So, this year’s National Club Run was to Daytona Beach for the Spring Rally. I have been a number of times, but for some of the guys with me, it was a first for them… And, there were firsts for me as well. Here are a few of the things I either discovered, or re-discovered.
Full-faced helmets can keep you warm.
Full-faced helmets are not quiet.
You can still get a sunburn and windburn in a full-faced helmet.
iPod’s batteries only last about a day… if you are riding more than 10 or 12 hours a day, be damn sure to charge it at night or you are out of luck.
Harley Touring bikes actually are much more comfortable than my Softail when putting down 600 to 700 miles a day for three or four consecutive days.
The above is not something you want to find out by being allowed to “try” one for 30 miles when you still have 1200 miles to go… it just makes getting back on your sled kinda suck.
I need a touring bike.
I need one with a stereo.
Road King’s may be more my style, but there is that iPod problem.
10. I understand from my buddies’ new Road Glides that the stock stereo can’t really be heard at 90mph anyway… and they were not wearing a lid.
11. $800 to upgrade speakers helps to negate the problem found in #10.
12. You will probably learn more than you wanted to know about at least one person in your travelling party.
13. You will certainly witness activities, actions, or other things that you will never be able to speak of. But it will not be easy to wipe them from your memory. Jaeger Bombs help.
14. In reference to #13, shop around for your shots… one place will charge you $3 and the next joint will charge you $12. If at all possible, pick up a couple rounds at the $3 place so you can still pay for a place to sleep or a simple meal later in the week.
15. You may start out as one group, but you will never return in the same pack… some will leave early, some will leave late, and there may be one or two who decide not to come home at all.
16. It is going to be colder than you thought, wetter than you thought, windier than you thought, hotter than you thought, further than you thought, more expensive than you thought, and always an even better time than you thought.
17. At the Daytona Rally, signs that read, “Welcome Breakers and Bikers,” refer to Spring Break Kids and Bikers… it does not mean there is a Break Dance Convention going on in town.
18. Sometimes it is better to text than to call.
19. Your Brothers ALWAYS have your back… right or wrong… just be sure someone is there when the shit goes down. It is hard get back you up while your crew is a block away, ordering a slice of pizza.
20. It will break down… but hey, that is ok too.
21. Sometimes it is best to wear your clothes out on the road and just burn them… socks are pretty cheap at wal-mart… you probably needed new ones anyway.
22. If you paid more than $60 for a room with two double beds you paid too much. But if you are really sleeping 4 to 6 guys in there… you can probably swing $80.
23. Yes, you will lose something… like a glove, hat, glasses, shoe, whatever…
24. Sometimes it is harder to leave the family behind for a trip than you thought it would be… stick it out… both you and your family will be just fine.
25. In relation to #24… 10 days away from home is generally more than enough… You will usually realize this 11 days into a 14-day ride.
26. You will promptly forget learning lesson #25 and plan to be gone on the next major run for longer than you will end up wanting to be away. This is inevitable, just remember to deal with it… it will be fine… refer back to #24.
27. You will be asked to remove your Colors or leave an establishment… You will always choose the latter option. There is some bar, somewhere that you can enjoy while being true to yourself.
28. The local dominant club will check you… sometimes this is not a pleasant experience, but you will get through it just fine… and hey, when they are in your town, it is your turn.
29. After the check in #28, you will most likely learn where all the best club parties are, have an open invitation, make a few new friends, and enjoy the hell out of the evening.
30. Those that have never earned and worn a patch will simply not understand #27-29. That is just fine. They also won’t be at the parties you get invited to.
31. Coming home is always bittersweet. But being back with your family is always a well-deserved comfort. Thank them, love them, appreciate them, and start planning the next ride.