The Ride UpDebbie decided that since Mitchell, Indiana was less than 200 miles from Bowling Green that she could ride her own to the Founder's Feast. That's a good thing because I'm not sure where she would have sat on the DR. I planned a route that was just over 160 miles along nothing but two-laners. Just one more game of Solitaire and we're off!
Debbie's on her little Ninja 250. It's been a damn fine bike for her, but it needs some luggage. We haven't been able to find a bolt-on setup so it's still without luggage save for the ginormous tank bag with the kitchen sink in it. I've just started getting the DR setup. It has all the essentials to get it off-road, but I've yet to put any kind of luggage on the bike. I'm just not sure which direction to go. I ordered an SU rack from Happy Trails that should provide me some options and serve as a good base. For this trip it was easy enough to strap on a bag and giddyup. And that's exactly what we did.
The plan was to stop often and take our time. Rain was in the forecast, but we were prepared for it. We stopped just a little north of Roundhill. We weren't having any fun at the time. :)
In the last picture above the ol' boy has one of those support a cause ribbon stickers. You know, yellow for the war, pink for breast cancer and apparently black is for lap dancing.
The ride through Kentucky was fun and uneventful. We crossed the river at Hawesville and took the scenic route on SR-66 that runs along the river for a spell and then twists and turns it's way northward. It began raining just south of Sulphur and when we arrived at Ole Country Store we decided to stop and take a break.
While stopped we decided to get some chicken livers. Debbie would have preferred gizzards, but they didn't have any. She wasn't too keen on the livers, but your's truly was. I mean, what kind of ignoramus doesn't like chicken livers? Exactly. Debbie also learned that summer type gloves get drenched in the rain.
It wasn't long after leaving English that we arrived at the Spring Mill State Park just east of Mitchell, Indiana where we checked in and chilled for the rest of the day.
Rough Road Riding - Day OneI attended the Founder's Feast with the intention of rough road riding both days. Each day we met at the Mickey D's in Mitchell. We shot the shit, drank the coffee, geared up and giddy'd up.
There was a good mix of bikes. Some VStroms and beemers, but mostly KLRs and DRs. Dandy Don Kime led the group both days and did a fantastic job of scouting the route and escorting us all on some fine dirt/gravel, water crossings and mud for those who chose to get dirty - real dirty. Be sure and click the link at the top of this post to see all the pics. I've just selected a few to show here.
Rough Road Riding - Day Two
Day two began much like day one - at the Mickey D's in Mitchell. Diggidy-Don (right) and Kevin decided to join us today since, to paraphrase Robert Cray with apologies, the forecast *didn't* call for rain.
We headed out in a southerly direction from Mitchell toward the French Lick area where we entered the gravel. Severe storms and hail ravaged the area the night before and it was evident with all the fresh, green leaves and limbs that covered some of the roads. We had to clear a few limbs from the road a number of times.
The first obstable was a nice, steep, muddy hill. Some chose to shimmy up the hill and some chose to go around - including your's truly.
We ate a good lunch at Marcy's Kitchen.
After lunch we traversed a few water crossings. The first one was hairy and I was close to saying f-it and going around, but then decided to hell with it - giddyup. No one tossed their bike into the water, but there were some close calls.
The reward for crossing all the water? Ice cream!
After ice cream... nappy time and the end of another great day of riding. Many thanks to everyone who scouted the roads and help organize the ride.
The Ride HomeI woke up early and looked at the radar. There was a good opening between the rain so I poked and prodded Debbie and told her that if we leave now, we may get lucky and make it home without getting wet. She was ready in no time and we were off!
We stopped again at the Ole Country Store in Sulphur, Indiana. It was time for a rest and something to chew on. Debbie smelled bacon and I went over to inspect.
mmmmmmmm... bacon... Jason likey. Jason needy.
While drooling over a bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich we got to talking to the owner, Donnie. Something I didn't realize the first time through was that the Ole Country Store is the home Donnie's Famous Chili. I asked him if he could whip up a batch and he said, "No problem" to which I replied, "Giddyup on it." Minutes later there appeared a large cup of hot, steamy, spicy chili that I must admit was pretty damn good despite the presence of spaghetti. Something that would get you hanged in Texas. Even still, I'd recommend stopping in at this little joint and checking out the chili. Nice friendly folks and damn good eats.
We got home shortly afterward and capped off an excellent little vacation. Debbie rode her own and did very well. She's still learning to trust her tires, but she's doing just fine. The DR performed flawlessly and I'm very pleased with the bike. I'm glad I took the time to put a few things on the bike and get it "riding-ready." Feels like a keeper now.
It's good to be home. Life is good.