Every day on this trip, I updated Facebook with "Lessons Learned" for that particular day of riding. Thought I might share those lessons. No offense meant to anyone in any particular state. When you're riding by yourself, you have a lot of time to think and a lot of time to notice things and a lot of time to try and keep yourself from getting bored. Here they are:
Lessons learned from today: if your dog is awake at 0300, he'll make sure you are too. No matter how well you clean the faceshield on your helmet, don't forget to clean the inside too. Guaranteed it needs it and you'll find that out as soon as you leave. All bugs will splatter on your faceshield right at eye level. When riding, you will get itchy in hard to reach places. Newly paved roads are nice to ride on. Newly paved roads where only one lane has new pavement and has a ridge into the side that isn't paved will give you a good jolt when you change lanes: enough of a jolt that you might have a little stain in your underpants afterwards. When stopping for gas in Podunk, TN, you will get the feeling that you should do so as quickly as possible because it's looks like a scene out of Deliverence. If it's not supposed to rain until the afternoon, it will rain in the morning. I'm sure there are more, but I'm too tired to think now.
Lessons learned from today: If you decide to take a really long, motorcycle trip, make sure you get plenty of rest the first night. Otherwise, day 2 goes on forever. Two hours on a bike seems like 10 hours at times. Kinda like the dog year thing. You will keep yourself entertained by singing while you're riding. You didn't know all the words back then, and you still don't. Just make them up or mumble like you always have. A motorcycle helmet has much better acoustics that a recording studio, and you will eventually sound better than the original artist. It's hard to whistle even with a faceshield. You will eventually get tired of singing and be quiet for awhile. You will, however, get bored quickly. To change it up a little, you'll start singing again but will use a variety of foreign accents. You will eventually get tired of that too, but your mind will stay on music. You will eventually try to make sense of the lyrics from McArthur's Park, but you will fail. Afterall, what moron would leave a cake out in the rain? And why can't she just get the recipe again from the same person she got it from the first time? At that exact moment, you'll realize that sanity is slipping away. It's time to stop, stretch, get the blood flowing again, get a cup of coffee, etc. The closer you get to where you want to be, the darker the clouds will get, and you will get caught in the rain...again. You will pray to the motorcycle gods that day 3 will be better and that no parts will fly off of your bike and that somehow you'll find a wormhole that will transport you to the next day's destination in about 30 seconds.
Lessons learned from today: A big burrito at the end of day 2 is not a good idea. Take an 800mg Motrin at the end of day 2 even if you aren't hurting. Your body will thank you in the morning. When you enter the elevator on the first floor of the hotel and press 1, the doors will shut but you won't go anywhere. After you press 2, it will go. No matter where you stop for gas, it will always be che...aper at the next gas station. Always. You will learn to love Gatorade. You should have the authority to revoke any person's drivers license who doesn't abide by the SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT signs. You look at each Exit number in case you need to call roadside assistance again. Less than a minute later, you have no idea what that last exit number was. You have no need for a GPS. You'll eventually feel something flapping against you neck. You'll develop a complex immediately because you start wondering if you really have that much neck fat that it's flapping in the wind. You'll be pleasantly surprised to find out it's only the collar on your jacket that's flapping. Chapstick is your friend. Bungee cords, tie straps, and carabiners are all you really need. Tractor trailers wills always try to pass each other going uphill. You wonder if there's really a need for that many adult superstores along the interstate. Take a break and go inside somwhere just to enjoy the air conditioning. When you get on I70 towards Kansas City, you will break out in a rousing rendition of Kansas City (here I come). There's nothing you can do about it, so just sing it. You then wonder if the original artist ever got his crazy little woman there and if he ever stood on the corner of 12th Street and Vine. When you go flying past a car sitting along the interstate and see that it's an unmarked police car, you will have immediate and severe sphincter puckerage. It'll be so severe that you briefly taste that burrito you had the night before. Even though he doesn't come after you, you start to think of excuses just in case and hope that he accepts that one about your speedometer being 10% off. When you pull into the Days Inn in Lincoln, NE and see there's only one car in the parking lot and some of the room door handles are broken off on the outside, you keep going until you get to the Cobbler's Inn on the other side off Lincoln.
Lessons learned today: You wonder how the circus owner talked the hotel owner into letting elephants stay in the room above you on day 3. People who wake up before you in a hotel do not try to be quiet. NEVER let yourself get distracted when you’re packing your bike getting ready to leave. Make sure you’re always wearing clean underwear. Make sure you have a garbage bag with you to put your soile...d ones in after almost become a hood ornament on a tractor trailer. Never trust the weather man. Even though the lowest temp in weeks has been the upper 90s, take a sweatshirt with you anyway. You never know when you might get a freak cold spell. You hope what looks like rain up ahead is actually a mirage. After you ride through your mirage, you hope it doesn’t take long to dry out. Large raindrops hurt when you’re on the interstate. Cabela’s isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. You should sue Cabela's and Gortex for not putting warning labels on their rain coats. The majority of people in the Midwest are pretty good drivers. The closer you get to Sturgis, the harder it is to find a hotel room. Bikers in groups of 6 or more might say a word or two to you. Bikers traveling alone and with one other person will have an entire conversation with you. The people in Aurora, NE are trusting. You can pump your gas first and THEN go inside and pay. Ogallala just sounds neat.
Lessons learned today: Riding into a headwind the entire day of day 4 will give you a sore neck and a headache into day 5. You will lose track of what day it is, but it doesn't matter. Ogallala, NE is a really nice little town. It doesn't take much at all to clog the toilet at the Best Western in Ogallala. You're glad to finally reach your destination so that you can finally change jeans (it's a biker thing). Hot Springs, SD is a nice town too. The Black Hills are goooooorgeous. 2 snaps again. Riding a bike might not be the most convenient way or most comfortable way, but it sure is the best way to see this great country of ours! Slow down, and enjoy the ride.
Lessons learned today: "Just one more minute" after turning the alarm clock off rapidly turns into an hour. It's nice getting up and not having to ride for 8 hours. Sturgis is a great town with great people. South Dakota is AWESOME!
Lessons learned today: The Black Hills are nice, but they're even nicer in the early morning sun. Bugs will stick to Chapstick. Buffalo are big, and when they decided to cross the road, you will stop. Mt. Rushmore will leave you speechless. There might be good riding in other places around the country, but nothing will compare to South Dakota.
Lessons learned today: That spot between your shoulder blades will let you know a little more every day how many days you've been riding. No matter how much you want to see or do, sometimes you just have to take it easy and enjoy the day. And if I haven't said it before, South Dakota is AWESOME!
Lesson learned today: South Dakota is AWESOME!
Lessons learned today: There are a lot of bugs in Nebraska. When you see a domestic cow in Nebraska, you'll think big whoop, I saw wild buffalo in South Dakota. Nebraska doesn't compare at all to South Dakota.
Lessons learned today: Morning comes real early when you lose an hour. Something along the corner of Iowa smells bad. Iowa doesn't compare to South Dakota. There are a lot more gas stations on I70 E than there are on I70 W. Roadkill smells worse when you're on a bike. You realize as soon as you're on the road again and put your faceshield down that you should've had them hold the raw onions on your burger. It wasn't as nice coming back across Missouri. I guessing it has something to do with Missouri not comparing to South Dakota. Illinois isn't comparing to South Dakota either.
Lessons learned today: There's no "Welcome to Kentucky" sign coming in from this side either. I didn't feel welcome. As you're riding through Kentucky, you wonder if Kentucky Jelly is any cheaper in KY. Kentucky doesn't compare to South Dakota. Nashville, TN has a nice skyline. Starting in TN, people won't get out of the left lane already. Didn't miss that. After leaving the brown midwest, TN looks really green. There's a lot of kudzo in TN. Tennessee is ok, but is doesn't compare to South Dakota. As your riding along and passing tractor trailers, you wonder if you bent over far enough if you could fit under the trailer and ride there for a mile or two. You know, like in the movies. Your gut and the tank bag make you realize you can't bend over far enough, and you continue to ride. The days are getting longer. When you start to lose focus, stop. Don't push yourself.
Lessons learned today: North Carolina doesn't compare to South Dakota. People should turn their lights on in heavy fog! The mountains in North Carolina are nice. You really don't realize how green the eastern U.S. is until you've been to the midwest. South Carolina doesn't compare to South Dakota. No matter where you've been, it's always nice to be back home! It's not about the ride, it's about the journey.
2007 C50 Silver & White
Last edited by Air4ceOne; 08-13-2012 at 06:22 PM.