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Monthly Archives: May 2008

I recently met another one of my blogging pals. We know her as Moonlight over at Lady Rides a Harley and a Kenworth. I’ve been emailing and chatting on the phone with Moonlight and I must say she is a delight. We always seem to laugh till we hurt each time we talk.

I have more than one thing in common with Moonlight. First of all we both drive trucks for a living. I need to tell you though that she is an owner operator and that’s no easy task especially these days with Diesel being $4,60 plus a gallon. She also loves to ride and enjoys telling all of us about it on her blog.

Seeing as Moonlight was working and I was just starting my vacation, I felt obligated to offer her a ride on Doll Baby. Let me tell ya that Moonlight wasted no time in accepting that offer. We had a wonderful ride around the countryside laughing and getting to know one another. Hopefully next time we can both be riding, not that I mind having a nice looking gal riding behind me ya know.

Ronman

On a recent trip down to Lynchburg, Tennessee I ran across something pretty cool. Granted, seeing cool things in Lynchburg is not unusual at all. For those of you who may not know Lynchburg is the home of Jack Daniel’s. Should you ever get the chance I highly recommend a visit to this wonderful little town.

While riding around the square looking for a place to park I was admiring all the other bikes. Something was unusual and I couldn’t figure it out until that light bulb went off. All the bikes were springers. Now this really had my attention.

You know me I normally have a camera handy. So I walked back over to Doll Baby and took out the camera. I started taking a few shots and asking questions. Soon I was pointed over to Randy Verdun aka “Chief”. It seems Randy has started a group for those who love the Heritage Springer. How cool is that? They have a great website with lots of info so go over and check ‘em out. http://www.heritagespringer.com/

Randy was quick to point out that this is an association and not a club. They have a nice looking patch that some of them had on too. The Heritage Springer Owners Association was a very friendly group of folks from all over. I feel lucky to have stumbled across them. The pictures don’t do the bikes justice either. They were some sweet rides.

Ronman

Today sort of started as I was ending a long night. Just as I was going to bed I received a text message from Brian. The message simply “riding today”. Well since I stayed up all night a nap was in order. I talked briefly with Brian and asked him to call me in about three and a half hours.

We met up in Smyrna and decided on our route for the day. As most of you know I’m working on taking a picture at all of the Tennessee State Parks. I gave Brian a couple of options and his choice was to ride west.

West it was. We took back roads out of Smyrna over through Franklin where we picked up hwy 246. This is a wonderful little winding country road. There has to be some of the best scenery anywhere in Middle Tennessee here. Soon we turned onto hwy 247 and worked our way through Santa Fe. After a short break it was off to hwy 100 West across the Tennessee River at Perryville. Soon we stopped for fuel and a look at the map.

The road leading into Natchez Trace State Park was an absolute dream. A winding desolate ride through forestland. Before we knew it we were in the park. I was just awestruck at how amazing that little road was. It’s times like this that I realize just how much of Tennessee I’ve yet to discover. I love this state and all that it has to offer.

I talked Brian into riding up to Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park. We jumped onto I-40 for twelve miserable miles in traffic just to speed things along. As soon as we started down the entrance ramp I knew why I don’t like riding on the big road.

Hwy 641 North carried us to Camden where we enjoyed a burger thanks to the little redheaded freckled face girl. Oh I should also mention that we learned of a new beverage from a couple of local gals who stopped beside of us at a light. Joker you’ll have to keep a list of all the things I mention and never explain so that I can tell you in person or on the phone sometime. Hahahaha

We grabbed a couple photographs at the park sign and then we were ready to head for home. Well I should say we were heading toward home but I think both of us wished we could just keep riding and not look back. But then again Brian does have that wonderful accessory he needed to get home to. Jen is absolutely adorable.

Two more state parks down and another few hundred miles down life’s highway. You just can’t beat the feeling of scooting around back roads with a close friend.

Ride Safe

Ronman

Some time back I enjoyed a video clip over at She Rides a Beemer, Gail Hatch’s wonderful blog. The jest of the video is to find the things that are right and not just see the things that are wrong. This was an extremely eye opening experience for me. You see here I am in the middle of the longest vacation that I’ve ever taken. Only thing is I didn’t get to go on the ride that I took the days off for.

Normally I’d be pissed that my time off was ruined. This year though I’m really trying to just go with the flow. So far the flow has been all upstream. In fact I’ve yet to have one single day work out the way that I wanted it to. No granted it’s not all bad. I do have all these days off work. In fact to start things off I was privileged to meet one of my blogging pals. Enough of this palaver let’s cut to the chase.

I left out this afternoon trying to see what direction I was being pulled in. It took several miles for me to finally decide on a direction. Of course dark clouds oozing rain always helps persuade my mind. I meandered around back roads out of Smyrna and found myself on hwy 41 heading south. I rode down through places such as Triune and Chapel Hill working my way over through Belfast into Petersburg. Before long I was on the square in Fayettville. I just love courthouse squares.

I decided to take hwy 64 and head east. This gave me time to think about where I was headed or even what I was looking for. By the time I reached Winchester I could hear Sewanee calling my name again. I can’t seem to get enough of this beautiful little piece of heaven on earth. The old architecture of the buildings and the scenic views simply entice me.
Sewanee isn’t the only jewel around these parts. Cowan is a small little town at the foot of the mountain. I stopped and took these photographs of what a true southern piece of americana is all about. You can’t help but feel relaxed and have a smile on your face as you soak in all the beauty of this quiet little town.

Climbing Monteagle Mountain takes me to my place of peace at Green’s Overlook. As you can see by the photographs you ride down a gravel road to get there. The overcast sky and the fog gave it a damp and cool feel today. Even so it warms my heart to be in this place. After a little prayer and meditation I knew it was time for me to head home. Someday perhaps I’ll make Sewanee my home so that I can experience this beauty everyday.

Ronman
Today was a wonderful day in Middle Tennessee. The 1175th Transportation Company would be flying into the Smyrna Airport to load onto buses for the ride home to Tullahoma. I was excited that not only was this gonna be a happy Patriot Guard mission but also I was going to be able

to be a part of it.

We were excited to learn that we’d be able to greet these heroes out on the tarmac. No matter how you feel about the war you should be supporting these heroes. I think they know that we love our soldiers and are most greatful for the sacrifices that they choose to make for us as Americans.

Patriot Guard members come in all shapes, sizes and ages. If you love this country and want to show support for our military and their families I implore you to join the Patriot Guard. It cost you nothing but I guarantee you’ll be paid overwhelmingly.

Several law enforcement agencies including the Smyrna Airport Police, Manchester Police and the Tennessee Highway Patrol helped the Patriot Guard escort our heroes back home. The people of Manchester and their Fire, Ambulance and Law Enforcement were out along the highway to welcome these Soldiers.

Coming down the highway into Tullahoma we began to see more and more people along the roads all waving and holding flags and signs. One lady that I noticed as we passed was mouthing the word WOW to her husband as all the bikes rolled by. I think she pretty well summed it up.

People were coming out of churches and restaurants to wave and show respect for these soldiers. Some of the most touching sights for me were all the old WWII era men standing at attention and saluting as we passed. The greatest generation that we’ve known are the most appreciative of all. These men saved the world. If you want to be humbled ride just one Patriot Guard mission.

Tullahoma went all out for these Heroes. As we entered the city they had two of their Fire Bucket trucks making an arch across the road. People of all ages, shapes and sizes were waving flags, signs and yellow ribbons. They had been told that when they heard the rumble of the thundering Patriot Guard escort that their soldiers would be home.
I’m proud to be an American. I hope in some small way that these Men and Women feel the love and admiration that I along with so many more Americans have for them.

THANK YOU BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN, THANK YOU!

Ronman


All eyes were glued to the weather forecast for Friday. Word had it that if we could get an early start we could outrun the rain. I had already decided on an early start so this sounded fine. As luck would have it the forecast was wrong.

The posse for the day would consist of Brian, Steve and myself. Now Brian and I have rode many a mile together so I knew we’d have a good time. Steve was a new member to the chapter that I had yet to ride with other than the trip down to Memphis. I was looking forward to getting to know him.

Because of the weather we had modified the route we would take. The order of the day was to jump on I-40 and boogie on up to Jackson for our passport stamp stop. Of course we needed to eat. Ya can’t ride posse on an empty stomach. We rode one exit east and filled up both our tummies and the tanks on the scooters. After a brief discussion it was decided we didn’t need to put on the rain gear yet. Besides Steve didn’t have any rain gear. I think we rode all of about four miles before it started raining. I decided it was stupid to have all that nice rain gear in my saddle bags and be getting wet. Soon we were back on our way to Jackson.

There were already a posse ahead of us at the dealership. They said they didn’t hit any rain until they reached Jackson. Now I can’t remember if we decided to take off our gear at this point or not. Steve had the quote of the day. Remember now that he didn’t have any rain gear. Well other than a face shield for his helmet. I believe it was somewhere along Hwy 100 that we pulled over to put the rain gear back on again and Steve spoke his wisdom. “If you guys would leave your rain gear on I sure would enjoy this ride better.” It seemed that every time we put on the rain gear it would stop raining.

Shortly after turning onto Hwy 50 out of Centerville we really had some fun. Now you can check with Brian and Steve to confirm this next statement if you want. The rain had turned into a thunderstorm. No big deal I know. That is until that lightning strike up on that hill right next to the road. I’m pretty sure that I jumped over the fairing and ran at least 50 yards in front of Doll Baby before remounting her. Don’t get me wrong, I love thunderstorms. In fact I’m an official weather spotter for the National Weather Service. One of the reasons I enjoy being a Ham Radio Operator is to do the weather spotting. I guess it was something about having that big flash of lightning and that sonic boom right next to me that got my attention.

I think up until this point we thought it was really raining. Did I mention the hail storm? Nothing like riding in a hail storm to get your blood flowing. We rode on, but then again what else was there to do? There weren’t really any places to pull over and get out of the weather so may as well ride on.

The rain eventually let up as we turned onto some of the most beautiful back roads in Middle Tennessee. Hwy 247 and Hwy 246 are amazing. I’ll take a stroll out there sometime when the weather is better and get some photos to post.

We found ourselves reaching the next stamp stop. This was our home dealership in Murfreesboro. We visited with Brian’s wife who couldn’t join us for the ride. She is a wonderful chatty gal that everyone just absolutely loves. She had been a bit concerned about Brian and I sharing a room for some reason. I put her mind to rest though and told her if she put some neosporin on the bite marks they’d heal right up.

Steve was gonna wait on his wife to get off work before he came on to the last stop of the day. Brian and I checked the weather again and saw a break in the action. It was as if Aaron had parted the Red Sea again. If we hurried we’d make Clarksville ahead of the rain. After a quick stop by my house to feed the Bella Monster we were on our way. I’ll have to admit here that we rode the interstate and made record time. I don’t enjoy riding on the super slab nor do I enjoy running that fast. This was one of those times that it just had to be done.

Just as we were gonna head to the hotel, the rest of the Murfreesboro gang rode in. We decided to wait on our pals to ride down together. This would wind up being a somewhat moist decision. The term it was raining like piss pouring from a ‘ppossum’s pecker doesn’t even do this justice. I think it was more like a young hurricane. Not to mention that we were in stop and go rush hour traffic. I will say that the High Vis Rain Gear performed flawlessly. I was dry as could be inside of this gear.

Ronman

We gathered at the HOG House for our ride to Memphis. There were seven bikes with eight people ready to ride. Some of our group were coming down later. The trip down was fairly uneventful until we reached our second fuel stop in Brownsville, Tennessee. I noticed that Steve’s bike was still idling high as he pulled up to the gas pumps. After fueling and talk about the issue it was decided that he and I would ride on ahead of the group so that we could get to the dealership before they closed. I had been leading the ride thus far so Rickey took over as lead.

Steve and I made our way on to Memphis post haste. We pulled right up to the service entrance and told the folks what was going on and that we were here for the Posse Ride. One of the service people came right out and took a look at things. After checking out the throttle and some further discussion it was decided that the throttle lock wasn’t all the way loose. Whew! I know Steve had a huge sigh of relief. We headed over to check into the hotel and to join back up with the rest of the group.

Now it was time for the kick off party. Right next to the Memphis dealership is a place called the Sidecar Cafe. This would be the place. The food was bar-b-que and all the fixings. There were around 189 people registered for the ride this year so the numbers are growing. We all signed in and received our packets with our Posse Ride maps, passports, T-shirts and pins.

The Sheriff did the swearing in of all the deputies. We had to repeat such things as laughing at rain, shouting back at thunder, sleeping in the dirt and not bathing for the entire ride if need be. All the posses gathered and everyone filled themselves with food and beverage.
After visiting with old friends and friends that we just met, everyone went off to get a good nights rest to start the ride in the morning. The weather didn’t look to promising for the day but we’d ride nonetheless.
Ronman

I must have the best neighbors in the world. Last week I was trying to get everything taken care of before the Posse Ride including cutting my grass. The only day that I got home from work lately before dark I went for the ride to the mountain. Low and behold I come home from work one night last week and my grass is not only cut but the trimming is done too. Are they not great or what? I want to say a great big THANK YOU to my neighbors.

Ronman

I’ll be on the road for the next several days participating in the second annual Memphis H.O.G. Chapter Posse ride. Just checked the weather and it looks as if we may get lucky and the only rain coming through will happen Friday night. Let’s hope so. I’ll try and take plenty of photographs for everyone to enjoy.

Ride Safe

Ronman

Saturday we had 12 souls on 9 bikes braving the wet conditions to head down to Beale Street in Memphis. The first hundred miles or so were in the rain and misting rain and fog. I dawned the new high vis rainsuite for the morning ride. I really love the bright orange color. I’m with Crusty when it comes to being seen. Function over fashion I say. Then again I’ve never been up on what fashions are.
Our first stop was in Centerville, Tennessee for some food. Ya gotta eat ya know. Centerville is the home town of Cousin Minnie Pearl. There is a statue of her on the square. Don’t you just love court house squares?

We try and eat at Breece’s Cafe a few times a year. That means we have a chapter ride down there as a destination and each time we pass through Centerville we stop and eat there. You just can’t beat good ol’ southern cooking.
Thankfully after we ate the sun decided to come out for us the rest of the day. We rode west on Hwy 100 down to Bolivar where we picked up Hwy 18. We headed south on 18 down into Mississippi where we picked up U.S. 72 west. 72 took us over to Hwy 61 where we went north into Memphis.
Check out Ricky and Velma’s blog to see their pictures from our meal at B.B. King’s and the other spots on Beale Street that we visited. I was being lazy and didn’t take the camera along for the evening. Though I will admit that I missed out on taking some photos that would only have been emailed out to folks. I know go ahead and give me a good cussin’ Joker.
I can’t wait for our next trip down to Beale street. We had a blast.
Ride Safe
Ronman
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