A good old-fashioned long riding day

Good friends, good riding, what could be better?


Yesterday, my 2006 BMW F650GS bike odometer rolled over 47,000 miles on Sunday’s ride! The plan for the day hadn’t necessarily suggested anything that would indicate big mileage, but things don’t always unfold the way I think they will.

The day before, on Saturday, a big rainstorm in the Phoenix area created doubts in my mind about whether there would even be a ride on Sunday. I drove home from my Dad’s house through torrential rain and water so deep that I had to drive in the middle of the road, on the crown of the road. However, the storm that lasted through the night had apparently blown through by Sunday morning. I awoke to sun and clouds, and the ride was on!

I pondered which bike to choose – F650GS or F800ST? It was technically the F650’s turn, and since I might run into some lingering rain, the choice was an easy one to take the F650GS (Jewel). Besides, she was the bike closest to the garage door and would be easiest to get out.

The air was cool, for once, and I did my best to choose gear that would keep me comfortable for the “brunch ride.” I would leave from 80° F. temperatures, and go up into 60s or 70s. I’ve ridden enough to know that layers are essential, rain gear is a must to take along, and it never hurts to bring extra clothes. However, I chose to leave my clear helmet visor home – after all, I was just going on a short ride and then coming home, right? I was going to be riding in bright sun most of the day.

I put the Caribou cases on Jewel, and packed her up for the day. I hadn’t had the hard cases on when I rode her for a long time. Hal had the cases on, of course, for the trip to New Mexico, and at the time I thought she looked fine with them. For some reason, there was a time that I thought they looked too big, and I didn’t like the look. I changed my mind. Anyway, it was certainly easy to pack and be able to take all the gear necessary in those bottomless, lockable cases!

On the way out of town, Four Peaks was enclosed at the top within the dark gray rain clouds of the departing storm. It looked like it was raining on Four Peaks, near the top. It looked like the day of the “angry mountain” a month and half ago when we’d ridden it and there was another storm swirling around the peaks. That had also been an amazing day.

Fortunately, before we’d left the Phoenix area, I’d put on another layer of clothing, and now I was ready for the temperature range I thought I’d be in all day. I was with a group of riders, not just Hal, but five other people from our BMW club. We got to Payson, went to the airport restaurant, and settled in for an enjoyable social brunch. While we were eating, Hal’s phone rang. Little did I know, the subject of the phone call would change our riding day for the better!


Tomorrow: how far can we get and use up four hours? 


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