Memories are made of this!

by Clifford Meier
August 4th, 2006


It doesnít matter the length of the trip. It can be a day trip or your long awaited vacation. You have a plan, the route is all worked out, everything is in place and youíre good to go.

This is going to be an outstanding ride! Youíve been looking forward to it and everything is perfect. So with the chill of morning air and the sky so blue it hurts your eyes, you throw a leg over, fire the ole girl up, drop it into gear and off you go. All of the pieces are in place, nothing will stop you now.

Youíre totally relaxed and settled in. Moving down the road, your enjoyment factor is a 10 and thatís when "IT" happens. "IT" can be anything, a flat tire or mechanical problems, maybe itís not even bike related. Maybe itís a scheduling conflict. Really doesnít matter what "IT" is. "IT" can be something so simple you donít realize it yet but your plans for this ride are now toast.  

No matter how hard we try or how much we plan, as they say ďEvents OccurĒ and recently I realized just how fantastic this can be. A value added treat! "IT" is also the reason for my story.  

Each ride or trip has its own identity and memories. Is there a better way to remember a trip than a little unexpected excitement?
On this particular trip leaving Moab, Carol and I had been ahead of the weather all day. We would stop for a quick break and the rain catches us, so to avoid the rain we keep pushing forward. We are on I-70 east bound at Frisco with just under 80 miles from home, far left lane doing a fine Colorado pace around 85 mph when "IT" happens.

I ask Carol, "Are you moving around?" She says "No" so I respond ďHang on, we have problems.Ē With the rear end squirming around, we start slowing and move two lanes to the right. Just as we pull onto the shoulder, the rear tire comes off the wheel making the VTX totally unmanageable and I say hello to a green pole and reflector.

Now if you can picture thisÖ the adrenaline hits me and I can hardly hold up the bike and without a rear tire the side stand will not extend. We push her on to the dirt and I dig a little hole with my foot, extend the stand and climb off. After asking Carol if she was OK and a look to heaven saying thank you Lord, I find a 3/8 bolt through the tire.

We are now able to take a few moments for reflection. A few brief moments that is, maybe even 30 seconds, thatís when the rain catches up. For the next hour and a half, while waiting for the tow truck we stood on the shoulder in a major down poor!

What a great ride and because of "IT", we will remember this ride forever.

My next example of "IT" would be our trip through Yellowstone. We wanted to go through the park, enjoying the smudge pots and Old Faithful, through the Grand Tetonís making Jackson WY by 6 pm or so to enjoy dinner and a restful evening.

We were in a pull off with tripod in hand taking a picture when our first "IT" occurred. A tour bus pulls up with people of Asian descent, each and every one with a camera. Iíd swear 50 people walked up to us wanting to take our picture. We felt like Rock Stars! Thirty minutes later we are back on the road but at every pull off we receive more attention from our new found friends.

As we proceed through the park we see "IT", a Grizzly Bear. Very cool indeed and around the next corner we find "IT" again, Buffalo blocking the road. Again very cool so we stop and take more pictures.   

By the time we get through the park and arrive at Old Faithful we are well behind our timeline. We miss the eruption by mere minutes finding "IT" once again. Do we wait an hour for the next eruption? Of course we do, without a question.

A bit after 5 pm Old Faithful spouts off, the crowd clears and we continue on our journey. Frustrated, behind schedule, knowing we will not make Jackson in time for dinner we head for the Grand Tetonís.

This was the most spectacular vision I have ever seen. Entering the Grand Teton National Park at dusk, climbing the mountains as the sun is setting. Pictures donít do it justice and words cannot explain how breathtaking this view really was.  This was the most spectacular evening ride we have ever had.

We arrive in Jackson late, but none the less for wear. No worries we found a room, in fact a suite that was given to us at a regular room rate and we enjoyed a fine dinner. Everything worked out, it always does.

What we encountered outside of our plan because of "IT", gave this ride its own identity and special memories that makes this ride one we will never forget.

The next time youíre riding, enjoy the special moments and memories that are a result of "IT", whatever "IT" happens to be.

Until we ride againÖ  

Moab Photo Gallery      -       Yellowstone Photo Gallery