Peggin’ It

I’m planning a 10-day, 2,500-mile motorcycle trip in early May and have been concerned about my new knee’s ability to withstand the punishment. My friend Ed suggested replacing the highway pegs on my Goldwing with different ones … of which he just happened to have a spare pair laying around. And here they are:

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Old pegs off, new pegs on

Yes, they’re fugly, but when you’re spending all day in the saddle comfort trumps cool, and Ed swears by the things. After mounting his spare pair on my bike we took a spin on I-10 to see how they worked. I rode my motorcycle, with the new pegs, 80 miles east to Willcox near the New Mexico/Arizona border; after lunch in Willcox we switched motorcycles so that I could try out Ed’s pegs, similar but with a slightly different foot position. By the time we switched back to our own rides on the outskirts of Tucson I was a believer, and had decided the pegs Ed put on my bike were the right ones for me.

The deal with highway pegs is that they give you another place to put your feet and let you stretch your legs out. My old pegs were hard-mounted in a far-forward position, and sat slightly higher than the regular pegs. The new ones are spring mounted, so that they sit high and out of the way when you’re not using them but swing down when you put your feet on them, riding lower and forward of the regular pegs. These thumbnails (click to enlarge) show the difference:

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Old pegs

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New pegs

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Riding position


Your feet are close to the ground when you rest them on these pegs, so you don’t want to use them when you’re cornering hard. For long straight stretches of freeway, though, they’re quite comfortable. Sure, they look old-mannish, but they feel great, much more comfortable than my old high-mounted pegs, and I think I’ll buy this set from Ed and using them on my upcoming trip.

So how was the ride to Willcox? Actually kind of fun. I don’t normally ride freeways unless I’m on a trip, but once in a while it’s nice to scoot along at 75-80 mph and wring the bike out, and when you know what you’re looking for there are a lot of interesting things to see on these long desert highways. I insisted on stopping at my favorite roadside attraction at Exit 322, Johnson Road. Despite the name, there’s no road that I can tell, just a ramp to funnel tourists into the parking lot of The THING?, inspiration and namesake of my blog. One can’t have enough photos of The THING? Am I right?

Leaving The Mystery of the Desert (What Is It? Fuck If I Know!) Ed told me there was supposed to be an old-school diner in Willcox but that he’d never been able to find it. On the way into town I saw a billboard showing a railroad-car diner, so I figured it had to be somewhere near the tracks, and sure enough we found it, right across the street from Willcox’s old-timey train station.

More thumbnails? Why not? Click ’em to see ’em bigger:

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The THING?

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Ed at the diner

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The train station

© 2013, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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