Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Road Trip Day One: The Ride Begins

Today marked the beginning of my three-week road trip to the northeast. I left from Belleville this morning with plans to make it to Lansing, Michigan.

The first hundred miles were rough. I was tired, since I didn't get much sleep last night. I was actually starting to fall asleep on the bike (never a good thing at any time, and it was certainly foreboding to have it happen before the first refill of the tank). So, I stopped in Greenville, IL, for a tank-up and a Zero-Carb Rockstar energy drink. I plugged in the iPod, and started Eat A Peach by The Allman Brothers Band. That did the trick. I was wired for sound the rest of the day. Of course, the second Rock Star a few hours later helped. ;)

I also picked up some cheap sunglasses. It is a ritual when me when I take a long road-trip to buy cheap sunglasses (less than $5) when you start out. Sometimes they get lost, or broken, but having souvenir sunglasses is one of those weird little things I do when I ride. I know, I don't understand it either.

There was something weird I noticed... The iPod was a little bit weirdly pitched at speed. It was almost like a little Doppler Effect was happening in my headphones. I will have to do some research to figure out why it happens that way. Things just didn't "sound" right, if that makes sense. The voices seemed too highly-pitched, and it almost warbled. Strange. How DARE science get involved in this trip.

Just outside Chicago, I accidentally lost my Throttle Rocker, which sort of angered me. It was better than losing my iPod, of course, but it was distressing to see it fly off my handlebar and bounce behind me, in the middle of three lanes going 70mph. Going back for it just wasn't an option. I just used the friction lock as a poor-man's cruise control instead.

Just inside of Michigan, I encountered a group of about ten other Harleys. I respectfully hung back so that I wasn't riding in their group uninvited. I ended up edging my way in the formation (in back after a short time). About thirty miles after joining their group, they moved over to the right to let me go (or so I thought). Then, the lead two guys got back in front of me and I ended up in the middle of the group. I was thinking of that song "Let The Man Go Through" while I was stuck there. They were bopping along at a good pace (75mph), but I was tired and wanted to make the hotel. So, since I was bored cruising along, I decided since I didn't actually know any of the guys, I wanted to give them names. There was a couple beside me. I named them Homer and Marge. There were three guys in front of me. I named them Ross, Joey, and Chandler. All of a sudden, I was among Friends, LOL. I know, that was silly, but I was bored... what can I say?

The smell of pine and cedar just after hitting Route 69 in Michigan was breathtaking. The beauty of taking a road trip on the motorcycle is that you feel as though you are a part of the landscape you are riding in, rather than being trapped in a cage behind glass. People always give me a strange look when they hear that I am taking a long ride across several states (and sometimes Canada) and I am taking a motorcycle. For me, there is no other way. It is definitely my preferred method of travel.

Well, it is the end of the day now, and I am pretty tired. I was really glad to see the hotel. :) More to come.

Useless GPS Stats:
Miles today: 551
Top Speed: 99.2mph (hee hee hee, oops!)
Moving Time: 8:17
Moving Average Speed: 66.4mph
Overall Average Speed: 47.1mph


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