By March 5, 2007

Georgia on my mind

Last Friday, Cylon and I set out for Tybee Island, Georgia. Maria_Andretti and her squeeze Neal™, friends of mine from Ars Technica, were moving stuff into their recently remodelled beach home. Helping them was a good enough reason to plot the 1000 mile round trip, but more than anything I just wanted to get out on my bike. However, things were almost over before they had a chance to start. A huge storm front smashed the east coast on Thursday. In less than twelve hours, the storm had covered the entire state, along with most of my route to Georgia. I stuffed my clothes, riding gear, and toiletries into my GIVI hard cases and went to bed listening to the sound of rain pelting our windows.

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Green is bad!!

Luckily for me it was warm and sunny when I woke up at 8AM on Friday. It was still very windy, but with temps already in the 50s I knew I could make my trip. By 9AM I was on the road, headed south on I-95.

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My route. Considering I get lost in my own mind, the relatively straight course was a big plus.

I can ride for about ninety minutes before I get uncomfortable. Either my knees start to hurt, or I have to pee, or I get sleepy, or whatever. After lunch I got really cozy and zoned out; there are twenty miles of my trip that I don’t remember. I decided to stop for coffee when I nodded off and started to drift to the left. Aside from that little “incident,” I clipped along at 90+ MPH for most of the trip. I happily followed cars who were probably proud of themselves for “being faster than a motorcycle.” They were great for finding radar traps, as one poor bastard found out the hard way in South Carolina.

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I made it to Tybee Island at about 4:30. I called Lady Jaye to let her know I had arrived safely, and took a few snaps.

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I met up with Maria_Andretti and Neal™ and helped them move stuff around before the rest of the crew showed up. We headed to their favorite spot and had cheeseburgers and jabberjawed until bc, Peachious, and Malyk arrived close to 10PM. They made it from northern Virginia to Tybee in eight and a half hours!! Malyk attributed it to Peachious and bc’s “bladders of steel.” I think they stopped once the entire drive. We stayed at the bar for another hour and then went back to Maria and Neal™’s house and watched Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter. Vampgrrl and Debacle, who came out from Atlanta, pulled in at about 11:30. We jabberjawed for another hour or so and then crashed out; everyone was pretty beat.

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A view of Tybee from Maria and Neal™’s front deck.

The next day was awesome. We set out for a mini-tour of Tybee’s beach, and the lighthouse. Bc and I found an interesting anchor, and well, boys will be boys. I’m on the left, bc is on the right.
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There was a FANTASTIC playground, and we whooped around there for at least a half hour. I had a fantastic meal at the Crab Shack. I can’t remember if it had changed much since the last time I was in Tybee in 1998, but it seemed a lot larger this time around. There was an open pit fire, and while the ambience was nice we all remarked how campfire-smokey we all were. Malyk took the brunt of the smoke, and his eyes were getting irritated. I capped off lunch with a piece of Key Lime pie and a piece of pecan pie, and then we headed back to the beach house. We put together IKEA furniture while reading off Friends and Disney trivia cards and I had a blast. Everyone was great, and seeing them exceeded my already high expectations.

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Leaving the beach, and headed to the Crab Shack.

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From left to right: Malyk, Peachious, and bc discuss how badly my breath stinks.

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Maria_Andretti and Neal™ at Bernie’s, home of the best Reuben on Tybee Island.

I packed up as quietly as I could Sunday morning, but managed to wake up almost everyone anyway. I made my farewell and headed out at 9AM. The trip home was a lot less comfortable than the trip down: it was about fifteen degrees colder, and the wind was twice as strong. The gusts were so bad in North Carolina that I had to lean my bike as if I were making a turn, just to go straight. I was gradually pushed about a foot during one strong gust.

The Tour Master “winter” gloves I have turned out to suck donkey balls. They were too thick to pass the warmth of my heated grips, but too thin to protect my fingertips from the cold. I stopped at McDonald’s for lunch and the tip of my left middle finger was light gray. It throbbed as if it were “asleep” for about a half hour before returning to its natural color and sensitivity. I put on my regular leather Held Ninja gloves with silk glove liners for the rest of the trip and felt much better.

There was a huge traffic accident north of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Traffic was slowed/stopped for over twenty minutes, and travel narrowed down to one lane. There seemed to be five cars and a semi-truck with a full double-deck car trailer involved. One car had its front end completely shorn off, engine and all, and the roof was smashed flat all the way to the floor. It must have been a fatality, but I passed by too late to see any EMS vehicles. I hope someone survived.

I was in a race against the sun. Even with two layers of thermal leggings, a fleece jacket, and my safety vest, the cold was getting to me. By the time I crossed into Virginia, it was 10F, adjusted for windspeed. I made it home at about 6PM, for a total travel time of nine hours. Quite a difference from the trip down. Extra stops due to the wreck and the need to warm up definitely slowed me down.

I had a great trip — thanks to Maria_Andretti and Neal™ for hosting me. Cylon once again proved he was up to any task I asked of him. Even shivering, hands wrapped tightly around the heated grips squeezing out every bit of warmth, I had a great time on my motorcycle. I was tired and cold when I got home, but very happy to be back in my baby’s arms. She greeted me with a welcome home cake, meatloaf, and homemade baked macaroni and cheese — a wonderful homecoming.

Total winter miles: 1496

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Posted in: motorcycling

3 Comments on "Georgia on my mind"

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  1. Stomper says:

    Congrats on the ride, glad your ride back was OK considering the weather conditions. You didn’t mention your toes. How’d they fair this trip and what did you do differently if they did better?

    And you’re half way to your goal of 3000 before April. 1500 miles is doable in the 3+ weeks that you have. Have you thought about how you want to kill off the last 1500?

    Glad you had a great time!

  2. Maria_A says:

    We all had a great time with you, and we’re glad you got home safely.

    Consider, however, that if you returned this weekend, you’d fulfull your mileage goal!

    See you on Friday?! We’ll hold your seat at The Quarter.

  3. bc says:

    Awesome-o writeup. I just got home from Tybee (sigh) and will be uploading pics eventually to the Tybee thread. It was great to see you, but you totally missed out on last night’s dinner! (pics forthcoming)