Langhorne, Penn., March 21, 2010
What do you call unusually warm days at the first of spring? Were it fall we would say Indian Summer. We were blessed with a first and second day of spring that felt nearly like summer after a long and crappy winter. And as I write this on a cold, rainy, overworked Monday, I still can destress a bit as I bask for a moment or two in Sunday's memory.
Actually I got a double treat from this past ride. Our destination is just an hour north of my folk's home in Wilmington, Del., just south of Philadelphia. So it is one where I sometimes ride down on Saturday, spend some time with the folks, and meet my pals at Brian's Harley-Davidson on Sunday for the ride home.
Typically I do a few chores for Mom and she rewards me with favorite foods. This Saturday I planted a tree, washed windows on the sunroom, small labor in exchange for steak dinner and scrapple breakfast.
As a bonus I got to chat with Mom and Dad and play with their dog Heidi. Double bonus: I get to sleep in Sunday morning.
Amazingly I pulled into Brian's Sunday morning less than two minutes after my guys. They were just making their way away from the bikes after stowing helmets, jackets, gloves and such.
It was already warm. I gladly stripped off the jacket and riding pants and joined my guys at the dealership. You can tell it's no longer Polar Bear weather; sign-up tables were set outside. Brian's H-D offered a tasty lunch on their outdoor, rooftop patio.
As we chatted over lunch, I discovered that I missed a scenic ride down to Brian's. John J., as he remembers it, was pressed into leading the pack on a moment's notice. He hastily punched in directions to his GPS and blindly followed the soulless computer deep into downtown Trenton. Well, that's one way to get out of leading future rides.
John J. was ruminating his GPS settings at lunch, thinking maybe he set it for “shortest distance” rather than “fastest time.” He seemed to withstand the good natured criticism of his fellow riders.
Your blogger was most definitely not criticizing. First of all I don't even own a GPS. So for me to lead a ride I have to prepare directions ahead of time, consult maps and write key turns on my rear view mirrors with a grease pencil.
Lately I have been getting lazy and not even glancing at a map to determine our route. I run MapQuest from my house to the destination to get the distance and estimated travel time. I never even look below the top of the page at the driving directions and maps. I always just assume one of my GPS-enabled compatriots will gladly take me to our destination and back again. And yes I have the nerve to then complain as loudly as the others when his chosen route does not meet with my satisfaction. Geeze! With friends like me . . . .
Ron joined us on his new Goldwing. This is is second ride with the Connecticut Bears. The first ride to Montgomeryville he nearly froze. Sunday's ride was perhaps more to his liking. But it sounds like he is warming to the winter riding idea, pun intended.
The new wing is blinged-out with lots of extra LEDs. Maybe because they don't carry chrome as well as a Harley, the Hondas look better with decorative lighting instead?
Ron was accompanied by a pretty lady, Blanca. She didn't say much, but smiled a lot. It can take some getting used to our crowd before you are ready to jump into the conversation. Ron and Blanca enjoyed the warm riding so much they continued on to the Connecticut Indian casinos. I'm not sure how he was figuring to get back home. Warm March days can turn pretty dang cold as soon as the sun fades.
Russ and Bart shared some of their Daytona adventures. But aside from talking about Michelle Smith, I really did not hear much about what else they did there. On the other hand, we heard a lot about what Pat and Pete did, and did not do. You're in trouble anytime Russ is telling the story and you are not present to damp-down the embellishments.