Thursday, May 13, 2010

A GOOD START by Doug Schaeffer

About seven years ago the Mad Norwegian and I moved out into the country. Great view, lousy roads. Many things have conspired to keep me off the bike. Whether its Mother Nature with snow or rain, kidney stones or a couple of knee replacements, the bike just hasn’t seen the miles that I have historically put on and that I would like to put on. And I missed that a lot. A good ride has always been my poison control center. Twenty miles and life is just better, brighter. Our house is up on a small hill. A moraine ridge. Around us is a lot of low county. Having water around us like a moat is interesting but has its drawbacks. Water over the road is common for weeks at a time, both on the gravel/dirt road to the North or South. Not a problem for the Subaru's but can be a problem for the bike. If you keep driving in a track you can keep the road firm, even underwater. But the local maintainer guy has an unquenchable need to blade our road just after a firm track has been established. 2 wheels gets kinda squirrelly in freshly bladed gravel/dirt. Then in their infinite wisdom they trucked in 2 loads of LARGE crushed Sioux Quartzite. The only time I tried to go over it on the bike I had 80 yards if shear panic and was constantly on the edge of imminent crashing. Guess I won’t go over that for a while. To the North is 2 1⁄2 miles of soft, frost heaved gravel/dirt, but if you go fast enough you can kinda skim over the top. Until you crash that is.
I have been managing to get out the North route with only minimal chest pain and gonadal migration. Then I have a paved road with 9 of the 10 curves in Hutchinson County between home and work. I know there is a 10th curve out there someplace, just haven’t found it. So if you can get to the blacktop you’re in pretty good shape. I met Marge at her work and we rode together to the Tea Steakhouse. Not a big deal for you but a good deal for me as it had been a long time since we had been riding two up. There “the Prez” signed my MOA mileage form and I actually got it mailed in.
Marge informed me before the ride that I needed a new motorcycle, helmet and riding suit. Now you know why I have been with her for 45 years. Why she stayed with me that many really is the question.
Thursday I had a plan. Twisty roads and good food. At noon I headed East towards Newton Hills and Canton. I texted my love from the café about the curves at Newton Hills and a “combo on Grainery Bread” at the Garden of Eat’n. She texted me back “poop head”. Ah, married life. Lesson learned: get some road time in before you tackle some tight curves and yes, the sandwich is as good as it was 27 years ago. On into Sioux Falls then back home. The odometer read just short of 500 miles for the week. An accomplishment for you, maybe no, but a good start for me!

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