Through my eyes

living my life without regrets

Friday, January 08, 2010

Use it or lose it

If you rest, you will rust.

And we started to rust after 3 months of hardly riding our bikes in Toronto due to winter weather. Sure we rode a little but not enough to keep sharp in our riding skills. Going to BMW Open Road in Newmarket does not count as a ride, does it? Nor does going to a motorcycle show in downtown Toronto make us better riders. We needed to ride to stay in shape and not rust. So what to do? We rented a beautiful home in Surprise AZ for a few weeks this January and towed our bikes all the way from Toronto to Surprise, near Phoenix, AZ.
We left at -12 Celsius with snow on the ground and it took us 4 days of driving, taking only Super Slab Highways. We even spent New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day on the road to get away from the non-riding weather. We reached elevations of over 7000 feet and the temperature kept hovering around the minus 10 degree Celsius mark for most of our trip to Arizona. Only when we descended from the Northern Plains of Arizona and dropped to 1500 feet here in Phoenix did the thermometer climb to 68 degrees. For all the folks in the North Country let me tell you, 68 degrees F feels like heaven.
After we got settled into this large, luxurious home (3 bedrooms, pool, 2 car garage, etc. -actually bigger than we needed), we cleaned our machines, cleaned the car and cleaned the trailer( borrowed from Tom Stewart , an Ontario BMW Club member) and set our sights on riding to Sedona, AZ .
Yesterday we got started not too early, the nights are still cold here and we did not want to freeze while riding too early. So we left the house at about 9 AM. We took the back roads. The map showed some twisties on Rt. 89A and we were not disappointed. A stop at Prescott for a warm soup was most welcome. The sun shone but not strongly enough to warm us. Our bodies ached from inactivity and not riding for so long, we had started to rust and while we calculated 2 hours to get to Sedona, it took us almost 4 hours. OK, we diddled, we stopped in Prescott, we stopped in Jerome and all this ate away at the time. The road itself, twisty in some spots and with snow on the side and possibly black ice made for careful riding.
During our drive to Surprise, the cold weather took its toll on Carol’s bike battery and we had to recharge it. We now wondered if we would have any trouble while out riding but I can report that all is ok, her bike started every time.
We arrived in Sedona at about 1 PM, took a look around, decided that we have to come back here and visited the Art Village of Tiaquepaque. Somehow we are always attracted to Art Galleries, to the representation of the unusual. Tiaquepaque is a great example of what we like. We rode around some side streets until we got to some dirt roads that looked too dangerous to ride. I inspected the roads for a stretch but given that the rust in still with us, we declined and left Sedona at 3 pm amid bright sunshine and moderate temperatures of 68 degrees F. We knew we had 2 hours of riding before us if we did not stop. The light wanes quickly here at dusk and we had to be back in Phoenix by 5 pm in order to ride in daylight. The shortest route was Interstate 17 south to Phoenix which allowed speeds of 75 miles per hour. Well, not being used to these speeds, sometimes going 80 plus with the sun in our eyes, it was another experience that showed we had rusted some. Traffic was light on the way back until we got to Phoenix and then it became stop-and-go due to rush hour. We got back at 5.45 PM and had a good first day of riding for our first day after some rusting.

Yes, it shows, when you don’t use it you will lose it. We need to ride more!

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