Posts Tagged ‘chicken_run’

Chicken Run, Day Two

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

Another terrific day.  Well, at least for most of us.  We’ve been fortunate in not having any incidents so far this run.  But we certainly have had more than the usual share of “events”.  What’s the difference?  An incident requires the bike to be moving, and usually involves rubber losing contact with the pavement… and because of that is much to be discouraged.

The little mini-adventures started Friday, when Ed “Tomato Man” ran into stop-and-go traffic not too far south of Pittsburgh.  That led to a dead battery, a bit of interaction with a local bike-friendly fellow in a cage, and a ride to a Harley shop – who just happened to have a battery that would work in Ed’s VFR.  By the time that saga was done Ed was way behind schedule.  He limped into Snowshoe at 9:30pm.

Even as Ed’s weekend was set to improve, Scott’s was getting ready to get a little complicated.

His ride up Saturday was uneventful.  And Ashley seemed to be having a good time.

Alas.  As Kevin averred, it seems one never really gets three for three on the Chicken Run.  “The Chicken Run giveth; and the Chicken Run taketh away.”

Or said differently, when you gain that third marker, you have to cede something in return.  In Scott’s case it was two things.  First, his Zumo 550 GPS stopped working as we rolled down the mountain to breakfast.  Then, later in the afternoon, he dropped his K1100RS.  We had stopped along the side of the road to let our seven bikes re-group and Scott had a misadventure with the gravel.  His bike ended up falling into the guard rail.  That was a $1000 moment.

Rasmus had a flat tire.  In the big scheme of things, that turned out to be pretty minor.  He has a tire-pressure sensor on his K1200R and knew immediately when he started losing pressure.  It only took a few minutes to pull the roofing nail and plug the tire.  He was good for the rest of the day.

At least as far as his tire went.  Rasmus did have an interesting few minutes up on the Highland Scenic Highway.  When we left the overlook he forgot to zip up his tail trunk.  Gloves, rain gear, and assorted odds and ends began blowing out the back as we went flying down the road.  But the good luck that began with that tire plug continued.  Wes was behind him and quickly pulled up alongside to alert Rasmus of his imminent assumption of “the man with no clothes” title.  They backtracked and managed to collect everything.

And speaking of flat tires, Wes, on his way down from Pittsburgh Saturday morning, stopped for awhile to help a Goldwing pilot with a flat tire.  He burned a lot of time with that and ended up being way late for his rendezvous with Ken.  But he was good afterwards.  And hopefully the good karma he earned will come in handy some day.

Those little bumps aside, we had a very nice day two.  We ran a few new roads and some parts of West Virginia we hadn’t seen before.

All good…

Chicken Run, Day One

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

The Potomac highlands of West Virginia, where we mostly ride during our annual Chicken Runs, is largely devoid of infrastructure.  It’s pretty remote.  So it was a bit of a surprise to arrive at our condo on the top of Snowshow Mountain – a place we’ve stayed for a couple of decades – and find a DSL connection and wireless router installed.  Welcome to the modern age!

That, and propitiously having a laptop along (so as to be able to use my GPS mapping software) allows me for the first time to post a progress report during a Chicken Run.

So… how was day one?  It was terrific.  We couldn’t have asked for better weather – one of those days the air is super clear, like an old Kodachrome slide.  The barbecue chicken in Brandywine was excellent, as usual.  And it was good seeing everyone.

Ashley followed Scott up in the family mini-van rather than riding on the back of his K1100RS.  She seems to be having fun so far.  We’ll see if she decides to do any 2-wheel travel tomorrow.

Here’s a pic of the crew, after enjoying Kevin’s sphagetti dinner.

Chicken Run Crew

Chicken Run Crew

30-Year Anniversary of the Memorial Day Chicken Run

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

5:55AM:  One quick post before I head out on our annual Memorial Day Chicken Run.  This one is special – as it was exactly 30 years ago this weekend that John Holt and John Lyons were out on a motorcycle ride in West Virginia, stumbled across the the semi-annual barbecue chicken fundraiser in Brandywine, and thus started a tradition that has rolled along ever since.

Alas, neither John will be with us on this trip.  John L., now lives in Seattle and although he flies back to ride with us every other year or so, was not able to make this trip.  And John H., is taking care of his wife Petra, who suffered a brain aneurism six weeks ago and is still in the hospital.  Prayers go out to them.

Every trip I go on is special in some way or another.  This particular ride is nice because it rather bookmarks the beginning of the season.  Everything is still in front of you.  That contrasts with our Fall Foliage Tour in October – which, though probably being the favorite ride of the year for many of us, is nevertheless bittersweet because it marks the end of the riding season.  It’s like you lay down the baton at the end of that run; and pick it up again on this one.

Here’s a pic of Jay as we parted ways on that run last October, after the two of us finished breakfast at French’s Diner in Marlinton.  Jay was heading south to his home in Florida; while I ran east into Virginia.

Jay won’t be with us on this weekend’s run, either.  Hopefully we’ll see all these gentlemen, along with our other Chicken Run regulars, later this year.