Saturday, April 30, 2011


There wasn't a whole lot of riding today, at least not for me.

We were KSU (kick stands up) from the hotel at 9:30AM. I hadn't paid a whole lot of attention to the planned ride route, just enough to know there were 92 miles and lunch mentioned in the description somewhere.

I'm not going to complain, because a ride is a ride is a ride; but not all rides are equal :) and I will explain.

When we left the hotel, we did it in two groups. Riding almost 30 motorcycles out the city in one group is just too much work and you end up getting separated by traffic. So we broke into two smaller groups. The first stop was our opportunity to meet back up, farther out into the country, and to get a glimpse of the bayou. So stopping just 17 miles into the ride made sense.

We got back underway after about 20 or 30 minutes of bayou gawking. I figured we were underway for a nice 45 to 60 minute ride...I was wrong. We stopped again about 17 miles later. This time there was no bayou, or anything else, to look at. It was a small grocery/gas station. I'm still not sure what the purpose of the stop was, other than to kill time on the way to the final destination which is where they planned on eating lunch. After another 20 or 30 minutes, we were KSU, again. Alright! Now the ride begins. This is what I've been waiting for!

About 10 miles later, we stopped again...what!? This time is was at a hangout called the Tin Lizy. We did get to see more water/swamp and a couple of really sweet houseboats, but Tin Lizy was closed. After about 30 more minutes of hanging out in the now warm, and humid, Louisiana conditions I learned that the place we were going to eat lunch was only a few miles down the road. Apparently the 92 miles I mentioned earlier had been round trip.

Oh, well. The roads we went down were nice and twisty. There was lots of good scenery to take in and plenty of good conversations, but not a whole lot of riding. :)

That brings us to dinner...a first for me...the Louisiana boil! I knew what it was, but I'd never had it, and wasn't sure I wanted to try it.

Here's a picture of the BEFORE...

Here's a picture of the AFTER...

Boil turns out to be a little spicy, even for me, and it's everything, because it was all in the same pot. The corn was delicious. The potatoes were nice and tender. The mushrooms and garlic were yummy. The sausage was great. The crawfish...well, it was crawfish. I had committed myself to trying at least one. I ended up eating about a half dozen. I'm not sure I'll every seek them out as a food source, but if someone offered me a plate, at least I know I can eat them.

Ah, but the best part of the boil is that they just dump all the food out on the tables and you just stand around eating with your hands! There's no silverware, no plates, just hungry people, lining up to the trough to get their fill :)

To any VR members that read this, don't get me wrong, I had a great ride and a great time. I just need to remind myself that in group get togethers like this, not everyone has the same definition of a good ride as what I do.

Peace and good will to all. Tomorrow is another day, and another road.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Denham Spring, Louisiana

Friday, April 29, 2011

River Road...

I woke up early this morning, right around 5:30AM local time. After trying to go back to sleep for an hour or so, I decided I might as well just get up, spend some time surfing the internet and then hit the road.

Most of the rest of the folks at the rally were either still asleep, or not up for much, when I left the hotel at 7:50AM. First stop was a local motorcycle shop. I needed to pick up a cargo net, just in case. You never know when you'll end up picking up something you need to transport back with you, and I wasn't smart enough to bring a backpack or cargo net from home with me.

After that, I made a quick stop at the Louisiana Mall, on the south side of Baton Rouge. I wasn't shopping for anything in particular...Apple Store. I ended up getting a wireless keyboard, which makes doing these blog posts on the iPad a whole lot faster and easier. Great for me, horrible for you since I'll probably end up typing more.

I was all finished with my shopping well before 10:00AM. The first scheduled group ride wasn't planned to start until 2:30PM. I'd heard there was a road that followed the river from Baton Rouge all the way down to New Orleans. This sounded like a good ride and I figured I could be back at the hotel in time to join up with the rest of the group.

River Road does just what the name suggests. It follows the river. The only problem is you can't see the river. There's a 15 foot tall earthen levee that runs the entire distance of the road. The ride was pleasant, none the less. I got to see some great Louisiana pastures and farms, lots of small town, and a litany of industrial plants that flow along with the river. Traffic was light. The sun was shining. I hardly noticed that it took me over 2 hours to get to a spot about 30 minutes outside of the Big Easy.

At that point, I realized I wasn't going to be making it back to the hotel in time for the afternoon ride. So, I decided to keep heading east. A friend at church had asked that if I got a chance, it would be great to stop in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and take a few pictures of the Presbyterian church there. His wife had been down several times to work on the church after Katrina devastated the area. Off to Bay St. Louis I headed. I was only another hour past New Orleans and I was enjoying the sunshine and the road.

On my way home, I decided I didn't want to take so long on the return trip, so I jumped on I-10 and headed west, back towards Baton Rouge. About 40 minutes into the return trip, it dawned on me that riding 70MPH on the interstate, without a windshield, is really hard work. Fortunately, I met up with US-190, which would take me all the way back to Denham Springs and my air conditioned hotel room (did I mention is was over 80 down here today?) Ah, but the back roads of Louisiana aren't all that different from the back roads back home. I could have been back to the hotel in about 60 minutes had I stayed on the interstate. The return took an additional 60 minutes by taking the back roads. It was a much more peaceful and enjoyable ride, but certain parts of me seems to be complaining about it pretty loudly at this point. Loudly enough that I think I need to get up off this couch and head outside for a good walk around.

I managed to ride over 300 miles today. It's good, introspective thinking time for me. Just what the doctor ordered. Tomorrow is another day, and another road.

Tomorrow is another day, and another road.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Rushing Rd W,Denham Springs,United States


I'm on Michigan time...I've been up since 5:30 local time, listening to the fan on the air unit in my room blow like there's no tomorrow.

I'm hoping my travels might cure my morning sleeping issues. I've recently been waking up at about 6:30AM, regardless of when I went to bed the night before, and find myself unable to get back to sleep, even if I feel tired and sleepy. Might be easiest to blame it on those west coast Red Wings playoff games.

Group rides don't start until later this afternoon. I'll have to take some time and see some sights. :)

Tomorrow is another day, and another road.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Rushing Rd W,Denham Springs,United States

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A first time for everything...

They say there's a first time for everything. Tonight was my night to burn my leg on my pipes. :(

I wore shorts today; which normally wouldn't be a big deal, especially since I was driving the truck and not riding my motorcycle. We got to the hotel mid- afternoon, got the bikes off the trailer, got everything parked, checked into our rooms and then went out to hang out with the other folks who were already here.

After a bit, someone mentioned they were fixin' to get some dinner and started rounding us all up to head out to their favorite restaurant. Without thinking about it, I grabbed my helmet, jumped on the bike, started her up and off we went, down the road to Baton Rouge.

It wasn't until we were well underway that I realized I hadn't changed into my jeans...d'oh. No problem, I just won't get into an accident, then it won't be an issue. Dinner went by quickly and people started departing as darkness began to descend on city. We didn't ride back as a big group, but that was no problem, I needed to stop at Rite-Aid anyway (another story for another day.)

Fortunately, there is a Rite-Aid just a block from the hotel. I run in, get everything I need, and run back out and jump on my bike. Without even thinking about it, I rolled the bike up off the kickstand...and right into my bare leg. Ouch. As you can see by the picture, it's not too bad, but it does sting.

Now that you've read this, there's two minutes of your life you won't get back. :)

Have a great night. Tomorrow is another day, and another road.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Denham Springs, Louisiana

Hello sunshine....

Bags are packed, truck's loaded, and we're on our way. Almost 6 hours of driving left, most of that in Mississippi, where yesterday's storms apparently did a lot of damage. Who knows what we'll see today.

The bikes are covered in a nice layer of road slime. Guess we'll have to use some elbow grease to pretty 'em up a bit when we get to Denham Springs.

3:33pm update

We just rolled into Louisiana. It's about an hour from here to the rally location. The weather is great and the sunshine feels good. :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Denton St,West Memphis,United States

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

So tired...

Joel and I pulled into West Memphis, Arkansas, about 8pm. Saying it was a long day doesn't make the travel any easier. It rained almost all day. There were times when it rained so hard you could hardly see. A phrase that was repeated multiple times during the day was, "I'm so glad we didn't ride down! I'd have turned around and headed home hours ago."

It has come to our attention that West Memphis is considered by some to be a seedy neighborhood. It's a little too late to do anything about it now, and it doesn't look all that seedy under cover of night up here by the highway.

As for the weather, things do look better from here on out. We should have sunshine and warmth tomorrow. By the time we start riding around on Friday, it will actually be HOT!

It's getting late; the lack of sleep last night and the long day of driving in bad weather have got me plumb tuckered out (the two Benadryl I took a little while ago might be helping a little, too.)

We have six more hours of driving before we reach our destination. Let's just hope our bikes and my truck are still together and in the parking lot in the morning. :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Julia St,West Memphis,United States

It's raining, it's pouring....

Well, as much as we may feel like wusses for trailering the bikes, not having to ride in the rain has been a real blessing.

We're only a couple hours into our first day of travel. The hope is to knock out 2/3 of the trip today, leaving a much shorter drive on Thursday.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:W Morse St,Markle,United States

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's not a road in the woods...

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood..." - Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken

Sorry, Mr. Frost, I'll be ignoring your advice for a little while. Over the next 9 weeks, I'll be traveling roads that have been traveled by thousands and thousands as I tour a great portion of these United States of America on my motorcycle.

Things kick of in less than 60 hours when a friend and I put our motorcycles on a trailer and head down to Denham Springs, Louisiana, to attend the Bayou Classic Rally.

Other travel plans include riding out to the east coast, all over the New England states, riding from the Atlantic to the Pacific, hanging out with relatives in Portland, Oregon, for a few days, and traveling home through the wilds of the northern states.

It could be close to 10,000 miles by the time I'm done. I plan on posting photos and thoughts about my trip here on A Road Well Traveled.


PS - I do see the irony that it's a picture of me along a road in the woods :)

Location:Glenwood Ave,Jackson,United States