Combining a love of travel with a passion for cars can mean only one thing: the fulfillment of a ravenous appetite for road trips, especially when one is blessed with an interesting vehicle to do the trip.
With that in mind, and the knowledge that a few buddies were heading south for a week to explore Kentucky’s “Bourbon Tour”, I grabbed the keys to a “Competition Orange” 2015 Mustang GT Convertible and chased my two-wheeling companions south at least for the first part of their trip to West Virginia and North Carolina’s sensational secondary roads.
Turn up the volume, crank up the bass
Aww yeah, Vanilla Ice is in the place
I’m here to tell ya a little story ‘bout my 5.0
“Rollin’ In My 5.0”, Vanilla Ice
Music plays a large part of any good road trip, especially when driving alone as I am doing here following the motorcycles. It serves as the soundtrack to the thoughts rolling through my mind and the scenery flying past the windshield. Mercifully, never did any of Robert Van Winkle’s tracks come through the Mustang’s Shaker sound system on this trip. I understand Mr. Ice’s passion for a convertible five-point-oh, but that old Fox-body car he rapped about was not even in the same universe of performance or refinement as the new generation car I’m driving.
Setting out from Southern Ontario, our convoy of cool machines (the riders are on an interesting mixture of Moto Guzzi, Aprilia and Suzuki machines) captures its fair share of attention from fellow motorists. Just north of Pittsburgh, one particularly enthusiastic Hyundai Tucson driver nearly scared me off the road by driving up fast and honking repeatedly to get my attention just so he could give me a thumbs up. Later in Virginia, I’d allow a friendly young couple to ogle and photograph the ‘Stang at a gas station, having noticed the matching Berettas they wore on their hips.
Day one is intended to put as many miles behind us as possible, travelling, unfortunately along Interstates and main arteries. With small fuel tanks (and aging riders), the bikes require stops every 160-180 km or so, which results in a relatively relaxed pace for me in the car. No matter, I’m on a road trip. Today life is great.
It was a beautiful day, the sun beat down
I had the radio on, I was drivin’
Trees flew by, me and Del were singin’ ‘Little Runaway’
I was flyin’
“Runnin’ Down a Dream”, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
By mid day the morning chill was long forgotten and the now-topless Mustang’s interior flooded with UV rays and vitamin D. As temperatures continue to rise, the leather-clad bikers suffer the necessities of safe riding while I simply turn on the cool ventilated leather seats – a feature never dreamed of in the early days of performance pony cars.