On a Saturday morning soon, a group of us who ride motorcycles will head out of Floyd around 6 a.m. for a short ride to lunch — in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Yep. That’s right. We will ride 286 miles to grab a bite to eat two states away.

It’s something we do several times a year. Pick a location that takes a few hours to reach and head out in the wee morning hours to ride there and eat. On past rides, we’ve journeyed to Doughton Park at milepost 241 on the Blue Ridge Parkway for breakfast, to Richmond or Washington, DC for lunch or taken longer rides for dinner and an overnight stay 400-500 miles away.

Sometimes, we leave with no particular place in mind and ride until lunchtime.  It just depends.

When no else wants to ride, I just go alone. I’ve had breakfast at a roadside cafe in North Carolina or lunch at a diner in Tennessee or Kentucky — usually on the same day.  On a weekend ride alone, each intersection is a decision: Right, left or straight. Each ride is a journey of discovery. The only rule that applies is that I must take a different route home. Life is too short to repeat yourself.

Many of my rides are one-day affairs: 200-300 miles to get there and then a ride back via a different route. In the late spring and summer, when daylight lasts longer, you can easily make such a trip and get home before dark.

Why? Because I can.  Motorcycling is a great way to see the world around you. You leave the cares and concerns behind you, drowned out by the throaty exhaust note of a machine that becomes part of you are you journey through winding mountain roads and incredible vistas.

I know people who trailer their motorcycles to Myrtle Beach for the annual bike week.

To me, that’s not riding.

The average rider of a Harley-Davidson, I’m told, puts about 4,000 miles a year on his bike.

I ride that much in a month-and-a-half.  Averages are for the other guy.

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