Things we think of while riding down the road

Where’s Waldo

Here we are in the throes of winter. Our motorcycles are stored under blankets with the Battery Tender hooked up or in the middle of various service projects with parts laying all over the garage floor and all we want to do is ride. Playing motorcycle video games works OK for about an hour. We go outside to the garage, sit on the bike and hit the starter button or stab the kickstarter just to make sure the Battery Tender is actually keeping the battery up…in reality we just want to feel and hear our best friend. As we look outside to the snow and ice all we can do is sigh, put the thirty third coat of polish on the bike, check the tyres and sigh again.

Back inside the house we pull out all the cool catalogs…Riders Warehouse, Whitehorse Press ,Dennis Kirk…heck, we even start looking at the JC Whitney catalog with lust in our hearts, fortunately, the wife has already taken away your credit card. We’ve watched every motorcycle movie we have and have even rented some that really suck. Anything to keep in touch with riding our motorcycles. And then the true motorcyclist in us all comes out, dreams of our first road trip…to AAA, we need maps!!!

Once we get home from AAA the sickness sets in. We start jabbering about places like The Royal Gorge, Durango, Rock Springs, Big Bend, The Snake River. We remember camping on Sonora Pass, breakfast at Betty’s Breakfast Nook in Quincy, waking up in the sleaziest motel in Alberta Canada then the next morning waking up in the nicest hotel in Montana. We talk about roads like the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway, the Going To The Sun road, The Beartooth pass, Ebbet’s Pass, the Million Dollar Highway and the thirteen hours we spent on I40 just to get across one half of Texas. When we look up from the maps we realize that we’re talking to ourselves, our loved ones left the room hours ago and our supper is now cold.

After taking a short break, to eat our cold supper, it’s back to the maps. This time to plan. We have maps that cover three or five states, we have individual state maps and then we have county maps. Four colors of highlighters are at your side as well as your magnifying glass. We start by thinking of where do we have friends we can stay or ride with? Then we start looking for the longest, most interesting way to get there…ten hours on the interstate is no match for two days of two lane roads and local cafe’s.

After the basics we’re now into “where haven’t I been before?” The maps are getting more detailed, we make a few phone calls to the friends we’ve highlighted on the map…knowing that they are going through the same sickness…we talk about roads, weather, food and start the plan to meet up in Durango. At this point our family, loved ones and co-workers have given up on us. They see the look in our eye’s, the sitting at the dinner table or our desk pretending that we are holding the handlebars of our motorcycle and humming that one song that sticks with us for days on the road.

The final stages of the ‘Where’s Waldo’ season are sad. Our motorcycles have gained ten pounds in ‘wax weight’, we have gained ten pounds in ‘winter weight’ and we are alienated from the rest of the world.The only one’s that still love us are AAA (actually they are getting pretty tired of us too…), our motorcycle and the dog. I wonder if there is a twelve step program for winter bound motorcyclists?

Advertisements

13 responses

  1. Great post. Got a pile of maps and catalogues on my desk as I type this. But I have to ask this one question. Which was the better hotel? The “sleaziest motel in Alberta” or “the nicest hotel in Montana”?

    January 12, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    • have to what??? work? forget that…read maps!

      January 13, 2010 at 10:03 am

    • at the moment the sleaziest motel in Alberta was just fine..if you consider a Canadian version of the Bates Motel, good..I was in the middle of a vicious rain storm..any port in a storm they say. In Montana..how good is Motel 6??? At least it had a working TV

      January 13, 2010 at 6:20 pm

  2. Rob

    Ahhh, great post, Paul. I feel every moment of your pain … of course, MY bike parts are in Arizona, many 1000’s of miles away from me … so I can’t even start her up or wax her again, lol.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:39 am

    • Rob, the reason your parts are in Arizona is because they fell off your bike on your cross country ride…I think I still have some Harley parts in my driveway from your visit..I guess I should mail ’em to you…Just kidding my friend…

      January 13, 2010 at 10:01 am

  3. I am right there with you. I just spent 3 hrs on google maps tracing my route from Virginia to Oregon this coming May. Excited. Can’t believe I’m doing it all by myself.

    January 15, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    • Rodney, sounds like it’s going to be a great trip. How many weeks are you planning for the ride? Are you taking a southern route or northern and into Canada for part of it? I want to hear about it.

      January 19, 2010 at 12:12 pm

  4. Awww…even the pupster is hibernating with you 😉

    January 24, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    • The ‘Doggy Lama’ is always with me..if I could only get him to ride in a side car…

      January 25, 2010 at 7:46 am

    • He’s a good hibernator..hell, he’s old..now if I can just get him to ride in a sidecar. But, you know what, he’s really good at reading maps….

      January 25, 2010 at 10:00 am

      • You’ll have to get a custom made side car so that he’ll feel safe enough to ride in it! 😉

        January 25, 2010 at 4:37 pm

      • Maria, I’m thinking a baby seat with his ‘special’ blankie, harness him in, get him some ‘doggles’ and we’re off…

        January 27, 2010 at 10:58 am

  5. Yep, my babies are in deep hibernation and am already planning for the spring!

    January 30, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s