Aug 1st. I wake to a very polite, very caring person with a delicious cup of coffee ready for me! Oh my gosh, I feel like a king, and I’m not quite sure I’m ready for that. Shady is a doll, she is an amazing person. After I’ve broken through the mental fog, she was already plenty awake and we take a look at the bikes, and head out to get some supplies for Cherry, my Ninja250 and myself. First stop at Kohl’s for new undershirt, being that most of them got burned up in the fire 2 days ago. Really? It’s only been 2 days? It feels like a lifetime ago! It’s weird how days blur together into a massive chunk of time seeming much greater than it was when the body and mind is strained.
A note: some of you might say, bah! ~600 miles on a bike in a day isn’t that much. Well, ok, fair enough. But do 600 miles back-to-back, on a Ninja 250 in abysmal heat in full race leathers! Not trying to seem a hero or amazing here, just see it for what it really is….
Anyway, at Kohl’s we find the undershirt quickly and while walking to the registers spot a pair of shoes I just have to have! The metro in me comes out and a whole discussion about gays/lesbians is started. I resist the shoes however, for I have no where to put them (nor the money), and we head for the registers. I have to be honest here and say that my gay-dar is abysmal, and the brain only clicks that I was being hit on by the checker at the fellow’s last sentence. I cordially thank him and head out. Shady and I laugh our asses off before stuffing our percolating-with-sweat faces into our helmets and heading for the moto-shop.
At Cycle Specialties of Cincinnati I spend too much money on a new chain, extra master links, chain lube and I forget what else, but my tank bag was stuffed to the brim! Apparently this shop doesn’t have the best reputation, but I had no hiccups with them. Their service center is a second building removed, down a hill, so that’s where we go. With the bike up on the pack-jack (which made adjusting/lubing significantly easier every 80 miles the first 2 days), I count the links, then Shady does, then I do… Gotta get this right ya know!
I walk in with the new 120 link chain and ask to have it cut to 103. The service manager is very polite and nice, and so is the mechanic who ends up cutting my chain. I take the cut chain and install it on the bike, using the extra clipped master links I purchased. I forgot one thing though, I usually seat the link with a pair of channel locks, and I have no channel locks… So back into the shop to get a set, and the mechanic who cut the chain says I need a chain tool. I agree with him but tell him I can do it with channel locks and he reluctantly let’s me borrow a set.
With enough force you can accomplish anything and it’s not 30 seconds later before I’m back in the shop returning the channel locks successfully to the incredulous expression of the mechanic. They even let me wash my hands in the shop. Fantastic folks I tell ya! I would go back in a heart beat. I leave service dropping a comment about giving them a fantastic review! Now however I have a peened master link with which I am able to accomplish nothing, and being that I try my best not to waste anything back up to the shop we go. I walk in and ask the helpful service counter fellow if I could trade him straight across peened for clipped. He says nah, but he’d give me a discount.
I run back outside to get my wallet. As I walk back in I see the service manager bursting through the door puffing and exchange a quick word with the parts guy to disappear quickly once I go through the front door. Parts guy says never mind, the clipped link is on him, and I’m all smiles and thank you’s! Maybe they think I’m a big time moto-journalist and they’ve just been featured in a rag. I saved $4 and paid retail for everything else, aside their excellent service department I would say this is an average shop. That’s not a critique, a place you can walk into and know what to expect and get reasonable fair service is a compliment. There are enough shops which won’t even give you that, so tops to you Cycle Specialties!
Off to Walgreens to get some sewing supplies to fix the hole which started developing in the inner thigh of my leathers, and then back to the house. Oil change, and we’re off for some food! Skyline Chili and White Castle has never tasted so good! Well, I’d never had them before, so of course they tasted good. Good enough in fact I’d eat them often if they had locations in Colorado….
After food an evening ride around Cincinnati is in order, and Shady can ride! A hill not ¼ mile from her house just keeps plummeting and is a great intro to any ride. The rest of the area is a roller coaster until we get to the Anderson Ferry, which I cross to honor my dad’s request. The cashier on the Ferry likes the bikes, but it’s just quick banter, he’s got a job to do, and I see a small glimpse of the good ol Ohio/Kentucky folk.
There is something serene about the locals. You know, the generation after generation, not-very-affluent folks. Their lives seem so easy, so simple. Some will take that as boring, but I can definitely see the appeal in it. I think I’ll become that when I’m 65, if I make it to 65…
Out on the other side of the ferry and Covington here we come. Very cool architecture, brilliant riding, and a beautiful dusk of Cincinnati on the hill.
Yea, this is what it’s about. I feel like I’m in a movie. This day is fantastic, and Kohl’s seems so far away…. We head down to Putz’s Creamy whip, a soft serve joint apparently so famous the interstate route had to be re-designed so as to ensure it’s survival. I’m glad the builders decided to keep it, it is worth it.
I get a triple-dipped chocolate, vanilla and strawberry cone. It seems appropriate, everything is just coming together beautifully, and it’s delicious! A fantastic evening. Back to the house, a great cup of coffee in the dark, and some more great company and talk.
I’m gonna miss Shady! I’m really gonna miss her…