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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rode a Vulcan to see Vulcan

On Saturday the 8th, 2013, I set out to ride my Vulcan 1700 Classic to see Vulcan in Birmingham, AL.

I had proposed the ride on the Vulcan Forums some time ago and had some interest.  So, the 8th was the date.  I got up early and went to the Valero beside Home Depot to get a Monster Rehab (green tea) and a snack (Nature Valley Fruit and Nut trail bar).  Then I hit the Home Depot parking lot - just in case anyone had wanted to ride with me.  Nobody.  So, when I finished my trail bar, I put the Monster in my cup holder and went heels up.

Heels went back down 79.6 miles later at the Pilot in Meridian, MS (stage1 map).  I fueled up and finished off the Monster and threw it in the trash can.  I had fun watching the wind slowly spin the can around and around in the cup holder on the interstate.  I mean a full turn every few miles or so.


From there, I headed to met up with Gravy and his girlfriend at Mary's Travel Center in Brookwood, AL (stage2 map).  We met at the Huddle House and I had a great breakfast for under $5.00 - biscuits and sausage gravy with scrambled eggs.

Rick and his wife and Bobby (not me, I'm Graywalker) showed up and had some coffee, then we headed out to see Vulcan.  There had been an accident on I-20, so we took an alternate route (stage3 map).  This was my first group ride - four motorcycles - and I think we did pretty good.  I can see how some hand signals would have done some good - like the group lead signaling for the rear rider to change lanes and hold traffic so everyone could get over.  When we got there, I quickly got the photo:

 Tinker met us there - I was happy to see another 1700 with our Transformers tail light - and we all walked around a while, taking touristy photos.


 When we were done sight-seeing, we went for a ride!  Now 5 motorcycles with Tinker in the lead, we wound up on Hwy 25 in Leeds.... well, I don't know how we got there, exactly, but we stopped by the Vulcan gas station first :
 
Then we rode on to hwy 25. It was a great ride with some great views.  We stopped at an overlook (unofficial) and took some pics.  I didn't get a picture of it, but down the hill on the left of the next picture was a boat hull some idjot tosses over the side.  Big boat hull.  They apparently pulled the engine and any salvage they wanted to keep and tossed the hull.  There was lots of trash on the sides of the road - People Suck.  There was one guy, near the start of the ride who had parked on the roadside and was picking up trash.  I threw him a thumbs up, but doubt he saw it.

We stopped at Cafe Firenze and had a GREAT meal (stage4 map).  It wasn't fancy - cheeseburger and onion rings for me, but it was good, good food.  They had a good, live band and as we drove up they were playing Sweet Home Alabama - they are required to play that any time I come back to the state I was born in. ( LOL )

 After that, we headed on around through some nice scenery and easy roads to a gas station (B on the map) where we decided to split up and head to our respective homes.  Tinker took us on one more nice little road through some hills and turns before we hit 280 and the Interstates (stage5 map).  I followed Gravy to Brookwood, gassed up and got a Gator Ade, then headed on Home. I had to stop at the Pilot in Meridian to refuel - the bike and me.  Had a Subway sammich and took half home to Willice.  I wish she had been able to come with me... I've got to get a sissy bar.  Of course, if she had, we would have probably gotten a hotel room in Birmingham for the night.

It got dark on the way home and 5.2 miles before the house, it started to rain.  I stopped and covered my saddleman bag with the rain cover and prepared to get soaked - which I did.

All in all, it was about a 515 mile trip and somewhere around 14 hours.  It was great to meet everyone and they were all really cool people and I enjoyed hanging out and riding with them!