Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Road to Thanksgiving weekend & Monday dirt ride

Thursday morning after a prayer to God that my ride be safe and enjoyable I got dressed out kicked the tires and lit the fires on my B12 (motorcycle). It was a clear calm morning and just a tad bit colder then I had expected but not so much so that it was uncomfortable. I rode strait through from BHC AZ to Barstow CA before filling up again and getting a Star Bucks coffee latté. The most difficult part of the ride is traveling trough Cajon Pass, the last set of mountains before hitting the southern California basin. After that it was a simple ride to Hollywood where I picked up my Daughter for a passenger ride, as you can see her dressed out in protective ride gear and yes I know that some of it is fashionable only for off road use but protection nonetheless. Although not her first experience riding a motorcycle (dirt bikes), it was a the longest ride for her (70 miles round trip) on the back of a large street bike through city and highway traffic. Needless to say the experience for her was eye opening, exciting, and educational as it was necessary for us to maintain high speed (80-90 MPH) in far left fastest lane (safe lane) and cut between traffic slowly when traffic stopped. Although apprehensive at the thought of being inches between cars, she was shocked to see bands of other motorcycles pass us and cut traffic at 3 times our speed which was only 20 MPH in heavy stopped traffic. After arriving at my sisters and mother homes it was great to get out of the ride gear and spend a great weekend with the family. On the way back to BHC AZ Saturday afternoon I miss calculated my arrival time and was forced to travel at night the last 90 minutes of the trip. The B12 maintained its high performance throughout the trip purring like a tiger when cruising and passing traffic effortlessly with the agility, speed and eloquence of a jet fighter. The darkness through the desert night was thick and black with only the stars above and the headlight of my B12 to mark my position in space which required me to use my instrument panel to insure the proper speed which in this case I kept at a constant 85 MPH. The last 20 miles before reaching BHC I noticed what appeared to be a small section of rolled up carpet sitting upright in the middle of the roadway, as I quickly maneuvered to miss it on the left side the object became the visible silhouette of a large owl which took off precisely as I passed feeling his wing spread graze my right side. Years of riding dirt and street had trained me about the necessity to maintain cold composure control on a motorcycle with respect to the roadway depending on the highway obstacle, and while any object can be a dangerous if hit while on a motorcycle, maintaining control is paramount even if it means killing a animal too dangerous to avoid. In the case both the owl and I kept our cool by not changing position during the near miss. Getting home was an accomplishment for me as I hadn’t rode at night since I was a teen, but more then this I was thankful to God for allowing me a safe ride and the glory of living in his created universe which was made good for our sake, and will one day be made perfect again.

Bill was back in town from Michigan and noticed me doing a little tire maintenance on my DRZ400 dirt bike. Bill asked if I wanted to ride and of course for me it was just a matter of getting ready. Bill has the Honda 450x which is a world class dirt bike compared to my DRZ which by comparison is a great trail bike but not a racer. When we started out we took the usual trail rout and ended up making it to most of the abandoned silver mines and a good attempt to get back to the waterfalls which was too difficult with all the rock and bolder obstructions on only two wheels. So after what turned out to be a 45 mile trip we headed home for a couple of beers and conversation on what we had seen and where we would go next. A fun day.