Stop for a break and a drink. Much needed.
Ok. So we see Duck Dynasty and No Si sighting. Oh well. I aint heart broke over it.
Next stop - Harley shop? Huh? Yep. Seems as though Richard wants to have his Ipod get hooked up through his stereo. Ok. I dont care. I am on vacation. Go in the shop and get a quote for the work....... $750.00 !
Now I think I can buy alot of nice earbuds for that price and after a little thought, Richard comes to his senses and passes on the work. Of course, he had to buy a T Shirt. I wont pick on him too much......
Day 4- Lets head to New Orleans!
More slab towards the Big Easy.
Made it through rush hour traffic and listened to the GPS in my ears tell me which way to Bourbon St. I was shocked at how small the streets are in that area and how rough they are! I hit one pot hole, that I think I am still feeling almost a month later. After that, I was pretty much standing and riding in those little tight streets.
Now, finding a place to park in NO is no easy task, especially for four bikes with out of state tags. Safety was a concern according to everyone we talked to and I could see why. As we pull into the parking lot area, a man approaches me and tells me that we should park the bikes in a certain aisle as he is also a rider and will watch out for them? Well that is weird? Either he's a great guy or we are walking home....
We stay in New Orleans most of the day. Including taking a bus tour of the city which was cool and I actually slept through part of it.
The whole day I have my fingers crossed to go back to the bikes and make sure we all have a ride. We get back and all is safe! What a nice guy. I was sorry to have doubted him to start! I apologize random New Orleans rider wherever you are!
Lets get out of here! We head North out of NO - leaving around 4 pm local time.
Make it to some small town and decide that we will continue on for another hour or so in the dark.
Here is a picture of my helmet after about 45 minutes at 80 MPH in the Louisiana backwoods!
Richard's bike -
I was laughing the entire time at just the sheer amount of bugs! Decided to stop and rest for the night.
Day 5 - Mobile AL to Tallahassee FL -
This is going to be my favorite part of the ride! Riding along the Gulf Coast - I had never seen the Gulf of Mexico before - for an entire day!
The ride itself was quite straight and I had envisioned a winding road kind of like you see in California near the ocean. Well No. Pretty much straight roads and alot of small beach towns and red lights.
Stopped for a while in Navarre Beach Florida to take in the view.
The gulf coast is beautiful. We made it through Destin and Panama City and stopped. At this point, I was tired and didn't feel like leading anymore. It kind of drains you worrying about 3 other bikes behind you and getting through stop lights, etc.
I asked Bill's son Shannon to lead for a while. He said ok and we headed East. About an hour later we realized that he missed a turn to go towards Tallahassee and we were in the middle of nowhere. I saw plenty of the gulf only it was dark and the water was as black as night, but still looked beautiful.
Ended up stopping in a town called Port St. Joe for the night at the only hotel in town. Dinner was a hot pocket out of the Hotel freezer and an assortment of vending machine snacks.
Day 6 - Port St. Joe to somewhere north towards Virginia.
I slept in and finally got moving around 9:30 AM- Hey I am on vacation.
We head North through the Florida country side towards some small town where Richard's brother is buried. He wanted to stop and pay his respects so we gladly agreed.
After visiting the grave we head north through Alabama.
I was desperate to find some two lane roads and found a great path through Alabama. This little two lane led to a smaller 4 lane road with a speed limit of 65. A little background - this entire trip we had been running these bikes hard. Cruising at 80 to 85 all day.
Well, evidently the speed limit in Alabama is just a suggestion. We were clipping along near 90 in the middle of nowhere with no traffic in site for quite some time. After a while, I see a white speck in the mirror approaching and FAST! Uh oh, COP! As the car got closer I saw no lights or markings. It looked like a white Acura?
Surely this car wasn't going to go by us while we were doing 90?
Well she did. She came up along side and I decided I was going to flog this little Versys and she what she thought about it.
At 110 I let off and she pulled away easily. It still blows my mind that she was just as relaxed as if she was doing 55. Wish I had a picture of that!
Onward North we go and get almost to Atlanta around 5:30. Now, I was perfectly fine to go around or wait or what ever to avoid the ATL rush hour.
We stop for refreshments, gas up and decide to ride close and get north of Atlanta for the ride home tomorrow.
Good thing that Versys has good brakes! That traffic sucked to put it nicely. I lived in DC for about 5 years and it was never that bad - even on its worse day. How you all do that every day and still have hair is beyond me.
I wasn't concerned about hitting someone or even someone coming over on us, but rather someone failing to stop behind us.
One close call and an hour later we were in Kennesaw GA and looking for a place to sleep and get out of that rat race. The entire loop around ATL felt like a high speed game of Frogger and I didn't like it.
Dinner was a walking distance Waffle House - Which is just as greasy as night as it is in the morning.
Day 7 - Headed Home -
Day 7 and about 220 miles in and I am officially liking this bike. It just does everything well. Nothing really great. Gets good mileage and has a good seating position.
More slab all the way home through the cold GA morning and I am home by 2 PM.
Things I learned -
1. I packed too much clothes. This is a learning experience I wont forget.
2. I needed to take more pictures and more videos.
3. Next time - skip New Orleans - Its a great town I am sure, but the stench of garbage and puke mixed together is just too over whelming.
4. Ask for time off more often - it was so nice to get away from the email and cell phone calls I deal with every day.
5. Invest in a Chatterbox or other blue tooth helmet system. My ears hurt after 8 hours of ear buds being in them.
This is my first RR so I hope I haven't bored you too much.