The weather looked so nice on Saturday, sunny and clear. Highs were supposed to be in the 50s. That’s warm enough to go for a ride, right? Well, technically yes, but it was still in the 40s in the morning, and despite the sun, it was really cold. Shivering despite having the heated jackets and grips turned all the way up cold. But it looked so inviting out there, and I really wanted to get out and ride.
Plus, we were on a mission. Remember the moto forum ADVRider I told you about? The regional section (part of the forum dedicated to members local to where you live) has various moto tag games you can play. Basically, someone posts a picture of their bike at some location within the boundary, and other members have to find that spot and take a similar picture with their bike in it. First member to post the pic gets the tag, and gets to pick the next spot. There are lots of variations on this theme, including the one we played yesterday, which has a mascot. People hide the mascot (some smallish object) at the tag location, and the next person gets the tag by picking up the mascot, getting the photo with the bike in it (to prove you rode there, and didn’t take your car), and then moves the mascot and hides it in a new location (within the boundary for that game).
I love it. I love to ride, but am not the type to wander aimlessly very much. I want a destination, no matter how trivial (a covered bridge, an historical marker, a particular restaurant, somewhere with a view of a particular mountain, anything that gives me a goal to get to). Moto tag gives you somewhere to go when you don’t have anywhere to go. Turning a regular day ride into a vaguely competitive game is brilliant; it makes the roads you ridden before more fun, and sends you to new places you would not have gone on your own, and provides an online forum some real life interaction. Silly fun.
It took us a little over two hours to reach the tag location north-east of Roanoke, VA (just north of Bedford, actually). We don’t have a functioning GPS right now, so navigating to unfamiliar locations was a little tricky. We ended up taking more highway than we normally would on the way up, which is a shame, since VA is full of wonderful riding. I didn’t mind much though, because the competitive side of me wanted to get to the tag quickly, before anyone else got there:) Turns I didn’t need to worry, no one else was going for it that day.
The afternoon, did finally warm up into the 50s, which was much more tolerable. We dropped the new tag off at what we thought was a fun location, got the requisite pictures, and booked it home. I am such a wuss about riding in the cold, and it really takes it out of you. 225 miles isn’t usually a huge day on the bikes, but that’s all I wanted to do yesterday. It was fun to get out and ride after so long off the bike, but I think the next tag we grab will happen when it warms up bit:)
(As a side note, I’m also just glad to finally be healthy enough to ride. I spent 4 out of the first 5 weeks of 2013 with some sort of cold/flu/sinus infection. I never went to the doctor, because it seemed like I was getting better. The illness just lingered forever; it was very frustrating, as I haven’t been well enough to do things I’ve wanted to do. I’ve never been sick for so long like that. I feel fine now though, so I think its safe to start interacting with the world outside my house again:)
2/9/2013 – 225 miles, ~6 hours, in 40-50°F but sunny weather to the border of Jefferson National Forest north of Bedford, VA, to Philpott Dam, and back.