Who Needs A Plan Anyway?

Sunday, May 21st, 2006

It's official, the Riding Season in Indiana starts today!

It's Sunday, so you the first stop is breakfast, but after that, it is time to go riding! Yesterday, it was sunny, and in the low 70's, such perfect weather that little track here in town was able to run through 29 qualifiers in about 2 and half hours! I figure that the next day's weather can't be too different, can it?

The morning was overcast, and a little cool. I wanted to get that new rear tire heated up, and see how it would handle on the interstate, so instead of taking the surface streets, I drove north up Shadeland Avenue to Interstate 70. Besides breaking in the tire, scrubbing as it is called, I also need to get used to going to the darkside, by using a car tire on the rear.

Being on the highway, I was able to make it to Shapiro's in good time. I think there were more bikes in the parking lot, and I recognized them all! I stepped inside, and greeted Reed as Lord Vader, as he was the first in the group to turn to the dark side.


The Bikes at Shapiro's



We had a nice little group, a good sized for a ride later. Easy Rider Jim apparently wasn't feeling well, so he left early to go home. A couple of other riders had joined us, but other plans excluded them form riding. My father showed up around 9:30, and was to get breakfast in before our departure time of 10:15am.

Five bikes left from Shapiro's, and headed on our way to Franklin, Indiana, and to meet some other riders. Actually, I only knew of one that would be there. We strolled through town, and arrived at the Shell Station. A Red VTX Retro was there waiting for us to arrive. As we met each other, and some filled their tanks, a trio of bikes pulled into the gas station. One of them was a Ural Trike. It looked like a 1960's BMW, but it was actually a 1996 model. Apparently these are Russian made, which explains why they might seem 40 years behind the time.





The Bikes at Shell.



We headed out shortly after they left. We drove south on US 31, after we were let out of the Shell by a courteous driver. We weren't on US 31 for too long before we pulled off on Ninevah Road. Ron told me through the CB that the road was closed ahead, so we would have to make a detour. After the detour, Ron directed me to turn the opposite of what I wanted, so we were off route, for the first time today. Don't worry, I will not keep count, but being off the route will be a popular maneuver.

The route was going to take us past Ron's House anyway, so he decided to pick up his wife along the route. After that brief stop, we headed back on the route. Shortly south of Ron's House, I decided to take another detour, what the heck, right, it would only be once we would be off the route. I did luck out, in the fact that is was road that not many, I think only Reed, had been on before. Not as tree lined, and twisty as the original choice, it does have vistas that the planned route doesn't have.

Eventually, we would rejoin the original route, and you guessed, be on it for short time before we would hit yet another detour. I decided to follow the signs, and see were it would take us. It ended up dumping us out on SR 135, but far north of our route. I continued to let technology, a.k.a. my Garmin StreetPilot III GPS, be our guide. We snaked around on county roads, not hitting any detours, but we did make a unplanned stop.

Marv, the guy who met us in Franklin with the Red VTX 1300 Retro, lost a turn signal lens off his bike. Wild Bill kept referring to him as my father, but I couldn't figure out how he could tell the rear lens of a bike flew of off the bike behind him?! Since it was not an expensive part, Marv urged us to ride on. However, Mr. Reed is the master of search and rescue of items that have taken leave of the bike and/or rider. I think he found a glasses case on a ride last fall! He turned around, and went on his mission. We traveled on, trying to find a safe pull off. There were not many roads that turned off of these county roads, so he couldn't get too lost.

Eventually, we would finally find a road that Reed believed he had never ridden, in fact, I think he didn't even know where he was. This has become a marque of a ride of mine. Truth is, if I hadn't had the GPS, I wouldn't have had any idea of where I was.

We turned on to SR 252 to head west into Martinsville. Through this town, we passed until we reached US 67/SR 39. We crossed this road, and onto Pumpkin Vine Hill Road. This is a nice tree lined, twisty road. A freelancer, former intern, where I work lives somewhere along here. We continued to Wilbur Road, however, when we go there, the locator on the GPS was spinning like a top, so I didn't know which way to go. Well, as this ride would have it, we had to detour again, this time in a neighborhood. Honest, it wasn't a U-turn, it was a circle! I'm sticking to it.

Wilbur Road led us to SR 142, and then to SR 39. SR 39 twists nicely, and is a great road to ride. One of the few that has any highway tag attached to it. SR 39 goes through Monrovia, were we would divert to SR 144. That would lead us to Moorseville the home of Squealers! Good thing, I could hear Wild Bill's stomach over the sweet roar of my 1800cc engine. Actually, I heard more of his Belly Aching through the CB. We had ridden quite a ways, but the meal at the end would be worth it.

By the time we pulled into the parking lot, the clouds had cleared, and it was about a perfect day for riding. The late lunch was great, although Bill got a little sting from their Hot B-B-Q Sauce, but once he got the mild stuff, he was in hog heaven! Okay, how many puns do I get per entry?

At this point, the ride was essentially over. Just needed to get home. I took SR 67 North, to 465, looped around the south and east side of Indy to Shadeland Avenue. I made an early stop for fuel. I arrived home safe and sound, and feeling much more comfortable on the Dark Side of Motorcycling. A great way to start off the official riding season!

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