We’ll know when we get there. That goes for a lot in life but for those of us that travel on two wheels thats all part of the grand adventure.
Some trips we have to be in a certain place at a certain day so we plan our trip accordingly. Some trips are based on I have be home this date because I have to go back to work. And some trips require calling your local post office and asking them to hold your mail a few days longer…and calling the credit card company and telling them you will be using your card for gas three times a day. These are the basics. And then there are the types of travelers that we are.
Everybody has different travel styles. Some are planners … everything is planned out before they are even out of the driveway. Mileage each day, where every gas station is, restaurants for breakfast lunch and dinner, rest stops, hotels, how many hours they will ride each day. Everything is planned on a GPS and the bike is packed a week ahead of time (you know who you are). We all know that type and have ridden with them.
And then there are those that know they are going on a trip, have a general idea as to where they are going, but as how to get there, well…
So, you wake up on the day of departure figure out what you need to pack, load it into your throw over the back seat saddlebags, grab some AAA road maps put those, a compass, some granola bars in your tank bag…oh and don’t forget your cell phone charger. Check the tires and the oil and one hour later you’re riding into the Sunrise. Now the fun begins.
I happen to fall into the latter category of traveler. When you make your breakfast stop you lay out a map on the table or counter (a counter if you have chosen the right place for breakfast) and start looking for interesting roads and places that will get you somewhere by dinner time in the direction you want to go.
The adventure of travel is just that, an adventure. I want to see things I haven’t seen before and meet people I don’t know. Ok, I didn’t really meet her but you never know who you’ll meet on the road.
I just got home from a trip to visit friends in Southern Arizona. I can do that trip in one day but this time the question was ‘why’? Lets take our time and see what we can see. The dessert scenery was wonderful. Believe it or not there was still snow in the mountains above Palm Springs
Some of the choices were good, a great low price motel in Blythe, Cal. Budget Host…I recommend highly and a great restaurant La Casita Dos right around the corner. Then there were the times that weren’t so great like having to deal with Phoenix traffic in the middle of the day when it was 105 degrees. My motorcycle and my wife weren’t having a great day.
After visiting our friends and sharing a couple of really good rides, again without maps or GPS and only a basic idea of where we were going it was time to head home. This time it was truly the long way home. And what a great adventure. We found ourselves in small towns, funky restaurants (one was the absolute worst I have ever been in) and a gas station that had the coolest gift shop I have ever seen on the road…and the best restrooms.
Meandering through life sometimes doesn’t work all that well but when you’re on the road, meandering is a very good thing. Enjoy your ride, don’t hurry (unless you have to be back to work tomorrow because you have already been meandering). See new places, talk to people you don’t know and the beauty that is riding your motorcycle wherever you want to go.
Ride safe, Ride far and thank your motorcycle at the end of very ride.
…and does it make riding more fun?
I recently bought a motorcycle that was actually made in ‘this’ century. Now, I have been riding ‘Vintage’ motorcycles even before they were ‘Vintage’ so getting a bike without carburetors was really weird…”You mean I have to hook up a laptop computer to my bikes computer brain to make it run right?”…Geez, I still have a dial phone in my house!!
So, despite all my fears and worries about having a modern motorcycle (and knowing that I am going to be excommunicated from my friends at ‘The Church of Vintage Motorcycles’) I buy the bike, a Buell Ulysses. It’s got fuel injection, all kinds of luggage, adjustable windscreen, an extra front wheel, another seat and then on top of all that…GPS. I don’t know how to work a GPS thing, hell, I can’t even spell GPS.
I have always used good old AAA maps, my own internal compass, the help of locals and other riders to find my way. The learning curve with a GPS system can be a bit steep for guys like me so I decided that small steps would be better. I’ll still use maps but I also found another tool that make the transition to the new millenium a lot easier.
Picture this, you’re in a church basement room somewhere or maybe a VFW hall in your town surrounded by others that have the same addiction you do. “Hi, my name is Paul and I’m a long distance rider”…”Hi Paul” from the group. Tonight’s topic is ‘Theme Rides’ and no, it’s not a small world after all.
Yes, it’s sad but true, I love riding long distances. A twelve to fourteen hour day in the saddle is child’s play. I am a member of the Iron Butt Association and the Long Distance Riders forum. I used to think I had some sort of genetic disorder but most of these people are just plain sick. If you like riding from California to Florida in just two days or through every state in the union in two weeks or less (OK, Hawaii is off the list but you still have to go to Alaska), then you’ll fit right in. Long distance riders know about and have every gizmo known to man that goes on a motorcycle…GPS, extra lights, heated everything, fuel cells, the list goes on and on…and they can tell you how to modify your bike to power all that stuff. It’s way too easy to sucked into all this and that’s why I believe there should be a twelve step program for them.
The other day I was cruising the LDR list and a great topic came up, ‘Theme Rides’…towns with interesting or unusual names and connecting them for a good ride. This became way too much fun and…way too much time on Google Maps. So, thanks to my friends on the list, here are a couple of fun rides for you to consider when you need a good story for your riding buddies. Or, to get that look from your significant other, you know the one…” you’re weird…”
Here ya go…
Whynot (MS) to Bee (NE) to Happy (TX)..The Whynot Bee Happy ride…1725 miles
Love (TX) to Lost City (NV)…The Lost Love ride…1400 miles
Hell Town (OH) to Back Mountain (PA) to Little Hell (VA)…The Two Hells and Back ride…1000 miles
There were a few more floating around in there and then it got even funnier, a list of towns with let’s say, interesting names.
Bowlegs, OK.. Stiffknee Nob,NC.. Sweet Lips, TN..Butts, VA..Loveladies, NJ…Buttsville, NJ…(is that just down the road from Loveladies, NJ???)…Monkeys Eyebrow, AZ…French Lick, In..and what list would be complete without Intercourse, PA.
There were quite a few more on the list but being as this is a family friendly site some would not have been appropriate here. If you’d like a bigger list and I guarantee you will laugh your fanny off, send me an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you an ‘entertaining’ list of town names you can ride to.
So now, grab your box of maps, an atlas, a cold beer, click on to Google and make up your own theme ride. It will make for a very fun evening for you. I’ll see you at the Heart Attack Grill in Chandler Arizona
It’s been a wet Christmas here in Fillmore..We’re going to take a ride up the canyon and check on the waterfalls and then do the tour of friends and family. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and Santa brought you everything you wanted….
…a new motorcycle (Ducati 1000GT), some new tyres for your old bike, a new copy of ‘On Any Sunday’, your wife (Mrs.Claus) paid your racing license for next year, a subscription to your favorite mag, a new helmet, a warm jacket, if you are a long distance rider, a new GPS…
Whatever you wanted for Christmas I hope it was under your motorcycle..well, not an oil leak…
Happy Christmas to you all