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Old 03-16-2004, 06:04 PM   #13
Rogue 1 OP
Walking Nike Ad
 
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Joined: Mar 2004
Location: New York City
Oddometer: 659
New and Improved....

Chicago is amazing! My kinda' town! I will definitely return there someday! And I will make sure I stay at the Hotel 71. If any of you are ever there, that is the place you want to stay, and make sure you say hi to Reyna and Phillip!

Sunday October 6th

Partly cloudy to full sun, cold in the shade. I am up at 8am packed and off to the only Kinkos open on Sunday to dump my pics, burn them onto a CD and clear the cameras memory cards.



Kinkos, to say the least, is not very helpful. Thankfully, I bump into another savior in the form of Dawn Furman. Dawn is mentally a New Yorker and is running a little impatient and edgy due to Kinkos competent and helpful staff.

Armed with her Mac G4 Power Book, complete with on board CD burner (man I need a laptop) she agrees to help me, warming up as I relay my situation. Apparently her boyfriend Ian (pronounced "eye-an") just bought a new BMW R1150RT (imagine that!) and has aspirations of taking the "Long Ride" as well.

We chat while the pics are transferring and I find out she produces TV commercials. I tell her I'll eventually get to Cabo San Lucas and shes just been there filming the new Volkswagen Beetle Convertible commercial. She shows me covert pics (which she has signed a confidentiality agreement on, shhhh!) and I will tell you now, they are going to sell a million of them!

Screw Kinkos...

My new best friend...



C'mon! Baby dontchawan ta go... Sweet Home Chicago... I can't find Jake


We finish up the transfer and Dawn lets me know I have a place to stay if I am ever in Miami (seems shes from out of town as well) and we part company. (Hi Dawn& Ian! Get on the road guys!)

Okay... I am OTR at 2:45pm (very late) and heading for St. Louis, MO. GPS guides me to I55 South. It's breezy, chilly and sunny. It feels good to be on the road again.

50 miles south of Chicago the wind picks up on the plains of Illinois and once again I am being blown across lanes of traffic (which is, thankfully, very light). When you are sweeping into a right turn but leaning to the left, you know it's windy.

I am now in "Big Sky" country, flat with thousands of square miles of corn or wheat or whatever fields. It looks like corn, but no one could need this much! My speed is down to 65 due to the wind.

The wind has bent the prairie grass to a permanent 90 degree angle



I pass Joliet IL and am unable to find the prison Jake was in... darn, I wanted that picture.

The small roadside towns with service stations rise out of the cornfields like oases in the desert. Shangri-Las set in a sea of wheat, waves blown by the wind, the 4 and 5 story sign posts like palm trees on a desert island. (Waxing poetic, please indulge me)

I exit for a fill up and am almost blown right off the road. As I turn east onto the over pass, putting the wind at my back, it goes quiet and eerily calm. I am riding the wind.

Killer sunset...


I probably snapped a total of 100 pics at various points of this one sunset... it just kept getting better...


Later, after one of my frequent photo stops, I am almost flattened reentering the flow of traffic! ...oops, objects in mirror are close than they appear.

... but worth it...





South to Springfield IL (Home of Lincoln) I exit to find room for the night. Dinner at Appleby's... nice people, awful salad. I check into a shabby Budget Inn and at $35,

I don't complain. (Someday I'll camp... maybe when I get south into the warmth, right now it is just too damn cold).

Cover shot... wow... this could be a BMW ad... maybe I could get in on this....



...hmmm... wonder if BMW needs a rep? whaddaya think? OK... I know, don't give up my day job...



Monday October 7th

Its 42 degrees and sunny and as I load the Beast a redneck with bad hair (a mullet, circa 1978) says "That bike is tight!" Thanks man.

My contact in St. Louis, a long lost and dear friend, Leslie, will meet me for lunch when I arrive. We agree to meet at the BMW dealer there, BMW Motorrad of St. Louis, where I plan on getting a long overdue oil change (almost 2800 miles since I got serviced in Raleigh NC) and a pair of waterproof lined pants to replace my long gone rain pants and keep me warm. (Of course I have 3 pairs of similar items sitting in my closet at home, some boy scout I turned out to be) Maybe some cold weather gloves as well (also safe in a closet at home).

I am on the road late at 11am and I am scraping 100mph on I55 to make up for lost time and get to BMW St Louis by 12:30 (145 miles).

The road is straight, flat and boring. 30 miles north of St Louis I spy another bike ahead of me and accelerate to catch it. Wow, at 105 plus it takes a while to catch him, this guy is really hauling ass. As I get close... uh oh... It's a cop!

Well isn't this just dandy. I know he knows I've come up behind him ultra fast as I have my 110 watt PIAA driving lights on to get the idiots to keep right (not that that works). Even if he was blind he'd still feel the heat they project. No sense faking it (not my style) I pull up next to him and match his speed (now about 90).

I give him a nod and thumbs up on his ride and he returns the compliment with a smile! Hmmm... okay... I accelerate and pass, he doesn't follow.

Awesome!

30 seconds later I realize I missed a unique photo op, slow and wave him up to me... pulling the camera out at 85mph (funny how no other cars are coming near us) he starts laughing as I snap a few pics of him and I .

You guys have got to see these shots... one of a kind... me and an Illinois State Trooper breaking the sound barrier with a smile!


YOUR GONNA LOVE THESE!





The Man is Laughing! AT 90!


God Bless America... and very cool Highway Police!


I give him a salute and leave him in the dust... what a great country we live in!

20 miles north of St Louis I see the Arch on the horizon... each hillcrest brings it a little closer, a little larger.

I cross the Mississippi into Missouri and enter downtown St Louis making my way to The Arch via GPS directions (flawless). The Mississippi is just like Mark Twain describes it. Big, wide, slow and muddy. The Arch gleams like brushed aluminum in the high afternoon sun.




Whaddaya know....


I arrive at BMW Motorrad at 12:50pm to find them closed on Mondays. Damn, I should have checked on that. OK, I'll just get a haircut then.
Nope! ... all the barber shops are closed in St Louis on Mondays as well!?!?

No pants (I'll freeze) No oil (Beast will seize) and no hair cut (I need a tease)

(I kill myself! Ok, after that one, some of you are probably wishing I would... sorry)




As my cell phone battery dies a truck pulls up and out comes Neville McNaughton of Midwest Rider News, a local motorcycle newspaper ala Backroads in the NY/NJ area. We chat a bit, I ask Neville if he is familiar with Backroads and its publishers, Brian & Shira Rathgen and I am a little surprised that he is very well acquainted with them. He states, in fact, that his paper isn't quite as established as Backroads but he will get there eventually. He gives me a copy of his paper (which was a great read) and directions to an open shop (Donelsons) where I can get what I need.

I find an open barber on the way and "FLOW" from Mel's Diner gives me the worst haircut I have ever had!

After 3 attempts to get it right (shorter every time) I stop her and run like hell while there is still some hair left on my head. I look like a chemo patient.

Donelsons supplies me with a quart of oil, a great deal on a pair of Fieldsheer water proof Cordura pants with a quilted liner ($49, very inexpensive) and a pair of First Gear winter gloves ($44)and a little charge time on the cell phone.

While I'm there, a Red Bull rep asks me about my ride, after hearing a condensed version, he loads me up with free Red Bulls, "Your gonna need these!" Yes I am!

I meet up with Leslie and we have a great lunch, catching up on families and rehashing old times. It was great to see you Leslie, been too long. We part and I end up "journaling" at the bar, watching Monday Night Football and downing ice cold Coronas. (GB 21/CB 7). It's too late, too tired and too many Coronas to ride, I Catch a room at the Days Inn and prep for tomorrow.

Leslie was sweet not to make fun of my abortion of a haircut... it's ok, I don't expect the same of you guy's...lol



Tuesday October 8th

Cloudy, cool and The Beast has 4193 miles to date.

I pack and proceed to check out to find that dear Leslie has paid my Hotel bill (don't get any ideas here folks, bunch a little perverts!... chuckle).

It was a very generous and sweet thing to do, thanks kiddo! Outside, a few employees are admiring the Beast; again, I am asked about the ride and wished a hearty good luck. As I pull out, I shout "HI OH Silver!" and the three people watching me shout back in unison "AWAY!!!"... and bang, just like that the Beast has a name... Silver. (Cheezy or not... thats how these things happen.)

Till the next one...

Rogue

Rogue 1 screwed with this post 08-11-2006 at 11:36 PM Reason: font color test
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