I went for another ride today. Just an “out of the blue” ride, but one with a definite destination or route. All totaled it was about 100 miles. And I rode past two of the helicopters I talked about documenting on yesterday’s ride. Still makes me feel great every time I see them.
Fair warning: I will be plugging a couple of Patriotic activities I am quite fond of and will provide a link at the end. So, for now, I’ll describe the ride. Today I took off for an afternoon ride in weather that was just as beautiful as it was yesterday except for the addition of today’s gusts which made for some interesting riding.
I talked once before about the road to Glennville, Georgia. On that occasion I turned south on 301 towards Lodowici and then back east on 84 and home. This time I went north of 301 to Claxton (Fruit Cake Capital, or so they claim…), then east on 280 to Pembroke. From Pembroke I took 119 down and through the back gate of Ft. Stewart and then out the “side” gate on my way back home.
One observation is that people tend to “drive” too close to motorcycles. When you have mirrors that are “OBJECTS ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR”, I tend to get a little nervous. In the class it was suggested to “tap” the brakes so the “tailgater” “knows” to back off. Fat chance on that one! The best thing, in my opinion, is to ride to the right side of the road when there is a chance for the “person” to pass safely. It also helps to beckon them around by waving for them to go ahead and pass. Once they start to pass, THEN you should slow down to increase their distance to make a safe pass. I did this twice during this ride. Usually one would think a rider is about “speed” and get there quick! Not this one.
Speed is another of today’s observations. Yes, I admit to the so-called nominal ten over. If the posted speed is 35, I will usually drive or ride about 45. 45 becomes 55, and 55 is usually 65. There are some spots where the limit is 65 or 70, but 75 or 80 just doesn’t strike me as very appealing. I still, after all, consider myself to be a novice. I feel my skills are improving every time I ride, but hey, I’m not pushing the speed in no traffic thing. Anyway, I digress….
I don’t know if I’ve stated this before, but the V-Star has a 5-speed gearbox and I’ve figure out what I think is the optimal speed for each gear, and it works the same for down-shifting. First, of course, would stay around 15 MPH. Second at 25, third at 35,…. You see where this is going? The same hold true for down-shifting. Around 50 or 45, I’ll down-shift to fourth, and third at 35. Anything lower depends on whether or not you are going to stop, but you NEVER shift to first unless you are less than 20 (book says 19, but as long as the needle is on the low side of 20, I’m good).
One thing they told us in the riding course was to never try to anticipate a light (turning green from red), but to always be ready for a light to turn red, and always STOP at the STOP sign. And again, I digress….
On this trip I decided to make a left into the Glennville Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery (which would be across traffic leaving also) to see what it would “feel like” if I were to ride there in December for the Wreaths Across America event. Like I said at the beginning, I was going to talk about some of my favorite Patriotic events. This is one of them. It coincides with the Wreath Laying ceremony in Arlington, Virginia held at 12 noon the second Saturday of December (which will be 12 December 2020 for those that want to know). You can find more information at www.wreathacrossamerica.org.
I found myself taking a side road to Ft. Stewart’s NCO Academy (Enter to Learn; Leave to Lead). Nice little diversion, but the road sure could use a bit of TLC. Let’s just say, the shocks got tested. The road intersects 119 at an odd angle which means you have to physically turn your body to look and “clear” traffic. No problem. As I entered back onto 119 heading south, I notice a car well back that has drastically increased its speed. Fine. Let’s get out of they way. The V-Star does have some rather nice acceleration and I easily got to my “preferred” cruising speed of about 65. Here again, this driver was creeping ever closer, so again, I “enabled” them to pass. I really was not in any big hurry to get anywhere and I’m comfortable riding at my own pace.
The next decision was to either go around Ft. Stewart or stop at the back gate, dig out my ID, stuff it all back in the pocket, and continue on my merry way. I chose to endure the hassle of the stop at the gate. No big deal. It gave me the chance to stand up and let my butt get some air. Besides, I wanted to ride by those beautiful helicopters again (here’s another Patriotic plug). As I stated yesterday, there are three helicopters that need to be documented for Tour of Honor (www.tourofhonor.com). Each “season” (year) between April 1 and October 31, the Tour of Honor (ToH) site publishes a list of places that honor veterans and first responders. The goal is to visit at least one site (which changes from year to year). Also included are additional sites one can visit such as “Doughboy” statues, K9 memorials, Huey helicopters (including Cobras), and many other ideas for a ride. Since this is my “rookie” year, and since I am rather fond of the Huey helicopter (worked on them from 1981-1984), I decided to see about getting the three I knew about added to the ToH Huey database so others can enjoy them.
So, as I wrap up this latest installment of “Jeff’s Rides”, I will include some picture I took yesterday of the helicopters. Enjoy.
26 April 2020