Working in health care, every now and again, I have to work the weekend. It has been like this ever since I started working in health care. I am fortunate that with my current position I only have to work one day of the weekend infrequently on a rotating basis. My turn had arrived. I was scheduled to work July 18, 2009. In compensation I can take another off during the week.
Through the beauty of the Internet, like many of us, I have friends in New Hampshire that are motorcyclists also. My friend, Dave, is a radiology technician. Him and his wife, Terry, live in Belmont, NH - which is a neighboring town of Laconia. I have plans to go to Bike Week in Laconia, 2010. Dave has Wednesday's off.
Everything was tenuous until I got the green light for the weather from my favorite meteorologist - Gil Simmons. Gil gave me the "weather green-light." [In fact we follow each other on twitter; (@carolcasey and @gilsimmons). Through the entire road trip he was tweeting me weather updates as I tweeted my progress].
That cinched the decision. I was going to use this opportunity to to make my first long trip on two wheels. Living in Connecticut, tentatively the trip would be about 375 miles round trip. I had my trip all planned. Since my last trip, I have decided to use the motorcycle map tank bag I had purchased in the past.
I put my directions in, curiously wondered if the magnets were strong enough to hold the bag on.
Being the optimist it would work I was off and by 6:30 AM on I was on the road. This time, though, reality won. I wasn't on the interstate more than 15 miles and the bag was getting ready to fly off. The magnets weren't as strong as I had thought. I pulled over, wondering what was I going to do. I had learned early on to always carry bungee cords with me. So, I could see that I could security wrap a bungee cord around my tank and that should do the trick. This is what I ended up with:
That did it, I would have move it to fill up with fuel, but at least I had my map and it wasn't going to blow off. (For those people who have lots of riding experience, practically everything I do is a learning experience for me. Apparently there are better types of map bags out there, but this wasn't one of them).
Heading out, I made my way to Interstate 395.
Interstate 395 (abbreviated I-395) is a 67-mile-long north-south Interstate Highway that begins at Interstate 95 in Connecticut and in Massachusetts, where it becomes Interstate 290. Travelling this early in the morning and mid week, the traffic was light. However, this stretch of 395 is not aways a heavily travelled area. Continuing on my route, at last I reached 290 and knew I was well on my way. Excitement rose, and interestingly enough I discovered my motorcycle was growing some what illiterate with little regard for post speed limits. Of course, I had to continually remind my ride - OZ - that I was the one in control, not him so I backed off the throttle - at least a little bit.
I was hitting Worcester at some peak morning traffic. On a side note, frequently Worcester is pronounced incorrectly by out of area people. This is a dead giveaway someone is from our of state or for that matter out of the area. The proper pronunciation of the name, Worcester. Worcester is pronounced WOOSTAH or WUSTER not War-chester. Part of Worcester includes Lake Quinsigamond. The Pakachoag tribe of the Nipmuc nation of Native Americans were the indigenous settlers of the area. They called it Quinsigamond, meaning "fishing place for pickerel." Lake Quinsigamond provided fine hunting and fishing grounds a short distance from their main village near a spring on Pakachoag Hill in what is now Auburn.
Passing through Worcester successfully, I reached the end of 290 and onto I-495.
I have a fuel indicator on my odometer. However, I also how many miles I before I start looking for fuel. After reach I-495, I decided to stop for fuel in Hudson, Massachusetts at exit 11A Hudson is a former mill town that is now the home to several manufacturing companies. It is quaint and another "New England-esque" town. I found this video and many of the scenes in it, I was able to see when made a quick tour around town. Hudson, MA video clip. After fuel, quick break, and once around town tour, I was off on my trek again.
The deal was I was suppose to call my friend Dave when I was about one hour out from Manchester, he lives in Belmont - about that distance away. I reach I-93. I could taste my destination, I have been this route many times by car. I couldn't really call Dave when I was about one hour out, the soonest I could get in touch with him was around Methune, Massachusetts. I saw a place that I could safely pull over, I sent him a text, and I got back on the road. Shortly after this, I saw it...my Welcome Sign - which was more like a a Mission Accomplished Sign. I was actually doing this...I was busting my long ride cherry...My heart was racing, I knew I was smiling from ear to ear. This was a huge event for me. I could not wait to get to my destination and meet Dave. I WAS DOING THIS! I WAS ELATED! I can not express my excitement and my sense of accomplishment that was spilling over me.
Thirty minutes and about thirty miles, I made it at our rendezvous - Quirk's Chevrolet:
I pulled in, parked practically in the center of the parking lot so I would be seen, shut the engine off, got off my ride and proceeding to do the Snoopy Happy Dance:
I arrived at precisely 9:30 AM. After shutting down and stretching, I started tweeting, I wanted to share my excitement with all my friends who had been so encouraging.
"Well, have definitely surprised me! Sitting @ Quirk Chevrolet on S. Willow St, in Manchester, NH. Awaiting my friends arrival. I f@@kin ..."
No rain! I am doing the happy dance! I F@@KING ride my own! BOOYAH! BOOYAH! BOOYAH! BOOYAH! BOOYAH! http://myloc.me/cFEn
9:36 AM Jul 22nd from UberTwitter
@peterfrancon that is I have this 8900 bbry wired for connection baby! http://myloc.me/cFIX
9:40 AM Jul 22nd from UberTwitter in reply to peterfrancon
@SmoothBiker Muwah from Manchester, NH http://myloc.me/cFNW
9:46 AM Jul 22nd from UberTwitter in reply to SmoothBiker
@peterfrancon the wired part is a recommendation of @corry01. http://myloc.me/cFP2
9:46 AM Jul 22nd from UberTwitter in reply to peterfrancon
@SmoothBiker if it weren't for my face field I would have bugs in my teeth cause I am grinning from ear to ear! http://myloc.me/cFQy
9:48 AM Jul 22nd from UberTwitter in reply to SmoothBiker
I need to be tied to my ride I am so pleased I am floating on air. http://myloc.me/cFSI
9:50 AM Jul 22nd from UberTwitter
For someone who has only been riding since 4/08 this sense of accomplishment and satisfication is beyond words! http://myloc.me/cFWm
9:53 AM Jul 22nd from UberTwitter
@SmoothBiker I am ecstatic! I was always my dad's backrest! I am sure he grinning from ear to ear! http://myloc.me/cFYP
9:56 AM Jul 22nd from UberTwitter in reply to SmoothBiker
@sportster_rich I love my OZ, we just clicked 5K on the odometer. With my mustang seat, riding him is almost like the best sex. AWESOME!
9:58 AM Jul 22nd from UberTwitter in reply to sportster_rich
@quelli24 the map notes where I am Tweeting from. http://myloc.me/cG1p
9:58 AM Jul 22nd from UberTwitter in reply to quelli24
@BrianBarghout hear ya and completely understand! http://myloc.me/cG2Y
10:00 AM Jul 22nd from UberTwitter in reply to BrianBarghout
@quelli24 I hear ya and completely understand. http://myloc.me/cG4S
10:01 AM Jul 22nd from UberTwitter in reply to quelli24
Have learned that my ride doesn't know how to read speed limit signs. :-D http://myloc.me/cG6Z
10:03 AM Jul 22nd from UberTwitter
"@quelli24 got my full license 5/08. Learners permit and basic riding course 1st. http://myloc.me/cGbZ
10:08 AM Jul 22nd from UberTwitter in reply to quelli24"
I am not sure if these transcript accurately portrays how excited I was to have arrived and actually reached my destination. As I was in the parking lot of the car dealer, I kept wondering if the salespeople were going to approach me, like they do at every other car lot. But then again, as they saw me doing my happy dance, they probably thought I was some loon, having second thoughts of approaching me, and left me alone.
Trip map - please be patient with it loading.