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Can you describe your very best "Zen" day on your motorcycle?


Tasker

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You first.... thumbsup.gif

 

Mine was the Saturday of Labor Day weekend in 2005.

 

I was riding with a good friend, Larry Rudolph (LJR), throughout the GA/NC/TN area. The weather was magically perfect, I felt great and was riding the best I'd ever ridden. Everything we did -- where we rode, where we ate, where we stopped, traffic -- was perfect. Larry and I seemed to be in perfect unison that day.

 

Before that weekend, I had just had a major service completed and new tires mounted on my GS and it was running

perfectly.

 

I've ridden all over the US but I've never had a day better than that day.

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Mine was a Saturday as well. Phil (1bmwfan/hubby) and I were on a monthly ride with the River City Beemers (local riding club). The weather was perfect. Our ride that day was from Citrus Heights and up to Loon lake, Stumpy Meadows, out to HWY 50 to St. Pauli Inn for lunch. I was 1 year new to the back of the bike and was still learning "the ways of the pillion". Needless to say, Phil always knew I was back there. crazy.gif But that day.......we were impressive. I felt so in tune with the ride, I could sense what was coming and how to react. Phil kept us behind the ride leader for the whole journey (we smoked everyone). That day was my turning point on the bike. I understood what "the ride" was. The smells, changing scenery, super cold air wall hitting you and almost knocking you off the back when you don't expect it because your navigator, for some strange reason, decided to look down near his pegs....hellooooo....watch the road. Yup, that was the day I understood and truly enjoyed the zen of the ride.

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Where were you?

 

Where were you going?

 

What made it so special?

 

mine was about 3 years ago in mid May, leaving Kanab Utah and heading towards the Vermillion Cliffs area for camping. my friend on his Triumph Speed Triple and me on the Triumph Sprint ST. we'd just had a good mexican dinner after a long day riding around southern Utah.

 

It was dusk in the desert, I could see a spectacular sunset in my mirrors, the wind was warm and it was just one of those moments i'll never forget.

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This past August. My first time over Beartooth Pass, from Cooke City to Red Lodge. Lots of new asphalt, nice sunny day, lots of new scenery around every switchback and straightaway. At the summit it was like being on top of the world (There's even a store called "Top of the World") just before the summit.

 

The RT was in a rythym, engine, tyres, brakes, push left, push right, engine, tyres, brakes, push left, push right.

 

All my senses were alive and heightened. It's the kind of thing we live to ride for...

 

"Ill be (going) back!"

 

clap.gifclap.gifclap.gif

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So many to choose from!!!!

 

The one that continues to come to mind was one where I lived in S. California in the sport bike days.

 

My best friend and I took off on our bikes for the day. He on his super modified FZR-1000 and I on my heavily modified GSXR-1100.

 

It was one of those pre planned date and time rides with absolutely no pre planned destination or time frame.

 

We were clutch out before day break and headed out for who knew what. We rode from Long Beach out to Malibu for breakfast where we sat at a table next to Axel Rose (lead singer from Guns n Roses). Yep, he was stoned!!! We had a great breakfast, just two great friends hangin' out.

 

After we left there, we headed up the PCH (Hwy 1), cut over onto 33 through Ojai. Ran up through to Lake Nacimiento. Saw some A-10 Warthogs do their thing near Hunter Ligget. Somewhere around there my buddy pulled into an airport. He did know I LOVE airplanes after all.

 

As it turns out, he had a plan! We take our helmets off and suddenly this guy comes over and introduces himself as my flight instructor!!!!!!! eek.gifeek.gifeek.gif

 

Mind you, I knew how to fly as I had gotten my pilot's license at 16, although I no longer had it by 18. It costs more money than a teenager earns to fly!!!!!

 

So, here I and my buddy are in our full race leathers, boots, gloves, etc. I am in shock to say the least.

 

We walk over to the plane and I realize that I am about to live a dream. It was a glider! Only this was an aerobatic capable glider!!!!! thumbsup.gifthumbsup.gifthumbsup.gif

 

I'll never forget it! We strap in, go over the controls (I had 'em, too!!!), hook up to the tow plane and off we go.

 

I remember the sound of the gravel bouncing off the belly of the plane and the ever increasing rush of wind as we gained speed. Then, we were up in the air. Awesome!!

 

We towed up to altitude and then, silence, absolute serene, complete, total silence! We pulled free from our tow plane. WOW!!!

 

We flew around for a while looking for some thermals, and getting used to the feel of the pedals and stick. Cool.

 

Then the fun began! Hammerhead, roll, etc. That was awesome!!!

 

And then the flight was over. BUT, not the end of a zen day of motorcycling. We rode to Santa Maria for some food.

 

After this we rode back toward home. One twisty road there, a twisted turn here, a crest over there, a long flat stretch of road (GSXR-1100 REMEMBER!!!! tongue.gifwink.gifsmirk.gif).

 

My buddy and I had been riding together and racing karts together for several years so we were as intimate with each others riding as two heterosexual males could possibly be so we knew what the other was doing before he did it, etc.

 

It was the perfect day! On the way home, it began to rain near Malibu, but we did not care! We were in the zone and we knew it. It didn't matter that we were cold, wet, tired, stiff, or sore. We felt none of it. We were two souls, connected, yet individual.

 

Once we finally got home that night late, we said our goodbyes. To be honest, I am not sure if that was rain on our faces or tears! Neither of us ever mentioned that part of the trip again.

 

Oh, and the last thing he told me as I left him to his beautiful girlfriend was, "Merry Christmas friend." "You too, Jorge!", I said.

 

Each of our lives stayed connected for some time after that but, a job transfer to N. California and life happened to drift us apart.

 

I will never forget the friendship that motorcycling gives!!

 

Zen. I don't know if this tale was Zen. I have never found a word that captures the emotion, thrill, joy, and color of what happened that day. Zen? That and more I think!

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Last year, coming back down the Dalton highway from Prudho Bay. Clear blue sky, temps just perfect no rain for the last 2 days, and the road was in transition from snot to dust, but was just perfect right then. I was riding along standing on the pegs, picking out the bumps well ahead of hitting them, just floating over everything.I knew exactly what the bike was going to do at every ripple in the road.

 

I was thinking of the scene from "On Any Sunday", the elsinore race where Malcom Smith goes around the mud puddle standing up. I remember saying to myself "THIS Is how it all works!"

 

Definately a Zen Moment

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Lone_RT_rider

I don't know if it’s my best Zen moment on a motorcycle, but it’s a good one. May 2003 and Ron B. and I were headed for Torrey, my first Torrey. I had spent most of the day slabbing it through Iowa and Nebraska and had just dropped down into Colorado and was headed for the greater Denver area. It was still a pretty flat area and the scenery was pretty moonscape like. But then, ever so slowly, what looked like a small cloud front appeared in the distance. As we rode on it became more and more clear that it was not a cloud bank. This, was the first time I had ever seen the Rockies.....and I will never forget it. thumbsup.gif

 

Shawn

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I've had numerous rides to remember on numerous bikes. I'll just recount one.

 

While living in Cheyenne, WY, I was picked up on a team to play in the World Softball Championships in Steamboat Springs, CO over the 4th of July weekend. I had been vacationing in Yellowstone with my parents who'd flown out from Ohio the previous week and took a greyhound (another story) from northern WY back home to Cheyenne to make my tournament. I was picked up by a lady friend at the bus terminal. Back to the story I swear... The next morning, my buddy Todd Craig and I headed down to Fort Collins, CO to pick up CO14 otherwise known as Poudre Canyon. What makes this trip even better is that my lady friend and one of her friends had a condo for the week in Steamboat and took all of our luggage up with them in their car.

 

Todd and I were dressed in full leathers, he on his 98' ZX7R and me on my 95' ZX9R. This was a very familiar ride for us and one that we took about two times per week throughout the riding season thumbsup.gif. The ride down I-25 was always great, the beauty of foothills as they turned into mountains the further South we rode and the praries to our East always made better by the anticipation of Poudre Canyon and its curves. Once into the canyon we were both at the top of our game. We were always very fast through the section that takes you to Walden, CO, but this ride was brilliant. I allowed Todd to lead for about the first 15 miles of the canyon. The fact that there were no cattle in that section this ride was also nice. grin.gif

 

I was able to pass Todd safely on the outside of a nice consistent radius right hander and take the lead without any worry of startling him. Once in the lead, I stepped up the pace a bit with him only about 10 bikelengths behind. We were showering sparks in many corners. Later he commented how insane a lean angle I had on a right hander that led to the tunnel. I told him that I actually had to throttle out of that corner to give my bike some engine lift, allowing just enough room to take some of the pressure off of my fairing and keep my suspension loaded. The fact that the pace was fast was secondary to the pure joy of doing what you love with a good friend, knowing that you are riding some of the best scenery in the country.

 

That week was great enjoying good rides with the ladies, hiking, rodeos, softball, white water tubing, and fireworks.

 

I'm not sure, but that may have been the best three weeks of my life grin.gif. At least thats what my memories will lead me to believe tongue.gif

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Four of us from work met up one Friday morning last fall for an all day ride. Not a lot of distance, but over interesting roads. We left Terre Haute and headed east over some of the lesser travelled highways. IN42, IN142, IN39, and finally IN 136. There were straighter routes, but we were in no hurry, just lots of curves and very little traffic. It was all about the ride anyway. We found ourselves in North Salem IN at a place called the Red Dog Saloon, where we had a good lunch. Didn't drink any alcohol, but enjoyed it anyway.

 

After lunch we started our way back to the west. North on IN75 to IN 234 west. Lots of 234 is straight, only interupted by the occaisional 90 degree corner. That is until you get near Shades State Park. Then 234 turns into some of the finest twisties this side of North Carolina. Then it was south on US41 through Parke County, which the weak willed folks used to call "killer highway 41." In reality it is nice riding through a few hills and hollers and it can be done at a nice pace. Bad for motorhomes, but great for bikes.

 

Sooner than expected we were back near our starting point where we went our seperate ways. Everyone had a great time and there were no incidents or mishaps, just good riding with friends.

 

There have been other rides, before and after, longer and shorter, but the sheer simplicity of that day made it very pure and satisfying.

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Riding through Badlands National Park in South Dakota, and southeastern Montana while attending Sturgis this year. Weather, traffic, company was as it should be ..... PERFECT!!!!

 

Can't wait to experience it again!!

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Well, over the many-many years there were many-many special days. One day was extra special. Not so much for the riding, which was good, but just for the fact that it was happening.

Early 2004. I already had all my plans to be at the Unrally in Cody WY in July. I planed to ride from Maryland via Canadian Rockies and Vancouver to Cody! Then end of March going down the stairs in the house I slipped and tore off the tendon between the quadriceps (sp? big muscle in the thigh) and my knee. Surgery, cast, physical therapy. I told my therapist that on July 4 I want to take off on a 8K mile motorcycle ride. He said if I want to push him he will push me - and he did. On June 13 I took my first bike ride, knee barely bending enough, barely enough strength to hold up the bike. Bike got highway pegs. Yeah, I was told many times that I'm crazy grin.gif .

Left on July 4 as planned. Great ride through Northern USA, Canada, some rain storm in the Rockies, but on my way. Then, close to Vancouver, the rear drive of the bike started to make very expensive noises (150K miles on bike). I holed up in Whistler and phoned Spike. He posted it on BMWST.COM and within the hour I was getting calls with help offers. Pilgrim drove up from Seattle with a trailer and got me to his home. We took my bike and the rear drive from his bike to the dealer and my bike was rolling again! From Seattle a easy day to Missoula and on to Cody! That day felt like a gift from Heaven - I couldn't believe I'm making it. I got into Cody and the meeting camp ground in time for the afternoon pizza! It was the best pizza in my life! thumbsup.gif

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I've got so many incredible memories of trips just with Leslie and others with wonderful members of this DB, but I'll just bore you with one. thumbsup.gif

 

I'm still fairly new to the "sport" part of the Sport Touring equation. Actually, I'm still fairly new to the "touring" part of the equation as well, since my previous 12 years on a bike were most all commuting in city traffic. A few years ago I was coming home from a trip (I can't remember which one right now, Texas Hill Country, perhaps?) and I was due for an oil change. So I stopped around Tacna or Wellton, AZ (about an RT's gas tank full from home) to put in a bottle of Techron to blow out the carbon so I could top up with fresh gas and change the (soon to be polluted) oil when I got home.

 

I decided to try out the "Italian Tune-Up" I'd been reading about here for years and taking the back roads through the desert I rode the entire way from Borrego Springs to Ramona using ONLY SECOND gear. I've ridden S-22 (Montezuma Grade aka "The Glass Elevator") many times so I was familiar with the road. It was late and the sun was going down. Traffic was light and the air was cooling off nicely. The tank was about half empty and the bike was running SMOOTH! cool.gif

 

I'd never deliberately ( blush.gif ) hit the rev limiter before that day, but now I was bouncing off it on the exit of almost every turn the WHOLE way up the mountain--just in time to brake hard for the next turn. I was in the "meat" of the power band the whole time and totally in the zone riding. I had never ridden so "sporty" before and I felt that I was one with "Maynard" and he was an extention of my intention. I only touched the floorboards down once or twice as I had recently taken David's "Ride Well" course and was actively using my body (biting my mirrors) to control the bike. Even the great stretch between Santa Ysabel and Ramona--which you almost NEVER get to ride without getting stuck behind a cage or truck--was completely clear and I tore it up.

 

When I finally got to the traffic in Ramona I was buzzing! I had never had that feeling of everything clicking so well in concert. I definitely could see the stitching on the fastball as it was coming towards me! thumbsup.gif

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If you can describe it, is it really a "zen" experience?

 

Anyway, I'll always remember an early morning Fall ride through Broad Pass in the Alaska Range. There was cloud to the ground at pass level, and I remember running for miles through the sweepers there as if I were flying--not really disorienting, but enough so to provide a once in my lifetime sensory experience of moving without boundaries in a homogeneous, silent environment.

I would not say I've spent my life in attempt to recapture this sensation, but it will probably remain the most transcendent when the game is over.

 

Dave

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I thought about this a little bit and I find it very hard to pick out a single day. I find that every time I get out on the road on a bike in reasonable weather, I get into a zone that is magical. The bike is running smoothly, the miles fly by, the scenery is always wonderful, whether it be the plains, mountains, whatever. There is nothing like it. Running long distances (my other love) produces a similar Zen-like state but different.

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This is rough because I can pick only one. It would have to be a ride in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri years ago. We had a long hot heatwave that summer and I decided to take a ride to the mountains to cool off. I left early in the morning to beat the heat when it started to rain. It wasn't a hard rain but a misty sort of steady drenching. It cooled me off as I leisurely rode the remaining miles through pristine mountain roads. I've never enjoyed a rain as much as I did that day.

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"Anytime I have my favorite passenger on the back, all day to get there an no place to be..."

 

 

I wish I could take credit for sayin that..... but no.

 

 

Art Friedman said in back in the 80's when he was editor of Motorcyclist Mag. and I'm sure wasn't the first.

 

 

Whip

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I decided to try out the "Italian Tune-Up" I'd been reading about here for years and taking the back roads through the desert I rode the entire way from Borrego Springs to Ramona using ONLY SECOND gear.

 

Riding in 2nd gear for miles and miles is the Italian Tune-Up?

 

Yee gads! eek.gifgrin.gif

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there have been many, but i always come back to this one because it probably is what kept me in riding. i apologize up front because this does involve alcohol, but i was much younger then and would not do this today.

 

waaay back in the 80s, before the era of microbrew beer, there were only a very small number of places to get that product. one such place was called the Weeping Radish, on the North Carolina Shore near Kitty Hawk. A friend of mine vacationed there and brought back a mini keg of their home brew. At the time, this was the only way they were allowed to sell it off of the premesis. It was a beautiful Sunday and he called me up and suggested we try the beer. He lived about 20 miles from my house around the Washington Beltway (a terrifying road under most circumstances). I cranked up my 1981 Suzuki 750T and motored over. My thought was that I would just drink one or two.

 

About 3 hours later, we had drained that keg. My guess is that it was about half-a-dozen a piece. Neither of us had any idea where it all went. It was so smooth with none of the nasty aftereffects you would get from domestic beer such as belching or headache and because it was not pasturized, you will never feel hungry either. Instead, all you got was this feeling of perfect contentment. It was then time to go home.

 

I rode my Suzuki around that Beltway and home. The temp was about 75, the sky was clear, it was perfect. I was totally lost in the experience, hyper aware of everything and it felt more like gliding than riding, even with the traffic. I felt so completely alive on that ride. It was almost how people used to describe acid trips in the 60s.

 

Of all the great rides, that one still stands out even though it will never be repeated. Also, what gear was i using - helmet, gloves maybe, t-shirt, maybe long pants, sneakers. Oh to be young and dumb.

 

tom collins

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I was on my 98 1100RT, leading a small group of Harley's. Had better headlights and it was after dark. Knew the road well and the people behind me had traveled with me a lot. A brisk pace was being set and I slowed a lot after exiting a 90 degree bend in the two lane we were on. No real reason but just up ahead out of headlight range we came upon a small herd of deer. Everyone else attributed it to my better lights but I knew I hadn't seen them. This happened twice more that night, and I could sense them but not really see them. I've had that feeling a few more times but that night with friends behind me it seemed that this sense was more acute.

 

I got to lead a lot more after dark from then on and no one ever bitched about the BMW again. I really miss riding with that group since moving to MN. Fast touring with a great group of people that can ride and like getting somewhere. Big Harley baggers can humble the unwary. thumbsup.gif

 

The BMW ususally let me keep up. clap.gif

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A whole event and a ride I won't forget...

2002, Our first Unrally, in Gunnison. First chance to meet in person all the BMWRT.COM riders who are not on the East Coast. They are all even nicer in person than on the keyboard.

Dick Frantz (Master Yoda, RDFrantz) leads a group of a few of us South over Slumgullion Pass to Creede. On the way we stop for a brunch all invited by Dick (Thank you!) The ride pace is nice, some faster, some slower, nobody pressures nobody. In Creede we stay for a while eating ice cream.

I decide to ride back before the rest. Spike (John Spicer) decides to come with me. That was a most wonderful ride. Just the two of us, no traffic, perfect road, perfect weather, perfect wingman. Fast, but not lean-angle/knees-out fast, just smooth-fast. That ride I won't forget thumbsup.gif

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Sept. 3, 2005: Climbing out of Bighorn Canyon and heading into Gillete, WY with my son and the "biker chick." Perfect weather, perfect road, perfect company!

ccr87157-O.jpg

 

ccr_3146.jpg

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NeverWashItJim

Saturday, April 30, 1994: not a planned day of riding, just called up my best friend and we decided to go out for a spin. It was springtime in Connecticut, and still cool enough to have some bite, but not uncomfortable. We had no particular destination and no particular timeline and I don't really remember where we went. What I do remember is having the time and the peace of mind to fully consider the woman (girl?) I was dating/living with at the time. There's something about being on the road that allows your mind to unclench and spin out all the thoughts that have been bound up tight. I was able to see and understand myself and our situation in way I hadn't been able to before that day. I proposed to her the next day, married her the next year, and we lived happily ever after (give or take a few crabby days).

 

(BTW, that's my name on her arm.)

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Rt 42 a twisty road in the Catskills between Big Indian and Claryville, Sunny, low 50's, leaves at peak, woodstove smoke in the air and riding along I realized I had just carved what felt like one perfect turn...

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I was riding south with a friend in the early summer of 1973. He was riding a Honda 350 CB and I was riding a Yamaha R5c. We were headed south from central Ohio on our way to Florida for a first trip away from home after graduating form High School. We had been riding for a couple of hours in pretty hot weather when we ran into pouring rain. We toughed it out for about an hour and then pulled into a rest stop in W. VA.. We sat on a picnic table under a shelter watching the rain with a couple other bikers for a while. When the rain stopped, we walked down to the bikes and the sun was showing over the hill across the highway and we were just all smiles and got on the bikes and were rolling down the ramp onto the highway. That was it, my zen moment. Maybe you had to be there or something.

 

I’ve had many great moments, days, and weeks since on or related to the bikes. But I think that moment was the turning point that forever hooked me on bikes, traveling, and biking.

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Too many to even remember, but several stick out in my mind..... here's one.

 

There's a section of Highway 199 as it traverses the Jed Smith redwoods from Crescent City, CA to Oregon. For about 10 miles it runs right along the Smith River through a gorge. The road is superb for sweeping twisties, excellent sight lines, road surface, and the view of the river and gorge. I can remember a late afternoon ride, sun slanting through the trees shedding golden light on everything. The afternoon wind was blowing up river and from behind me, bringing the effective wind-over-the-bike to almost nothing. The bike was running sweet, and the sense of speed just "went away" into a kind of "flow" from transition, to transition, to transition... and it was one of those days when I did everything "just right" (very rare) and the bike and I were "one" with the road and with the scenery. I remember thinking that I wished this section of road went on forever . . . It was truly a magic moment I'll never forget.

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Ft Benning, GA. February 9, 1973. 28 degrees and falling with 2" of snow on the ground and more coming down. Waiting on my discharge from the AUSA which came at 11:40AM. Visability was about 100 feet and the putt-putt of the 650 Bonneville was muffled in the snowfall as I followed tire tracks off the base and onto Victory Drive. I made my own tracks as I turned onto Lumpkin and 2nd Ave. Was the only person out on the road, I was alive after two years in the army, and riding in the snow was marvelous. Busted my fanny pulling into the drive but that did not matter. I'll forever remember that ride. smile.gif

Bill

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Just happened in Sept. '06. Rode the RT from Central PA to Maine to visit my family and friends there. Hooked up with my buddy Andy whom I hadn't ridden bikes with for about 15 years. We made plans to tour the Central Maine area a few days after my arrival in Maine.

 

When the day came, the weather miraculously turned from cold and windy to warm and sunny. We went from Newport to Skowhegan, up Rt. 201 to the Canadian border (Jackman) and stopped several times along the way to take in the scenery and wildlife and to just talk about old times, better times.

 

We left Jackman, went across Rt. 15 to Greenville where we had lunch sitting on a dock overlooking Moosehead Lake, listening to the sound of the water, ducks and DeHaviland Beaver seaplanes coming and going.

 

We rode down Rt. 7 back to our starting point in Newport and promised each other that we'd do that trip again next year.

 

This ride was especially meaningful and cathartic for me--it was a chance to relive times and places that I thought I'd never see again. It was a chance to reconsider the things I've been blessed with and to spend time with one of my closest friends. It was also was a chance to reaffirm to Andy that I would be there for him (although it was never spoken); you see, Andy has MS and our riding days together are numbered. During that day, even Andy's MS took the day off. . .he had no sign of the symptons that often plague him. It seems that for that day, the stars lined up just right and conspired to give us great day together--I am grateful. . .

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My Autumn Ride

 

It’s Wednesday October 9th, 2003 the sun is shining with a forecast of 75 degrees. I am merging onto I-77 into a group of about 15 sport bikes. They are cruising at the speed limit trying to avoid drawing attention from the local police. This is not where I want to be so I roll on a bit of throttle, change lanes and before long I do not even see their headlights anymore. What a great day to play hooky from work. My goal is to ride as many twisty roads in SE Ohio as the day will allow.

My first goal is to get off the interstate so in New Philadelphia I pick up Rt. 250 over to 800. Rt. 800 down to the Ohio River is one of the nicest roads in this part of the state. The scenery, road conditions and curves all add up to a near perfect ride. But I’m looking for some more extreme curves. I’m not really looking at the scenery even though I’m always aware of it. Just south of Woodsfield I pick up Rt. 26 and the curves get more interesting by the mile. Too bad the road is all patched up making it kind of rough. I’m just starting to get into a rhythm when I find my first detour. So much for the plans for today. I’ll just have to “Wing” it from here. Rt.537 takes me over to Rt. 260.which is one of the best roads for smooth sweepers and sharper curves without a lot of surprises. S-turn coming up, downshift, brake a little, lean and on the throttle while going from full right to full left again. I could do this all day long, so I think I will! As I take a break for a sandwich I keep trying to plan a route but I never come up with a good one.

On Rt. 7 I follow the Ohio River south for a bit, nice but kind of boring to me today. A county road to the west looks good and it is. New pavement and wonderful turns with no traffic. Actually there has not been any traffic since I got off of the highway. This road takes me back to Rt. 26, which I’ll take the rest of the way to Marietta. As I get closer to Marietta the turns tighten up a lot. Lots of sharp curves and near hairpins and a pair of Harleys trying to do twisties without leaning their bikes. A twist of the wrist and they are history as I’m hard on the brakes for the next series of turns.

A lot of people ask me why I like riding twisty roads. I guess I still think of motorcycling as a sport. It’s a sport that I want to be extremely good at. The best way to practice my riding skills are down south where the road requires your full attention. No where else around here do I need to shift, brake and turn constantly. As the day progresses you become a part of the bike. Reactions become smooth. Braking and shifting are almost automatic and very smooth. Not enough braking before the turn and you either run wide or I’m grinding the under parts of my bike more than I care to. It’s all about finding my limit and those of my bike. Where else can you practice to the extremes while still riding within the law? All of these skills become second nature and could be very useful in our day to day riding. When someone pulls out in front of you, will you be able to stop or swerve around him or her safely? Can you stay in your lane when entering a turn a bit too fast or the curve decreases? These are things I want to know before I need them. Practice is the only way to become comfortable at the limits. For me it is also a lot of fun.

Just north of Marietta I pick up Rt. 145. This turns out to be a pretty nice road with nothing extreme so I can just kick back for a while and enjoy the ride. I pick up Rt. 78 and head back towards Woodsfield and stop at a nice rest area just before town. After a short break and an apple I need to remove my shirt to shake out the ladybugs that are all over me. Don’t smash them cause they smell bad. In Woodsfield I head south on Rt. 800 again. See I told you there is no plan to this. Rt. 800 takes me all the way to the river this time. The sweepers and s-turns have me smiling all the way. At the river I make a right and head south again. This time I'll ride Rt. 260 west, for some reason it’s even more fun this way. Maybe it’s because my favorite turns are uphill which I like because I can stay on the throttle. Rt. 260 to Rt. 26 to Rt. 800 again. I had so much fun on 800 I think I’ll do it again, and I do. This time I head north at the river because it’s starting to get late and I want to get home by dark. But then I see Rt. 255 and my wing just makes a left on it’s own. Boy am I having a hard time rating these roads. Rt.255 is about 12 miles long. It’s not Deals Gap but for Ohio it’s pretty close. I did more peg dragging on this stretch than on the rest of my ride. It’s really time to head for home now so I turn south on Rt.26 so that I can take Rt. 260 east and Rt. 78 into Caldwell. These are nice stretches of country roads past fields and farms with easy curves. BUT maybe too easy because for the first time today I find myself on the yellow line and now I’m really ticked off at myself. Some of you know that when I ride I play a game. It’s called touch the yellow line and you are DEAD! And I take it very seriously! I let my guard up too much and if there was an oncoming car I might have been. So I guess I’ll stop in Caldwell for a bite to eat and regroup.

Finally I really am going to head for home. Nothing but interstate from here to the house. I call home to leave a message and off I go. Cruise set at 75, put my feet up on the highway pegs for the first time today and I’m on my way. What a beautiful day this turned out to be. There is still not a cloud in the sky, it’s still warm and the traffic is very light. Two hours later I roll into my garage and the odometer hits 510 miles for the day. Not an Iron Butt ride, but not bad for eleven hours of mostly two lane twisties. I also feel good because I’m not at work! I sure hope there is another chance to do this before winter.

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