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Showing posts from June, 2006

Back to Shapiro's, Back to the Shortstack

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sunday Morning, and time for the Sunday Rituals to begin. Up around 7am, a brief read of the front section of the paper, and off I go downtown. I took a round about way along Prospect Street, and through Fountain Square. I like this route better, despite the fact I drive by the Coal and Coke Plant. The road has a great charm to it around Fletcher Place and Fountain Square. It is an area that has seen struggle and division in the form on I-65 running through the heart of the community. Finally, after 35 years, they seem to be bouncing back.

At one point along the trip, I see a older black gentleman decked out and looking dapper! I assume he is dressed to the nines to go church. Not sure if he waits for a church bus, or a regular bus, but I have seen him approaching the street, or standing on the sidewalk every morning I have ridden this way. It is funny how you can draw a connection to someone you never have met, or never have talked to. Maybe someday, I w…

GOE X Day Four: The Journey Home

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Usually the trip home from Gathering of Eagles, GOE, is a bittersweet one. I know there are a lot of people I just shared the road with for two days, that I won't ride with again for another year. Then again, it is always good to be home, also.

I awoke in the hotel room at 4:15am, thinking to myself, if I get up right now, and get out the of the parking lot by 5, I can make breakfast in Westfield. The combination of the beer from the night before, and that I still had a 3 dollar off coupon for hotel's restaurant, convinced me to stay in bed. It wasn't much later that I got up anyway, about 7.

By 8 o'clock, the bike was packed up, my belly full of breakfast, and it was time to check out, and hit the road. Dad was going to join me until Huntington, where he would turn south to Indianapolis. I would continue west to Logansport, then south and zig-zag to Thorntown.

The first short leg was I-69, we parted from it after about 8 miles. We would ride…

GOE X Day Three: Ralph Barnard Poker Run

Friday, June 23, 2006

Today starts the last day of the National Rally. Tomorrow, the Eagles will fly away from Fort Wayne to their homes, some to Philly, some to Virginia, and some more to all point across Indiana.

Before the Poker Run, the game had to begin, and finish. I arrived late for the games, but saw Rammin' Ray when the slow ride competition again. I think he has only lost twice since I have seen the games, once because he was not there, a deer taking a plunge of off a road side cliff made sure of that. Remember to look up, in addition to side to side for wildlife. Ray's Wife, Stella, broke every rib in her body. She seems amazingly well for what that crash did to her body. I think a tough woman like that, I am smart to keep her on my side!

So after the games, we assemble to ride out of Fort Wayne for some of the rare scenery and twisty roads that the north east part of the Hoosier State has to offer. Every 25 or 30 miles we would stop, and draw card. Usually …

GOE X Day Two: Ferrari's and Thunderstorms

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The day started out with more clouds hanging over Fort Wayne. After getting the bike packed up, I headed around the hotel to join up with the rest of the group. I volunteered to help out, as I have the CB and GPS.

We had to make a left turn out of the hotel, which always a trying situation for 40 or so bikes. We rode about 15 miles of the route dad and I took the day before. We then join US 30 for a length of time. Along that route, I was tailgunning and with that I warn the riders of what is about to pass. For the first time, I could let the riders in front of me know that a bright red, Ferrari Testarossa was about to pass the group.

The rest of the trip was through country roads across northern Indiana, and the looks of a storm brewing in front of us. As we headed further east to Kersting's Motorcycle Museum, the sky got darker and darker. We made it dry, and that to the people there, most of the bike were under cover.

After a run through the museum a…

GOE X Day One: A Cloud Hangs Over the Event

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

So the day I wait for all summer has finally come. I guess since summer only officially started at 8:30 this morning, I just didn't say much did I? I guess I actually wait from when the last one ended. GOE, or Gathering of Eagles is the National Rally for Cruiser Club, USA. It is almost like a family reunion, but it is with my motorcycling family.

I started the day packing the baggage on the bike, with my first stop being the PUD, Parental Unit Dwelling. Not so fast, I needed fuel, and I needed money, so after a pit stop at Kroger and First Indiana, I was heading out to the house I grew up in. I stayed away from 465, and took some surface streets until I go to Keystone Avenue, which is a major road through Indianapolis. After a brief wait to make a left turn onto 99th Street, I moved on to my parent's house.

I arrived at 7:45, and my mother was moving towards her car, getting ready for her short trip to work. I went in the house, after seeing that…

Back in the Family

Saturday, June 17, 2006

If you have read any of my previous posts, then you know that I just hate it when I have to ride somewhere. I mean, I have to plan a good scenic route, then I have to clean up the bike, then I have to do all that riding. Geez, when can I get a brake! ;-)

So here it is a Saturday, the weather is supposed to be clear, and it may reach 90, a first in over a year for Indianapolis. My destination, the Circus Capital of the World, Peru, Indiana. I know, with the number of clowns, you may have expected my to say Washington, DC, but this honor belongs to Peru. My father, and his father, grew up in the town in north central Indiana. Before you go running for a map, it is about 70 miles straight north of Indianapolis on US 31. Just north of Kokomo and Grissom Air Force Base.

Since some of my dad's siblings, and another descendants of the family still live nearby, or even in town, this is a great location to have the family reunion. Apparently, the milestone of this one …

Two Days - Back and Forth to Work

Wednesday and Thursday, June 14 & 15, 2006

Since the last two days all I did was ride back and forth to work, I figured I would just combine two days into one. Not a lot happened over the two days. June is still holding on to cooler mornings, 55 to 65 degrees, and warm afternoons, 75 to 85. Wednesday afternoon is was supposed to rain, but none fell. The weather man says it will be clear and hot through the weekend, but I am thinking about driving Nina's little Cabriolet to work on Friday. I have been able to drive it in only a couple of times, and both times it get cold during lunch time, which was no fun to drive. The crew and I often head out for lunch on Friday, we need to leave the building!

Saturday, it may reach 90 or above. I think we are supposed to have our family reunion, but I have not heard anything about it? Last summer, Indy hit 89 three times, but never 90. It would be over a year since we hit that mark. In Texas, it was 97, so I remember kind of what it was like,…

So This is the Scenic Route?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Even though the weather was great, I had a day off the bike to tend to other matters, like some sleep, worked late the night before, the water heater, and the scratch coat on our new fireplace. I may have not mentioned before, or too often as it is not motorcycle related, but we are re-habbing the house we live in. Monday was filled with mixing mortar, and spreading it on the walls of the new fireplace.

Back to the ride, and this would be a good day of riding, but it would also be work related. Usually a couple times a month, I travel to Columbus, Indiana, about 50 miles away, to work for Cummins, Inc. a global engine manufacturing company. They do satellite broadcasts of company communications, and direct the production. It is something that I have done for almost two years. Yes, it is corporate video, and even though it may not be the glitz, glamour, or artistry of a major motion picture, it is very interesting. Another great point is that the cast and crew are …

Back to Breakfast

Sunday, June 11, 2006

One of the great things about taking a day off from something? You get to go back. And when it is something you like to do, then you can almost not wait to get back. I can't say that the Sunday Morning Breakfast Club is one of those things I yearn for all week long, but it is my Sunday ritual, and the closest thing I get to church.

I decided to brave the wet roads, and ride in. There were pockets of rain looming, but most of them were breaking up before they hit the Circle City. I would be the only one that rode. With the health of the rest the group, or from at least their discussions on their health, a little rain could do them in. It was a smaller crowd, as I a sure the weather put a damper on things. I ordered the Veggie Omelet, with Egg Beaters and Rye Toast. I have been staying away from the short stack for a while, but I will have to save up the calories to tackle that beast again, some day.

For those who were not at Thursday's Cruiser Club Meeting, I…

Really Back to the Grind

Friday, June 9, 2006

I know I said I was back to the grind of work earlier in the week, but Friday is the real grind! The morning was cool and moist, but no fog was lingering around. It had to be close, as the dew point was a mere degrees from the air temperature.

It was another normal ride into town, and north up Delaware Street to tenth, and over to Meridian. I arrived at 7:30, early enough to get things loaded, and then be ready for an early taping.

Once again, the afternoon was Sunny, and the air was warmer. I took my more scenic route home, the one I always take on the bike, along Pleasant Run Parkway. There were a few duffers out on the course.

Cruiser Club Meeting Day

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Usually the first Thursday of the month is day that the Indianapolis Chapter of Cruiser Club, USA meets. Since we love to Ride to Eat, Eat to Ride, we meet at place that has some good food. I moved the meeting to the second Thursday, number one because I would be in Mackinaw City, and second, when it is the first day of the month, we don't get as much participation. Hey, I am the president, so I can do what I want!

First thing first, I have to ride to work. Since Nina's work schedule has been changed, often on these mornings, we leave at the same time, and end up following each other for part of the way. Since I am left with having to close the garage door, don a helmet, gloves, etc. she is usually out in front of me.

I arrived at work with the regular route, at the regular time, yada, yada, yada. As I was leaving work, some production people were arriving for the night of Pledge Drive that was coming, featuring the Blue Man Group. Their fifteen minutes mus…

Back to the Daily Grind, I mean Ride.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

I know, I know, it was dangerous to ride to work on the day the world is supposed to end. If the devil is to raise today, he probably won't be looking for people on Hondas, or at least I can hope.

I am sure a lot of people were expecting this to be a day unlike any other, but it just plain wasn't. For me, it started out on the familiar streets to work. Of course, I was looking through a windshield coated with bug kill from the Soup Run.

The weather was descent, a little on the chilly side, but I was riding, so I felt warm inside. The traffic seemed heavier this morning. Most schools are out, so I wonder if people aren't returning to surface streets from the highways. That should last about three or four days until they get upset that they have to stop at a light, or can't go 55 mph plus.

After several miles, I turned north on Delaware Street, and took it to tenth street. As I was traveling up this one way street, I was reminded of an internet article …

The Last Spoonful

Sunday, June 4, 2006

The final day of any trip is always hard. Sure, it is nice to get home, but sometimes you wish you could stay out on the road forever. Despite one or two rainstorms, the weather had been about perfect, the bike was running great, and I was having a good time. Still, however, I had to head home.

My first stop out of the hotel parking lot was for fuel. After I was fueled up, I headed south through Joliet, Illinois. A small section of this run through town would be along Route 66. You just cannot ride on that road without the song popping into your head.

Most of the day would be spent on Highway 52, through Lafayette, Indiana. My brother lives here, and my niece was graduating high school today. I thought I would fuel up here, but the one gas station I had on the GPS was closed for repairs, and the other I saw was hidden from view until it was too late. I thought I could make it to Lebanon, Indiana, so I pushed on down the highway.

Eventually, US 52 merges into I-65. Her…

Soup's On!!

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Saturday, June 3, 2006

The day started with me and my Black Honda VTX 1800 fully loaded, and ready to head north into Door County. I had driven in Door County, but this should be a different experience, as it always is from car to a bike. I rode through Sturgeon Bay, over a draw bridge, and onto Bay Shore Drive. There were quite a few homes of the Lake Side of the road, but I could catch a view of the water through the trees every once in a while. The scenery was ever changing. For a few miles it would be heavily tree lined. The next few miles, one side of the road would give way to a view of the lake. Another stretch would feature the return of the trees along the lake side, but the opposite side would be rocky. Not nearly massive enough to be called mountainous, but it did remind a little of the pacific coast highway. The final type of stretch would be trees along the lake, and wide open space opposite. Some were farm fields, some were golf courses, some looked as though it was just…

Pictured Rocks, Dirt Roads, and Paved Memories

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Friday, June 2, 2006

The morning started out with my eye on the prize. The bridge. I have heard about the horrors of crossing this menace that joins lower and upper Michigan. After fueling up, I hopped upon my steed, and grabbed my joust to slay this dragon. I remembered the advice I had been given, stay right, off of the grating, and you will be fine. I was able to do that until those familiar orange signs popped up once again on my trail. Right where the concrete ended, I had to merge left, on to the grating, and cross the bridge on the surface I was warned about. I lowered my lance, and my speed, and crossed without a problem.

The drive north and west through the U.P. was a casual and enjoyable drive. As I expected, I drove little, stopped and took pictures, then drove a little more. I was only two turns from Grand Marias, a fuel stop, and the last town before Pictured Rocks National Park. On the second turn, I was approaching another world. The road disappeared into a gray thick b…

A Spoonful of Custard Makes the Motorcycle Ride Go Better

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Thursday, June 1, 2006
Here it is another year, and another trip for a bowl of soup. I did the Soup Run last year, but took a fairly direct route to Fon Du Lac, Wisconsin and back. I never take the direct route, and I sure as hell was not going to ride through Chicago. I would ride through New York in the rain again, before I would go anywhere near Chicago. Okay, so I did have to go near it, but not anywhere nearthe traffic.
First off, I will start off with a disclaimer, I did ride last night, I went to the Hardware store, the bank, and the gas station to get ready for today'strip. It was only few miles, and I didn't enjoy it, wick, wink.
So, at 7:30am, and Nina leaving for work, I set out on a 500 miles plus day to reach Mackinaw City before the end of the day. I went down Washington Street, and caught up with Nina at Emerson, where I went north, and she continued west downtown. From Emerson I rode up to Kessler, then to Keystone Boulevard, which becomes US 31, the road I wo…