Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Saturday October 22, 2011 (part 2)

Well as I said before the sky was blue, the temperature was in the mid 60’s and the ride was going great only around 50 miles left to my destination. I was cruising along this long and lonely Hwy. 425 when all of a sudden the Arkansas state line sign was upon me.

 Being the blogger that I am, I made the quick decision to pull over in a church parking lot to get a photo. This proved to be a costly mistake; here is why. Well what looked like an asphalt parking lot from the road turned out to be a gravel parking lot with very loose gravel.

As my bike front wheel exited from the highway there was a small lip from the roadway to the parking lot, this caused the front tire to pull quickly to the right, yep you guessed it right into the loose gravel (oh did I mention I was in the middle of hard breaking and still doing around 40 mph) well needless to say that was all she wrote…the bike and I went down with a great THUD!!!

Next thing I know as I’m laying on my back a big dully truck pulls up beside me with a high school kid driving it asking if I needed any help. Turned out to be a great kid, I told him I was alright as I picked my bike up and he went on down the road. I got to admit my first thought was as I hit the ground, am I dead, then I went through a body check,

the thick leather jacket I was wearing saved my upper body, my lower body took on most of the damage. My jeans were still intact but I could feel the blood running down my legs from my knees. All in all I walked away with very little damage, my left knee was scraped and my left elbow was hurting…oh who am I kidding my whole left side felt like someone had worked me over with a bat.

 Ha-ha. Then this thought hit me as I watched the dully truck tail light fade out of site. Would my bike crank? The answer you ask…yes it did after many, many tries. Well as my leather jacket saved me, the crash bars on my bike saved it, the bar on the left side of my bike was now covering my shifter,

so with a lot of kicking and screaming I was able to bend the bar far enough from my shifter that my foot could reach it again to shift gears, so down the hwy I went to the small town “Star City”.

I was the first to reach the Star City Inn;

Walter had not made it yet. I was the only car in the parking lot, not a bad place just no one there…it’s in the middle of nowhere.

About the time I walked back to unload my bike, my buddy Walter pulled up on his Honda.

I told him my sad story, he laugh and called me names…what are friends for, RIGHT?

After he checked in we cleaned up a little and decided to go and get some pizza at a local pizza shop "Mike's Pizza Pro". I think this was the only place in town open on a Saturday night and just like the Inn we were the only customers in the place. Truth is known I think we were the only people who had ever been inside; the employees looked at us like we were from outer space. We ended up ordering a large cheeseburger pizza and an order of bread sticks (pretty darn good)

and my buddy Walter picked up the tab, I think he was feeling sorry for me by now. Ha-ha.

We sat around and swapped war stories and the good time we had in the past for at least an hour and a half. We did a lot of catching up and I was telling him how I had had this bike for over a little over three years now and had never dropped it once until today…I feel a little more foreshadowing coming on.

Time to head back to the room, it was starting to get cold and neither one of us brought our jacket with up as the pizza place was only a couple of blocks down the road. Well my friends never say never; as we pulled back into the Inn (two cars there now) I pulled my bike into one of the numerous parking spots under a big light pole started turning it around so I could back it in to the spot…for some reason still unknown to me this day, in mid turn I grabbed the front break…

yep you guessed it, down to the ground I went, with a huge THUD!!!

This time on my right side, I have to admit I just laid there for a few seconds just wondering what the heck just happened, so once again in the same DAY mind you, I picked my bike up again.

After that it was bed time, I checked out my injures mainly just burses and scratches on both knees now. Funny thing is when I fell the second time (IN THE SAME DAY) I ended up hurting my right knee, it was getting hard to walk, go figure, crash at 40 mph and just walk away, crash at a near stop and injure my knee.

As I was sleeping I was awakened around 4:30am to a loud crashing sound…my first thought was it was someone loading my bike into the back of a pickup but my leg was hurting so I did not get out of bed to see…then seconds later I heard another crash, then I thought they got the second one! I could not take it anymore I hobbled to my feet and shuffled to the window only to find out it was thunder and it was now raining….

The next morning after what had to be the worse continental breakfast,

it was decided due to my knee pain, it would be best to cut the ride short and head home with my tail between my legs…we made a quick stop at McDonalds for lunch said our goodbyes and we were on our way home, me to Petal, MS and Walter to Huntsville, Alabama.

Just as I was around 15 miles from home still nursing a sore knee, I see this crazy man in front of me with his arm out the window of his truck telling me to come around him on the hwy. I got to admit this did not make me happy as I just wanted to get home and off my crippled bike. As I passed the truck who do Isee non-other than Matt (the hammer) Roland looking at me. We pulled over I told him the sad story… he laugh and called me names…what are friends for, RIGHT? Got to get better friends. Ha-ha.

Come to find out he was on his way home from a mountain bike race where he took second place; he even posed for a photo, trophy in hand. (Camera hog)

said our goodbyes and I was home my 5:00pm come to find out my buddy Walter did not get home till 9:00pm. OUCH!!!

GOOD NEWS; my knee has healed itself, except for the scrapes, I'm ready for my hiking trip next week…thank GOD its not in Arkansas.

Till next time

Big Al

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Morning everyone, time to tell the story of the great Arkansas motorcycle road trip,

Let me go back in time a few days a do a little foreshadowing (big word, see I got book smarts)

Our original plan was to leave around 12:00pm Friday and meet up in a small town in Arkansas called Pine Bluffs. Here is a link of the trip…
Well as you might have guessed it did not happen…AS PLANNED!!

I guess around Tuesday I came down with a bad cold we had been passing around the office, I ended up getting a fever and missing Wednesday at work.

I sent my ridding buddy Walter an email and told him we might need to move the ride to Saturday due to illness. About this time, Walter had sent me an email saying that the town we had picked for our first night was ranked as one of the highest crime spots in Arkansas,

not good when you are ridding easy to steal motorcycles. So a new location was picked, Star City was the new destination. Woke up Thursday feeling better…RIDE BACK ON AS PLANNED!!! Well so I thought, I was packed and ready to go Friday morning,

and then I get a text message from Walter telling me he had come down with something and asked could we move the ride to Saturday morning. (See lots of foreshadowing)

Woke up Saturday ready to go, I had around a 300 mile ride ahead of me, my buddy Walter around 400 mile ride. I decided at the last second that I would like to get a new full face helmet (due to the cold weather),

so a quick trip to Hattiesburg Cycle would be needed on my way out of town. (I’ll do a review on the helmet in a post soon)

I guess I was on my way around 10:30am.

The ride started out beautiful, I have to admit I spent the first hour or so fiddling with my new helmet, pushing and pulling buttons trying to figure out how to raise and lower the shield while ridding. Once I entered into Louisiana, I really started getting into the ride; I crossed through huge cotton farms in the middle of picking. I did run into one small shower, not even enough to get my jacket wet, lasted less than a minute, then sky’s turned bright blue again. Oh yea this is what ridding is all about…then came the ARKANSAS STATE LINE SIGN………

Check back soon, the best is yet to come.

Big Al

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New motorcycle ride...IN THE WORKS!!

Wow!!! Long time since my last post, truth is I’ve been working on another blog
for some time now trying to improve myself and I'm glad to say "it's working."

I got many; many stories to share with everyone here hope to start posting soon but for now let me tell you of and up and coming motorcycle trip.

It’s in the late planning stage now; as a matter of fact I head out this Friday. Where you ask? Arkansas

that’s where, just myself

and a long lost high school best buddy, Walter

reunite for a 1200 mile 3 ½ day trip around the mountains of Arkansas. The plan, around 12:00pm Friday I head out to Pine Bluff, AR from Hattiesburg, (from work) Mississippi.Walter will leave sometime that morning from his home in Huntsville, Alabama. Both of us will have around a 300 mile solo ride from different direction. Once there. we will get a room and head out on our journey early Saturday morning (see map of the ride)
looks to be around 650 miles, we will break that up over Saturday and Sunday ending at Helena AR, then making around another 300 solo mile ride home Monday.

I’ll post more about it once I get home, not sure yet if I’m going to carry my computer or not…I will have my camera and will be clicking at every stop.

More to come

Big Al

States I’ve traveled to over the years

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