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it just keeps getting better - when you don't know what to do... — LiveJournal
do the next thing
it just keeps getting better
I had a first today. Several of the things we're planning to do this summer will require some motorcycle travel on the superslab*, and as I'd not been up on the highway yet, and the first of these events is looming nigh**, darkwolfie and I decided that I needed to start practicing for that. (We actually wanted to do it over the weekend, but the weather refused to cooperate, and while I can ride in the rain, I don't like to, especially at 70 mph on the highway without a windshield.)

Today, though, was gorgeous and bright and sunny. We got a slightly later start that I had wanted, but it was fine. First we installed the radio headsets that we got for Christmas. The radio check was perfect, and after a few false starts, figuring out where to position the PTT (push to talk) button (underside of the left-hand handlebar, where it doesn't interfere with the operation of the clutch, directionals, or horn, and yet can be activated by shifting the thumb), stopping for earplugs and gas, we were off.

We got up onto Rte 93 at exit 46, and headed up into NH to Exit 3. I got behind a small truck towing a UHaul trailer on the on-ramp, and told darkwolfie over the radio that that guy was going to get us killed, he was going so slow. That was just nerves talking; it wasn't that bad.

The speed was awesome -- I got my bike up to the top of the gear range, and I still didn't have the throttle all the way open. The wind was awesome, too, in the other respect, and I cannot wait until I get a windshield. I have to turn my head ever so slightly to check my mirrors, and at that speed I'm really fighting the pressure on my neck. But it was cool, and it was just like I suspected: once I was up on the highway, and past the stress of merging, it was easy, because everyone was going the same way.

Getting off the highway was easy, too. That bike dumps speed really fast; I probably dropped 30 mph in about 60 feet. We dropped in at Nault's to see if the parts I ordered for darkwolfie's bike were in yet (answer: not yet), and drooled over some of the bikes in the showroom. I think we need some lottery tickets, so there can be lottery winnings, so there can be a new house with a big garage containing, at the least, a Vulcan Mean Streak and, y'know, whatever little scoot darkwolfie wants. (I kid! He'd probably want something like this.)

We'd already decided to go to the 99 Restaurant for lunch so we could get the last stamp on our raffle entry cards (grand prize is throwing out the first pitch at a Red Sox game, among other things), so we hopped up on the highway again, this time getting off at Exit 1, the exit for the mall. That exit has this beautiful curve with brand new pavement, and I just hit it perfectly. It's the sort of curve mama bikes tell their babies about, that if they're very good and very lucky they'll get to drive it someday. (It's late. I can't get any more poetic than that. But it was amazing.)

We went home the back way, avoiding Rte 28. We'd have gotten up on the highway again, but there's some construction on 93 southbound at Pelham Street that about threw our truck two feet to the side. I shudder to think what hitting that on a bike might have done. I don't want to even attempt it till I can drive that terrain in the truck in daylight and see exactly what's in store for me. It was a good ride, though, and I think I'm going to make it to Boston with no issues.

It was interesting to note that the faster I went, the smoother my bike felt. Not so much for my beloved on his 650 thumper; the only time he said anything to me over the radio while we were on our way to Nault's was to bemoan the fact that he'd forgotten his Butt Buffer (which is actually, technically MY Butt Buffer, but I share).

The radios, by the way, were a rousing success. We still need to figure out the easiest way to wire them under our jackets, and it's weird when you try to walk away from the bike and realize that the PTT is still attached to the hand grip with the wire running up your sleeve, plus you have to unplug the headset from the rest of the harness before you can take your helmet off. But in the end, I think it'll be worth the hassle, especially when we're up in Nova Scotia this fall.

We're going to give it another go tomorrow, after we pick up darkwolfie's Kawasaki KZ305 from Bay-4 Motorsports. Maybe we'll head up to Exit 4 and hit Cracker Barrel for lunch. Om nom nom.

I should hit the hay, though. I went down to Devens this afternoon to wrap up some paperwork, visited the folks for a couple of hours, and then headed back, up 110, and it was just a long day in the saddle. I passed out asleep in my chair when I got home. I put just under 100 miles on the clock today, and I'm really counting the hours till my windshield comes in. Hopefully, once I get that mounted, long distances won't be so tiring.

*Highway -- term coined by David Hough in
Proficient Motorcycling

**The Avon Breast Cancer Walk, May 16-18, and our trip to Canada

Tags: , ,
i feel: happy tired and happy

5 trips or shoot the rapids
(Deleted comment)
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 6th, 2008 01:30 pm (UTC) (base camp)
We're skipping all that and taking the ferry from Portland to Yarmouth. :-D We just don't want to take that kind of time (or put that many miles on our butts!) before the reunion.
frostyw From: frostyw Date: May 6th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I know some of these places you're talking about -- the construction by the Rockingham Mall, for example. I've been up to HRO in Salem and gone up by that way. Oh, yes, and the lovely construction mess on 93 South once inside the MA border, ugh -- that IS awful enough in a car, never mind imagining how it feels on a bike. :/ There's also a stretch of 495 down by Rte 9 in Southboro/Marlboro that's a right mess, as well.

I guess it's Road Construction season in New England now.

According to this, it sounds like you can use those radios in Canada.

tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 6th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Isn't it always construction season? ;-)

That bit on 93 just over the border -- that's the bit that could kill a biker at speed if they weren't aware of it. I realize that I can't always recon my route in a car, but geesh... you'd think they'd at least post something about how bad that bit is! There was an accident right there the other night involving two small cars, and I'd lay odds that they were flying, one of them hit the bump, and got thrown sideways into the other. (Either that, or it was a terribly ill-timed lane change.)
soteltie From: soteltie Date: May 6th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I'm glad you've got some good weather to ride!
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 6th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I think it's going to be a photoshoot day, too.
5 trips or shoot the rapids