Things we think of while riding down the road

Posts tagged “maps

Where are we going?

Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 8.53.55 AMWe’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…Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 8.54.29 AM

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.Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 9.13.30 AM

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.Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 5.46.08 PM

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.

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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?