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Monthly Archives: April 2008

Today was one of those rare occasions where I get off work early. I couldn’t let this pass by without riding. I’m certain my neighbor would rather I cut my yard though. Oh well the grass can wait.
Now be honest wouldn’t you rather be riding on this road. By the way this is the flattest and straightest part of it. I just love running up the back way to Sewanee and the Domain of the University of the South. There are so many wonderful things of beauty to admire here. I stopped for a picture of a creek running down the side of the mountain. I thought to myself that this is a Steve from Scooter in the Sticks photograph. Granted his would be much nicer.
I just love the view from the overlooks at Sewanee. I think Green’s overlook is becoming my favorite.
Seeing as I have already taken a picture from up here back in the winter, I decided that I need to have one of every season. These are my spring photographs.
Leaving Sewanee I spotted this little eating joint and I just had to turn around and go inside. It was pretty good pizza and the service was awsome. I’ll stop in here again. How could I pass up a place named Papa Ron’s.
Ride Safe
Ronman
Ok so after you R-U-N-D-O-F-T you have to come home. Nobody says you have to go straight home. I awoke the next morning to look out my door at Doll Baby. You know I had to take a photo of her.
I wasted little time running through the falling water and you already know from my last post that I didn’t have to worry about choosing something to wear. Though I did have a brand spanking new pair of Marino Wool socks to wear. I checked out of the motel and prepared for my Sunday ride. I must admit I could have done without seeing the sheet draped half naked 70 year old Mr. Patel. So much for breakfast. YUK!

I headed south on HWY 22 towards one of my favorite places on earth. You see back on Sunday and Monday April 6 and 7 of 1862 there was a major turning point battle of the War of Northern Aggression at a place named Shiloh. I carry with me a veteran hiker award from Shiloh. I’ve logged in over a hundred miles on foot down there. I still get shivers down my spine any time I am on that hallowed ground
I spent a few minutes riding around and thinking about the experiences I’ve had at Shiloh and thinking about the 24,000 thousand casualties at that battle. I read a diary from one of Bedford Forrest’s men who happened to be a relative of a classmate of mine. Holding that piece of history had to be one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.

I took some back roads out of Shiloh and worked my way down to Pickwick Landing State Park. I then took Hwy 57 over to Michie for a wonderful late morning breakfast of Tenderloin and Eggs. Yum Yum.

Travelling further west I was able to get a photograph at Big Hill Pond State Park. This was going great as for knocking out some of these parks.
This next part was real fun. You see I love maps. Always have for some reason. In fact I have yet to break down a buy a GPS. I say all I need is a good map and my compass or the sun. Spydie always calls me his Indian guide. Especially back when we rode four wheelers together. I have a Tennessee Atlas Gazetteer that is awsome for finding pig paths to ride down. In fact I have several states of these maps.
Upon reaching Pocohantas I take my beautiful short cut. I’m making great time and taking the road less traveled. This is the life…….that is until that dreaded sign. ROAD CLOSED DETOUR AHEAD. No problem I have plenty of fuel and what’s a little detour? Nothing until the asphalt ends and the chip and seal begins. Fun times.

I made my way through Bolivar and on over to Chickasaw State Park for another photo op. This is great I’m racking up the parks today. Cool beans.
Now it was on to the next state park of the day. I rode over to Henderson and up Hwy 45 north to Pinson where I was able to capture Pinson Mound State Archiological Area. The ranger here was very friendly. He asked if I was alright or needed any help. I explained I was on a quest to visit all of our state parks and get a picture . He then asked if I’d like to be in the picture too so I explained the camera has a timer and I can take it myself. He thought that was the stuff.
Shortly after capturing this park I decided it was getting to be like work so I just took some roads to see where they would lead me. I wound up passing through Clifton and down to Hwy 64. Turning east I made my way over to Larwrenceburg which isn’t far from Iron City that Road Captain posted about. I took Hwy 43 north through the towns of Mt. Pleasant and Columbia where I turned east again and headed toward home.

All in all it was only a 400 mile day but it sure was a fun one. I met some really nice folks along the way and took many roads I’d never been on before. See how much fun you can have when you let yourself go out drifting and shifting.
Ride Safe
Ronman

Saturday started like any other lazy weekend. I messed around on the computer a bit and tried to get caught up on a few of my domestic duties. Just like most any Saturday when I don’t have anything special going on, I went down to the local Harley shop.

Our local shop is pretty cool. It feels somewhat like a family get together with all the regulars. I like to get me a good seat on the rail and people watch. You can really see some sights be just sitting there. For some reason lately I’ve been restless so I didn’t stay until closing time like I do most Saturdays. I just took off on Doll Baby for a little ride about town. It was right about the time I was circling the square in Murfreesboro that I remembered I wanted to check out a store in Brentwood.

Now this day was sorta gloomy seeing as some rain had been in the area. The temps were only in the upper 50’s or low 60’s. I know most of you would love for it to be that warm in your part of the world. I decided to top of Doll Baby’s tank before I left the ‘Boro and then head across Hwy 96. This is where things took a turn so to speak. It was somewhere between the ‘Boro and Triune that it hit me.

I don’t know if it was the James Intveld cd I was jamming to or the weather but I decided that there was absolutely no reason for me to go home. I had already fed my dog so she was good to go. I didn’t have any plans so nothing keeping me there. That settled it. I stopped at REI and picked up some Marino Wool socks and headed out. Seeing as the sky looked better to the West and the sun sets that direction, West it was.

I just rode and remembered great memories from my past. Passing through Fairview I thought about the night Magnum treed his first coon of his own. It was way off down a hollow on what use to be a hippy/nudist camp. I can still hear that beautiful melody of that bawl mouthed Bluetick. I just kept riding not knowing where or why I was going only that I had to go.

Before long I found myself in Lexington, Tennessee. I stopped and filled Doll Baby up again. Soon I was heading South and the clouds had cleared away bringing a full moon to my left and the beautiful sunset to my right. That was one of the most amazing sights I’ve ever experienced. I was in the middle of nowhere all alone with just Doll Baby. It was wonderful!

Now it was time to fill my tank. I didn’t get this corpulent by fasting.(that’s a fancy way of saying fat Joker) By now I was rolling into Adamsville, Tennessee. Man it was a shame I got here so late and I was gonna leave early in the morning. I wanted to check out the Buford Pusser Museum. Oh well that’s another ride for another day. Google him if you don’t know who he was. He was a hero of mine when I was growing up. If that old pick handle could talk the stories it would tell. Nuff Said.

I had a feast of beef tips and onions on a bed of rice along with a massive salad to boot. It was yummy. I think I’ve eaten at this Sawmill Restaurant before. Seems like it was back in 99′ or 00′. Just before the turn of the century no less.

I procured a room from Mr. Patel for the evening and settled in for some much needed rest. I did break down and call one of my dearest friends to inform them of where to start the search if I turned up missing. Gotta let someone know where you are just in case.

I highly recommend taking off like this it was awesome. I remember reading a Harley add years ago about just needing a credit card and a tooth brush to travel. Well let me tell ya I didn’t have either one but I didn’t care. I have a feeling this won’t be the last time I run off like this. Speaking of which, who knows where my title for this post is from?

Ride Safe

Ronman

I started out a couple Sundays ago thinking of where I was gonna ride. The group I ride with was heading south down into Alabama. I love riding with these folks, but sometimes I just have to venture out on my own. Whenever I can’t really decide on a destination I think of what Tennessee State Parks I have left to visit. So my yet to be determined route would take me to Standing Stone State Park.

Next on my mind were two things. One being where am I gonna eat. Gotta keep the belly happy if I’m gonna be riding all day ya know. The other being how I was gonna get there. I decided that I would avoid the interstate at all costs. This wouldn’t be very hard to do seeing as the park is in Overton county in the hills.

Taking back roads out of Smyrna I made my way through Lebanon on U.S. 231 north. I remembered one of my friends at work telling me about a little restaurant over in Castalian Springs. Now I’m always looking for a good Mom and Pop type place to eat. I enjoy checking out the small out of the way places. Not to mention that helping out the little man is important to me.

I arrived at Keller’s Restaurant a little before they opened. I asked one of the two young ladies out front if it was worth the wait. To which she replied yes. She wasn’t wrong. I highly recomend the chicken and dumplings. Oh if you are in the area of U.S. 231 and State 25 on May 1, 2008, they are having a bike night.

I took State 25 east through Hartsville until I reached state 10. 10 took me up to Lafayette. Here I went west on state 52 through Red Boiling Springs, Moss, and Celina. These wonderfully American communities remind me of what this country is about. Soon I come to Timothy and see the turnoff for county 136 which leads through Standing Stone State Park.

The park has some cool looking cabins to stay in. There is a small lake to fish if you like. The damn is pretty cool looking too. This little park has a wonderful rustic feel to it. With all the rain of late the water was really rolling over the dam.

I took county 136 south down to Hilham where I went west on state 85. I thought of posting some of the pictures from the amazing views along this route. I decided to be selfish and keep them for my own memories. You’ll just have to ride it for yourself. This road winds across ridgebacks and down through valleys that are absolutely beautiful. I passed through places like Gainesboro, Granville, and Chestnut Mound. Oh the memories I have spending time fishing and water skiing on Cordell Hull Lake. Oh and how could I ever forget the worste banana pudding I’ve ever tried to eat. Fun times back in the day. Nights I’ve spent wandering these hills following a hound. I miss those coonhunting years. But Doll Baby takes me back. Nothing like riding and remembering.

I worked my way through many a back road on my way back home. Rolling past communities such as Gordonsville, Temperance Hall, Alexandria, Liberty and Auburntown. I could go on and on with all the stories from the memories relieved on this day. It seems though I’ve wandered enough for one post.

All in all I logged in a lazy 247 miles for the day. Not bad for a late start. But then again, my journey has only just begun.

Ride Safe

Ronman

I’ve just returned from a wonderful day of improving my riding skills. Granted this is the first time I’ve ever taken any sort of rider’s training. Having ridden on and off for the past 33 years or so I must say that it was time well spent. I think anything that we can do to improve our scooter skills will make us safer riders.

For most folks unless you do one of these classes, you’ll never know just what your bike is capable of. Not to mention what you are capable of doing yourself. Now I will say that I’ve watched several training videos over the years. Most are entertaining and informative. Until you actually do a hands on training though you are not gonna know what it’s like.

I suppose the main thing that I’ve learned today was that all the practicing of all the skills I’ve tried to learn did come in handy. Practice practice practice and then when you think you’ve got it practice some more. Make it to where you react instinctively to situations and you don’t have to waste valuable time thinking or second guessing what to do.

Sometimes no matter how much we train we still can’t control what happens to us. This makes me think of my Boy Scout motto “Be Prepared”. How do we prepare you ask? We become one with our motorcycles. We check her out properly before each ride so that small things don’t turn into major problems. For instance, how often do you check your air pressure? When did you last check your oil? What about your brake lights? Turn signals?

We can’t do anything about the things that happen around us such as other drivers or animals. I know some of the other drivers are animals. Believe me I spend many many hours on the roads every day and I’ve seen more than the average person in captivity. In twenty two years of trucking I’ve learned one thing if nothing else. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something will come along and shock you more than ever.

Do what you can to improve your skills and always be watchful of whats going on around you.

Ride Safe

Ronman

This past Saturday was one of those lazy days. I was just beat and didn’t have much gumption at all. I took the morning to get a few obligations out of the way. That left the afternoon for me. I rode down to the local Harley shop and just hung around. The usual crew was stirring about. Seems every weekend there are a group of folks just doing there thing and laughing and having a all around fun time.

I really like to people watch. This is something I’ve enjoyed all my life. Sometimes as I’m sitting there checking everyone out I think about Crusty up in his shop. The sights you see watching the public are endless.

When I left my perch at the bike shop I headed out for a little wind down ride. Before long I found myself in the community of Mona. There is this great little pizza/coffee/ice cream shop there called Mona’s. I happen to know the folks who own the place so it was good to catch up on things. I really enjoy seeing a small mom and pop place thrive. If you ever get out to Mona’s I highly recommend the steak sandwich and the chef salad. Good stuff!

I saw this cool 1948 Chevy truck as I went to leave. Sometimes I wonder how much longer hot rods will be around. I’ve heard that the hobby is sorta dying. I sure hope not. I guess I was raised on the tale end of the led sled era though.

Winding my way back into Smyrna I decided to stop by yet another local spot. Karen’s Kustards is this awesome little dairy dip here in town. I just love going there to get their awesome shakes and burgers. Today I was just after one of their shakes. Butterscotch it was though lately I’ve been getting the sprite/lemon. This little place has some of the best service you’ll get anywhere. All the employees are always cheerful and do an awesome job. I’m always amazed at how fast they can even cook a burger. You owe it to yourself to give them a taste.

Ride Safe

Ronman

It’s been awesome weather here in Tennessee the past few days. Man it stinks to be working while the sun is shining. That leaves only one thing to do. You’ve guessed it. Night rides. I made the H.O.G. chapter meeting tonight and then squeezed in a little ride afterwords. Fifty miles to be exact. Sure does make it rough for me to get up at 3:30 in the morning. But it’s worth every bit of it. I did get in a couple of rides over the weekend and shot some photographs as well. Hopefully I’ll get those posted here in the next day or two.

One really cool thing happened Sunday afternoon. I ran into one of my blog/photography heroes. How funny is it to have someone follow you for several miles only to realize it is one of your inspirations. That’s right y’all, I met Swag. I couldn’t believe it. He is one of my main influences for this blog. He also pointed me toward one of my other blogging heroes. We all know and enjoy Crusty. So how fitting to end a weekend and meet a hero. Especially to meet on the road. I was babbling like a little school girl. One thing I’m ticked about. I forgot to get the camera out and take a picture of Swag and myself.

That gets the meeting of all my blogging pals underway. Now on to the rest of you. Well at least the ones here in the states.

Ride Safe

Ronman

Ok so I haven’t had much to say lately. Reminds me of that Brian Burns line “don’t make a record if you don’t have nothing to say”. Well I haven’t really had anything much to say. I have made a change to Doll Baby.

That’s right she is now toned down with her original stock pipes on her. Could it be my age creeping up on me again? I’m really not sure but she is a more mellow gal now. I still have the Vance and Hines Ovals that I can slip back on her if she needs to rumble again.

It has been decided that I won’t be making the dream ride up to Maine this May. There are some non scooter related issues that require I not drift that far away from home. I guess I’ve been putting off writing about it so that I could not make it sound real.

Never fear I’ll still be riding for those ten days in May. I’m kicking around the idea of doing the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway including Skyline Drive. This is one of the major things on my to do list. I’m thinking it could be a prime time to make this happen. Still not certain if this will be a solo effort or if I’ll have company.

Another thing on the big list is collecting all the Tennessee State Parks. I’m thinking this will take up part of the ten days in May. In any event I’m sure I’ll find something good to go and see. Hopefully taking lots of pictures to share here on the ole blog. My only goal is to ride as much as I can and to stay within a day’s ride of home.

Oh and I’ve added something else to the giant to do list. I’ve decided that I really need to ride and meet all my blogging pals at some point or other. Granted a few of them may not happen seeing as they are over seas. How great is it to have all these folks who share in two passions? Riding and Writing. Come to think of it we may have a new R to add to the three R’s. Riding Reading and Writing. There ya go.

Ride Safe

Ronman

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