Three Clydesdales and a Zebra - An Unlikely Herd

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Hondarider, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

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    After regaling my coworkers (and anyone else who would listen) with stories of motorcycle travel and the associated silliness for years, another brave soul has stepped up and decided that traveling with me might be a fun adventure. I'm fairly sure that he's incorrect about that, but I'm willing to give it a shot.

    Traveling with a Type-A OCD nut bag is rarely fun as he'll soon find out. Mostly because actual fun is rarely the goal. The real goal is to make an overly complex plan with unachievable expectations and then to kill oneself trying to execute to it down to the smallest detail. Days spent watching the odometer, cursing the clock, and trying to calculate your average rate of speed and the exact moment you'll reach your destination. Rushed meals, bladders on the verge of rupture, and no stopping for any reason whatsoever for fear that it'll ruin your average rate of speed. Riding from sun up to sun down in search of a new mileage record. That's my version of fun, right there.

    I'm told that admitting you have a problem is the first step. I've never moved on to a second step.

    I'm suspecting that these 3 middle-aged Harley riders (don't get upset - I'm middle-aged too) might not subscribe to my particular version of motorcycle travel. Frankly, I'm counting on it. They're probably going to hate me the first time that I want to hit the road at 6:00AM or the first time I devour my lunch in 3 minutes and then want to get back on the road or when I suggest that we still have a few hours of riding left before it's REALLY dark or that Key West is only a quick 600 miles away and we should just pop down there for a photo op at the southernmost point in CONUS. If this story is going to be any fun at all, they're probably going to have to be annoyed by my presence. Wait until they get a look at my laminated packing list.

    In the end, however, I'll ride anywhere with anyone so long as I'm riding and there's the potential for a story.

    So, with that, I give you the tale of Bob, Dave, Rick, and Ross...3 Harley Davidson FLs and an odd looking BMW GSA...winding south from Massachusetts for 2 weeks in September. It's like that song from Sesame Street..."One of These Things is Not Like The Others". I expect to be singing that in my helmet the entire trip. Three Clydesdales and a Zebra - An Unlikely Herd for a multitude of reasons.
    #1
  2. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

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    #2
  3. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

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    Last night was our first Riders Meeting...an opportunity to plan our routes and nail down every detail of the trip...an opportunity to compare packing lists...a chance to take inventory of our respective mechanical, navigational, and medical skills...a chance to really define what each day of our 12 day trip will look like. There were burgers, there were hot dogs, and there were tater-tots. I came prepared with an atlas...sure that it would be superfluous as 1 of 4 atlases in attendance. I had a notepad and a #2 pencil. I was ready to lock this schedule down.

    After hours of discussion and a few beverages, we had what my future travel buddies believed was a plan. The details...exacting. The scope...challenging. Goals...defined. It was all ironed out.

    We will depart on 6SEP16...meeting at an, as of yet, undisclosed location...at 7ish in the morning (a time that I have been assured is early for them)

    And then...well...that's all...that's as far as we really got.
    #3
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  4. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR Back to work

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    And that is why my family no longer travels with me. We have a destination to get to, you can pee when I stop for gas.
    #4
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  5. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

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    I don't want to live in a world where people stop to pee in between gas stops. That's crazy person behavior, right there.
    #5
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  6. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

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    I am exaggerating a bit about the lack of a plan (I'm going to do that a lot). There is a loose plan with key destinations and dates. It's just that the plan lacks any sort of cohesiveness. It seems to jump all over the eastern seaboard. There's a desire to take the Harley factory tour in York, PA. There's a commitment of some sort in Baltimore. Then there's a desire to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway...but with a stop at Myrtle Beach which is no where near the BRP. Bob really wants to ride across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. We're supposed to be in South Carolina for a Clemson football game on Saturday. I want to hit Barber Motorsports in Birmingham. Then there are a whole bunch of unaccounted for days with vague notions of riding the Tail of the Dragon (not the right place for Clydesdales) or scenic roads in Tennessee...but also the Outer Banks. The route map looks like it was drawn by Michael J. Fox. I might have to put a little something together...a quick route sheet...merely a suggestion or two really...nothing binding.
    #6
  7. BeemerBOI

    BeemerBOI Dirt n00b

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    After your last ride report, I wouldn't miss this for the world.
    IN!
    #7
  8. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Grumpy Santa

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    Truly one of the best ride report writers in ADVR history!

    Subscribed.
    #8
  9. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

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    So it seems that these guys play it a little more casual than I'm accustomed to...they like to stay up late, have a few drinks, and then sleep in...roll out of bed, enjoy a nice breakfast, and then see where the day takes them...they treat vacation like it's a time to relax and not a challenge to see how much activity you can cram into a weeklong marathon. I assume they return home feeling energized and invigorated. I like to return home completely knackered and in need of physical therapy...maybe a day or two of bed rest. Still, I can adapt...I can adjust to this new Jeff Spicoli lifestyle...I don't need to plan out every second of every day. I'm just going to ease back and slide myself into the role of Rider #4...Mr. Easygoing...just go along for the ride and see where the road takes me...

    That being said...I did throw together just a few quick notes that I thought might be helpful if they don't exactly have a "plan"

    Trip Schedule.PNG

    Nothing too formal...just something I threw together real quick based on the discussion I heard last night. Not trying to influence the trip in any way...
    #9
  10. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

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    And in case they have trouble visualizing the route, I took the liberty of capturing just a few quick snapshots...broken down by days and hyperlinked to the Excel spreadsheet for ease of access. No big deal.

    Day 1
    Day 1 Route.PNG
    #10
  11. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

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    Day 2...just a suggestion

    Day 2.PNG
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  12. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

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    Day 3...We can totally play it by ear...keep it casual...even stop for lunch if you want...

    Day 3.PNG
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  13. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

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    Day 4...Just a quick little ride across SC...maybe we can go exploring in the National Park just west of Greenville

    Day 4.PNG
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  14. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

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    Day 5...no plan at all...maybe no riding for that matter...just a college football game with tens of thousands of screaming fans...maybe I'll check Craigslist and shop for Willys Jeep parts. I feel like I'm really embracing this casual lifestyle.
    #14
  15. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

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    Day 6...Who doesn't want to see the Barber Motorsports Museum? That place is like Mecca for gearheads. You have to make the journey. So a quick hop over to Birmingham, AL.

    Day 6.PNG
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  16. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

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    Day 7...

    This one's tough. For me, I'd like to shoot over to New Orleans or down to Key West from here, but neither of those ideas were received with any kind of enthusiasm. A bit disappointing. Apparently, they'd like to be home earlier than the Sunday night before work. Based on that, I'm recommending a trip to Maggie Valley to check out Dale Walksler's latest acquisitions. I'm a big fan.

    Day 7.PNG
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  17. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

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    Day 8...The Blue Ridge Parkway...all day long at 45mph...surrounded by beauty...no highways...no trucks...and since it's a Tuesday, I'm hoping traffic will be light as well. A fun filled 8 or 9 hour ride to Roanoke.

    Day 8.PNG

    That's a lot of twists and turns right there.
    #17
  18. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

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    Day 9...Finish the BRP and then hit the Skyline Drive...the painfully slow Skyline Drive...the 35mph for 100 miles...make you want to kill yourself...Skyline Drive. They're going to love it!

    Day 9.PNG
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  19. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

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    Day 10 is a highway slog back to the starting point. I'm more in favor of taking a scenic route and stretching out the trip. Maybe hit Niagara Falls or the FInger Lakes region of NY, but I suspect everyone will be in homing pigeon mode by then and rocketing home. We'll see how it goes.

    Day 10.PNG
    #19
  20. Hondarider

    Hondarider Hero of the Stupid

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    I can't wait to see how they react to my casual suggestion of possible route options. I showed Bob and he was excited by the idea of not even having to think about where to go each day. Just follow the route and put your mind at ease. No pressure. It's all good. The seed has been planted...

    Now I have 3 weeks of 5:00AM prank phone calls to start making to their houses so that I can condition them to wake up early.
    #20
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