Ride 50 at 50 Part 4: Surrounded by Indians

 

248In what seemed like an eternity, I finally met the 3 Amigos David, Andrew and Adrian. Day one, I left Sunday morning to meet up with the trio at Blip Roasters in Kansas City Mo. A beautiful morning ride, I arrived a little early and met Ian Davis the owner of Blip. While having a hot cup of coffee, I engaged in conversation with a few like-minded folks about Blip Roasters and our dedication to these two-wheeled machines. Wonderful. Shortly thereafter and without much fanfare, the 3 Amigos rode in on their Indian Motorcycles and as we say in America – Welcome! After some handshaking and introductions, these three made themselves at home. A few pictures and some video were taken and we saddled up and headed west to Junction City. Just in time as the rain began to fall. Me on my Harley-Davidson surrounded by Indians.

 

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It’s interesting how a group of riders deal with the dynamics of riding and spending so much time together. These three have ridden roughly 1500 miles across the U.S. so far and they have it down. They’ve known each other almost a lifetime, so a lot can be said between them without saying word. Throw an American into the mix and it gives each of them an opportunity to take a mental break from the others. See? I’m doing good things for others all the time!

After we arrived in Junction City and after a nice dinner of burgers and beer, plans were made for day two. Originally, Dodge City Kansas was on the radar but when you’re this close to the World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City, you go see it. So day two we set off under cloudy skies with that sliver of blue on the horizon letting us know that the sun would be our friend for the day. After about 100 miles, we stopped in Beloit for a cup of coffee with the anticipation of twine right around the corner. We loaded up, turned on a couple of cameras mounted to me and my motorcycle and headed down the road. What a beautiful day, with clouds floating against the big blue sky.

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No one can be fully prepared for it. The quaint little town of Cawker City holds in its possession the envy of all twine connoisseurs, the epitome of dedication and the record for balls made of twine. I would hate to be the community with the World’s Second Largest Ball of Twine. It just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Follow your dreams and whether its balls of twine or coming to America to ride motorcycles with your best friends, just do it. The people who call you crazy secretly want to do it as well.

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After a brief stop soaking in the ambiance of burlap we once again headed west on highway 24 through the rolling hills of green beneath a ceiling of blue. This stretch of road was perfect for me to think about how this all came about. You can read the previous blogs I’ve written about David, Andrew and Adrian and their journey to the U.S. But as I rode along with them, I realized that in some weird way this was going to happen. How random is this? Is it random at all? Sometimes we make things happen and sometimes it all happens for a reason. Maybe both? I believe so. Did I change some little bit of their trip by riding with them? How did we get on highway 24 when the trip is supposed to be highway 50? Yeah, that’s the stuff rolling around in my head while I have these three following me through north-central Kansas.

The rest of the ride to Hoxie was uneventful but satisfying for me. I hoped in some way these three new how great it was for me to spend a couple of days riding with them. We stopped in Hoxie for some beef jerky and a drink, and I knew it was all coming to an end. We were 20 miles north of Interstate 70 where our ride would go separate ways. We did a short bit of video, said some warm goodbyes and fired up the bikes for the final ride as the “Four Strokes” as we headed south.

That moment – that last three miles summed it up for me. We’re all alike no matter where we’re from and we had just ridden across the state of Kansas together. Our pilot in the crop duster has no idea that he’s responsible for the exclamation point on this trip for me.

One of the most memorable times for me was about 3 miles north of the interstate as a crop duster came up from the field it was spraying. David was passing me shooting a little video and I pointed up at it. As David saw it circling around for another pass, he raced ahead to catch it on video as well. Andrew, Adrian and I slowed, David was about a mile ahead and I knew that he was setting up to catch me for the last time riding by as we went our separate ways. That moment – that last three miles summed it up for me. We’re all alike no matter where we’re from and we had just ridden across the state of Kansas together. Our pilot in the crop duster has no idea that he’s responsible for the exclamation point on this trip for me.

By the time I turned east heading back to White City, the 3 Amigos were a mile from Oakley where they would call it a day. I still had a few hours to go but I didn’t mind. This is where I do my best thinking. I won’t bore you with my ride but I will say that there were storms brewing in front of me and I had a date with a rain suit.

 

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6 thoughts on “Ride 50 at 50 Part 4: Surrounded by Indians

  1. You certainly did help us all actually buddy. It was great to mix up the dynamic and become the ‘four strokes’ for a couple of days. It was also really great to chat to you about all the bits and bobs and, although it must have been a bit daunting meeting up with us, you handled it brilliantly. It was quite surprising just how well we all got on. We certainly really enjoyed spending time with you and thank you for being so kind in your reporting of our trip together. Bathroom breaks, coffee breaks. All signs of riders unused to putting in the kind of miles you do without thinking. We are getting better by the way and pushing the daily range further. Still the same number of toilet breaks of course but I now just engage the ABS, jump off the bike, get back on and catch the others up! The ride is going well and I am up at 430am tomorrow to get the 26mikes to Mexican Hat for sunrise. So. Goodnight and God bless. D

  2. Jeff, this is a super post. Those last 3 miles … sigh … a mixture of happiness, contentment, and some bittersweet thrown in. You summed up your time with David, Andrew, and Adrian beautifuly.
    I’m sure they thought I was stalking them on their trip across the country, as I checked in every time that I could.
    What a thrill, and I thank you for introducing us to them 🙂

  3. Now that was a great ride and I didn’t even leave my chair. Thanks for the story, the details, and the inspiration. I’m a month away from heading cross-country myself. Do you think they’d loan me an Indian?

  4. Well J. I revisited this post after seeing it on Twitter again. It’s now nearly November. Clocks go back this weekend so it will be ever darker. It seems like an age ago that we rode the plains together but, what memories we have. You kindly introduced us, on line and in person, to some nice people who I see on FB and Twitter. It’s great to be able to connect and see different perspectives on life. One of your group keeps posting house sale adverts and I must say, I am really tempted to upsticks and become a Kansas man!
    I could do flat but not sure about wind! Hang loose. ✌️️

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