My 40th Birthday Ride

Going off my earlier blog entry; Making Memories, I just returned home from my first road trip on a motorcycle. I and three friends left Kansas City Monday, June 1 at about 8:30am and arrived in Eureka Springs, Arkansas at about 6:00pm, butts soar, deaf from the noise of the load pipes and the wind blowing at 65 mph right into the ear canal, sun burnt, hungry and flat worn out. It was awesome!

I would assume if I had a cruiser type bike I would have fared much better, but my bike is a small 800 1995 Kawasaki Vulcan that has been customized to make it specifically NOT a bike for long trips. The nickname for my style of bike is a "Bar-hopper" which means its only good for hopping from bar to bar (which I don't do - FYI).

The trip was just amazing, seeing many beautiful sights in the Ozarks ... the roads were absolutely amazing to ride, curvy and open with landscaping done by God on both sides. We took lots of video to capture some of it to show our families.

If you've seen the movie Wild Hogs you will appreciate this; I actually slapped a Bull's butt! I really did! Of course I did it through the fence and you'd probably call it a pat, rather then a slap. But I did touch the Bull! And it's on film to verify!

The part I enjoyed most was the time spent with friends I would say, because without them (Brandon Hollis, Orin Borgelt and Scott Sidebottom) it wouldn't have been near as meaningful ... still beautiful, but the late hour conversations (and cigars) made it an over all magnificent trip I will forever remember. Thanks guys!

One of many memorable moments for me was the trip home; I woke up at my usual 5:30am and thought I'd better check the weather since we had heard there was a major thunderstorm possible the day we were to head home. I checked the radar on my handy-dandy cell phone (what would we do without them) and there was a massive storm moving into the Eureka Springs area with flash flooding possible. It was to hit between 10am - 12pm (the time we were planning to leave). So it's either leave ASAP or wait til the storm passes around 3:00pm and get home late.

I wanted to be home to see my family, and I knew the other guys did as well. So I woke them up at about 6:30am and showed them the radar, then turned on the Weather Channel to further confirm our situation. The RUSH to get out of there began.

We get cleaned up, packed, loaded it's 7:00am and Brandon's bike won't start. So we push his HUGE cruiser bike up a HUGE hill so he can try to jump start it ... after we push it up the hill he tries one more time to push the little start button, and it starts (good thing we had pushed him up the hill). It's dark and quiet and not because the suns not out, it's cloudy, stormy ... eerie, and cold!

We get gas and hit the road, I of course didn't plan on the temperature dropping below 80, since it is June. But it was down in the 60's, which is doable unless you get rained on, which we did but I was the only one without a rain suit! Not only is it hard to ride in the rain because you feel like you are being shot by a pump action Daisey BB Gun by 100 10 year olds in the face, it's very hard to see, plus it's slick.

So there I am wet, cold, hypothermia is setting in (not really, though I did have the uncontrollable chills) and we are a long way from home. We stopped to recover for a minute and get me some dry clothes and a custom made trash bag rain suit donated to me from the sympathetic convenient store owner for the 8 mile trip to the nearest Wal-mart so I could get a real rain suit. We buy the $10.88 rain suit, put it on, and get back on the bikes ... no more rain! Go figure, the rest of the ride was fabulous!

All that said, it makes the list for memorable moments for 2009!