This will be the last post on this site. I now have a dedicated domain at http://www.asphaltjourney.com. Update your bookmarks, and make sure to follow my ramblings on the new site!
My wife and I are tentatively planning on participating in Rolling Thunder 2012! We’ve never been, and so far, looks like we are able to get them time off of work. This is the 25th anniversary of this ride, and one we both have wanted to do for years. So, we’re looking forward to planning the ride over the winter months, and accompanying our riding friends on a journey that is sure to be emotional and spiritually fulfilling. For the 2011 ride, over 400,000 bikes participated. The goal for 2012 is 500,000 – 1,000,000 motorcyclists to attend this day of remembering those that served, and gave their lives so that each of us may enjoy the freedoms we have.
More information to come.
October usually brings around cool weather in Indiana, but the last few days has found temperatures exceeding 80 degrees in the afternoons. Not ones to pass up a riding opportunity, we jumped at the chance when our friends Jim and Kim invited us to accompany them to Nashville, Indiana, a ride down 135 South, and an extended return trip investigating the roads inside Brown County State Park.
The plans were to meet before 8AM at Keystone and 96th Street, which just happens to have a combined BP and McDonald’s establishment on the corner…a perfect chance to fuel both the bikes and ourselves before setting out. The morning temperatures weren’t bad…around 56 degrees, requiring a leather jacket and a layer underneath to stay plenty warm. Our trip to the rendezvous site was uneventful, with light traffic other than what appeared to be an overabundance of dump trucks moving around (most likely helping with all the road construction happening in the northern area of Indianapolis).
We arrived literally less than a minute before Jim and Kim, and breakfast for both the motorcycles and ourselves proceeded uneventfully. We decided to mount the bikes, and take them around the west side of Indianapolis to reach our exit from the metropolitan area and head southward.
What expected to be a day of leisure riding quickly turned into a near disaster as we exited the construction zone on I-465 near the old airport when traffic in front of quickly slammed on their brakes, as a lane of traffic suddenly ended and a bad accident miles ahead had caused traffic to stop on the other side of a hill. One driver in a beat up car nearly took out J&K, who took some serious evasion action to keep from getting ran over. Coming to a stop, we pulled up next to them to ensure their sanity was still in place, and we decided to exit on IN-67 South. Up ahead, cars were backing down the interstate in the break down lane, turning around against traffic, and taking the interstate on-ramp in the wrong direction on the other side of the cement barrier that separated us from them. We gleefully laughed when we realized Indiana State Troopers were at the bottom of the ramp giving tickets to the wrong-way drivers.
We proceeded south, and cut over to IN-37 South, which took us over to IN-252, which we took eastward again. That’s a nice ride. Reaching 135 South, we took it southward into Nashville. After finding a place to park in a town that must have had tens of thousands of shoppers fighting for parking spaces, we donned our walking shoes, and did some shopping for a couple of hours.
By this time, lunch was on the menu, and instead of standing in very long lines in Nashville, J&K recommended a small “hole-in-the-wall” eatery way out on 58. Knowing this would take us on one of the curviest, best riding roads in Indiana (135 South, south of Nashville), we happily followed them for the 40 minute jaunt to the eatery. If you haven’t rode this area on a motorcycle, you don’t know what you are missing.
The 58 Cafe, in Kurtz, Indiana, is way out in the middle of nowhere. An enjoyable ride through hundreds of curves brought us to the restaurant. It’s a small place, hurt by the economy as the sign on the door said so…and they had reduced days open to Friday through Sunday only. Going in, we found the traditional small inside feel, with big tables placed haphazardly around. Regulars sat in the place eating a sandwich or sipping on coffee, and we took a table to the rear. The walls are decorated with motorcycle memorabilia pictures, some which Jim and I both also have in our own homes.
Food was hit or miss. Bonnie and I both got the breaded tenderloin, a sandwich so big we could have easily split one instead of ordering our own. We both really enjoyed the sandwich, which was hand breaded and not just a reheated fritter. The fries were good…but the coleslaw that comes with the sandwich basket wasn’t the coldest, which would have favored the taste buds better if it had been.
Jim got the cheeseburger on special, and Kim ordered some kind of pork burger. Both were not impressed with their food, and stated that they wouldn’t order them again. However, both have had the tenderloin in the past, and will gladly visit the diner again to order one of the gigantic sandwiches in the future.
After eating and letting the food digest a little, we proceeded back the way we came, to find a Sunday driver who apparently was deathly afraid of curves in their mini-van. Much of the way back was completed in speeds half of the posted signage, but on a beautiful day like this was, we weren’t complaining at all. Our plan was to visit Brown County State Park next…which turned out to be the same plans that thousands of other Hoosiers and neighboring state visitors had planned as well.
We pulled into the main driveway into the Park, and immediately performed the acts of balancing the motorcycles as the line inched forward at 1 MPH….or we sat and gave our thighs a nice roasting from the heat of the engines that had been run for the previous hour with lots of gear changes through the curves behind said slow mini-van. Once into the park, we could see that many others had planned for a day there, and traffic was heavy throughout our visit.
The leaves had started turning, but the best viewing will probably be next weekend or the weekend after that. There was still quite a bit of green to be seen, but the color we did see looked very nice in offset. We may return for another visit…or, we may just ride somewhere else where traffic is light as others flock to Brown County.
Seemed like at a number of stops, we seemed to capture each other as Bonnie was using her camera skills to get better pictures than what my iPhone was going to capture…and Jim had brought a tripod to get some good pictures as well, and to get some decent group pictures (not available yet).
Finally looking at our watch for the first time this day, we saw that the time was 5:15PM…time to start heading home as we wanted to ensure some rest before our return ride to Wolf Park tomorrow. A quick shoot over to the interstate, a top-off the fuel tanks, and we headed home. Tomorrow, we’ll be leading a larger group of people on a nearly identical ride that we need several weeks ago with two other couples. The only change is we plan to also stop at the Tippecanoe Battlefield Memorial, so we are looking forward to this trip.