Saturday, June 29, 2013

My Brain is Scrambled Eggs

I missed updating after my first evening.  My computer was in the SAG wagon and by the time it got to Brownwood I was too tired to do anything but fall asleep.

So welcome to Day Two of Six Bikes and a Diva.  Today was a long 300 mile day from Brownwood, TX to Littlefield, TX.  We were super blessed with the weather today, it wasn't 5million degrees.  In fact, only the last 100 miles could be called hot.  Now, the last 100 miles were scorching hot but at least we didn't have that all day.

I've been through this part of town a lot by this point and I was really hit today by something I've seen but not really noticed before.  When you leave Brownwood, you know you are in the foothills of the Hill Country.  There are slight rolling hillocks with limestone walls and short squat trees.  If there is grass it's pretty green and the dirt is dark to light brown.  As you ride along, the hills suddenly disappear and it's just flat.  Then just past Abilene, you get red dirt.  Suddenly.  Out of nowhere. Red Dirt.  All I can think of is welcome to the panhandle.  It's just so sudden it almost takes your breath away.

Motorcycling can be like that.  You get to see the gradual or sudden changes in the world around you.  Tomorrow, we'll get to experience what feels to me to be the Foothills of the Foothills of the Rockies and that will be very different from the flat red earth dusty plain that we are on now.

On an unrelated note, I got to drive past the gas station in Anton where Skylark's transmission died.  I'm almost ready to stop there and take a picture....maybe next time.

There really isn't much to recommend Littlefield except for the fact that it's on the other side of Lubbock and just that much closer to Santa Fe.  I think the Diva and I are going to go into town and pick up some food for everyone in a bit.  There are no restaurants close to the hotel and we are tired. I'm really enjoying the company this trip although I'm worried.  It's a little early in the trip for stupid hysterical humor and the fact that we were cracking each other up by playing silly straw tricks at lunch does not bode well for the state of our brains in a few days.  As much as I'm loving having my friends near me, I'm also loving the time that Mr Man and I have to quietly be with each other at the end of the ride.  I'm also going to enjoy some Diva time here in a bit.  Gotta have my Diva time.

Tomorrow is one more 300 mile day and then the fun starts.  Mr Man says we should have rain most of the At least I have my Frogg Toggs.

I've just realized I've blogged about nothing at all for some time now.  While I could scrap this and start again, I thing I'll leave it up as a testimony to how riding in the heat can cook my brain.  Next post will be from Santa Fe!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's Not Failure, it's Feedback

The countdown continues.  Just three more days to our epic multi-bike trip to Colorado that I am calling "Six Bikes and a Diva".  My packing is done, only loading left to do.  Tomorrow Mr Man and I are heading to Zippo and Spyderman's house to load Zippo's bike and the truck.

This is my third attempt at a large group trip.  The first one ended shortly after it started when my transmission attempted to run away from my bike in Roswell, NM.  The second trip was completely re-planned in the middle of the trip because what I organized was a hot rolling mess but we finished and had a great time.  Each trip has taught me new things that I hope will help this trip be successful.  so what have I learned so far?

1.  Democracy has no place in a motorcycle line.  There should be a leader who is In Charge while on the road.  This person should be in front.  Dinner time once we are at our destination is the appropriate place for people to have an opinion.

2.  Someone should be In Charge of planning the trip start to finish.  This does not have to be the same person as above.  In our case, it's not.  I am our Road Captain.  I plan the trips, make the rough route, choose the stops, book the hotels, and I dole out jobs to everyone else as I see fit.  Mr Man is our leader on the road.  He and I consult a great deal ahead of time about the route, the line order, where we are going to eat but...once we are rolling, his word is law and he is In Charge.

3.  Expectations are paramount.  Everyone has to understand when the trip is going to suck and when it's going to be fun.  Everyone should know when we'll be doing things together and when we are doing things on our own and what the goal of the trip is.

4.  My expectations should be realistic.  I need to really understand what everyone's limits are and route accordingly.  In a situation where I can't, I need to be upfront about what we are going to have to do in order to leave Texas.

5.  A good group trip must have something for everyone and not completely please any one of us.  It needs some nice roads for Mr Man and he also needs a day he can go off by himself and ride crazy miles really fast.  Spyderman and Zippo need moderate days and beautiful locals to bed down in as much as possible.  I need everything to go smoothly and nothing to blow up.  Union Jack and the Billy Goat Gruff are still a little unknown to me.  I suspect that Union Jack needs to ride with the group as a member and have the chance to stop and take pictures on occasion.  Although I don't know what the Billy Goat Gruff needs to have a successful trip, I bet I will when I'm done.

Just three more days and the adventure begins.  I'll have more lessons learned after this.  Hopefully, I'll also have a wonderful group trip to tell stories about.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Because Just Once Wasn't Enough

Hello World!  I'm doing it again.  I'm going on another bikecation and I leave in about three weeks.  I loved Colorado so much last year that I'm going back there again but this time will be different.  This time....du, Du, DUMMMM......I'm taking friends.

So two weeks in Colorado with  six bikes and a truck.  It's been like herding cats but I think we are all just about set to go.  In fact, Mr Man and myself are starting to pack bags tonight because we just can't wait any longer.  So where am I going in Colorado?  It's pretty similar to what I did last year.  We are going to spend two days riding in the heat to Santa Fe where we will spend a day recovering and buying anything we forgot.  From there it's Pagosa Springs, Gunnison, Ouray for several days, Durango, Albuquerque, Clovis, Abilene, and home.  There will be mountain passes, beautiful scenery, cooler weather, and the chance for Mr Man and I to get in some off road time.

And who am I taking with me?  None other than the usual suspects.  You've met some of them previously but I'll introduce everyone.  Up front on the BMW R1150R we have our lead, Mr. Man.  Next on the Kawasaki Concourse we have our resident fretter and tree seeking missile, Zippo.  With him is his partner on the CanAm Spyder, Spyderman.  Also with us this time around, on the Triumph Bonneville, is Union Jack.  With us is her partner, on the Star Cruiser, The Billy Goat Gruff. Last but not least, driving our support truck, is The Diva.

This is actually our first trip with a support truck and I'm not sure any of us really know what to do with it.  For us, it means more tools, bigger Jacks, a plug in cooler, and a larger first aid kit.  It also means that Zippo, who get very ill in the heat, has a respite from riding the first two days when temperatures are the hottest.  It also means I get to travel with my beloved Diva for two weeks.

So that's the setting for our adventure this summer.  Now to start the packing process.  Tonight, it's electronics and continuing to do laundry.