Cindy's Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Fast Ferris, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    Cancer sucks.

    I made a bomb run up to Hartford City, Indiana on Saturday, to hug a woman I barely know.

    It may be the last time I ever see her.

    This is Cindy's Ride.
    #1
  2. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    I was up late Friday night. Had to get in a full day of w*rk (ya hafta spell the "W" word that way, so as not to offend sensitive eyes, and also so the profanity filter don't kick in and ya get nothing but four reds dots where the word "w*rk" is s'posed to be...), and knock off some other manly-man ch*res (•••• there's another one...).

    I'da taken the day off on Friday (heck, that's what the first Ferris Bueller feller woulda done...) and ridden up to Indiana the long, slow, photo- and adventure-rich route (i.e. ANYTHING but the Interstate), but, well, we finally got new windows coming to This Old Dump later this week and they surely ain't cheap. (Low E and argon must be up there with Brazilian Rosewood for all the money they charge for the stuff. And who knew that crummy old white vinyl cost so derned much?!?)

    Nope, Friday was a full wo*k day, which meant my date with Cindy would begin in the dark on Saturday.

    Deer-thirty here on the Parkway, in other words.

    Shuteye came way frikkin' late Friday night, and 2 a.m. Saturday morning came even earlier. Denise got some thick coffee a-brewin' (she likes it just the way I do, lawsuit-hot and chewy enough you can stand a spoon up in it), and I fished some oak slivers outta the winter woodpile to prop my eyelids open with.

    I was rolling at 4 ayem, crawling up the Parkway towards Fancy Gap in second gear, mindful of the forest rats, I mean deer, that were surely already skulking their way en masse towards our flower garden. I saw a few (and most assuredly didn't see a lot more), but, for once, they all jumped AWAY from the motorcycle, and the Parkway came and went without incident.

    We love it here.

    I-77 is what it is, and I put my head down and got it done. In addition to the big rigs (I really don't mind them all that much – I'd rather deal with pro drivers than the non-pros any day of the week) and the dark, by and by I had to deal with fog, and then a butt-load of rain to drive it all home.

    I'd watched the radar loop several times before launch, and was hoping to sneak by the stuff sliding up the Blue Ridge and bearing down on Wytheville, Virginia, and angle in well behind the stuff presently mucking about in the coal-rich mountains of southwest West Virginia.

    I ran the Wytheville gauntlet just fine, but made muchtoogooda time and went right up the ass end of the crap running through SWWV.

    Shiite.

    The 'Stich did its job (although with the rain came unseasonable cold; mighta shoulda packed the heated gear after all...), and, once again, Aerostich's oddly-named Glocks ("The Claw! The Claw!") saved my age-sensitive hands (one too many episodes of two-wheeled near-frostbite).

    One of the few bummers on the day was discovering that the West Virginia Turnpike has raised their rates since I was through last time. I had six Baggies with five quarters each neatly arranged in one of the 'Stich pockets (one Baggie each for the three toll booths each way), but discovered it's now two bucks a pop x three for the privilege of riding along this portion of Interstate.

    My system meant I could roll up to the tollbooth and pay my way without having to take off a glove/Glock combo. The extra three bits per stop tossed all my brilliant foresight right out the proverbial window.

    Sigh.

    By the time I angled northwest on 35 towards Ohio it was finally light, and the rain had stopped, but it sure seemed cold for the latter part of August. The sky was unfriendly and angry-looking, but traffic was light, and southeast Ohio's rich farm country is always achingly beautiful.

    I didn't eat before I left the house, and chose not to eat on the way up. Not sure why, except to save time, and other than gassin' and peein' (and the occasional cell sex with Denise) I was good to go.

    I hooked a right on Ohio 72, well before The Hole That Is Dayton (which, I warn you, to avoid on a motorcycle at all costs. In a car, ya say? Sure, go there and STAY there) and enjoyed some actual tactile riding for a change, dipping and diving through rolling cornfields and around John Deeres and grain silos and the occasional bevy of dairy cows, and immensely enjoyed what my mind deemed "real country" at the time, as opposed to the sterility of Highway 35, which, although it starts out bucolic enough, quickly gets all serious and monotonously flat and straight. Kinda like the Interstate, in other words, just not on all the 'roids.

    I surely enjoyed Cedarville, Ohio as I motored quietly through its "real country" grace and charm. I couldn't afford to stop, but the view as I idled down Main Street (think stately century-old homes and very mature landscaping) was refreshing and invigorating. Blue sky and apple pie à la moto.

    72 came and went too soon, which meant a westbound stint on I-70 over the top of THTIDayton, my sights now firmly set on Indiana. John Cougar, here I come. (Does ANYONE besides me still call him John Cougar???)

    Traffic wasn't tooooooooooo bad – at least everybody was hauling the mail, so I continued to make good time. I had my first of two "encounters" along this chunk, as a brain-dead cager decided she needed my spot in the fast lane more than I did. To my discredit, I was in her blind spot, but if yer overtakin' cars (and I was) you're gonna be in someone's blind spot once in a while, whether you like it or not. The trick, of course, is not to stay there.

    And blind spot or not, I wished she had actually used her rear-view mirror (not totally sure why they even install them on cars these days...) and seen me coming up her six from quite the ways back.

    Anyway, she made her move in the moment I was invisible to her. Over she came, matter of fact as can be. I wasn't surprised, or even 'skeered(although I was trying hard not to be pissed off), and simply matched her trajectory and eased over onto the left shoulder, clipping through the marbles at a righteous 80 per, as she fully engulfed my lane and plowed ahead like the Exxon Valdez.

    The peeps in the car behind me seemed a bit freaked out, knowing they were about to see a 200-pound Harley and 800-pound rider (spoo, there's that lysdexia again thing...) make big icky carnage in the median.

    I rode along the shoulder for a bit, pondering my best course of action, which, of course, was to get my bad ass outta harm's way.

    I eased up enough to slip in behind the blind woman and her four-wheeled white cane, and then slid up on her right, nice and polite. Didn't even flip her off, but I did use my left arm in a "Hey, what about me!" gesture.

    Nothing. Hands at 10 and 2, brows a-furrowed and eyes front.

    I tried the "Hey, what about me!" thing again, this time with even more emphasis on the "Hey, what about ME!" part.

    Still nothing.

    So I waved, big, slow and obvious, in a broad, sweeping "kumbaya" sorta way.

    Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya. O Lord, kumbaya.

    Apparently she didn't know the lyrics. Not even so much as a flicker of cranial registration. And I don't think it was anything other than she just didn't see me (or anyone else, for that matter). "I gots me a bad case of tunnel vision baby, and if you ain't right damn in front of me, right on the verge of becoming hood splat, well mister, you ain't even there."

    Nothing to do but smile and motor on. I hate the fact that the highways are chock-a-block full of maroons just like her, ready to take you out and then offer the classic, "I didn't see him, officer." Cryin' shame all it takes to get (or retain) a driver's license these days is the ability to breathe through your mouth.

    Hell, ya don't even have to speak inglés anymore. "If you'd like to speak to someone other than an illegal alien, please press 2."

    My goal was to get to Hartford City for Cindy's Ride in plenty of time. 2 o'clock was kick stands-up at the AmVets hall, and I absolutely did not want to be late (hence the oh-dark-thirty departure and no food stops deal today – I'm a strained professional; please don't try this at home...).

    I pulled into Jim and Kim Bantz's driveway at 1:15, right on my mark, another five hundred miles on the RK's clock. You may know that Jim more often than not goes by JB2 to his (many) riding friends, and you should also know that he's my brother.

    Yeah, he may have a different Mom than me, and I'm a whole mess taller and better lookin,' but we're brothers nonetheless.

    I shed my gear (it was cold enough I'd left my 'Stich and winter gloves on the whole way), and unhooked the Ortlieb Dry Bag off the back seat. We hugged, smoked a quick stogie apiece, told some white lies and tall tales (we're brothers, after all), then jumped on our motors and aimed for the AmVets post.

    Cindy was waiting.


    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    [​IMG]

    These guys have been thick as thieves since they were kids.
    #3
  4. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    [​IMG]

    ...and his sweet Suzy, staged in the VIP slot.
    #4
  5. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    [​IMG]

    ...whose name escapes me at the moment.
    #5
  6. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    [​IMG]

    ...confabbing with Hartford City's finest.

    The PD was there to run block for us as we made our way thru town for our date with Cindy. They did a great job.
    #6
  7. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    [​IMG]

    ...getting ready to roll out a few minutes ahead of the group so he could set up in front of Cindy and Ernie's house and take photos of all the bikes.

    He took some stellar photos, and I'm hoping he'll post up some of them here.
    #7
  8. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    [​IMG]

    ...listening to the pre-ride.
    #8
  9. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    Cue John Cougar.
    #9
  10. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    ...are very good people.
    #10
  11. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    #11
  12. Dnutz

    Dnutz Adventurer

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    Very too cool.
    Looking forward to the rest,
    Your #1 fan,
    D
    #12
  13. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    FB1,

    Ernie's brother's name is Duane. So glad you posted the thread here on ADV. I'll jump in when necessary but for the most part I'm gonna watch it unfold in your words and pictures. Keep painting pictures brother.

    :lurk

    JB2
    #13
  14. RedUly

    RedUly Esse Quam Videri

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    Very Cool!
    #14
  15. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    JB2 has asked that I insert his photos into Cindy's Ride at the appropriate places as I go along, to help better tell the tale.

    Thank you, brother.


    [​IMG]
    photo by JB2

    That's Cindy and Ernie's home on the left, tucked down a quiet side street in Hartford City.

    You can't see it much in this photo, but their yard is beautifully landscaped and painted with a multitude of plants and flowers, all done over many years by Cindy's loving hands.

    There's Ernie, in the black shirt, waiting out front, his ultra-sano Shovel parked on the sidewalk.

    There was quite a group of family, friends and neighbors gathered to show their love and support for Cindy and Ernie, including Ernie's elderly father.

    You can't see her in this pic, but Cindy is up there, on the porch, bundled up against the cold in her wheelchair, awaiting her special parade.

    Look close and you'll see her leathers hanging at the ready, in the upper yard behind Ernie's Harley.

    Look even closer and you'll see her boots at curbside.

    Cindy can no longer ride.

    But her heart and spirit will always be in the wind.
    #15
  16. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    [​IMG]
    photo by JB2
    #16
  17. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    photo by JB2
    #17
  18. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    photo by JB2
    #18
  19. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    photo by JB2
    #19
  20. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    [​IMG]
    photo by JB2
    #20