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The pursuit of speed and adventure…

Getting back in the saddle...

Nothing feels better than stuffing a bunch of miles (at pace) on a motorcycle. I recently took a trip with some guys I had never ridden with (Not my usual style) and had a blast.

Besides making new friends (motorcycling does that you know) I got to see some great countryside in the south. In Illinois I get used to traffic and flat land.. neither of which I'm particularly fond of.

However, head about 300 miles south and everything gets interesting. Smooth roads, tight turns, greenery everywhere, little towns pop up here and there, with signs announcing your arrival, and in just a wink, one that thanks you for visiting...

You can get lost easily, but two things I have grown accustom to on the bike make it a day of greatness: Music in the intercom on the bike.. and a GPS that always gets me to my destination.

This particular trip however I learned another one... road curve predictability.. WIth the GPS zoomed in a bit I was able to get a glance of the upcoming turn just at the time I needed to input a shove to the handlebars.

Fidgeting with the zoom factor and altering my speed a bit, I was able to put down a few hundred smooth miles at speed.

The group I went with were predominantly Harley guys, and these guys surely had been next to me on the racing grid at some point, and I hadn't noticed. Man could they push the limits of their rides, despite some very unsettling looking chassis'.

Yes, I stayed in back of the 40 bike pack enough to see all kinds of guys honing their riding skills, and when the weather turned sour (And I do mean sour — like raining several inches in minutes — the southern clay doesn't absorb it like the dirt in the Midwest) few if any riders slowed the pace..

After getting comfortable, I moved my way up toward the front of the pack, and got yet another preview of riding at a different pace... My poor BMW didn't feel like doing the duty that I asked of it. Several times coming over a rise the front end got light (I over packed for a riding trip - go figure) and the head shake was interesting until the bike compressed at the base of the hill... in seconds it did it again and again, up and down hills, until we got back to flatter ground with sweeping turns.. I longed for the Aprilia SXV, thinking I could surely be touching knees in most places.. ahhh but where would I have put all the crap I packed.. Trade-offs filled my mind..

At the end of 1500 miles in about 5 days, I learned that I need new tires.. This trip wore out the stock Bridgestones.. and that I couldn't wait to do this trip again next year. Seems a friend at work got me into a club of 20+ years worth of annual trips to places where speed limit is relative, and fun is everywhere.

After that trip the only place to go to top it has to be the track ... the racebike has sat around a bit lately, getting some needed engine work done..

Up next, Track time at Autobahn.. or Blackhawk Farms...
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