Thursday, July 26, 2012

Back Home where I Belong...

Long days of work and riding the last couple of days.  I left Genoa City, Wisconsin at 3:25PM CST on Tuesday of this week, heading back along the same route I'd ridden a few days before.  I hate re-using routes but it was the shortest and simplest and time was not my friend on this trip.

It was a relatively cool day for riding as the temperatures would not go above 90°F the whole time I was riding.

On the western bank of the Mighty Mississippi
That's Illinois on the far end, the bridge which is I-80 and I am on the Iowa bank

Seemingly endless slab views, three power drinks and about eight hours later, I would be in the western portion of Omaha, NE and checking into a Red Carpet Inn.  It was hot and muggy in Omaha, even at the late hour at night, I guess all that concrete holds in the heat of the day.  Figure about 500 miles ridden and I felt it!  I did, over-indulge, in caffeinated drinks and so it took me a while to get to sleep and it was fitful sleep at that.

The next day, yesterday, was another long day in the saddle.  Worked online till about 2:PM CST and was on the road 25 minutes later.  It was 103.4°F in Omaha when I started off and it damn sure felt like an oven as I geared up with water-soaked gear.

Riding out of Omaha and towards Lincoln, I saw a high temperature on my onboard thermometer of 107.7°F!  A new personal high for me, one I really don't care to repeat or for that matter, break.  I stopped one more time at a highway rest stop somewhere west of Lincoln and watered down things again and the orgasmic coolness I felt after starting to ride again was glorious!

Some incoming rain storms to my North cooled the temperatures on I-80 down to the low 90s and high 80s for the rest of the daytime riding and after the 107.7°F temperatures, it felt quite balmy.  Or perhaps, my sun-cooked brain just had gotten used to the heat.  

Lots of construction on I-80, several work phone calls I had to answer, and fuel stops were my only breaks as I motored on westward.  I held a steady indicated 80 MPH which translates to about 75MPH most of the time I rode.

It felt good to cross the line into the Mountain Time Zone.  It felt even better to arrive at and cross the border from Nebraska into Colorado as the sun was setting for the evening.  Note, it takes 6 hrs from Omaha, NE to the Colorado Border.  The temperatures dropped precipitously as I rode deeper into Colorado and would settle into the mid-60s.  Positively chilly!  I even had to don my windproof liner in Sterling, CO where I got my last gas for the ride.  Bring on Winter!

I took back roads from Roggen off of I-76 instead of riding all the way into the metro area just to turn south again on E-470.  This cut many miles, I believe, from my ride but led to my discovery that my high beam bulb had burned out.  Nothing like motoring down two lane country roads, at night, wondering if each reflecting object in one's headlight's beam is the eye of a deer or just a road marker!

I saw no Deer Crossing signs all the way from Roggen to Bennett but nevertheless rode with some trepidation and much caution till I got into Bennett and shortly after that reached the I-70 Expressway.  From there it was "rapid" motoring to the junction with E-470 Tollway which I then took home.  Got home just shy of nine hours of riding.  Long days.

Brigitta, bug-spattered as I was, did wonderful the entire trip.  Burned a little oil but otherwise, no complaints except for the burned out high beam bulb.

The song Rawhide's lyrics ran through my head a lot on this recent trip, here's the part I modified slightly in my head as I rode along:

Rollin Rollin Rollin 
Man, my ass is swollen 
Keep them dogies rollin Rawhide 

Rain and wind and weather 
Hell bent for leather 
Wishing my gal was by my side 

All the things I'm missing 
Good vittles love and kissing 
Are waiting at the end of my ride 

For those of you who care, it was a round trip of 2251 glorious miles on my 1987 BMW R80.  Not bad for something that's over 25 years old eh?  As to the rider, he's recovering nicely under the care of his loving wife.


Learning to Golf said...

Successfully in the barn is always the best way to end a ride. Having Martha there, waiting is just a huge bonus.

Someone once said, “Old bikes are good bikes.” You just proved that correct, again.

SonjaM said...

Brigitta did an awesome job (and you, too), and under tough conditions heat, long distance and super slabs. Aren't you lucky that Martha was welcoming you at the end of the trip? I bet she took good care of you.

Unknown said...

Mr. Dom:

Always glad to hear a fellow rider survives an epic trip. How in God's name you did it is beyond me, though. I went out to buy a couple of notebooks a couple days ago and had to stop for water. I guess I did beat you buy a couple of degrees (purported 109 that day) but all I could do was swear at the dash. I was only out for a half hour. How much water did you actually go through? Must have been close to 41gal/hr.

I also have no idea how you can drink that energy stuff. Last time I had one I thought my heart was folding in on itself for an hour and a half.

Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

redlegsrides said...

AZ Harley Dude, thanks, my old bike sure stood strong...

redlegsrides said...

Brady, well lets just say that lots of water was involved. Fully soaked tshirt, fully soaked shoulder/sleeves on the riding jacket, water soaked helmet liner, lots of water inside ought to try it, it works for a little bit....then you suck it up till you find more water....the camelbak water gets me to the next watering hole.

As to the energy drinks, yeah....after the third one on day 1 of the return trip, I was feeling heart palpitations for a bit. My limit now is 1 until all else has failed to keep me awake. Red Bull is ok, but prefer Rock Star....

redlegsrides said...


Martha always takes good care of me....

Steve Williams said...

That's a lot of riding. A long, long way on two wheels in that heat.

I wonder what the trip will become after a few weeks of reflection -- the brain has a fine capacity to rewrite history and allowing us to repeat it again.

Like childbirth...

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Spat said...

Ah the strange words we put to songs on the road. Good thing no one can hear me in my helmet. Like you I can tolerate the cold more than the heat anymore.
Always good to hear you had a good ride.


BeemerGirl said...

I love your additions to Rawhide! After our return from Maine we can completely empathize. Trying to recover today. It will definitely be making its round in my singing repertoire.

Glad you made it safely through the heat and traffic and nighttime.

redlegsrides said...

Steve, it's been a few days now and the ride seems long ago...time for another riding session methinks.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Spat, hope the upgrade goes well tomorrow!

redlegsrides said...

Very glad you and oil burner are home safe as well!