Anytime we go somewhere for a weekend visit, the question of whether we can go on the bike runs through my mind. As you might expect the threshold for caging it, or going in the car, is higher for me than for my wife. It’s not a macho thing. She’s as willing as to face the elements as I am. To quote one of the weasels in the movie Chicken Run, “It’s a lady thing.”
I’m just not as worried that the hair I have left will be messed up or matted when I get where we’re going. And for me, a weekend outing requires one pair of jeans, a couple of shirts, underwear, and socks. My biking boots are black, and I keep them pretty well polished. They’ll pass as dress shoes if you don’t look too close. My tooth brush and a disposable razor don’t take up much room. I keep a travel size bar of soap, tube of toothpaste, bottle of shampoo, and cologne in a travel bag. My toiletries can go in a fanny pack and my clothes in a gym bag.
Not so for the lady of the house. If we take the bike, it will probably have to be a trip to see the kids or a very close relative. Somebody she is willing to visit with helmet hair, or someplace where she can wash her hair once we get there. And there are way too many factors that influence clothing to go into detail here. It’s a combination of whom we’re visiting, whether we’re going someplace formal while we’re there and weather.
We did take a week’s vacation on the bike one year, so it can be done. (Ride report and photos here.) It just requires some planning.
Another factor is route. In the years before my mother died, I’d run up to Cabot for an overnight stay. That’s about a 170 mile, 2–1/2-hour trip up I-30 from Texarkana. But if I’m going to be on the interstate, I’d just as soon be in the car. The whole point of the bike is to enjoy a leisurely ride over a scenic route.
My wife and I did make the trip on the bike a couple of times, following U.S. Highway 67 up as far as Benton. That’s a beautiful ride we thoroughly enjoyed, but it took almost 5-1/2 hours one way. (Ride report and photos here.) The main point of that trip was the ride. We just happened to visit somebody while on the ride instead of riding the bike to visit somebody. It may sound like semantics, but it’s actually an important distinction.
I just need my friends and relatives to move to locations that are more convenient for motorcycling.
— Guy Wheatley