I did a lot of riding in 2013, taking my K75 to a lot of places. Seeing all 48 states, and spending time with friends and family. The places I went both alone and with Johnathan Fishburn taking pictures of BBQ restaurants for Team Strange’s Smoke Chasing Grand Tour 2013 are too numerous to count. I got to thinking about what stories I could share. For some reason, the best stories always seem to be about overcoming adversity, and yeah, I had a couple of those times last summer. Here’s the first one that comes to mind.
Sometime in early June, around my birthday, it was a Saturday, late morning and I didn’t have anything planned. I ask Piper, my 12 yr old daughter if she wanted to go for a ride to get some BBQ. She said sure, so we geared up and hopped on the bike. I don’t really remember if I told her where we were going before or after we left the driveway on the south side of Indy, but at some point, she asked where we were going. I said, “Michigan”. “Okay”.
We had a nice ride up 69. I ask her a couple times along the way if she needed to stop, she kept telling me she was fine. She’s a good passenger. I don’t know how many miles we’ve got together, but it’s a lot She just sits back there singing to the music from the XM in the headsets, or we talk about stupid stuff going on at school or with her sister. We finally stopped at a rest area just south of Fort Wayne. She said she was fine, but I figured we shouldn’t push it.
We continued on up the road, taking 12 east at Coldwater, MI. Stop in Jonesville for a photo op at Saucy Dogs; the first one for the year in Michigan. And onward to Randy’s in Olmstead. Randy’s is a special bonus this year and you get side points for eating there. We stop and get off the bike. Set our helmets and jackets on the bike. It’s about 4, and there’s no one else here but they’re open, the grill is going, and it smells great. I got a pulled pork sandwich and Piper got a hot dog. I let her have a strawberry shortcake for dessert too, we’re having a good day. A trucker from Ontario had stopped in about the time we were finishing. I talked to him for a minute while he was waiting for his food. He doesn’t understand LD riding and can’t believe we just rode up from Indy for the BBQ. I’ve found that from drivers who make a living on the road. Just can’t get why people would do it for fun. Piper liked his accent, so we had a good chat.
We got our photo, got our receipt, and back on the road. We stopped again in Jonesville for gas and a bathroom break. Piper might have gotten a drink too, we filled our Camelbaks, and set out for home. We’re having a good day, and looks like we’ll be home about dark. At Coldwater, I’m in the turn lane for 69, pull in the clutch, and the cable snaps. Crap. Traffic is light, so I pull back to the right and continue on down the road, telling Piper that we’ve got a little problem, nothing serious. Everything else is fine, just no clutch. I’ve never tried a clutchless start with this bike. I’m not sure how it will work out. Well, we’ll see when we get to that point. Loop around in a gas station and on 69 south.
I let Piper know the situation, and that everything is fine, just going to be fun when we have to stop, go easy on the drinking. We get past Fort Wayne, and Anderson. Piper still says she’s fine. On 465, it’s pretty much dark now. We have plenty of fuel, enough to make it home, and now that we’re on 465, I don’t plan to stop until we have to. South side, take the ramp to 37 south, almost home. Slowing on the ramp, not much traffic, hoping I can get the light for my left turn… Nope, gotta turn right. And then right again into the Pilot parking lot. There are trucks around, but I’ve got room, so I do some loops until the light turns and I can finally head south on 37. Uh oh, red again at the 465 off ramp. Slow, slow, slow, going to have to stop, engine stumbling; GREEN. Whew. Only 1 more light I have to deal with. Well, I’m turning right on red, against the posted sign, but if that’s the worst I have to deal with fine.
In my driveway, in neutral, and roll to a stop. Good job Piper, and thanks to my K75. Just a fun afternoon ride for BBQ.
Hope you all had a good 2013, and wish you all the best in 2014.
1992 BMW K75 “FEBUTT” (mine)
2009 Suzuki VStrom 650 (hers)
ABATE, AMA, BMWMOA, IBA
Indianapolis BMW Club