Life on the frozen tundra of South Dakota Life on the frozen tundra of South Dakota

A Shorter Trip Than Normal, But At Least It Happened

A Shorter Trip Than Normal, But At Least It Happened

Once again this year I wasn't sure if a motorcycle trip was going to happen. This seems to be a common theme for me, but this year it was as close to "not gonna happen" as it ever has been.

Back in February I contracted an infection in my heart which put me in the hospital for a week, and had me on IV antibiotics for another four weeks. Then at the end of April I had open heart surgery to replace my aortic valve, due to an undiagnosed bout with rhumatic fever when I was younger. Of course accompanying these two incidents were long stints of time off work, which meant these events pretty much sucked up all of my "vacation" time for the year.

Couple those with some family issues happening that I'm not currently wanting to discuss with the entire internet, along with all the usual busyness that life brings, and I really was in doubt if I was going to be able to go anywhere this year. My friend Jon had talked to me earlier and wanted to do a trip together this year, but I was unable to commit to it in time for him to get his vacation request submitted (we're going to try again next year.)

Finally, a week before the trip happened I decided that one way or another, I was going to go somewhere. I calculated that I could afford to take one day off work. If I coupled that day with a weekend, I could spend three days riding. That didn't leave me much time, but it was better than going nowhere.

In trying to figure out where I could ride in a three day stretch, my options were limited. I knew I didn't want to try and tackle any huge milage days, as I'm not sure I was physically or mentally up to the challenge. However, without riding a long distance there really aren't a whole lot of good motorcycle riding options in this area of the country.

In early August I suddenly had the idea to ride my motorcycle to go see some baseball games. Being a fan of the game, I knew that Minnesota had quite a bit of small town baseball going on. I looked up the schedule for the Northwoods League and figured out a route that would allow me to see two or three games. It would be a short trip, but at least I would get one in this year.

My bike was still dirty from last year's trip. I hadn't washed it since I returned, and frankly, wasn't going to have time to wash it before I left on this trip. I did spend an evening changing the oil, so at least that was done. I also checked the air in my tires. Outside of those two things, I really didn't do much preparation. My motorcycle only had about 30 additional miles put on it since last year's trip ended.

The night before I left, we went next door to my brother's house and we had a cookout. I spent way too much time hanging out there and wound up staying up later than I had intended, packing for the trip. Later that night I finally got everything together and ready for this year's trip.

So here we go!

Continue on to day one...

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This page last updated on 10/15/2019