Sunday, March 8, 2009

First ride - 2009


What a nice weekend we had! The temps almost hit 60 degrees farenheit Saturday and today, Sunday, looked to be almost an exact repeat. I had challenged the other club members to see who would get out for the first "official" AMC (Amherst Motorcycle Club) ride for the year. I put a few parameters around it, to make sure everyone had a little skin in the game, but by and large, it was just me putting a stake in the ground to hurry the season along.

The ice on my driveway was giving me fits. At some points, it's 6" thick and very hard to break up. I spent hours yesterday clearing a swath four feet wide and about eight feet long. Rain was forecast for last night and I had hoped that it would help me complete the task. It didn't. It couldn't have rained that much last night as there was little change.

I was determined to get my bike out today, especially since Jerry stopped by yesterday and provided "supervision" while I put the seats back on, etc. Today, I got an early start and was chopping away when my elderly neighbor Tom, from across the street, came out to do the same. He was chopping with a steel snow shovel circa 1960! He's a good guy and took my ribbing in stride. Before you know it, I had stopped my work and was chopping ice across the street. We almost cleared the end of his driveway when I realized I was running out of time. Back to my own labor!

Tom is great and in a moment was across the street to help me clear mine. Here's what I got to by the time I decided to go ride:

I forgot to mention that two other riders beat me in the race to start the ride season. Cabin Boy & Crumpet got together for a little riding yesterday, making a small loop before feeling the chill and returning to base. Cabin Boy was eager to get out again today and, by the time I'd cleared a path, I saw that I missed a group of riders by about 90 minutes. So, my first ride of the season was a solo one.

I headed down Route 3 until I crossed the MA state line, made a U-turn at the Westford/Tyngsboro exit, headed North to Hudson, NH where I picked up Route 3A, the rural route on the opposite side of the Merrimack River from Nashua. It is a pretty, lazy, wending road following my high-speed blaze down the super-slab. I made the ride up to Manchester, by the airport, before heading West towards home. All told, I did just short of 60 miles.

The Happy Camper, at the end of his first ride for the season:

So, two days of "Manuel" Labor for a less than two hour ride. In my mind, a great deal. Oh, by the way, Old Man Winter is not through with us yet. The forecast is for a fresh 3-5" of snow and sleet during the day tomorrow. But, I don't care. I know we're on the back side of this mess and soon we'll be out riding in warm breezes to far-away destinations.

All I can say is "F" YOU Winter, you lost again.

A low, slow wave,

Joe Rocket