Indianapolis- Rants, Raves, Mutterings and Musings
Back home, and the Gold wing is washed up and put in a spot of importance, next to the garbage can. (Shh. Don't tell it. It thinks it is an important spot because people visit there more often.)
Okay, time to wrap up, followed by the Trip Awards.
Vail CO. You worship trees and hide gas stations because we wouldn't want to see something that loooks like a...a... gas station. So we drive around, over two miles off the freeway, wasting fuel and making a larger carbon footprint to 'keep it natural.'
Why does it cost $50.00 for motorcycle oil and a filter, when I can have my car's oil changed by professionals for $17? And $239 for a rear tire on a bike?
Mr. Motel operator, you know who you are. Billboards advertising, '$29.99 rooms. Next to Flying J.' Then when I sign the receipt, it's $39.99. Why? "Tax, and Visa charges." Right. Tax can't be more than $2.50, and Visa is 3%. Shame on you. Then you put scriptures on the nightstand encouraging me to know Christ. I can't hear you.
Ms. motel operator. I went to the other motel, and they were full. Pouring down rain. He called and directed me to you. You knew you had a captive audience! So you quoted me $89.00. Huh. I went to Motel 6, and they sold me a room for $46.99. So there.
Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Yes, he's famous for being president when I was born, but even more so, he established the interstate highway system. God bless you, sir! 'Ike' saw the Nazi troops moving across Germany with ease. After the war, he was charged with taking our soldiers around the country for victory parades. They would have to ford rivers, build temporary bridges, and got stuck because of the poor roads. So he directed the construction of our interstates. The reason? National defense. We citizens just enjoy the fruits of it. Be sure to yield to tanks and troop carriers.
They are just, well... convenient. Stop in, use the potty, get fuel, grab a mufin and milk, dash out. Hit the road. Five minutes. Shoot, they even have fruit.
AMA Roadside Assistance. The American Motorcyclist Association came through. They almost missed the Rave, as I waited two hours for a tow. However, in retrospect, it was the vendor that blew it, not the AMA.
Okay, I'm lowbrow. So what? Clean and comfortable rooms. They sell that, and they deliver. See the Rant above.
Best Deal of the Trip; Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame. Five bucks to gawk at 100 years of history and drama. And millions of dollars of cars. I mean, what is the first car to win the Indianapolis 500 in 1911 worth? Plus, a movie. But no popcorn. Oh wah.
# 1 Rave: Salinas Honda, in Kansas. They fixed my flat. They replaced the bearing in my rear wheel. 200 miles later I yelled into my helmet, "They had the part!" That's right, they had the bearing for my THIRTEEN YEAR OLD BIKE. I defy you to go to any shop and find a part for your 13 year old anything. Hats off to you, Salinas Honda! Nice tiarra!
Did that guy at the pumps, on his cell phone, just say 'tornado'? I listened;
"Yeah, they had torando warnings, so I stayed late at work..."
Where? I'm not watching the TV or listening to the radio. Do torandoes happen at night? Can you outrun one on a bike? Can you see it coming? Could it sneak up behind you? Apparently Dorothy meant it when she said, "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."
And whatever happened to Toto? He probaly got married four times, developed alcohol problems and cursed out a cop while telling him cats are worthless and should be eliminated. Never saw him in the movies again.
Want to get 40 m.p.g on a Gold Wing? Ride 64 miles per hour. Want to get 20? Ride 79. Into a driving wind. Amazing.
Ever wonder what the inside of some of those long haul trucks smell like? Not all, mind you. But some you can see the driver inside, smoking with the windows up. And they have to pay for showers at truck stops. What better way to save money?
I wish I rode slower this trip. My one big regret. I missed the World's Largest Prairie Dog. And the Greyhound Hall of Fame. And the World's Largest Ball of String. And what about the World's Largest Czech egg? It's sad, really.
If they have GPS on them, how long until nobody drives the combine?
Smells. ah, yes. Hay in Indiana. Fresh mown grass from the median in Illinois. Cattle in Missouri (Hmm. Not so good.) Corn, soybeans, fresh tilled soil in Kansas. Pine trees in the mountains of Colorado. A wildland fire in Utah. And the sage of Nevada. Cars and air conditioning have destroyed our sense of smell. We live in a sanitized world.
"I like Shell stations," I thought as I pulled into one. Then I thought about it. It worked! Why do I 'just like' Shell stations for no apparent reason? Kevin Harvick. He's a NASCAR driver, and he is sponsored by Shell. All that money. And all of us think we're smarter, that the advertising dollars don't affect us. Right.
"And now..." Lights dim, the spotlight illuinates the MC, the music is up, and he continues, "ladies and gentlemen, the Indianapolis Trip Awards!"
Thunderous applause, then the audience hushes to hear the MC.
"For the worst deal on the trip..." (drumroll, the slow frustrating one like on 'Dancing With the Stars'):
"Hyatt Regency hotel, for twenty dollars a night to park a motorcycle on the curb!"
The audience goes wild! The MC asks for quiet again.
"Next, the worst weather goes to... Colby Kansas, for thunder, lightning, and an inch of rain in half an hour!" Colby goes up to the stage, crying, receives her flowers, and gushes to all her friends and family, who she couldn't have done it without.
"And now, the silliest sign award." People look at one another expectantly. Could it be 'Speedway'? the tiny little sign that announces direction to the Brickyard, the most famous racetrack in the world? Or could it be 'No Name', the sign for the city in Colorado of the same name? Wait. If it has a name, then how could it be...? Forget it. Or, perhaps, 'Eagles on Road'?
"And the winner is..."
He opens the envelope.
"Drunk Driving Laws Enforced"! People look at one another and laugh. Of course! That is a stupid sign. What, are all the rest of the laws NOT enforced? And which ones are they, so we can break them at will?
Suddenly the lights dim. The music stops. The announcer, in a quiet voice, says,
"Now ladies and gentlemen. The award you've all been waiting for. Tonight's Indianapolis Trip Award for... The Stupidest Driver!" Everyone claps and looks to one another expectantly. Who could it be? The lady that changed lanes into Kevin? No, it couldn't be. That's pretty common. A quick toot of the horn and she's back in her lane, and probably will look next time. The fellow driving ten under in the fast lane? Maybe it's a surprise award and Kevin gets it for almost running out of fuel. No. He didn't. Not enough drama.
"The envelope please." People sit on the edges of their seats and hold their breath.
"The winner is..." Now the 'Stars' drumming really gets on everyone's nerves.
"The motorhome guy towing the car!" People laugh and high five one another. "Roll the tape, please."
There's Kevin in the fast lane, behind a truck. Ahead in the slow lane is a motorhome towing a car. He changes lanes in front of the truck. Look at Kevin's speedometer. It dropped from 74+ to 52. But look! A big rig is flying past in the slow lane, going to pass the lot of them. Then, just at the last moment, the motorhome changes back in the path of the truck. The truck slams on the brakes, narrowly missing smashing the car and RV. His load- 30 tons of 1" rebar- amazingly stays put. The driver did his job. Luckily the trailer didn't jacknife. And the motorhome driver? Well, the MC is calling him onto the stage.
"Elmer Kleidhopper, come on up here!"
Elmer wanders up to the stage, confused.
"Elmer, good job. You've won the Stupidest Driver of the Trip award!"
"Huh? Fer what? I didn't do nothin'."
"You cut off that truck. Outside Colombia, Missouri."
Elmer scratches his head. "I ain't got a clue what yer talkin' bout."
"Yes! ladies and gentlemen, Elmer has now qualified for the grand prize, 'Stupidest Driver Beyond Comprehension', as he didn't even know he did it! Elmer, you win a driver's license for life, with no exams!"
The crowd goes wild. Elmer shrugs and smiles, waves to his wife who's crying at the table, and stumbles off the stage.
The house light come up and everyone leaves, happy. Great show. What a night. And what a week.
Back to the grind. We'll see you next week, Monday for sure.
One more day, one more adventure.