Monday, May 23, 2016

How I spent my weekend

I spent the extended weekend (Thursday-Sunday morning) with about 30 of my Indianapolis BMW Club friends at the 18th annual European Riders Rally in Burkesville, Ky.

My Garmin Zumo 550 really really really wanted me to go via Memphis, but I really really really hate riding through that city and so I turned off the route mapping until I was across the Mississippi on U.S. 412 and well on my way to Jackson, Tenn. and I-40. I took I-40 to Nashville and let Garmin direct me north on I-65 until I ground to a halt at a miles-long traffic jam. I sweated and inched my way along for about 20 minutes before I realized the next exit was only 1.7 miles ahead. I took to the paved shoulder and cruised up to the Tenn. 52 exit and was soon headed east in very light traffic.

What should have been a pleasant ride turned hellish when I entered a yard sale zone about 40 miles long filled with drivers who weren't all that interested in moving briskly. I was cranky and frazzled by the time I got to the Burkesville City Park and the rally site, but I still had enough energy left to set up my big Eureka! tent (the exclamation point is part of the name) and trudge up to the courthouse square for a Subway dinner.

The next couple of days were characterized by rain, ranging from downpours to drizzles to mists, robbing me of any interest in riding anywhere, so I hung out with friends and caught up with their lives.

The Indianapolis BMW Club won the award for most members in attendance. I think we've won it for seven or eight consecutive years. The woman who coordinates the rally for the BMW Motorcycle Club of Nashville said last year that they wouldn't even have a rally if it weren't for the Indianapolis folks. As it was, we represented more than 10 percent of the total attendance.

I was one of the last to leave Sunday morning, taking my time to strike the tent and pack. I gassed at the Marathon station and, determined to avoid the Tenn. 52 yard sale hell, struck out south for a more direct route to I-40. Happily, Garmin agreed. At least for most of the route, still insisting on going through freaking Memphis instead of picking up U.S. 412 at Jackson. I was grateful not to be involved in the horrendous construction backup in the eastbound lanes just east of Nashville.

I stopped for a 99-cent Wendy's junior cheeseburger and gassed at a BP station west of Nashville. Somewhere around the 140 mile marker, I noticed my luggage rack load of tent, cheapo Walmart chair and sleeping bag had shifted badly. I determined the chair was the destabilizing element so I abandoned it next to the guardrail at an entrance ramp around mile marker 136.

I exited at Jackson and gassed again about 20 miles northwest of town where I slammed down a little bottle of 5-Hour Energy. Thus energized, I rode the remaining 118.3 miles home thoroughly enjoying XM-Sirius music on my enhanced (extra drivers) in-ear monitors.

I rode into my garage at 4:09 p.m.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Total riding time: 13:10
Average speed: 59.2 mph
Maximum speed: 95.1 mph
Total miles: 779.1

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