Monday, September 5, 2011

Day Three: Hello Schröddy

Yet again, it's been a day of ups and downs.

We rode about 150 miles today up into Oklahoma.  Apparently I finally got to see the pretty part of Oklahoma because it was stunning.  I also got to see how my rig handles on decent curves.  I was pretty impressed.  Because of it's height and the wide stance of the rig I was expecting the handling in curves to be...well...alarming. I was surprised by how well it did.  Having an excessive amount of power at my disposal worked in my favor.  I was able to keep up with Mr Man and while he wasn't riding like a rockstar, he also wasn't going slow. We were taking the curves between five and ten miles over their posted speed.  Although I was taking the 45 mile an hour curves at 45 miles an hour.  Again, the power of the bike enabled me to quickly catch back up with Mr. Man.  I also learned that on 55 mile an hour left hand curves I have to actively slow the bike down.  The centrifugal force of the sidecar pulls the bike around the corner.  If it's a long curve the whole rig just keeps building speed as the car tries to whip around the bike. It's like the sidecar becomes a rock in a slingshot that never leaves the sling.

I booked us into the Days Inn in the thriving metropolis of Potoeau, OK.  Since it is Labor Day Evening all the tourists have left town and we are actually the only people in this hotel.  Neat but creepy.  Buy hey, we have our bikes parked on the front porch of the hotel and there is no one to care.

On the sad hand, Austin seems to be on fire.  Our house is fine as far as we know but it's unnerving being so far away from Very Bad Things that our happening almost in your backyard.  It reminds me of when two F4 Tornadoes chose to tear into my hometown while I was in college.  All I could do was stay up and watch the weather and call my loved ones.  Speaking of houses, our house alarm keeps going off.  Twice.  Both times were false alarms but it's making me wonder if the alarm itself has a malfunction.  Unfortunately, until we get home, nothing can be done.  So we'll just keep riding.

Tomorrow we are heading into the Ouachita National Forest for a day of fun curvy riding.  After that, plans are vague.  We really don't have any.  We only have possibilities.  We are Schrodinger's Motorcyclists.  Our house exists in of state of Fire/No Fire while simultaneously maintaining a state of burgled/safe while we ourselves exist in endless possibilities of North,South, East, and West.

And that is a sure sign that my brain is down.  Tomorrow the report from the Forest....perhaps even pictures.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sometimes, Nothing Profound Happens (and thats ok too)

Today was spent riding around Paris taking pictures and relaxing.  Mr Man actually spent all our riding time in my tub being my Monkey.  It was a little unnerving for me.  The big is still fairly new to me and I'm still struggling with smooth gear changes.  Especially my ridiculously tall first gear.  We also need to work on communication.  Mr. Man will be my navigator when we ride off road.  Our dual sport helmets have a communication system but our regular helmets do not.  We should get some soon.  He was trying to tell me to veer right but all I saw was his hand pointing up.  So I'm looking up wondering, "why should I care what's above me" while we completely miss the turn.  We laughed a lot about it today because it really didn't matter.  Today we just wanted to ride together in the rig.  We did shoot pictures of the Eiffel Tower here and the Jesus in Cowboy boots Tombstone.  The Cemetery that the Jesus is in is well worth the visit if you are a cemetery fan like I am.  I would like to come back with more time and more camera equipment and spend some quality time here.

Here is the Paris Eiffel Tower with it's fantastic Cowboy Hat.  And yes, that is Nightingale in front of it.

This is the Jesus in Cowboy boots.  It's pretty subtle but he is, in fact wearing Cowboy boots. 

The rest of our evening is going to involve a long bath and packing our gear back up.  We hit the road again tomorrow heading for Poteau, OK.  Once there we are going to ride around in the Ouachita National Forest.  From there, who knows where.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day One: Happiness is Not Reliant on Circumstance

Our trip started at 8:30 this morning.  By our first stop I knew that my boots were too small.  The boots were fairly new but I had ridden in them quite a bit already.  I had ordered my actual size instead of the size larger that my previous boots were.  I should have stayed with the same size.  Speaking of our first stop, that's where I met my enemy.  I was in a grungy little bathroom in Hearne, TX.  When I walked in I saw the huge cockroach in the corner.  "Ok," I thought, "you stay in your corner and I'll stay in mine."  Yeah, that didn't work so well for me.  The little jerk bum rushed me.  I stomped my foot at him trying to scare him off and he  just ran faster.  This left me screaming and jumping around the bathroom with my riding pants around my knees.  I finished everything as fast as  I could and ran out of the bathroom fastening my pants as I went.  Mr Man had a good laugh and I discovered that in my haste I had ripped two of the teeth from my zipper.  This would be the second set of pants I broke a zipper on.

The ride itself, I have to say was beautiful and the heat was not as bad  as it could have been.  We did get stuck behind a truck hauling a rickety old house (I kid you not).  It was blowing insulation all over the road.  We also had a moment where Mr Man was distracted by a plastic bag blowing around the road about the same time I was distracted by....air maybe.  He looks up to see a truck stopped in the middle of the road waiting to turn.  He brakes quickly and I actually stood up on my back brake and grabbed a handful of front brake.  My brakes work and I didn't even hit Mr Man.  However, the whole experience was....invigorating and called for another stop soon after.  That was the stop where my boot got pretty uppity with me.

We had already decided that my boots were not working and that I couldn't ride a week with them like this.  They were simply to small across my instep and toe bed.  We had planned on stopping at Wal-Mart in Paris and picking up something, anything else.  They would not be optimal riding boots but they also wouldn't be crippling.  Our last stop before Paris was in Sulpher Springs.  I got off the bike and headed inside for water.  Two steps and the sole flopped off my left boot.  The glue had melted from my heel to my arch.  Ok, really?  I think that's overkill.  I had already decided to replace the boots, there is not need to get dramatic about it.  Mr Man Duct Taped the sole back to the boot.  All I could do was laugh.  And that's when it hit me.  I had been laughing though the whole day.  Through my feet hurting so much I wanted to cry.  Through insulation flying through the air.  Through the Attack of the Killer Cockroach.  Through my boot attempting to escape me by ripping itself apart.  I had laughed.  Because I was on my darling bike Nightingale.  Because I was with Mr Man on our first trip alone together in five year.  Because happiness comes to you despite your circumstances.  Not because of them.

We are finishing up our evening relaxing and trying to shake off the stress of the day.  Because it was stressful even if I was smiling through it.  Tomorrow we are going to putt around Paris and have some coffee, maybe shoot some pictures and plan the rest of the trip.  I'm not worried about it.  We are together on on our motorcycles.  I will be a good trip.