Tuesday, April 6, 2010

RA Iron Man



I finally did it today, I rode 201.7 miles. I now consider myself an RA Iron Man. Just kidding, but I have been after the 200 mile ride for some time and things just never worked out due to time, weather or my RA hurting too much. I spent all day Monday in the yard cleaning the place up for the first time of the 2010 mowing season. You know what, ... it actually felt good to be outside mowing for a change. I'm sure I will rescind that statement come mid June to July when it is 100+ outside. Anyway back to my thought, I was hurting due to Monday's activities, so I started off the day with a couple of Arthritis Tylenol and headed for the woods. I stopped and got breakfast on the way, a bottle of water and a PayDay (Darel calls them the original Power Bar). We were riding out to a bridge that I had been wanting to photograph for my other blog. I made a route sheet out and taped to my top triple clamp, so I wouldn't have to keep getting the map out today. The forrest map is 3 feet wide by 4 feet long and we had high winds all day. Have you ever tried to fold a big map up in 40 mph winds? 
All went amazingly well on the way to the bridge, it was built in 1903 and does not have a single guard rail on it anywhere. I'm not sure I would want to drive a vehicle across it when it was iced up. Still, a cool old bridge and after taking photos of it, we head out for something to eat and some gas for the bikes. We head north out of Danville, and as we turn our bikes back west, we notice it getting darker to the southwest. We are supposed to have storms this evening, so we scrap our plans in favor of getting back ahead of the storms. Well, as I have said before, ... it's not a real ride unless we get lost. It turned into a real ride, but thankfully it was short lived.
We were flying back, hitting sunken low water bridges and wheeling out of them at 40+ mph. I hit a good sized one and the bridge bowed down, then back up on the other side. I was airborne coming down in the exact center of the bridge, must have been 20- 25 feet. Man, that felt good, even though I didn't know it was like that when I hit it. We crossed Highway 71 and started back over Poteau Mountain, with both bikes lit up. We were charging into the turns, hitting the brakes enough to get the back end broke loose sliding sideways, then aim the front end and light the throttle up. All was going great until about 15 miles from the truck. I had just glanced at my speedo and was running 59 mph when I look back up and the road turns hard to the left. Someone with less experience might have crashed (hard at this speed) but not me, ... I just screamed like a little girl (just kidding). I chopped the throttle and tried to slide the bike in the deep gravel, which only pitched me toward the high side of the bike. So I did the next best thing, I blipped the throttle and yanked on the handlebars and jumped the bike into the ditch. Holy Crap Batman, that was close. At this moment, I hear Randall starting his 650 and in a few seconds he is riding up to me, still in the ditch. He did the very same thing at the previous turn. After laughing about it and kidding each other, I rode my bike out of the ditch and we are once again underway. This is where you are probably saying, "well, at least they rode the rest of the way back slower after their close calls". You would be wrong, we charged back to the truck, still laughing about our close calls. Randall: "I hit the ditch first, I won". Me: "Well, my ditch was deeper and had more rocks in it". What a great way to spend a day off.

11 comments:

Cathy said...

This sounds like a fabulous day. "Go RA Iron Man, Go!" Keep up these great rides. They sound like complete freedom.

Laurie Grassi said...

"Screamed like a little girl!!!" Haha!

Glad you had fun! It's great to get outside, isn't it?

:) Laurie

rheumablog said...

I love the "RA Iron Man" graphic and wow, what a day you had! You're one tough guy, Terry -- I kept thinking you were going to say you lost it and you were posting from the hospital, but still high from having done a 200+ mile ride. But nooooo. You just laughed like a hyena, stayed upright and lived to tell the story.

Beautiful bridge, by the way. Your comment about driving across it when it's icy conjured a scary image of being in a car, sliding gracefully right off the side into a river. Huh-uh, not me....

Hope this finds you sore (inevitable) but still very, very happy. Go, RA Iron Man!
-Wren

Living It, Loving It said...

RA Iron Man - I like that and I love Payday bars. You rock Terry and kicking RA's ass. Good for you.

tharr said...

Thanks Cathy, the rides do get your mind off of everything.

Laurie, It feels so good to be back outside after the winter that we have endured.

tharr said...

Wren and Lana: Thanks, but I was just kidding about the RA Iron Man. I don't see myself as fitting into that category. I am just holding onto something that I love to do, which I believe, also helps keeps my mind off of my pain as well.

Losing control of your bike happens quickly at 60 mph and I really thought I was going to crash for a second. You don't have time to think, it is happening so fast, just instinct. Even as I was jumping from the road into the ditch, I still thought I was crashing.

I loved that old bridge, but couldn't help thinking that the river and adjoining swamp must be a water moccasin magnet in the summer.

rheumablog said...

(shudders) You know, I got to chuckling over this sentence from your last post, regarding snakes:

"Fortunately we only have 6 poisonous ones to watch for. "

ONLY six?? My husband grew up in Oklahoma and has some pretty hair-raising stories about the various poisonous snakes he encountered as a kid. Many of them include his suddenly becoming airborne upon seeing one, and ending up ten feet away from it and facing in a "let's get out of here, feets don't fail me now" direction.

I'm not phobic about snakes, but I do have a very large respect for the venomous types. Here in Northern California, the only one we have to be careful of is the rattlesnake. I honestly can't imagine having to watch for six different kinds ... gahhhh.

I'll say one thing, Terry: They grow 'em tough in Oklahoma. You just keep on doing what makes you happiest. You're an inspiration.
-Wren

tharr said...

Actually, I missed one, we have 7 in Oklahoma. But 5 of them are Rattlesnakes. I have probably ridden by all of them, but have only seen a Timber Rattlesnake out of the 5 different species. Have also had close encounters with Water Moccasins and Copperheads. I actually stepped into a den of Water Moccasins about 25 years ago (didn't get hit one time) and I once had a Copperhead in my bedroom. I had been racing at Oklahoma City the day before late in the fall, and best we can figure out, he crawled into my gear bag and I carried him home with me in my truck. They really aren't that bad, ... you just stay away from the sharp end!! lol

Shauna said...

Terry!!!

WOW what a story, what a day and your pictures are absolutely gorgeous! I love love the look of your blog hun...you are sounding so upbeat and I'm really proud that you did that ride. As others noted--you are truly an inspiration!

Gentle Hugs always my friend...<3

tharr said...

Shauna, its so good to hear from you! It does me so much good to get out and ride when I can. We usually run into some type of excitement or something crazy along the way as well, which is good too. Thanks for the kind words.

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