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Old 06-08-2013, 02:59 PM   #1
alekkas OP
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Far West Chicago Burbs
Oddometer: 737
Transcendent Experience or Everyone Loves a Parade

Finally, some good weather here. Closed on Friday’s in June so I headed out to the Mississippi for one night camping to ride all day long on some great roads. It was all good riding, but once in the groove, found that transcendent feeling we all have known but don’t always find.

Something kinda odd happened on the way. In the town of Oregon I came up behind a long ass train of Harley’s in parade formation – at least 50 bikes. For about 15 miles!

So leaving town I pass the last pick up between us, and the tail gunner with his day glow green gloves waives me on to join the group. My headlight must have looked round in his vibrating mirrors, cause I sure didn’t fit in with all those dressed the same individualists riding in a pack.

There was no way I was passing this train, so I just fell into formation going 50 on wide open roads. Hmmm. Well Rt64 zig zags through a few rural stop signs / turns. So I just followed the train and at least we didn’t stop at any of them. Since I had to call home anyway, I pulled off at a road side park, waived to the tail gunner as he passed and fell out of line. Weird. He didn’t waive back – likely still feeling shame for letting me in in the first place.

Saw this at the pull out near the fire ring. Yes it is? No, just another weed?

Going from Savanna to Galena I usually take Black Jack Road. Over the winter I saw Irish Hollow and wanted to try it. Most of it looked like this.

Some of it like this.

Either way, turns were a little too tight to be fun and a little too much gravel on the road to go at high speeds, but I am sure all this technical shifting in tight quarters prepared me for what the day was to bring.

So north of Dubuque on rt 3 is the turn off for Sherril and Balltown – the hill towns on County Rd 9Y. Always ride this road. Always love it. It is about a 30mi run to Guttenburg where the roads become just as good but lower in elevation, amongst timber, and paved. County Rt 9 is elevated, hilly, grooved, flawless concrete, wide open site lines with the crops this low early in the season. And the 70 deg temp is just pouring through my jacket’s open vents keeping me cool.

I’ll leave it at this – I heard no wind noise – only the revs. Only looked at the speedo in one turn - don't ask. Didn’t think about riding gear, tires, valve lash, the next better bike, or work. Every curve was exactly where it should be, every shift was right on, every 40mph posted sweeper was perfect in 5th gear at high rpm. Every straight away was a 6th gear duck and pour it on, and no law enforcement was present. The whole stretch, I think I had to pass 3 pick ups who politely moved over. If I or someone else was watching me, I am sure they would have said, “too fast.” Sitting inside my helmet, it all was effortless and perfectly on pace. We’ve all been there. It is why we ride. And this particular stretch is why I don’t ride a cruiser.

Set up tent at Pike’s Peak and kept riding up the river to La Crescent, MN. Countless perfect turns and so little traffic. Coming back, still cool in the jacket, clear head in the helmet, and the ride felt like it was going to go on forever.

But, alas, it’s a physical world we live in as witnessed by bug splatter and the sun eventually going down.

Some ride reports:

Why do I keep thinking I'm gonna wind up in a love / hate relationship with a Guzzi?
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:44 PM   #2
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Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Southeast Lower Carolina
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You never forget how to grin.
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:12 PM   #3
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Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Granbury Texas
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Sounds like Miles of Smiles. Nice.
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Old 06-09-2013, 04:17 PM   #4
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Joined: Apr 2012
Location: eau claire wi
Oddometer: 258
Looks like a great trip. I see that same weed all over this part of wi. No idea if its the real thing or not. Shows what I know.
Be happy today.

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