Thursday, July 26, 2007

On the east side

Well, it's been a few days. I've covered a few miles since I last posted. I left Cheyenne and headed towards the Geographical center of the lower 48 states. FYI, there's not much in Nebraska or Kansas besides corn fields. Well, except the soy bean fields.

At the Geographical Center of the States I met up with Cindy Dietz, a friend and fellow Harley Sportster enthusiast. For those that don't know who Cindy is, she is a VERY accomplished long distance rider, having won of H.O.G.'s ABC competetion last year and covering 47,000 (!!) miles last year on here Sportster.

Cindy and her Sporty at the Geographical Center of the US

From the Geographical Center of the USA we headed to Kansas City and Cindy was kind enough to put me up for the night (or is that put up with me). In the morning we headed over to Central Harley-Davidson South. My rear brakes had been squeaking for some time now and the pads were ultra thin. Central HD South was VERY quick in getting me in and out. No problems.

Then we headed over to the Harley-Davidson factory in Kansas City. This is were they make the Sportster, along with the Dyna and V-Rod. Took the free plant tour. It was cool. They don't allow pictures, so none of that.

Cindy and I then headed to a little BBQ place and had good KC BBQ (Cindy - what was the name of the place?). It was delicious. Maybe not quite as good as Texas or North Carolina (Cindy's fav) BBQ, but still very yummy.

It was late afternoon and I decided to head out. Until I got the bike packed most of rush hour traffic was gone. I rode until late (1:00 AM or so), got a hotel just on the east side of St. Louis.

From St. Louis I headed to Louisville. Didn't do any site seeing (more corn fields). Stayed at a nice little campground at Shelby Lake. Not a flat spot to setup a tent. The bathrooms/showers did have flushing toilets and warm showers, but were otherwise not very nice/clean. But, it was a perfect place to camp for the night. The little lake was neat and I had a really nice campfire going.

Today, I made it to Morgantown, WV. Again no site seeing. But, the ride through Kentucky and West Virginia was beautiful. Probably my two favorite states in the east to ride through. Not really any pictures because I was just enjoying the ride. Of course, being back on the east side of the continent has it's pitfalls. I was dramatically reminded when I damn near got run over by a Ford Explorer that decided to change lanes, not caring that I was already in the lane he changed into. He had no doubt in his mind as to what I thought of him when it was all done.

Then I was going to stop by the Triple S HD shop in Morgantown this evening. Just 5 miles down the interstate from there I saw a Sportster on the other side of the road, with the rider walking down the road trying to hitch hike. I spun back around, because I don't ever leave another rider stranded (when they are by themselves). There was a ton of bikes going by (I'll explain why in a few moments). I just don't understand why none of them couldn't stop to help him, but everyone just went right on by. As it turned out, he was out of gas. Well, it was his lucky day as I had 1/2 gallon in two little camp stove bottles strapped to my bike. We dumped them in. He then ran his battery down trying to start the bike. Long story short, it took a good 20-30 minutes to get him back running. Well, by the time I got to the HD dealer they had just closed. What did I say about no good deed goes unpunished...

What I really couldn't believe at the Triple S HD dealership was that they weren't open. There is some sort of biker weekend going on in Morgantown. There had to be 50 bikes/bikers in their parking lot. And they were closed!!! Somebody at dinner said that there was expecting 50,000 bikes in Morgantown this weekend. And the Harley shop was closed. Morons.

I was in a pretty pissy mood after nearly being killed and then getting to the shop after they closed. All the hotels in Morgantown were completely booked. I was tired and irritable. If you know me, you know how I get...

But, it all worked out for the best. I went a few exits down the interstate and found a quaint hotel (read cheap and small) that has Internet. Went to the local restaurant for dinner and had an excellent meal served by the cutest/friendliest waitress. The dinner and desert totaled $11. I left a huge tip. She was damn cute...

So anyway, I'm nearly home. I suspect I'll get home late tomorrow without problems. The engine at one point today did misbehave. One time it knocked on start up. Knocked as in bearings or wrist pin type problems. It went away at anything above idle, so I drove on. I'll pretend like I didn't hear it and worry about it once I get home (presuming I do).

Probably won't be much to report from here on out but I will send out an email letting everyone know I'm home and also a conclusion to my journey.

More pictures:

7/23/07 - Cheyenne, WY to Kansas City
7/24/07 - Kansas City to St Louis
7/25/07 - St Louis to Louisville, KY
7/26/07 - Louisville, KY to Morgantown, WV


Michele said...

Hey Dan, great trip!
That's cool you got to
meet up with Cindy.
I never even heard of
the "geographical center
of the u.s.", but that's
really neat.
(Guess I need to get
out more often. lol)
I'm on lunch and off
to go check out some
of your latest pictures.
Have an enjoyable ride
on the last leg of the
trip. We look forward
to seeing you back on
the forum.


Cindy Dietz said...

It was a pleasure riding with you and boarding you for the night. Anytime you are riding through you are welcome to stop over.

That would be 'Wyandotte BBQ'. Its named after the county we were in.

I will download my pics and send you copies.

Take Care,

Brooklyn said...

Dan, good on you for stopping to help that guy; that's good karma that will come back to you someday when you need it most.

I'm most jealous you got to hang with the legendary Cindy Dietz. Someday maybe I'll have the honor; in the meantime, I am merely a wannabe.