Road to the Ride-In ™ Days 1 & 2
It was my intention to blog all the days I traveled to the Ride-In™ but of course the first night out our “home-grown” little hotel didn’t have internet access and I barely had a cell signal so I couldn’t set up a hotspot either. I was in technology hell but vacation heaven! Late as I am, here I go.
Day one. Of course I didn’t sleep well Wednesday night. I didn’t NOT sleep but I didn’t sleep the whole night either and after one wakeful period I fell asleep mentally repeating: Air conditioning; Vacation Phone Message; Cucumbers…
I woke up before my alarm (5:00 a.m.) and poked the husband to make sure he swung his legs over the side. First thing I did after going downstairs was to raise the air conditioning temp schedule so that my house sitter (thanks Mom!) wouldn’t freeze. Next, I went into my office and recorded my out of office on vacation message to let them know that this is who you should call instead of me….and then lastly I added a note to my To-Do list for the house sitters (thanks again Mom and Niece) that the cucumbers were coming on pretty strong and that they should take all they wanted. We were out by 6:10 and I was smiling.
I can do Missouri blindfolded and without thought so the only thing I was concerned about was the weather. We had checked and double checked the weather the whole week and it looked good. Yeah, it might be a little rainy but I can deal with rain a lot better than heat so bring on the rain gear…we didn’t have to do that. We were riding with a black cloud over us for almost the whole state but it was a good black cloud that kept us cool and it only dropped a few drops on us here and there and definitely not enough for us to pull out the rain (sweat) gear. Made it to the east side of the state without issue and without real rain and we stopped for me to make a decision as to which direction we should head.
I know most of you are real planners. I’m not. I am, however, a super organized person and most of the time I need a plan and a schedule BUT for when it comes to traveling by bike and cross country, I like to play it by ear. Who knows what might happen to cause your best laid and reserved hotel room to go astray and unoccupied….so I don’t do that. I have “here is where we start” and “this is where I need to end up.” That’s it! So on the east side of Missouri I had an idea that the Northwind Riders had recently gone to the Land Between the Lakes and that sounded good and not too far away and maybe I could find a motel…Thank You Trip Advisor. We parked it early enough in Grand River for me to meet some cool motorcycle people (from Chicago) in the pool and to have a good meal.
Day two. I woke up early again but it still seemed dark out and I pulled back the curtain to see that it had been raining and was still cloudy. We dried off the bikes and were out again by 6:30 ready to experience that land between the lakes. It was cool but humid and because we were out earlier than most, it was just me and the husbs cruising down the most lovely forested road before we took a left and headed across Kentucky.
Side Note: I usually do a lot of miles in a day and I drag my husbs with me. He doesn’t like it and sometimes I get in real trouble when we end up doing (almost) an iron butt so on this trip I decided to take an extra day to get to Gettysburg which would allow us to take the side roads and only do about 350 a day. The husbs has some arthritis starting in his left hand and a bad sciatica thing going on and I didn’t want him feeling bad on the trip. He does know better than to gripe about being hot and a couple of years ago when we went to South Carolina for a Ride-In™ he put a pump and tubing on his bike so that he could pump cold water from a cooler onto himself while riding to keep himself cool…which I will now take advantage of as well when we stop and I am hot. He doesn’t go anywhere without it. We were hoping today that we weren’t going to need the cool bath but also didn’t want to deliberately ride into a major storm where we would have to pull out the plastic tarp clothing and deal with wet and possible slippery road.
About an hour after we pulled away from the motel, we stopped for a quick eat and made a decision that probably caused the rest of the day to go to hell in a handbasket. This decision was based on the fact that the previous day we had ridden under a cool cloud but today we were riding toward a cloud that was obviously dropping a lot of rain and hey, we didn’t want to have to pull out the rain gear so…Instead of the route that I had developed the night before, we turned north and hit a “Parkway” (this is Kentucky speak for “Highway” but whatever) and we were soon flying toward a point that would put us on highway 62. Highway 62 would be the scenic route with speeds of 55 and lots of small towns and cafes and interesting things to view. Flying north on the Parkway I was daydreaming about where we would end up this evening when…BAM!…BREAK LIGHTS!!!!!! Stuck on the Parkway for 45 minutes to an hour at a dead stop because of a bad wreck. Now we are behind and we haven’t even put 100 miles under our wheels. Rolling again, I got us off the Parkway/Highway and back to the side roads but good grief we were now so far behind and stopping and slowing for each small town ARGHHHH! I found another Parkway/Highway and decided that I would just have to look real fast at the Kentucky things I hadn’t seen before as we flew by as we tried to make up some time.
Second Side Note: The day before the husbs had noticed what he thought was a coolant leak. Should we check it, I say? Oh no, it will be fine….until it isn’t or until it is something else. We are half way to Lexington when we have to stop for fuel and the husbs pulls up behind me and says…I have NO rear brakes…Apparently it wasn’t coolant he was leaking. We end up shopping for tools (do we carry any real ones, NO!) and tubing and fluid and other things so we can bleed the brakes which we do in the hotel parking lot.
So we did make 300 miles today but just that and we are just a little to the right of Lexington, KY. I had hoped to be in West Virginia but hey…since I didn’t have a hotel reservation there, we are no worse for wear and since the husbs has rear brakes, I’m a happy camper.