Monday, June 22, 2009

A Hot Solo Ride

A ride with no particular goal other than the ride itself. Something I don't do often enough. No pictures today. I was having too much fun riding. Father's Day My wife had made a wonderful breakfast of eggs, pancakes, and hash browns. The kids came over to eat about 10:30 am. There were no big plans for Father's Day other than the big breakfast. My son had to leave town that afternoon to go to Dallas for a conference. My daughter and her boyfriend were going to have lunch with his father. By noon the kitchen had been cleaned up and the kids were gone. My wife, who had worked hard on breakfast decided she wanted to take it easy a bit, read the newspaper, listen to NPR and maybe take a nap. Catching the opportunity, I went for a ride. The temperature was in the 90's. A steady, but not too strong breeze from the south. Barely a cloud in the skies, which was a welcome break from the rainy weather we have had lately. We had 4 inches of rain starting Friday night and on into Saturday night. The worst part was that the humidity was very high. I put on my gear, sunglasses and helmet and took off. I loaded my camera into the top case thinking that I might try and take some pictures. I had a couple of ideas working in my mind for future posts that needed some new pictures. I had a little bit less than half a tank of gas. But I really just wanted to get out and ride. I took off for one of the places that I wanted to take some pictures, but some of the opportunities that I wanted weren't panning out, so I just continued to ride around town a bit. It was nice to just take off with no set purpose and just let the scooter and my mind work together and take me somewhere. I really didn't care where. I eventually realized that I would need some more gas and stopped to fill up. It took $3.73 @ $2.59 per gallon to fill it up. You Gotta love them scooters! People have mentioned to me that they worry about me getting hot in my gear when I ride, especially when it is this warm. But I find that as long as I keep moving, I don't really notice the heat that much. My gear is mesh and does a fairly good job of keeping me relatively cool. I certainly don't notice that many other motor cyclists or scooterists wearing armor this time of year. It seems that most have gravitated to t-shirts, many with no helmets. But somehow I feel safer with it on. I did violate my own ATGATT rule this weekend for a short trip to the hardware store, about a half mile away, but almost always I wear my gear. The scooter club we started recently had planned a trip out to one of the local lakes for a picnic. We did the picnic, but didn't go to the lake we had originally planned on going to. As I rode I felt sort of drawn to the original lake we were to go to. I hadn't been out there in a few years. It is straight west of town about 30 miles away. I took a route that I normally wouldn't have taken, but someone had mentioned that it was a nice way to go with little traffic. As I headed west and got further out into the county, I started to notice many things. The wheat in the fields was ripe and looked ready for harvest. The harvest has barely begun in the county just south of us and cutting may begin around here later this week. Watching the stalks move around in the wind is beautiful. The rain needs to hold off a bit for the fields to dry out a bit, but it looks like it could be a decent wheat crop this year. Other crops look pretty good also, but around here, wheat is the main crop. As I rode west I had to fight the steady south wind a bit. It wasn't a vicious cross wind, but was very noticeable. It was especially interesting when I would be out in the open land as compared to bring in an area where there were trees along the side of the road. Sometimes it would catch me off guard a bit when I transitioned from one area to the other. I noticed the farmhouses also. Some were newer than others. Some in better shape than others. Most looked like there was a working farm connected to the home. Being mostly a city boy myself, I sometimes imagine what it would be like to live on a farm like that. Farmers are very hard working and resilient people and I respect them a great deal. This turned out also to be one of only a few rides I have taken where there was the opportunity to reach a higher speed than I normally travel in the city, for an extended period of time. I was mostly on county roads, but they we're in good shape and there was not that much traffic. In town I rarely get above 45 mph, but out here in the county, I got it up to 70 mph a bit, with a lot of the trip above 60 mph. That may not seem real fast for many of you that might read this blog, but to me it was significant. I enjoyed it immensely! I had visions of taking longer tours through country I have never seen before. Ideas for new rides sprang into my mind. Maybe I'll do some of those someday. The camera remained in the top case, literally because I was having too much fun riding. Harv at American Scooterist Blog had mentioned awhile back about taking a ride and getting " a little bit lost". Well, I didn't exactly get lost, but saw many things I had never seen before and took routes I had never taken before. It was nice to get away and let the road take me somewhere. Total trip was just shy of 100 miles. I have got to do this more often! Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone with SprintSpeed


  1. You scooter people. Any excuse to take a ride. Geez!

  2. Dan,
    Teah, we "scooter people". You never know what we will do next. At least I don't test my brakes at 100 mph. It's a physical impossibility for me. And, no I don't mind.

  3. Dear cpa3485(Jim):

    Fom time to time, riding buddy Dick Bregstein and I will just saddle up and ride 40 miles north of here to have breakfast at a working steam train museum. The run takes us through the heart of Amish country and we pass lots of buggies if we are doing this on a Sunday. Sometimes, it's not where you go, but the fact that you suited up and got out that makes the difference.

    I can't imagine 70 mph on a scooter. I can imagine it very well on the machine I have in the garage. I think it's cool that you got out and went for a ride on Father's Day. That was the morning of our club breakfast. I chased Dick 15 miles out to the diner, and the two of us rode back two hours later -- in the rain.

    That's the way it goes, sometimes.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack "r"
    Twisted Roads

  4. Jack,
    I remember that Amish countryside from the vacation our family took there when I was a kid. The beauty of our part of the country isn't like yours, but in its own way, quite spectacular.
    At 70 mph, the scooter felt like it had a bit more in it, but with the wind, and my lack of experience at that speed, I didn't push it too much. The feeling was invigorating though and I can imagine that the desire for speed could be intoxicating.
    There is one very scenic road southwest of here that I am dying to ride on someday. The only problem is that the start of the scenic part is about 75 miles from here and it could easily make for over a 200 mile round trip to do it. And I am not sure I want to do it alone so I will have to rope up someone else to ride it with me. But I am determined to do it someday soon.
    Thanks for popping by,


  5. Good for you to have gotten out and just really had a fun ride. We need that sometimes--just get out, no set plans and live life as it comes. Happy belated Father's Day!