~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

"You In A Heap O' Trouble, Boy"

Sunday I took off with my neighbor Jim for a jaunt up the pavement and dirt of Apache Trail to Roosevelt Lake and then looped back through the copper mining towns of of Globe and Miami. I was on the Caponord, of course, and Jim was on his KLR650. Most riders never make it much farther than the tourist trap of Tortilla Flats by Canyon Lake. It's a really popular spot with the polish & pose crowd but other than being worthy of some tourist pictures and serving a decent burger there's not much to do there.

Tortilla Creek crosses the paved road at the eastern edge of Tortilla Flats and the paved road goes a few miles beyond and is actually better pavement and curves than the twisty road before there. When the pavement stops then the real Apache Trail begins, the one that has graced travel guides since about 1920. It's all smooth dirt easily negotiated by car and no trouble whatsoever for the Caponord or the KLR650.

The ride and weather were great but the most memorable part of the sights was west outside of Globe / Miami. The road curves around and is full of some nice sweepers and is frequently ridden in a sporting fashion by the local sport bike guys and most everyone else too. I have nice memories of blitzing it a few years ago on my Kawasaki Concours. Traffic was light that day in 2001, blitzing the road seemed like the thing to do at the time.

On Sunday there was a fair bit of car and truck traffic and as Jim's KLR is no sport bike we were content to roll along at the pace of traffic. As we rounded a curve, up ahead I spotted the flashing lights of a police car. As we neared it I could see some miscreant wearing handcuffs and standing head down by the patrol car. The officer was busy throwing a few things into the patrol car.
As we rolled past the scene I looked to see what sort of car had been pulled over. A Porsche? A 'Vette? A stolen something? In this case there was no car but what a quick glance at 65 mph revealed was a red Ducati 996. My guess was that the poor rider gave into Italian throttle lust and chose the wrong stretch of highway to do so. No doubt it seemed like the thing to do at the time.

My immediate thought was "I'm so glad I sold the Falco, I'm sure that was going to be me someday." Like an unapprehended law breaker watching someone else hang, I shuddered. Even with the Capo I am sometimes less than morally upright in my use of the throttle but I try to be selective about when and where.

So with visions of handcuffs dancing in my head I promise to be good in the future. I promise, I really do. I'll never exceed the speed limit again. Probably. Maybe. At least not until the image of the Ducati rider in handcuffs fades in my memory a little.

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"When my mood gets too hot and I find myself wandering beyond control I pull out my motor-bike and hurl it top-speed through these unfit roads for hour after hour." - T.E. Lawrence

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