A few months back I told of the phone call I received inviting me to consider taking the trip of a lifetime: 16 days starting from San Fransico, north into Oregon and then east back towards home in Ohio.
Unfortunately, as the only person in a one man IT shop where I work there was just no way I could take 2 weeks off in a row. So, on July 3rd I will wish a dozen and a half of my local friends bon voyage from Port Columbus airport as they fly to the west coast to collect their motorcycles which started the trip via semi trailer 4 days earlier.
I was really envious of those that are making this trip. I enjoy their company and have never seen the beauty of the pacific northwest, or many of the places west of the Mississippi river, first hand. (There was a weekend sprint to Boulder, Colorado once, but I slept through most of that trip!)
Well, a couple of weeks ago while I was day dreaming about what I would miss, I said out loud to one of our cats, "Too bad this trip isn't for only one week. I can be away from work for a week. How far could I travel in a week?" Hmmm. Good question.
The answer, as it turns out, is about 1,300 miles away. Geographically speaking, I'd say about to Sturgis, South Dakota. Which, as it also turns out, is on the route my friends are taking on their trip.
So, to make a long story short, I will leave central Ohio a week after my friends fly out, and hook up with them 3 days later in Sturgis, SD. We'll spend a couple of days seeing the sights in and around the Black Hills and then start the 3 day trek back home.
To many riders (and readers) this 1,300 mile trip would be considered a short cruise around the block. But Lady is not a touring bike, although she dresses like one, and 300 miles in one day has left me stiff and saddle sore in the past. Making the trip in 400 mile per day segments will take a toll on me. I'm just not sure how much of a toll will be required.
I'll be riding solo for this trip. The Mrs. doesn't want to take time off this early in the year and knows that her maximum distance riding pillion is about 200 miles per day. But she has given me her blessing for this adventure which is saying something. She probably will replace the furniture or something like that while I'm gone. Happens nearly every time.
My neighbor, John, says he might join me on the journey. John, a retired navy master chief, has ridden American iron for 30 years and I would welcome his experience and company.
So what advice do you have for someone that's riding a cruiser where only touring bikes normally tread?