Jim Coates

Jim Coates

Jim Coates

Profession: Photographer and retired agricultural economist.
Favourite music: Kris Kristofferson, Malena Muyala, Regina Spektor, Schubert's Symphonies, Symphonie Fantastique, Holly Williams.
Birthplace: Montevideo, Uruguay.
Favourite movie: Casablanca, Dr Strangelove, El baƱo del Papa, The Bourne Ultimatum, Men in Tights.
Languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French.
Church: Mount Olivet UMC, Arlington, VA
Favourite quote: Play for more than you can afford to lose and you will know the game.
Interests and hobbies: Photography, riding and reading.
One thing I want to do before I die: Bike from Washington to Montevideo, Uruguay. Done that. Now I can go peacefully.
Favourite book: TS Eliot, "Selected Poems", Mario Vargas LLosa "La tia Julia y el escribidor".
My friends describe me as: Quiet.
The most amazing moment in my life so far: The birth of each of my three children.

I set off early the next morning, wanting to have the other BDR riders behind me in case I fell. Found the village breakfast cafe ( the one the locals frequent is always the best ) and left well fed and warm. The route wandered West past a big lake and across into New Hampshire before the final Northward push to the Border. The gravel road was lined by low trees now taking on rich fall color. I was confronted with a trench cut across the road, which I deftly drove into and then couldn't exit... eventually got myself out again. The road got worse, with the final test at Rhubarb Pond where it bumped through some mud and then closed to a three foot track. It emerged into a clearing with a cross in the ... read more
More Route 16
Rhubarb Pond - only a few miles from the end
The clearing where the Northeast Backcountry Discovery Route finishes

North America » United States » Maine » Rangeley September 23rd 2020

Its NE Maine and the Great North Woods. The route keeps inside the White Mountain National Forest, going South for a while, through small towns and lakes. In the forest close to Lovell I was stopped by someone who advised that the road ahead was blocked by a recently fallen tree. I decided to carry on. A bike can often cross where cars fear to tread. My gamble turned out well. With the help of three strong young people, I was able to tip the bike on its side and drag it under the tree. Once through I carried on down to Lovell and bought an axe. Returning to the scene of the crime, I found two cars blocked by the tree. Another strong young guy volunteered to chop through the tree trunk, so I gave ... read more
Evans Notch Watershed
The cliffs are home to falcons
Evans Notch road.

North America » United States » New Hampshire » Gorham September 22nd 2020

Tuttle's restaurant is prominent on the Wells River main street. I found it at 7:30 the next morning, open and ready for breakfast, the best meal of the day. It took me twenty minutes to cover the mile from the hotel, however, due to the the need to stop and take pictures. The Connecticut, which separates Woodsville from Wells River (and NH from VT) was covered with low, fast disappearing mist, creating perfect conditions for those well loved autumn photos with trees obscured by fog. Getting out of Woodsville was also slow. They have a long narrow covered bridge over a waterfall, very attractive, that led to a General Store claiming to the be oldest in the country. Fodder for the camera. The route then does a big loop through the South of the state, turning ... read more
Woodsville NH, the only town I visited welcoming bikers.
The Connecticut River, boundary between Vermont and New Hampshire.
Irresistable fog

North America » United States » New Hampshire September 21st 2020

Having survived on fear and adrenaline for the first three days of the ride, this morning provided welcome relief -- breakfast at the local coffee shop. It was the place favored by the locals -- men my age gathered around a big table in no hurry to finish. Lady my age doing everything with complete efficiency and kind concern for her customers. I was sure I would earn it - so I ate well and had a wonderful long talk with Beth. Then out of the lovely tourist village and up into the hills again to face whatever the route designers had in store. Winding west then east across the state, the route picked its way through beautiful mountain scenery. I was now accustomed to taking the Alt-easy routes around the most difficult sections and felt ... read more
Emerson Motor Works
Harvesting corn into the evening.

North America » United States » Vermont » Woodstock September 20th 2020

Yes, there is a Woodstock VT, and its a beautiful little town along the Ottoqueechee River. Arrived there late in the afternoon, to a motel all set up for Covid reception. No touch, no talk. Just fill in the form in the room with Covid related queries. Somehow I lucked out, and was given a corner room with a huge view over the river as it came round a bend and into town. Just sat there worn out from the ride staring at the view, the leaves changing... Then went out and had a great meal at a local restaurant. The route North from Readsboro ranges from East to West across this rather narrow section of the state, winding through the Green Mountain National Forest looking for the scenic and non-developed countryside. Big towns like Bennington ... read more
Early morning still.
Glimpse of country as one drives through
Steel Horse 1

North America » United States » Vermont » Brattleboro September 19th 2020

The Berkshires are beautiful. So many little lakes and streams surrounded by dense forests of grey birch, paper birch, yellow birch, sugar maple, beech, red oak and others . The road dips south into Connecticut, then goes north again into Massachusetts. Who is to tell? The roads and the trees are the same. As with other states in the NE, I drove through Canaan town and valley. Evidence of beaver working the forests around the lakes was exciting, though I didn't see any. The hills got higher and rockier, and the road became more difficult. Deep in the hills I came upon a pristine pond. I was on the verge of shooting past when I was drawn to what looked like an old bed that showed at the waters edge. I stopped and took a photo, ... read more
Berkshire Pond
Beavers at work
The road ahead

North America » United States » New York » Catskill September 18th 2020

They didn't see me. I didn't see them. All of a sudden the flock of wild turkeys walking sedately down the road took off. One poor bird went straight on down the road, with me rapidly closing in from behind. He must have been doing 20 miles an hour as he dropped his load, gradually rose above helmet height and turned off into the forest. I saw more wild turkeys than any other form of wildlife, deer included. The Catskills are very picturesque. Low hills and green valleys watered by the Delaware and its tributaries. I had to cross the Pepacton reservoir at the start of the day. It was dark and stormy. Beautiful moment. The mix of mountains and lakes was just right, with a small trout hatchery thrown in for good measure. Today's route ... read more
Pepacton Reservoir on the East Branch of the Delaware River
Sign by Pepacton Reservoir
View of farm and the Catskills

North America » United States » New York » Catskill September 17th 2020

Touted as one of the most aggressive of the Backcountry motorcycle routes, the start is designed to test your skills. For the first five miles, one is faced with a damp non-maintained track edged into the forested hills above the Delaware. The route involves climbing rock strewn inclines and dodging along trails strewn with stones, with one side sloping 200 feet down to the river. Very picturesque, but woe betide anyone who looks at the scenery for more than an instant. Total concentration is needed to get through this lot. After about 10 miles of similar track, it eases up. The route crosses the river 20 miles later at Callicoon, and doubles back a few miles. There were many opportunities for that perfect river side photo. In the sweat to survive, I'm not sure I got ... read more
A small lake in the Catskills
The covered bridge at Downsville
The Downsville bridge is in good shape.

North America » United States » New York » Catskill September 16th 2020

You have to drive defensively on a bike. I am always looking in my rear view mirror, for flashing blue/red lights, for the radiator and headlamps of an out of control semi, or an arrogant Audi doing 120 miles an hour. Up close to Carlisle PA riding on US 15 I saw two bikes coming up fast behind me, one with a big bright light, one with nothing. They were using two lanes (one mine). Normally bikers ride together for a few minutes, before zooming off. They came roaring right up behind me. I was wondering what they were going to do? Run me over? All of a sudden they slowed and dropped 50 yards back. I looked up from the mirrors and saw a cop waiting to pounce. I slowed instinctively. Had I reacted soon ... read more
On your marks ... !
Headed down to the Delaware
Our Motel in the Delaware valley

North America » United States » Virginia » Arlington July 7th 2020

It took me half a days' ride to get home again. The Mid Atlantic Backcountry Discovery Route is 1,058 miles long. It was designed perfectly for access by residents of the Washington Metro Area. From Arlington to the Start at Damascus VA is some 355 mi and 5 1/2 hours. From the Finish in Lawrenceville PA back to Arlington VA is about 268 mi and 4 1/2 hours. If one were to just drive via interstate from Damascus to Lawrenceville, it would take about 9 hours and cover 555 miles. By riding the mountains and forests, it takes 9 days, and over 1,050 miles. Campsites are available. Hotels are plentiful (I always stayed at hotels) and very Covid-19 aware. Shields and cleaning emphasized everywhere. Food and gas are easy to find -- but don't pass them ... read more
Map of the full MABDR
BMW R12GSA 2012 Hexhead Oil Cooled 75,000 mi
BMW R12GSA 2012 Hexhead Oil Cooled 75,000 mi

Tot: 1.06s; Tpl: 0.021s; cc: 13; qc: 101; dbt: 0.0265s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb