Inpromptu Ride

Jeff called the other day to let me know he was on his way to spend Memorial Day with us. I never turn down a chance for my brother to visit. He drove his new (to him) car up since there was a forecast for serious thunderstorms and Vinnie might not have enjoyed the 8 hours on the back of Jeff’s bike. Vinnie is his dog, who is about the size of Blue, a lot older, and has hip problems. Sitting on the bike would not have been enjoyable for Vinnie.

Saturday, I sent a note to a few friends asking if anyone knew where Jeff could rent a bike for a day or two. No luck. We took a drive to a couple of motorcycle shops for Jeff to look for a new helmet. He thought he found on at the first shop, but no luck. I did manage to get a new face shield for the bike and a “pinlock” to prevent fogging the face shield.

Our second stop was at the Harley shop. Jeff found a helmet there, but they did not have a “pinlock.” Since it was the same style that I had just bought at the other shop, I gave him mine and will get another one later.

We talk with with Pat who has two BMW motorcycles in the back. One is a R69S, the other is a R1200R. I ask about the R69S and he says it was bought by the owner who will be delivering it to Montana, probably for their “collection.” I sit on the R1200R, not bad. A few years old, but not something I would want right now.

This morning, Sunday, Audrey sends me a note that she had just seen my message from yesterday. If Jeff is still in town, he can ride her bike. I eventually get in touch with Audrey to verify that she was ok with him riding her bike. She was, and Jeff had his boots on before I could get off the phone. We drove to the Harley shop and picked up her bike. I rode it home and Jeff followed in his car.

I pulled out the BMW and he spends a few minutes getting familiar with Audrey’s bike.

We stop for me to fill up my bike, then off we go. We spend about an hour on the Natchez Trace. I keep a watch on the clouds and it is looking iffy to the southeast, but we will be turning to the west shortly. Even if it were to rain, being on the bike is wonderful. The smell of the air, you can tell it wants to rain. A few other smells are in the air too, one being a skunk that didn’t make it across the road.

I start feeling sick, so we turn around and head back home. We will try a ride in the morning before returning the bike to Audrey.

Coming back, the scene as we cross the Tennessee River has clear skies and plenty of boats on the water. We pass several bikes, about half are “two-up.” We don’t pass anyone on the Trace, and no one else is in a hurry to pass up either. Only vehicle we saw that was speeding was an Alabama State Trooper going in the opposite direction.

Wildlife is abundant. Squirrels everywhere, a deer in the distance, farmland has a few cattle, a turkey is meandering across the road ahead of us and clears the road as we get closer, a turtle just relaxing in the middle of the road who may not make it if he doesn’t start moving, and a few buzzards doing “trash duties” along the way.

We could have stayed home today, but any chance to ride a bike is a chance that should be taken. Jeff really liked Audrey’s bike. Though it is a low model and may have cramped him a bit, he was so happy. The smile is still on his face.

Thank you Ms Audrey, you have no idea how happy you made my brother today.

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