Birthday Present Ride

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Well, I know it has been a little while since my birthday, but since I planned my own party, and ride, my present from my borther and sister would have to wait for a few weeks. Well this was the weekend! August has turned out to be a very good month when it comes to riding, and I know I will regret all the writing I have to do!

On this Saturday Morning, I started out alone, pulling down my driveway. I headed through town on city streets, and arrived on the northwest side, heading toward my brother and sister in law's house in Lafayette, Indiana. I was going to be earlier than the appointed time, but, geez, we are wasting riding time here people! Most of this part of the journey was on SR 52.

After reaching town, but before their home, I gassed up the Black Pearl. It was far from loaded down, as this was only a weekend get away.

After relaxing at their house, we pulled the bikes back out, and I followed along the route. I do a lot of leading, and I was happy that I have had a few times where I could follow. I must admit, those that have lead make the most appreciative followers.

We wound our way through northwest Indiana. Known more for acres upon acres of farmland, flat and plowable, I was surprised that Kevin was able to find some sweepers, and some scenic land. I love cruising through old towns. Their populations were frozen in time, but the buildings aged, and stores and people came and went. At some time, all these burgs were bustling little places. Even in the days with all the activity, still everyone knew everyone else. With the television, the internet, and other diversions, the fulfillment of knowing people has seemed to have been lost.

We pulled into one of these towns around lunch time. I can't remember what town it was, that is the beauty of following. Although, I will admit, when I am leading I don't always know what town I am in. This one had a magnificent brick town hall. It still stood proud, even though it was not the center of activity that it was in its past. We cruised the square. I think we might have been lost, but I will never tell. We returned to where we had been, crossed through an intersection, and pulled into a little diner called "Cruisers". When you see the perfect spot for lunch, you have to take it!

It was a good lunch, and we relaxed a bit, and then stepped back out into the warm August sun to finish the ride. We were heading to Crown Point, Indiana, a Hoosier suburb of Chicago. From this point, the small towns would become few, as the small towns that did exist had been swallowed up by the urban sprawl. There was still some corn and soybean fields to navigate passed first, though.

Soon the amber waves of grain, and the stalks of corn gave away to bricks and mortar. More and more buildings, less and less green space as we neared the hotel. We meandered our way into town, and around road construction, and arrived at the hotel. My mom and dad's car was already in the parking lot, and my brother and I pulled the bikes under the overhang at the front of the hotel to check in.

Unpacking and parking the bikes would be the rest of the day's activities when it came to the bike. The five of us would ride in mom and dad's Cadillac to dinner and then to the show we were seeing. The comedian Jim Gafagan was preforming, he had been on That 70's Show. His show was great, and I think he only uttered one foul word the whole show. Profanity doesn't bother me, but it goes to show you can get people like me, my parents, and the rest of the crowd rolling with out it. He did have to mention Bacon and Hot Pockets an awful lot.

It was kind of a strange experience to be at the show. I don't think I can ever recall my whole family at a show like this in my life? Sure we had gone to high school shows, when I was drug to them as a kid, but not as adults. The only thing it took me back to was when the movie Wild Hogs came out. The Cruiser Club went as a group, and since my brother and my dad are both members, my whole family was at that showing too. It must have been 20 years since my family had gone to a movie together!

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