Back to road motorcycling


August 11, 2013

Motorcycle riding, at least of the road bike kind, became a distant memory this summer with all the BMWs in the shop with various mechanical woes or for maintenance. Finally, both Hal and I got our bikes back, and today was the first real ride we’ve had since last spring.

It actually felt kind of weird after being on the dirt bike all summer, although I can tell how much the dirt riding has improved my overall riding. I left the hard side cases off the F800ST today in favor of a small tail bag and my backpack. That configuration made the bike feel super light, almost as if I was still riding the dirt bike, but a whole lot faster! This is Pearl, my F800ST, and since she had a major service, she’s now purring and feeling very smooth. Before I had her serviced, there was a guttural growl that I could hear and feel. That is gone now, and she is back to her good self.

We rode to Payson, then rode the 50 miles north to Hal’s property. He needed to check it out to see how much needed to be cleaned up. It’s time for the annual inspection, and the only way to see how much, if anything, needed to be cleaned was to go up and look.

As we traveled north, we were headed straight toward a thunderstorm. Not again, I thought to myself. A couple of weeks ago this was a daily occurrence. Today, fortunately, we managed to avoid it by being a few minutes behind it as it moved off toward the northeast. It looked like it was headed toward Winslow, 41 more miles to the northeast. The streets were wet when we turned into the subdivision where Hal’s property is, and we parked in the cul-de-sac in front of the lot.

Everything looked in order – until we hiked toward the back. A huge pine tree that stands close to the property sheared off, and its top had fallen to the ground onto Hal’s property. I played “forest CSI” as I looked for clues, then determined that it hadn’t been hit by lightning (no scorch marks), and showed weathered wood where it had broken. The wind had probably taken it down by pushing on the weak spot and sent the crown crashing to the ground. Here is the “tree story” in photos:

What’s left of the top:

Crashed to the ground:

Broken:

Lots of things depended on that tree for their homes:

Holy bark beetles!:

I am so glad it wasn’t one of the “Three Amigos”:

After exploring the property, we got back on the bikes to head home. Later, I was thinking that I’d have to ride more so I can get back in shape for riding. In a few weeks we travel to Taos, NM for our annual pilgrimage to the BMW rally near there, and it’s going to be a long day of 530 or so miles each way. Today we rode about 250 miles, and I can feel it. But what do I expect after not having a long-distance bike for all these months?

Despite a few aches and pains that I am feeling now, it was great to be back on the road bike today. I have missed it so much.

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2 thoughts on “Back to road motorcycling

  1. So, you rode Pearl. Does Hal’s bike have a name? If so, did you choose it or did he? And of your bikes, which do you prefer for trips like the upcoming NM rally? Pearl or Jewel?

    • Hal’s bike is “Zahra,” and I named her.
      Hmmm. For the NM ride, I will ride Pearl just because she is fast. On that trip, we have to fly out there in one day, ride around the area for one or two days, and then fly home in one day at the end. So, being able to travel quickly on the interstate is the determining factor. If I was going to ride dirt while I was there (and Jewel was out of the shop), I’d take her. But I don’t have the luxury of time, so the decision is to ride Pearl, as I do every year. I would love to make a different trip during the summer and concentrate on finding dirt roads to ride. But, there are so many places we haven’t gone yet it’s hard to justify always returning to the same places.

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