24 August 2010
And We're Driving... And We're Driving...
Well, the trip started off shakily...
But I'm getting ahead of myself already.
I took advantage of my friendship with "TwoDogs".
I reserved the Penske truck for pickup in Indianapolis, THEN called to ask if he might consider driving his hindquarters off all day Saturday to help me pick up the Moto Guzzi. It's terrible, taking someone for granted like that, but I know that he knows I would do the same for him, and I sorta knew the answer to my question before I even asked.
He didn't disappoint me.
Sara Jean and I drove to Indianapolis Friday night and arrived just prior to Sunset. That gave us a couple hours to visit before hitting the sack. We were facing a 7 hour drive to Girard, Pennsylvania... just outside Erie, and wanted to get on the road as early as possible on Saturday in hopes we could make it back late Saturday night. We walked in the door at Penske Truck Rental shortly after they unlocked it.
They had no record of my rental.
"No worries", they said, "We have an extra truck."
But it was a 16-footer, not the 12-footer I was promised.
"We'll give you the 16-footer for the price of the 12-footer. They get about the same gas mileage anyway. What are you gonna use the truck for?"
"I'm moving a motorcycle."
"You need the 16-footer anyway. It has a ramp. The 12-footer doesn't have one."
God works in mysterious ways.
We were on the road Eastbound at 0930 hours.
Twodogs took the first shift. He's a former over-the-road truck driver and noticing how natural and smooth he was behind the wheel made me hope I wouldn't embarrass myself. Two hours or so later we stopped for fuel and I got behind the wheel. I was amazed at how car-like the truck was. With the exception of the fact that it took up most of the lane, it was comfortable to drive, drove easily at 70 m.p.h., and didn't make our kidneys ache. We left the radio off and chatted about news... old and new.
At Dayton Ohio it started to rain. It rained past Cleveland. It rained off and on most of the way to Girard. But other drivers behaved themselves and the Ohio roads were in absolutely GREAT shape. At 4 P.M. Carmen the Garmin lead us right to the sellers front door.
Paul and I had emailed one another and had two or three phone calls to firm up plans. He had everything ready to go... the bike, title, extra parts, and he even helped us push it up the ramp, (thank GOD for the ramp!), and secure it.
TwoDogs and I ooh'ed and aah'ed over the eight or so other bikes Paul owned...
Several Guzzis of various sizes and a couple Boxer BMW's.
On his lift was a Guzzi engine he was rebuilding so we got a chance to look the beast over with nothing to obstruct the view. The 90-degree V is a work of art. I find myself wishing I lived closer to this man... he could teach me a great deal.
I hand Paul the check, we wave goodbye and get on our way at 5 P.M.. It's raining again so we change our minds about driving the short distance to take a look at Lake Erie...
We'd only be able to see a few miles offshore anyway, and one big body of water looks pretty much like all the others doesn't it?
Two fuel stops and several downpours later we pull into TwoDog's driveway at almost exactly midnight, having driven 792 miles.
Do the math... 792 miles divided by 13.5 hours equals an average 58.6 miles per hour, including fuel stops, a food stop, a couple construction slowdowns, and potty breaks.
Leaving Indy the next day I was in the truck solo with Sara Jean and the furkids following behind. The rain from the day before was long gone... we had near-perfect weather all the way home and arrived just as the sun was setting.
This morning I gently rode the bike down the ramp, gave it a good once-over, snapped the lockable Givi bags into place, (note... that link is to a Honda with the bags, borrowed from the 'net), and rode the bike... sans tags and motorcycle driver's license... three miles to determine if this was a tremendous mistake. There is more mechanical noise from the big twin than I was accustomed to with my last bike, an in-line four cylinder 1100cc Yamaha, but I think the noise of the engine working is something I'll learn to enjoy. The exhaust note is nothing short of muted music. I think I'm gonna love the thing.
I'm back to work tonight for two nights and will be off Wednesday morning. I'll try to take a few pictures to share with you soon.