Monday, July 14, 2008

Sweet Rendezvous

Speedy highways, monstrous trucks and nasty cars has always given me bad time on the highways and I actually had enough of it!!!
Also, I couldn’t wait any longer to meet my dream machine. Initially, I had plans to buy it after I get married or end of this year (of course whichever is earlier ;) ). But once the bug bites you, you can’t wait and so couldn’t I.

After a lot of research and being little lucky, I clinched a deal in Atlanta, GA. I was mostly looking for something in far away state so that I could get to ride it back( as always needed REASON to ride :-P ).
And Wow!! now I had to fly down there to Atlanta, finish the paper work and ride back…sounds awesome!

I had a choice to wait for 2 weeks and take 3 days to ride back 1010 miles (Monday was holiday) but the urge was so high, that I took chance to ride 1010 miles in 2 days and booked the ticket for the same weekend. Also booked a room in Super 8 Motel for Friday night.

I will see you tomorrow

Packed my stuff in a small bag. But one panga was, that how would I carry the riding gear and my helmet? Shall I wear it in the plane and impress the air hostesses? Not a good Idea. So kept everything in a bag which is to be checked in.
Took a subway from wall street and got the cab from queens for LAGUARDIA airport. Flight was 2 hours late and I reached Atlanta at 2 am. Somehow reached the motel and fell asleep.

Vinil, old buddy from college also lives in Atlanta and I thought its a good idea to meet him too. I called him up and he wanted to accompany me to that place I was visiting as he was little afraid of me going alone to that place.
He showed up early in the morning while I just had finished my morning chores. I took my riding gear along and drove to the place. Finished the paper work and now it was the time to meet my new love, Triumph Rocket III Classic a 2300cc/146BHP and 800 pounds beast.
Owner was little afraid and Vinil too that how would I ride this monster back home so far away? But I had the faith in my love ;) . I was suppose to finish the paper work by 10 am and start my journey back by 10:30 am or so as I had only two days time. But it was already 1 pm and also Vinil wanted me to visit his place and have lunch with him. We drove back to his place, met his buddies had lunch and few photo session with my motorcycle as everyone wanted a piece of that big daddy :).Bade goodbye to all and started my sweet journey back home.

It was already 4:30 pm by now and I knew that no way I can make it to the half point by today. So I decided to ride as long as I feel comfortable and avoid the night driving and may be stay in Charlotte, North Carolina which was 300+ miles away.

I made it to the NC, found a motel to sleep for the night. I could have ridden little more in the night as the motorcycle is such a darling to ride to. Its fast, its heavy but stable and just don’t want anyone on its back, just want to runaway…quite like me huh? ;). So stopped early as I wanted to have a good sleep for tomorrow’s loooooong ride some 650+ miles.

Tonight, I shall sleep at home

Got up early in the morning and was ready in few minutes as I knew I had a long way to go today.

Fresh air from the green mountains of Charlotte was magical and I always love the early morning rides. Back on highway and crossed North Carolina in 2 hours. Then I entered the lovely Virginia, lovely scenic highways with no heavy traffic around. I stopped at McDonald for quick bite and top up the tank. As I stopped, nearby I read a board saying ”Virginia is for Lovers” but I read it as ” Virginia is for lovers, what the heck are you doin’ here?”

As I got my burger and drinks and was looking for the place to sit, I saw this old man waving at me I guess asking me to join him. I took the seat next to him at the table. He just wanted to talk to me and I do not know why may be he just saw my motorcycle outside. As he started talking to me about the things, I noticed his deep blue old wrinkled eyes. He was Vietnam veteran and had his own truck business few of which he used to drive all around the country over the years. But now he is old and taken over by his sons. We shared few thoughts about traveling, wanderings and human values and pseudo philosophical shit. I shook his weary and cold hands and bid goodbye. I was happy to put smile on old man’s face.

Outside, it started to rain a little but it felt good after a hot and humid day of ride. I pressed the power ON and was on the highway again.

Crossed beautiful Virginia, entered Washington D.C. This place is damn crowdy and heavy traffic. Later I got struck in the traffic congestion. I was so tired after 4 hours of continuous congestion from D.C to Maryland, Delaware and Jersey. Only the music saved me :) .

Way behind the time and it was around 11:30 pm when I entered Jersey. I again stopped for some time at the rest area and yeah how can I forget, it was bloody raining too. So wasn’t just tired, I was wet and tired and that really sucks. I was shivering like a poor puppy in the rain and it reminded me of the road side dhaba tea that we use to have during the rides back home …ah I miss it! but I had to be content with angrezi coffee.

Midnight 12:30 am now and I am still on the wet and dark roads chasing the trucks and cars, and sky and moon and stars. Finally, reached Jersey City and was on the toll tax booth to pay the toll and this lady from inside the booth, saw my ticket (you get the ticket from where you get on to highway and have to return when you exit based on that they count tax) and was awestruck to see the ticket which says entry point virginia and asked ”You are riding all the way from Virginia??” I said “yes” . “You must be crazy to do that…are you crazy?” I smiled and she again yelled ”Are you crazy?”. But one thing that she didn’t know was that I was riding all the way from Atlanta hehe… anyway I was dead tired after 17 hours of continuous riding 650+ miles in rain and traffic.

Reached home and parked her outside the Garage. I changed the clothes and fell on the bed as a lifeless body.

Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head,
To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired:
For then my thoughts, from far where I abide,
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see
Save that my soul’s imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous and her old face new.
Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For thee and for myself no quiet find…