Oneonta, New York Shamrock Tour®: City of the Hills

Text: Florian Neuhauser • Photography: Christa Neuhauser, Florian Neuhauser

“The Neuhauser gang is on the road again.” I’m almost certain that’s how my dad would have started this tour article. The last time we were on a family tour it was 2003, and it was four of us. Now more than ten years later and only three strong, the stars—mainly schedules—align for us to pull off a few days of family riding.

Whereas previously our family motorcycle vacations incorporated comparable motorcycles, this time around our bikes couldn’t be any more diverse. The boss, aka Mom, is riding a sporty, lime green Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS. My brother, Manuel, is hooked (literally) on a Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle. And I’m aboard a luxurious Honda Gold Wing. Will it be fun chasing each other through the curves on such different machines? Will we be able to keep a steady pace where everybody is riding in the comfort zone of their particular motorcycle? The short answer is a resounding “Yes!” (After all, my dad was the one who pretty much taught us all to ride.)

Batter Up

Oneonta, NY, is baseball country. Our hotel is filled with little leaguers who are in town for tournaments and camps throughout the summer. Cooperstown is just north of here and is home to the Baseball Hall of Fame. We didn’t grow up with baseball. Instead, Manuel was a judo fighter, and I was (and still am) an ice hockey player. Yet even though we don’t share the connection to America’s favorite pastime, we still look forward to a visit later today.

The morning ride leading us north is a series of twists and turns that follow valleys and over hills. The roads are narrow, and there’s no traffic. About every 15 minutes, we pass through a small village and notice the abundance of old Victorian homes. Most of them are in disrepair, but some of them are beautifully restored.

The first noticeable lake is Canadarago Lake along Route 28 North. It seems to be a popular spot, since the shore is lined with one cottage after another. As we typically attend the Americade rally each year (held the first week of June in nearby Lake George, NY), we’ve explored the Adirondacks before.

A short while later, Route 8 takes us to the southern tip of the Adirondack Park. The road gets a little rougher and bumpier. It’s no problem for the Japanese-made bikes, but Manuel is feeling them intensely on the V-Rod. Good thing he has a strong back because his spine is the backup suspension.

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For the complete touring article, including facts & information, map(s), and GPS files, please purchase the November/December 2014 back issue.