View Full Version : Memorable rides
I know these threads have been done before, but I am feeling nostalgic today.
When I think about the great rides of my life, it seems like the ones that stand out are the rides where adversity seemed to rear its ugly head with my bike, or a riding buddies.
Riding in the rain, snow, ice storm-yes I have done that-
Riding my Norton Commando home from the state fairgrounds at night on one cylinder.
Riding around the dan Ryan expressway in Chicago on my way to Wisconsin on a Friday evening in the rain
Mechanical trouble with the bikes, getting chased by an obviously intoxicated driver while returning from a race-yep, did that too.
How about others?
Taking my first long (500+ miles) ride two weeks after I bought my bike. Cool weather that became cold weather that became cold, wet weather for the final 30 miles on the way to the restaurant.
Then two hours of solid downpour on the interstate slabbing it home.
I stayed fairly dry (Frogg Toggs), but conditions were horrible, and my butt was SOOOOOOOO sore as I wasn't used to riding that kind of distance. ;P
Towards the end I was stopping every 45 minutes just so I could get off the bike and stretch my poor, sore, tired muscles. :)
Thats a tough one, been many,
-1978 '77KZ400 twin, 75mi on one cylinder, 36 degrees, steady rain, dirt road, pitch black night, soaked to the bone, return trip from AK to NC Memorable!
-same trip 29hrs pourng rain KS to NC
-1998 10 complete miles at 135mph fully loaded BMWK1100RS in Montana on the way to AK from NH 5500 miles in 10 days!
- same trip doing 90mph in 35-40mph crosswind, blinding rain in SD leaning over to keep from being pushed over.
-2004 I know speedo's are off but seeing 177mph on '03 Gixxer 1000, ran out of road before motor, seeing things in a whole new way!
- Doing Deal's Gap on '03 ZX6RR mid week, only one on the road at the time! 318 turns in 11mi.
-Winning my first amateur race at NHIS
I'm sure I can come up with more
BCM reminded me of another. The long cold wet ride was just last year, but the first long ride was on my 1978 KX650. I loaded it up in the back of one of our company semi's and we hauled it from my store in Tucson to the company's distribution center in Los Angeles, CA.
On a whim, nothing more.
Loaded up about 2 pm I guess and then I climbed up in the cab with the driver and off we went. I slept a couple of hours on the road and we got into Commerce CA somewhere around 2200-0000 hours. Backed the truck up to a set of stairs and unloaded the bike. Said my thanks and goodbyes and headed off. I'd never been to LA before and didn't realize that the City of Commerce was pretty much the heart of "east LA".
Fortunately there weren't any "vatos" out looking for stupid young out-of-state white boys on motorcycles that night and I made my way to the 605 / 10 / 15 and headed for Las Vegas. No special reason, just felt like going there.
Fast forward to about 0300 somewhere past Barstow, there is still snow on the ground and all I have is my regular winter gloves (good enough for Tucson winter weather) and my cheapie nylon jacket. I'm freezing my ass (and hands) off and can barely move. I find a motel with a vacany and check in around 0330 to take a very long and hot shower.
I get up sometime after 7 and hit the road again - that was an expensive four hours of sleep - and roll into Vegas about 0900-1000 and go find the store my boss works at. I was just going to get a room at a casino but he offers up his spare bedroom and a wife-cooked meal so how can I refuse?
Up early the next morning (Sunday) and head for home. Some gay guy tries to pick me up at Boulder Dam; offering to put my bike in the back of his Sabaru Brat. Isn't it amazing how certain details always remain even after 25+ years? I later pass him up as he's parked on the side of the road talking with a hitchhiker.
About 50 miles into Arizona I'm loafing along at 105 mph when I glance down and see that my oil pressure light is on! ;G
I pull the clutch, kill the motor and coast to a stop. I check the oil level and all looks well. There was a small place next to the highway about a mile back so I start it up and listen close. Doesn't seem to be getting hot. No strange noises. I click into first, ease out the clutch and mosey down the shoulder to this little hole-in-the-wall garage & restaurant. Being a holiday weekend the garage is closed but they tell me that there's a town off the highway about another mile back up the road and I head off in that direction. I find a dirt road and follow it back for about half a mile and come into this little community.
This was a little hick mining town that apparently had never seen a 4-cycle sport touring bike (I had a full fairing) so all the kids were wide-eyed and curious. The gas pumps were the old tall skinny kind with the glass globes on top, and the garage proprietor had a bottle of whisky sitting on his office desk. (another detail etched into the mind). I forget the brand but do remember that it had a green label.
So I check the oil again. Still looks good. I put a quart in and the light still stays on!
I buy another can (no bottles back then) from him and strap it to the bike and start off for home. First gear, second, third and still a light but still no obvious issues. I finally open it up with the attitude of F-IT! and keep on going. I make it home in time to get cleaned up and meet my bride-to-be and others from work for our usual Sunday night bowling meet.
I take it in the dealer the next week and it turned out that a loose wire in the fairing shorted the oil pressure light causing it to illuminate. Whew...
Of course, that extra quart of oil probably didn't do it any good either. ;Q
All in all, a good adventure, but classic stupidity in more ways than one. ;f
Talk about stupidity, mind you my first ever bike, I was going to AK, it might get chilly even in August, not knowing my ***** from a hole in the ground about riding gear, warm coat, I'll ride with my new GOOSEDOWN! coat! You know how good down is at 60mph? NOT! LMAO!
while at sturgis we got hailed on, rained on so hard i almost could not see the front tire and temps above 100 all in one week. i road into a bike bike show in IL at 2 deg.. and often road in temps around that on the polar bear run every year on new years day.. but we road over to some fort in IL once as a group ( not my cup of tea) but had some good friends along... was prolly 250miles one way and temps in the high 80's low 90's and was a great ride because of great friends.. we got to the fort and took pics eat lunch and road back.. on thw way back a guy went down ( shoulder was about 3ft down and all mud) so he didnt get hurt but was not getting out by himself and i could not believe no body had stopped to help as he was close to the front and we were close to the back. we of course stopped and helped him out, got all muddy and have a bunch of fun, made some new freinds and got lost// after finding out way we road by come mine openings that were about 50 yards off the road but the air comeing out of them was ssssssooooooo cold it made you shiver as you pased.. there were three, that was awesome.. just goof freinds, good times, good ride, i'll never forget it.
B.I.L. and I decided in advance we were going to ride to the annual WERA races held at raceway park just west of Indy in April. When I got up to get my bike ready that morning-It was a GS 550, black, 4 into one header, flat bars-it was spitting snow. But I was determined and even though he wasn't enthused, I convinced him it would surely get warmer.
Made it to Indy-about an 80 mile trip, frozen. Of course neither one of us had fairings on our bikes cause only "sissies" used them.
Sat in the grand stands eating hot dogs, drinking crappy coffee, trying to get warmed up-as the temps continued to drop all day.
When the last race was over we were getting ready to load up and leave, when a guy we both knew who happened to have an empty pickup truck offered to take us in his truck as far as Kokomo.
We unloaded our bikes in Kokomo and made the last leg home-about 25 miles frozen and muttering something about getting one of those fairings for our bikes.
Since then I have learned the greatest accessory for cold weather riding-no not a fairing-I still don't like them-but electric vests and gloves.
Side note-just because I don't like fairings, doesn't mean I haven't had bikes with them.
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