Monday, April 27, 2015

Day-tripping, the Weekend Ride

This weekend included a grandson’s birthday.  A hundred and fifty miles north of here, Saturday’s weather was predicted to be stormy or at least rainy and unsettled.  We like settled weather, so I worked in the yard and garden Saturday, running the trimmer and the tiller for five hours or so in addition to some mowing. 

Sunday was supposed to be “cooler” but dry.  My plan was to ride my bike up to visit the grandkids and deliver birthday gifts.  By nine o’clock, the fog had not burned off, it was only about 50 degrees, and misty in spots.  Like the idiot that I am, I trusted the weather forecast and left off my fleece vest and heavy gloves because it would soon be much warmer.  The other thing I woke up to was pain in my shoulders because I’m old, because I was running the tiller the day before, and because, the night before that, I had been doing upright rows. 

Consequently, the first fifty miles, I was riding in mist, mostly a problem for visibility as the road surface was dry.  My hands, especially my right one – throttle hand, kept going numb from a combination of cold and the battering from the tiller.  My normal route includes a stretch of I-44 where wisdom suggests it is a good idea to keep up with the truck traffic averaging a little above the 70 mph speed limit.  My rain jacket does give good protection from the wind, but all I had under it was a long-sleeved t-shirt.  I really needed another layer.  By the time I pulled off the Interstate, I was starting to wonder about hypothermia.  I knew was getting stupider. 

I stopped for coffee and a sandwich to warm up and kill the shaking, hoping that the clouds would start to lift, and it did start to get better after that.  By the time I hit eastbound Highway 54 out of Camdenton, there were holes in the cloud cover.  My only problem after that was the absolute refusal of my right hand to admit that it was attached to the rest of me. 

It was worth it all when I got to my son’s house.  This was the first the kids had seen of my new bike “in person”, and everybody seemed to like it.  The sun was fully out by then so we played ball in the yard for an hour or two before I headed off to my daughter’s house for a brief visit.  

The best part of the ride – aside from seeing all four grandkids – was the run on Y Highway over to Highway 63.  It’s nothing but curves and hills for about 8 miles or so, going down to Cedar Creek and back up on the other side.  One curve in particular is in the middle of a fairly steep grade going downhill (westbound).  It is off-camber and marked with a sign that suggests 25-mph.  That one was no problem, but a couple of miles further on, I went into another corner a little too hot.  OK, it was a lot too hot.  I guess I got to thinking I was bad.  I was glad there was no traffic in the other lane.  I used up all of nerve as well as all of my part of the asphalt.  A few more miles on the FJ, and I will be more confident.  No sense in rushing things. 

I spent a little time with the youngest grandson and the oldest granddaughter then mounted up again with the intent of making it to the house before the temperatures started falling after sundown.  I left about 16:30 and stopped a couple of times to get feeling back into my uncooperative hand.  I had cruise control on the Victory which I almost never used – except for situations like this where I had numbness.  My gloves with gel pads, which -- a recurring theme here --  I left at the house, would have helped, too. 

Anyway, I made it home, and it was fun.  The source of all my complaints can be traced to me and my failure to listen to my better sense.  I knew I needed different gloves.  I knew I needed my fleece vest.  The bike itself did really well, and I enjoyed it. 

I need a name.  She needs to be christened.  There was nothing else to call the Enterprise except the Enterprise.  Yesterday, everybody commented on the carbon fiber looks on the FJ, since I opted for the more stealth gray over red.  I would have named a red one "Flash".  "Serenity" is what I call my old yellow TY.  Since the TY and the FJ are related, I suppose I could go with "Firefly".  I'll be pondering.


  1. So you are liking the new bike then? That's your first big trip on it isn't it? 300 miles is not a trivial trip.

    I know what you mean about ignoring your better sense. Just last night I ran my finger along a metal edge on project I'm working on. I saw the burr, I said to myself to be careful about the burr, I then cut my finger on the burr. It's like there are two of me. Made me think about sin and how we recognize it and sin anyway..oh but that is really more a subject for your other blog.

  2. Sometimes it just seems like you have to do something stupid. It's crazy.

    It was about equal to all the riding I had on it before yesterday -- doubled my mileage. I really do like it. It is so much lighter and more maneuverable. Victory makes great bikes, and I'm glad I had the Vision. It was fun. This is a lot more my style.

  3. Biking sure brings you closer to the elements, both good and bad, and magnifies our decisions, both good and bad. The fact we have lived so long proves there is a God who cares. ☺

  4. He has certainly looked out for me on many occasions.