Long Day

It was a PERFECT day for a long ride. I had been planning to take advantage of the break from the rainy weather for a few days. Wanted to go out the the H-D dealer in Jamestown where I got my bike and just schmooze for a bit. Also had ideas of checking out luggage, talking about trading up, and scheduling my 1000 mile service. Any excuse to get out of town.

Got up early and hit the road about 6:45 a.m., which meant there wasn’t a lot of traffic on the road. Went through the center of town and even rode down Main Avenue from 25th to 45th before heading out of town on the county road. Had an interesting experience when I had to stop at the light coming up from an underpass. Keeping your hand on the brake to keep from rolling backwards while trying to rev the throttle to get moving, was a new one for me. Done it in a car thousands of time, but that’s way different than trying to get one hand to do two things at once. (Suggestions here anyone? Make a comment, please.)

Ran into a bit of road construction out on the county road too. They had milled the asphalt and created longitudinal grooves. Slowed way down for that. Felt like I was on rails, the bike was floating along the grooves – strange feeling. Luckily that lasted for only a couple of miles. And it means nice, smooth, fresh asphalt is on the way. 🙂

Stopped in Casselton to gas up and grab a granola bar. There was a party of maybe 3 or 4 bikes (6 or 8 folks) meeting up there as well. They were doing their own thing, so no chatting this time.

Rode maybe another hour and my stomach was rumbling, so I pulled over in Enderlin to eat the granola bar. Never been to Enderlin before. Nice little town. Wanted to pull into the park, but it looked like a steep dirt road in and out, so I just pulled into the parking lot of an empty building for breakfast. This is probably close to the half way point of the trip out.

The rest of the ride to Jamestown was pretty uneventful. There’s some pretty country down there, but not a lot of markers to let me know how much further to go. For a while I was thinking I missed the turn because it seemed so long. But of course it would be hard to miss the turns. They have stop signs and theres only about two in the whole 60 miles or so. I now look at stop signs in a whole new light. They are an opportunity to stretch your arms and legs for just a bit.

Got into the dealership and again there was a party of folks getting ready to head out. Place was busy – imagine that on a gorgeous Saturday. Took a break there – love the fact that they have bottled water and donuts available. Looked around for a bit too. Talked to the sales guy and the finance guy. Asked about the nasty mark my helmet leaves on my forehead when I wear it for over an hour. No real suggestions there. Might try a bandana and see if the mark isn’t quite so raw. Only picked up a couple of things for cleaning the bugs off the bike. Strapped them on the back and headed out to get some gas for the trip home. Pulled up to the usual gas station only to find notes taped to the pumps that the power was out, so I had to cross the Interstate and find a new place. There were a couple of bikes there doing exactly the same thing.

Return trips always seem so much shorter. Stopped in Enderlin again just for a stretch. Checked the cell phone too. While I was in Jamestown the painter called and basically said he couldn’t get in because everyone was sleeping. I didn’t quite understand that. I figured if they opened the door he could just get started. (Painting is NOT a spectator sport – believe me.) Anyway, now the messages were that he would be back around 3:30-4:00 to get started. I had a couple of hours, but not a lot of time to spare. Back on the road.

Did stop in Casselton again, this time for lunch. The Subway there is becoming a regular destination for me. Nothing of note the rest of the ride home. Just felt really good, and really natural, to be on the bike. I know I missed riding it for those couple of weeks. I really needed to get it out on the road.

As you can imagine, I was tired and thirsty when I got home, but I headed immediately to the paint store to pick up the gallon the painter requested. By the time I got back, he was there and had already started painting the kitchen. Couldn’t get to the fridge. And he mentioned that he wanted to do the living room tomorrow. That means we have to get all the furniture out tonight. Suck it up and start packing. Chased one kid out to mow the yard and got the other to help me move the case goods out to the garage. Just what I needed after a long ride. It took most of the night to get that taken care of. Other than a picnic supper in the middle of the living room floor, we all worked the rest of the night. The kids finally wrestled the duster out of my hands about 8:00 and sent me to bed. I couldn’t complete sentences at that point. Good kids that they are, they actually let me tell them what needed to be done and they did it – including moving a monstrosity of a desk. They really came through for me.

Wanted to get the bike up to 800 miles today, but fell just a few short. With more time I would have done a big loop to cross that mark. Oh well. Just means I’ll need to take the long way home from work a couple of nights this week. 😉

Forgot to mention that this was the first day wearing the chaps on the bike. They sure helped in a number of ways. I seem to keep catching the left leg of my jeans when I go to put my foot down. The chaps took care of that problem. And about the time you wonder if they’re necessary, you look down at all the crap like bugs and dust and stone marks all over them and decide they’re a heck of a good idea. Won’t use them in town, but for these longer jaunts they’re going to be nice.

Odometer: 780 miles