Hard-Core Buns of Iced Steel

This morning was sunny, a really beautiful day, the kind of day that would lead one to bad thoughts of turning the truck around and calling in sick, if it was say 60 degrees or so.  Just as that thought was filling my head and I was beginning to think spring-like thoughts I looked ahead of me, at the intersection and there was a fella on his Harley, making a right.  My butt warmer was finally starting to warm my butt, my hands were still cramping in my fuzzy little gloves, and I glanced up at my temperature gauge 27degrees.  A chill ran down my spine.

My dad and I have this unwritten rule that we don't like to ride under 40 degrees because with wind chill you feel like an arctic polar bear without the fur and a naked face.  That's not to say that we haven't written cold we've been in the polar bear club every year but for the last one, because of the ice that was too prevalent.  But I've also been desperate and nearly frozen on the downside of 40 before.

We like to take our first long-weekend trip of the year on Easter.  We used to head to up to Niagara Falls in Canada and we were often cold.  As I started riding next to him, instead of with him I discussed the fact with him that up north is cold and it may be smarter to head south for our premier yearly trip.  He decided that I was fairly smart and not just a smart ass, and that trip became a yearly trek to Kentucky instead. 

Often, spring hits Kentucky three-six weeks before it hits up here a real taste of spring to tide us over for a few more weeks.  But there was this one year, we'd made it down there ok, had a pleasant trip, and were heading home.  We got up in the morning and there was frost on the seats and icicles on the mirrors.  We waited until the sun came all the way up that day, the temperature finally reached 40, so we took off.  I was on an 1100 Yamaha Virago at the time.  I had some face coverage, but nothing over my legs, feet, and hands (well, when I say "nothing", I mean other than everything I had in my saddlebags, including my rain gear).  My dad had his standard super-duper Honda Aspencade.  I was soooo cold that when my feet and hands weren't in severe pain, they were nonfunctional, or frozen numb.  I'd never been so glad to have rest stops about every 20 minutes in Ohio. 

We stopped at each and every rest stop on the way home that day.  We had to spend enough time at each for me to get feeling back into my extremities, and then we would carry on.  I've been cold before, but never so miserable.  I was so glad to get home with all of my fingers and toes that year.
I must say that I still enjoy that trip though and I highly recommend it.  It starts to get really nice down at the bottom of Ohio, and in to Kentucky.  The hills get larger, the road progresses southerly in sweeping curves, and up and down those hills, and they're covered in flowers, purple, pink, white, and yellow, just like you would expect.  We head straight down for Mammoth Cave.  It's a fun ride into the National Park and a lot of fun to hike around deep down inside the earth.  There is also our afternoon float down the river on the boat.  We usually spend a completely full day enjoying the caves. 

Our next day, we generally take the 50 additional mile trip farther south to the Corvette Museum.  The  museum is different every year.  The beauty of  having artifacts on wheels is that they come and go so the displays are different every year.  One year they had movie corvettes, you know classics like the Corvette Summer corvette, or the dino-lizard vette that David Carridine drove in the original Death Race 2000 (it seemed much smaller in person).  And while you're down there I would also recommend a tour of the corvette plant.  You can walk the line and possibly even help in the birth of a brand new corvette (be the first person to start it up and rev the engine).  It looks like they might charge a small fee to take the tour now (they never used to), but I would still say that it's worth it.  Even if you're not a "corvette person" (which is probably un-American by the way), it is an interesting experience.

Anyway, I digress, if I hadn't been headed to work today, even with the cold, I think I would've been tempted to put my battery back in today and go for a ride myself.  High-five to my Harley brother and good riddens (pronounced ride-ens)!

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