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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 4 - 2,6484 km (Half Way There)

Just let me begin by saying what one man’s idea of great food and my idea of what great food is may not be the same. The young man at “Wally Mart”, Grand Island, Nebraska, said, Pam’s Pub and Grub, it’s great food…so tell me, what exactly is chicken fried steak and when did it become necessary to beer batter potatoes before frying them? But at least, after a long days ride, I am full!


Ominous Skies over Grand Island Nebraska
Today was supposed to be my longest ride to date. My estimate was 9.1 hours for 728km. Once again Google underestimated the distance by 10km (okay, that was pretty darn close) but I over estimated the time by just over an hour. Who knew that the speed limit on much of I-80 in this area was 121 kph. For us Canadians that’s just downright speeding! I met a Harley rider at the pumps today who commented on the size of my bike for the distance … I told him,”She’s keeping up with the speed limit no problem.”

I left Rock Island at 6:30 this morning under sunny skies and cool temperatures (the night at the campground brought back memories of trips gone by with freight trains rolling by till all hours). I was almost tempted to call ahead and cancel my reservations for tonight because of the distance and another foreboding forecast, but I thought of yesterday’s post and said to myself – believe!

Iowa was gorgeous … rolling planes blanketed with fields of lush green corn, every so often dotted with white farm houses backed by two or three silos. Definitely, it was field of dreams country. Near Des Moines the sky started to darken, the thunder heads were moving in like smoke being drawn into a vortex. I stopped to pull on the rain jacket just before the weather gods began tossing their bolts of electricity to the ground and the skies opened up. It was only 9:30 so I decided to keep going and as luck would have it rode into blues skies thirty minutes later. I enjoyed comfortable temperatures and blue skies for 4 more hours. It wasn’t until the last 100km that the sky grayed again and I rode into and out of moments of rain. There’s still a weather warning in effect – rain, rain go away…. Hopefully I’ll be in Big Sky country tomorrow. I love Wyoming! (PS I’ve never stayed at a motel before where there are tornado instructions in the guest directory – I’m to go into the bathroom and close the door, in case you are interested.)

As promised I was going to tell you gals what to expect on the long ride from the body. After the first night I had a major Charlie horse in my left calf, probably, partly from riding on the peg and partly from shifting. It came, I massaged, it went and other than the callus I’m developing on my throttle hand all is well – “Girls can ride motorcycles”.

As for the equipment review: Best buy - the trunk bag from Gears. It’s amazingly easy to zip open and closed, it rides flat on the luggage rack and holds an incredible amount of stuff  (and always seems to have a little space left over). Second Best Buy – the Rocket Alter Ego Pants. There’s nothing like having a pair of pants that fit properly. It’s great to be able to move on the seat and not leave your pants behind (the adjustable bottoms could be a little more precise/neatly snapped up).

Things about the old equipment I’ve come to appreciate: Well, you gotta know it’s about Garmin Dan. I never noticed before he had a clock that would pop up when you cross a time zone to let you know you just gained an hour … and I’ve come to really appreciate his compass. Even if I don’t know where I’m going I can appreciate that I am at least going in the right direction. And lets not forget the spunky little Yamaha 650 Custom. Other than the occasional difficulty getting into neutral she's been charmed.


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