Saturday, May 11, 2013

Day 5

I crossed the entire state of Tennessee from East to West. Not bad for a day ride :). But, I'm getting ahead of myself...

The word spread about the 100,000 mile Bandit and I was greeted in the morning by a fellow from Sudbury riding a GSF 650. My brother by bike from Alabama (my apology for forgetting his name, I hope he'll chime in here if he remembers the site) was there too and we chatted for a while and bid each other safe rides.

Morning was gloomy and some drizzle was coming down, but there was no way I was staying to wait it out, so on I went. Not much sky was seen on Cherohalla Skyway due to dense fog and constant drizzle at 14 degrees. The fog slowed me down to a crawl and drizzle just pissed me off. It was over in about 40km, but so was almost the Skyway :(. Fortunately, bad roads and lack of scenery are not something this area is known for, so quite a bit of fun was had all the way to Chatanooga. Then I got rained on again - it was short but heavy. Just when my clothes dried up from that drizzle earlier :(. In and out of the clouds was the game all morning.

Then I hit the interstate for some good old iron butt ridin'. I kept eating up the miles, stopping every couple of hours or so for gas and a stretch. I made no attempt to break the 330Km non-stop record Jesse and I made in 2011 - Bandit's tank is just not big enough for more and my nerves are not that thick either.

Across the Mississippi (it's f'in huge here, looks more like a lake) and into Arkansas.

There likely won't be much to write about for the next couple of days since I'll be riding the superslab all the way to Albuquerque. It will get progressively more fun from there, I promise.

Another friendly chat with a local elderly gentleman sitting in front of a rural gas station. I didn't understand him much (it was some kind of English for sure) except "Harley" and "son" (or was it "Davidson"?). Friendly and pleasant nonetheless, we parted as friends.

A well equipped guy from Saskatoon on a Triumph Tiger pulled by me at a Cherohalla overlook. He thought I was local at first but then took another look at the bike and bike said "No way you are an American, you don't ride a Harley.". A bit stereotypical but true to a very large extent. You don't see many people with "Suzuki" tatooed on their biceps. "HD"? A dime a dozen.