This last week was the Tennessee State HOG Rally in Murfreesboro, TN. This was my first motorcycle rally to attend, and it was fun. It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but events like that never are when you are staying at your own place. I finally made it to Lynchburg on my bike, but didn’t have time to do the tour of the Jack factory, so I will just have to go back.
The big highlight of the time, if you can call it that, is when I was hit by a full size wheelchair accessible van. Here is the kicker though, the van was backing down the exit ramp of the interstate when they hit me. Yes, you read that correctly, the van was backing down a one lane, one way interstate exit ramp. I was sitting there with a little over a cars length to the van, and was wondering why the van was taking so long to turn, and then i saw the reverse lights turn on. I started honking and trying to walk backwards as quick as I could, but a full size van on a down hill in reverse, I just couldn’t make it work. He hit my bike and I jumped off to the right to avoid getting hit myself, resulting in a barrel roll. I was on my feet within seconds and up at his passenger window to make sure he didn’t have plans of driving off.
Needless to say, the whole thing could have been much worse. I called a state trooper and insurance company etc. I am taking my bike to the dealership this week for the insurance agent to look at and to get the bike checked for any potential frame damage. My pipes, highway bars, highway pegs and controls on the right side of the bike will all definitely have to be replaced. The highway bars did protect the tank from hitting the ground, which made them worth the money. My helmet did hit the ground when I rolled out of the way, so it will have to be replaced as well.
I don’t recall anyone warning of cars backing down a one lane interstate off ramp in my motorcycle training class, but I have definitely decided that I need to leave more than a cars length of space whenever I stop.
I finally got in the highway bars for Quinn yesterday, and got them installed today during my lunch. I also had time to get one of the highway pegs installed. I installed the other one once I got home, and right before it started to rain. I didn’t get to do a test ride to see if the pegs are in the right position, and now the forecast is for rain the rest of the week. So far, my luck has not been good whenever I install new parts onto the bike. It is by no way the end of the world, just an annoying coincidence that just doesn’t seem to go away.
I need to plan out some weekend trips to take this year on the bike. I am not sure where I want to go yet, but it will probably end up being trips to visit some members of the fleet. I am sure that would equate to some epic memories that would not soon be forgotten. I still haven’t done any solo trips and I think that it would be a great experience. After I get moved and settled, I really need to look into figuring out when some of these trips might be able to happen.
We took our time in getting on the road on Sunday. This is where I discover what happened to my gloves. I put my jacket back on, and I feel some pressure on my chest. I then look down and realize that there is indeed one pocket that I had not looked in. The funny part about this, is that I remembered that when we were at the Bowling Green dealership, I commented to Todd on the fact that I had a pocket on my jacket that I didn’t know about. This was the pocket that I had put the gloves in. So since I had just learned it was there, it never crossed my mind to look in it, as I didn’t remember that it existed. Of course, I had removed the tag off of the gloves that I bought, so I am stuck with them. They are now my backup gloves that will live in my travel bag.
We ride for about an hour and then get to Knob Creek. I had heard of this phenom for a while, but you really can’t understand it until you are there. One of my friends described it at Dragon*Con for machine guns, and he is right. There was every sort of gun imaginable there, and who knows how many thousands of dollars of ammo that were expelled per minute. They had vendors selling everything you could ever want. You could also rent guns to fire at the range, which i did not have money to do this time, but I will be prepared for the next time that I go. For instance, for a mere 30 dollars, you could fire 3 shots of a M203 grenade launcher. Need I say more?
I got some great pictures and videos of the shooters letting loose. We stayed there for a little under 2 hours and then got back on the road. We stopped at HD in BG again for Todd to return the glasses he got for some different ones, and then headed back home. We were on 31W the whole way back, which had us end up riding down Broadway after crossing the river, which was a kind of cool way to end the trip.
It was a great experience, and now I really want to plan and head out on a nice solo ride to somewhere. I will probably plan a trip somewhere that I will be able to camp just to add in a different experience.
Today was a great day. We left Nashville around 6:45 and headed up to Bowling Green to go to a swap meet/sale at the HD dealership. We got there at 8:45 or so, and there was no one there. The website said that it started at 8, but the signs there were that it started at 9. We decided that we would go and get some breakfast. This is where part of the comedy starts. We decide that we dont need to get fully geared up, so I didn’t put my gloves on. I think I sat them down on my tank as I was putting on my helmet. We got to Waffle House and get some food and then head back to the dealer. We look around the swap meet, and then go inside to see what stuff they had on sale. I found 2 T-shirts for 40 percent off, and Todd found some new glasses. We pay and then head out to get on the road. It is getting hot, so I strap my jacket onto the tour pack, and say crap, I left my gloves my pocket. I look around in all of my gear and the are not to be found. We head back to Waffle House and look there as well, and the are just gone. So I get to go back to the dealership and buy a new pair of gloves. We finally get on the road to Maker’s Mark around 11:30. We have a great ride and eventually get to the distillery. We make it just in time for the last tour of the day which was packed. We took some pictures and did the tour, and then got to the best part. The free tasting. They give you some of the liquid gold and some of the aged Maker’s to try. We are some of the first in line, and then we bought bottles of Maker’s in which we were able to dip them in wax ourselves. It was pretty cool. Mine looks kinda ghetto. I tried to dip the whole bottle in, but the was wasn’t deep enough. We didn’t have enough time to make it to Jim Beam. That will have to be another trip in the future.
We change our plan so that we can make it to the Louisville HD dealership to get a shirt etc. We are going along on the road that heads to the interstate, and we almost end up going the wrong direction. Todd missed the sign, and luckily I happened to see it and get us back on our way. We made it to the dealership in time where I got an awesome shirt that has a pin-up girl on the front. I need to take pictures of my shirts later on and add them to the facebook album I am making for the trip.
Tomorrow we sleep in, and then get on the road to head to Knob Creek. We will spend a little time there, and then head back to Nashville on the backroads. I think that we might be headed to the dealer in Bowling Green for Todd to return the glasses he got, as he doesn’t care for them that much, but it is on the way. I didn’t take all that many pictures today. I will post them all on facebook after tomorrow. Now, it is time for sleep, as it really does take it out of you riding all day. We put in right under 240 miles today.
Well I got the bike trip planned out. I managed to make it work where I won’t use any interstates, and the round trip will be right under 500 miles. I will be heading to the Maker’s Distillery and the Jim Beam distillery. I will get to stop at three different HD dealerships, and attend the machine gun shoot. I need to get all of my stuff ready tomorrow, as the plan is to leave around 6am on Saturday.