Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 3 -5

We left Canton OH, in plenty of time to make it to Brighton Michigan by early afternoon… in theory anyway. I had two connections to make with friends along the way, and what is interesting, these are the factors in a trip that generally go awry, but that day, all the people meets were smooth as butter. The traffic was horrific!

I80 out of Canton Ohio slowed to a snail's pace...the kind of jam that is so difficult to manage on a motorcycle. I was comparing it to riding through Chicago rush hour a few years ago and decided that Chicago was a cake walk compared to this. It took over 2 hours to travel 36 miles! I shut off the bike and was actually pushing it on the interstate for a while…. Screaming a the top of my lungs, “I HATE OHIO!!!” I don’t really hate Ohio, but at that moment, it would have been difficult to convince me otherwise. Eventually, we came through it and made two long awaited connections. Jimmy from Michigan and then Dan from Wisconsin.

The ride still had a challenge waiting for us. That morning, the weather reports were all about the heavy thunderstorm warnings for that area. I felt as though I was facing ‘running the gauntlet’ as we rode west…the sky was looking more and more ominous. Jimmy had just told me about tornado activity the night before. For this Yankee girl, all this big sky talk made me a little nervous, and I did some heavy praying as we rode under the dark clouds, with giant bolts of lightning ahead. Amazingly, we almost threaded this needle and only encountered a few minutes of rain. Jimmy showed us back roads to our destination for the day, Tommy's house near Fint, Michigan.

All three of these friends are people that I have been talking to for a few years through motorcycle forums. Generally, by the time we all actually meet face to face, it's as if we are old friends. It's pretty cool.

Tommy builds hotrods and chops up his motorcycles to redesign them just for fun. I had a few things that I was thinking I needed to ask him to fix for me when I got to his house. One was an easy fix, and one a little more difficult. He generously gave of his time to work on my bike, and she even got a power wash!

Tommy, Dan and Geno were all brainstorming. I left them in the garage with my bike up on the lift, as they were deciding what to do about my worry that my exhaust is too loud for me to manage for a month.

Tommy welded an extension on the baffle and it has helped to diffuse the volume a little bit. I also tried to repack it the next morning at the motel with fiberglass. Anyone who knows me will really appreciate this photo. I think it is the first time I have actually done any work on my own bike. I used my own new tool kit and really enjoyed it!

This worked for a while, but the best solution so far has been the 33 decibel earplugs that I also bought. They filter out the wind and exhaust noise but allow my radio to come through.

We quickly ran into rain on Friday, which was too bad, as we were riding a scenic route. But it is all part of the adventure. We said goodbye to Tommy after riding over the Mackinaw Bridge (wooohooo, big bridge lots of fun!) and spent the rest of the day putting on and taking off our rain gear. It was a long day, not necessarily in miles, but time. We found a really cozy lunch spot- coffee, creamy vegetable soup and a grilled cheese did wonders to warm me up :)

We pulled into Green Bay WI about 7pm EST. Dan, Peter and I were happy to stop after a 10 hour day on the road.

Thus far I am over 1700 miles into my trip!

Thanks for reading along with me and thank you again to Scorpion USA for the awesome gear!

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