Thomas E. Schmuki Photography

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My Trip to North Carolina on a Motorcycle - Episode 1

Tom SchmukiComment

The few faithful followers and readers of my blogs will know that motorcycling is and has been in my blood for many years. I guess you could say it is almost a drug to me.  I have also mentioned in my blogs and in my BUCKET list posts riding my motorcycle all over the United States and even possibly the world is ON my list.

A quick reminder of some of the reasons I love motorcycling so much:

  • The tremendous feeling of freedom

  • The ride is like riding in a convertible car * 10. Why? More visibility, more vulnerability, more, more more. I know I owned a white mustang convertible GT. A car I loved to drive. Why did I sell that one?

  • The sound of the Harley. Nothing compares to that sound. I often turn my loud radio off just to hear the beautiful sound of the RUMBLE

  • The LEAN. Don’t get me started. You cannot LEAN in a car. One of the main reasons I will resist getting a 3 wheeler until my health demands it.

  • The silence

  • Time to reflect, enjoy and believe

I love being spontaneous rather than planful in my NON business life.  This drives my family and friends (?) nuts. Many times for the longest period of time I would go out in the garage, start up my motorcycle and pull out in the street not knowing yet where I was going to go.  My first thought is NORTH, SOUTH, EAST or WEST.  My next thought is how long do I want to drive, hours, all day or even potentially over night.  I have gotten on my motorcycle, thinking I may take a 1-2 hour drive and end up driving to Key West (213 miles and good 6 hour drive) and spending the night or even just having lunch and riding back the same day. Many of these decisions are made after getting on my motorcycle.  

My trip on my Harley Davidson to North Carolina was not much different than previously described.  Not planned, not well thought out, not knowing where I am going to stay, how long I am going to stay, and not really even knowing the weather at my proposed destinations.  For the first time in my life my non planning strategy sort of bit me in the fanny.  

I knew I wanted to go to visit two places to visit family and loved ones.  Family I may have not seen for years.  My son David and my 2 1/5 grand children…grandpa, that must sounds wrong lives in Fuquay-Varina NC which is just south west of Raleigh Durham.  My sister who has a lot more in common with me than we ever knew. Tina lives in Rockvale Tennessee which is about 1.5 hour drive south of Nashville.

I packed up my Harley Davidson, and loaded it with as much camera gear as I could fit.  I had hopes that perhaps I may do some professional shoots along the way. My Harley was LOADED, and probably over-loaded with weight. I noticed immediately while driving how the bike responded differently and had a slight if not prominent front wheel wobble because of the weight or the “inproper weight distribution”.

My Harley had just been fully serviced approximately 1,000 miles ago. 

I had not even decided which destination I would go to first well into my first day of travel on my Harley.

My brother in law Robert Cranfield warned me before going on the trip to look at the weather report because the weather was unpredictable and “dicey” this time of year in Tennessee.  Not to worry I thjought,  I have ridden in many a snow storms in Colorado and Utah.  I am tough, I can handle it, and surely if anyone knows how to handle a motorcycle in wet/slick driving conditions it is me ….

Off I go from Delray Beach Florida.  Weather is beautiful, almost too hot to ride in blue jeans and boots.  Feet up on the extended foot pegs, listening to my favorite rock and roll music, sun rising to my right (East).  I am OFF. Time to enjoy the LEAN of the motorcycle.

We will find out I should have listened much more carefully to my brother in law Dr. Robert C.

Stay tuned for episode #2. It gets much DICIER from here …