During the first week in June I was invited up to NYC to attend a medical trade show with the company I work for. It was the first time I had ever been to the big city, so as you can imagine it was quite the eye opener. While waiting on my return flight at LGA I received a phone call from, Mike “Hammer Down” Brown from Harrisburg, North Carolina. He was calling to inform me of an RTE that was scheduled for the coming Saturday in Hickory North Carolina. I was planning on going home that weekend so I could pick up Zeus, so I told Mike that I would check with the parentals and see what they had in mind for the weekend and I would get back to him. Needless to say Mom and Dad are always down for some sort of ride on the weekends so we planned to leave early Saturday morning and ease our way over to Hickory.
Saturday morning we left the house and made our way to 70 and headed west towards Hickory. After winding our way through the back woods of the I-40 corridor we made our way into Hickory and pulled into the restaurant parking lot. When we arrived we pulled up next to a silver gold wing that was being piloted by a troll that had apparently left the bridge…Mom and Dad hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting the troll like I had, so after their introduction we made our way into the restaurant to meet the rest of the crew. Not long after we were seated, Mike Newton, aka “Grizz” and Momma Bear pulled up and joined us at the table. Mike Brown, followed in shortly after as did a few other members of the MTF. I think there were 12 or 13 people in total that made it to the RTE.
Lunch was as good as the stories that everyone was telling. Dad got to talking with another member who used to do race off road motorcycles as well, Mom and Cindy (Momma Bear) were chatting it up a good bit and I was jumping in and out of conversations the entire time. (A.D.D)
After lunch we made our way to 181 once again, which I never object to. J After a quick fuel stop for Mike Brown, we made our way down 181 to the mountain. For this little adventure I was pulling point with Mom and Dad behind me, Hammer down, Grizz and the rest of the crew followed. As we started up the mountain I made it a point to take my time, work on lines and flowing through the corners. Every time I looked in the mirror I noticed that Dad was right on my tail so I started to pick up the pace a bit till I started putting a little distance between us as I was afraid I was holding him up. This worked fine until about half way up the mountain when the temperature dropped dramatically and the rain began falling, hard. At that point I got out of the throttle and cut back the pace a good bit and focused again on my lines and avoiding the oil slicks. In all the rain storms I had ridden in, I had never rode in rain that was so freaking cold before! It took my breath away when it would roll off my helmet and down the back of my neck.
Once at the top I pulled over at that country store that had gone out of business so that we could all get up under the canopy until the storm passed. Once we all gathered up the rain started to move through, however everyone was off the bikes and socializing again. After joking about for close to an hour we set off again down 181 and made our way to the parkway and hwy 226 to head south down to Kings Mountain, home of the infamous “bear cave.”
Mom and Dad rolling on the FJR
Most of the RTE crowd had gone their separate ways once we got to 226. However, Mike Brown, Mom, Dad, Grizz and I made our way down to Kings Mountain for dinner. (Go figure) At this time I can’t remember the name of the small restaurant but it was a nice Mom and Pop shop with some great ice cream!
After dinner, Grizz and Cindy headed back to the din, Mike Brown, Mom, Dad and I headed on over to 85 and headed on home. It was a short day as far as miles were concerned but regardless it was a good ride and it was great to see everyone again.