“Got your Harley out yet, Karen?” I asked my neighbor yesterday afternoon. She has a beautiful blue Softail. “No. The snow has to be completely gone and all the sand swept up before I ride,” she replied.
Mother Nature put the damper on the start of the motorcycle season here in Minnesota last week. On Thursday, she dumped 8 inches of wet, heavy snow on the Twin Cities and more in rural areas. It’s enough to make you scream. By suppertime yesterday, the temperature had climbed to 62 degrees and there were only a few humps of snow left around the neighborhood — if you don’t count the shady sides of houses and the hard, black-crusted mountains stacked in parking lots, vacant lots and just about anywhere anyone can think of to pile large quantities of unwanted snow.
My neighbor is not alone in her caution. Yet there are motorcyclists out on the streets and highways, dodging potholes and braving sandy intersections because they just. can’t. wait. any. longer. Motorcycle fever has set in. The desire to feel the sun on your face and the wind in your hair (or across your helmet) is irresistable, urgent. On weekends, the dealerships are crowded with people checking out new bikes, buying new clothing. Some are even picking up copies of Ride Minnesota.
I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of tourism materials from Wisconsin so Ralph and I can plan some summer rides. In the meantime, our great-niece in California has sent us a Flat Stanley. After reading the book in school, she has sent him to us so that we can bring him along on some adventures. If he’s lucky, Flat Stanley will get to ride on Uncle Ralph’s Victory some time this week.
I recently uploaded an electronic copy of Ride Minnesota to Onlinebookclub.org and waited patiently for the book review to appear on-screen. It didn’t take long, only about a week. I’ve never been sure just what to expect from my brain-child, so I was pleased to learn that it was awarded three out of four stars.
The anonymous reviewer sounds British (“Having never been on a motorbike or considered one, I was not sure quite what to expect …”), but I don’t hold that against him/her. Five years ago, I was a non-rider myself. Despite the reviewer’s inexperience (I’m sure he’s a he!), he recommends the book to motorcyclists who are thinking of touring Minnesota.
I especially like his last sentence: “The book is written in a very easy to read format and while it may fall into the category of travel guide, it almost feels as if you are speaking to an old friend who recently took the journey and is offering wholehearted recommendations for you to enjoy.”
I consider that high praise! To read the entire review, click the link above.
This is a do-over. I unintentionally hit the publish button in the quick publish mode. I will not use that mode again!
As I was saying, riding with a group of motorcyclists is fun, but I also find it confining. It’s a lot of work keeping track of the rider ahead of you, the guy on the side and the ones following (even though I’m not driving!). More so than in a car. And, of course, you end up sniffing a lot of motorcycle exhaust.
That’s why Ralph and I like exploring on our own, discovering hills and valleys, curves and straight-aways, new sights, new sounds, fresh air. Just us. That’s how I came to write and publish Ride Minnesota, to share our experiences other motorcyclists who want to get out and explore Minnesota. There are a lot of interesting places in this state, and we haven’t seem ’em all–yet.