What’s one to do when the weekend weather forecast is for showers and thunderstorms? Take the Friday off, and go ride while the weather is great! Knowing that the weekend would most likely bring about a depression from not being able to ride due to inclement weather after putting in tons of hours working this week, I decided to join up with some friends and go hit some curves for a period of relaxation.
Jeff S and Aaron put a notice out on Facebook to all their friends regarding a ride they had thrown together over the last few days, and invited anybody that could sneak out of work that wanted to participate. Although we knew that this morning would be in the high 30s to start the day temperature wise, I made the plans to join. And, so did a few others.
In what we called the Jeff convention today, I made plans to meet another Jeff…Jeff C, and to ride with him to our initial meeting point with other people playing hooky today from their employment. When leaving at 8:15, the air temp had warmed up to a very balmy 39 degrees. While the temptation may have been there to ride out of the driveway in shorts, tank top, and flip flops, I donned all my leather over the top of my thermal underwear and set out into the increasing sunshine. The ride to meet with Jeff C wasn’t bad at all, although traffic was heavier than usual…must be from all the other people that were running late for work.
Being the first to arrive at the Shell gas station we agreed to meet at, a quick look at the fuel gauge showed I’d need to put some running juice into the motorcycle. Jeff C pulled up as I finished topping off my Hog’s fuel tank, and together we made small talk for a few minutes. We had put out a message onto the wonderful world of Facebook that we’d do a satellite ride from there to Brownsburg, where the main group would meet up. Not many of our fellow riders live around the area, so at 9AM, we headed over to I-465 and joined the daily commuters on the asphalt.
The ride to Brownsburg was uneventful, and traffic lightened up once we got away from the main areas of Indianapolis. Brownsburg is a growing town on the west side of Indy, with plenty of construction both on buildings and roads that never seems to end. Dodging the uneven edges of the streets riding surfaces, we pulled into CVS in the middle of town to await the rest of the group. First to arrive were Aaron and his wife Etta, followed soon afterwards by Ellie, Sid, Jeff S, and Sherry. The planned route was quickly discussed, in which lunch was mentioned to be around 1:30PM. Never missing a chance to eat something, I proceeded inside the pharmacy, where I found a Snickers bar calling my name. “Really Satisfies” is one of their marketing slogans, and after putting it to the test, found that it was true enough to hold my appetite until lunch some 3+ hours later.
Leaving CVS, Aaron took the lead heading south down IN-267, which took us past the neighborhood that Phil and Diana live. They were eagerly sitting by the side of the road waiting for our procession to appear, and they quickly jumped into the pack as we all continued heading to our next stop…Harley-Davidson West. A medium sized dealership just off of I-70, we pulled into the parking lot to find Dan and Marcy awaiting our arrival. All riders now accounted for, we found that 11 bikes and 12 people were joining us for the trip today. As we prepared to leave, Ellie mentioned that she was having some bike issues, but still wanted to ride with us. Throughout the day, we continued to ask her how her Hog was working, in which she told us it was puttin’ along fine.
The first 30 minutes of our ride with the main pack was eventful to the point that something bad could have occurred, but did not. Without naming names (not yours truly though), one person had helmet issues and had to work on getting it tight while sitting at a stop sign. Another rider had issues due to the fact that their tour pak wasn’t shut, and later, found that after the stop at HD West, they had left a saddlebag open. All easy fixes which required extended stops at intersections in which we had to wait for passing traffic anyways. Other than these problems, the rest of the day continued without additional issues.
I posted the ride route earlier today on my blog here, so I’ll refrain from doing a turn-by-turn evaluation every road that we took. One of our destinations was Lake Lemon, outside of Bloomington, Indiana. Indiana is definitely a screwed up state…there’s a Lemon Lake near the NW corner of the state, and Lake Lemon south of Indianapolis. I wonder how many people have ended up going to the wrong lake to meet friends or family, only to find out that they are on the opposite side of the state. I’m sure it’s happened.
We found and then rode around Lake Lemon, and came out on IN-45. This road is full of both fast sweeping and tight curves, and we all found it very enjoyable to ride. After a few turns, we found our way to Bean Blossom, where we proceeded down IN-135 into Nashville, Indiana. I’ve written about this town before…it’s a tourist town, with tons of stores that sell wood good, knick-knacks, and crafts. It’s so crowded on the weekends, it takes forever to usually find a parking spot. Even on a work day, the town was still busy, but parking was found easily after a few turns on the side streets.
The eatery of the day was chosen to be The Hob Nob. Located in the middle of town on the SW corner of the main stoplight, we walked over to it, and after a 15-minute wait, were seated inside. Even though the temperature had warmed up by this time (around 1:30PM), most of us kept on our leathers and chaps to find that they offered the perfect layers of comfort. Once seated, we all found ourselves to have gotten thirsty over the last couple of hours, and we all happily downed our glasses of ice tea, water, and other ordered drinks with abandon.
Eight of us sat at a group of tables pulled together, and the other four took up residence a few feet away. We all seemed to order different things, and the general consensus was the food was excellent by most of the riders. Marcy ordered the chicken salad plate, and was surprised to see it arrive with a curry and apple seasoning that she liked very well. Aaron, our food connoisseur who knows where to find the best food in the state at the most off-beat places, recommends the Reuben sandwich. I, the expert of breaded tenderloin sandwiches who is forever trying to find the ultimate version, found their sandwich to barely made an average grade. Too much of a taste like a pork fritter, and not a good fit for the homemade bread that accompanied it as a bun. The service was excellent though, and the waitress kept our glasses constantly full without waiting for us to have to call her over. I noticed the tips on the table left by the others in the group shows that they also noticed the great service.
Having had just an “average” lunch, I couldn’t shake the memory of the four choices for dessert I had seen on the menu earlier. Strawberry shortcake, chocolate temptation, peanut butter pie, and bread pudding. Everybody seemed full from their meal, but I kept talking about the peanut butter pie enough to get a few others interested. To our table came a couple slices of the pie, and some of the bread pudding. The pieces of pie were offered to others at our table, and the general consensus was that it was simply divine. The best part of the entire meal for me, and something I’d recommend to anybody that is down there shopping and just wanting a snack at a table some place. Sweet, but not overly sweet…and had the consistency of a superb made cheesecake in texture. Rich enough that it feeds two, and tasty enough you’ll talk about it later.
What…this blog is now a food review site? No…got a little sidetracked. Here, look at this pie…tell me it’s not worth talking about!
After we all waddled back to our bikes like a pack of stuffed penguins, we quickly decided to re-rendezvous at a gas station down the street to plan our way back home. Sid offered to take the lead from Aaron as he was well aware of the area, and took the other 10 of us a extremely interesting ride out of Nashville through non-stop curves. If you click on the ride route I uploaded in the posting underneath this, you’ll see that we all discovered areas of the county we had never been before…and a route I’d recommend to anybody to ride.
We all made one final stop in Bargersville, where after a rest of about ten minutes, we decided to say our goodbyes. A weather front was approaching Indiana, which we all knew would be hitting this evening. While we do ride in the rain, we prefer not to…so after saying goodbye to the friends, the group divided into two initially as one group headed for the west side of Indy, the other to the east. Jeff C took the lead of myself, as well as Dan and Marcy. I-465 was packed with after-work traffic, and once we were able to merge onto it behind dozens of semis, we picked up speed and had an uneventful trip as each of us slowly peeled off into our own directions home.
As what is becoming customary and very welcome, it was a great day of riding, with good food, a adventurous trip, and great friends. There are going to be some great trips this year out on the asphalt, and I will continue to keep a record of it here.