Feels Like I Have Done This Before

Saturday, July 1, 2006

The first of July, I guess it is the start of the second half of the year. I hate to say that because it means that all the fun summer things maybe half done, also. Since that may be the case, it is time to get out and ride!

Today will be like another rally, not quite Gathering of Eagles, GOE, but it will be a gathering of three Cruiser Club, USA Chapters. As always, with our Indy rides, I have no idea who is going to show up. I really only got confirmations from my brother and father, and an inquiry from Wade. Independence Day was is on Tuesday, and many are heading out of town, blowing off Monday at work. For me, those days at work are the best. Hardly anyone is there, and I can get a lot done with no interruptions.

We met at the Thornton's Gas Station near the Digital Castle, my house. My dad and brother were already waiting. I pulled into a pump and fueled up. I eased over, and parked next to them. We talked as we waited. I also took a couple of pictures.

After about 15 minutes Wade showed up. After a few more minutes, and no signs of anyone, we decided to make Wade and Uncle, and make it a full family ride. Cruiser Club, USA is a Family oriented Club.

We left on Washington Street heading east, turned north on Franklin, and continued east on 10th street. This is the back way to Washington Square Mall, there are fewer lights, and lot less traffic. We passed the mall, and pushed onto Cumberland, and Muessing Road. We went south back to Washington Street, which is really more of US 40, The National Road, and continued east. I though we would be on this four lane divided highway for quite a while, but the trip was broken up with small towns with big names, such as Philadelphia and Cleveland. The biggest town we went through was Greenfield, a town that celebrates James Whitcomb Riley with a park, and his home/museum. Just remember, those Goblins will get you if don't watch out!

As we approached Knightstown, guess what? We diverted off on to some backroads. We headed north on a nice little side street, and once I could smell the country air, I knew I was on the right track, by being off the beaten track. We were taking a little manure tour, if you will.

After jogging along a few county roads, many lined with cattle settling in for what will be a hot day, we arrived at Greensboro Road. We took it north, past a golf course out in the middle of nowhere, and eventually to near I-70. There were areas that were the picture of what most think all of Indiana is, flat cornfields. You know what though, it was beautiful! Sure, I could see off a long way, and even though we were boxed in by a major interstate, and major highway, you would have never known. On the edge of the cornfields, manicured in fine lines, was the wilderness of small wooded areas, many along creeks in the area.

We jogged on to Old Mill Road, and narrow track that snakes along fields, streams, and other features that man could not pave over, but had to pave around. We saw a couple of dogs roaming the area, and eventually appeared on the other side of Knightstown, Indiana.

We didn't travel too far deep into town when we turned south, and were on our way to Rushville, Indiana. The strange thing about this leg was an intersection we came to that had three roads coming into it. The roads were symmetric, and each one stretched out, forming a star on the GPS. I have seen road crossings like this in Indianapolis and other cities, but this was out in the middle of fields!!

We continued on our way jogging south and east on county roads. Eventually, we met up with SR 3, and followed it south until the north edge of Rushville, and a Shell Station. We pulled in and waited for the Fort Wayne Chapter to arrive.

We had arrived early, and the Chapter 00 was running late. They pulled in, fueled up, they were 8 bikes strong. They were wanting to get on the road again, so after a brief rest, the dozen bikes headed out through town. We took SR 3 to SR 44, which interchanges in Rushville. SR 44 would link us to Franklin, Indiana, were we would break for lunch. Most of the pack followed the road captain to McDonald's, I prefer, and went to the Burger King instead.

Once again, the notice to mount up was given, quickly after leaving the restaurants, and off we went on SR 44 heading further west. We drove through the town of Franklin, breaking up the group at many stop lights, and turned south in Bargersville at SR 135. A light in Traffalger, and Morgantown would be our only issues until we got to Beanbloosom, where we would meet up with a couple from the Salem Chapter. They are just getting off the ground, as they formed their chapter just about a year ago.

We stopped at the little food market at the corner of SR 135 and SR 45. SR 45 is a scenic and twisty little road that leads to Bloomington, Indiana. Our next stop would be Oliver Winery, just north of Bloomington. We rode SR 45 for quite a ways before pulling off on a some back roads, and snaking our way to SR 37, where we would head north for a few miles to reach the winery.

The winery is known for its landscaping, as it is an escape from the busy route that lays along its western border. The place was really busy, also. Many people were in tasting wine, some more than others. A group of young women, my brother believed they were a bridal party, was in our tour group, and their tap needed to be shut off.

With a group shot, we all took off. Many of the Fort Wayne folks were headed to a hotel, Wade had already headed for home. I was heading for a friend's house and a fourth cook out. Dad, my brother and I would be heading the same way for a while, so we took off north on SR 37. I needed a gas stop at Martinsville. I really need to stop going to the Shell there, it is the worst gas station I have ever been to. The pumps rarely work, and today, sign posted that they were out of regular gas!

After the pit stop, we stayed together for only a few miles, I pulled off heading east on SR 44. It was a great little twisty and wooded drive. SR 44, 45, and 46 down in this area may say they are state highways, but they are some the best state highways in the country!

I would arrive at SR 44 and SR 135, and head north. Yes, my pathways had kissed each other on this ride. SR 135 is a another haven road for motorcycles, and I spent quite a bit of time waving to oncoming riders. I would jog on a few other streets before arriving at my friend's house. The odometer on my 2003 VTX 1800c also turned 23,000 miles on this leg. I still have a full month before my two year anniversary of ownership. I wish I would have started the Blog then, and I would have written memories of all my rides.

He too, was sufering form the timing of the fourth, and many of the invitees were traveling, or had other plans made. It was nice small gathering, and let me unwind from the days ride. I would have short trip home later that night, taking Interstates 65 and 465 until I arrived back home.
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