Indy to Greenwich, CT Labor Day - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 25 Old 09-07-2011, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Indy to Greenwich, CT Labor Day

Thought I would post a follow-up to my recent riding adventure.

I awake to darkness. The night's sleep restless not because of angst or worry but my heart aching to start my long awaited adventure. Having packed the night before, I slipped into my riding gear and quietly took off east.





With the morning temperature at just 63 degrees, I lean comfortably into the cool morning air. Since there is no traffic at 4:30 in the morning, I made it through downtown Indianapolis easily and onto I70 east towards Columbus. My 2006 Speed Triple really started eating the miles and at 7am I pull over in Columbus, OH to photograph the rising sun peaking through the skyline. Shades of red and pink cause me to smile in delight. The stop is brief, however, because I have many miles to go. Once entering Ohio, I was astounded by the police presence! I start counting the numerous State Police cars I pass ending up with a total count of 33 by the time I leave the Ohio state line.











Continuing my easterly course, I pass quickly into West Virginia. I love West Virginia! The roads are spectacularly smooth and even a large interstate like I70 is fun. Unfortunately, the fun last just a few miles and then I enter Pennsylvania. Since Pennsylvania sold their part of the highway to make the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I bypass paying the toll by using 470 East. I also miss all the traffic of Pittsburgh but I feel like I miss seeing a great city.



I am making amazing time! At noon, I traverse into western Maryland. My spirits are high thinking about the vast distance I have already traveled and after a quick fast-food lunch, I talk with a couple traveling from Jersey. The gentleman is riding the new BMW 6 cylinder touring rig with his wife on a FJR 1300. They laugh at my Speed Triple and tell me that I have the wrong bike for the trip. Wishing them safe travels, I am on my way with my sights set on Baltimore.

Never having realized how big Maryland is before, I find myself rocketing through the hills of Maryland much longer than anticipated. The weather is perfect and I should have no complaints but I fear that my rear is not conditioned for such a long day. I try moving around as much as possible on the bike but my butt keeps falling asleep. The only reprieve is to stop and stretch. Thus, I did not make Baltimore until 4pm already exhausted from a long day in the saddle. I have not been stuck or slowed down by traffic the entire way until I was brought to a standstill in the late rush hour traffic of the home of the Orioles baseball team. Stopping for petrol, I find that on top of the normal traffic for this time of day, the Grand Prix is in town drawing in vast numbers of spectators. Finally, I wind my way out of Baltimore towards the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The bridge is a vast structure and when it was originally constructed in 1952 was the world's longest continuous over-water steel structure. I pay my toll and ride the length careful not to avert my gaze for too long looking out at the beautiful water.









Once over the bridge, I continue in heavy traffic delayed both by the Labor Day weekend crowd heading to the beach and the incessant construction. Finally I arrive at my grandmother's old house in Oak Orchard, DE met by an enthusiastic hug from my aunt.



After talking a short time, our pizza arrives. The wafting odor from that box is something from my childhood connected to most of my favorite youthful memories. I devour an entire large pizza by myself thinking that this must be the best pizza in the world!





My grandmother's house is quaint, sitting on prime property facing the Indian River. I love this place! It evokes memories of catching crabs with my aunt then having grandma steam them. We would sit in the sun room at a large picnic table cracking open the claws, sprinkling Old Bay seasoning on them, then pull out the succulent meat. My grandma died 12 years ago and this is my first time back to her house since before her death. I miss you Grandma!





Just under 700 miles in one day will wear out anyone. I sleep well thinking about what the next day will hold!




In 1915 T. Roosevelt said, in a speech to the KofC, "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. "
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post #2 of 25 Old 09-07-2011, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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The dreaded alarm clock emits a screeching sound, and I jump up. Thoroughly worn out from yesterday, I slowly get ready. Thankfully, my aunt thought ahead and has coffee brewing. She makes the most amazing biscuits and gravy using dried beef instead of ground and I eat heartily. Hopping on the bike with a full belly, I follow her to the Lewes, DE ferry. Research before departing had showed that taking the ferry would cut several hours out of my trip and thus, I bought my ticket early. At $30, the ferry is not cheap but definitely worth saving the hassle of riding through Baltimore traffic for a second time. I barely make it on the ferry before it casts off. Lewes took a beating from Hurricane Irene but seems to have already cleaned up and I am thankful to see a cool replica of an old schooner docked near the ferry. The ferry lasts 80 minutes but I am grateful for a chance to stretch before traveling north along the Garden State Parkway.





























Arriving, at last, in Cape May, NJ I quickly disembark and look for a place to get my bike and the ocean together for a photograph. This is the first time I have ridden from home to an ocean so I am suitably excited!





Then, it is on to NYC via the Garden State Parkway. I must say, it is such a pleasure riding on the East Coast where motorists seem to finally understand that the posted speed is just a suggestion. Trundling along at 90 mph, I am passed frequently. The parkway is quite pretty as it winds gracefully through the wetlands of New Jersey.










In 1915 T. Roosevelt said, in a speech to the KofC, "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. "
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post #3 of 25 Old 09-07-2011, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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I see signs for NYC! Hopping on I95, I take the George Washington Bridge on the outskirts of New York City trying to take photo's while dodging increasingly deranged drivers.







Stuck in traffic with my bike's temperature climbing, I decide to make better time and start lane splitting. While somewhat commonplace in this traffic, I feel nervous as I slip inches from mirrors. A power and light truck tries to edge me out but I evade and make relatively good time to Greenwich, CT just over the NY border. At last I am in Greenwich at 3pm but too early to meet up with my little sis so I go to Greenwich Ave. home to the most pretentious people ever! I do see some cool cars including a Delorian.











Around 6pm, my sister calls me to let me know to come over for dinner. She is working as a live in nanny for a couple with a 12 year old girl and a 7 year old boy. The road to their house is lined with historic homes, some dating back hundreds of years. Each of these houses has a stone fence dating back even farther. Truly, I find it amazing to see such well kept history so close to home. Pulling into the driveway, my sister runs to give me a big hug. I barely get my helmet off before we start taking pictures ecstatic to see one another.




In 1915 T. Roosevelt said, in a speech to the KofC, "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. "
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post #4 of 25 Old 09-07-2011, 01:57 PM
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Glad to see that you made it through unscathed. The Ferry, GSP, & the George Washington Bridge were smart moves to stay out of the city. Hope you enjoyed reuniting with your family.


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post #5 of 25 Old 09-07-2011, 03:17 PM
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glad you had fun! looks like a great ride!

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post #6 of 25 Old 09-07-2011, 06:48 PM
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Great report and pics. Looks like a very challenging ride. Glad you made it safely.

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post #7 of 25 Old 09-07-2011, 06:54 PM
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Great report and pics. Looks like a very challenging ride. Glad you made it safely.
+1, great pics, thanks for sharing!

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post #8 of 25 Old 09-08-2011, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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After hugs and greetings are out of the way, we make our way into the house for dinner. I immediately stop to take a closer look at the car parked in the garage. A beautiful red Mustang convertible wrenches my attention away from my rumbling stomach for a few minutes. Then, we walk inside and I consume dinner with the vigor only known to soldiers and travelers. Evening envelopes us, and we talk through our plans for the following day. My sister thinks it best to explore New York City tomorrow, Sunday, instead of Monday which is Labor Day. I'm inclined to agree so after a few beers, I hit the rack.











Dew dripping off the mirror reminds me to clean my bike and, coffee in hand, I give the old girl a good wipe down. My sister is singing in church this morning, so we leave the bike at her house and take the car. Arriving at her church, Greenwich Baptist Church, we commune with God then drive to Greenwich Ave for some lunch before taking the train into NYC. She says there is a really good pizza place near the rail station. The place feels out of place in Greenwich not just because of the Bob Marley track playing in the jukebox but also the relaxed vibe the interior decor belies. The pizza is quite tasty and is complimented well with some birch beer. Time slipping away, we pay quickly and catch the noon train into NYC.









An hour passes with our laughter amusing the fellow passengers, and we arrive into Grand Central Station. I am instantly overwhelmed recognizing the history of this place. Thinking quickly of all the movies in which I have seen this historic train depot, I have an odd sense of feeling as if I have been here before but knowing that I never have. The marble, the green ceiling, the massive staircases all serve to pack a visual feast. The crush of people hurrying to their destinations cut short my revelry and I am bustled towards the exit. Immediately upon exiting, we notice an odd jumble of seemingly war torn taxis. It suddenly dawns on me that we are witnessing a movie set! Out comes the camera...













Ah, New York City, what a rush! I have been many places from Chicago to Rome to Paris but nothing is quite like NYC. The energy exuded by this place quickens the beating of my heart and I find myself eager to start exploring. Just a couple of goals in mind for the day, we start by walking to 5th Ave.





Once I spotted the Saks & Co., I knew we were in the right place. First things first, we walk into the Tiffany store so I can pick up a little blue box for my wife. Of course, I take a look at the Tiffany diamond while we are in there. 128 carats of yellow brilliance nearly blinds me as I try to capture its beauty with my camera.








In 1915 T. Roosevelt said, in a speech to the KofC, "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. "
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post #9 of 25 Old 09-08-2011, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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We have only been in NYC for an hour, and I am already just fascinated by all the places I have grown up looking at on the television! We walk past 30 Rock, Hercules holding his globe, Central Park, the Park Plaza, and on. Music seemed to ebb and flow around us wherever we walk. No matter what you're into, you can find it here!





















Still feeling the tension of the journey in my shoulders, we take a short break and get a chair massage. Ten minutes of bliss and I feel like a new man! We then start walking towards Time's Square passing the Russian Tea Room and other famous spots along the way. Arriving at Time's Square, I find that it is not at all what I had imagined in my mind. I always envisioned a large open plaza but no, this is basically an avenue with multiple streets all coming into the same spot. It is quite crowded but I still was able to get a few pictures in.






















In 1915 T. Roosevelt said, in a speech to the KofC, "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. "
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post #10 of 25 Old 09-08-2011, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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Marking Times Square off the list, we then decide to take the underground to the South Harbor. Finding a subway entrance, we head downstairs. Stopping in my tracks, my unfocused eyes catch sight of something odd. Brassieres strewn across the stair lead my mind to imagine the circumstances in which they were dropped. We hop on the subway and soon find ourselves at the South Harbor in time to catch the Staten Island Ferry. I am particularly happy to find that this ferry is free of charge and provides an excellent view of the Lady Liberty. The wind whipping through the harbor is brisk but feels good after walking such a distance already today. Images of immigrants coming across the ocean in steam ships come unbidden when I catch sight of the Statue of Liberty. An impressive structure, the Statue of Liberty is beautiful especially when viewed with the city skyline in the background.





























Staten Island is a dump. Seems that no one really cares what it looks like and I get the impression once off the boat that this is a rough area. We walk around for thirty minutes and re-board the ferry back to NYC.





We start to explore southern Manhattan and come across Battery Park. Finding a map, I locate where the Twin Towers used to be and we start walking that way.
















In 1915 T. Roosevelt said, in a speech to the KofC, "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. "
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post #11 of 25 Old 09-08-2011, 05:37 AM Thread Starter
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I really can't see anything when nearing ground zero. The entire block is under construction which disappointing me somewhat since this represents for me the reason I joined the Army. The massive blank space does show me how much destruction was wrought on that fateful day nearly ten years ago. I take a moment to pray for the families of the 2,977 victims then all the men and women in combat today fighting to preserve our freedom and peace. It is quickly growing dark but the city that doesn't sleep is still showing us just how much we have yet to see. We stop for a bite to eat then start walking towards Grand Central Station for the train ride home. It is nearly 10pm and our train doesn't depart until 10:50pm so we stop in a park to rest our weary feet. The park is lit so well, that it is nearly as bright as day time! People are everywhere having picnics or exercising.















At long last, we board the train back to Greenwich. NYC is fun and exciting but tomorrow, we ride the bike up the Connecticut coast!




In 1915 T. Roosevelt said, in a speech to the KofC, "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. "
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post #12 of 25 Old 09-08-2011, 07:55 AM
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You're one of those damn tourists that walk slow and stop in the middle of the sidewalk to take pictures aren't you?!?

Glad you had fun. Keep the pictures coming!

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post #13 of 25 Old 09-08-2011, 03:12 PM
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Cool pics! Thanks for sharing.

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post #14 of 25 Old 09-08-2011, 03:44 PM
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Nice. I like the central park pics!
Hey your sister's pretty cute, does she know I'm single? haha

By the way you are totally flexing in the picture of you gazing on the ferry rail-bar. haha

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post #15 of 25 Old 09-08-2011, 04:12 PM
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Cool pics, nice story, and nice sis! Keep us updated.

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post #16 of 25 Old 09-08-2011, 04:24 PM
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Awesome , nice bike too

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post #17 of 25 Old 09-09-2011, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboStraub 919 View Post
Nice. I like the central park pics!
Hey your sister's pretty cute, does she know I'm single? haha

By the way you are totally flexing in the picture of you gazing on the ferry rail-bar. haha
So sorry buddy but she is taken. I expect that she will be getting married sometime next year.

I actually don't think I was flexing for that picture... some others I'm sucking in the beer gut but...



In 1915 T. Roosevelt said, in a speech to the KofC, "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. "
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post #18 of 25 Old 09-10-2011, 09:36 PM
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What a trip. Thanks for the pics and the play-by-play. It's like going to the movies

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post #19 of 25 Old 09-10-2011, 09:41 PM
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Great camera work Jared, really captured your travels and took us right along with you!

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post #20 of 25 Old 09-12-2011, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
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So, with photobucket taking hours to upload my pics and my wife in the hospital with baby girl number 3 trying to make an early entrance, I have yet to finish my story... Picking up where I left off:

Arriving late from NYC, Greenwich is asleep and soon enough we are as well. The morning breaks with brilliant sunlight. My sister, refuses to wake up and face the day so I am left to my own devices for an hour or so. I hop on the bike in search of coffee. The green mermaid of Starbucks is a welcome site to my tired eyes and I pull in for an extra shot white mocha. Standing out side the store I gaze into the reflection of the sun from a pond behind the store. Finishing my coffee, I return to my sister's estate to get ready for a day up the coast of Connecticut.











I notified my sister a month or so ago that I wanted to take her for a ride on the bike when I arrived. She promptly purchased a jacket from NewEnough.com and I brought my wife's helmet and gloves. The helmet is fitted with a scala rider making communication possible and adds a level of enjoyment not normally found with full face helmets.



We blast up I-95 towards Mystic Seaport. Numerous people told me of the wonders of this small town located in northern CT and we made good time. Being Labor Day, traffic was unusually heavy for a Monday but we soon made it to the historic seaport. Mystic is a small community with remarkable history. Near Cap Cod, Mystic is one of the first settlements on the east coast and rich with historical buildings and ships. We explore the area with the multitude of tourist drawn on this holiday.






















In 1915 T. Roosevelt said, in a speech to the KofC, "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. "
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post #21 of 25 Old 09-12-2011, 08:42 AM
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Wow...outstanding pics and a great write up. Thanks for sharing all that with us. Good luck with the little one!

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post #22 of 25 Old 09-12-2011, 09:41 AM
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Awesome trip and pics! BTW you were 2 blocks from my office when you took that picture in Battery Park in NYC




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post #23 of 25 Old 09-13-2011, 05:08 AM Thread Starter
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Mystic is such a beautiful place but with traffic picking up due to Labor Day, we decide to start the road home. Avoiding the parking lot that I-95 has become, we take the Old Post Road now known as US Route 1 south towards Greenwich. While the speed limit is frustratingly slow, we take every opportunity to gaze into the past with each historic town we pass through. Many of these towns display signs showing their founding, usually around the 1630's. This road is a direct connection from Boston to NYC and became one of America's first highways used to move the mail between these two cities. Nearing one in the afternoon, our stomachs make a request for food and, looking for something unique, stop at The Place. The Place is a simple tent with a wood fire grill. We grab a stump and sit down treating our nostrils to the sent of well cooked seafood. I order clams, salmon, and a birch beer. My sister orders steak and corn on the cob. Complex flavors party in my mouth and I am blown away by the food! It is so good! We linger here for an hour before getting back on the road.































Arriving back at my sister's home, I immediately pack my bags and bid my sister farewell. It is always so difficult to say goodbye but alas, I am starting to miss my family and soon hit the road west. My place of rest this night is in Clark's Summit, PA and I make good time until I hit rain at the New York / Pennsylvania border. Stopping quickly to don my rain gear, I continue in the pouring rain until arriving at my friend's house in Clark's Summit outside of Scranton.





















Exhausted, I eat a meager dinner and plop into bed. The next morning comes too quickly and I sleep in until 6am. Rain still falls with intensity from the heavens as I load up the bike one last time. Originally, I had planned to take Route 6 west so I could see the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. With the terrible weather, my motivation to hit corners wilted and I hopped onto 81 south. Since my map had disintegrated in the previous day's rain, I was riding "blind" but figured I would just take the next major highway west and figure it out as I go. Unfortunately, I miss the exit for 80 west and continue south until I hit I-76 otherwise known as the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The going was slow due to traffic and road construction. The road spray was so bad at times, that I could see no more than a few feet in front of me. At this point, I am tired. My whole body aches from tense muscles and my head pounds from too many hours straining to stay focused on the never ending highway. Though I take many breaks, my desire to get back on my bike slacks dramatically and I wonder why I decided to ride so far in so little time. Columbus, OH signs are popping up and without preamble, the rain stops. Saying a prayer of thanksgiving, I stop. My rain gear had not been able to stop the torrent of water and spray and I was soaked. The temperature hangs around 60 degrees and I shake uncontrollably just 3 hours from home. My upper back and shoulders are flinching and I am completely beat. I get back on my beloved Speed Triple and over the next hour I force myself to relax and think of the things that keep bringing me back on this bike. My bladder is about to explode so I disregard the "closed" signs at a new rest stop and ride to the back. I relieve myself, then get back on the bike. The curve of the seat and the familiar reach to the bars stop me and I just sit for several minutes gazing at my beautiful, dirty bike. I ponder all that I've seen in the past few days and slowly, ever so gently, my conscious thought begins to realize that without my Speed Triple I would not have taken such an adventure. There are others, but this is mine. She meets my demands and understands my needs. I am one with my machine. With these thoughts, I turn the key. My eyes watch the orange back-lit speedometer and the arcing tachometer needle start up, and I thumb the starter. Menacing thunder awakes my throbbing ears and the gearbox sends a solid "thunk" through my core as my foot finds first. Releasing the clutch, my right hand does what it knows best, and twists the throttle. The front end swings up in a salute, a scream of freedom, and I am back on the road. Smile on my face, I arrive home. My lovely wife comes running and we embrace awkwardly because of her bulging, pregnant stomach. I am home!



In 1915 T. Roosevelt said, in a speech to the KofC, "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. "
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post #24 of 25 Old 09-13-2011, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
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The journey, though sometime miserable, truly held me captive with anticipation for what was next. Personal milestones were met including hitting 40,000 miles on my 06 Speed Triple. I was able to have the best time with a sister I just met nine and a half years ago for the first time. Such memories are the ones that I will tell of when I am decrepit sitting with my grandchild on my lap. These are the memories that I will continue to make.




In 1915 T. Roosevelt said, in a speech to the KofC, "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. "
Shaughnessy is offline  
post #25 of 25 Old 09-13-2011, 06:41 PM
rmb
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Fantastic ride and story! Thanks for sharing!

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