I went out for a ride with a couple of buddies yesterday, my first real motorcycle outing since May. We belong to a motorcycle hashing club called the Knuckledraggers; since Sunday also marked the 2020 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, we were able to check off both boxes.
The idea behind the Knuckledraggers is to meet and hash monthly. Our last event was in May, before it got too hot to even consider riding. It’s still unseasonably hot (the temp got up to nearly 100F° on the homebound leg yesterday), but it’ll be cooler in October and maybe we’ll start getting more turnout then.
The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is an international charity event, with proceeds going toward mental health and prostate cancer research (thinking of you, Mike Pinter, friend, pilot training classmate, and fellow steely-eyed aerial assassin, who succumbed to prostate cancer a few days ago). The DGR is normally observed with group rides in towns and cities around the world; in this pandemic year participants rode solo instead. Or solo together, as Dave, Patrick, and I did.
Fellow Knuckledragger and DGR alumnus Dave (hash name Wankers Aweigh) wanted to ride, so we agreed to meet at the Triple T truck stop on the south side of town. There, we were joined by fellow Knuckledragger Patrick (hash name Loose Nut), who as always showed up in his minivan. We decided long ago it was okay for Loose Nut to tag along in a mom car; rather than view the minivan as an embarrassment, we decided to look on it as a ride home should any of our bikes break down.
After a photo-op stop at Tucson Spaceport, we took back roads south to Arivaca, one of the earliest settlements in Arizona, a few miles north of the US/Mexico border. We stopped at the Gadsden Coffee Company, named for the 1854 land purchase grab that incorporated Arivaca and the rest of southern Arizona into the USA. The coffee shop is in a kind of limbo, no longer selling coffee but with tables and chairs still set out under the trees for visitors (mostly bikers out for rides on the beautiful two-lane roller-coaster road between Amato and Arivaca, one of southern Arizona’s best rides). We took advantage of of those tables and chairs to take a mid-ride break in the shade:
On our way down to Arivaca we noticed the Longhorn in Amato is open once again, so we stopped there for coffee on our way home. Like the rest of these small towns in southern Arizona, it’s Trump country, but masking-up rules were in effect and we were able to get a table on the patio, socially distanced from other diners. Wankers was wearing a Mark Kelly for Senate T-shirt, and not only did no one pull a gun on us, several people passing by made positive comments. Made me feel bad I didn’t wear my Kamala face mask!
We took the freeway home, the only stretch of US highway marked in the metric system … except for speed limit signs, of course, which still say 75 mph because you know if they said 120 kmph American drivers would miss the “k” part.
Speaking of American drivers, our Polly ran over a traffic island on her way to work last night. Not just any traffic island; the one she plowed over was landscaped with boulders, which tore her old Saturn up: you can’t tell from the photo, but all four tires are blown, all four wheels are bent, and there’s antifreeze everywhere. Knowing the bottom of the radiator is gone, I suspect there’s frame damage as well.
This happened not far from home; I drove down to call and wait for a tow truck; Donna showed up a few minutes later in her car so Polly could take it to her overnight job at Amazon. We had the Saturn towed to our regular mechanic’s garage nearby; he’s going to look it over today and tell us if it’s worth salvaging or not. But we already know it isn’t. Now what?
Never any lack of excitement around these parts. More to come, I’m sure.