There’s Nothing Like Riding

I made a somewhat snap decision to go to Florence for the Memorial Day weekend. I left Friday afternoon about 4:20 Georgia time and got to my destination about 11:30 Alabama time (12:30 Georgia time). And since I had already asked Vinnie if he wanted to go visit Blue, I had to take him along. The only thing is that I didn’t think of borrowing a trailer to take the bike because the weather forecasts for home and Florence was rain. Needless to say, I felt resigned to no riding this weekend.

Saturday was about helping with HAM testing in the morning (a roaring success) followed by the hunt for a new helmet. We ended up at the Natchez Trace Harley Davidson dealership where I bought a new two-tone HD helmet that actually turns out to be the exact same HJC model I currently had. Go figure! We had also looked into the possibility of renting a bike to ride. No such luck. NTHD got out of that some time ago (way before I took the riding class) and they did not know of anyone who rented bikes closer than Nashville. Uh, not going there.

That evening was about fellowship with Aaron and possible future plans. We also enjoyed adult beverages and saluted dead soldiers (killed a bottle) and talked about out week long ride coming up at the end of June. Oh, the weather was not the dire forecast as we had been led to believe. Saturday morning, we had the hint of a few sprinkles, but really nothing more than the ominous threats. As the sun went down, however, the threats became a reality when the clouds let loose and forced us to retire to the inside comforts of recliners and reminiscing about past histories.

Sunday dawned with clear, beautiful riding weather and again wishing I could have trailered my bike to go riding to enjoy the change in the weather. After cleaning the car from where Vinnie coated the passenger side with slobber and hair, fortune favored me with the possibility of being able to borrow a bike to ride. Come to find out, Audrey, a very generous young lady at the Harley place offered to let me her Harley. After some back and forth contact between she and brother, we (Gary and I) were off to the Harley place to pick up her bike. Although I was going to be riding it, Gary rode it back to the house while I took the opportunity to gas up the car (not good to drive around on fumes). Back at the house and a few minutes to plan a route, we were off!

Riding Audrey’s Harley was definitely an honor. It introduced a few features such as a hydraulic clutch lever, “fly-by-wire” throttle control, and ABS braking. These really made the ride more enjoyable and ratcheted up the “what’s the next bike?” criteria to a whole new level. Audrey’s gorgeous Limited Low is a red and black two-tone with low batwing fairing with a whole slew of other bells and whistles which left me with a sort of quandary for next weekend. I’ll be coming back up for an event on Saturday with hopeful time to go riding again. My plan is to trailer my bike (still don’t think Vinnie would ride tandem even though he knows how to lean) and go riding later that afternoon and possibly Sunday morning before heading back to Georgia. My problem is now that I’ve “tasted” riding a Harley, I might want to start talking “trade” while I’m in Florence. Then again, there’s always Harley Davidson of Savannah…. Damn! Now I really DO have a quandary!

Jeff Allmond

24 May 2020

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