TALLADEGA SCENIC HIGHWAY ON MT. CHEAHA ~ ALABAMA ~ photo taken by Dianna Stover
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Friday, January 2, 2009

RIDING IN THE NEW YEAR

In spite of the slushy insinuation from my earlier post, Have Fun... But Be Responsible!, I had a very mild and quiet New Year's Eve. Our friends, Big Ed and Red Light Roxanne came up from Panama City to spend the New Year with us and enjoy a nice couple of days. We planned to eat dinner at one of our favorite local Mexican Restaurants and then had every intention of hitting our little neighborhood bar, the It'll Do, for a couple more before heading home. But after the "medium" Margarita's came, and they were the size of fish bowls, we were well on our way to la la land when we left the restaurant. We decided to take it to the house and let the "Amateurs" have the road for the evening.

On New Year's Day, Big Ed and Roxanne had a prior family commitment to be fulfilled. While they did that, Harley and I decided a nice way to bring in the New Year was to take the Glides for a ride. So we did. A couple of weeks ago, on a previous ride, we tried to find Hwy. 68, a road that crosses over I-65 somewhere near Verbena, AL. Don't ask me the purpose of our need to find this highway, other than the fact that we knew it was there, and we've never been on it. We headed north via Hwy 143 to Hwy 31 until we spotted a road we suspected to be the illusive Hwy. 68. Harley committed us to a left turn, but proceeded slowly down this new road until we saw the marker. Bingo! Hwy 68! The road was our reward.

The 57 degrees kept the air chilly, but the sun did it's best to shed a little warmth on you between the shady spots. The coolness was invigorating and head clearing, as we sliced through the cold air, taking to the road with the anticipation of a newly found treasure. I love exploring new roads, because that means there's something new to see. Hwy 68 was dappled with rural homes and pastures. Old barns and farms loomed in the distance, and the cows were curled up on the ground as though they were trying to stay warm. I could understand their plight, as by this time, my fingers were pretty cold from riding. I've mentioned before, my Christmas $ will come in handy to help me remedy my "cold fingers" dilemma. We continued on this road for several miles until it came to an end at Hwy 57, where we turned north and headed toward the little community of Verbena, AL.

As we approached Verbena, we had the misfortune of having to avoid a chasing dog... not! Let me explain. Having ridden in these rural areas, I have become quite familiar with the hazard of loose running dogs, who like to take on our motorcycles in a game of "Road Kill Chicken". Problem with this game is... I don't want to become the Road Kill! I've gotten pretty good at surveying the scene and adjusting my velocity so both, me and my adversary, can come away unharmed with the promise to challenge each other again, another day. Not everything goes as planned for some Canine Gladiators and this was the case for one such Bull Dog in Verbena. Harley was in the lead and noticed the Bull Dog first and pointed him out to me. I could tell Harley was already making changes to his momentum as I looked over, and saw the Bull Dog about 50 feet from the road, running full sprint along side of us. Just as I was about to alter my throttle, I noticed something on the back of the Bull Dogs neck. What was it? Oh no... he's on a leash! Now you see him... SNAG! Now you don't! That poor dog went Alley Oop, from 20 mph. to 0 mph. in 1.2 seconds. There's no doubt, I very much appreciate the fact, that this poor dog's owners had him on a leash, or things could have turned out ugly for us. But dang, that had to have hurt! Harley remarked later, when we were rehashing the Bull Dog episode, that the owners should at least consider putting a Bungie cord on the end of his leash, to allow for a smoother transition from go... to stop. They could call it Bull Dog Bungie.
Verbena is a very small little community just south of Clanton. As we rode through, I found myself riding down a storybook country road with this quaint little country Church sitting at the end of it, in a sharp curve. It was such a picturesque moment, one of those peaceful times that hits you suddenly, and you realize... "Life is good. I'm so glad I'm doing what I'm doing right now!" We passed on by the pretty Church and went on into Clanton to enjoy a New Year's Day Wattaburger! I told Harley while we were eating, I wished we'd have stopped and got a picture of the Church. He didn't say much at the moment, but on our way back, he took a turn that allowed us to go back by the Church so I could get this shot. He's such a good guy. We then got on Hwy 31 South and started coming back to Montgomery. We figured Big Ed and Roxanne would be through with their family activity soon, and we should get back to the house.

I'm very happy our friends came to visit and allowed us to be able to spend some time together. We always enjoy their company and I look forward to seeing them again. I was really glad I had the opportunity to ride on New Year's Day. I hope it sets a precedence for 2009, with good rides to come in the days ahead. There were several moments during my ride that allowed me the chance to ponder my resolutions, organize my goals for this year, and just have my own little pep rally to help me get ready for the year. I hope 2009 is better, but only time will tell. I can't think of a better way to start... than riding in the New Year!

Author's note: I apologize for the lack of pictures of this ride, but it was cold! Too much trouble taking gloves and liners on and off. We plan to ride again on Saturday to real pretty area, with the intent of trying to get some nice pics. We're supposed to have temps reaching 72, so it should be a nice day to ride.

Lady R

16 comments:

Ann said...

I was actually LMFAO about the bulldog! Poor dog!

Love the pic...looks like it was a nice ride.

I love Whataburger!!!! Woo-hooo!

Arizona Harley Dude said...

Lady R that ride sounds like the perfect start to 09. My New Years ride only took me to lunch with the kids and over to a friends house. But, I rode Friday and have a nice ride planned for today. Low 70's expected here as well. Gotta love this kind of weather.

dave said...

I am not a snow rider but I am laughing at 57F being called cold. Rode three days last week in the 40's and I know I am not hardcore:)
Glad you got to ride.

Allen Madding said...

wonder if the dog's name is "BOING" :)

-Peace

Biker Betty said...

What a great way to ride the New Year in with. I've been lucky to have a run-in with a dog only once so far. It was within a block of my house and I had been down this street dozen of times. A new family had moved in and they have motorcycles. I'm driving down and this dog of theirs coming running right up to me. Luckily they were right there, but it scared me. I'm like you, I don't want to go down but I sure don't want to run over an animal if I can avoid it.

Great blog you have here. Wishing you a wonderful 2009.

Lady Ridesalot said...

ann... I hate to admit that I laughed to, cause I'm sure it didn't feel good! As fast as he was, I'm sure he'd have caught us. I'm just glad he was attached to something.

arizona harley dude... I do love this weather! I can imagine how tough it would be, to look at your beckoning motorcycle, parked in your garage, while you reach around it to get the snow shovel... augghhh! That's enough to cry about!

Our ride yesterday started out very nice, but we ended up pretty soaked. Oh well... you'll have that!

dave... Okay, okay! I'm not hardcore either, I'm just more enthusiastic about riding than some. So, maybe I'm a little wimpy about what I consider cold. But, may I refer you to the very helpful wind chill chart the Arizona Harley Dude posted on December 30th. I don't think 57 is cold either, until I ride through it about 75 mph. LOL! In the shade! LOL again!
Let me just say this... riding in the cold weather doesn't bother me. It's just not conducive to picture taking when the hubby says, "Hurry up", and I have to stop and pull off gloves and glove liners, take the pic, and then put the glove liners and gloves back on. If it's that much trouble, you loose what your out there for in the first place... the ride!

allen... I think "Clothesline" probably fits him better! He'll be called "Boing" when they get him his new Bull Dog Bungie Collar. LOL!

betty... We encounter dogs all the time. So far I have been fortunate. I have a good friend that got taken down by a dog while he approached a stop sign, only doing 5 or 10 mph. Ouch!

Webster World said...

The one thing I loved when I lived in Ga. Was those small towns. They were as you said. As for the dog, he must of liked it. I'll bet he does that everytime anything goes by.

"Joker" said...

Wow...I've done some commenting on bike vs. deer and even bike vs. moose...but bulldog? LOL! I've yet to be challenged on the road by a pooch, I'll have to keep an eye out for wild mutts.

57 degrees cold? Oh man, I can't wait until it's that warm around here again. New Year's Day ride, good friends, sounds like heaven to me. Just one thing though...

Whataburger????

Biker Betty said...

I am so glad we don't have the dog problem here, whew! (knock on wood, lol)

Dean "D-Day" said...

57 degrees?!? I'm praying for the day!

Bull dog bungie...
LMFAO!!!

mrs rc said...

We spent New Years Day reading magazines poolside (it was 72 degrees in the Tampa/St Pete area), while our fellow HOG members went for a nice lunch ride in 27 degree temps back in Delaware. We didn't get any riding in (didn't have the bikes with us), but I'm glad we weren't here! Glad you had a good day.

fasthair said...

Ms. Lady R: That must be a hard road to find. I still haven't found it using my mapping software. But looking at the other roads on this little ride it looks like a great ride.

I haven't got to ride yet this year :(

fasthair

Lady Ridesalot said...

webster... Small towns just add so much to a country ride. I feel like it takes you back in time to a nicer era.

As for the dog, I'm sure he gets his daily exercise chasing after large metal adversaries!

Joker... Dogs are very common in the country. Most of them don't present a problem, but you've got to keep your eyes open for them!

Whataburger... A great place to get a good hamburger! Better than Sonic if you ask me. Check out this link to learn more about the Whataburger. http://www.whataburger.com/

Betty... I'm knocking!

Dean... Those days are coming! Hang in there.
Yep, the dog was funny. I'm like Webster, and wonder just HOW many times a day the doofus gets swept off his paws!

Mrs. RC... Sounds like a very warm and relaxing way to bring in 2009. Hope your vacation served you well! It's back to work/school today! UGH!

fasthair... It's on our Alabama Topo Map, but the road was not properly marked. It's a pretty small, and not very long highway.

We rode Saturday too, so that makes twice so far for 2009. Woo Hoo! I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself. I'll post about our ride before the weeks out, hopefully!

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Sounds like you guys know how to bring in the new year! Bulldog Bungee! LOL! When I first got Cy, I forgot his foster's has a fenced yard. I put him out on a tie out, and he went running. He did exactly that same thing! Now that he knows his boundaries, he has free roam with no tie out, but way funny! OUCH!

Twas a bit too wet,salty, and snowy for a new year's ride here. :(

Lady Ridesalot said...

I'm glad Cy's a quick learner. How's he getting along with his new shoes?

New Year's Day riding was the best! I'm just glad I got to have the opportunity to ride for a couple hours.

Mr. Motorcycle said...

New shoes work good for long walks to keep the snow and ice build up out of the pads. Not good for chasing balls, or Frisbee, because of the torque dogs put on their rear feet when turning. They tend to twist the boot sideways. At least
Cy does.