Sunday, July 22, 2012

On, to Wisconsin....

My loving wife and sons had flown this past Thursday to Genoa City, Wisconsin to attend her dad's birthday celebration.  I left on Friday afternoon to meet them there.  It was a hot and sultry day in Colorado as I donned my gear and rode astride Brigitta, my 1987 R80 Airhead Beemer.

It was slab riding time, with a high (as reported on my onboard thermometer) of 103.7°F, it was like riding inside an oven.  Every thirty minutes or so, I'd stop somewhere and soak down my wicking shirt that I was wearing and I'd be "good to go" for about 20 minutes until the wind and the heat dried things out as I road along.

About three hours to the Nebraska/Colorado Border

Every single trick I'd learned and tried came into play as I rode the sun-baked highway eastward.  Soaking the inner shirt down, drinking constantly from the Camelback carrier on my back, soaking down the helmet at pit stops....still, it was hot riding.

It was so hot, that when sunset finally came to Nebraska, somewhere between North Platte and Kearney and the temperatures dropped into the mid-80s, it felt quite cool and comfortable!

 Not sure what the marketing intent is with the "You are Nowhere"
sign but it caught my eye....truly there was not much around this spot.
It was here that I had a "Red Bull" to keep me going.

One of the more artfully decorated rest stops in Iowa.

Close to nine hours of riding on Friday afternoon/evening got me past Grand Island, NE and to the small town of Newton just beyond where I finally called it quits for the day.  I found a room for under $60 at the Super8, some fast food and I was in bed by 11:30 Mountain time, or since I was in the Central Time Zone now, just after Midnight by 30 minutes.  

The next day, I was on the road by 8:15 AM.  Just a day of slogging through Iowa in temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s, no rain though the clouds looked like they wanted to.  The sometimes seemingly endless fields of corn were looking a bit peaked as I sped by due to the ongoing drought that's hitting most of the country.

I got close to the Mississippi River and chose to exit in the town of Le Claire just east of Davenport, IA.  I wanted to make sure I had a full tank before I crossed into Illinois you see.  The signage is a bit deceptive as to the availability of gas stations it turns out and I had to go down a good mile before I found it.

As I was gassing up, I looked up and noticed this on the building up the hill from the gas station:

It was the logo for the show "American Pickers"

So I paid for the gas and rode the short distance to a graveled parking lot.  Sure enough, it was the set for American Pickers!  There were several folks who'd stopped to look as well, so I didn't go inside, but I could see a poster of the two main characters for the show, so I knew I had accidentally stumbled onto the set.

Brigitta, doing the "tourist" thing.

I crossed the great Mississippi at 5:00 PM CST, it would be another three hours of riding on US88 and county back roads to the small town of Genoa City.  Note to self, when you elect to use a GPS, tell it to use the "fastest route" mode, not the "shortest route".  I ended up using mostly State Rd 173 to get to Genoa City, trouble is its not a straight shot and you get to transit each and every little small town along the way....not very fast after a long day of riding!

Almost exactly 12 hours after I'd left the Super8 Motel in Newton, NE.....I was once again with my family at the vacation rental home near Lake Benedict, WI.  It's about six miles SE of famed Lake Geneva, WI....apparently the weekend getaway for the rich of  the Chicago area.  Man, I was a tired puppy after all those hours on the road.

1,122 miles from my home in Centennial, CO to the rental unit near Lake Benedict, WI.  20 collective hours in the saddle.  I am please to report Brigitta did great though about 75 mph was the best speed she could hold without her gas mileage going to crap.  Her speedometer tops out at 85 so don't really know her top speed, will have to see if I can check the GPS on the way back to Colorado.

Today was spend celebrating my father-in-law's birthday with family and friends of his.  Good time.


SonjaM said...

You definitely proved that you're butt is made of iron, or make that titanium. I hope that you don't have to go all super slab on your way back though.

If I read a sign "you are nowhere" I would certainly try to get out of there as fast a I can ;-) scary!

cpa3485 said...

That is a lot of riding there. I'd for sure have a really sore butt, dontcha know.
Hope you have a good time while you are there and ride safe getting home.

Unknown said...

That was a good leg stretcher of a ride Dom, and 75's all you need to go, after 75 all I got was crappy gas mileage and speeding tickets, 'specially in CO, 2 there in 3 months. Bastids.


Unknown said...

Hey Dom,

I don't know what your duff is actually made of, but to get through this part of the country on that airhead it must be perforated to allow airflow.

I can only assume you didn't see any smoke on the water (or fire in the sky) at this Lake Geneva, but you an absolute genius (a word I had to use spell-check to get correct) for heading to the lake.

Enjoy the riding!

Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

Martha said...

Thank you so much for joining me and my people. Yes, not only did Dom ride through harsh conditions, when he arrived, he was surrounded by my people. Friendly folks, but a tad quirky when served in large quantities. You win the dedicated husband of the year award for sure! Now, be careful on the return journey, ok?

redlegsrides said...

Sorry for this late reply Sonja, being able to move my feet around really helps a lot...I would move my feet to the pillion pegs and it worked great! Thanks for your comments.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks cpa3485, I am sure you'd do fine!

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Murph but I bet you'll cover even vaster distances in that new rig of yours!

redlegsrides said...

Brady, well I do wear vented riding gear but was in frequent soakings that are key.