In the whirlwind of my return from Utah, I have not had or made time to get out on my own Harley. Spouse has required a lot of attention with errands hither-and-yon, not to mention catching up with my lovely LOLITS and their grocery shopping needs.
Unfortunately, my “summer commute to work via Harley” is over for the year. Why?
This far past summer solstice, civil twilight on the date of this post at 0553 makes it much too late for me to have enough light to see to ride the Harley to work. I usually arrive at the office by 0530, and do not wish to change my schedule to arrive later — and get home later. I am the early-bird of early-birds and get more done at work in the first two hours than most others do in eight hours. (Not really an “LOL,” but a statement of fact.)
This past weekend, I crammed all of my errands and “to-dos” into Saturday, when the weather was threatening rain all day anyway.
Sunday dawned with sunshine and lower humidity. After preparing the usual (real) waffle breakfast for The Spouse, and after yet another trip to the dump (Spouse is really cleaning house!), and after more grocery shopping…
Ta-dah! Free time to mount and ride my very own Harley! Yay!
I booted up in my favorite Chippewa Firefighters and donned the safe riding gear. I called a few buddies but none were available or interested in riding with me on such short notice. Understandable. So I set off for a “ride to anywhere” on my own.
I had forgotten how many investments and changes I had made for my ride’s comfort. Unlike that rental Harley in Utah — the seat is very comfortable; the clutch level feathers well and easily for slow-speed riding; I can handle the weight and physical size of my 96cu (1573cc) engine (better than the 107cu/1753cc engine of the rental) and the rise and reach of the bars is perfect for me and my body height and arm length.
I rode on roads that I enjoy for the scenery, light traffic, smooth surfaces, and not too hilly or curvy. (I’ve had enough with 14% grades and 180-degree switchbacks, thanks!)
I was having so much fun that I did not realize that I had ridden over 100 miles in 2.5 hours, and ended up in Pennsylvania. After a quick hydration and pit stop, it was time to return. I avoided interstate highways, but took different roads coming back. 200+ miles in five hours.
When I returned home, the Spouse was watching the baseball game. He was happy that I was happy, but asked with a droll expression, “were you riding like you did in Utah? Distance no longer an issue?” Well, yes, … now that I am well conditioned for long-distance riding, the 200 mile ride was not difficult or tiring for me at all.
I am glad to be back on my own iron horse, though. As I said in a recent blog post, I will not buy a new Harley because I do not like their new, heavier, bulkier, engine. The Motor Company has lost any future sales to me. Their loss.
Life is short: enjoy your own ride!