The day started out with me getting to the garage early to take an hour or so by myself and ride a bit. I rode up and down Lake Shore Drive...it felt great to be out on a sunny morning alone with the bike.
Then I met up with MJ and she rode her italian princess (the Ducati 695 Monster) out to McHenry with me. We had initially planned to "take it easy" and "ease into" me being on the interstate for the first time. Once I got on 94 however, i was completely comfortable getting over to the left lane and keeping the bike above the speed limit. I just felt like I was at home on the bike. It felt so wonderful.
We took 94 to 120 and 120 all the way to McHenry and met up with the Furies for the blessing.
Here are the words I spoke:
May the road rise to meet you and may the wind be ever at your back
May there be many sunny days for riding
And if it must rain, may it be while you are working or sleeping so that the flowers and trees will still be beautiful for when you ride.
May summer temperatures be just right, fall leaves more beautiful and winter as late and as mild as it can be.
May you and your path be safe from danger.
May the critters and creepy crawlies stay off of the road, and may the bugs slide easily from your windshield.
May the drivers in four wheeled and 18 wheeled vehicles be ever aware of your presence and may their blind spots be few and their tailgating be minimal.
May you be alert, courteous, patient, and considerate of the rights of others on the road, even when they are not considerate of you.
May your equipment run well and May you perform maintenance when needed and replace tires when worn.
May your gear hug and protect all your curves, keep you dry when the rains fall and keep you warm when the temperatures dip.
May your favorite sun glasses be ever free of scratches and may you switch to your clears at the right moment so as witness the sunset.
May you ride with courage and confidence and may you have restraint on the throttle when tempted to ride unsafely.
May your nerves disappear and your confidence increase as you lean into tight corners or face long stretches of gravel.
May your hairdo by helmet be embraced as new fashion and may your vest, chaps, and boots be acceptable attire at all of your favorite restaurants.
May your U-turns be limited and your ice cream stops plentiful
May your twisties be many and may your stoplights be few
May your passengers lean with you and not against you,
May those who ride with you lead the way, clear the lane and forever have your back.
May your maps be ever accurate and your GPS be always updated.
May every drop of gas you pour make it inside your tank and may the gas prices drop and your miles ridden increase
May you find new friends to ride with and old friends available at a moment’s notice.
May you be thankful before every ride for the blessing of being able to ride, but may you ever be mindful of the tremendous responsibility of controlling your machine.
May the Creator of you and me and the world in which we are privileged to ride shelter you every moment and shield you from every harm.
And may God’s face shine upon you and grant you peace for all of your journeys. Amen.
After the blessing and lunch, the Furies and myself and one other guest headed out on a brief ride. The wind was so intense! There was a time where I was quite sure I was sideways on the bike. I initially freaked out when we hit a construction area where the road had been taken down to the grating, but I kept on the throttle and sang hymns in my head and it was all ok!
Throughout the day I just kept thinking about how far I had come since last years ride-- so many firsts, so many miles. And now I just can't even imagine my life without a motorcycle or time with my riding buddies.
After a field trip to Kelly's leather (ohhhh the smell is heavenly) and a pit stop for a snack. Nora and I headed back to the garage. We rode 12 to 120 back to 60 and 94 and sat in traffic before we finally made our way home.
All in all it was a GREAT day on the bike.
Miles ridden 172
Miles this season: 184