Thursday, April 13, 2006

Nelson Riggs Goes Bye Bye

Somewhere in Oklahoma

Big Red let out that all to familiar growl as we were blasting up the ramp on to I-40. We were on a mission... and the the big CBR was taking' Big Red's boasts a little personal. JAC was rollin' through the gears.

I swept up onto the big road behind my co-conspirator and felt that twinge... that itch. The CBR was well into triple digits, and it was time to either let off or let her go.

Twist the wrist a little more... God's Country ahead.

I swerved off to the outside of the fast lane and let the CBR show her ass a little. JAC just wanted to watch though, and by the time we hit 140 he was backing Big Red down under protest.

I shifted into 6th at 145.

At 150 the sprawling Oklahoma landscape reduces itself to a mere blurry haze surround one focused circle in front of me. The yoshi pipe is screaming behind me. At 8,000 RPMs the bike is pulling hard. We're in her wheel-house and she's swingin'.

A buck sixty comes a lot faster than you'd think it would. The bike is terrifyingly calm and smooth... as if it wasn't really working at all... the eye of the storm. This is what it feels like inside a tornado. At 165 mph the wind blast is enough to tear you off of the bike... but only if you stupid enough to sit up and ask for it. I don't know if I'm breathing or not. I can see... but I can't hear... I can taste... but I can't smell. Mostly... I can just feel.

I can feel the bike has more to give... the speedometer lies to me... bragging that we've hit 185... but I know its just boasting. I slowly ease of the throttle and let the Hurricane fade.

The landscape replaces the blur.... the focused circle grows.

Suddenly I see Big Red pull up beside me, presumably to let some of the after-glow rub off. To my surprise I see JAC pointing at the back of my bike. I turned around to see what the deal was and I found that my new Nelson Riggs saddle bags had apparently been blown off.

We pulled over and spoke to digest the situation and formulate a plan. An 18-wheeler rolled up beside us. The old boy had apparently seen the bags blow off and was kind enough to stop and tell us where they might be.

"I was rollin' about 80 in this ol' rig... I ain't never seen nothin' go by me like that! And them bags went straight up in the air to! It was a sight!" He seemed to get a big kick out of the whole thing.

We went back for the bags but we never found 'em. I guess some witness wanted my dirty undies for a souvenir.

A costly but memorable trip to God's Country.

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