Going to my 30 year high school reunion on a scooter

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by tastroman, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    So here I sit, unable to sleep. It's hard for me to fathom what those of you who are heading out for a trip across the country or across the world must feel like the night before the trip. Hell, I'm just headed 300 miles north from Southwest Va. to DC and I've got the butterflies.
    I can't attribute all of the butterflies to the ride though. Sure the rain in the forecast and attacking DC traffic on a 250cc scooter has me thinking, but there is something about reuniting with friends that I have not seen in 30 years that has me going. In high school I was pretty much an average guy, "C" student, bench warmer and quiet in class. True to form I'm still pretty much an average guy. The older I get, the more I'm OK with this. Hell, someone has to sit at the peak of the bell curve. I've always told myself and my daughter that you have to evaluate your position based on your potential, and not to use somebody else as the standard for self evaluation. I imagine a 30 year reunion will put this motto to the test.
    With that, I'm off, knowing that the nice thing about bikes is that the ride home should provide ample time for reflection.


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  2. Joelh

    Joelh Adventurer

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    Enjoy your ride. I once did 100 miles on my 79 vespa and it was a bigger adventure than almost anything on my big bike. I love sw VA. Some of the most beautiful terrain in the country.
    #2
  3. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

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    So which HS? Ride safe, been a steady rain up here for days. Post up after u get home and tell us how it went. My 30 yr too but I'm going riding this weekend instead.
    #3
  4. WoodButcher

    WoodButcher Long timer

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    What high school? I'm a few years older, but went to high school in the DC area myself. On the ride back you will have lots of new things to reflect on. Like how much some people have changed and how some haven't.
    #4
  5. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

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    Mt Vernon for me
    #5
  6. K777

    K777 Adventurer

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    I was going to ride my Vespa from NYC to Liverpool NY for my 30th this summer, but I got a BMW F700GS right before it, so rode that instead.
    It was a fun ride and I had a blast at the reunion.

    Have a great trip & fun with old classmates:freaky
    #6
  7. Okie Preacher

    Okie Preacher Long timer

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    10 Year reunions are the pits because they are little more than DMC's.

    20 Year reunions and things start to smooth out.

    By the 30th... Things can be kind of fun. Life has a way of pointing out what is important and what isn't. The jocks and the jerks have mellowed, the quiet kids have matured and come into their own, and no one really gives a crap about what happened 30 years prior.

    Have a good time!
    #7
  8. rootsy

    rootsy Been here awhile

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    Great reason for a ride. I appreciate your contentment with being who you are. Safe travels.:freaky
    #8
  9. Trucker jay

    Trucker jay Adventurer

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    What roads are you going to take? The BRP and Skyline Drive is beautiful but kinda slow.
    #9
  10. GaryinVT

    GaryinVT Adventurer

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    My experience was the same as Okie Preacher. I had my 30th in 2010, and it was thoroughly enjoyable. People are much more comfortable with themselves in their late 40's; you're mostly settled in to who you are. Having reconnected with a few classmates in Facebook beforehand helped, and I have "friended" many more since. A lot of them that weren't even close friends in high school, but are friends now. Pretty cool.
    The only thing that was a bit uncomfortable was seeing some classmates not remembering each other. Including ones that you knew we're at least somewhat friends back then. I hope you had a good time.
    #10
  11. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    Ok, so I was kidding myself about the weather. Sure the weather man was calling for a washout but this is leaf changing season in Southwest Va. and I had it in my head that it was not going to rain so it wasn't going to.
    The the route to DC included the BR Parkway, Rt250, 20, 3, and RT 1. It was cloudy when I pulled out and when I reached the Parkway I had the feeling my positive thoughts had kept the rain at bay. I stopped and took a few shots as it was around 8am and I did not have to be in Dumfries Va. until 4:30pm.

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    #11
  12. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    I pulled into a couple overlooks to fully appreciate what one of the most beautiful roads in the east has to offer. On this day it was practically deserted. Seems the forecast was keeping everyone home.

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    #12
  13. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    I should not say it was deserted as I had the good fortune of picking a day that coincided with some type of vintage sports car rally so about every 5 minutes some form of 60's-70's pristine sports car would run by headed the opposite direction. It was really cool, Triumphs, Porsche's, Jaguar's and a whole slew of other makes that were beyond me to identify. I think they stagger the release of the cars so the spacing made sense. Maybe someone else here could chime in on how a rally actually works.
    #13
  14. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    Due to the furlough all of the services along the Parkway were shut down. That said, I decided to stop at the Peaks of Otter anyway as my wife and I were married there almost 20 years ago. I felt bad for the new concierge who took over the operation of the lodge and restaurant just this summer. Sucks that our politicians are using the populous as leverage for negotiation especially for a guy like the concierge.

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    As you would expect, I was the only one milling around.

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    #14
  15. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    This would be the last overlook I'd stop at for a while and from the pic you can see why. The clouds were beginning to close in and it was about to get hard to see.

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    #15
  16. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    Potomac High School in Dumfries Va.
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  17. KHVol

    KHVol Long timer

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    You will find that most of the pretense is gone by the 30 year reunion, most people are just genuinely glad to see each Other. Good luck.
    #17
  18. IslandMonkey

    IslandMonkey Been here awhile

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    Very nice. I hope the reunion goes well.
    #18
  19. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    The Blue Ridge Parkway and I have a bit of a history. I went to college at Radford in South West Va. while my parents lived in Northern Va. so I made the trip back and forth many times. My 81 CB900f was my only form of transportation back then and I quickly learned that the extra time it took to route home via the Parkway was worth the hit.


    Here's me acting like the immature 20 year old I was on that old CB.

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    The finest ride I took during those days was in the fall of 1985. The Roanoke Valley had just experienced the worst flood in it's history and the ceasing of the rain coincided with one of my pilgrimages home. I had trouble finding an open gas station as most of Roanoke was without power and large portions of the city were underwater.

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    After 3 stops I found an open station on the out skirts of town and headed up to the Parkway. The sun was shinning, the road was deserted and the unprecedented rainfall had created numerous cascading waterfalls that probably run once every 100 years. It was sublime.
    Not long after passing the Peaks of Otter I ran into the 1st vehicle I would see, a Harley headed the opposite direction. We met mid apex in a sweeper and after he went by I noticed his brake light come on. So the guy wanted to play. I wicked it up to around 60 and chuckled to myself, "Have fun catching me". Within minutes his headlight was flickering in my rear view. I thought, was this possible? I was setting a brisk pace on a sport bike yet there he was. Then after a turn or 2, he passed me. No really, the long haired guy on that Harley passed me.
    Well, we rode like bats out of hell from the Peaks all the way to Afton Mountain, he out in front leaving a trail of sparks in every corner and me blasting down the straights to close the distance every chance I got. I had the faster bike but he was clearly the more skilled rider and that experience humbles me to this day. We stopped for gas at Afton Mountain had a good chat, just 2 guys who like to ride, how it should be. It's sad that the brand of bike we chose often keep we lovers of 2 wheeled transportation segregated.
    25 years later, that experience inspired me to write the song below, "The Great Race". If you are feeling queasy don't watch as my beginner guitar playing has a way of making one sick.



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    #19
  20. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    Back to the present.

    The clouds rolled in making the ride to Afton Mountain a difficult trek due to poor visibility, leafy wet roads and the dodging of road imperfections. After dropping off of Afton Mountain, it would rain the rest of the way but much to my surprise my cheap Nelson Riggs rain suit along with the weather protection of my scoot kept me completely dry. As I neared Fredricksburg, the traffic really picked up. Once I hit Rt 1 it was stop and go all the way to Dumfries. I did not expect that kind of traffic headed towards the city at 3pm on a Friday. I guess one or two more families have moved to the area since I left 30 years ago. That said my scooter was really in it's element in that stop and go traffic and probably appreciated the break after being run hard from Orange to F-Burg. Total trip time including a lunch stop was 9 hours.
    #20