We were working on a car in a friend's drive way. The wheels lie in rest on two strips of compact ground which straddled a strip of green grass. My nose dripped slightly in the cold air. It was when his wife emerged from the house with some hot apple cider and freshly baked corn bread that I realized it was now my favorite time of year.
The weather has been unreal around here lately. The air is crisp and dry, blue skies go forever, yellow leaves floating to the ground in the rays of a golden sun and the stars are in full attendance.
It seems that at about this time of year my bike is held together with a year of quick fixes but I ride it harder than I have ever ridden it before knowing what's lurking around the corner. It's almost like I want to break it because it's coming apart in a few months anyway.
I've been on the road since Sturgis. I haven't had the time to explore the lesser known backroads, gravels roads and dirt paths in my new region. I have found hardships on just about every trip out of the driveway but is suppose that's what makes things exciting..... flat tires...... Endos over railroad tracks.... Electrical shorts.... 250 foot gravel slides through stop signs.... Broken bolts..... bee stings.... Frantic deer encounters.... Blown up tail lights.... stuck valves.... I even got hit by a football.
I changed out my rear tire before the Country Mile because the previous was showing chords. This would be the fifth tire I put on the rear rim this year. I've been circulating through the junk tires at Bravetown to get me through the year. The newest is hard as a rock. So hard that I rode 40+ miles with zero air pressure and didn't even realize it. I'm lucky I didn't break the bead.
I thought I may have bent a valve.
Photo: Haley Murray
Last saturday everybody and their mother was out on a motorcycle. The only thing I could figure was that most of these people forgot to ride their bike all year and figured they had better get on and ride it a few miles before the snows flys. I ride everyday and I never see more than 3 bikes on the road on any given day... not counting the same 5 bikes that never leave their spot in front of the bar........ Although I really enjoyed passing heards of twin cams, V-rods and crotch rockets on a cobbled together Panshovel.