For 1,000 miles, we rode Sportsters through the Blue Ridge Parkway, old logging trails and some of the toughest terrain that the Appalachian Mountains could throw at us. Jake rode a 1970 Harley-Davidson Sportster while Matt followed along on a 1997 Sportster, camera gear in tow.
We were riding in a rally called the Vintage 1,000 - a group of 20 riders on vintage motorcycles (Pre-1981). When asked about the cut off date of 1981, the organizers answered, “It’s before manufacturers were making sophisticated suspension.” We found out just what 50-year old suspension feels like when climbing a boulder-filled mountain at full throttle.
The old bikes took the rough terrain about as well as you’d imagine. Bikes broke down left and right - even some riders got injured. But, if you looked around, everyone was smiling.
Between the dates of August 6-10, 2019, we woke up at 6:30 AM, rode an average of 200 miles per day and journaled about that day’s events before passing out from pure exhaustion around 11 PM. Some days, writing was easy. But, others, we sat down to write after spending hours mending our bikes from the day’s abuse and writing was honestly the last thing on our minds.
Below, we attempt to give you a glimpse into each day by opening our journals for you. It’s not the juiciest drama you’ve ever read - but because we wrote every night in a state of pure mental and physical exhaustion there’s probably some interesting insights into what it’s like to ride Harleys through the woods for 1,000 miles.