I’m home. Wednesday I rode about 200 miles from Norman, OK to Mckinney, TX and Friday I rode 237 Miles from McKinney, TX to My Garage. My total mileage? 2384 miles. I really wanted to hit the 2400 mile mark but I think I’m close enough. So here are my wrap up thoughts.
I had no problems and that was weird. This is the first trip I’ve ever been on where something didn’t Go Wrong. No exploding transmissions, slipping clutches, broken saddlebag straps, missing motor mounts, overheating motors, blown knees, malfunctioning house alarms, Credit cards that stopped working….nothing. I was fully prepared for tragedy and never had to pull out the big guns. Go Me, that was really cool. All I had to contend with was one night of tears from exhaustion and loneliness and one day of a horrible crosswind when I realized my new helmet really really sucks in the wind.
That, my friends is an incident free ride. I didn’t even have to add oil along the way as I apparently have the only BMW on the planet that doesn’t burn oil.
I would like to thank everyone who made this trip possible starting with my beloved old bike Skylark who sat at home while younger sister took me on a ride. Without the lessons she has taught me, I would be a much poorer rider today. She taught me that many issues can be dealt with at speed and if you can fix it without turning off your motor you should. Bike suddenly cuts off because of a random electrical short? (Skylark did this for the longest time before she suddenly stopped.) Don’t pull over, what if you can’t get her to start again? Downshift, pull in the clutch and let it back out. She’ll start from a roll better than from a stand still. You’re ready to roll but the bike isn’t quite warm enough? Just use your back brake at the first stop and keep a little throttle on otherwise, the bike will die. Nightingale only does this when she’s too cold but Skylark did it all the time for no reason I could fathom except for the fact that she’s thirty years old and cranky (I should have named her Slappy Squirrel). Bike makes a weird noise when you turn on the electrics? Well, does it still run ok? Yes? Don’t worry about it then, I’m sure it’s unimportant. It was by the way. A consultation with Mr Man that evening showed me that the noise was the sound of my fuel pump priming and so if it sounded oddly anemic then it was most likely already primed and if the bike ran ok, I really shouldn’t worry about it. All these lessons and more I learned from traveling thousands of miles on an older bike struggling to pull a heavy sidecar and delivery past her abilities every single time. Enjoy your retirement Little Girl, you going to come out of it all too soon.
Of course, I could not have done this without Mr Man’s support (both emotional and financial). I also deeply appreciate the rest of my riding family: Zippo, Sypderman, and our newest member whom you have yet to meet Union Jack, and The Billy Goat Gruff (names are subject to change as they ride with us a bit). Everyone providing me support and humor that I felt 2000 miles away.
If I were going to do it again, would I do anything different. No, not really. My route was a good and I had a good about of time on the bike versus time off the bike. I do wish I had left my pair of long riding pants at home and brought a second pair of bike shorts. I also wish I had brought more underwear but other than that, I packed well and smart. I have plans of bringing everyone to Colorado with me at some point. Not the exact same trip but close. I would love for Mr. Man and I to meet my brother and his family in Durango one summer for a day of train rides and shopping and then push one to ride some amazing roads. I would also love to spend a week in Ouray with Mr. Man riding passes and acting idiotic. Not the mention taking my above mentioned riding family with me to to explore the roads of Colorado is on my must do list.
I’m not sure what my next riding adventure will be yet. Mr. Man and I are talking about doing a ride on Labor Day. Right now, I happy to unpack and do laundry. Once laundry is done, all I’m going to be able to think about is when can I do this again.