Virginia to Alaska and back on an '86 Yamaha Radian

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ruffntuff, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. azdesertdad

    azdesertdad VN1600A "It's a Harley... compatible" -Mr. Furious

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    ... There went my entire 'work' day... reading this has been fun... but it's now January... time for another update... please?
  2. ruffntuff

    ruffntuff TUFRDR

    Joined:
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    Charlottesville, Virginia
    Part 3—Day 5

    Flagstaff, AZ—Santa Fe, NM: 403 miles

    September 16, 2012


    It was a restless night. I tossed and turned, my thoughts skipping and jumping in fragmented pieces that all jumbled together. The desire to shut the brain down was profound but unsuccessful leading to agitation that pooled inside my mind only stimulating more activity.

    The room I was sharing in the hostel was on ground level. I could not see the Radian parked outside from my window. Periodically I would wander to the main room of the hostel to peer outside the front window, checking on the Radian for no reason other than my own reassurance. I had the over-protective instincts of a mother watching over her child. I just didn’t trust it sitting there right by the road.

    Around 2 am, the streets suddenly flooded with young, drunk individuals leaving the bars and breweries. I pulled a pillow over my head to deafen the loud hoots and hollers outside. Agitation simmered and peaceful slumber wandered further and further away. Stubborn to move, I laid there until I couldn’t take it anymore. I went to check on the Radian one more time.

    My heartbeat accelerated as I peeked through the blinds and didn’t see the Radian. I bolted outside and was shocked to see the Radian had been moved but was standing several feet away. The windshield was on the ground in pieces. Perplexed, I inspected the bike only to discover the right-side mirror was smashed and the tachometer cracked. Tension boiled. Violent scenarios came to mind. A bloody mess with no mercy.

    Suddenly I felt a gravid grievance. Who could do such a thing? Although the damage seemed trivial, I felt despair. It was as if I had been physically assaulted. I felt loss that was too familiar. Depression sank in.

    I collected the pieces of plastic that were too broken to mend as a chain of memories and emotions churned. I remembered visiting the site where Dan crashed. Remains of his bike were scattered on the side of the road. We collected bits and pieces of fairing and I found a brake bearing I put on a chain to wear on a necklace. I clutched it around my neck and remembered grabbing a handful of his blood soaked in the mulch under the pine trees where his body fell.

    I laid in bed sleepless waiting for dawn to come. By the first break of light uncontrollable rage had consumed me. Without a word, I packed up and hit the road headed for Albuquerque full throttle.

    Anger for anything and everything spiraled irrationally. The drunk driver that stole Dan’s life. The grief that took over when the world stopped spinning. The voice telling myself, “You’re an idiot for parking there.” “The fucking wind!” The Radian was quite uncomfortable on the highway over 50 mph without a windshield and I was in an angry hurry that could go no less than 80 mph. The other drivers on the road, “How dare they get in my way, assholes!” The Radian was out of gas again, “Piece of shit!” “I need to piss, fuck I have to stop again!” The sky was falling and I hated everything in the world.

    By the time I got to Albuquerque, I was starving and exhausted. I had gone 325 miles on I-40 while only stopping for gas and piss breaks. I was contemplating finding a lunch spot when a truck pulled up with a cute chick trying her hardest to parallel park right in front of me. I watching her struggle through several attempts before I asked if she’d like me to move my bike. I’ve never seen someone’s face change so suddenly from uneasy to delighted.

    I rolled the Radian back several feet and continued searching for a lunch spot on my phone while she parked her truck with ease. She got out and without skipping a beat she gave me a hug and said, “Thank you so much. Can I buy you lunch?”

    In that moment, my attitude unexpectedly changed. Her gratefulness and kindness was reassuring. I felt like she entered my life at a specific time for a specific purpose. She snapped me out of it. She lifted my heart at a moment when I could feel despair drowning my soul. Her name was Sabrina. She took me to lunch. I told her my story. She cried. Her compassion, empathy, and appreciation for others was comforting and inspiring.

    I left Albuquerque feeling positive and grateful. Mostly, I was grateful for my family. I was grateful for their support. I was grateful for my opportunity to ride the Radian to Alaska. I was grateful for my life, something that is too easy to take for granted.

    Sometimes, all we need is a little kindness to put things in perspective. Or an ass kicking.
  3. ruffntuff

    ruffntuff TUFRDR

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    Sorry no pics for this one. I guess I was too angry to take any. Thanks for waiting everyone. Sorry I've slowed down to two posts a year, Haha!! Just 5-6 left I think and it'll be done.....whew!
  4. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    We get the picture, pics or not!
    Appreciate the next chapter. Impressive anecdotes. Life is never fair but we make the best of it. And some act of kindness always restores our faith and attitude.
  5. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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    Thanks for the update Ruffnuff. It is good of you to finish the story!
    Best Regards.... just jeff
  6. DrSmooth

    DrSmooth I am third

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    Thanks for the update! Wonderful writing, as always.

    Sent from my XT1094 using Tapatalk
  7. tvbh40a

    tvbh40a PSUViking

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    Still awesome.
  8. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer Supporter

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    Worth the wait,, every time.
    Thank you..
  9. dirtdreamer50

    dirtdreamer50 long time rider

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    Wow, didn't see that coming. Thought I was the only one that stupid crap happened to, when I needed it the least. All's well, is how the day ended, and that is what we all hope for in our lives. Wow, 5 or 6 to go at one every six months. Damn, I'll be 70 by then, and may not even remember why I've love following this thread since the very beginning.

    Anna, thank you for sharing your life with us these past few years. It has been a joy to know you, even if only on my computer. tomp dd50
    DCrider and Uke like this.
  10. PlainClothesHippy

    PlainClothesHippy Only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air.

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    I'm glad the young woman used a little kindness on you instead of an ass kicking. :deal
    just jeff and Uke like this.
  11. EffinNewGuy

    EffinNewGuy Adventurer

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    I was pleasantly surprised to see the email about Anna's update to this RR. Always worth the wait.
  12. Chip Seal

    Chip Seal Long timer Supporter

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    Anna, this is the best piece of writing yet! I could feel your anger and then your calm towards the end. Just wonderful writing.
    PlainClothesHippy likes this.
  13. JimLob65

    JimLob65 Adventurer

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    Was so awesome to see a new entry from the OP on this thread! I have kept this tab open on my iPad for months and check it periodically to see if there have been any additions.

    You are a wonderful writer with an amazing story, sad but inspiring! Thank you for sharing.
  14. ShiftHead

    ShiftHead the f is silent.

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    This is a great lesson in how to say so much with so few words. A great read and a wonderfully vivid look into something with which we all can relate.
  15. Steve 1

    Steve 1 Adventurer

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    ONandOFF, aaronric and skibum69 like this.
  16. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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  17. Steve 1

    Steve 1 Adventurer

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    I had read Anna Neumeister's journal , it took several days and did enjoy meeting her.The town of C'ville fell apart and I did see the car that ran through the crowd, it was a total mess downtown looked like a war zone.Here are two of my bikes1996 Honda VT1100 ACE Shadow.[​IMG] [​IMG]
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  18. ponytl

    ponytl even my new bike is old

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    I read the last post first... then all the rest,... last night... I cheat I only read her post, and a few of those counter posts by those who interacted with her... same story different version :),
    I do not know your pain, your sorrow, your loss, when the rocks of our foundations are broken it is hard to stand, harder to balance... Gods plans are not our own is all I have to offer... I am fast approaching the one year anniversary of a tragic loss so I have a small insight into the all consuming,
    The bright side is that as I was around page 18 of this thread, my 13yo son had shown my 19yo daughter who was home from school, pictures of the Buell Blast we just got... to which I heard "I want it" maybe not the dreams of most dads I'm sure... (she got her first motorcycle @ 6yo) she has not ridden in years,
    My reply was go sign up/complete a Motorcycle safety course and it's yours.... Told her when she got back to her apartment look up this post and read it... She is an old soul... when we need a mature opinion around our house we defer to her...
    Sorry in no way trying to hijack the thread...
    just pointing out the obvious that the impact we have on the lives of others can sometimes be traced but never measured
    thank you
    Sunday Rider and ONandOFF like this.
  19. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    Similar with my daughter...


    Looks like someone's been taking pictures up on the blue ridge parkway.
  20. Spider124

    Spider124 n00b

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