Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Motorcycle Diaries: American Style

Having completed my first full week of work at Amazon most people I'm sure thought I would take a long nap.  Nope, not me.  Phil surprised me Friday by showing up on his motorcycle to take me for a ride.  Now, as wild as some of you may think I am, motorcycles have always been something I stayed away from.  But that changed in Asia.  It's the main mode of transportation on those crowded streets.  Tuktuks are just taxi motorcycles which I made extensive use of in every country I traveled in except Singapore which had an excellent subway system.  And while I was outside of Bangkok I rode "motor cy" which was usually a Kawasaki or some other small, fast, lightweight motorcycle with an eager young male driver that took you quickly from one place to another in a hurry and cheaply.  But I never rode one more than a mile or two.  And finally, while in Vietnam I took a two day trip on the back of a large motorcycle up the new highway to the mountain town of Dalat.  It was a very scenic drive with a driver who was very thoughtful and made sure we had a stop every hour or two to "rest my bum". 

Still, here in the U.S. I had never traveled any where on two wheels unless I was pedaling.  But about 2 weeks ago Phil showed up in Hohenwald on his bike and took me on my first American ride.  The Natchez Trace is a beautiful ride for a beginner like me.  We rode into town to deliver some things to the grandkids who of course had to have a ride too.  Then we went through town where we stopped for dinner then went by the shop where my neice Karly and her friends were working on parade vehicles for the next day's homecoming.  My total first day mileage: less than 30 miles.  And I really enjoyed it, so when Phil showed up this weekend and said he wanted to take me out to see some fall color with some of his Gold Wing friends, I had no idea what I was in for. 

Saturday was a beautiful day for riding the backroads and seeing fall colors.  We rode over to a place called Pine Knot, KY and met up with the group then rode with them to Pineville, KY where we stopped for lunch.  The group headed on east from there toward Hazard, KY but we went south to Harrogate, TN by way of the tunnels at Cumberland Gap and then back through the mountain and headed back to camp.  It was all so much fun and the weather was perfect fall temps with lots of sunshine and good leaf color.  The group was friendly and I had a good time visiting with folks at lunch.  But, when we got back to camp my body knew that it had been on the back of a bike for over 300 miles.  I was very sore.  Started humming the Madonna song "Like a virgin" and making jokes about being bowlegged.  Needless to say, the next day I did all my traveling by car!

So am I a full fledged biker babe now?  Not yet, but why not?  Could be a new direction for my retirement.  Thanks Phil, for showing me a new way to have fun.

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