One Last Ride for Summer: Rome, Georgia to Savannah, Georgia and Tybee Island. Before that – a Micromarathon

School meetings start next week so I’m trying to get in as much riding as I can before I have to return. I’ve put about 6200 miles on Big Red, my 2004 Harley Road King Classic,  since the middle of May when I headed out to California, and I still haven’t had enough. Since returning from that trip I replaced my windscreen (which had been damaged by a dust storm in Arizona), replaced my horn (which broke, also because of that storm), got the oil changed and repainted some of the tank and fenders. I did a horrible job with the painting and have drips of clear coat running down the sides. Until I can sand that down, I’m telling folks that it’s supposed to look like a candy apple with drips of glaze. So far, nobody’s buying that and so I distract them by showing off my REALLY LOUD horn.

I have been busy otherwise. I trained for and competed a few days ago in a micromarathon – a .0420 mile road race. Unfortunately, half way to the finish line I hit the wall –

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Undaunted, I quickly switched to a Tai Chi running style and finished the race.

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Other than a forays around town, I’ve ridden up to Dalton, Georgia and over to Cave Springs and I participated in a charity ride for Cancer Navigators of Rome, Georgia. Still, that hasn’t been enough. I’ve decided to head to Savannah one more time. It’s my favorite USA city. I need to “feel the ride” on the old marsh road to Tybee, inhale the scent of the of the blooming oleanders and pluff mudd, and let myself  become mesmerized by the changing colors and shadows of the green and goldWP_20190713_12_03_41_Rich

(Big Red parked at the benefit ride for Cancer Navigators of Rome, Georgia)

cordgrass. I love that ride! I need to walk the timeless, cobblestone paths of old Savannah, soak up the fragrance of confederate jasmine, and sip on a Harp beer at the old-worldly Irish pub, Kevin Barry’s. That’s just for a start. The trip is about 370 miles each way which will give me plenty of time to ruminate on the meaning of life and other mundane subjects. I plan to stop about halfway, in Macon, to see my oldest buddy Joe.

Check back with me. Meanwhile, safe riding to you.

Days Thirteen and Fourteen: Wendover, Ut to Vernal, Utah – 287 miles; Vernal to Steamboat Springs, Colorado – 164 miles; I found Colorado!; Tired.

I decided to take a day off in Steamboat Springs and I’m staying at the Nordic Lodge which is right on the edge of town within walking distance. I had been thinking of spending another day here when I went for breakfast this morning and the man behind the counter said he had heard I was spending another night. That was enough for me.

Leaving Wendover the other day was amazing because the Interstate went past miles and miles of pure white salt flats. And nothing else. Well except for the ponds from all the rain. No animals and no birds. It was eerily calming in a way, but I wouldn’t want to live there. I ducked under Salt Lake City on Hwy 201 and then re-caught the interstate and rode it down to Hwy 40 and Heber City. Had a wonderful banana milkshake at Dairy Keen – Home of the Train. Besides pictures and stories about trains there was a toy train running about the ceiling from room to room. I’m a sucker for trains.

Made it to Vernal and knew it looked familiar. I had been here five years ago on a cross country trip. I looked it up on this blog to remind me what I had done and remembered it well, especially Little B’s bar. This time I just went to a sports bar, Wingers and watched a basketball playoff game. I continued the next day on Hwy 40 and I finally found Colorado! Most of the countryside was empty but the flora was beautiful in its own way. There were yellow, purple, and peach red wildflowers. Faded jade green scrub brush and the grass was various shades from jade to peridot green to ocher. There were confers, quaking aspen and cottonwood trees, the latter with their cottony seeds flying all around like snowflakes. The hills were undulating, and in the distance the mountains, some with snow, were misty, as in a Chinese watercolor.

I had been through Steamboat Springs on an earlier trip and had thought it was beautiful. I couldn’t wait to kick off the boots, change out of the Joe Rocket Ballistic motorcycle trousers and stroll about town. Of course, don’t worry, I did put on some jeans and some Saucony running shoes first.

Tomorrow, I hope to take Hwy 14 across the Rockies and the Continental Divide, but hey, anything can happen.

Resting Days: Pregnancy Salad; New Baby; Bike Problems; Bike Miles -114,920.

The day after Big Red and I arrived in Los Angeles, I went with my daughter out to lunch. She wanted to go to this restaurant on Tujunga that was renowned for their special salad. I know that doesn’t sound like much but this salad, and particularly the dressing, was supposed to induce labor in pregnant women. When the waiter saw my daughter in her condition, he said: “You’ll be wanting the salad.” Indeed, on the menu it was listed as “The Salad”. After a while four more pregnant women walked into their place, all quite ready for “The Salad”.

A small journal was passed around where people had recorded their thoughts. One guy wrote about driving two hours to get this salad and that: “I want the baby out of her!” All in good fun.

Five hours later my daughter’s contractions began and less than 24 hours later she had delivered – Henry Arthur… Here’s a picture of me and the young whippersnapper!

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Meanwhile, heroic Big Red’s battery finally bit the dust. I had been having problems with the battery before I took off on the trip – not so much just the battery but the charging system. I had to jump start her twice since I’d gotten to LA. Today, after she failed to start, I had to get her towed over to the Harley dealer in Glendale. I’m at a Starbucks down the street, right now as I write. Hopefully, the bill won’t be too much.

Big Red and I both have still a few miles to travel left in us yet.