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.