Sunday, January 23, 2011

[Not So] Warm Springs

...trite and cliche.  I know.  But still a little cute.

Guess what?? 

WE COULD RIDE!!!

The snow is gone.  The roads are relatively clear.  Some cities were a little sand happy, but that probably wouldn't be the case with the direction we were traveling.  It was going to be smaller cities and farming communities where you still see 1970's Chevy pickups in driveways of mobile or cinder block homes.  Not exactly the Lexus and Mercedes communities with three quarter million dollar homes.  No.  The cities in our direction of travel don't warrant sand.

The day started like any other.  The temperature showed a balmy 29F (-1.7C).  But we should be hitting the tropical high of 46F (7.8C)!  Oh what a glorious day! 

The breakfast time of 9 AM and kickstands up time of 10 was ignored by all in the messages.  Everyone saw 10 and basically came at 10.  So we ate breakfast while the ride organizer/leader arrived promptly at 10:02.  :) 

One of the group realized he needed to put 10 lbs of air in each tire.  But he detests paying for air.  (I don't know about your area of the world, but air at gas stations is no longer free over here.)  He was going to bite the bullet until Mr. Oilburner pulled out his little air pump and all became right with the world.  Cold, but right.

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In all, this started our day off about 45 minutes late.  Say it with me...as usual.  LOL.  :)

No matter.  I don't think anyone cared.  Some of us were suffering from PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome) and just needed to ride and others were testing their cold weather survival gear as they hadn't ridden in the winter before.  (They were woefully lacking...)

Saddled up and ready to take off I had to verify the morning temp.  Yep.  It was still cold.

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That sucker displays 32.9F (0.5C)

Now we are off for our adventure.  Which actually starts quite suddenly with some unexpected turns and immediately getting lost.  I am chuckling because the organizer was fairly stern in his warning that he was sticking to the route and everybody better have it programed in or printed out and learned.  Yet his little iPhone mapping/route wundermap (pronounce vundermap) was not following his admonishments.  Meanwhile, he is getting frustrated and trying to reroute while riding.  He's chucking it in and slows down to ask me if I would like to lead.  See, I had given him this route.  It was nearly identical to the route we three had taken last year to Warm Springs.  Only this time we would be riding it backwards.  The route, not the bikes!  Like a dutiful little anal retentive mapping person that I am, I had not plotted this route into the GPS.  He was going to have to do this on his own.  And he actually had us turned around and headed in the proper direction in short order.  But it is fun to tease him about it.

We're making good time down the road and our first break is about 60 miles out.  Someone in our group of 8 needed to use the restroom.

What is the old quote about women and always needing to pee?  She never passed a lilac bush without having to stop and pee?  I don't know, something I read in a Stephen King book one time or another.  Unfortunately, in some cases it is true.  Fortunately, not with me.  I have a bladder like a steel trap!  So I found it particularly funny that I am the only girl in this group of 8, and all 7 guys had to go to the bathroom.  Score one for the women of the world.  All the years we put up with humiliating exams.  Men over 50 it's your turn.

Those of us watching the bikes and personal property began to wonder where the others disappeared to after 5 minutes of minutes of waiting from them to return from the bathroom. I was told on questionable authority later that not all were using the facilities.  Some were purchasing hot coffee to warm their frozen fingers after their gloves proved deficient.  It might have been more productive if they had just dipped their frozen digits into the scalding coffee.  After all, holding the cups merely warms the palms; areas that aren't as cold as the outside of the hands!  Other gentlemen were making new best friends of the hot air dryer in the bathrooms.  Either way...they were still cold.

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One pet peeve that I have been encountering more frequently lately is people leaving their bike at the pump and walking away!  Walk away to either go to the bathroom, get something to drink, chat, you name it.  And it is never for just a minute.  Stopping for gas in a group generally means 10 to 20 minutes of hanging out.  It just seems so inconsiderate to other people that need the pumps and to the gas station owner to deny access to other customers.  Does anyone else experience this?  So our little group was blocking access to 4 (out of 6) pumps while they were taking care of business...at Wendy's next door since the gas station facilities were out of order.

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OK.  Female superiority intact, we head out again.  Only another hour till our arrival at Warm Springs.  First order of business?  Food!  Believe it or not, it had been four hours since breakfast!


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Our motley crew

We headed directly for the BBQ shack.  They have limited seating in their establishment and we would not have left room for upcoming customers.  Or so we told ourselves.  They couldn't possibly have been profiling us as some die hard biker gang come to destroy their place.  Could they??  So we were shepherded into the adjoining steak house that wasn't opening until 5.  They allowed us to spread out on the HEATED, enclosed patio. 

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Alan snuggled up to the heater, making a second new best friend of the day.

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Grilled chicken with good flavor.  The BBQ improved it.  Slow baked bean side...yum.  Hey
it wasn't like we were in an enclosed car if I had any problems...

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Mr. Oilburner's rib plate.  The Brunswick Stew was really good!
Tummies full and fingers relatively thawed we hit the rest of town.  Still being winter there wasn't much open at all.

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Narnia nearby?
Warm Springs is becoming a little hotbed of bikers in the summer months.  And they are learning to cater to their our singleminded obsession with all things of two wheels.  The motorcyce museum has overflowed its interior space and has displayed their wares along any space available in the walking avenues.  Here are a couple examples that I stumbled across.


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Lil Sturgis my foot!


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Yamaha Midnight Spirit 1100


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Honda 175

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Honda CL70.  This looked so cute!


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Triumph Bonneville.  Beautiful!


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Couldn't find the model on thsi one.  ;-)
We have realized that the warmest portion of the day is upon us.  And it will only become colder from here.  The road home isn't long, but will be at highway speeds and higher wind chill. The group stays together for a long ways, but slowly new friends begin to peeling off and wave their goodbyes.  Some make them quick waves to keep their frozen digits out of the arctic slipstream we are creating.  But we maintain our contact with the leader since we have organized a post ride meeting at Sheridans with another friend.  Sheridans...Frozen Custard.  Are we stupid or are we complete geniuses?

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That little temp gauge is reading 39.2F (4C) when we stop for frozen custard.

Our fourth party is sitting in traffic, still another 30 minutes away.  The breeze is a little stiff and we don't want to wait.  We check our options and think of the Thai place a couple miles down the road.  Dinner thoughts are lingering and we all agree that is better suited to our needs; a nice warm place with hot food!  This place is our favorite Thai restaurant, all organic and the owners are the nicest people.

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Crispy Duck for Mr. Oilburner.  I manage to steal a few pieces.

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Penang Curry for me.  Before
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After

Dinner is great.  Company is festive.  Those of us on bikes manage to regain a little of our warmth.  We are reluctant to gear back up, but the sooner done the sooner we are home.  Luckily we are only 6 miles away.  Poor Alex has about 30 miles to traverse.  But he has a better hot tub waiting at home that I do.

Last temperature shot revealed a whopping 31.1F (-0.5C) at home. 

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Stats:
237 miles, wonderful but cold
I managed to see 44F (6.7C) on the gauge...once...as we headed for home.  It was short lived.
The new Gerbing's jacket worked like a charm
Men can get lost in the bathroom just like women
Can still get a good ride in cold weather with some friends
More images at Warm Springs on Flickr
Roger, get one of these so you don't have to take it down the block in ATGATT to air up.  Slime Top Off.  Has some high reviews on ADV and sells for about $13 USD.

Hope everyone else has some great stories to share!  Our weather is taking a bit of a downturn this week.  Hopefully the weekend will look up.  :)

28 comments:

  1. Dear Beemer Girl:

    What a screamingly great ride report! What a cool dashboaerd on your bike! Glad you got out! I am not scheduled to ride anyplace until April 2, 2011.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

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  2. Lovely ride report. It's about the same temperatures that I had on my last outing sans heated vest (yet), winter is almost over, but I am going to get me one for the next cold season I guess. The food looks yummy (hungry now!). And the best was the pic of the Vintage Triumph ;-)
    Thanks for taking us along on the ride.

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  3. You had me laughing!! So needed this today. Bloody gald you got out for a run, and thanks for the ups on that tyre pressure thingy, will look into that.

    Once again some great pictures...although I now have a craving for a nice duck curry!!!

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  4. Happy days are here again!

    N

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  5. Not funny, I just turned 50 ;-) great ride report, love the Honda 175. Sheridans...Frozen Custard?? Humm, I think I'm going to be riding down there ;-)

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  6. Great ride report. Sounds like an awesome day.

    Kudos to you for your bladder made of steel. I never pass up the opportunity for a bathroom break. If only my bladder lasted as long as the tank of gas I'd be set.

    Thanks for the gratuitous food shots. Makes me want thai food now.

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  7. BeemerGirl:

    I wished I had a bladder of steel. I would be the one stopping all the time. Excellent food photos, you're learning

    We are getting unusually warm temps for some reason while the rest of the country is in the freezer, covered in snow

    Glad you managed to get out for the day

    bob
    Wet Coast Scootin

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  8. If any of those guys came out of the restroom with smiles I would guess they have heated gloves..

    Nice RR..isn't it great to finally get to ride?!?

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  9. Glad you were able to get out. Another great ride report.

    I think you are spot on about the hogging the pumps. I seldom ride with groups so I haven't noticed this phenomena, but I wouldn't like it much if I were in a cage and waiting for a pump.

    By the way, after the beans did they have you ride sweep? Just curious.

    ~Keith

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  10. Great ride report. Is that a cup holder on the bike? I don't think I've ever seen that before...

    Glad to hear that the snow is gone since I'm headed out that way next week for work.

    Richard

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  11. Dear Jack,

    Hope the post helped your day a little. I can't even imagine having to wait until April 2 to ride again. At least your area cleans up the sand at the end of the season. Our are waits for the monsoons to wash it from the side lanes it has migrate to, back into the driving lanes.

    So how do you spend this winter time besides with nose plastered to cold window? (Don't stick tongue to any metal parts of the frame.) Ride planning? Dusting and polishing Fireballs?

    Good luck. Hang in there. April is just around the corner.

    Thanks for posting in!

    -Lori

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  12. Hi SonjaM,

    I just can't fathom riding in those temps without a heated jacket! I don't know how you and Irondad do it. I would be so bundled up that I could barely lean over to reach the handlebars or get my feet on the pegs. Of course, the temps are doable at road speeds. But highway speeds for me, heated jacket a MUST!

    You won't be disappointed when you spring for yours.

    Thanks for sharing in the adventure. Isn't that Triump a beauty?? At least that one was inside.

    -Lori

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  13. Hi Raftnn,

    Glad it could be of help on a dreary summer down. :) Of course, the tyre inflator is only if you don't like suiting up and taking the bike to the corner petrol station for air. It does make a good excuse to get out and mix that oil around.

    Did you get any duck curry?

    -Lori

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  14. Hi Nikos!

    Oh yes! Happy Happy. :) Hope yours is around the corner!

    -Lori

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  15. Hi George,

    What fun things you have lurking around the corner in the dark at this age... ;)

    Sheridan's...salivating just thinking about it. The Elvis Concrete is the best: vanilla, bananas and peanut butter. Yum!! I'll buy you your pick when you come down.

    -Lori

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  16. Hi Trobairtz,

    Shh...bladder of steel...but if I wait too long...we have a problem trying to get out of the gear! LOL. I usually take advantage too. But I couldn't tell the guys that!

    -Lori

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  17. Hi Bob!

    Do we need to document your cross country trip as "Bathroom Stops of the USA?" We can make sure to hit Wall Drugs in SD, Worlds Largest Frying Pan in Kansas and World's Largest Ball of Twine to name a few. :)

    No shame in bathroom breaks. Actually good to stretch the legs and fuel the human tank. Keeps a clear head.

    Glad your temps are conducive to riding still. No salt and sand to contend with. Hope the mudslides stay away too! Keep your great pictures coming!

    -Lori

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  18. Hi Ken!

    The guys still came out shivering... I hadn't even thought of cold hands on warm places!! Ouch! But evilly funny.

    -Lori

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  19. Hi Circle Blue,

    I don't know why I keep riding with groups. The hubby keeps signing me up, that's why. :) I guess we are just too darn popular! LOL. RIiiggghhhtttt...

    And no, they did not. Most of them had the beans too.

    -Lori

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  20. Hi RichardM,

    Yes, that is a cap holder on that BMW RT. I hadn't seen one before either. I was looking for that one list of "Why Bikers Don't Wave" that was broken down by brand. But the espresso machines are on the GoldWings, not the Beemers.

    Hopefully the weather will remain clear. I think we are a near miss for the ice storm tomorrow. Thank you high pressure system.

    Ya know...the motorcycle show is in ATL this weekend. And Greenville, SC on Feb 26... Any chance?

    -Lori

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  21. I should learn to plan better. I'm passing through Atlanta for about an hour and a half on Saturday on my way to Clemson.

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  22. You enjoyed some of that just a little huh! The peeing and the desperate attempts at warmth. :)

    Great trip report. I'm glad the weather warmed up enough for a ride!

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  23. Dear Beemer Girl (Lori):

    I play with model trains. Earlier this evening, I installed scale "globed" period lights as station oplatform illumination. And the answer to the question now running in your mind is "yes." This is something that only a real douche would do.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

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  24. Hi Richard,

    I'm so sorry you will be passing so close to the show! But the weather should be great, at least for the beginning of the week. I'm sure you are probably a little tired of snow by now. :)

    -Lori

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  25. Hi Bluekat,

    Yes, yes I did enjoy it just a little. :) Is that wrong of me? LOL.

    This weekend should be in the 60's!! I won't know what to do with myself!

    -Lori

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  26. Hi Jack!

    Which period are you talking about refereing "period lights". My mother used to have miniatures on a display shelf that I enjoyed looking at when I was growing up. The piano was fun to play with as it was a little music box too.

    I had a friend that was married to a man big in the Model Railroad world. So I understand it is serious business and would never think you were a douche.

    However...I do wonder about grown men playing with miniature things... ;-)

    Best,
    Lori

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  27. Dear Lori:

    Five years ago, the woman I live with and love, said to me, "Playing with trains like your life depended on it is the sign of a douche." She is almost always right about these things.

    Your very sane and sensible ride reports forced my hand into publishing a ride report from 35 years ago. It is a chapter from my book in progress called, "How A Motorcycle Saved My First Three Marriages."

    Lori, are you a member of the BMW MOA?

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

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