TALLADEGA SCENIC HIGHWAY ON MT. CHEAHA ~ ALABAMA ~ photo taken by Dianna Stover
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Thursday, July 9, 2009

RIDING SOLO... BUT NOT ALONE

Dear Diary... a glimpse into the pages of a journal written by a woman rider.

July 5, 2009

Dear Diary,
Once again, I found myself following my fearless leader, Harley, down the road while we took ourselves to Panama City for the 4th of July weekend. Only this time, I rode my own Glide and Harley was in his own truck. A simple back tire replacement earlier in the week, lead to the discovery that his Street Glide had a loose bearing. Warranty work... good. Had to order part... bad. He didn't get his bike out in time for the weekend.


We changed out my seat and put the tour pack back on, so we could ride two up, once we got there. He offered to put my Glide on the trailer so I could ride in the truck with him and our puppies, in the comfort of the A/C. Panama City is a nice 185 miles, and even though it's pretty hot, I still wanted to ride.

So... Harley took the lead, and I followed. With his radar detector on and roaming, we were able to clip along at a nice pace, making my ride even more enjoyable.
The sun was high in the sky and the wind felt warm on my face as I relaxed and took it all in. It wasn't long before we settled into our normal riding rhythm as if we were both on two. Anyone following us for any length of time would have noticed the graceful synchronization of the blue Ford truck and the black Electra Glide as we maneuvered together, through holiday traffic.

We came up on a dead possum or something and Harley drifted so far over to the right, his right tires were on the shoulder of the road. He could have easily straddled it, but a
s my own personal "road captain", he has a habit of kicking his right or left foot out, to warn me of upcoming road kill or other hazards that need to be avoided. Since he couldn't do that, he'd position his truck to the far left or far right of his lane, to signal my warnings. I smiled to myself at the reaction he got from other drivers who no doubt thought he was crazy for swerving so.

We got to Panama City without any problems and had a fabulous 4th of July weekend with our friends. Sunday morning, as we headed back home, we stopped to get gas before we got out of Florida. During our pit stop, Harley revealed to me that I may get wet. The radio was telling of an upcoming storm in the Montgomery area and he was hoping it held off until we got there. We decided to forgo any more stops and just get our butts home.

Traffic was pretty heavy and we did our best to find our comfortable rhythm, but it was like maneuvering through a moving parking lot.
It was really hot again today and I was getting pretty thirsty. I was beginning to wonder if my decision not to stop needed to be retracted. As we approached one of the stop lights near Ozark, I noticed Harley had his window down and was dangling a travel mug out the window as if to say, "want some?" I split the lane and pulled up along side of him and said, "hey mister, got something to drink?" I took two long draws on the straw and was rewarded instantly with the cool refreshing taste of sweet tea. I should have known... Harley loves his sweet tea!

At three more lights along the way, he put his mug out there and I would pull up along side and take my drinks. By the time we were about to leave the city limits of Troy, I told him I was good and we can book it the rest of the way home. I wonder what the folks around us thought. "Look at that nice truck driver giving that hot thirsty rider a drink... how sweet."

We were about 15 miles from home when the sky opened up. I noticed Harley tap his brakes as he slowed down. He waved me around him, and as I rode passed, he pointed forward, for me to take the lead. I guess he figured if anyone was going to ride behind me in a hard rain storm, it was going to be him. I had been riding under the blazing sun for three hours now, was hot and tired, and I welcomed the cooling rain on my skin. It felt soooo good!

We pulled into the driveway and I got off the bike and thought... that was great! Riding by myself made me feel a little vulnerable at times because I feel there is safety in numbers, even if it's just the two of us. I crossed paths with a couple other solo riders during our trip down and back, and as I waved I wondered, are they really alone? I'm glad I chose to ride, and with Harley leading the way, I knew I would be fine.

I may have been riding solo... but I was certainly not alone.

Me

17 comments:

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Fabulous tale! I love the sweet tea thing.

FLHX_Dave said...

What the hell is up with this bearing shit. I just had another one replaced on my glide yesterday. Yup, the Isolator compensator bearing again. That makes 3 total in 18 months.

Awesome story! I do alot of solo riding but I too am never alone. I always have someone watching out for me. I always wind up hooking up with someone. There are alot of good people out there if you give them a chance.

Keep on. Enjoyed the read...now I'm gonna go get me some sweet tea!

mq01 said...

..goosebumps.. !!! :-)

Big Daddy said...

You are never truly alone...
You have Harley.....
And you always haves all of us in spiriit...;]

fasthair said...

Ms. Lady R: That Harley is a keeper! Tell your Diary thank you for sharing such a wonderful story about a wonderful weekend and ride.

fasthair

Jocelyn said...

SO AWESOME!!!

I really enjoy your blog and I'm passing an Honest Scrap award to you!

You're an Honest Scrap!

Mastercheif said...

Very nice! Thanks for the trip and sweet story!

irondad said...

Wow! How do you rate? Your very own support truck. Imagine. That would be interesting. There's a connection between two riders traveling together. There was certainly a connection between you and Harley but I bet it felt much different. On the other hand, it would be awesome knowing you always had an escape route, so to speak.

Liked the part about Harley wanting to follow you in the rain. Only a fellow rider would think of that.

IowaHarleyGirl (Stephanie) said...

You are such an amazing writer! Thank you for sharing your Diary with us once again! You and Harley are a match made in HD Heaven! It warms my heart hearing about the whole soulmate thing you two have going on!

Lady Ridesalot said...

Mr. M... I think when he bleeds, sweet tea come out! That's all he drinks! (when there's not alcohol involved) The whole time we were in Iowa, he grumbled about how nasty the tea was or how it's not sweet enough. We just had to break it to him... this is "pop" country. You need to go back to the south for that good ol' sweet tea. LOL!

Dave... Whoa! don't get me started. In fact, just last night, Harley made me take notes... he's fired up! I'll be writing a letter to H-D in Milwaukee and I'll be posting something on the blog.

In cliff note version:
-Took it in for a new back tire and brake check.
-They said they "heard" a bearing going bad, needed to order part. (we didn't hear anything, but trusted them... warranty item)
-A week later, still no part.
-Several phone calls asking why???
-Part came in... ooops! When they broke the bike down to replace bearing, they discover his transmission is in "catastrophic failure". WTF???
-Now, part no good, more parts needed. Probably two weeks before we get bike back.
-fuming mad that they didn't break the bike down and discover wtf the problem was before they ordered a bearing! Time... time... time.! Customer Service is on the firing line with hubby. I'll have to let you know what happens.

BTW... Do they have good sweet tea in Cali?? ;}

mq01... oooh, I gave you goosebumps! LOL! I wonder how many goosebumps I gave the casual observer who saw a biker chick riding in the rain with a wet t-shirt. Woo Hoo! I'm surprised I didn't get a ticket! LOL!

Big D... Thank you!! I know that's so true. I find myself thinking of my blogger friends many times while I'm riding. I guess I'm always wondering what someone (blogger pal) might think of this or that when I see or experience something. Very cool.

Fasthair... Yeah... I think I'll hang on to him for a little while longer. If you read my comment to Dave, Harley is sort of put out with H-D right now and he keeps telling me he wants me to change his name... to Mad Dog! LOL!

Jocelyn... I appreciate you to... grrrr! LOL! Thank you very much for passing the Honest Scrap award to me. :)
All right everybody... you know what this means! Who's gonna be next??

Masterchief... your very welcome, oh hairy one. BTW... I've been meaning to ask you... you've been sitting on that toilet a very long time... aren't you done yet??? Oh... must be a really good book! LOL!

Irondad... I guess I rate right up there with... very lucky lady!! It is a built in escape route. There were a few times, I was able to return the favor and "sweep" over to the fast lane quicker and give Harley room to get around some slow movers. We work well together, and the funny thing is... even though he was in his truck, we still had our routine of how we handle traffic. I guess that comes from putting lots and lots of miles on the highway together. I'm so glad we do!!

Steph... Thank you so much. What a nice thing to say! I am very blessed to have found my soul mate early in life, and we really do have a great time riding together. I'm just glad we're at a point in our lives that we can support two Harley habits! LOL!

Canajun said...

Great story. It really highlights how riding experience changes the way you see the road and traffic, even when not on two wheels.
And the tea thing is pretty cool too!

fasthair said...

Ms. Lady R: Damn I never even thought of the wet tee shirt in the rain!!! SOB what a great visual for a starting the weekend. Hummm... maybe Whiskey needs to look up that pretty Raod King and find a sprinkler or something to ride under :) You crack me up!!!

fasthair

B.B. said...

I smiled the entire time I read this. Your Harley is a great man, you two very blessed.

Lady Ridesalot said...

Canajun... I really became a better driver after I started riding. Once you become more focused and tuned in while riding, it's hard to turn that off when you get in the cage. Glad you liked the sweet tea story. I would have preferred some blue Gatorade, but beggars can't be chooser's. LOL!

Fasthair... ;} Sorry ya missed it! LOL!

B.B... Yep... he's my guy and I'm very thankful for him. He laughs at me a lot cause, I'm the kind of person who thinks I can do anything and everything for myself. But, the reason I love him so, is cause he's always right there, waiting for me to say... "okay, I need some help here." I'm a very fortunate lady.

Willy D said...

I can just imagine what some of the people in cars were thinking watching a female rider taking drinks from a pick-em-up.

Baron's Life said...

A great, loving, tender and realisticcally beautiful story...

Lady Ridesalot said...

Willy D... I think a few youngin's got a kick out of it. I scared one old guy though when I pulled up between him and Harley... he knew I wasn't supposed to be there. oops!

Baron... thank you. I love getting out there so I can "experience" more stories. :)