Sunday, August 24, 2014
Sunday’s motorbike ride to Payson was unique in that my riding partner and I were going there for a specific reason – brunch with our BMW motorcycle club – and we were going to meet up with friends and acquaintances that we see maybe once a year at this club event. I was hoping to get in a short dirt ride after the brunch, as long as we were that close to the Mogollon Rim. Hal was going to be riding his Suzuki DR650 because his BMW R1100RS was in the shop.
Why was it in the shop you might ask? Because we are getting ready to go to our favorite rally in Taos, NM in a couple of weeks! Yes it’s that time of year again. My bike was briefly in the same shop on Saturday as well, but the F800ST, since it’s hardly been ridden, was only in for a minor adjustment. I didn’t actually think I’d get it back the same day, so that was another reason that I had already chosen to ride my Kawasaki KLX250S. So, yes, we were both on “other” marques of motorcycles at a BMW event.
The ride up was uneventful, but I wondered again if I was pushing the little KLX too hard. It seems to be happy to do whatever I ask of it. We were not setting any land speed records, but we were getting there in good time. Before we knew it, we were in Payson.
As usual, we couldn’t find the house where the event was, at least not on the first try. After wandering around aimlessly for about 15 min., we finally found it. I am always “lost” in that neighborhood, and I am not sure why. Something about it makes me completely disoriented. When we got to the house, to my surprise I found that we were the first ones there! Hal and I gladly rode the bikes up into the garage as the owner directed. Afterward, I thought since we had the dirt bikes, maybe we should have parked in the gravel, but we were asked not to.
Soon people began to arrive. It was quite a crew. There were people from another club, and I didn’t know most of them. One lady, a skinny, dried up prune of a person, bragged that she had ridden several motorcycles over the 200,000 mile mark. Being one of few women riders there, I guess I was supposed to be impressed. I wondered how she’d fare in some of the rough dirt areas I ride regularly (answer: not well). I kept my mouth shut, though, and didn’t respond with some of the catty things I wanted to say.
Brunch was served, and most of it was inedible to me. I don’t eat meat, and I don’t like jalapeños, and those things were in the food. I wanted a cup of coffee, but I usually use cream, and there was only the powdered fake creamer available. I contented myself with the nice conversation I was having with the people around me. There was too little time to be with all the people I wanted to re-connect with, and at the end, I felt like I was saying “hi and bye” at the same time.
Soon, it was time to go. Hal said he wanted to get back home by 2 o’clock, and so we really had no time to ride any of the dirt roads on the way home. I could have ridden the F800ST, I thought. Oh well, I was enjoying my day on the KLX, not having to worry about where to park it or how to flip it around in the roadway when we’d found we were going the wrong way.
On the way home, I actually felt happy. Perhaps it was the glow of being around people I enjoy, the hint of coolness in the air, and the anticipation of the trip to New Mexico in two weeks, the best trip of the year for me. I was longing to be on the street bike, for a change, and soon we will be on the road, for real, if only for a few days.
I tried not to think about the heat as I rode into the Phoenix area. Hal disappeared at the intersection where we usually split, and I took the fastest route home. I was lucky, I was able to make most of the lights and didn’t have to put my feet down too many times.
The three-day weekend is coming up, but it will be filled with planning for the road trip, and maybe going on a couple of short rides. When I finally get to the island of calm and happiness that will be my time on the road, I will be so grateful.