommend going to this event if you have the chance. They close off an area downtown to cars and you can park your bike in the street and walk around with a beer in your hand. It was really pretty cool.
When the parade was done, we went to our amazing hotel on Lake Erie and met up with Kirk’s brother, Keith (He had been working a couple hours away in Cleveland). We checked in and headed down to the bar for a drink and to figure out where we were going for dinner. As we walked up to the bar to sit down at the only 3 seats available. Kirk looked at the guy beside him and realized it is someone from some TV show….he says to the guy…”Aren’t you that guy from that show?”….He said “Yes,” but I still had no clue who he was. Turns out it was Paul Teutul Jr. from the show American Chopper and Paul Jr Designs.
He apparently was the Grand Marshall of the parade. I saw his name when I looked up the information about the parade but didn’t recognize who he was. He was staying at the same hotel as us, the Sheraton Erie Bayfront. (This was a very, very nice hotel. I recommend it for sure.) Paul Jr was very kind and took a picture with Kirk and talked with us about bikes and this blog (even though he probably thought we were crazy people).
We intended to do a covered bridge run on Friday morning, but decided that we had too many miles to cover to add another 100 just for fun, so we spent the morning looking at the vendors and having a good time. We needed to buy a new luggage bag for the bike because our old one had a big hole in it, so we concentrated on finding one. We found a really nice one that even had backpack straps. (YAY).
We left Erie about 5pm on Friday and headed into New York and to Niagara Falls. We stopped there briefly around 7pm just to check it out and take pictures. It was beautiful. Good thing it doesn’t get dark until 9:30 this time of the year.
Then it was back on the road. We wanted to make it to York on Saturday so we rode just past Rochester before we stopped for the night in Webster, NY.