Fall, Fun, and Fury…

Yesterday was an incredibly beautiful day, so we took the Tigers and rode up around Lake Monroe. We took some new backroads we had never been on, which was a nice change of scenery. At this point it is getting harder to find new roads to ride, because we have ridden a LOT of roads since we got the Tigers. It never gets old to just go out and randomly make turns and see where we end up, though.

We ended up at our favorite lunch spot in that area, the Scenic View restaurant which, as the name implies, has a beautiful scenic view of Lake Monroe from their perch on top of a hill. We love to go there in the fall because they always have this amazing Maple Sweet Potato Cheesecake that is to die for.

After lunch we went exploring a bit. We had seen a road on a map that looked like it dead ended in one of the fingers off of the lake, and then continued on the other side. I’m sure it was probably an actual road at one time before the lake was built, but we were curious to see what it looked like.

We started out on what was a nice, curvy road through a rural neighborhood, which then turned to gravel. We followed it until it split off either towards the lake or towards the highway, and we turned towards the lake. Unfortunately when it went from gravel to double track, there was a closed gate that we couldn’t pass, so we didn’t get to see what it looked like at the lake.

We turned around and headed back towards the highway, which is when we found this old iron bridge that was built in 1898 by the Lafayette Bridge Company. Of course I had to stop for a picture, you guys know all about me and my love of old bridges, haha!

After that we just sort of took our time heading back home and enjoyed the rest of our time on the bikes. I was hoping for some better fall foliage, but it was pretty spotty. Fall’s in Indiana just haven’t been very impressive the last few years.

Today, the plan was to take Dorothy and Hennery (the Hawk) out for a ride for some BBQ for lunch. We got the bikes pulled out, and I had Dwayne snap a couple of pictures of me with Dorothy, and then we got our gear on and got ready to leave. When I went to take off on Dorothy, her clutch was sticking, so when I pulled it in and dropped her into first from neutral, she lunged forward and died. We freed it up, but then it did it again. The previous owner mentioned that it had done it to him, but he thought that it was due to the original owner putting the wrong oil in it, so we changed the oil first thing last week, then took her for a ride and changed it again to be sure. It never stuck when we rode it last week, but then it did today.

After that, I was afraid to try and ride it the 55 mile round-trip we had planned, because I wasn’t sure if it was going to free up completely or not, so I ended up taking Tora and Dwayne went ahead and took Hennery. I laughed that we probably looked silly with him on such a small bike and me on the much bigger Tiger.

Right before we got to the BBQ place, we passed a guy on the side of the road on a Harley, who waved us down and was pointing at his tank. We both spun around and pulled in behind him. I was in a bad spot, right where traffic was turning onto the road we were on off of the highway, so I rolled around Dwayne and off of the pavement so I wouldn’t get hit. He hopped off his bike and started talking to the guy, who claimed he was pretty sure he was out of gas, but that it wasn’t his bike, he was test riding it for a friend, and he didn’t know how to get the gas cap open to check it. Dwayne got it off for him, and he was indeed out of gas. The guy wanted us to go into town to his friends shop to tell him that he was out of gas, which we were willing to do, but then a pickup pulled up and he asked them if they would get him some gas and they agreed. That’s when things went South…

Where I had pulled off of the road, there was about a 6 inch drop off from the pavement to the shoulder, where I was. I didn’t realize it when I pulled up because I was just trying to hurry up and get out of the way so I wouldn’t get hit by someone turning onto the road. So I was trying to figure out how I was going to get the bike back up on the pavement without tipping it over because I wasn’t wearing my usual Sidi Adventure boots since I had planned to ride the 450, so I couldn’t get my feet planted firmly to try to back up to hit it more head-on instead of at an angle, so I asked Dwayne to come help me. So then Mr. I Don’t Check To Make Sure A Bike Has Gas Before I Take It Out For A Ride comes over beside me and says, “What, are you trying to ride his bike and he’s riding yours or something?” I wanted to punch him so bad, I was instantly furious, but I just glared at him and said, “No, this IS my bike.” and pointed at Tora. Then he has the nerve to say to me, “Oh, so you’re scared of your own bike.”

I seriously can’t tell you how furious I was in that moment. This idiot who wasn’t even smart enough to check that the bike he was riding had fuel, and then couldn’t even manage to figure out how to get the gas cap off by himself, had the nerve to talk to me as if I am not capable of riding my own bike. I have never once been scared of this bike. I wasn’t scared of it at that moment. I knew that if I didn’t ask Dwayne for help, there was a chance I might tip the bike trying to get it back up on the pavement because I didn’t have the option to approach it from a better angle, or with speed, and I couldn’t get my footing, so I did the safe thing and asked him to help me.

I was absolutely shaking with fury when we arrived at the restaurant, which luckily was less than a mile from where we had stopped, because I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to ride at that point, I needed to settle down. All I honestly wanted to do was go back and kick him over on that Harley and then point and laugh at him when he couldn’t pick it back up. It took me about halfway through our meal before I really settled down. I was still shaking trying to cut up my tomato and onions on my salad before the rest of our food came. Mostly because I wanted to deck that guy, but also because I was mad at myself for not just doing it on my own, because I know that I could have, I just didn’t want to risk the possibility of tipping it over and having that jerk laugh at me.

I’ll be honest, it was still weighing on my mind a bit on the ride home. It just frustrates me that as many wonderful and supportive men (like Dwayne) that there are in this world, there are still those who believe that we as women shouldn’t be allowed to ride motorcycles or work on them, or that we can’t. Like I told Dwayne while we were eating lunch, I have probably ridden more miles in the last 5 years than that guy has in his entire life. I would be willing to bet that dude has never ridden a 475 pound adventure bike fully loaded on a dirt mountain pass, but I have.

That is the last bit of frustration that I’m going to let that guy get out of me, though. I know what I am capable of, and the unwarranted comments of some stranger aren’t going to change that.

Once we got home, we decided to give Dorothy another go, and this time she did just fine. It may be that some of the oil the original owner had put in was still between the clutch plates making them stick, but it is something we will monitor and if it continues to happen, we will pull the clutch basket and check the plates.

I’m telling you right now, that bike puts a smile on my face like no other. It feels so small and quick. It rips through the gears with ease, and then it purrs right along at cruising speeds. I absolutely love it. Honda sure knew what they were doing when they built that bike. Almost 50 years later, and I swear that is still the most beautiful bike they’ve ever built, and it still runs like I imagine it probably did off the showroom floor. Beauty and reliability, you can’t ask for more than that.

It looks as though temperatures are going to start dropping next week, so I am not sure how much more riding we are going to be able to get in. But as long as we can layer up and still enjoy riding, we will keep doing it.

2 thoughts on “Fall, Fun, and Fury…

  1. Hi Jen, just found your blog through the Common Tread article. Your writing and pictures are amazing! That Harley douche is everything wrong in the world of riding, and it totally sucks that someone would be such a jerk and treat another person that way. Looking forward to reading more of your stories. Best wishes.

    • Hi Jeremy, thank you so much for the kind words, I am glad you enjoy the blog! I agree with you about the Harley guy, there is no place for that type of behavior in today’s motorcycle culture. Luckily, jerks like that are a dying breed for the most part šŸ˜‰

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