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Sunday, March 14, 2004. 7 am. Tired. The alarm goes off and I’m tired, but I jump out of bed, ready to roll. After a quick shower and shave, I grab the backpack with all the appropriate gear and hop on my Burgman 650 (blue), ready for a long enjoyable day of riding.

Gear: My backpack has some essential items such as water, sunscreen, digital camera, cd player, and a new MP3 player that I just bought, and hate. The MP3 player has an FM radio as well, so I elect to use it first with the small earphones that came with it. I also bought a new CD to listen to: The soundtrack to Shrek. (I highly recommend) A couple other CD’s and I’m all set sound-wise. I grab my cellphone and paper maps from the computer outlining the trip. I also grab a tripod to put my digital camera on during the trip so I can do self-timer shots. Lastly, I put a gel bicycle pad on my Burgman seat. While a bit small I hope it’ll come in handle when the butt gets too sore. I’m going to try to use my “Throttle Rocker” a bit as well.

Clothing. I wear tennis shoes over think cotton socks. I have not yet invested in riding boots, but will be this year sometime. I wear jeans and over them I wear my joe rocket phoenix pants - a mesh type that works well for almost all temps here in Phoenix. I wear a t-shirt with a light liner jacket under a joe rocket mesh jacket. The temp in the am is 65 degrees - perfect for this setup, or so I think. I put on my HJC CL-14 helmet (full size), but put my 3/4 open face helmet in the trunk, just in case it gets real hot. The forecast is for highs in the low 80's in Phoenix and Tucson. Last, I put in my contacts today rather than glasses, but realize my sunglasses are horribly scratched. I stop a mile down the road and top off my fuel tank and buy some cheap sunglasses that seem to wrap close to my face.

Out on the Highway. Wow it’s a bit cooler than I thought once I get out of the Phoenix city limits. The small gauge I have velcro’d to the center panel of the handlebars puts the temp at 57 degrees. I’m cold-blooded, so after about 30 more miles, I pull over at a rest stop and put on my heavier jacket. My hands are cold, so I take a minute to rub them together and warm them up. The mesh/gel palm summer gloves are not quite warm enough for temps less than 60 degrees. After getting back on my way, I notice two hot air balloons in the distance, a few miles off the highway. As I drive by, I give a little “beep” with the horn, but they are probably too high up to notice. I’ve got to try that one of these days....

Pichacho Peak. The peaks are only a mile or so off the highway to the west. Although I’ve driven by them a few times, I’ve never actually taken the exit and visited the area. After paying a two dollar fee to enter the park, I wind my way around to one of the many parking areas/picnic areas. I stop, setup my tripod, and take a few timer self-photos. Beautiful backdrop of the mountain. After touring around and seeing a few other beautiful parts of the mountain, it’s time to get back on the road. The sun is up enough and it is almost 75 degrees, so I put my mesh jacket on. Ah, it's nice to have a lighter jacket on.

Tucson - Ina Road. North of Tucson, I take the Ina Road exit to meet Bill Vincent (another BurgmanUSA member) at a local bikeshop and then have lunch. Unfortunately, the bike shop is closed and I’m early. I take a short tide up and down Ina road, then amazingly, I see a blue Burgman 650 pass on the other side of the road. I wave, and the guy riding waves back. I make a quick u-turn and try to catch up, but have to stop at a light. I pull over and call Bill’s cell number. He answers, and asks if he just passed me on Ina road. I answer in the affirmative, and we meet at the Chuy’s restaurant for an early lunch.

Bill Vincent. What can you say about first impressions? Never judge a book by its cover. I’m a reserved fairly clean-cut country boy with a mild vice of having an occasional beer. Bill? Well, let’s just say he looks a little wild: ~6'3", tattoo’s on both arms, a goatee and mustache, a smoker and earrings. The first thing I thought was “well, if some Harley riders come after us maybe we’ll have a chance.” But after having lunch with him and traveling many miles, I found him to have a good sense of humor, and enjoyment for life, and a fairly quiet reserved manner that is fun to be around. You can tell he really enjoys bikes and meeting bikers. A real “salt of the earth” kind of guy. What you see is what you get. After working in the business world 60+ hours per week, it is very refreshing to be around him.

Colossal Cave. Riding along Spanish Peak Trail, we come to Colossal Cave, the largest “dry cave” in Arizona, and maybe even the US. While it looks interesting, it would take 90 minutes to tour the cave, and we’ve got riding to do. So we take a few photos and get back on the road. Bill takes me to the house he and his wife are having built in Vail, just south east of Tucson. Beautiful area and very nice looking house from the outside.

Sonoita. Heading south to Sonoita is a beautiful ride, but not as winding or mountainous as I’d hoped. It’s a beautiful day though, with temps in the upper 70's by now. We stop at a gas station/restaurant in Sonoita. Many bikes are parked there. We admire some VTX’s, Harley’s, and a Harley with a sidecar. We get a few sideways looks from the riders, our two almost identical blue Burgman 650's next to each other in the parking lot. A ways outside of town, we swap rides. While Bill likes my Clearview Shield, he thinks it should be a few inches higher. He also thinks my shocks are set at too low of a setting (1), and I remark that his throttle is a bit loose. He likes my Utopia backrest, although it is less supportive than one might think.

Tombstone. Ah, what can you say about the “old west?” While fairly touristy, it is interesting to walk the wooden boardwalk around town. Bill and I visit a few shops, and he buys a momento for his wife. We consider eating lunch there, but realize the costs are probably a lot higher than elsewhere. We see a ton of bikes on the streets. Probably 30-40, including a few Goldwing “trikes.” We wipe our drool off the tires, and stroll back to our bikes. We look for a good place to take a photo, and find the “Tombstone Cemetery” sign. Good place to take a shot.

Heading Home. While it has been an enjoyable ride, it’s time to head back. We stop at a gas station and I buy him a sub sandwich. I put on my heavier jacket at the edge of Tucson and try to get my CD player to work a bit better. Bill waves goodbye at his exit, and I drive the last 1 ½ hours home, arriving after dark. My wife and kids greets me at the door, the smile on my face stretches from ear to ear, but my butt is a bit sore.

Next Time. While this trip was fun, I think the next trip will be closer to home, with more two lane winding roads - perhaps Payson or Prescott. I also very much need to do something about the seat. It’s much too uncomfortable for a long ride. I also need to figure out something for some tunes. The MP3 player (Target - Memorex) was terrible, and the CD player lacks a radio. My gear, except for boots, seems fairly complete. The Throttle Rocker was less than functional, although perhaps I didn’t use it as long as I should have. I can’t wait for my next trip, but work and family priorities must come first. The honey-do list is always growing, but the wife is supportive of me taking additional rides. I hope the trip comes sooner than later....
 

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Wild???

Flint,

Great story about our little jaunt, but..........Wild? Little ol' me? :wink:

Keep in touch,

Bill
 
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