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Montréal – Springfield Missouri (SPYDERFEST 2014)

 

MONTREAL – SPRINGFIELD MISSOURI

SPYDERFEST 2014

 

PART 1

THE EVE OF DEPARTURE

I acquired my Can-Am Spyder RT in 2011 and I was always a bit of a lonesome cowboy. It took the inviting smile and persuasive speech from Pierre Poliquin, president of Spydertv.net, to make me decide to participate in this group ride of more than 2,500 km (one way); the ultimate goal being merging to a Can- Am Spyder group in Springfield, Missouri.

The departure is in Vaudreuil – Dorion, a Montreal suburb, on April 25th, but I personally was thinking about this trip much before then. In early April, I added a GoPro camera to the usual GPS and IPad electronic travelling gadgets. As Pierre Poliquin had promised, this trip to Missouri remains engraved forever in my memory, not only for the experience, but also for the fabulous scenery.

I leave Quebec City on April 24th at noon in order to fully relax in my Dorion hotel, on the eve of the great ride to Missouri.

THE BIG DAY

DSC_0238Tim Hortons, Vaudreuil- Dorion, April 25th, 7:30 am: the long-awaited departure is launched. There are 14 Spyders present on the starting line, in addition to the vehicle accompanying SpyderTV. I am green when it comes to group rides, but I’m really impressed by the discipline and punctuality required from the participants by the organizers. The spirit and good mood instantly settles among the participants, the majority know each other because they are members of the same Spyder Club in suburban Montreal (Club Laurentides). This bodes well for the rest of the trip.

DSC_0268The first day is exhausting: 750 km in total, exclusively on highways in Quebec, Ontario and the states of New York and Pennsylvania. We add along the way new American riders. Being a lone wolf, I am surprised to find myself enjoying this group ride. The trip is meticulously planned in terms of refueling, meals, hotels. Safety is prioritized and I try the best I can to understand the rules according to the occupied position within the 5 subgroups. When properly synchronized, the Spyder convoy even passes by, harmoniously and safely, slower motorists.

GROUP: Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Parkway

The second day is much less demanding: riding 550 km and crossing the beautiful Skyline Drive in Shenandoah Park. This mountain route (over 150 km in total) is all in lace and you can admire fabulous views. A place of pilgrimage for motorcyclists who never get tired of returning.

DSC_0354The third day will remain in my memory as my best Spyder ride ever. Everything was there: the sun, a winding road, a slope, a setting of trees, rivers and ravines, and a great group atmosphere. For those who have never been there, it is vital to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway and especially the section that begins near Staunton, Virginia. In the evening, we are pleased to arrive at the hotel after a long ride of about 750 km. I’m exhausted.

René Lavoie

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