Fitting In

What a beautiful day for riding. Low 60s and only about 10 mph winds. Wanted to get an early start, but slept WAY late and didn’t hit the road until 1:00 p.m. Wasn’t sure where I wanted to go, but I soon found myself heading west out of town towards Casselton where I had been last week. Really just wanted to be sure there was a place to stop and get gas and something to drink.

Headed out of town through some residential areas before hitting the business district. Got stopped by my first train and hit every red light going through downtown. Finally got north of town and headed west. Took a bit of a different road for a while before jumping down to the one I rode last week. Should take the first one (Cty Rd 20) farther west to see where it leads. Not much exciting on the road. Just a lot of open road, bit of a cross-wind, and my first low-left salute. OK, I got a kick out of that.

Made it into Casselton and stopped at the gas station with the Subway inside for my usual chips and pop. As I pulled up there was a couple standing next to their bike (Harley something, I’ve really got to get better at identifying models). OBVIOUSLY experienced bikers. Gave a nod and mentioned how gorgeous it was for riding and started up a little conversation. He was JR and I don’t remember her name. He was from Kansas (City?) and she was from around Glyndon. They were heading out to Bismarck then Medora and mentioned how cold it was. Really? I thought it was perfect. Anyway, they asked about my bike and we just had a fun little chat.

Went inside to get my refreshments and sat by the window as usual. They were still gearing up for the road and a pickup rolled in with an older Harley in the bed (again I really wish I knew what it was – one of the green and orange ones). And then the big Gold Wing drove in. Yup, this is going to be a regular stop of mine. Finished up my stuff and was pulling out of the parking lot when a group of four (younger) riders pulled in from the south for gas. They were having a good time, and I think one had a little Sporty like me. Bad timing, because I was already pulling out of the parking lot. Would have liked to have chatted with them a while too.

Headed north out of Casselton and stayed on Hwy 18. Not too far out of town I met a group of four riders just out cruising too. Got a four-person low-left salute. Have to admit I was grinning ear-to-ear on that one. Went north through Arthur. Ya know, I’ve lived here for decades and I’ve never been through Arthur. See? The motorcycle is already expanding my horizons!

Finally pointed it east on Hwy 26 and past the Cass Valley North school. Something else I’d never laid eyes on before. Crossed over the Interstate and pointed it south on Hwy 81 at Grandin. More salutes because I think anyone who owns a bike was riding it today. Stopped in Harwood for a bottle of water and then rode back into town. Figures that a mile after I stopped, the low fuel light would come on. Kinda surprised me since I filled up at 117 miles and I had only put on 100 more. But I wasn’t going to argue. Stopped at the second gas station I passed and then once again went through some residential areas, got stopped by a train, and basically cruised home. Oh – one funny thing happened. I was stopped for the light at 11th and Main and a couple of foreign guys in some import convertible were turning the corner into Hornbacher’s. Driver did a double-take when he saw me. Thought he was going to do a donut whipping that car around in the parking lot. FUNNY! (Losers.)

My goal is to get the odometer up to 300 miles this weekend and as I rolled into the driveway it’s sitting at 255. I plan on getting out of bed in the morning and riding before I head to church. Might be cold, but the low traffic and winds will make it worth it.

And I’m starting to get much more comfortable shifting gears and finding speeds. I can now find 30 and 55 without looking. But I still don’t like going over 60 mph. Not sure why. Maybe because of all the wind. Meh; goal for next week.

Odometer: 255 miles