Saturday, September 8th. My friend Brett and I took off from the group and headed South through Jersey, hitting back-roads on our way to I-80, where we planned on splitting off from one another.
There aren't too many people I meet and instantly get along with. To be honest, most people think I'm a prick when they first meet me. In time, almost all get to like me, but, you can't please everyone. I'm use to it. I keep to myself for the most part, I speak what I think when needed, and I don't kiss anyone's ass. No tough-guy routine, just the way I've always been. Brett is one guy in the industry who seems as though I've known for my entire life. I haven't, but the dude is someone I call a great friend, only having hung out a handful of times.
Riding with people for the first time can change your perception of them. It can make or break a person in my mind. I've ridden with guys who get it and others who don't. It helps separate the retards from the real deals in the motorcycle world. There are people out there who claim they ride, there are those that actually do, and there are those that excel at it to a level above most others. There's no scale or measuring of skill, but when you ride alongside another biker, you can get a feel for their dedication, love, and skill for what is.... motorcycling.
Trust in the person you're riding with, as well as the foresight to know what the other rider is thinking are two things that make riding with someone safer, and all around more enjoyable. The one other person I feel rides so similar to me that I know what he's gonna do before he does it, is my brother. I believe that's because we've ridden with one another for over ten years and we like to light it up in heavy traffic.
Feeling like we had been riding together for over ten years as well, we ripped through the curves on narrow, two lane roads. It's a good feeling... there's nothing worse than a fellow rider completely ruining your experience on the road. When you don't have to think or worry as much, riding is much more of what it should be, a stress reliever.
We got to the I-80 junction, took a long break, and checked the weather to the West... rain. So, on with the rain-gear, said our good bye, and off I went. Once I hit the Pennsylvania border, it started coming down on me. Not bad, I've had worse, but not light either. Made it through and had overcast the rest of the day.
With the Cannonball Run ahead of me on the same route, I wanted to catch up. Their stop for the night was in Sandusky. I knew I could make it there, and I did, pulling in around midnight. Got to their hotel and tried seeing if I knew anyone still up at that time of night. I didn't, but like always, I made friends. I met a guy from Wisconsin, about sixty years old and loaded to the gills on what I could smell was whiskey. Had a good, long conversation about his 1925 Triumph and the plan for the next day in Milwaukee, then I crossed the street to pass out for the night.
I had to wake up early if I wanted to get a glimpse of these guys taking off in the morning...
Til next time Brett, hopefully sooner than later... oh, and according to this picture, we're handicapped.