Preface: US East 2012 "Civil War" Trip
After my May 2012 retirement from academic life, I've gotten interested in U.S. History (also some of the rest of the world, but all in good time). I've recently read:
1. Bruce Catton's "Civil War" trilogy...kind of a tough read, IMHO
2. "Battle Cry of Freedom" by James MacPherson, an excellent single-volume Civil War book
3. Am halfway thru Shelby Foote's "Civil War" trilogy...it's also a challenge
So anyway, I'm trying to educate myself on the American Civil War. And as part of that I figured it would be appropriate to take a ride through some of that country. So on Monday, September 24, I'm going to try to go through NM-TX-LA-MS-TN-KY-WV-PA-NJ-VA-NC-SC-GA-AL-MS-LA-TX-NM. Or some rough approximation of that.
As usual, I'll be on the Milledue. Remember, "Milledue" (MEE-lay-DOO-ay) means "1200" in Italian, not "mildew." I learned that from a Ducati engineer. Just to get things straight. So I'll use "Milledue" to refer to the 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200S (this is MTS1200S #2, bike #1 was totaled when I hit a patch of hoarfrost
on November 4, 2010. I replaced it with an identical bike.
At the start of this trip the odometer read 22,553
miles, and the bike had been completely trouble-free (as had bike #1, FWIW). Woulda had more mileage but I was sick with a severe (weight was down to 120 lb) lung infection, so no riding (or working either).
As I've said many times, the performance of the Milledue on my previous June 2012 "US West
" trip and tomorrow's "US East" trip (Mrs. Greg & I just got back from China for #3 son's wedding) will determine if I keep it. There are a wider array of bike choices now than there were in 2010. One thing I will say: the Milledue seems to FIT
me better than almost anything else. Just wish I were a little taller and bigger and stronger (I'm 5-8, 145). And for that matter I wish I were a little wiser, too...don't we all. Sigh
Might as well say this now. For some reason whenever I go east (like my Fall 2010 Trip
to NYC and eventually Maine) I get butterflies in my stomach. Dunno exactly why, except that I'm a "Westerner" by birth and upbringing. Same for this trip. Once I get on the road I'll be all right.
I Don't Travel LIGHT
The pic below shows some of the stuff I'm bringing (I'm planning on camping much of the time).
And all the clothes (I brought too many) that go into the top case. And the tank bag for incidentals, including the drinking bladder.
And the folding chair, of course...
Anyway, it all adds up. Here's a pic of the bike fully loaded and ready to go...good ol' '06 Uly (great bike!) in the background.
Note that I do not
typically ride in big fluffy slippers...
My last month in CHINA!
I thought it might be interesting to post a few pics of our last month in Yantai, CHINA for my 3rd son's wedding (Yantai is on the Jiaodong Peninsula; on the coast just across from the Korean DMZ). Here's the view from his 12th floor apartment:
Yantai is a "small" city by Chinese standards...only 6.5 million!
US city is larger than that...New York City. Yowza!
Note that the air quality is really quite good; that's just HUMIDITY
. The first two weeks of our visit had temps in the high 80's (F), and humidity in the high 80's. UGHH.
But all of a sudden it dried up...see? It was so much nicer!
"Real" Chinese Food is not what I thought...
So I tried to eat everything that was put before me, insectoid stuff like this (actually some kind of shellfish):
See, I'm enjoying it! Beer definitely helped...
I now have a Daughter-in-Law!!
Here's a pic at the wedding in China. Dr. Greg (and Mrs. Greg) on the right; my Chinese in-laws on the left, and my son and new wife (Zou-Nan; we call her "Zoe") in the middle.
Look at my beautiful new daughter-in-law!
OK, Okay, enough with the Chinese wedding. With any luck I'll update this Ride Report periodically. And the Milledue will not have any major malfunctions. After all, with an Italian bike what could possibly go wrong?