Sunday, December 4, 2016

Driveway Daydreams

 Those of us in the colder climates know about putting equipment away for the season. Maybe some day I'll move to a warmer state where I can ride year round, but until then I'll continue the annual ritual which includes among other things, an oil change.
 This oil change isn't any different than all the others that occurred during the last 24,000 miles of the big Ultras two year life but there is something different about the way it feels. Summer oil changes are an

 unwanted expense and task that just burns up valuable riding time. Yes it's required maintenance and I enjoy wrenching but the end of season oil change is different.

 I've waited till after the last ride to drop the old oil. Ya, the last ride. That's a serious bummer. I lay there waiting for the hot oil to make it's way out of the big twin and into a grungy old catch pan. I wasn't wearing any bitch mittens so when some of the lube ran across my hand, I felt it. Not a burn, but kinda like when a playful puppy nips at you. It was just a little reminder that even the simplest tasks require some attention. My intent was to inspect the underbelly of the beast for cuts, bruises or worse. Everything looked normal and I started day dreaming about the places this machine had taken me. One of those places is Tennessee where wild fires are killing people, consuming homes and destroying some of the most beautiful landscape this country offers. I don't know how it got so dry and I'm not making light of the situation but I've been vacationing in that area for fifteen years or more and it seems to rain every night when I'm there. Take a minute to consider what those people are going through.

 I was pretty comfortable stretched out in the driveway. Actually I just didn't feel like getting up and I started thinking about places I still wanted to point the front tire. Sturgis doesn't do anything for me. Never been to the rally and it's not even on my to-do list. I don't understand the fascination with the big crowds. Hey, you're all great but I need my 40". Anyway, a trip west anytime other than the rally is on my bucket list. I did pass through that area back in 2000 on the ride home from New Mexico. Somehow I detoured through Wyoming to get here in the dairy state. That ride was more of a high speed blast than a site seeing tour. I was into doing iron butt rides and picking a destination for the next day that was 800-1000 miles away seemed ok. I don't know when I'll make that trip west but this is probably the bike that will take me there.
 Right now I'm thinking I would trade any long trips just to be able to ride to work every day. It's snowing, the bike is parked for the season and I know I'm months away from my next ride.


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