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Two Wheel Tales

Slow Cruiser

The Long & Winding Road AKA

Emu's 6 Week Tour

Look Here For Raymond's Version Of Events

Slow Cruiser

Meandering with Purpose


Six weeks after the fact, what can one say that has not been said already. After five years (almost six by now) of messing around on this board, I finally got to meet Kerry Hill.(Merlin) Although he may come on like gang busters when posting a political view, in person he is a really nice guy to meet. He is rather quiet .... That is until the sun goes down and the moon comes up and the beer and bourbon flows. He'll keep you up till the wee hours of the morning. He makes you tell jokes, even if you've never told a joke before in your life. And just when you think things are winding down and it's time to turn in, because the sun is about to come up, he'll make you sing a dirty French song. He even gets anyone who's still standing, or at least still mildly alive, to sing the chorus. Then the next morning, he'll point a finger at you and say "It's all your fault ". I want it to be known for the record, that no matter what Merlin has said or will say, it wasn't my fault. Everyone who was there knows darn well it was Mr. and Mrs. Goodbar's fault!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at the rally for making my stay in Asheville the great time it was.(There are just too many individual names for me to type here. So I'll just have to thank everyone in person, one-on-one next year.) It truly set the tone for the next five weeks on the road. Hopefully, the organizers of next year's rally and the organizers of next year's Braveheart can come together and make year 5 of both events, one big overlapping event, not to be missed.


Part 1
Meandering with Purpose: The Long & Winding Road

The long and winding road was 18,973 kilometers (11789 miles, or 10375000 fathoms if you count the rain ) and 43 days this time out. It ran through 29 States, one District of Columbia and 1 Province. When this trek started, the Babester, my 96 1400 had just over 65,000 miles logged to her credit and was in fine mechanical form for her age. She now has 77,000 and change miles traveled. Little things have started to wear. The lifters take a little while to fully pressurize, fuel line split and now wears a temporary Moccasin made field dressing, and the inner wall of the left side header pipe has broken and rattles inside
the outer pipe. All in all, minor problems.

I left Toronto on June 7th, at 430 in the morning. 1 1/2 minutes into the trip I stopped to put on my rain gear. Some 15 hours later at Stroppy's home in the DC area, I finally took the rain gear off. With the exception of a small dry area around Chuck's house in Buffalo, it rained the whole time. But it was a fine ride just the same. Two highlights that day. While stopped in Hagerstown, at a Classic Diner, a chain of restaurants with a '50s look, a little 4-year-old girl running ahead of her family in the parking lot yelled "Look a retro Denny's" as she went by me. I guess riding all day in the rain makes even the little things a highlight, but the little kid broke me right up. Later, on 2 70 South heading for Washington, I took the wrong split in the highway and headed for Chevy Chase and downtown Washington. The traffic came to a stop. Being the last vehicle stopped on the highway is never very cool. I kept an eye on the traffic coming up behind me. The car coming up behind me in my lane was fine, the pickup truck in the next lane was sliding sideways out of control. And was coming up fast. I boot scooted to the shoulder and moved up about 5 car lengths before I looked back. The truck had regained control and not hit anyone. The driver just sat there like this was a common occurrence. I returned into the flow of traffic, but made sure the pickup was nowhere near me. As I said I took the wrong split on 270, so after a nice little tour of Chevy Chase (wow, they named a whole city after a Saturday Night Live actor.) I backtracked on 270 to 495 and eventually made it to Stroppy's. That first day's ride was capped by going out to dinner with the Stroppys, who by the way, just happen to be a whole lot of fun and I had a great time. Why the Stroppys are so Kewl, it even stopped raining.

Stroppy, Buddah and I started our run down the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway to the Intruder Alert Rally the next morning. But that's a story for a post of its own. Let me say, the three of us could give the Three Stooges a run for their money any day. NTITYGOA!


Part 2

Meandering with Purpose:

On Sunday morning Jun. 8th, I was introduced firsthand to Buddhism. Stroppy it seems had brought in the head guy of this religion. This was only proper protocol, as I am the Pope of the Druids. (BTW, there are now Druids in Iowa, Florida and Alabama. The Druid head office is still in the tool compartment of my 1400. Don't call us, we'll ride to you) Buddah ain't as fat as the sculptures would have you believe. Taller too, why he could double for Jim Belushi .... If we were all drunk. We all said our Howdy Doo's and then prepared to mount up. Stroppy kissed his wife goodbye and turned to find Buddah and myself lined up behind him. "No way" says he "Awww Gees" says we. A big sigh of relief says the Mrs.

We rode from D.C. to Front Royal, had lunch, gassed up and hit the Skyline Drive. At the first overlook we stopped at, it became apparent that there is a fundamental difference between 1400 and 1500 riders. Buddah and I backed our bikes into the parking spot for quick and easy exit. Stroppy on the 1500 just rolled right in, his back to the upgrade. I believe this was Stroppy's own "make work program". As we rode the Skyline and got to know each other better, the joking around got started. But it was camping at night when the physical humor really took off, or should I say evaporated. We rode the Skyline Drive in not even close to record time. We ate a quick dinner in Waynesboro and then headed up the Blue Ridge in heavy fog to find a campsite for the night. Now according to the map, it's pretty direct to the State Park Campground. But at the "T" intersection the lyric from the song came to life. "Should have turned left, but I went and turned right". The State Park was less than a mile in one direction, while we rode five miles off in the other direction. Finally we stopped. Stroppy and Buddah were going over the map, I figured I'd just go up and knock on the door of the house, whose driveway we were blocking. Buddah tells me they have shotguns down here. I keep walking towards the door thinking shotguns big deal. Then from behind me came a creepy voice right out of the movies. "It puts the Lotion on its skin"! Now that stopped me in my tracks. I started laughing and couldn't go up to the door with the image from Silence of the Lambs, playing in my head. I headed back to the bikes and Stroppy sitting there with a big evil grin on his face.

We finally found the campground and managed to set up just before total darkness set in. We talked and joked around for a bit, then retired to our respective nylon motels. No sooner did I get inside my waterproof tent, laid down on my fully self inflated air mattress when the skies opened up and the torrential downpour started. It put me right to sleep. Now, Buddah had new camping equipment, but Stroppy's was an old orange poll and rope A-frame tent. It was last waterproofed 10 or 15 years ago. Remember, I slept like a baby till dawn, so I have no firsthand knowledge of Stroppy's wet dreams. The rain came down so hard, his tent flooded. Then his tent came down. Apparently he woke Buddah with all his splashing around, but I slept through his whole ordeal. Come morning, the sun was shining, the birds were singing and to add insult to injury... Stroppy had a flat tire. Not a problem, enter the three Stooges logic and remedy program. Buddah introduces the smallest handheld bicycle pump on the planet! Then comes the demonstration on how the pump works.(Refer to the "doc's mum" post to form a visual) Stroppy then goes high-tech and pulls out the cell phone, cause he has AMA roadside assistance. No service! As I have always said, things always work out on the road trip. So we get hold of the park ranger and his air compressor. Presto, tire is no longer flat on the bottom. We rode into Waynesboro and had the tire patched at the local Suzuki dealer. By noon, we were heading down the Blue Ridge Parkway enroute to Asheville. The next night, Buddah and I had Stroppy convinced we could fart on demand.
It's a guy, campfire thing!


Part 3

Meandering with Purpose: Kentucky

I left Asheville a few hours later than I had originally planned. Just too many people to say goodbye to. Eventually the rally people took off for their ride and I headed for Kentucky. The ride from Asheville through Tennessee was uneventful, except for me almost changing lanes into the path of a Cadillac that seemed to appear out of nowhere. What happened was, I checked over my shoulder for the lane change, all was clear. Something distracted me for a moment, then I started the lane change. Fortunately I double checked just as I crossed the line, saw the Caddie and managed to pull back into my lane. A few miles down the road at a rest stop, I apologized to the driver of the Caddie for almost giving him a mild heart attack. He laughed, said he rode too and that I would've gotten the worst of it.

Taking Grunt's advice, I rode 25E to Corbin. This highway is very picturesque, and the high-speed sweepers around the mountains were a blast to ride. And to top things off, you enter Kentucky through a tunnel. I reached Cumberland Falls, for the planned rendezvous with Raymond. As I registered for a campsite, the attendant said my two buddies had been here and left, saying the weather was closing in and they were heading home . I figured Raymond had gotten here first, met up with Paul and the two decided to head to Paul's place. So I set up camp (in the rain) thinking I would catch up with Raymond at his sister's the next day. Went to dinner at a local Arby's, returned to the campsite and was just settling in when the rumble of Vance & Hines pipes at the gate, became music to my ears. Raymond pulled up to the Babester, looking like a drowned rat, grinning from ear-to-ear.

The tour was now officially started.

The next morning we broke camp and headed for the Kentucky Scenic Byway, route 89 through the Daniel Boone National Forest. It was about 10 miles down this road that the first-ever Intruder Kentucky Bridge Sliding Motorcycle Event took place. I entered the bridge first, lopping along almost stalling in second-gear. I down shifted to first and the rear wheel slid out quite a bit. I recovered and thought "Geez bucko, easy, this is slippery as hell." So I steadied her up and was not having any problem crossing the bridge. Three-quarters of the way across, I looked in my mirror expecting to see Raymond on my tail. I couldn't believe what I saw. Raymond was down and sliding into the guard rail. Out of sheer habit of emergency stopping when a friend goes down, I involuntarily touched the brakes before I could stop myself. That was all she wrote. The front end of the Babester slid out from under me. I fought to let her down as gently as possible. As Raymond tells it, he was down and had slid into the guard rail. He was looking over his windshield watching my bike go down. According to Raymond, as the Babester was going down, I'm looking back at Raymond yelling "Are you okay?". The old wooden bridge was so slippery due to scum from three weeks of rain, that we could barely walk on it. We did have a discussion as to whose bike we would up right first, but the gas pouring from the Babester's tank was the deciding factor to which bike got attended to first. It sure was a trip and a half uprighting Raymond's LC and pushing it clear of the slippery bridge surface. The LC's crash bar did its job, taking the brunt of the fall and protected the bike from any real damage.(Oh pardon me, that would be "engine case guards" Raymond doesn't like the term "crash" anymore.) My 1400 only received a sprained foot peg. Both bikes were repaired later that night at Elizabethtown. We discussed whether we should tell anyone about this. Obviously we decided not to. After the initial shock wore off, we headed down the road again. We crossed another bridge and I came to a stop. Raymond pulled up beside and I told him "Hey, we're getting better at this. We finally crossed a bridge in Kentucky without falling down!"
I think Raymond was amused.

We contacted Paul and were in the process of figuring out where to meet when Raymond's cellphone died. All we knew was Paul would meet us in Danville. In Danville we rode the main street, thinking in a small town we would not be hard to spot. No Paul, so we headed up to Harrodsburg, his hometown. On the highway out of Danville we passed a Sonic's with a group of motorcycles in the lot. We waved as we rode by, not realizing we were waving at Paul and his group. Sorry we missed him. He's one rider I'd like to meet.

The next day, after spending a very enjoyable night at Raymond sister's in Elizabethtown, the first of the route changes on a whim took place. Instead of heading down to the Mammoth Caverns, we rode to the Land Between the Lakes as planned, and then headed to Metropolis. Yes, I do mean Metropolis! Red "S" and all.



The Journey Continues Here

Note This is Ed's story of his almost 19,000KM journey.
It has not been edited by me in any way and is posted here,
so others may enjoy the trip Vicariously

Emu is a member of the Intruder Alert Cafe

Be Sure to Check out Raymond's Abridged Version of Events

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