Rounding out the riding weekend


Above: an older photo of my GS, from the beginning of this year.

11-30-14

Sunday ride to breakfast

To round out my wonderful, full riding weekend in the days following Thanksgiving, on Sunday I rode across town to go to breakfast. It wasn’t so much that I went to breakfast, although I did enjoy it very much, both the company and the food, but I wanted a third day in a row to ride one of my bikes. This usually only happens when I am on the road for an extended trip, and I appreciated the opportunity to do it from “home base.”

I chose to ride my 2006 BMW F650GS for the day. Jewel, as the bike is called, felt very heavy to me after riding the DR650 for two days. Both are 650s, but that is where the similarities end. The GS was the perfect bike for me to ride in fast traffic on the freeway, her comforting “solid-ness” letting me move confidently among the crazy drivers. I met Hal at 7th Ave. and the 101 loop. One of his friends, Boyd, was with us as well. Boyd got a new bike, a big white Honda Goldwing. It is not my style, but he loves it and it’s very pretty. I can always appreciate a nice motorcycle, and the enjoyment of the person riding it. The three of us soon got back on the freeway after Hal and I fueled up.

Following a short but frenetic ride on the interstate, we were almost exactly where I was last Friday, on the north side of town. We didn’t go as far as Hwy. 74 this time, but turned onto another “loop” route, the 303. This road is a freeway too, but completely open. It doesn’t go too far yet, it is still under construction, but it would take us where we wanted to go. The desert is open and unspoiled all around the 303, something very unusual in the Phoenix metro area. In fact, at one point along the route there is a giant power station, very utilitarian and industrial against the natural desert around it. I think it was put there because years ago no one could imagine that the city would expand this far. It won’t be long before it will be in the middle of some neighborhood and have to be moved!

Meanwhile, I enjoyed the ride, looking at the many saguaro cacti that are abundant in the Sonoran desert, which is where I live. There were wide sand washes, and a dry river bed; mountains that were resplendent with autumn hues of purple and dark green. The sky, almost completely clear of clouds, is still the white-blue of warmth, though. I appreciated the warm temperatures of the day, but I am looking forward to riding in rainy, cold winter weather very soon.

I was starting to feel a little too relaxed again – I really must stop napping on the bike – but then we got to our destination, and I woke up. Breakfast was an abundant buffet shared with nice, pleasant people, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I know I did. The dining hall was beautifully decorated, and I made sure I noticed all the holiday sparkle, all the pretty details of the season. The guys were making fun of the giant ornaments on the very tall tree in the lobby, but I liked everything.

All too soon, it was time to go. I was glad I had the longest ride of the three of us, and I managed to get another 140 miles out of the day. I went home to enjoy some gardening, writing, and I even managed to practice one of the musical instruments that I (attempt to) play. Music has been absent from my life for a while, and I need to get back to it.

The weekend was a great one for riding, with the total mileage hovering around 650 miles, a good portion of those miles ridden in the dirt. It was wonderful, and now I am looking forward to winter break in three weeks. This is the best time of year because of the nice weather and the festive holidays, not to mention the pleasant riding opportunities. I got a taste of the enjoyment soon to come, but that made it so much harder to go back to work on Monday!

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