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The Weather geek says we're gonna get up to 65 today - still hovering around 40 when I pull out to gas up for todays ride. So, with chaps and my winter gloves, I'm off to hook up with a lady rider I know in the area, Karen. We're meeting for coffee at the local McD's and then heading to meet another friend in Burlington about 20 miles away. Karen's riding a friend's '89 FLHTC while her own bike is in the shop for customization. I'm gonna save it's description for another time and devote a whole journal to it. It's gonna be pretty!
We hop on the Interstate and head west - Karen is one of the few I am comfortable riding with in a close side-by-side formation. We stay within a foot or two of each other for the 20 miles to Burlington, NC, and hook up with a fellow member of a riding club that meets in Greensboro, NC. Ken rides a new Honda something or other - never did learn the names of those alternate brands...LOL
After waiting for another friend who was supposed to make it (later to find out he was an hour and a quarter late!) We consult a map, decide on a loop ride that'll take a couple hours... took off the chaps and changed to lighter gloves...this is gonna be a sweet February day! Head out east on Hwy 62, north on 119 through some really nice rolling hills to a little town called Semora, where we stopped for smokes (Arturo Fuente Robusto for me) and took a couple pics by an old Church built in 1756..'course this may be the closest it ever gets to a church again, too. Still had a lot of snow on the ground in these back woods, but the roads were all clear. We walked through the graveyard commenting on how young some of these people died back in the 1800's.
Hopped back on the bike, getting cigar ashes all over me until it blew down real good, and drove down Hwy 57 another 15 miles or so for a longer break at Hyco Lake. We drove around the Campground Closed signs and grabbed a sunny spot by the lake. More smokes, finished off the stogie and took a couple more pics. I figure this may be the last time we see Karen on a Harley - her new bike being customized is a Kawasaki Nomad 1500... from what I hear it's gonna be a pretty bike, but, of course, its not an American bike, so.......
Did another 20 miles or so, passing a few logging trucks - thats one of the nicer things about riding a bike is the smells, especially fresh cut logs and campfires... I can do with out the roadkill... rode to the 'burg of Roxboro and had lunch at the Pan-Pan Diner, slipped out of town on Hwy 15-501, past the Orange County Speedway and back onto the backroads. All in all a 125 mile ride on a real pleasant day...getting home to find a bad wreck involving a sportster and a cage about a mile from my house... funny how all the city's MotorCops respond to a bike wreck, especially a Harley. He was OK though - one of our esteemed senior citizens forgot to engage her brain and pulled out in front of the biker - how many times have we seen that shit?
Karen is very seriously planning on joining me on the July/August Sturgis trip. So you'll hear more about her and her new ride soon. I'm really happy with the new ride - is more comfortable and smoother than the old '96 Ultra, the footpegs are better positioned for a stretched out ride and, except for the quieter pipes (which I will change before long), a much nicer skooter.
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