This morning we woke up to more cold rainy weather; not looking too good for riding the bikes today. Fortunately we had a nice warm breakfast with friends at the Silver Diner in Rockville, MD. We met up with Chad, Christie, Landon, & Miles, Heather & Pascal, and Emily. It was great to catch up with everyone; some real quality friends!
After breakfast Chad, a mechanical/electrical expert, came out to the car to investigate our problems with the brake controller. It was then that David identified that it had been working all along, it was just set too low; “operator error.” This takes me to one on my favorite lines from the movie Fletch: “It takes a big man to admit when he’s wrong. I am not a big man.” At this time we received some very cool gifts from Chad & Christie, biker bells, a biker tradition I wasn’t familiar with. We later looked up the meaning and found the following:
“Many of us have heard the story about Evil Road Spirits. They are little gremlins that live on your bike. They love to ride, and they’re also responsible for most of your bike’s problems. Sometimes your turn signals refuse to work; your battery goes dead, the clutch needs adjustment, or any of several hundred things that can go wrong. These problems are caused by Evil Road Spirits.
Evil Road Spirits can’t live in the presence of the bell, because they get trapped in the hollow of the bell. Among other things, their hearing is supersensitive, so the constant ringing of the bell and the confined space drives them insane. They lose their grip and eventually fall to the roadway. Have you ever wondered how potholes are formed? The bell has served its purpose.
If you pick up a guardian bell of your own, the magic will work, but if your bell is given to you, the power is doubled, and you know that somewhere you have a special friend helping to look after you.”
We decided we would shoot for the Outer Banks this afternoon. From Rockville, we crossed the Annapolis Bay Bridge and continued on to the eastern side of Maryland. Not the most direct route, but I really wanted to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge; a 4.3 mile long combination bridge and tunnel; very impressive. As we drove further and further south the rain cleared and the temperature finally crept over 50 degrees, my threshold for riding the bikes today. David and I broke out the Harley and Honda and rode until the sun went down. As we rode the bikes for a while and it began to get cooler from the sun setting I caught myself coasting along with my mind on other things at the same time; road numb. I immediately reminded myself that I no longer have time to coast, this is what the trip is all about. I pulled back on the throttle and re-engaged. As David says “this definitely doesn’t suck!”
We crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to Norfolk around dinner time. We couldn’t travel through the Chesapeake area without stopping for seafood; we found Sullivan’s, a local seafood shack. My “all you can eat” crab legs satisfied my seafood craving. After dinner we shot down to Nags Head (Outer Banks) where we will be staying for the night. A little colder than the ideal beach conditions, but still anxious to check it out in the morning!