I must admit, my friends had already determined that I would not show up at the campsite. I recall being asked by one of them, “Are you really going to meet us there?”, to which I replied, “Yes, I will be there Friday before sun down.”
Early Friday morning in mid-August (the last weekend of the rally) I packed up my bike before the pavement was dry from the morning dew. I had no windshield, no backrest and no saddlebags on my Yamaha V-Star 1100 so the bike was packed as high as I could get it with my net and bungie cords. I wore my chaps and heavy leather coat. I had a small, cross-body purse with a very long strap that I kept my lipgloss (yes, I am a female), credit card (for gas) and $50 in cash for anything else.
The motorcycle managed extremely well, even with the wind blowing from several directions, passing semis with no issues, through rain, all of it! I drove across the state of North Dakota and watched as the sun came up from behind me for the day, a golden glow off of the prairie land. The bike never shivered, the bike never choked…it just kept on cruising. While stopping about half way down at a gas station, the temperature was 96 degrees, and I would have given a lot to be able to put my chaps somewhere… but they would not have stayed on so that was an incentive for me to keep moving. I filled gas, went into the store to pay and could not find my card. Hm. No card. “Ah,” I thought, “It is here somewhere, I just don’t know where.” In the back of my mind, though, I split second of time replayed in my head where I heard a ‘clink-clink’ as I pulled into the lot. I paid in cash and left.
Along the way I was watching rain clouds, trying to keep on moving to avoid them, but at one point I just knew there was no where to run. I put on my gloves, zipped up my coat, got my face bandana ready to slip up and over my mouth. I was having trouble with the gloves, in the fact that I could not get them over my sleeve to protect my arm properly. After using my elbow to keep the bike on the two lane highway, I decided that I would be able to reach it better if I was to use the other elbow instead…no, it was not easier! I became more and more frustrated with that stupid glove- I became fixated on the problem and was very happy once it was fixed. I looked at the road ahead of me again and did not see any hands on the handle-bars. I had tried numerous times to ride with no hands, to get the right balance, but here I was, rolling down the road at 70 mph with no hands!
More to follow…look for Part 2!