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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Alexa, Jul 18, 2020.
Where do I apply to join the gang?
this is going to be good
I will be following thus one.
I have to put up with freeze dried stuff on my trip
Skinny Beans and I got into a quarrel about wheel size and odometers and gas mileage. As usual, he was right about such matters, but that just made me even more ticked off (sorry for my foul language, but I’m as mad as a squirrel with an empty nut). Then one of those do-gooders on a bicycle summoned the ranger to complain about us camping where we weren’t supposed to, which must have been wrong because the land used to be OHV friendly, and there was even still a sign up saying as much. That pesky do-gooder sure didn’t help my stormy mood either.
Anyway, the river was a delight. Cool enough to be refreshing, yet warm enough to sit in for long spells. I didn’t want to leave, but I feared the do-gooder’s return.
We ate supper at a restaurant in a quaint little mountain town called Quincy. We were very hungry, and I could tell by Skinny Bean’s keen wide-eyed glances that the wild beast had awoken in him, which always happens after a few days of sleeping and eating on the ground. Anyway, the guys at the table next us, six feet away, I knew to be kindred souls because we kept overhearing particular words—dirt bike, Nevada, Beta, UNR (our alma mater)—that made our ears tingle. But what really brought us home, like a batch of grandma’s tea and strumpets, was when they started reenacting scenes from what has to be one of funniest movies ever made: “Dumb and Dumber.” Skinny nudged me under the table and grinned when we heard what seems to be every riders’ favorite line: “I can get 70 miles to the gallon on this hog.”
After supper, a nice fellow followed us out from the restaurant to talk motorcycles. I hope we didn’t disappoint him too much when Skinny Beans confessed that he had not actually ridden his bike to Argentina as a sticker on it suggests. Nor had he competed in the famous Dakar race as that same sticker also suggests. Nor had he ridden the Back Country Discovery Route also advertised on his bike. Poor Skinny had to explain that he’d bought the bike used from someone who is, as Skinny put it, “far cooler than himself.” He tried to talk about the 6,000 miles we’d done on lonely backroads from S.F. through Oregon and Canada and down through Colorado and Utah, but it got lost in the excited chatter of exotic riding and dangerous races. And he tried to describe the 2,500-mile trip on true dirt bikes through Nevada, Arizona and Utah, all on the most technical trails we could find, but that’s just a hard story to tell on the sidewalk as it requires a campfire and some liquor to really evoke the spirit of such a grand trip. And I didn’t know how to explain that the reason my bike doesn’t have knobbies is because we aren’t actually planning on riding much dirt because I am convalescing my torn up knee.
Dusk fell with summer lateness as we pulled out of town. My full tummy made me a little sluggish against the weight and girth of my bike, a dance partner I’m still unfamiliar with. In the dark woods, an animal so big I thought it to be a moose sprang across the road right in front of me. I figure the reason I didn’t hit the creature was because it’d probably miscalculated my speed as it’d probably never seen a motorcycle traveling so slowly before—about forty-five miles per hour. By its large languid leaps conveying no sense of real urgency to get across the highway, I figure that it figured it could cross behind me after I rode on by. But since I was traveling with no particular urgency myself, the moose’s trajectory must have sent it unexpectedly right in front of my bike. It is hard to see in the late evening forest, and a moose’s brain is small and not very adept at calculating velocities and such, if at all, so it was an honest mistake on its part, and since I did not crash into it, I hold no grudge to it or to any of its kind. Skinny Beans said the moose was probably an elk. I’m not convinced it wasn’t a moose. Do they have moose in California? They must. Grizzlies too, I have heard.
XOXO, Your Penelope
I have no idea what is going on, but I am in.
in for the mirth!
Motorcycle riders are a noble group. True, some are murderers, and sure, some will steal my last dime, but that doesn’t stop them from accepting me as one of their own. There’s even a secret handshake and just knowing it makes me a lifetime member of this collective gang. I don’t plan on getting any tattoos or running contraband across state lines, but it’s a nice feeling to be part of such a diverse group of people capable of finding a commonality... that being the road. I can tell you the secret handshake because I know you won’t abuse it, plus you’d need to throw your leg over a motorcycle in order to execute it, which I’m not too worried will come to pass. The secret handshake is like giving a high-five except it’s done low near the thigh as if I were slapping the oncoming rider’s outstretched hand as I ride by. I guess that makes it more of a low-five, doesn’t it? There are some variations. Some riders stick out their whole hand, while others only stick out one finger pointing at the revered road. Some stick out two fingers in a peace sign. This is the version I do, partly because it’s sometimes too hard to extend all of my fingers such as when my hand gets fused into a knuckle dragging shape, which can occur for several reasons such as from fear or cold or from when my primate genes get activated, mostly on account of me getting a little too comfortable in the dirt. Some riders don’t give the secret handshake at all, but I figure they’re probably just too smart to let go of their motorcycles, or their hands are even more stiff and monkey gnarled than mine, and they don’t want to look like they’re shaking a fist at me. Sometimes it’s just too windy to let go of the handlebars, and then I just nod, but I’m not sure if anyone can tell I’m nodding because my big moon helmet already bobbles and sways in the buffeting air like a drunk in the bright morning sunlight. But maybe all these things just make me fit in a little more.
We have ridden through some colorful country towns so far. I believe I already told you about Quincy and its interesting motorcycle fellows. Before Quincy, we rode through Sierraville, which is on the fringe of Sierra Valley, which is the largest alpine valley in these here Sierra Nevada Mountains. I reckon the Cartwrights might reside here on one of the large ranches or maybe in some of the fancy cabins. We rode past some historical buildings there, too. They looked old. Greaegle was a lovely town. All the buildings are the same color, like a mug of Aunt Pearl’s good red wine. It’s hard to get a proper reading on a town just from driving down Main Street and without fraternizing with the locals as we did in Quincy, but from the road, Graeagle appeared so perfect I suspect it’s hiding something. That’s what I like about Reno; it doesn’t hide it’s shameful parts—yes, we really do eat a lot of ribs, and the police station really is on High Street, and I really do wear my pajama bottoms to the store without raising any eyebrows. Greenville was my favorite of all the towns. It reminded me of my days back on the farm, which, as you know, adequately provided all we needed in terms of food, yet still allowed for times when we would all pile into the back of Pa’s truck for a trip down to the general store to pick up some frivolous necessities such as ice or maybe some liquor or maybe go to the fountain shop for a soda pop.
Anyway, is it wrong that I like waving to little girls who stare at me like I’m a warrior princess? I know you don’t approve of girls doing “boy things” any more than you approve of my night clothes being worn in public, but I’m a female, a small female, and I ride a motorcycle, and I feel it’s my duty to strengthen the image of the “athletic woman” to these little girls.
Skinny Beans sends along this little moving picture and says, “hi.”
my wife just walked out on the patio and asked what the hell are laughing so hard at.
"The secret handshake is like giving a high-five except it’s done low near the thigh as if I were slapping the oncoming rider’s outstretched hand as I ride by."
Hey! That's supposed to be a secret!
Great write-up. Thanks for taking us along!
Yep. We can tell.
Little girls need their heroes. Thank you for being a warrior princess for them!
Dear Mrs. Crane,
I sure do appreciate all of these nice folks reading all our letters to you on account of your failing eyesight from that methanol that Grandpappy used to brew up. Are these some of the nice gentlemen you date from your bingo group? Or maybe some of the lovely ladies from your finger-knitting group? On second thought, judging by their brief words, I believe they might be city folk. Whoever they are, we sure do appreciate all of their kind and warm-hearted comments.
This is good stuff
Excellent !! Thanks !!
Wow! That's a lot of toilet paper and dry goods! More like 4-5 Penelopes!
Wifey and I are chucking at every installment - we must be city folks!
Alright, I'll follow long on this one!
I am okay, but I did experience a tiny bout of heat sickness today. It all started out fine enough with a nice cool morning and captivating scenery with far off vistas—the kind that make my mind wander, which I do allow to some degree because I trust my body to know what to do since it is well trained and actually much smarter than my mind when it comes to riding a motorcycle. Anyway, after getting supplies in town, we headed west on Highway 36 toward the coast. I suppose I should have cooled myself off before getting on that twisty road, but I figured the moving air would keep me cool. I was wrong. The air moved plenty for cooling except for one important thing... the air was one-hundred-and-forty degrees, which I know to be true because of the yellow warning sign with a melting black arrow above the numeral 140. I felt like a circus monkey skittering around on a cookie sheet in the oven. It’s no wonder I overheated because I had all of my skin covered up, head to tail, front to back, including my neck, and still wearing my long under garments from the previous cold night, which I was too hot to stop and take off. In addition to being covered up like I was about to run into a burning building to save babies, I was a tad dehydrated as a result of the explosive beaver-fever diarrhea I had experienced in the woods earlier this morning. Well, I know right about now you’re probably thinking I am as dumb as a calf, and I can’t say I disagree with you on that. I should have known better. But that infernal heat kind of just snuck up on me, sort of like the fable about the two frogs that jump into two different cooking pots of water, one still cool and one boiling. I was the frog in the cool water that slowly heated up and therefore did not feel the need to jump out. The strange thing was that I was not nauseated, nor did my head hurt, so I just kept focusing on the water I was certain we would find in the dry river bed flanking the road. Well, I found water, but it wasn’t in the river bed. It was in my imagination. The whole world looked like it was under water. I swear it. The surface of the road had dancing spots of light the way the bottom of a concrete pond has when swimming under the water. And the trees were wavy like I’d eaten some kind of wild blue mushroom. The worst part of it all was that I had really been looking forward to riding this road on my motorcycle, not limping along like a Confederate soldier. We stopped under some kelp, and Skinny Beans commenced to pouring warm water over me, which was weird because we were already under water, so I began looking around for SpongeBob. Some nice folks on a motorcycle stopped and poured ice water on me, and it was then that I realized I was not, in fact, under water. We rode on a few more miles to a store at a private campground where I hugged a 10-pound bag of ice like it was my dolly. The next thing I knew a nice man was driving me in his pick-up truck, and then I was in an air-conditioned cabin. I have to say that I felt about as stupid as a brick shoe. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers.