It was nice to get the motorcycle back out on the road last week. Thanks to cooperation from the weatherman, I was able to ride the cruiser to work a couple of days. I like the feeling of freedom and the wind in my face ... all the clichés you've heard bout what's it's like to be on the open road on two wheels with the blacktop rushing by only inches beneath your heels.
I hope to someday make some longer road trips on the cycle. Maybe out west to see the kids, or out to the Pacific Northwest to travel Highway 101 from the fishing villages of southwest Washington to the redwood forests of northern California and on down the coast to Monterey Bay or maybe a combination trip south through the Ozarks and then east to the Smoky Mountains.
Or maybe I'll point the beast toward Montana and ride up through Glacier National Park and then down to Yellowstone. While I'm in the area I should probably go through Rapid City, South Dakota, but not during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally -- that might be a little too much for a mild-mannered, gentle man like me.
Then down through the Rockies from Steamboat Springs to Monarch Pass and over to Ouray and Red Mountain Pass ... Up through Silverton and down the Animas River to Durango, then across through Four Corners to the Navajo Nation and finally to the rim of the Grand Canyon.
If you're traveling the interstate system you probably won't see me. I'd prefer to take the back roads and the two-lane blacktops through nearly forgotten towns and villages and across vast stretches of prairie land and desert and down deep rocky canyons.
Part of me wishes Route 66 was as it was in its heyday, when it was known as the Mother Road. Wouldn't that be a kick?
Running down Route 66 from Chicago, Ill., to Santa Monica, Calif., touching pieces of eight different states along the way, passing roadside diners and two-pump service stations and neon lit "free pool" motor lodges all along the way.
Whoops! Sorry -- got to daydreaming a bit there.
Author's Note: May is motorcycle safety month. Motorcycle accidents account for 11 percent of highway fatalities annually. Statistically, motorcyclists are more vulnerable to more serious injuries during a crash than other drivers. And according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in most motorcycle crashes, the motorcyclist is not at fault. Seventy-two percent of accidents involve a vehicle not seeing the motorcyclist. The increase of motorcyclists on the roadways will increase over the next few months due to the warmer weather. Making them safe will prevent some of the needless fatalities happening on the roadways. Keep an eye out for all of us out there on two wheels!