December 1, 2013
Well, I didn’t break any bike parts today.
You probably thought I rode every day of this four-day weekend, the best week of the year. I didn’t. There were so many things I wanted to get caught up on, and I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to. I rode today, though!
The bike of choice for the day was the F650GS. Hal and I thought we’d ride an easy unpaved road to breakfast, so we chose the Florence-Kelvin Hwy. to Kearny. On the way to Flo-Kel, I speculated that the road might be in great shape. Recent rains probably soaked it, but a week has passed since then. The sand would be moist and firm, and the chalky dust would stay down.
Once on the road, I stopped to shoot photos of a rare crested saguaro cactus. I’d seen it out there on previous trips, but never had a chance to stop and photograph it. I did today only because I pulled over on purpose. It is a rare and beautiful sight, and so unique. These cacti don’t occur often in nature, and that is why they are celebrated and protected.
I had to stop again when the pavement ended so I could turn off my ABS and air down my front tire. I really like the combination of having the Tourance dual sport tire up front and the TKC-80 in the back. Weird, but it works for me. As the commercial says, “it’s only weird if it doesn’t work.” We left the pavement behind and were traveling along quickly. As I had hoped, the road was in perfect shape. The day was sunny and pleasant, but cool. I wore some winter riding pants, and left the liners in them. They were almost too warm, but later when the weather warmed up, I shed a layer on top, not to mention unplugged the jacket liner. I should have known it would be too warm for all that since I was going south instead of north into cold country.
We got to the roller coaster section of F-K highway, and it was actually fun instead of half-scary. It’s usually marble-like gravel and dust. The next thing I knew we were skirting the last mountain, and then we were on pavement again going down the steep (more than 10%) grade to the one-lane bridge. Once over the bridge, we came out at the Copper Corridor Scenic Byway West, aka state route 177, and soon we were in Kearny at our favorite restaurant. No one else was there!
The “open” sign was on in the front window. So, the lights are on and nobody’s home? I thought. But, the door opened when I pulled on it, so we de-geared and went in. We had the whole place to ourselves, the food was good, and the football game was on. What more could we want? Nothing! The coffee was even good.
Presently, we got back on the bikes and tried to find the elusive road near Winkleman that becomes Freeman Rd., which, if we’d found it, would have taken us back to state route 79 (Pinal Pioneer Parkway) and Florence. Instead, we grew tired of having to turn around on dead end roads, and rode back to town on the pavement of 177.
It was a good day. Only a couple hundred miles (GS is due for an oil change after the major engine work), and got home fairly early (for us). And, as I said, I didn’t break any bike parts!