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Detour

by Kathy

My journal entry doesn’t do this trip justice. Five sentences describe a three-day weekend. The entry ends “Good Ride”; I guess that really says it all.

We were invited to his niece’s wedding, 200 miles away. I had been a licensed rider all of six weeks, and had my bike for just over 2 months. We were going to make it a three-day weekend ride! We boxed up the wedding finery and sent it off to his sister’s, now all we had to pack was the rest of our stuff. He’s done this before, so I watched & learned.

All packed up, we headed out, he on his Sporty & me on my Honda CB400T. It was too tall for me, but it was a bargain I couldn’t pass up. We still generally only travel on the four lane highways when it’s absolutely necessary, and this trip was no exception. 60 miles north on a nice 2 lane highway, thru the woods, 30 miles more it’s still 2 lane, but farm land now. Still nice for riding, not much traffic. After a bit we turn off the main road and onto a secondary 2-lane road. This road runs along a small creek, the trees grow close on both sides, and the road winds back and forth following the creek.

The creek… It had been raining a lot over the past couple weeks; the creek was still muddy with run-off. There it was, the sign you really don’t want to see on a small 2-lane country road: “Bridge Out”. So we stopped and considered our options, we could turn around and go back, take a totally different route or, just then the rural route mail carrier stopped and asked if we were stopped because of the bridge. When we confirmed that we were, she directed us to a road around the bridge. It was dirt but it would bring us back out on the same road, just a few miles beyond the bridge. Well that suited us, so we turned off our road, onto the dirt road. It was a hard packed farm road and the going wasn’t too bad. The farm road led back thru a cow pasture then made a sharp turn and up the hill. Going up the hill was a little worse, the rain had washed away some of the hard packed earth and left gravel in lots of places, but we could see the top of the hill and it really wasn’t that bad. At the top of the hill we stopped and looked down the hill. It really was that bad. It must have really rained hard on this side, all there was left of the road was “rocks the size of your head or bigger” (that’s what my journal says), and the road was really narrow. There was no way I was going to get turned around on that road, to go back the way we came. So he went first, in case he had to park and come back to rescue me. He would have had to go to the bottom and walk back, because there was no place to park, his kickstand would have gone between the rocks!

Remember I said my bike was too tall? Well once I started down over the side of this hill there would be no stopping for me either, until I got to the bottom. There was just no place to put my feet down. The gaps between the rocks looked like canyons to me. So I slowly headed down that hill, from one rock to the next looking for the next best place to put my front tire, hoping that I didn’t make a mistake. Slowly, slowly, I went down the hill. He was waiting for me at the bottom; I think he was holding his breath! I doubt now that it was much more than a quarter mile down that hill, but then, who knows I certainly wasn’t measuring it! The mail carrier was right about one thing, we did come out a couple miles past the bridge, and once we got back on the pavement it was time for a break.

Now when we go up that road, and I’m in the lead, I signal for the right turn onto the DETOUR, look in my mirror at him and laugh!

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From Kathy:
"I'm a married 40 something mother of 3, who has been riding just since '94. My current bike is a '97 Sportster." In here spare time, Kathy likes to visit the
Women Who Ride (WWR) forum.


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