Easter Trip Wrap-up

Perfect way to wind-down at the end of a day or riding.

I felt it while it was happening.  I wasn’t going to be able to keep the bike upright.  I pulled in the clutch and heard the engine rev in rebellion at the lack of throttle release, then leaned hard left and dumped the bike onto the ground.

There are two kinds of riders.  Those who have dumped their bikes, and those who haven’t yet.  I dropped the first bike I ever owned, a 2006 Harley Sportster right off the showroom floor, in the middle of a road during a left turn, the very first weekend I had it.  That was the first, and the only time.  And now, after 10 years of owning and riding my Harley Streetglide, I finally got its one dump out of the way!

No, I was not hurt.  And, in what I’m taking as a sign of maturity, or just not giving a crap anymore, not even my pride was hurt!  It was the end of a long day of riding, and I had already unhitched and set up the camper.  I was tired, content, and ready to be off the bike for the day. But, I didn’t like it parked so close to the main path for the night, so I decided to relocate it. 

I got complacent and rushed the maneuver – the tires slid out in the gravel and, in an instant, I was on the ground.  Fortunately, I dumped it right after only the front wheel, but not the back one, slid over a landscape timber – the barrier between the campsite and the precipice into the lake.  With way more composure than I should have had for the situation, I calmly stood up, turned off the engine, and silently thanked my crash bars for doing their job – keeping the bike off my leg when in the horizonal position.  Hmm, front tire on the lake embankment side, and rest of bike on flat campsite side.  Well, this is a pickle!   

I turned the handlebars to the left towards me, backed up to the bike and squatted, grabbed the left handlebar grip in one hand and the seat in the other, tightened my core and stood up.  I had the bike almost completely righted when I realized I wouldn’t be able to get the kickstand down without the bike rolling down the embankment into the lake, so I carefully squatted back down. In all honesty, I wasn’t sure I could get it up the last little bit anyway.  On solid, level pavement?  Probably.  But, on banked gravel? I wasn’t as confident.  As I quickly pondered my conundrum, someone from a neighboring campsite trotted over to lend a hand and within a few seconds, I was back in business.  No harm, no foul, but a great reminder to never get complacent with 850 lbs of machinery.

Sunrise at my spectacular campsite in Elijah Clark State Park in Lincolnton, GA. Also the site of the bike incident :-/
Attachable screen porch makes the living space feel so much bigger!
Sunset over campsite at Seminole State Park in Donaldsonville, GA.
Quiet evening at Seminole State Park

I made this story sound way more dramatic than it actually was, just for effect. The truth is, it was hardly even a blip on an otherwise spectacular trip!  The two Georgia State Parks where I stayed on my return trip to NC were some of the nicest campgrounds I’ve ever been to.  I had quiet, waterside campsites in both Seminole State Park in Donaldsonville, GA and Elijah Clark State Park in Lincolnton, GA.  Enough space between campers and nicely wooded spots made for peaceful stays at both locations.

I love stopping for random roadside attractions! This is outside of Striplings General Store in Cordele, GA

Well, I’d say that the maiden voyage of my moto camper was a success!  After 2300+ miles of towing the Leesure Lite camper with my Harley, I’ve got a good feel for how it pulls and acts under various conditions:  moderate inclines/declines, stopping distances, road conditions, and turning scenarios. I even got the “opportunity” to make a U-turn across the confines of a 2-lane road without a shoulder, and to back the whole rig up to allow a semi to U-turn in front of me while stopped for a passing train!  Although I’m still trying to figure out the most efficient way to fold up the screened room for a quick set-up at the next site, I have a pretty decent routine of setting-up and taking-down camp.  I still have a lot to learn and experience though.  With the exception of high winds and a chilly couple of days/night, I had ideal weather conditions the whole trip, so I’ll definitely feel more relaxed once I have some wet road and camping conditions under my belt.

As much fun as the camper itself is, it’s merely a tool that facilitates my main goals of meeting up with old friends, making new ones, and experiencing a spectrum of scenery, food, and events in between.  The little things, like the smell of honeysuckle, the sight of blooming azaleas and dogwoods, the taste of fresh roadside stand strawberries, and the feel of connecting with others and the environment, are what made the miles on this trip a joy to ride.  I’m more excited now than ever about hitting the road this summer!  Only a few weeks left to go!   

5 thoughts on “Easter Trip Wrap-up

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  1. Gravel is not a bikers friend! Glad it was just a blip and not a BLIP! Good having you around! Rest up! I’m ready to head out with you on Your next adventure! Love you and Be Safe!🤗🥰

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m glad you are OK! Dropping the bike gets less embarrassing as we get older. As you said, there are two kinds of bike riders, and I have been both. Keep on Bikin’! And …… we LOVE you!

    Liked by 2 people

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