A good way to start the season.

Yesterday I took off early to meet some folks from the FJR Forum.

I got up at 0 dark-thirty and took off to meet up with Nate and Mike. Nate was riding in from West of Indianapolis, and Mike from Louisville. Our meeting point was exit 112 on I-70. I got there promptly at 9am, which was a task given all the fog.


The three of us then rolled on over to exit 202 I think, to meet the rest of the gang at a little po-dunk gas station.


We rolled away from there around 10am, and ran route 800, 255 (which was horrible from a gravel stand point), 26, and a few other numbers.

We stopped and took a little break then picked up a tag-a-long VStrom which made us a pack of 8.


The roads were all good except for the one that was 25 miles of gravel, sand and cinders. It was pretty amazing that no-one went down considering the conditions.

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We rode a good few hours and ended up in Marietta for lunch at a Ryan’s steak house. It wasn’t my pick, and surprisingly everything was pretty good. Good time, good riding, good company. That’s what it’s all about.


After lunch we headed back to where we started. Another good hour and a half of riding through more twisties up 26. We stopped that the gas station, and said our goodbyes.

Mike, Nate and I headed back towards home. We arrived together, we might as well leave together since we’re all headed the same direction. Things were fine until we started to get on I-70. The entrance ramp there is a bit funky. You cross over the highway, turn left on a side street, then an immediate left onto the ramp. Mike almost over shot the ramp, turned left quickly and then *boom* down he went. The exit ramp was covered with gravel and sand.

He went down hard and fast, then slid a good 25~30 feet off the side of the road into a ditch.

Nate and I stopped and helped him pick up the bike. Mike was fine because he was AGAT (All the Gear All the Time). His jacket and pants saved him from any road rash and his helmet kept him from busting his head wide open. He went down pretty hard and bounced right back up none the worse for wear.

His bike though didn’t do so well.



Damage included pretty much everything on the left side, upper and lower fairings, his highway peg was trashed, as were his aux lighting on the left as well. Left side exhaust was scraped up, and he even got the left side of the top case.

Again, Mike was fine, because he was covered. His bike mechanically was Ok too. He rode it home to Louisville. Nate and I followed him to make sure he and the bike were OK.

Outside of Mike’s episode, it was a great day. I put down almost 700 miles and Mike and Nate did almost a 1000.


Indiana Ride


Saturday C and I took our first all day ride on the FJR. A little late in the season but there was an organized ride over in Indiana to “Beat the Gawkers” on a great route through Brown County. The plan was to enjoy the day riding and check out the beautiful scenery before the leaves turned fully and the roads were clogged up with old folks gawking at the trees.

The biggest issue was the temperature. It was a lovely 37 degrees when we left at 6 am. The day before I tried to prepare Claudine for just how cold that was going to be and gave her an out but she wouldn’t take it. It was supposed to be a couple’s ride, but a number of the wives opted out because of the temperatures. The cold doesn’t bother me because I have heated gear.

She said she would just layer up. OK.

I lost count of how many shirts and layers she put on but she did have two jackets. One of the biggest issues was gloves. But we worked it out.

The other excitement was installing a new intercom on the motorcycle which would allow us to be able to have conversations as well as allow us to listen to music. This didn’t work out as well as planned as we didn’t have enough time for testing and tuning.

We met a friend at 6:30am about 10 minutes down the road at McDonalds. At that point Claudine said it’s not that cold. I told her you haven’t spend 15 minutes at 65 or 70 miles an hour yet, hang tight.

We left there to meet up with other folks in Columbus Indiana. It took us about an hour and a half to get there. We hit some fog, which only made it chillier. But it was pretty sweet riding through the sunrise with a full moon in sight.

We hooked up at the Columbus, IN Denny’s and had to thaw out. Neither Claudine nor Kyle had heated gear and with a low of 37 on the way, perhaps lower at times, that’s down right cold.


At Denny’s we met up with others from the FJR Forum including the ride organizers and had breakfast.

From there we took some pretty tasty roads around Brown County and ended up in Nashville, Indiana where we had Pizza and some stuffed breadsticks at a pretty decent Italian restaurant.

After lunch we all split up and wandered our way home. 12 hours and 350 miles later we were whipped. 350 miles isn’t very many for only 12 hours but we ran a nice pace and enjoyed the surroundings. It was a long day but well worth it.