Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ride to VA for Chilli!

Today Slick and I took advantage of the nice 60+ degree sunny weather and rode to VA. The funny thing is that we rode all the way to VA for Wendy's chilli. What an excuse to ride, right?

The weather was great and we haven had the chance to ride in over a week due to me being out of town. I was really looking forward to riding today. I took advantage of the nice weather because I know we don't get too many great riding days in January. There was quite a few bikes out taking advantage of the weather too.

Today was also the last day I could tack on some more miles before the end of the month. I ended up with 1090 miles for the month. That is not bad for a guy that only got to ride about 2 and half weeks in January. Next month I should be able to do more since I am not scheduled to be out of town for few weeks. Of course, I plan to take advantage of that.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Ride with My Son

Saturday was a great day for this dad. I got the opportunity to ride Big Red with my son, Jordan. Jordan and his wife Delta came out to visit Slick and I from Arkansas for the weekend. They also got an opportunity to spend some quality time with other family members. It was a great visit, but for me, it was riding Big Red with my son was the best time. Jordan and I took a nice one hour trip on some back roads and a couple of highways throughout Archdale, Greensboro and High Point.

It was the first time that Jordan got to ride on a motorcycle. He said he really enjoyed it. I know I did. Riding with Jordan is only topped by riding with Slick. Of course, both of them are most important people in my life and it is nice to be able to share our enjoyment of riding motorcycles together.

Now my next goal is to try and get my daughter-in-law and mother on the bike for little trip. That may take some time.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Monday, January 15, 2007

Nice Weekend Trip to Chimney Rock NC

Well Saturday morning Slick and I started planning our Saturday trip (since it was going to be in the upper 60's). I had thought about taking her on the same route that I took Friday (without going all the way to SC), and then she suggested that we take off to an area that we visited a few years ago called "Chimney Rock". Chimney Rock is a popular tourist town about 30 miles southeast of Asheville, NC. It is a really nice place and we thought it would be a great place to ride. Before we left for the 170 mile (one way) trip we thought it would be cool to stay in Asheville for the night. So we packed up some clothes for the night and took off.

The weather at the start fo the trip was a little cool and Slick did pretty well handling it. We did stop about 1.5 hours into the ride for lunch and took a break. We decided to get some chilli from Wendy's. That warmed us up.

At the 103 exit off of I-40 we started heading southwest on 64 toward Lake Lure and Chimney rock. That is a nice country road. We rode it for about 30 miles until we came to highway 74 (Chimney Rock Rd). At that point we were heading into the tourist part of the trip. We expected a lot of shops to me closed and very few people. That was the case. Not having all that traffic made that part of the ride pretty fun and enjoyable.

Like I said, part of the Chimney Rock Rd trip was nice, however Slick may differ. The reason is Chimney Rock Rd is pretty curvy. It was a little more curvy than I remembered (my memory is not that great). However, it was fun. There is about 3 miles of road that is fun if you like to take the curves. I actually felt that I was on part of the Dragon Tail. I really can't imagine any curves being more curvy that those. Of course the Dragon Tail has over 300 curves on a 11 mile route.

After we left the Chimney Rock area we headed toward Lake Lure. It is a nice area and we saw a lot of bikers there. There were various places where other bikers were stopping to eat. We noticed there were a lot of them riding and enjoying the day just like us.

Later we headed northwest to Asheville to find a place to stop for the day. We stayed at a nice Hampton Inn in town. We decided to grab some food at Chilli's, take a little walk and then head back to the room for the evening. Of course, I watched football while Slick read.

On Sunday we got up after a nice relaxing night rest. We ate breakfast and departed the hotel around 9 am. Our plan was to be home by 1 pm. The weather was great for our start of the the ride and the weather got into the lower 70's by the afternoon. We had a great view of the mountains and the traffic was lite on I-40. We rode I-40 east until we got to 64 toward Mocksville. We took 64 to B85 and headed home. Once home, we unpacked, grabbed a bite to eat and relaxed for a few hours. Of course I had to take the time to give Big Red a bath. It looked pretty bad from the trip.

All-in-all, we had a great, relaxing weekend trip. We do plan to do more trips like this one. We plan to do more because that is why we got the bike in the first place. We got it to get away from daily stress life and live life. Motorcycling allows us to do that together. This past weekend we did that.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Friday, January 12, 2007

My Trip to South Carolina

Today I was off work so I thought I would take a little ride on Big Red. I wasn't too sure where I was going to ride and how long I would be gone. I think most bikers that like to ride are like that. It is not the destination, it is the ride. So around 10 am I suited up with my cold weather gear (it was a little brisk) and grabbed my NC map.

I headed toward Thomasville on highway 85. From there I headed south on 109 toward a national forest in NC called "Uwharrie National Forest". I figured that would be cool place to start because they had some nice back roads I could try. The ride through that area was pretty nice. There was very little traffic and I imagine the scenery would have been pretty nice if I wasn't riding in the middle of winter and all the trees had their leaves. I did see some colorful orange vest that some road construction works were sporting. So there was some color on the trip. One more thing I noticed going down south from Thomasville, there were cops every where. I wasn't sure if they were looking for someone or the cops were filming an episode of cops. Either way, if you decide to take 109 south, watchout!

Anyway, as I stayed on 109, I started thinking (or trying to remember) how far I needed to go before I turned around and headed back home. My map was in the trunk and I was too lazy to stop and get it out and look at it. So about 2 hrs into the ride I started thinking how nice it was just to be riding. So I decided to keep heading south. I continued on 109 and before I knew it I looked up and I had crossed the South Carolina border. That was a little further south than I had planned to go. But I thought, what the heck, keep going, but start heading east so you can find a good road to head back north to North Carolina.

Once I entered SC, I did start heading east even though the road signs said 9 South (did I mention the map was in my truck?). After about 30 minutes I located highway 1, which I knew would get me heading north toward Rockingham NC (all you big NASCAR fans know where that is). Once I got on highway 1/220 I knew I had about 75 miles before I would be home.

On the trip I saw some nice small towns like Troy, Denton, and Wadesboro. I have to admit a lot of the towns I went through were pretty poor. I also noticed there was a lot of cotton farms around those towns. Even though towns were small and old they were nice to travel through. I just would not want to live there.

All-in-all, the trip took me 5 hours and I put on 260 miles. The only thing missing was Slick. She had to work.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Real Riders!

Well I rode to work this morning and it was just so brisky. The temp was around 27 and it was a nice clear morning. On the way to work I was thinking about what I saw on the way home yesterday. I saw a REAL motorcyclist and he seemed to battling the weather just fine. The kicker was he was on a MOPED!

Now, let me get this straight. We have all types of riders in the motorcycle world and I don't see too many riding this time of year. What is up with that? This MOPED warrior had no windshield and none the comforts of a Wing and he was still riding load and proud.

So my questions is, where are all the Harleys, crotch rockets, etc...? Heck, where are all my fellow Goldwingers? The morning rides are not that bad. You just need some nice winter weather gear and a love to ride. Besides, I ask myself everyday, when it comes to the temp, "How low can I go?"

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Never too Old

I forgot the mention that at the Chapter B-2 meeting Slick and I got a chance to see a rare sight. We got to see a 93 year old lady that is a Goldwing motorcycle rider. One of our chapter members (Johnny/Cool Hand Luke) pointed her out to us. I have always been impressed with Johnny since he is in his 70's and still rights just about everyday. But last night the little old lady really impressed me. The funny thing about her was that when she started wanting to ride some other riders said they would get her a helmet. She said, I will pick out my own helmet. You have to love that about her.

To me it was a chance to see someone that is living and wanting to enjoy life. And what a better way to stay young than traveling with friends on a Goldwing. Life is good and of course, you can learn a lot from your elders. Heck, they is way I am still learning from my old buddy, Craig!

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Chapter B-2 Visit

Last night Slick and I visited GWRRA Chapter B-2 in Winston Salem for the first time. They had a pretty good size chapter and we met a couple of really nice people. The meeting was held at a place called "Yacht House Seafood". The food looked pretty good, however Slick and I ate at a fine Mexican joint called "Taco Bell" prior to getting there. Maybe you have heard of Taco Bell.

Speaking of eating, if you ever want to eat great food and blow your diet (if you are on one) join a GWRRA chapter. Goldwing riders love to eat and will find any excuse to eat. I have thought about suggesting a ride to the mountains this spring (which involves no food) to take a 2 or 3 mile hike on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Then I started thinking if I do, I may be banded from the GWRRA organization for life. Oh well, I guess I will continue the rides and grab a salad where ever we stop to eat. That would be better than finding my butt and blad head on the side of the road dead of a heart attack from eating too much great tasting fried foods.

At the meeting, B-2 did the usually Goldwing chapter stuff. They did the 50/50 drawing, talked about upcoming rides/events, and gave away the door prizes. Speaking of door prizes, if you ever want to get rid of stuff you have that you don't like or need to clean our your food pantry, join a Goldwing chapter (guess where the door prizes come from). Just make sure if you do get a prize at a chapter meeting and it turns out it was something you turned in as a door prize, act excited. I

One of the things that was mentioned at B-2's meeting was that they are trying to support the Victory Junction Gang by making checkered teddy bears for the people that go the the VJG programs. It is not cheap. A lady from B-2 who does a lot of sewing said she would make the bears (a gift that all participants receive who go there), but it would cost about $7.50 to make just one bear. For the year, VJG needs about 1600 bears. Several of the people from the gathering last night did pitch in some money to help her get started in buying the materials. We pitched in too. It's good to give!

The meeting was nice. We met a few good people. Heard a few cool motorcycle stories and hooked up with a few members of our own group that were there. All-in-all it was a good time.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Monday, January 08, 2007

Great Reading!

Man, did I hit the jack pot! A couple from our chapter recently sold their bike and trailor and will no longer be a part of our group. Of course they will be missed and we wish them the best. As part of their departure from the Goldwing family they asked if any one was interested in all the past issues of the Wing World magazines that they had collected. Of course I jumped all over that offer. They were giving away all the issues they had and some of them were as far back as 1998.

So yesterday I picked up the box of Wing World magazines and dropped them in front to Slick. Those of you that know Slick might not be aware that she loves to read. So she grabbed a bunch of the magazines started reading. She was really getting into reading the stories of others trips. I never thought I would see the day when my wife would be reading motorcycle magazines. She won't admit it but she has the motorcycle bug.

Later in the day, Slick and I took a break from our day and started reading the magazines together. We shared the stories that we read and plan to give the magazines to others that may want to read them too (after we read them first, of course).

In closing I just want to say thanks Jay for the great collections of magazines. You have made mine and Slick's day. Actually, you have made our weeks to come. It will take us that long to read all the magazines. But that's okay. We are up for the challenge.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Practice, Practice, Practice...

Yesterday was a great day. Some of our chapter members (Andrew, Anthony, Brian, Craig, Melinda and Donna) met at a local church parking lot to do a little practicing, courtesy of my old motorcycle mentor Craig. Craig wanted to demonstrate and show the rest of us some helpful motorcycle skills that we could practice on our own. I know I was all for that. Craig give us some tips on how to handle tight turns, braking and my favorite, how to keep my big mellon up when I am riding (I have always had a problem with that). Even the instructor from the riders course I took asked me if I had a neck injury. So what does that tell you?

Anyway, we practiced for about 2 hours and from what I heard from the others, it was very helpful. I know it was for me. After the practice session Anthony and Brian got an opportunity to ride a GL1800 for the first time. Anthony jumped on Andrew's bike and Brian jumped on Craig's. I think they are both hooked now. I see 2 more GL1800's coming into our chapter in the next few months. I will keep everyone posted on that news.

After the session I headed back home to pick up Slick to see if she wanted to go out to her favorite pizza joint, Bill's Pizza. Bill's Pizza is located in Archdale in an old building near Craig's house. The place is pretty old, but the food and service is great there. Our favorite meal there is the small salad's and pizza. Their pizza is one of our favorites.

While we were at Bill's Pizza, a couple of bikers came in and asked who owned the big red bike in the parking lot. Since Slick and I were the only 2 people in the place and wearing Goldwing jackets, one of the bikers guessed it was us. Who said bikers aren't shape? They wanted to tell us that they liked the bike. I thanked the gentlemen and realized that I get that a lot of great comments on Big Red when Slick and I are out and about. I know I will get more comments when I finish decking Big Red out around June. I am looking forward to that and seeing how that turns out myself.

After our great meals, Slick and I headed back down 62, toward 421 and back toward home. On the way home Slick and I were talking about how fast the Goldwing's could actually go. I told her that I would love to take Big Red on a strip of road where I could LEGALLY punch the bike to really see it's capability. I told her that I knew it could do 100 mph when no problem. She said hey dumby, the speedometer goes up to 150. She said that should tell you something. She then told me to punch it. I was going about 35 on a back road and so I find a good safe place to punch it a little. I hit the gas and in a matter of a couple of seconds I was over 80 mph. She said she felt that and wanted to do it again. I told her we will have to hold off on that until next time.

As for today, I hope to pick up some free Wing World magazines from an old chapter couple members that sold their bike and trailor. They are giving away every issue of Wing World magazine since 1998. I told them I would take them off their hands. Slick and I enjoy the stories in the magazine and it would be nice to look at some old issues and see how much the bikes have changed. I also plan to try to get in a little practice in at GTCC today if the rain will hold off. I want to practice some of skills that the old man (Craig) was showing me yesterday. That should be fun.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Easy Riding After Work

Yesterday was a nice day. After work I headed out for a small ride and to enjoy the 60 degree weather. I have been pretty lucky to have such great weather in January and I plan on taking advantage of it. I rode for about 60 miles yesterday. I took a round trip from work to route 62 to highway 421 and back home. It was a pretty nice way to clear the head after work. Not that I really work, but that is my excuse and I am sticking to it.

Today is supposed to be another great day. The high will be around 63 and tomorrow almost 70. Now that is great riding weather. I have to say, I believe 70 degrees for riding is just about perfect. Now I just need to figure out where I want to ride today after work.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!