Our kind of riding has phases.
Two up riding is new to me. Sure, I did some riding a long, long time ago in another lifetime. But it was a different kind of riding. It was a short 40 minute ride from the northern suburbs of Chicagoland (Barrington if you are familiar with the Chicago suburbs) to a place called Hogs N Kisses pub in Lake Geneva. After stopping for lunch we would ride north for a few hours and then ride home. We wore very little gear; full face helmet, lined leather jacket, thick jeans and the kind of boots I would also wear hiking. The ride was always the same. We threw on our riding stuff, rode out to lake Geneva for lunch, met up with other riders at the pub and then rode north for a couple of hours. All in all our longest ride was probably 6 hours. I enjoyed it, but it was nothing compared to the kind of riding I enjoy now with my husband Rodney. Our kind of riding is an adventure and it has phases!
The first phase is the planning phase. Rodney and I decide how much time we have for the actual ride and then look at maps and discuss points of interest we would like to experience along the way. Rodney will decide where we might be on the route when we might get hungry and (for me) need a break to stretch. We talk about what we might want to eat and then Rodney investigates the local eateries on Urban Spoon to find something worthwhile. If it is a long ride, then Rodney builds a route that he will later load into his GPS. The planning phase is fun. It builds excitement before we even climb onto the G-Strom.
Phase two is breaking out all the gear we are going to wear and putting on all the layers until you feel like the Michelin Man. I don’t enjoy phase two. This is the phase where my brain goes to war within itself. My Parietal Lobe screams, “Kimi, whoa! This sucks! I can’t move like this, peripheral vision is gone, and I can’t feel anything except the perpetual squeeze of these pants and jacket!” My Temporal Lobe chimes in with,“Huh? What? Can’t hear you over these ear plugs…?” This is when I begin to despair and Frontal Lobe comes to my rescue by calmly saying, “Kimberly, every time you listen to Parietal instead of me, you end up having one to many martinis. That reminds me, we need to get you back on the treadmill in the evenings so this gear will fit better next time. Now, listen to me. Look at that handsome husband of yours! He loves you. He bought all of this expensive gear so you will be safe when you ride with him. You are valued and cherished. When you think about it, you love this gear, don’t you?” Yeah, I love it. And, I love and deeply respect my safety conscious husband. I put all the gear on and smile.
Phase three is the actual ride. On this days ride, it was about 47 degrees and a touch windy. Rodney and I were a bit anxious during the planning phase about the temperature because this would be my coldest ride and we were not sure I could hack it. We ended up outfitting me with Rodney’s winter lined pants and a heated vest during the “putting on the gear phase”. It made me incredibly comfortable temperature-wise during the ride phase! The ride phase is definitely the payoff for the planning and tacking up. This was not an incredibly scenic ride, but we had two points of interest. The first was to check out the damage from the F3 tornado that struck Adairsville, GA on January 30th. It was heart wrenching to see the remnants of the destroyed structures. Even more disheartening was to see the town’s span of rooftops with its patchwork quilt of blue tarps. The whole community seemed affected. When we passed through we could see a bustle of activity. Fork lifts pushing debris, folks gathered at the local church organizing work crews, and people everywhere removing ruble and repairing roof tops. We didn’t linger but the sight imparted a deep sense of gratitude that my family had been spared this kind of trauma. After leaving Adairsville, I was ready for our next point of interest, which was more light hearted. The Calhoun Motorsports park. It was a treat to see the place where my hubby has won the many trophies that grace the man cave in our home. The icing on the cake was seeing riders practicing on the course when we arrived. We stopped to appreciate the riders as they hurtled themselves and their bikes over the jumps. I could see Rodney in my mind’s eye riding his bike and fearlessly launching himself into thin air. I have to admit he looks just like Robbie Maddison holding onto the handle bars, legs straight out with flair. I would have loved to have seen the actual Rodney McBride win those trophies. But I will content myself with my vivid imagination and Travis Pastrana You Tube videos. The rest of our ride was uneventful. When we got closer to home I was thrilled that Rodney chose to take the path we take when my son wants to go looking for trains. It is a path I’ve traveled countless time in scenic Acworth, GA. In any season the tree canopy over the curving roadway stirs my soul. I had never traveled this beloved road stretch on a motorcycle though! It was a real treat and the perfect way to end our ride.
Finally, Phase four of our adventure ride is disrobing. My sweatshirt and jeans never feel as soft as when I put them on after a ride with Rodney. It is always a relief to get out of our gear and let my Parietal Lobe start speaking to me again. Hmmmm…I think I might fancy a martini…