Wednesday, May 05, 2010

It was time to go for a ride...
Every year for the past few years, we have looked forward to the Tennessee Lunch Run as the first ride of the spring. It's a time to dust off the bike. to head south, to clear winter's cobwebs from our heads and to meet up with our riding friends.  
We missed the lunch run last year, due to layoffs and reduced working hours at Rich's job.  We are still without a motorcycle, since Rich's wreck last fall.  I didn't think we'd make it this year.

But we are blessed with good friends.  Ross, our dear friend from Logansport, Indiana, has three motorcycles. He owns a Goldwing, a Kawasaki Nomad, and a vintage Honda.  When Rich was in the hospital after his wreck, Ross insisted that we WOULD be going to Tennessee this spring, whether we had replaced our bike or not.  Rich and I would ride Ross's Wing, and Ross would ride his Nomad.  
Steve, our friend (and some time drywall mudder extraordinaire) from Ohio, planned our route.  We loaded up one Tuesday evening and headed for Ross and Joyce's house, ready to ride out Wednesday morning.  Steve was already there, and after a great supper and some time to catch up on the events of the past winter we headed off to bed to rest up for the coming day.
Wednesday was a day to ride easy and get the feel for being back on two wheels again.  We rode back roads all day, stopping for a giant tenderloin sandwich along the way, and putting in for the night in Madison, Indiana, where we met up with Jay and Marian from the Indianapolis area.
On Thursday, we rode from Madison, Indiana, to Madisonville, Tennessee.  We hadn't planned on making it that far, but the roads were good, the company was even better, and the weather was perfect for riding, so we kept going until we arrived at our Friday destination.  Gail and Joyce, Rickey and Denise were already there, having spent the week traveling and riding from Oklahoma and Arkansas.  
On Friday the rest of the gang began arriving, from Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, and many other places.  The weather for our weekend was pretty craptastic, for the most part.  We had rain, and lots of it, although it was very nice for riding on Sunday.  Pics from our Sunday ride:

It was a wonderful trip, right up until about 10:30 am Monday.  We were traveling near Berea, Kentucky.  Steve was leading, but did not have his helmet on, so no CB contact was possible.  Ross was behind Steve.  Rich and I were following Ross.  Traffic was heavy, and there was a steady drizzle of rain falling.  
We may never know exactly why, but Ross's bike took a sudden left-hand turn, and in the blink of an eye, Ross was sliding on the pavement, with the bike sliding and tumbling and throwing sparks ahead of him.  Ross stopped sliding at the inside edge of the highway, with his feet toward the concrete barriers and his head toward traffic.  Somehow he managed to get himself up on his feet and to safety against the barrier.  A woman stopped to hold an umbrella over us and to wrap a blanket around Ross as we waited for the emergency vehicles to arrive.  Because Steve had no CB and had been separated from us by traffic, he never knew about Ross's wreck until he arrived at home in Dayton, OH, and got our messages.  He just thought we'd turned off to head north and west, as we'd discussed.
All in all, Ross was a very lucky man. He had some road rash on his elbows, knees, and backside, a sprained ankle, some cracked ribs, a night in the hospital...and a badly smashed-up bike.  Bill Kelso, another friend from the forum, came down to pick up Ross and his bike on Tuesday, and bring us all home.
I finished Ms. Nina's socks in Bill's truck on the way home, all but working in the loose ends.  I started another pair, in Kroy this time, Cascade Colours.  I think they're going to be very pretty socks.  Pictures to come in the next entry. 

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