Thursday, August 6, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig


Tuesday broke cool and partly cloudy at 4:30 for me. Rolling out of the bag I broke camp, loaded up Piggy, and was about to leave the Sturgis experience behind. Just before strapping on the brain bucket I had to stop and slowly look over what had been home base for the past five days. Soaking up the memories of this first Sturgis foray like a kitten lapping up that first taste of milk, it was over too quickly, but I felt it was time to go. Gassed up and on the road at six, I rolled through the downtown area at 30 mph trying to linger just a bit longer.

Out of town on 14A a great road to Deadwood and points south, but this time the road seems different. I only see one car and another bike pulling a trailer for the first thirty miles. I play keep up with the other bike to judge how Petunia runs with Piggy tagging along. Keeping up isn't a problem, but I get the sense that he isn't very happy with me and gets to a speed that I wasn't willing to match, so I just let him go. I have a noticeable uncomfortable feeling this morning sitting in the saddle. I just can't get comfortable and riding begins to feel mechanical as it takes some effort and not the usual free flow that I am used to. But I press on.

Forty five miles from Newcastle, Wyoming I catch up to the bike with the trailer on two lane winding roads. We encounter two trucks pulling trailers and it is slow going. Finally he pulls out and the trucks close up to prevent him from getting between them, so he flies blind to pass both of them. I'm riding in second gear creeping along watching and waiting to make a move. Finally I can see around them enough to make a move and the first asshole moves over the yellow line to block me. I pull back behind him and as soon as he comes back into the lane I shoot out again and am next to him before he can react. A short while later I encountered some fog and it had cleared considerably when I felt it was safe to stop for a picture.

My only real issue on the ride home happened just after stopping for gas and a bite to eat in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Getting back on the highway Petunia wouldn't move. I'm talking about entering the freeway and having her slow to 15 mph and not budging. I realized that the harder I twisted the throttle the only response was the grip turned. All the way around it turned and I pulled on it and it came off in my hand. I stuck it in my jacket and twisted the nub and was off again. I was past Denver until I could find a place to get some super glue to put it back in place and then took an hour having dinner while it set up.

I was very fortunate the entire ride home skirting the weather. It sprinkled a bit in Denver, but being warm it felt good and I didn't bother with rain gear. Between Pueblo and Colorado City in Colorado I came by after a huge storm. There was standing water out in the fields, running water in the gullies, and hail along the edge of the highway and median. There was enough hail that people were stopping to play in it. Leaving Albuquerque, New Mexico at 9 PM the sky began to light up with a brilliant light show and a few sprinkles. I had seen this before and stopped and put on the rain gear. The lightening began to grow more intense and I started to plan on stopping. But, it appeared there was an opening in the weather and I pushed on. There were never more than a few drizzles and the rain gear was all for nought.

I was at the Arizona border just after 12 and stopped to rest. I slept for about 90 minutes and was going again. Just before Winslow, Arizona I began to see trees canopy over the road. I blinked, talked, and even tried to find a radio station, but had to settle for a Denny's for coffee and a Grand Slam.

I was at home, safely, at 7:05, 25 hours from the time I left Sturgis. I took a four hour nap and started unloading things and getting ready to get back to normal. Today I am tired and while I should be at school I think I need to get a few things done here at the casa. Funny how things quit working when you're gone for a few days.

8 comments :

  1. I could relate to the whole bit about not wanting to leave. I took my time getting out of there myself.

    So how many miles did you do in the 25hrs? I think you beat my record of 1072. You had to have done something like 1115.

    Much respect here from this rider.

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  2. Wow. There's no way I could do a 25-hour solo ride and arrive in anything but a large white box with flashing lights!Good for you.

    But what is it with these assholes who pull over to block passing? I've never figured that out. I mean it's no skin off their nose if you're ahead of them. I've had it done to me many times as well and it just makes no sense.

    But aside from all that, I understand your comments about lingering a little while more before leaving Sturgis. That's the way we were last year. There's just something about the place and the experience that makes you want to stay... and stay... But you know it has to end before it burns out on you, so you leave. Reluctantly.

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  3. wow. wow again. well, azhd, i am happy that you are home safe. and that you enjoyed yourself enough to want to linger.

    im sorry that you cut the week short since theres lots more entertainment left out there this weekend, but i understand. i would have probably done the same. i get skiddish when too many drunk bikes start playing in the streets together ;)

    great pics and posts this week, thank you. CO, you know, damn i always get bad weather in CO...

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  4. Welcome home!
    I still think it was unfair of Boston not to let me ride along for your saftey...
    Perhaps had I been there you would have not had 'The Main street' incident...
    So make sure you blame her,,,LOL

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  5. Glad you're home safe and sound. Damn truckers!

    Yeah, you can blame me for not letting the old man go with you. It's all good. :)

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  6. I can relate to your not wanting to leave so soon. Hits me each time I go someplace. Think it's the feeling, "am I missing something,see it all, remember to buy the Tee shirt?" Glad you made it back safely.

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  7. Glad you made it home safely. I enjoyed sharing your Sturgis experience through your posts! I hope next year I can experience it for myself.

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  8. I love reading about this stuff, too. Thanks for posting this article!

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