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lifestyle


mileageslaves What I learned this summer


By David Cwi #28490 THIS


SUMMER


was spectacular, especially the ride to and from the National


Rally.


Thinking back on that ride, I realize that it proved


“they” are right: Old dogs resist new tricks, especially when the dog is hav- ing so much fun with the old tricks. Let me illustrate: I LIKE messing


with Clyde. Not often mind you, but I’ve been doing the same trick for years, so why change to something new? Who the heck is Clyde, and what


the heck am I talking about? Well now, your questions set the table for the necessary back story, so you can appreciate my state of mind and how it all started. Clyde is a retired commercial pilot.


He is, in fact, an original Raider who typifies, in some respects, what is happening to that group and to riders in general. He’s already announced the date on which he’ll park his track- day bike, and he knows when he’ll stop riding altogether. These deci- sions are totally driven by the calen- dar. Commercial pilots exit the cockpit by law when they hit a certain age. Clyde is applying the same logic to motorcycling. But Clyde, and John, too, and


before him, Carl, started to resist and reject long days in the saddle when they hit a certain age. Some no longer want to ride at night, which shortens the day. More to the point, age can, it seems, trigger a reluctance to even contemplate a 1,000-mile day run. That had an impact on how I planned this year’s Raider ride to the Rally. I wanted to ride with Clyde this summer. He wanted 500-mile days,


78 BMW OWNERS NEWS October 2017


so 500 miles days it would be. After all, there is always the ride back home, and Lo and Behold Indy to Salt Lake was a near perfect 1,500 miles—a sweet, fast “day ride.” I could plan a scenic ride west on great twisty roads and even make a stop in Vegas since old Blood and Guts was along and he’d never been there. Gee. The Million Dollar Highway in Colorado. Then Utah and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Zion, Vegas, and twisty Utah to Salt Lake City. This was going to be way cool, and then I could get my long-distance jollies on the way home. To return to our tale, Clyde is a good guy,


but he can drive me nuts in one respect. I send him emails with trip details that he either never reads or can’t find, so he can be exasperating as he repeatedly asks for infor- mation already sent. And he is always sent a GPX file charting the trip route with gas stops that he never loads to his GPS. Since he does not know the route, that


makes him easy pickings for Clyde torture. You see. I know when he is going to run out of gas. How so, you ask? Well I just listen to his


claim about how far his precious Ducati ST 4 can roll on a tank and deduct 15 percent. We are going west and going fast and that means we are rolling out of Hays, Kansas, in a headwind and going uphill. Although you might not realize it, the bike does. So gas stops need to happen short of 220 miles or Clyde is going to be in a panic. Naturally after a “short” first stop to get rid of morn- ing coffee, I make the next one 220 miles. So we meet up in Hays, Kansas, and the


first stop goes as planned. Eventually as we roll along, via the helmet COM system I hear, “Dave, watch your six. Clyde is com- ing. He pointed to his tank and now is on the move.” Laughter follows. So Peter has alerted me that Clyde has no


idea that six miles ahead we are stopping for gas. What to do? To put this another way. What would you do?


Naturally, I sped up. A lot, but incremen-


tally, to keep the distance between us con- stant. So childish. And soon enough, he slowed down. When we got to the gas stop, he just smiled and shook his head as he knew when I speeded up that I was messing with him. But he also knew that this meant gas was near. Now payback is an itch if you know what


I mean. And later that day Clyde got a chance to scratch his. It happened when Route 50 west of Gunnison was being resurfaced. As the Colorado DOT put it, “Motorists can expect single-lane, alternat- ing traffic through one or more work zones. Please plan for possible traffic holds of up to 20 minutes; delays could exceed 20 min- utes as traffic queues are cleared in both directions.” That does not even begin to describe the


mayhem. It was a scene out of Mad Max. First, there were three of us, and we’d


been passing cars, trucks, Harley’s, RV’s and pickups towing fifth wheels. So Route 50 had what you’d expect by way of traffic, and we were making short work of it before coming to a stop. I was in the lane all the way to the right


with Clyde near the center line next to me, and Blood and Guts was in front. Before us was an unbelievable sight. They were down to one lane. But that “lane” consisted of what seemed like a mile of mounded asphalt not quite wide enough for a fifth wheel, or so it seemed. Imagine if you will that a truck dumped


this stuff and then a front end loader dropped its shovel and backed up and sort of flattened it. Then, maybe they ran some- thing over it in an attempt to flatten it some more. This “flattened” mound was maybe 10 inches high. Now, put ruts in it. Now make it wet…and why wet you ask? Because it had been raining off and on. And that was the detail that soon would bedevil. Suddenly as if on cue a rain cell perched itself overhead and a deluge started. So, I’m


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