​Fall Tour 2013

Welcome to the Fall Tour 2013 journal, my first long ride since 2011.  Regular visitors to this web site will know I have a special affection for riding in the Autumn.  In terms of scope and miles, this tour is not like those from years past, but if you just look at the ride, it's as good as any.

I'm in different life chapter from that of 10 years ago.  I've done all that I ever wanted to do in terms of riding motorcycles and touring.  Many times over.  I've carved the most famous motorcycle roads in the country, and seen all the major parks and historical places.  But more importantly, I was able to see the country up close and personal.  I took 9,000 mile cross country tours, and less than a thousand would be on a interstate highway.  As crazy as it sounds, my current part time job with the feds has me checking travel documents of people from all over the country, and more times than not, I note the hometown listed, and recall passing through there.
From that perspective this tour is only a blip, but ranks with the best in terms of satisfaction, enjoyment.  I was back on the road again, seeing things, meeting people, and being with old friends in a part of the country that has become so special to me, that I miss it often.

The tour started with a ride north to Indiana.  It was a fun ride through the rich farmland of the area.  Miles of cornfields and peaceful pastures.  Then it was back south through the Kentucky hills for a few days of riding in the Blue Ridge.

This ride reminded me why I love long riding so much, and brought into focus why I missed it the last few years.  My running and training has always been in conflict with long riding.  I put running on hold many years while I was riding cross country weeks at a time.  Some years I was on the road 12-15 weeks, and the consistency, that is sorely needed in that endeavor, was not possible. The last few years training has been in the spotlight, and riding in the background.  Last year I was marathon training, and the reason I didn't take a Fall ride for the first time in 12 years.   After putting that in the books, I was going to turn my attention back to long riding, but a few months later the feds came calling with a part time job that was just too good to turn down, thus here I am- fitting in long rides when I can.

This was a great tour, with perfect weather for a Fall adventure.  Not a drop of rain, just lots of warm, clear days, and cool nights.  It was awesome.

The bike for this tour was the Honda ST.  After all these years and miles it performed flawlessly.  It remains a worthy mount for any long rider.  Despite being a 10 year old design, it can hold its own in the sport touring genre.  
One of the things this tour brought out was how it easy it can be to long ride nowadays.  GPS, Ipads, and Iphones, have connected me to the world like never before.  Years past I had to call friends with desktops to receive weather info, now I can receive that vital info instantly from almost anywhere.  I can access my DVR anywhere I have a WIFI connection with my Ipad, and if I can't do that I watch something I downloaded.  It has made riding more safe and fun.

I learned several items this tour.  One, I need a new "Stich," my Roadcrafter has seen better days.  It is a veteran of many miles and tours the last 10 years, and  beginning to look ragged.  It is still functional, but I'm big on looks and the luster is missing from mine.  I also need new boots, details to follow in the journal pages on why.  But I also learned almost all of my equipment is still working well.  My tent is 10 years old and shows no sign of aging, my bags and straps are solid.  All of my gloves are operational, and my PIAAs are the best.  Sleeping bag and therm a rest? Good as ever and show no signs of wear, despite 12 years of use.  It just goes to show when you start with good equipment (=pricey) better off in the long run (ride?).  I'm not going to use a Chinese tent that will surely leak or come apart at the seams after a few months, same for sleeping bag, and pad.  

Once again, this journal will contain not only the details of the ride, but my thoughts and feelings as well.  The tour covered 2000 miles over 5 days. I hope you enjoy it.