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My odometer just passed 20,000 miles yesterday on my 2020 Scout while traveling through NH’s White Mountains. This mileage is almost totally related to day trips among the backroads of northern Maine, NH & VT during the ‘Age of Covid.’

When I started this riding season in mid-April, I was newly unemployed and traffic was light and has since remained so, even though this area is a traditional vacation spot for New Englanders. A hot cup of coffee was nearly impossible to obtain and the only ‘bathrooms’ available were the great northern woods. Most days I would only see another bike or two in my hundreds of miles of travels, even though this region has long been considered a Mecca for motorcyclists. The flashing quarantine signs between each state’s border were apparently sufficient to scare off the leery.

May and June were much the same; each lonesome (but never lonely) journey lending an ‘Omega Man’ feel to the days sojourn. So much space, so many great roads and gorgeous vistas, and all of it pretty much to myself.

July brought some easing of restrictions. Good old American ingenuity lead to shops and restaurants moving their businesses outside or constructing walk-up windows to adapt to the new social distancing mores. Many establishments rented Porta-Potties and set up outside bazaars and ordering kiosks as more and more vacationers arrived with children in tow.

With August just passed, it was great to see some of the areas hotels and amusement areas doing what they can to salvage what’s left of the All too short summer season. Canada still won’t let me in but I’ve ridden the border roads and its good to see businesses, campgrounds, and ice-cream stands on the U.S side still drawing customers.

Except for the occasional mask - never as prevalent up here as they were in Portland, Manchester or Burlington - and those businesses I pass that are likely ruined and closed forever, it seems like things are finally getting back to normal. Like most everyone else, I have strong feelings about Covid, the way it was handled, its degree of seriousness, or lack thereof, but there are other forums for that. As a rider, the last few months presented a unique set of circumstances and opportunities to experience this part of upper New England sans conveniences, but also sans traffic, crowds and anything much in the way of a police presence, in a way that we’re unlikely to ever see again.
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Being that I am active duty Army, and stationed in Germany, the "COVID Season" hit us pretty hard in terms of free time. At the beginning, we were restricted to post, and the EU countries closed their borders. Some of the guys from 3ID that had come over on rotation for Defender 20 (which was cancelled) got stuck in Poland for a few months, living in tents and sleeping on cots. Travel plans were cancelled, some refunds were issued, but a lot of my Soldier lost some $$$ on plane/train tickets, hotel reservations, etc. The two big riding events for me (Ride the Alps at the Austrian border and the Indian Riders' Fest in Czech) were cancelled and rescheduled for 2021, respectively. We were restricted to 50Km from post...fortunately, there are a lot of backroads inside of 50Km, so I was able to get some wind therapy.

Oktoberfest was cancelled, all of the summer Volksfests were cancelled, which is a big deal for Germany. Slowly, borders started opening up and restrictions were lifted. Then, last week there was a spike in cases, and we had a few test positive on post. So now, we are restricted to Bavaria, which is the southeast corner of Germany, roughly. Still a lot to see and do within that limitation, but still a blow to my travel/riding plans...for example, we had planned on a three-day trip to Switzerland, and had to change plans last minute and rode to Garmisch-Parkenstein instead.
 
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Yea, Covid has been great to put out the small businesses while the corporations, if even affected, can afford to hold out. I think there are more cases of the common flu than Covid as well. The intent was to spread it too because it could have easily been contained. I'm ok with riding in the age of Covid as I've ridden in the age of the flu virus since I started riding. :)
 

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I'll be happy when we can all stop pretending that there's a killer virus waiting to take us out if we venture outside without a mask. It was refreshing being in Sturgis this year where the whole state of South Dakota refused to play along with this nonsense.
 
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