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?