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Monday, August 31, 2009


Barges coming and going, depicting life on the river... just another day at the office!

These pics were taken by Harley while we rode across the Jamie L. Whitten Bridge which spans the Tennessee - Tombigbee Waterway. The waterway makes 459 miles navigable between the Gulf of Mexico and the Tennessee River and we crossed over it when we rode on the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Tune in tomorrow for my post, "A RIDE THROUGH HISTORY ON THE NATCHEZ TRACE". You can finally read about my adventure as we explored the entire length of trace. In the mean time... Have a nice Monday everyone!

Lady R

Monday, August 24, 2009


Back in the early 1800's the Natchez Trace was the most direct route northward from the port of Natchez on the Mississippi to Nashville. In between were 500 miles of wilderness. This path runs along the ridge of the Tennessee Valley Divide and is a remnant of the original Natchez Trace.
It was cool to imagine, as I stood there looking down this historic trail that boatmen, mail riders, traders, soldiers, Indians and outlaws passed here. On horseback and on foot (later with wagons) they followed the serpentine trail into the deep woods of Indian country. Very cool indeed.

Have a nice Monday everyone!

Lady R

Thursday, August 20, 2009


The moment I realized our little plan of riding the Natchez Trace Parkway was actually going to pan out, I started reading everything I could to find out about this historical road. While I was in school, I was too interested in boys and parties to pay attention, but now that I'm older and wiser (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!) I've turned into a sponge that loves soaking up as much history and knowledge that I can. We decided to ride up to Nashville and begin our journey from the north end and make our way south to Natchez. We'd figure out how we want to go home later, since a lot would depend on how tired we felt and how much time we spent on the Trace.

We took off by mid afternoon Wednesday and headed up I-65 North. We prefer country roads to the interstate, but we wanted to make time and get to Nashville before dark so we decided to forgo any dallying and just get there. Still getting settled in for a nice 4 1/2 hour ride, I was going through things in my head like socks, undies, t-shirts... check. Soap, shampoo, toothpaste... check. Money, maps... check, check. Right about then... things got a little dicey.

Let me set the stage for you so you can understand the events as they unfolded. Harley and I were clipping along in our usual comfortable formation, keeping up a pretty good pace with several cages and 18 wheelers. While we were in the left passing lane going around one of these trucks, Harley was behind one semi, I'm behind Harley, and another semi was behind me. We are all passing semi number three. I was probably about a car length behind the truck we are passing when I noticed the lead truck tap his brakes. Harley moved over quickly to the left while pointing behind him with his right hand, as if to say, "get behind me". I noticed some pieces of tire rubber bouncing around on the pavement and realized instantly, the truck we were passing must be losing a tire. I ducked behind the fairing and windshield and moved over, easing off the throttle just a little, and glancing in my mirror at that big boy on my ass. At this moment, I was even with the back end of the trailer when I heard a loud boom and saw white smoke come billowing up from all his tires. Now I'm dodging giant size pieces of black rubber and squeezing my ass cheeks so hard, you couldn't have pulled me off that seat. That's when I saw the trailer slide over rather quickly and made rough contact with the right guard rail. Holy shit! Smoke, rubber and road grit were flying all around me, but in that instant I heard Harley throttle up loud and clear, and I just followed suit. As I gave it the gas, I looked in my mirror and saw that the trucker who was following me was doing his best to give me room, and the poor dude driving the disabled truck was doing all he could to get his rig stopped.

All this happened in a matter of seconds, but it felt like a slow motion nightmare. As we left this fiasco behind, we noticed that no other vehicles where coming up behind us and we wondered what else may have happened when things got jammed up. We pulled off at a rest area 5 miles up the road so we could gather our nerves and settle down from the adrenaline rush we were both experiencing. As we talked about it, Harley told me he saw something big laying in that right lane and that's what the 18 wheeler ran over. Whatever it was must have cut his brake lines, locking up his wheels and causing all hell to break loose. Harley thought the truck was starting to jack knife when he hit the guard rail and he was afraid it was going go flip over the side. That trucker did an excellent job controlling a terrible situation and if I ever find out who he is, I would give him a big hug! We were very fortunate. Things may have turned out very differently, and all this happened just 39 miles into our trip. Good grief! I had hoped this wasn't an omen for things to come.

We stopped in Franklin, TN around 8:00 p.m. without any further incidents and found us a nice room for the night. I was happy to be there. After a good nights rest, and a sweet dream or two, I knew we'd be ready to start our Natchez Trace adventure.

The morning brought cool temps in the high 60's, but the sun was shining bright. It was going to be a gorgeous day to ride! We departed Franklin around 8:00 a.m. and made our way to the entrance of the Trace. Our first indication of the beauty we were about to encounter came into view when we saw the Double Arch bridge on TN-96 in Birdsong Hollow. We passed right under it (see Monday's Pic Of The Week) and within 15 minutes, we had entered the Parkway and found ourselves riding across this impressive structure. The view up there was awesome!

Once we crossed the bridge, the wilderness lay before us as we ventured on. We took note very quickly that there were wild turkey everywhere. You could see them standing in the tall grass 30 feet or so off the road, sometimes on both sides. It was the coolest sight to glance over to take in some scenery and notice a dozen or so turkey at a time watching you go by. There's no good place to stop and take pictures except at the designated pull offs or historic sites, so I wondered if we would get an opportunity to capture any Kodak moments of our new found feathered friends.

Well, there's an old saying... "Be careful what you wish for..." and I realized very early that day, that riding on the Trace could get about as dicey as the interstate system. It seems one of these turkeys didn't like me riding on her road. There I was, leading and enjoying the scenery, taking in the blue sky and fresh air, when one of these wild turkeys on the left side of the road about 10 yards in front of me, started approaching precariously close. I watched to see what she was going to do and it appeared as though she wanted to hitch a ride. She was walking rather quickly toward my approaching Glide, with her head bobbing back and forth like it was going to help her move faster. I revved the throttle a couple times to make some noise . This usually scares the buzzards and crows away from the Road Kill Diner so I thought it would work the same way here. Wrong! She was only about 4 feet away on my left now and still in front of me when I realized the sound of my motor was not scaring her. What was I going to do! Should I swat at her and try to knock her down or put my leg out to kick her away? I moved over, but it seems she was targeting me and wanted a piece of me and my bike! In that instant I gave the throttle a hard twist to offset her judgment (and to escape my plight) when she suddenly flew up in a flurry of feathers right next to me. All I could think of was... she was going to shit all over me from fear in flight. You laugh about this, I'm sure, but I've seen it happen. Once last summer, we were revving up the throttles trying to scare a couple of Heron standing in a creek next to us. When they flew away, one of them shit a stream so long I thought he was on a leash. When I realized the turkey had left my side and returned to the safety of her tall grass, I looked down to check myself... no shit. This is a good thing. Harley pulled up along side of me and laughed, "You tryin' to catch our Thanksgiving dinner?"

At our next little pull off, he said my little close encounter of the fowl kind was pretty funny from his view. I'm sure it was, and we had a good laugh about it. I can imagine what my Kodak moment would have looked like with me crouching behind the windshield, hanging off the right side of my seat trying to avoid being pecked over or carried off by a wild turkey. Good grief. Again... was this an omen?

Well, I can answer that question. NO! The rest of the trip was wonderful and we had no more near mishaps. I still have all of my Trace adventure to unfold for you, but since these two crazy situations happened so early in the trip, I wanted to share these with you first, so I can focus on what a wonderful ride down the Trace we had.

Stay tuned... you won't be disappointed!

Lady R

Author's note: Actually, my main reason for sharing these two incidents is to remind all my fellow riders out there to always stay on alert for problems. We used to think nothing of riding close to 18 wheelers, finding that sweet spot in their wind wake. Or playing chicken with the wildlife as a way to entertain ourselves while riding along the highways. You just never know when unforeseen problems are going to unfold, and it's in our best interest to be ready for them. I'm fortunate to have been reminded of this without having to pay a terrible price. With that said... ride on my brothers and sisters and keep the shiny side up!

Monday, August 17, 2009


This double arch bridge was actually the project of some engineer students, and spans across Birdsong Hollow on TN-96. We are about three miles from the entrance to the north end of the Natchez Trace Parkway and thought we'd stop and get this picture.

You cross this bridge within three miles of getting on the Trace and for me, it set the stage as to the beauty I was about to encounter on the rest of this trip. I crossed it once, turned around and crossed it again so Harley could get a shot of me riding across this beautiful bridge. You have to look real close, but I'm there! The view from there was awesome of the hollow below.
We got home yesterday afternoon and had a wonderful trip! The weather was great the whole time and I have soooo much to share. I definitely recommend the Trace for anyone who wants to experience some great riding.

Have a nice Monday everyone!

Lady R

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


That's right brothers and sisters, no more Sturgis envy for this gal (well... at least not as much!). I found out several weeks ago, the Tooth Factory was going to shut down for a couple days, and wanting to take advantage of the extra time off, I told Harley, with or without ya... I'm going somewhere! A plan began to form, but since we only had a few days to play with, we needed to pick somewhere close to home. So we decided to hit the trail... or should I say... the Trace!

This afternoon, we'll Glide on up to Nashville so we can wake up Thursday morning and make the north end of the Natchez Trace Parkway our official starting point. 444 miles of diverse terrain including swamps, rivers and rolling hills rich with Indian and Civil War history. I'm looking forward to the slow and leisure exploration of the Trace, experiencing some pretty scenic overlooks and lots of cool history along the way. When we get to Jackson, we plan to cut over to Vicksburg and visit the Battlefield and Museum over there too.

Spending five days on the motorcycle sounds like heaven for me right now. I'm so ready for this little adventure and I'm so ready to go. I'm planning on taking lots of pictures, so I hope to have something good to share on Monday for my Pic Of The Week post.

Have a great weekend to all... and ride safe!

Lady R

Monday, August 10, 2009



"I'd rather be riding my motorcycle, thinking about God... then sitting in church, thinking about riding my motorcycle." Author ... another biker.

Harley and I often find our selves riding past this quaint little country church just north of Autaugaville on Hwy. 14. Contrary to what my last Dear Diary post revealed, I don't always go around with my hair on fire. Most of the time, my rides are really just relaxing days of endless therapy.

During one of those particular rides, we decided to stop here to take a little stretch break and enjoy the cool shade provided by the beautiful tree lined driveway. The peace and quiet joined with the coolness of the shade made this spot a most rewarding choice. Accept for the occasional car passing on the nearby highway, all you heard were birds singing and katydids chirping.

For some reason, I love to take pics of these old historic rural southern churches. They are so simplistic in structure, but make such a magnificent statement just the same.

Have a nice Monday everyone!!

Lady R

Friday, August 7, 2009


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

August 1, 2009

Dear Diary,
What a ride! I actually rode my Glide around one of the fastest tracks on the Nascar circuit... Talladega Super Speedway! What a rush!

Our good friend D, came up early this morning from PC and joined us for a run up to the track so we could participate in the March of Dimes Bikers For Babies fund raising event. The day turned out beautiful, with an overcast sky and temps in the high 80's. The three of us are big Nascar fans so we were pretty psyched to get there and run this ride. We've discussed the subject before... of getting on this track and having our way with her and today was our opportunity.

My ride getting there was full of anxious anticipation and I could hardly contain my excitement as the miles clicked off and brought us closer and closer to Talladega. Once we arrived, registration requirements were met and dollars donated, then we went right to the staging area and placed ourselves in line.

While we waited in the line-up to enter the speedway, my stomach was fluttering with a thousand butterflies. I didn't know what to expect, but I was eager to get out there and really see and feel this track... up close and personal. The closer we got to the front, the more frantic those butterflies got. Watching the man at the front of the line, I felt my smile grow wide when I saw him raise his right hand high in the air and give our group the "let 'em roll!" signal. Woo Hoo... here we go!

The lead bike was going take us around for three laps and maintain a speed of around 65 mph. We were not allowed to pass him or go above the yellow line (I must have missed that part) but otherwise, the track was ours. The formation left the pit area and as we approached the first turn I turned my head and had to look almost straight up. Boy, was it steep! It was like looking up the side of a giant concrete irrigation ditch. We were all still on the bottom flat part of the track as we got up to speed and tried to get ourselves spaced out a bit so we could take the track at our own pace. Coming out of turn two and heading down the back stretch gave us the opportunity to fan out a little bit and one of the volunteer track riders rolled up next to us and gave us the "speed up" signal. Hell... you don't have to tell me twice!

As I came into turn three I was just above the yellow line in the first lane on the track, but because I was only going about 65 mph., it felt a little unstable. I remembered at that moment, while talking to a track volunteer during our lunch, that when you ride into the turns at this track, you have to maintain a higher speed because of the steepness. I rolled on the throttle a little more and even though it felt better, I came back down to the flat because I was catching up the rider in front of me pretty fast.

Finding myself back around on the front stretch, my first lap gone, I'm thinking... okay, let's do this right! I fan out to the right, this time lagging a little so the lead rider could get further ahead of me. As I approached the first turn for the second time, I lined myself up in the first lane on the track and as the flatness of the front stretch started to slope into the turn, I gave it more throttle. I'm probably doing about 75 mph in the turn this time and it felt much more stable while riding on the severe slant of the track. I was able to maintain my speed coming down the back stretch and turns three and four also proved to be a lot more fun at the higher speed. Lap two gone!

At this point, I'm feeling nothing but the need for more speed and I'm having a blast! During my first two laps around, I noticed other riders take their machines high in the turns, just for the thrill of doing so. As I was in the middle of turn three during this second lap, a rider passed me riding the third lane on the track, right up next to the wall. I had to look almost straight up to see him and he had to be doing 90 mph or better! I could see the entire underneath surface of his wheels as he was literally riding on his sidewalls! It reminded me of the rabbit on the dog track... I just couldn't see the bar that was holding him up there!

H and I slowed down just a little bit and rode side by side for a few seconds on the front stretch as we readied ourselves for turn one again. He hollered over to me, "Did you see that guy point at us and tell us to get down below the line?" I'm shaking my head no thinking, what guy? He just grinned and shook his head.

Okay... last lap, let's make it count! Now, bigger circles means more distance... more distance means faster speeds before you catch up to someone. I decided right then and there, I'm taking the turns in the second lane this time. I get my self positioned and as I approach the turn I'm giving it more throttle. Being in the second lane looks a bit more scary cause it feels and looks like your riding on the side of a wall.

My ride into turns three and four for the last time was my climatic moment! The last time I looked at the speedometer as I entered turn three it read 86 mph. I gave it just a little more throttle as I held firm in my lane riding fast and steady. I
found myself feeling giddy as a school girl at the reality that I'm actually covering the same ground as some of my Nascar favorites like Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and my all time racing hero, Bill Elliott. I was having the time of my life! As I rode out of turn four and the track started to flatten out again, I saw a track volunteer come up to the right of me and waved to me that my three laps were up. I gave him a nod accompanied with a shit eatin' grin and slowed my bike so I could enter the pit area with the rest of the riders. Woo Hoo... it was awesome!!

I've always wanted to participate in a driving school and run this track, but the fact that I tackled the super speedway with my Glide first, was euphoric! It wasn't until we were sharing a beer at the Indian Hills Motorcycle resort in Rockford about an hour later, that H, D, and I talked about our exciting experience. They gave me a hard time for getting scolded... twice, but I don't seem to remember that. I thought that dude was just giving me a friendly wave... I guess I was having too much fun to realize I was getting in trouble.

I have till next time to find out what is required of me to become a track volunteer. I want to be the one that cruises the track all day and tells everyone else to stay below the yellow line. Haha! If I have my way, I'll be riding high in Talladega... again!


Monday, August 3, 2009


Saturday, August 1, 2009 was the March of Dimes Bikers For Babies fund raising event at Talladega Super Speedway. Our buddy, Big Ed, rode up from PC early that morning and the three of us cruised up to the track to join hundreds of other bikers take their parade laps around one of the fastest tracks in Nascar Motor Sports while helping a good cause at the same time.

Someone named Jojo posted this cool video to share of her ride, and I thought I would post it here too. I'm not in this clip, but it will still give you a sense of what it was like (If the clip doesn't work just click on the link above the video box).
Bikers for babies @ talladega

I had a great time and I plan to do this again. Even though I got scolded twice for going above the yellow line and riding in the second lane, maybe next year I can raise enough money to get them to let me cruise the wall. Woo Hoo!

Have a nice Monday everybody!

Lady R