Friday, June 28, 2013

Ride to the Roost!

June 25, 2013

My sunburnt lips have finally started to heal and the calluses on my right hand no longer sting with pain. It has been 2 days since returning from the Rider’s Roost in Ferguson, North Carolina where every year scooter trash make the pilgrimage for the annual World Honda Chopper Meet. I left Carbondale on Saturday June 15th and headed north to Champaign, I had decided to ride with Barry even though it would probably mean riding in the rain. I guess getting wet with company ranks higher than riding solo in the sunshine.

We left Champaign Sunday morning under gray skies and stopped before long to put on rain gear. Our next stop would be to fuel up but when I flipped the switch to go again a cloud of smoke issued from my electrics box. The switch had shorted out and fried the wire to the battery, luckily I had thought to throw some extra wire in my tool kit and Barry had some connectors so we went to work on bypassing the switch. I had power again and the rain had moved on ahead of us. We stayed dry for a bit but seemed to be travelling faster than the rain clouds. After about a hundred miles my bike began giving me problems again and there we were on the side of the road wet and disgruntled about my electrics. Turned out we had just knocked a wire loose on the reg/rect and we soon got back on the road. Again the rain had moved on ahead of us and we rode the rest of the way to Cadiz, KY dry. Monday we installed a new switch and mapped out our route for the rest of the way to North Carolina.

We left Cadiz Tuesday morning and fell in behind the weather front, we wouldn’t see a drop of rain the whole day and I paid for it with sunburnt lips and wrists. We decided to stick mostly to the two lanes through southern Kentucky and had a leisurely ride making it to Greeneville, TN before deciding to stop for the night. We rode into the Roost early Wednesday afternoon where the party had already begun. In Ferguson, NC time always seems to go twice as fast as anywhere else, it slips by while catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. Even staying up until the wee hours doesn’t make up for it. You try to slow it down by relaxing in the creek but that doesn’t work either and before long it’s the Saturday night parts auction and then it’s time to say good bye and wait till next year.

Barry wanted to stay another day so I rode out Sunday morning for my 600 mile trip home by myself. I got on the interstate and stayed on the throttle the whole way. It wasn’t until I was more than halfway that I bothered to think what the hell am I doing, I should be enjoying this. Anything over a 400 mile day on a motorcycle is not real enjoyable, you’re sore, tired, windburnt, sunburnt and fed up with cagers. My boss had even told me if I had to miss work on Monday that was ok by him. In my head I was scheduled to be back though, it’s amazing how easy it is to fall back into routine, back to being a cog, I was disgusted with myself. I did the 600 miles in 12 hours and I woke up Monday morning and went to work. I suffer from the normal post party blues and anxiously sit listening to the road call wanting nothing more than to get on and ride. It seems for me that is living and anything else just feels like dying.

 (Words and Pics by Jen Keller)