Memorial Day, a day to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice our troops have made for this country, or go to a family BBQ.
Typically I work, I’m not one of those lucky people who have the day off. This past Monday though I did take the day off. However there was no BBQ for me. I was on the road, heading north to rescue the FrankenMonster and her new owner who had a little adventure in some gravel that ended with a broken collarbone.
My brother and I left earlyish on Monday to go get him and check out the Monster. I wasn’t looking forward to what was going to be a long day. 325 miles up, get the bike and then another 325 miles home. Luckily Highway 101 north isn’t ugly, and there was not much traffic as we made our way to Arcata. We got to catch up, my brother and I hang out a fair amount but it was a really good drive up with him, hearing about all the little things going on in his world.
Even with our small bladders we made good time, and arrived in Arcata around 1 PM. We collected our poor bruised and battered friend and then went to see how the FrankenMonster handled her “crash”.
Getting the bike from the tow company was another reason I had to go. Due to a paperwork snafu the registration is still in my name, meaning they would only release it to me. The only hard part of this was dealing with the highway robbery of what it cost to tow the bike 10 miles. The tow business is good business I guess.
The Monster was looking good as I walked up to her, no puddle of oil underneath her, and all the controls looked good. After checking that she had oil in her I tried to start her up. She roared to life like nothing had happened. Her fast idle cable did take a little fiddling to settle down, but after a short experimental ride I declared her good and we got on our way.
As much as I wanted to just head straight home we first had to go to the Campground where my friend was supposed to be staying and gather his stuff. This was a relatively quick trip. Twelve miles up the road and we packed him up as quickly as we could. I did another check of the Monster and declared her good enough to get home. We decided to meet in Fortuna which was about 45 minutes away, for lunch/caffeine and a final check on how I was doing before racing home as fast as possible.
It was when leaving Fortuna that I experienced a feeling I’ve never had before. I didn’t want to ride. It was four in the afternoon and I had more than 250 miles to cover until I got home, and it was daunting. There is no easy or fun way to do that many miles before it was dark. With as little moaning about it as I could to my wife I got on the bike and got going.
It didn’t take long for me to decide that I was going to be traveling faster than I would normally. I am not one for speeding in a straight line, but the math really suggested that I should maybe push things. I was just hoping that all the good karma I had buy rescuing my friend would hold and I could get home with a license intact.
I’ll save you the suspense and say that I got home by 8:10 PM, managing only to stop once to get gas and use the bathroom. Now lest you think that was slow, a good section of that is on two lane roads, and I had to go through San Francisco.
Most of the trip was a blur. Sadly I had just driven the road up, so the scenery was already a bit stale. I had also just ridden the road home from the spring trip so the novelty was definitely gone. There were some sections that I got lucky on with no traffic and I could enjoy being on a motorcycle.
The biggest joy of the ride was just being reunited with the FrankenMonster. I’m lucky to have gotten to sell her to a friend. We meshed almost immediately, and after a little while it was all back, just me and the Monster against the world.
I rode past this Vista point on the way home from the Spring Ride. I took the time to stop and get a photo with the FrankenMonster.
- Left Fortuna at 3:50PM
- Got home 8:10 PM
- Four hours 20 minutes, 263 miles