Thursday, September 27, 2007
Motorcycle Therapy and Friends
I have owned a few motorcycles and I think that everyone should have one. Well, OK let me take that back. I do know a few people that are dangerous enough just driving a car let alone add balancing something on two wheels into the equation. Anyway among the motorcycles I have owned includes a 1985 Honda V30 Magna, a 1980 Honda CX 500, a 1978 Honda GL1000 Goldwing, and my current ride, a 1996 Yamaha XVZ13 Royal Star Tour Classic, which is pictured at the top of this page.
The Honda Goldwing was fully Vetter-equipped and a grand touring bike for a bike of its age. I added a nice touring saddle, driver's backrest, passenger armrests, floorboards, heel-toe shifter, driving lights, electronic ignition, and upgraded the carbs. The bike was made for the open road.
In 2004 Debby, my daughter Ashton, my buddy Stan, and I decided it was time for a road trip. We had been talking for what seemed like ever about doing this. So, we loaded up our stuff and took off westbound on US 50 towards Colorado. US 50 proved to be a challenging road and having never undertaken such a long trip we learned a lot about motorcycling long distances. Even though there are still complaints about why the state of Kansas even exists, the memories are good.
2005 brought the big Yamaha into the picture. It is an infinitely more comfortable bike to ride than the 'Wing. Using lessons learned from the Colorado trip I started looking at building a trailer to transport our luggage in. After looking at several options I decided to build my own using a car top carrier and a small trailer frame I bought at Menard's (my favorite place in the universe). The trailer was built and its maiden voyage was to Asheville, NC. This time our group was accompanied by my brother Mike and his wife Shannon and my cousin Kyle. We packed eight people's luggage in my small trailer. A real testament to Debby's organizational skills! It was a wonderful trip and enjoyed by all.
2006 was a shorter trip due to Amanda's illness. This time the trip was only four days in Bardstown,KY and surrounding areas. the trip had to be kept close in case we need to get back home. Stan rode solo but we were joined by Mike and Lisa Kurdziolek on their new Honda VTX 1300 Shadow. Stan also upgraded to a gargantuan Kawasaki Nomad for this trip. This trip was very relaxing and laid back.
2007 took Stan, Mike, Lisa, Debby, and I back to Asheville, NC for a week of exploring. We stayed outside of Asheville in a small place called Saluda. The log home we rented was like a paradise. The week was very pleasurable and was made better by the fact that such great friends were present. We rode some great motorcycle roads such as the Blue Ridge Parkway, Cherohala Skyway, and the legendary US129 (the Tail of the Dragon).
After returning from Asheville we decided a weekend trip might be in order- Just Because. Ashton rejoined the group as Stan's partner since she was home on leave. We loaded up on Friday night and headed to Frankfort,KY for the weekend. A no-schedule trip, just play it by ear when we got there affair. Once again a nice ride with close friends.
I am not detailing the rides too much here because Stan, official scribe if the tribe, has done an excellent job of posting all of the details on his website. I will provide links to his narrative and pics below:
Colorado 2004: http://shadow.eurekaboy.com/colorado2004/coloradobiketrip.htm
Asheville 2005: http://shadow.eurekaboy.com/asheville2005/asheville2005biketrip.htm
Bardstown 2006: http://nomad.eurekaboy.com/kentucky2006/
Asheville 2007: http://nomad.eurekaboy.com/asheville2007/asheville2007.htm
Frankfort 2007: http://nomad.eurekaboy.com/frankfort2007/frankfort2007.htm
Our trips are always fun and relaxing because we are out in the open with the wind in our face, being free and relaxed, and not constrained by time. Getting there is half of the fun! The best part of these outings is the fact that everyone is a lifelong friend and enjoying each other's company. We always get together and have a blast planning next year's ride(s). We have a couple of big ones planned for 2008 and 2009 so I am sure there will be lots of interesting stories and adventures to tell of.
Maybe the medical profession with all of its various specialities should take a look at the motorcycle as a valid therapeutic treatment. It obviously should be called Motorcycletherapy. If that ever happens and there is such a thing as a Motorcycletherapist, sign me up!