The new models are out. I've suddenly decided I need the new Road Glide Special in this wicked Reef Blue/Vivid Black combo with the black finish.
Maybe I don't need it. Want is definitely a different matter.
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I need to plan a trip.
I've been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work on the site, and a lot of it is in the Travels section. Where I have all of one entry. From 2016! Which in itself was behind by about 9 months, as the trip noted in that entry is from 2015. So... yeah.
I do have a poker trip coming up at the end of September. I might load the bike up, and take the long way down to where it is (Lake Anna for the curious). Don't know that it'll be much of a trip, but maybe I can get some pictures and/or video to share.
Otherwise maybe I'll have to look towards a long camping weekend.
My wife went to visit a friend in Germany for a couple of weeks, so I decided to take a week off while she was gone and do some camping. I had planned on going down the Blue Ridge Parkway and camping in a couple of spots, while taking some video. I was excited to do a large trip report for my Travels section, something that's been neglected since 2016(!)
The weather didn't look promising, so I decided to cancel those plans and maybe wait until later in the week. Unfortunately a friend reached out needing help moving. So I spent the last five days of my vacation packing and moving. While I enjoy helping my friends, moving is close to the top of the list of things I deplore. And that's what I ended up spending the majority of my vacation on. That and power washing my entire house.
Ain't that just some crap.
Nearly another year between posts. There's a good reason this time.
Given the state of the world this past year, you'd think I would've found more time to get out on the bike and tour around the countryside. In truth, I did get out a few times; mostly quick afternoon trips, just to get out and blow the cobwebs off.
Why not more often though... I mean, motorcycling is a pretty decent social-distancing activity. And in the year 2020 (and going into 2021 it would seem because people apparently can't handle wearing a mask without it infringing on their "constitutional rights"), social-distancing activities were all we could really do. It feels like most of my summer was doing chores and ticking off items on the honey-do list. Not because I wanted to, but because I was bored.
So again, why not get out and ride more? Honestly? I think depression would be the answer there. Depression and a sense of needing to be productive, I think. It's hard to enjoy the ride when, first of all, you're so lethargic that even pulling on your riding gear seems like a chore, and second, when out thinking about chores back at the house. It's annoying to be enjoying a day and then thinking "Oh, but I should be home weeding that side garden".
Part of the enjoyment of riding, for me at least, is heading out for a couple of hours, and then stopping at a bar or restaurant and sitting for an hour or so. It's nice to kick back with a beer and bud and shoot the shit for a spell, then get back on the bikes and start rolling on home. That aspect was negated because of the Pandemic as well.
There's at least a light at the end of the tunnel now. The vaccines have been approved and are starting to make their way to the masses. As a middle age, mostly healthy, non-front-line worker, I'm not going to be getting mine anytime soon. But hopefully by summer? It'd be nice to get out and put some more miles on the odometer.
Here's to hoping the vaccine opens up those vistas again.
After meeting friends for rugby brunch (a Six Nations tradition), and getting the shopping done, I managed to pull out the bike and get in a few hours of riding. Unlike last weekend when I just did a quick half-hour jaunt through the neighborhood, this trip was out of the area and through a bit of the Northern Virginia countryside I hadn't visited before.
Originally the plan was to head up Rt. 15 into Maryland. Just south of the little town of Lucketts, I got the itch to turn left. So... I did. Ended up traveling along a nice twisty road that ended up in the tiny community of Taylorstown. Taylorstown was first settled in 1734 and counts two of the oldest homes in Loudoun County amongst its dwellings. It’s just south of the Potomac River and was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1978.
After a quick picture opportunity, I traveled on, paralleling the Potomac until I popped out onto Rt. 15 just south of Point of Rocks bridge. Hooked a left, and was in Maryland as soon as I crossed the river. Back on my original idea of the trip, I was only on Rt. 15 before deciding to take another left, this time at the roundabout that led to Brunswick. Some miles and one construction detour later, I was heading towards the downtown area. I was getting cold at this point, so decided to stop at a local coffee shop to warm up.
Beans in the Belfry is housed in an old church, crammed full of overstuffed sofas and armchairs, charmingly shabby tables, and, of course, coffee. As a bonus on this Sunday afternoon, there was a group of local musicians playing a selection of bluegrass, folk, and some older classic mellow rock tunes. It was a nice way to warm up; a good cup of coffee, a good selection of music, and a delightful atmosphere to enjoy it all in.
I stayed for a few songs, finished my coffee, and decided to head on back. It was getting later in the afternoon, and chillier to boot. Thankfully I had the foresight to pack the heavier gloves and my warm fleece neck gaiter (or wrap or whatever it’s called). Took the direct route home and even with the heavy leathers I‘m glad I did. The temperature was definitely dropping.
But hey, it’s hard to complain when you get some hours on the bike in the middle of winter!
The wife asked what my plans were for this past Saturday, as she was getting ready to go work at the winery. I mentioned that I'd probably do the dishes and laundry. She said it was too nice a day and to get out.
She was right.
Pulled Daisy out and we had a nice morning of going through some backroads that I hadn't been on before. One of the little towns I passed through was having their Octoberfest celebration, so I stopped there for a bit. Then on down through the hills and past a house for sale that we'd looked at the previous weekend. Nice house, way out of our budget. It would be nice to live that far out "in the country" (as it were). Nice not to have to fight traffic for 30 minutes to get to somewhere nice to ride. When I first moved to the area (Northern Virginia), it was just a quick 10 minutes and I'd be out in the country. Now, with the explosive growth, it's triple that.
But it's worth it. I went alone, and just took the rights and lefts as they appealed to me. No planned destination, just getting out and riding. It was a gorgeous morning.
And when I got back, I still did the dishes and laundry.
Craig and I had a nice weekend planned out; a nice, round-about trip down to Blackwater Falls State Park, where we were going to do some camping, and riding around the mountains. Alas.
About 50 miles into the trip, my engine light came on. I motioned to Craig that I needed to pull over, and the bike just died. After about 30 minutes, we managed to get her jumped (after buying jumper cables; the first guy to try and help us jump the bike had battery cables that looked like they were for jump starting a Mac truck) and detoured to Winchester HD. Verdict is a new voltage regulator is needed. And of course, they can’t get one until mid-week.
Naturally we were both disappointed. Craig turned around and headed back towards home, while I ended up waiting for my son to come get me. Thankfully he was available. I rewarded him by filling his car with gas and treating to him to lunch at Sonic. I realized then that I'd failed at parenting, as that was the first time he'd ever tried Sonic. Shame on me.
Could've been worse - we could've been on the side of the road stuck. At least we managed to make it into the dealership. Hopefully we'll have a nice long Indian Summer and we can at least one over-nighter in.
She's back there somewhere...
Reading over my entry from over a year ago, I thought I'd give a quick update. First, Daisy is back on the road! Huzzah! I took her to one of the local dealerships, and told them to make her road-worthy again. Essentially this was doing the 5K mile service, getting a new battery put in, new safety inspection done, and checking all the hoses, belts, and tires to ensure that everything was good.
Shortly after, my buddy Craig and I (who you "met" in my one-and-only travel journal entry) took a nice tri-state drive, up through Gambrill State Park in Maryland, through Antietam National Battlefield, down through Shepherdstown, where we stopped for brunch, and then through Harpers Ferry on our way home. Gorgeous day for a ride, and thankfully my hands did pretty well. There was still some numbness and tingling, but it wasn't to the degree it's been in the past.
So the site isn't dead yet. I have a full-time job now, and while plans for my other site haven't panned out like I'd hoped, I've not given on traveling more yet. I'm hoping to keep both sites active, and if there's some cross-posting, I'm ok with that.
If you're a regular visitor to the site (and I think I'm mostly talking to myself here), then you know that updates are practically non-existent. I've moved over to my other site, www.scenicmyway.com. Come over and join me if you want!
So in my entry titled The Past Year, I mentioned my dad being in the hospital, among the myriad of other issues going on.
Well...this past month my dad finally passed on. While sad, I'm not upset, as his quality of life had degraded to a point where, frankly, I don't think it was worth living. On oxygen 24/7, taking 16 different pills a day, unable to leave the house. Not a good life in my opinion.
And on top of that, we had to put my cat down last November. While not as big in the grand scheme of things as having a parent pass away, it was still sad. In our family, she was definitely my cat. She always slept in my lap when I was sitting in my recliner. Hell, she'd been part of the family for 18 years. That's a big chunk. So, yeah, that was sad too.
I don't know if I'll ever ride Daisy again. It's been nearly two years. My hands are to the point where they fall asleep when I'm just sitting at the kitchen table. I definitely need to get something done, but still having no job and sub-par insurance (thank all the gods we did have what we had... my daughter's chemo treatment bills are nearing 500K) means it's been put on the back-burner.
Like everything else in my life.