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Lights Cameras Action!

Mark your calendars for the Toronto Motorcycle Film Festival October 3-6 This week the city of Toronto is again rolling out the red carpet for another film festival. This time it’s for the Toronto Motorcycle Film Festival (TMFF). Caius Tenche is the festival director and founder of TMFF. The event takes place over three days and runs from October 3-6. The festival …

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Two Wheeled Freedom

Everyone who rides knows the freedom you enjoy on a bike.  Travelling the countryside you experience sights, sounds and smells that you would otherwise miss. So, in all respect to Zen author Robert Pirsig, as riders we didn’t need to know the difference between watching the world through the frame of a car versus riding a motorcycle. He just beautifully …

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What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been

How can it be bad to paraphrase a Grateful Dead lyric in the title?  Especially when it is so à propos.  Because that is exactly what the journey to rediscover America’s roadside motels turned out to be.  Since my last post I have travelled southwest and seen the sights along Route 66. From there I went up California where I …

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Go West Young Man

What I was calling a journey I am now reverting to call an adventure.  Because the adventure to discover America’s roadside motels has so far taken me 2,141 miles to get to Florida.  Already I’ve travelled to the Catskills in New York, over to Pennsylvania, down to the Wildwoods in New Jersey, back into Pennsylvania only to head back to …

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Insurance: That Four-Letter Word

Insurance is a four-letter word with motorcyclists.  Just search the words ‘motorcycle+insurance’ on any online forum and watch the vitriol ooze out like an oil change. So in today’s Chronicles update I focus on another type of insurance for motelorcyclists: travel insurance and medical transportation membership. Travel insurance is the last item on my checklist I needed to tick before leaving. And while …

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10,000 Thumbs Up to International Female Ride Day

Today marks a milestone. The Motelorcyclist Facebook page achieved 10,000 Likes.  Today is also International Female Ride Day. So instead of acknowledging my Facebook Likes with a meme or video, I would like to pay tribute to some pioneering female pilots and pillions. But first some context is in order. There are more women riding motorcycles today than ever before. …

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T-Bird Motels & Thunder Spells

Why are so many motels named Thunderbird?  Good question. I identified a dozen mid-century properties across the country- all called Thunderbird- that still operate today. But that doesn’t answer the question or get to the origins behind the name.  So I dug a little deeper. In 1955 the Ford motor company launched the Thunderbird, and it became commonly referred to …

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The Dratted No Vacancy Sign

Moving from map pins to reservation making, the planning continues And the next step is underway.  As of today, the journey takes me from Ottawa down the US East coast to Florida.  From there I travel west to California, then north through to Boise, Idaho where I go back southeast through the Midwest until I turn north again for home.  Fifty …

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Here Comes Santa Claus

Three Christmas themed motels sure to make Santa’s list Even this motelorcyclist can’t escape the Christmas spirit.  This season, while researching the fun, the interesting and the eccentric mid-century motels to include on my upcoming journey, I asked myself, Where would Santa stay?  And sure enough, I found three Christmas themed motels that would please any motelorcycling Santa! First is The Lodge at …

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Cotton Candy for the Eyes

Kodachrome They give us those nice bright colors They give us the greens of summers Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day I got an iPhone* camera I love to take a photograph So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away -Paul Simon With a kaleidoscope of colors, varied and vast landscapes, unique mid-century motel architecture, iconic roadside neon …

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Flight of Fancy?

If there were nagging questions in my mind that riding my motorcycle for 50 days across the continent to rediscover 50 mid-century motels, meet the moteliers and learn the stories behind the icons of a classic era in Americana history was in any way a flight of fancy, I declare today it is not! Last week, on a cool November morning, …

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Icons: Google Map Pins and Mid Century Motels

Even with a resurgence in retro-chic motels, finding great vintage properties along good riding routes is a challenge. Hopefully you can help. In 1961 there were 60,961 motels operating in America.  Today the number is much, much smaller.  The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) no longer distinguishes between hotels and motels (it used to be known as the American …

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Look at That, Cadillac

The iconic Cadillac Motel neon sign beckons travellers off Ferry Street to enter a renovated boutique 1950s property.  The integrated wide U-shape red brick buildings features 23 teal coloured motel room doors, matching plastic Adirondack patio chairs and awnings–all with the Cadillac Motel logo. Niagara Falls, Canada (also known as Little Las Vegas) hosts over 30 million tourists a year. From …

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Summer Never Ends at The June Motel

You get introduced to all these people who are so passionate about something and just making it work April Brown, motelier and co-owner, The June Motel The June Motel, complete with pink doors, white Solair chairs accenting the facade and a name that befits the mid-century retro Floridian summery beach vibe you get when you arrive, is a throwback in time. Picton, …

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Sleeping Around in America

There is a cheesy romanticism about motels and motorcycle travel. Images of iconic 1960’s motels and James Dean prevail in your mind. They take you back to a bygone era where holidays and business trips were king and many first experiences were realized. The irony that motels were brought about as a result of cars and this is about motorcycle …

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