Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The planning starts again ...

Last year the plan was the Four Corners region (yes, it DOES deserve capitalization) which had been a long ago shelved trip plan. It was very mature compared to my usual style of choosing a direction and a date to be back and letting it fall as it does. Not that I don't spend cold, wintery days looking and marking up maps. It is just that I don't follow them too much. Last year I left my pile of maps on the coffee table at home. Didn't notice 'til I got to Denver, 1500 miles down the road.

I have several ideas that have been rattling around for a long time, and have to decide which would be best for this summer trip that will celebrate my entry to my 61st year consuming resources.

Here are some of the 'back-burner' trip plans:

1) Ride Your Bike to France ®. This trip involves getting to France without airfare, cruise ships or even tramp steamers. Most of you have heard the details (as I understand them) so I will not reveal the top-secret routing info that the CIA might pick up from analysis of my blog. My folder is thick enough! But Ride Your Bike to France is doable. Issues include that fact that it may be cold and wet up there. And it is a long distance between gas stations. I can speak French with a southern accent.

2) Ride and experience the Civil Rights trail. This appeals to me as I was involved in the civil rights struggle (as much as a white kid can be) and I have great respect for the actions and sacrifices made by thousands of civil rights activists that were the visable, glowing light fueled by more than a century of struggle by black people and other minorities.

There are interesting and documented sites in all the Southeast states and I would work in some time in the Mississippi Delta, Oxford Mississippi with a stop in Greenville for a non-vegetarian meal at Doe's Eat Place, and the Barber Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. I have wanted to do this ride for years. Issues include it being really hot in this area in July and a lot of civil rights events are memorialized in cities. I hate cities on a bike, but I can park the thing and take public transportation, sitting anywhere I want on the bus, thanks to those who came before. Or walk.

3) Tour and experience the 'outer banks' of Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. This is a fascinating area and, in between tourist areas, there are great small towns and cultures that are the targets of my adventures. It would be a low mileage trip, and I have friends along the way that I don't get to see often enough. The seafood would make me happy. Issues include camping in hot, humid, biting insect areas. It might be nice to do it on a small dual-sport bike, which I do not own.

4) Fall back to Plan A: Ride the bike to Kent's birthday party and leave Baton Rouge with no particular plan other than end up at Mid-Ohio for Vintage Motorcycle days at the end of the month. Maybe visit some on-line friends from the Slash 2 list (for older BMW bikes) or visit university campuses and meet other emergency planners. I know that sounds like work, but it would be fun for me. Two of the campuses I want to visit are Harvard and U.C. Davis. Sounds like a coast to coast trip.

Then I need to decide which bike to ride. I am thinking that it is time to take the old R60 on a leg stretching ride. That picture isn't of my bike, I found it on the net, and it looks cleaner than my bike!

But I may get one of the Ascots running and see how they are for more than 50 miles at a time. I will have to build some good racks for sure, and invest some time in making a better seat. I have been riding one as I fix it and it is a great feeling bike on short rides. Again, this is not my bike, but mine once looked like that, I guess...

So how about participating in the process and make some suggestions on the route. Time period is from about the 5th of July in Baton Rouge or Virginia to the 23rd of July when I should be in Ohio.

And this posts marks the return of the oldbikerider special feature called Lessons Learned:

Go watch this video and see if you enjoy this music:


(it is not your ears, it is not in your - or any - language. And it NOT Enya!)

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