just a good story of a day's ride
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Thread: just a good story of a day's ride

  1. #1
    Poser Emeritus Array bill's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
    Lower Mainland

    just a good story of a day's ride

    This was posted on LD Rider to day and I thought some of you might enjoy it.

    Steve Munden's post (reformatted) follows:

    > By some miracle, I'm not working this weekend. The weekend's forecast
    > is for gorgeous weather, sunny and high 70s. On Saturday we drove
    > with our dog to the base of Mount Wachusett and then hiked to the top
    > to cheer the Longsjo Classic bicycle race finishers. And today?
    > Today we went on a motorcycle ride. Destination: The Vanilla Bean
    > Cafe, Pomfret Connecticut.

    > We started by swinging by a friend's house to see if he and his girl
    > friend might be interested in coming along. Ellen (my wife) said that
    > she thought that Bob's ST1300 was out of commission, and so it proved.
    > Before leaving I offer to help him get it going again, or at least
    > get it to the shop. But Bob's high-tech company recently was bought by
    > a California outfit and he rejected an offer to go with them. He was
    > on call 24/7 for the last 10 years, made a pile of money he was too
    > busy to spend, and has a generous termination agreement. He's not in
    > a hurry to do anything, including get his ST1300 running. We waste as
    > little time as possible with them; a long ride beckons.

    > Back on the road, the Garmin Etrex points the way to the Vanilla Bean,
    > where we've been before. Now you have to realize what this means. In
    > New England, roads are not straight, not even the superhighways, and I
    > disdain the superhighways. So when you're on a road with the arrow to
    > your destination pointing straight ahead, rejoice while you can.
    > Within a couple of miles you'll come to a T intersection where you
    > have a choice of going 90 degrees to the right of where you want to
    > go or 90 degrees to the left of where you want to go. It will take us
    > 45 miles to do the 30.5 miles from our house to the cafe.

    > But I have a pretty good handle on the back roads to get to CT 197, a
    > very pleasant road that'll take us most of the way to the cafe. My
    > wife had an appendectomy last week and is still a little sore, so asks
    > me to keep the speed (actually, the bounces on the rough
    > pavement) down a bit. I sneer at this suggestion, reminding her that
    > I am the veteran of a Lee Parks Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic,
    > and that I therefore have Total Control.

    > "You'd better," she responds menacingly. But in the event, she
    > squeezes me approvingly every time I flawlessly execute a turn, so I
    > conclude that I'm not jiggling her innards too badly. I should
    > remember to tell Lee that another benefit of his class is affectionate
    > squeezes from one's spouse. There are a lot of motorcyclists out on
    > such a splendid day, and my oh-so-cool two-finger wave gets
    > repetitive. I vary it with a little kid's wave which is not returned
    > in kind, but they still wave, and nobody turns around to beat me up
    > for unbecoming frivolity. The proportion of motorcyclists increases
    > as we near Pomfret until probably 75% of the vehicles are two-wheeled,
    > with the occasional Wing-based trike for variety.

    > The little gravel parking lot at the Vanilla Bean is crowded with
    > motorcycles, probably 30 of them, with more coming in than going out.
    > True to national sales statistics, most of them are cruisers. I park
    > my filthy Bandit among them, remove my faded Aerostich, and drape it
    > over the windshield, making sure to leave the odometer visible. My
    > wife watches my posturing and that of the chrome-and-tattoo crowd with
    > equal amusement. We order our sandwiches inside and sit outside. A
    > group of 10 Harley people, middle-aged men driving and wives riding,
    > comes in after us and pulls a couple of tables together. They
    > courteously ask for our two empty chairs and of course we smile and
    > nod. Conversation periodically halts as someone pulls away from the
    > nearby 4-way stop, straight pipes shaking leaves off the trees. After
    > one such I say to Ellen, not overtly loudly but loudly enough for the
    > next table to hear, "Dang! If you didn't look up, you'd think he was
    > going fast." The women laugh. The men don't want to, but can't help
    > smiling.

    > Food arrives. It's good, and we watch the scene as we eat. Arriving
    > from the north, the turn into the lot is a 180, onto gravel, and it's
    > interesting to watch people handle it. Most ride through it
    > effortlessly. A few paddle tentatively in the dirt. The lot is nearly
    > full (they'd need 5 times as much room if we all came in cars) and
    > there's a lot of waiting as people jockey into slots. Nobody guns
    > engines as they wait. A considerable number of the women are riding
    > their own; more are passengers. I see no men behind women.

    > On a previous visit I heard a tableful of people talking about how
    > many times they stalled on the ride so far. One noticed me
    > eavesdropping and smiled rather shamefacedly at me. I winked and
    > smiled happily at her, happy to see new riders enjoying themselves,
    > and am gratified when she saw that I was not being critical, and
    > relaxed. I study each person carefully to see if I recognize any of
    > my recent students, but am not surprised when I don't; it's a little
    > out of my regular beat.

    > Defying the cruiser majority, an older man on a Burgman and his son on
    > an SV650 drive in. I stroll over to ask his opinion of his Burgman.
    > He says this is his 42nd bike and the best of them all. His son has a
    > few scratches on the SV which he volunteers are the result of a
    > tankslapper resulting in a crash at 70mph last week. He destroyed his
    > full helmet but walked away, and now has a new appreciation for the
    > importance of keeping the steering head bearings torqued to
    > specifications. I come to a decision about a matter that's been
    > bothering me for the last week. I'm going to try my first SS1k in a
    > couple of days and have been wondering whether I should get the
    > license plate should I succeed. Toughest riders? Not me. Last fall,
    > when I visited my mother in San Antonio, it took me nearly three weeks
    > to do the 6000 miles. (6000 miles Boston to/from San Antonio? Yeah, I
    > got a little disoriented.) But today I decided to get it.

    > It's a nice conversation piece, and will impress the crowd here. One
    > of the problems with all the new cruisers -- and all the cruisers here
    > are new -- is that the odometer is an lcd screen, and so when the
    > key's off you can't see the mileage. I do sneak a few peeks as riders
    > arrive and depart. Some of the bikes have mileage into 4 figures.
    > That's why I was so careful to leave my odometer visible.
    > (I have 93000 miles on the Bandit. It's a 5- digit odometer so it'll
    > turn over to zero this year. I tell people that I intend to ride it
    > another 5 or 10 thousand after that and then sell it as a low-mileage
    > bike.)

    > I can't tell one cruiser from another, but judging from the t-shirts
    > of the riders, they're all HD. The damn chrome is so dazzling in the
    > sunshine that I can't even read logos. I can't tell one sportbike or
    > tourer from another either, but they're more subdued so I can read
    > Ninja, a Kawasaki W650 that's very elegant, the occasional Triumph,
    > some Wings. You put all the dirt on all the other bikes together and
    > it wouldn't make a difference on mine. Sigh. I musta been hiding
    > behind the door when the cleaning genes were handed out. MY dishes are
    > clean and I shower every day (when I'm not lost on my way to San
    > Antonio) but my vehicles never get washed, and I don't get a haircut
    > very often either.

    > I really like it here. Everyone is enjoying themselves and feeling
    > comradely and tolerant of others whose interests don't match theirs
    > except for the common ground of two wheels. I look down on the butt
    > jewelry and they look down on my filthy Bandit but we smile and hold
    > the door open and share chairs. I think back to the woman in my ERC
    > last Friday who showed up in full leathers with back protector on a
    > BMW K1200 something or other, who asked part way through the class
    > "How many gears does my bike have?" She'd fit right in. Some would
    > smile behind her back -- I would -- but someone would know how many
    > and tell her, and answer her other questions too.

    > About half the riders in this no-helmet-law state wear helmets anyway.
    > I'm not the only one wearing a full suit but bare arms outnumber
    > covered ones by a large margin. Skinny cuss that I am, I actually
    > find the 78-degree dry sunny weather to be cool at motorcycle speeds
    > and keep the main zipper fully closed on my Aerostich. There's nobody
    > here under 20, and few under 40. The squids have a different
    > gathering place, evidently. Last night I was reading a classic about
    > gun shows and the people who inhabit them
    > (http://civic.bev.net/shawnee/gunshows.html) and it occurs to me that
    > something very similar could be written about a gathering such as this
    > one. There's Alan in scuffed leathers who holds forth under the tree
    > about cornering techniques and hanging off and suspension adjustment.

    > Turns out his bike is a Suzuki GN125 and he scuffed his leathers
    > falling in the parking lot last week. Terry, the quiet guy listening
    > without comment to Alan, was a three-time national champion in
    > flat-track back in the 70s. Jack, with the fiercely-decorated Harley,
    > describes his 7 trips to Sturgis with this bike, but the odometer
    > reads 439 miles. Keith's on a rather plainly appointed cruiser but he
    > built it himself. Rose, the woman on the K1200 who doesn't know how
    > many gears it has, is the center of a group of admiring men.

    > Their wives notice her cleavage as much as their husbands do, but
    > their comments are different. Throg, the black labrador retriever,
    > pees on one of the more garish bikes and wanders off, satisfied. The
    > owner of the bike is aghast and immediately pulls to the side of the
    > building where there's a hose. Throg's owner, if he's around, doesn't
    > let on. Chuck, the 7-year-old, has his eyes bugged out with all this
    > machinery and will grow up to be motogp champion in 15 years.

    > When we're done strolling and listening and talking to the Burgman
    > rider we head back to the Bandit. It's surrounded by eye-hurting butt
    > jewelry and I hope that they noted the odometer as they dismounted.
    > (You will note that miles are my only claim to distinction in this
    > crowd.) At least they didn't disdain the parking space near me. I
    > turn the bike around before Ellen gets on because I don't ride two-up
    > often and in the gravel, footing is rather loose.
    > Nobody has dumped it that I saw and I don't intend to be the first.

    > On the way to the cafe I had a good idea of where I wanted to go to
    > get some good curves in -- as good as they get in this part of the
    > state, anyway -- but on the return I just follow the gps arrow for the
    > first part of the ride. Ellen knows this trait and as I make a turn
    > onto a completely- undistinguished road which happens to
    > (temporarily) go in the direction of the arrow, I hear her say "The
    > adventure begins."

    > But I combine local knowledge with gps direction, and we get home with
    > no head-scratching this time. Last time, when we came to one of
    > those famous Ts where I wanted to go straight but had to decide
    > whether to go 90 degrees left or 90 degrees right, Ellen leaned over
    > and said "I know you're lost." We pulled into the driveway with 89
    > miles on the clock, which we did in only 3 and a half hours. Jack,
    > the Sturgis veteran, would be proud. I'm pretty pleased about it
    > myself. And our dog certainly appears to think we've been gone
    > practically forever. I believe I'm almost ready for that ss1k.
    > Steve
    BCSB had mountains of experience with a lot of things. #1 on that list is pouring out bullshit to dumb questions by the Gigabyte. (TripleTime, 12-10-2014 03:19 PM)

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  3. #2
    ...... Array Team Green 9R's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    there's no way im reading that much...could i get the coles notes on that one?

  4. #3
    Registered User Array Miteorite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Richmond, BC
    heh good read.
    Team Green 9R: life is good, riding is good.

  5. #4
    Surrey Man Extrordinare Array Mr.Max's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    05' FJR ABS
    Just do what I do, print it out for a good read at the coffee shop

  6. #5
    ninja machinist Array Darkcbr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    RC-51, KX250
    If I start reading something that long I'll just fall asleep after about 2 minutes.

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