Thursday, May 29, 2008

Day 13 - Billions and Billions of Miles! (in your best Carl Sagan voice)

Sorry to report, another non-picture day today. Today was about covering miles again. We broke into two groups, Brian, Keith and Bob doing mostly Interstates to get to Joplin, Missouri, the rest of us taking secondary highways and such to hopefully meet at the same destination. Turns out that if we didn't hit a few hiccups along the way, we would have likely arrived with in minutes of each other. Oklahoma Rt. 64 did some crazy 50-mile southerly job and put us almost an hour off course, then OK Rt. 20 was closed in sections with no apparent signage for detours. We probably wasted close on to two and a half hours with those two bits of silliness.

Beaver, Oklahoma is now my favorite town. No... that's not why. We were 50 miles into reserve, thru' two towns and several gas stations that no longer sell gas when we found Beaver. They had a gas station and that means I didn't have to walk 30 or more miles, or be eaten by some of Wayne's mutant killer cows like in some bad ripoff of a Steven King novel. My Harley has a 6-gallon tank. No exaggeration - I pumped in 5.97 gallons of fuel. Wayne's 5.5 gallon tank took 5.45 gallons.

Oklahoma is freaking big and there is NOTHING in the pan handle. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nothing.

Oh, for Christmas the family bought me cruise control for the Harley. I know, it seems silly, and I'll admit to having doubts as to whether it would really be all that helpful a feature to have. But as it turns out, I've discovered - thanks to the ridiculously EMPTY vastness of outer space (read as: Northern Texas and Oklahoma), I have many things to do with my hands since they're no longer needed to maintain throttle control for three-hour stretches (no, not that!).

You can...

* learn to mimic the secret hoof language of the deadly killer cows
* air-drum every Def Leppard song in your music library
* figure out all the intricacies of the aerodynamics of the Harley fairing, and the crappy aerodynamics from up under the gas tank, causing my buffeting. I have a fix designed in my head and just need to build a prototype. WOOT!
* become ridiculously proficient at programming your GPS to play Mary Had a Killer Cow in three different keys
* decide if/where to move or adjust your handle bars when you return from the trip
* find 37 different ways to use your camelbak hydration system while it's bungee-netted to the back seat
* practice your Miss America beauty pageant wave
* give your riding buddies the finger over and over again, smiling with satisfaction that your bike will hold a steady speed while they try to lock their silly little throttle locks to give you the finger right back
* wave to farmers
* wave to cowboys
* wave to road-construction workers
* wave to the old guy cutting the three blades of grass he calls a front lawn
* rinse, repeat

Oh. My. God. I've never ridden more boring roads in my life.

But hey... we rode a 600+ mile day and found a motel for $54/night. SCORE!!! Tomorrow we head East, Keith, Adrian, Wayne and I. Bob and Brian are splitting off to bee-line home. Good luck guys, be safe.

And that, as they say, is that for today. It's late. I'm tired. Morning comes early. 'night night.


Anonymous said...

The area you describe is similar to that which surrounds Tucson -- lots of flat nothingness. It's one of the reasons I'm bored to tears with my local rides around Tucson.

It also illustrates why I have a Goldwing with a Sirius radio -- because normal radio doesn't exist in many of these places. And why the 6.6 gallon tank on the Wing is a nice thing.

The leafy green twisty country roads of Pennsylvania and West Virginia would be something I'd *love* to ride on.

John Thelman said...

Hey Brian, no need to rush home. We we're pretty happy with your replacement here at the Board ;)