It’s so hard to get back into the daily routine, after wandering free in the wide-open spaces all weekend.
This morning, I was still living out of my saddle bags. I walked barefoot out to the garage in the cold, wet morning. Toothbrush and toothpaste were pulled from their zip-locked baggie in one bag, and my last pair of clean socks was scavenged from the bag on the other side of the bike. Then I walked gingerly back into the house, to try and get back into my usual morning rituals.
For five days, I had gotten my body out of the cube, and my face away from the computer screen, to a place where I could focus my weary eyes on distant horizons again. Like being released from captivity, the thrill ran through my body like an electric shock. It felt so good!
For five days, Frogwing and I travelled together. For the first three days, we were on Business. But that business took us across vast distances, over beautiful roads, to places much friendlier than our wicked Twin Cities. Come the weekend, we were truly free to wander…and wander we did.
But now, I’m back in the cube, back to boxes-within-boxes, staring at this screen again as if the whole journey were just a daydream.
One look at Frogwing, however, will verify that we have Been Somewhere.
The evidence is in the scrap of tumbleweed, captured by the cotter pin on his front axle, somewhere west of Fort Pierre, South Dakota. It’s still there, proudly worn as a badge of Travel… and Adventure.
But I am getting ahead of myself here, as I so often do.
Of course, the best reason to take a motorbike on a business trip is because of the mileage reimbursement. When you get fifty miles to the gallon, that forty-eight cents a mile looks mighty attractive. As long as you are prepared for anything the weather can throw at you, and as long as you carry the necessary tools and supplies to take care of routine breakdowns, you can do a business trip as well on a bike as you can in a rental car.
I know, that sounds kind of prohibitive. But it’s all a question of prudent prior planning.
For this trip, I talked to my friends at Kenda tires, and they sent me a full-grown set of the K761 dual-sport knobbies that I used on the Red Baron over the winter. With the help of my friend Paul Streeter, I had them mounted and balanced, and ready to go on Monday night, before our Wednesday departure.
I packed all the tools that I would need to deal with any routine mishap, and still had room for the standards and other materials that I needed to perform my quality audits at the remote plants that I would be visiting. My digital camera and notebook fitted into the trunk and made for a nice, tight package. By Wednesday morning, Frogwing and I were truly ready to roll.
And that’s where I’m going to leave you for now. It’s late on a Monday night, and I have to work in the morning.
Tomorrow, I will tell you about the trips between plants, and show you some more photographs taken along the way.