Saturday, July 31, 2010

Moonshine Lunch Run

Another way late post!

The first ride of the season was for a hamburger in Illinois.  The Moonshine Fun Run is held in April every year for the last 6 years.  It is a tad early in the season for many, I know.  Here's the reason from their FAQ page:

10. Why have this in April?
Well, I farm for 1 reason. Farming runs all the way up through June. Then, I am ready to head off to the Blue Ridge Parkway like I always do. Fall would be a good time to have it too, but again faming rules what I can do and when I do it. But, you know, most seem to like the idea of April! Why? Many have all been setting around for months not able to ride. For months before Moonshine Run, we can sit and talk about going. It is the first big blow out of the riding year that many can attend. We can yak forever about the bad weather we rode through, the tornado's we saw on the way up, the snow we drove through on the way down and the hail that hit us 100 miles away from home! We really can wear our Moonshine shirts with pride knowing that we are motorcycle riders and not just owners. We proved it by making the Moonshine Lunch Run!

Interestingly, it was in the 80's in Maryland the day before I left and the unseasonable heat apparently fried my brain.  After riding in my mesh jacket all day and still feeling warm, I went home and excitedly packed for the trip.  Like it was going to be 80. 

It wasn't.

It was cold.  It was just plain cold from home to the Ohio state line.  Once I crossed that  imaginary dotted line separating the states, started to rain.  Then it was really cold.  And wet.  I pulled over at the first drops on my windscreen to put my rain gear on.  I filled up at the station and yanked out my rain gear, had something to drink and decided that I really didn't feel like struggling with my boot covers.  I really just wanted to be back on the road and really easily convinced myself that it wouldn't rain *that* much and my boots wouldn't get *that* wet and off I went.

Ohio sucked.

At some point I stopped to put my boot covers on, if just to add a layer to block the wind from my oh-so-wet feet.  It stopped raining at the imaginary line on the far side of Ohio and I kept my rain gear on to stay warmer.

I checked in with Hoagy along the way and eventually told him that I would be too cold, wet and tired to ride 50 miles more to the dinner from his place and that he should go on without me.  He left me a key and I took a hot bath and went to bed once I got there.

I felt much better the next morning and jumped right in.

So, here's what the weekend looked like:

Thursday April 8th

Hoagy the shutter bug!  Got me.
Ride from Maryland to Robinson, Illinois (700 miles)
Eat - Cookout at Terry's
(Joanne skips this to soak in the tub at Hoagy's place to thaw in time for the rest of the weekend.)

Friday April 9th

Ride to Casey, Ill to meet up with the others (50 miles)
Eat breakfast

Heading out!

Ride to Stovepipe Grill (20 miles)

Abe Lincoln gives Doug and me the finger.
Hoagy and me and Doug's finger. :)

Eat lunch
Ride to Effingham, Ill to see Corvette Museum (46 miles)

At the car museum.  Trying to soak up some sun in the parking lot.

Ride back to Casey, Ill  (35 miles)

Bikes as far as the eye can see...

Eat dinner at Richard's Farm Restaurant

Me, John and George
Jimmy and Doug

Ride back to Hoagy's (50 miles)

Saturday April 10th - Moonburgers!

Ride to Comfort Inn (50 miles)

Announcements and blesssing of the bikes.

Eat breakfast at Comfort Inn
Ride to Moonshine (15 miles)

Me and the gang at Moonshine!

Eat Hamburgers

Doug and I chat over lunch.

Ride to Casey Firehall (15 miles)

Jimmy Knowles gets volunteered to do his auctioneer thang.

Eat at Firehall chili dinner fundraiser
Ride to Hoagy's (50 miles)

Sunday April 11th - Breakfast

Ride to Comfort Inn (50 miles)


Perpetually cold.

Ride home (770 miles)

Hoagy and the guys who were also either crashing at Hoagy's or hooked up with us to ride stopped at a local shop so I could buy warm gloves and give Hoagy his loaners back.  I also snagged a long sleeved fleece shirt with a mock neck collar from him while I was there.  I stopped short at the lined jeans he offered.  Not that I was finally warm, but I'd packed stupid and should suffer a little of the consequences.

It was a great time with some fun folks.  Hoagy hangs with some good folks and I'm fortunate to have met some of them now.  George, Doug and Jim were all fun and I rode home part of the way with company.  I also got myself into my next IBA run.  Craziness!  That will have to wait for a future post, though, cuz right now it's SECRET!  check out between now and August for hints before and pictures after!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Nearly Another Possum Incident

In early April on an uncharacteristically warm day, when, remarkably, 5 of us were able to get together, Matt and I rode North to meet Jen, Vicky and Denise for a ride in PA.  It was a lovely ride and a beautiful day.  We took some winding tree-lined roads to nowhere in particular stopping for gas, deciding where to go for dinner...  It was a great day to shake the cobwebs off and start the season.

We weren't the only ones shaking off the cobwebs.  We got to see some critters also stretching their legs in the sunshine because, well, back roads in the country come, of course, with wildlife.  It's nice to see the domestics behind their fences (ok, usually behind their fences), a random grey squirrel running along a powerline, a deer or two off the road munching some greens...

The problem, of course, is that we've built roads in the middle of critter habitat setting the scene for the occasional intersection of a fast moving ton of metal and slow(er) moving soft, fleshy beast.  You know that never goes well...

So, it was no surprise to see a splot-o squirrel, those dark patches of road that are blood stains from something the crows have already carried away, a deer on the side of the road with a swarm of flies making themselves comfy, or a groundhog splayed out in your lane of travel.  Unless, as you make your lazy swerve to avoid the chubby ex-groundhog, the bugger stands up from sunning himself, belly pressed against warm asphalt, and shuffles off to the brush at the side of the road.  Now, THAT'll get your attention.

So, the lesson du jour was: all road kill ain't dead.  And so, for the rest of the ride I sang one of my recurrent biking tunes.  Do you know it?

Road kill, road kill,
Picking up road kill.
Walk into the middle of the road and then stand still.
Too dumb or maybe just a little slow getting to the other side....

I know, that doesn't do it justice.  Here's a link to the song by Milo Tremley.  Worth listening to for a chuckle.