Like many others, record breaking snow has kept my bike warmly hiding under a cover, harnessed to a trickle charger, and in her garage for the past 3 1/2 months. Well, after a couple of days breaking the 60 degree mark, the snow and ice were gone, the roads were finally dry, and out she came.
Brother, it sure felt great to be back on her again. That is, until I tried a couple of slow maneuvers. It was obvious the snow had caused some rust. Not on the bike, but definitely on me. If I could ignore some of the minor wobbles, I would say I did okay, but on the bike, being okay is just never good enough for me.
For you FNGs, you are going to quickly discover that RFTW rides tight. I don’t mean tight like your HOG chapter, or tight like your PGR group, I mean RFTW tight. I also mean tight in the staging areas, and in the fuel stops. You’re going to find, at times, that your slow riding skills are going to be tested.
As we all prepare for this year’s Run, there are questions we should ask ourselves. How confident are we in our slow turns? Can we comfortably make tight u-turns in both directions, or do we need two lanes to get it done? Can we make a tight right turn from a stop with another bike doing the same turn and tight on our left? How straight line can we ride while moving along at a snail’s pace? How about with a fully loaded bike, or, in my case, a fully loaded two up bike?
I don’t know about anyone else, but I know I’m going to be spending a little time in an empty parking lot before I head for Ontario. Dropping a bike in the staging area, or at a fuel stop, might be just a little embarrassing :))