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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by radare, Jul 3, 2019.
wow.. you make quick work of that Fly n Ride. Good job!
never wear briefs when traveling on motorcycle,-get some poly undershorts(fruit of the loom).
They have saved my ass(literally) on my buy,fly,ride trips.
my plane carry on is a helmet in helmet bag,rain jacket stuffed in helmet.
recent trip fly to Chicago and ride v2 strom back to Boston(1090 mi) was a delite because
this time i had a mp3 player and earplugs to use on the plane and on the turnpike way home.
hey hey, goodbye....
congrats on the deal.
undershorts/ the boxer type, with a bit of leg and no hem in the cheek area....
After I cleaned the bike, in Dodge City, my wife sent me a FaceTime with her and the kiddo. That made me really homesick and I decided I was pretty much the hell over the ride so I spent most of the last day zipping along at 70 mph or so. I made it home around 6 PM. I don't know why I thought otherwise, but the last day's ride ended just like all the others; with rain.
The ending mileage on the odometer is 3,366 miles. The bike had 1,570 miles on it when I loaded it into the trailer in Appling for a total of 1,796 miles. That averages out to about 450 miles a day which I'm pretty happy with.
With this ride concluded, I've now ridden a motorbike in 17 of the 50 states. I have long wanted to take a trip up the western coastline from California to the Olympic Peninsula. That may be the next ride of any substance I do.
I didn't sleep well last night. I kept having nightmares about bears, of all things. I woke up this morning, early, to stomach cramps which lasted a couple of hours. Blame that on 5 days of fast-food? Anyhow, I'll download the photos I took and put together a formal ride report here in the next couple of days.
Way to turn a potentially deal breaking oversight into an Adventure! And thanks for documenting it here; great riding and writing!
There isn't a single person alive today who personally knew someone who fought or died in the Civil War. Anyone mourning a relative lost in the Civil War is pretending. They can't love someone they never actually met or knew. They may be mourning history, suffering from nostalgia, or "love" in an academic/theoretical sense - but it isn't love and they are not "loved ones". They are people who have been gone for 100 years or more at this point.
As to the Confederate flag, it represents the Lost Cause. If you want to argue it - be my guest - but let's review Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution of the Confederate States of America:
" In all such territory, the institution of negro slavery as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected by Congress, and by the territorial government: and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories, shall have the right to take to such territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the states or territories of the Confederate states."
Or the South Carolina Secession declaration of 24 December 1860.
"We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection."
All this "states rights" is historical revisionism BS. The Confederate flag is THE symbol of social acceptance of slavery and racism. It can't be a symbol of rebellion independent of the cause for which it stood.
But the CB500F is a fantastic motorcycle and congratulations to the OP for the acquisition! I still have a pang of regret for not buying one as my first "second" bike.
Guess you never visited or had relatives in the South.
There are people there that still call the Civil War-The War of Northern Aggression.
Not saying slavery was right!
My mother was born and raised in Kentucky. My father's ancestral family owned a very large plantation with slaves in North Carolina.
I have no issue with modern day southerners calling the Civil War - The War of Northern Aggression. They can call it whatever they want but the simple fact is they are defending a society that de-humanized and mis-treated an entire race of human beings. They can be proud of that all they want but it doesn't mean that anyone should respect them for it nor their flag that represented that society and its values. Personally, I find it reprehensible and am not proud of my ancestors for their racist past. The last thing I hope any southerner would do, bless their heart, is wave a Confederate flag in the face of a black motorcycle rider and proclaim the rightness of the cause.
As to the CB500F, I suspect it is a great bike for around town and less than 40 miles jaunts through the countryside. My daily commute is 20 miles each way at 60mph and I feared I would quickly tire of the high rpm's required to maintain that speed. I can't fathom a 1,000 plus mile trip on one... but... I don't have a picture but on my recent trip to Alaska (see posts/pics in Alaska 2019 thread and Random Thoughts on a Road King thread) there was a husband and wife who appeared to be riding to/from Alaska - he on a CB500F and she on a CB300F - both with tail bags and tank bags. I saw their bikes outside the hotel in Watson Lake and passed them later that day southbound while they were taking pictures. They arrived at Liard Hot Springs Lodge just as I was leaving and that was when I got a reasonably good look at their bikes. They didn't have hard panniers and I forget whether they had soft panniers but they were clearly doing big miles on the newer CB small displacement bikes.
There's people in Colorado that put a confederate flag up on their barns or on a pole in the back of their silly brodozer. Thing is, nobody here even has the dumb "heritage, not hate" defense, so it's about as effective as a klan hood at publicly identifying yourself as a shitty person.
Not defending the confederate flag by any means. As a lifelong resident of Alabama, I roll my eyes every time I see a confederate flag flying in a yard or displayed on a vehicle. Although, I find it distasteful that the OP says "F Alabama" because of the actions of one or a few. I would be willing to bet he met or talked to very nice, good people during his stay in Florence. As the previous poster stated, you'll see confederate flags everywhere. Racist aren't exclusive to the south. I witnessed my fair share of rednecks when I was in Oregon. All I'm saying is don't disparage a whole state with a broad generalization because of the action of a person(s) while passing through.
Now you have an excellent point there. It isn't like there were not and are not racists north of the Mason-Dixon Line. There certainly were and certainly are today. You are correct, we should not paint a geographical region - no matter how large or how small - by the actions of a few. One of the things I like most about riding a motorcycle is that it constantly reinforces the reality that there are good people everywhere - and not in small numbers. The vast majority of people are good people.
On my recent trip to Alaska I encountered one definitively unfriendly group people in an out-of-the-way town North Dakota town. We stepped through the door of this cafe and it was straight out of Hollywood - everybody stopped talking for a minute and they stared at us while we walked to a table and sat down. One old fellow stared at me the entire time I was there. The waitress was cold and as un-welcoming as the patrons. Other than taking our order and delivering our food, she never re-filled our water glasses or checked to see how the food was or whether we wanted anything else. It became equally stone quiet when we got up to leave. We were two white guys from Minnesota. I can't imagine what a black or asian person would have experienced.
But that was just one 60 minute episode in a twenty day trip where everyone else was positively warm, happy, polite, and engaging. I introduced myself to a hundred or more people - store clerks, hotel desk clerks, random people at roadside stops, other riders, bicyclists, a guy walking from Ontario to Deadhorse, a woman from Kyoto who could not speak English (and I don't speak Japanese), a tour bus driver from Anchorage, antique car club members from Fairbanks on a rally to Dawson City, people in rv's from all over the US, First Nations people in BC & YT, and I can honestly say I didn't have a single negative experience in any of these exchanges.
They say that in Muslim countries people treat travelers with graciousness because the Koran teaches that travelers are gifts from God. In the US and Canada I think people are nice to travelers simply because they themselves are nice people, regardless of religious affiliation. Sure, Amish will be a bit stand-offish and Mennonites less so but otherwise the grand majority of people are approachable and genuinely nice.
I've been to Alabama. I plan on going in the future - hopefully to play golf and ride motorcycles. I have distant relatives who live there and, quite possibly, are of the Confederate flag flying contingent. Your post will remind me not to color the entire state with whatever negative experiences or observations I might have.
Now back to the CB500F. I like the more recent colors Honda has applied to the bike. The flat black in 2015-2016 was a poor choice IMO. The gloss red and blue of 2017 and 2018 are gorgeous. I did like the gloss white of 2015/16 but no so much with the heavier red candy stripe graphics - those made it appear to be a candy cane bike. I would like to test ride the new CB650F to see if I like the engine as well as the 498cc twin. So many bikes. So little money in the bank and room in the garage.
So here's a test:
Now that you've got 3 full days since the end of the trip and hopefully the saddle soreness has subsided, have you got back on the bike yet? Does it do it for you that much?
Day 1: Denver, Colorado --> Augusta, Georgia
I woke up in Denver, early on the 3rd of July. I'd booked a flight from Denver to Atlanta and it departed at 9:05. My wife planned to drop me off at the airport but we had to take the kiddo to school first. So it was an early morning.
I didn't have a lick of trouble getting to the airport, checking in the 50 pounds of gear I took along, getting through security, or getting to the gate. The flight was on-time. I've rarely had a Southwest flight that wasn't.
Ed had given me a copy of "Lois on the Loose", hell, more than a year ago, and it'd been on my nightstand since. I thought this a good time to take it along and read it. It'd make for a shorter plane ride.
As we were preparing to leave the gate, the flight attendant asked a man a couple rows in front of me to put something under the seat in front of him. It was a large movie camera and I suspect, fragile and expensive. He argued, then refused. They asked him to deplane. He refused that too. After about 20 minutes of back and forth, the flight attendant came on the intercom and announced that since the passenger refused to get off, that everyone would get off and then re-board the plane. That was unpopular. Everyone on the plane, in unison, boo'ed the guy. After a couple of more minutes, Denver Police showed up and he was escorted off the plan. We didn't have to get off. As he was escorted off, the plan erupted in vigorous clapping. We were about to go Lord-of-the-Flies on his ass.
The seller had broken his leg and was in a cast. He couldn't drive and so I couldn't rely on him helping me get the bike to the hotel. I knew this beforehand and gave it a ton of thought to make sure everything would come together. To make it all work, I had get a rental car to get me from Atlanta to Augusta, then drive the rental car to the local Uhaul where I'd reserved a pickup and trailer, leaving the rental car at the Uhaul. I'd drive the truck over to get the bike. Once I had the bike, I'd tow the bike to the Augusta airport where I'd park it in airport parking. I'd then drive the truck back to Uhaul and pick up the car. I'd drive the car to the hotel, check in and drop off my luggage. I'd then end the night by returning the rental car to the airport and riding the bike back to the hotel. There'd be a lot of dominoes that'd have to fall into place.
I was running a tight schedule on Day 1. I had to be in Augusta before 7:00 PM to pick up a Uhaul rental pickup and trailer. They shop closed at 7, hence the urgency. We landed in Atlanta at 2:05 PM and all was on track. I picked up my luggage and strapped the duffel bag full of gear to my back like a backpack. DEAR GOD it was heavy. I was barely strong enough to tote it around the airport without falling backward. I rode a sky train to the rental terminal and found the line for Avis. There were a lot of people in that line and the mood wasn't great. I soon figured out why. I stood in the Avis line for an hour and 5 minutes before finally getting to the counter. They gave me the car and I headed to the parking lot.
I'd rented a Toyota Prius. I've never driven one. So I put my gear in the back, hopped in and hit the start button. A message appeared telling me to put my foot on the brake and push the start button. So I did that, again. Nothing. The lights on the dash came on but that's it. I tried it again. I tried it again. I tried it, yet again. Finally, I realized, "geeze, you dummy, it's electric". I reached down, pushed it in drive and on I went without issue. I knew how to turn it on. It was now a bit after 4:00 PM.
Traffic in Atlanta was heavy. Of course it was. Rush hour on a Tuesday afternoon. Siri told me that I had 2 1/2 hours of driving; some 156 miles to Augusta.
I may have pushed the definition of "Speed Limit 70mph" a bit and made it to Uhaul in Augusta at 6:35 PM. They had my truck ready and by 7:00 PM, I was on my way.
It took me about 30 minutes of getting-lost to find the Seller's house. He lived out in a rural area and had quite a nice chunk of land. The bike was waiting for me when I arrived. It was in good shape and I was excited.
I rolled it out to the street and onto the trailer I'd rented from Uhaul. The bike is surprising light and loading it and strapping it was easy.
I towed it over to August airport. I'd planned to offload it on a nearby street and ride it to the airport and then walk back to the truck. I didn't want to look suspicious or raise the eyebrows of the local police department. When I got there, though, it was after 10PM and nobody was around so I pulled into their cell-phone waiting parking and unloaded the bike and rode it into short-term parking. Nobody even noticed.
Before I'd left Denver, I made and printed a keychain for the bike. Before really riding the bike, you know, I had to have the keychain on.
After dropping off the rental car, I rode back to the hotel. It was getting late and I hadn't eaten anything at all that day. At 11:55pm, I called in an order to Dominoes Pizza. Nothing else was open. The pizza was exactly what I needed.
Day 2: Augusta, Georgia --> Florence, Alabama
I woke up later than I wanted, somewhere around 8:30 AM. The late night coupled with the two-hour time zone difference really made it tough. I went out and took a good look at the bike. I didn't get to see too much of it the day before because I was in such a tight schedule. Overall, it looks amazing. I can't find a scratch or paint chip on the paintwork. The fork seal dust boots are weather checked so I'll replace those later. There is some surface rusting/corrosion on some of the hardware and clamps; I attribute this to the humidity though I'm not sure. We'll worry about that later.
One thing I noticed immediately when riding it into the parking at the airport is the horn button. This thing is huge and it's where the signal switch should be. I kept honking the damned horn every time I reached for the signals. I don't know why its here; perhaps to mirror the location of the hazard switch on the other side, or maybe to accommodate other countries? I don't know. But I soon got used to it.
After the ride to the hotel last night, the bike has 1,588 miles on it. We'll call this my starting mileage.
I brought a Givi rear rack and a Puig windscreen with me and the first order of business was to install those. The rear rack was really easy: A pair of bolts under the passenger seat, remove the grab handles and bolt in place.
The windscreen was a bit tougher, not in installation, but in fiddlyness. The whole headlight assembly is held on with two bolts and those bolts are used to secure the brackets for the screen. Getting them in while also holding the brackets was trying.
All farkled up.
It took me about 30 minutes to figure out how to install the luggage. The Nelson Rigg bag has bungee cords and I was able to route those through the rack and down to the license plate brackets and to the passenger pegs. The roll bag is designed to slip over a sissy bar and I was able to use the straps for that, to route through the rack. The NR bag pressed against the roll bag and everything was tight.
I am quite a fan of the instrument cluster and specifically, the fuel gauge and MPG calculators. It also has dual trip meters which is useful.
I rode west from Augusta using highways and not the freeway. What's the fun in using the freeway? The problem with that approach, at least east of the Mississippi river, is that those highways go through a bunch of small towns and those towns are spaced closely. Because of that, you can ride 15, maybe 20 miles at speeds around 50mph before stopping/slowing for a small town. It took me half the day's ride to go a hundred and fifty miles.
Because of the humidity, when I was moving, things were good, but when I'd stop, sweat would instally bead up on my face, run down and smear on my glasses. I spent a lot of time just stopping to clean them.
At each stop for water, or, water, or, water, okay, I stopped a bunch for water, I would do my best to seek out shade. Even with so many trees around, shade was hard to come by,, at least for those in cars. For me, though, I could almost always find a motorcycle-sized shade patch.
The first half of the ride consisted of short runs followed by towns followed by short runs followed by towns . . . eventually, though, the distance between towns began to grow and the roads improved. This is somewhere near the Georgia-Alabama line. Much of the roads in Georgia looked like this: Straight with tall trees along each side. From time to time, those trees would grow over the highway giving it a tunnel of foliage. That really was my favorite thing about riding in the South.
Just before stopping for lunch, I rode over a hill and on the other side, it was pouring rain. The odd thing about the south is, unlike here in the west, the rain comes on without warning. When riding in Colorado, if it's going to rain, you know about it. You can see it coming. But not in Georgia. Not in Alabama. In those places, you'll crest a hill and on the other side, rain. Angry rain. During this particular one, it came down so fast and so hard, that I didn't have time to fit my rain gear. At one point, I rode into a low spot and the road was covered with about 5" of water. I pulled the clutch in and rolled right through it. The Honda didn't seem to notice and other than soaking my boots, you'd be pressed to know you were riding through water. I'll admit, the rain felt nice after the heat and humidity of the day.
So now, soaked, I decided to pull off and get lunch and let the bike dry out. While grabbing lunch at a Subway (I ate way too much Subway on this trip), I saw this emergency exit light in the bathroom. I looked up from the toilet and there it was, staring down at me. I laughed so hard it it with its bug-eyed frog face.
I crossed into Alabama somewhere near Piedmont. There were two things to note about the border. First, no "Welcome to" sign, just an 'Alabama State Line' call out. Second, immediately after the state line, a ton of firework stands. I think fireworks were illegal in Georgia so they set up stands on the border. The same thing happens here in Colorado at the Colorado-Wyoming border. You can buy a butt-ton of fireworks in Wyoming.
The roads in Alabama were similar to those in Georgia. I really enjoyed the ride into Piedmont, Al.
I stayed at Florence the second night and the ride into Florence took forever. I rode into town about 9 PM but, because it was Independence day, and because I didn't know they shot fireworks over the river, and because I took the bridge that all of the people park on and watch the fireworks, It took me two hours to get to the hotel. Good lord was I beat when I got there.
As noted above, I got caught by an angry rain storm and I didn't have time to get my rain gear on. I was soaked at the time. My jacked and pants dried out. Well, not the seat of my pants, but more on that later. My boots did not. I rode four or five hours with my socks soaking wet. They were so wet that, when I got to the hotel, I could wring out water.
Most of my clothes in the roll bag were damp or wet and since the hotel had a laundry, I cashed in for some quarters and threw everything in.
The second day, the first day of riding, was a lot of fun but covering those 450 or so miles was tough. It was slow going with all the small towns and stops and being wet took it out of me. My ass was sore and beginning to chafe. I was glad to be back to the hotel but didn't get to bed until around midnight.
I was beginning to worry about the length of the trip. The first day of riding was long but the second and third days were longer, by maybe a hundred miles or so. Given how tired I was and how beat I felt, the task was beginning to feel insurmountable.
Day 3: Florence, Alabama --> Fayetteville, Arkansas
The first day of riding was tough. After getting into Florence late, by the time I unpacked everything and settled in, it was just after 1:00 AM. I slept until 8 and then drug out of bed and started the chore of packing and getting ready for the road. First task for the day was to lube the chain. Since this bike doesn't have a center stand, I had to apply some lube, roll it backward a bit, apply some more, roll it back some more . . . until all links were done. It required about this much space to get the whole chain:
The guy I bought the bike from, gave me some of this cleaner/polish. It's branded by Acura. I don't know who makes it or what it is, but, you spray it on, wipe it off and polish the surface. No water. I thought it was a dumb thing to carry but after he gave it to me and I tried it out on my visor, I decided I could use it and brought it along. It made quick work of cleaning up the bike for the day's ride.
These moths were everywhere in Alabama and I think they were the giant bugs that kept hitting my helmet.
After passing the Confederate flag in Snead, Alabama, I was the hell over the state and ready to be out. I don't know if anyone has ever said it, but I was happy to be in Mississippi. My route skirted the top of Mississippi, though, and I wasn't there long. It was a lot like Alabama only slightly less humid.
I crossed the Mississippi river in Memphis Tennessee via Interstate 40. The bridge was an old steel truss bridge and I really had a blast riding over it. Of course, there was nowhere to stop for photos so I'll give you a Google Maps screen capture:
The Mississippi river was high and there was a lot of local flooding. Many of the smaller roads along it were flooded.
I thought this peculiar: The CB500's fuel cap lifts out when you remove it. It's not attached to the tank and hinged. Quirky.
The riding in eastern Arkansas was very similar to that in Georgia and Alabama except that there were fewer trees along the roadside and it was less humid. I was actually quite happy to be west of the Mississippi, admittedly, as it began to feel more like what I am used to riding in.
Unlike in Georgia where the small towns had good amenities, the small towns in Arkansas were much more like they are on the plans. Small and without fuel or food. So when you do find a gas station, you'd better get gas. This place was my last stop before heading into the Ozarks and I filled up. The Honda has been averaging about 62mpg giving it a range of about 200 miles on a tank before reserve. I didn't know if I would keep that range as I rode through the twisty roads so I filled up here even though I didn't really need to.
The ride around the Ozark mountains was a lot of fun, reminding me a lot of the roads in Utah, just with a whole lot more vegetation. Infinitely more vegetation. As with the day before, as I road into the area, the sky opened up and it rained. Here, though, I had a bit of warning and wore the rain gear.
The rain did a really cool thing. While it made it cold, it also made the ride more interesting. The clouds hung around and they hung low. You'd be riding along and zip through patches of fog, then see the clouds hover over the next hill like smoke. Despite the rain and cold, I really, really enjoyed this section of the ride.
The last two or so hours of the ride to Fayetteville Arkansas, however, sucked balls bad. It got dark and with the wet roads, I couldn't see where the turns were so I had to slow down. 45 mph, sometimes slower. Traffic was generally good about this, however, maybe half-hour before Fayetteville, some semi driver passed a row of cars behind me in the right land and rolled up on me so hard that I thought he'd hit me. What a dickhead. I had to run the bike way outside what I thought was safe to get far enough ahead of that douche. Eventually, I found a pull off and let him pass. Seriously, though, that fucker would have happily murdered me just so he could push his truck closer to town a bit faster.
I stayed the night in Fayetteville. My boots really hadn't dried out from the rains in Georgia and with the wet riding in Arkansas, they were soaked. This hotel was kind enough to put a hair dryer in my room and, setting it to medium, I propped it into my boots and let it run. It dried things out really well.
The second day of riding was long and I was tired as all crap. It was good to settle in though I didn't get to sleep until after 1 AM. My butt cheeks were so red and sore, I knew I needed to do something, but I didn't now what. I put some hotel lotion on them and went to sleep. I'd later learn that this is called Monkey Butt.
Day 4: Fayetteville, Arkansas --> Dodge City, Kansas
By the third day of riding, I was beat up, saddle sore and tired. I wasn't sleeping so well and averaging 6 or so hours of sleep each night. It was fine the second day but getting tough. I woke up quite a bit later than I wanted to. The time zone changes were tough on me and I just had trouble getting out of bed and getting gone.
I started the day just like the others. I wiped down the bike with the cleaner that the Seller had given me and then packed up the bike.
The Nelson Rigg tail bag and MotoCentric roll bag really worked well together on the trip. With the Givi rear rack, I could strap them down without worrying about damaging paint. I'd recommend both if you're in the market for cheap luggage.
As I'd mentioned, I got a later start than I wanted. I didn't get out of the hotel until just after 10 AM. I followed 412 into Oklahoma, toward Tulsa. At some time, the Cherokee nation built a turnpike adjacent to 412 and gave it the same name. I didn't want to balls along on a turnpike and I didn't want to take tolls. Oklahoma called it 412 ALT. I had a lot of fun on this road. Despite looking like a boring road on the map, in person, it was quite a bit better. Thick deciduous trees run along each side of the road, often growing over it. As you get west of Rose, the road gets a bit curvy. There wasn't much traffic and I had a good bit of fun. This was the first road I was on where traffic was light enough that I could see how the bike really handled. And it put a smile on my face.
Eventually, 412 met back up with and ran into the turnpike. This happens on the east side of Tulsa. I pulled over here to look at the map. In the 5 minutes I was pulled over, two people stopped to see if I was okay: A couple on a Harley and an old guy in a white minivan. Both in good spirits and both willing to help.
I made it all the way through Tulsa without issue, hopping along at 70 mph, give or take. On my way out of Tulsa, I realized it was well after lunchtime and since there was going to be nothing for a long while, that I'd better get food and gas. My ass was also hurting, big time. It felt like I was sitting on nails. I decided I should stop near a Wal-Mart, too, to get better pants and some better underwear. I found the only patch of shade in 50 miles and it was just my size.
After lunch, I went to the WM and found a pair of Dickie's brand dungarees and some outdoors (adventure) style boxers that didn't have a seam in the butt. I bought both and changed in the men's room. The new pants and briefs helped, but didn't completely alleviate the pain. I'd just have to ride and bear it.
I made it a whole 15-minutes down the road when the sky turned dark and began to thunder. I thought about it for a short minute and decided I should pull off and put on my rain gear. This was a harder decision than you might think. It was hot and humid. If I left the rain gear off, I would get ventilation and if I didn't get too wet, it might cool me down. If I did put on the rain gear, I'd be dry but I'd also lose the ventilation. I went with the rain gear.
This storm put down just enough rain to make my rain gear wet and get the bike covered in sand grit. But nothing more.
About the time the rain stopped, I came across a box turtle hanging out on the road atop the center stripes. His feet were in but his head was sticking out. I flipped around, went back, and moved him off to the shoulder.
I took the opportunity to stop and pack up my rain gear and have a snack.
Now I was feeling the time crunch. I'd made it 20 miles in the past hour and I needed to make up some time. So I opened the throttle and put down some miles. Maybe an hour later, I began to see these little creatures on the road. At first, I thought they were bugs. But as I went further, I noticed they were hopping. By god, they are frogs. Baby frogs. Millions of baby frogs. And they're in the road. I pulled off to take a photo but they were fast little bastards and I couldn't get one.
But I did get a video. Now imagine a road full of these. I had a lot of fun dodging around them as I hauled down the road at 60 mph.
While I was pulled over, a farmer stopped to see if I was alright. I mentioned to him that I was checking out the frogs because they didn't do this where I was from. He thought I was a nut.
I continued on my way, headed further into the pan-handle of Oklahoma.
At, Alva, Oklahoma, I stopped for food and gas. I was getting ready to head into no-man's land and I didn't want to find myself without fuel or having another night with no dinner. Sadly, the only thing I could find was a McDonald's. I don't typically eat this stuff but, well, there wasn't much else.
From there, I rode west toward Buffalo, Oklahoma. That's where I'd turn north and head into Kansas. With all the rain and weather, the air had cooled down and was quite pleasant to ride through. The sun was on it's way down and the combination made for some of the best riding on this trip. I love these grasslands and this was my favorite part of the whole trip.
I turned north at Buffalo, just as the sun was setting.
With dusk came the bugs. Lots and lots of juicy bugs. They were everywhere and they wanted to be smashed on me, my helmet and my windshield, so they all flew my way.
I made one last stop to check the map, just before Ashland Kansas.
While stopped, with the headlight off, I began to see the flashes of lightning bugs (or fireflies as some of you might say). I haven't seen fireflies since I was a kid in Iowa. I sure didn't know they had them in Kansas so I was surprised and in awe. I probably watched them for half hour before hitting the road.
On my way into Dodge City, Kansas, I passed through an area with hundreds, if not thousands of windmills. On top of those windmills were those red blinky lights that they put up there for visibility. What was cool is, those lights blink in unison and make it look like there's a million Christmas lights stretching along the horizon.
Day 5: Dodge City, Kansas --> Denver, Colorado
I woke up really late in Dodge City. I was wired from too many energy drinks the night before and I just couldn't get to sleep. The bugs in the panhandle were so bad, I needed to wash the bike so I made that the day's first priority. There was a car wash a short ride from the hotel. I grabbed a couple of microfiber cloths and headed there.
You can't tell too much from the photo but the front of the bike was disgusting. You could smell the stink of burning bug flesh and you couldn't really see a damned thing through the screen.
I gave it a good bath, washing most of Georgia off of the swingarm. I had to swipe my card three times; that means, though, that this wash cost me at least $18.
After I cleaned the bike my wife sent me a FaceTime with her and the kiddo. That made me really homesick and I decided I was pretty much the hell over the ride so I packed up and got the hell out of Dodge. I spent most of the last day zipping along at 70 mph or so and was SO happy to see the "Welcome to Colorful Colorado" sign. I can't say why, but as I stood there taking the photo, my emotions got the better of me and I teared up a bit.
From the border, I hauled balls on 65mph highways and made it home around 6 PM. I don't know why I thought otherwise, but the last day's ride ended just like all the others; with rain.
The ending mileage on the odometer was 3366. I left the hotel in Augusta at 1588 meaning I put 1,778 miles on the bike in four days.
As I type this, I've been off the bike a few days and had time to reflect. It was absolutely miserable and a really good time. I don't think I'd think twice about doing it again but maybe at a shorter distance.
If I did it again, I'd bring bicycle shorts with me and have a solution for the saddle soreness. That was the most difficult part of the whole trip.
Thanks for sharing the adventure. Sounds like you did a good job making the most of it with limited time and resources available. What motorcycles are all about.
Be glad the horn button is big and easy for your thumb to find. Not so on my Road King - it might be my only substantive complaint.
Keep this in mind: Not everything in life is supposed to be easy. If buying a sweet CB500F and riding it 1,800 miles home in four days was easy - everybody would be doing it. Sure, you made an oversight in bidding on it but we all make mistakes. All of us.
I know riding in the rain sucks but, at least for you, it was a warm rain. A cold rain can really make a ride miserable when you have to make 400-500 miles by the end of the day and it is 41F and the water is slowly making it way through every supposedly waterproof protection layer.
Lastly: If you wait to take a trip until you have the time to see things and look around - you might not get the chance to go. You may find yourself in ICU hooked up to a bunch of machines or, worse, six feet deep in a cold steel box with formaldehyde filling your body. We take a lot of things for granted that we shouldn't. Every day you find yourself healthy with full mobility you should congratulate yourself on having won the lottery. Somewhere someone else lost the lottery and is fighting for survival or literally counting down the few remaining days they have left.
You kicked a$$ on this ride and you should be proud you had the motivation and ability to pull it off. Now go ride that CB500F on those scenic Colorado mountain roads!