|Mile Marker 266.2 on the Turnpike.|
Mile Marker 266.2
Two weeks ago I miss a phone call from the 215 area code. I have no idea who the phone number belongs to but there is a message on my voice-mail. I fumble with my phone and press the right combination of buttons; the message is from and old buddy of mine inviting me along to a bike blessing with him and some other riders over in Gettysburg. I return the call and I let him know that I am stoked about tagging along and will meet them tomorrow morning out on the Turnpike. The last time I rode with a group was during the Oklahoma trip. The next morning, I am greeted by bright early spring sunshine and crisp upper '30 degree weather, but I don't care! My body is toasty warm with heated gear! A short six mile ride later and I am kickstand down on the shoulder of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, facing west and way early waiting...
...and waiting. I summon the courage to remove a glove and check the time-they should be coming soon. I continue to wait, playing out all of the possible scenarios: did some one wreck? Did I confuse the date and time? I quash the paranoia by replaying the message and conversation in my head. I make a couple of phone calls- no response. By now they are 25 minutes over-due and my high-test coffee needs to be released soon! I make the command decision to leave. I know where they are going and I do not want to waste a beautiful day. I ride a few miles down the line to the Lawn Service Plaza to take care of business. Amazingly enough as I am walking back to Ole Girl I see my buddies roaring on by! I chuckle loud enough for another patron in the parking lot to hear me and ask me if those guys were my friends, "Yes", is my response and I laugh out loud again. I saddle up and light the wick. Ole Girl and I both know that we can catch up with them and we also saw three Pennsylvania State Police cars pass us while we were waiting-they could be sitting anywhere along the Pike waiting for us! We roll the dice as we shift into afterburner mode, dumping copious amounts of 93 octane. I will not incriminate myself by printing what speeds we were moving at while in afterburner mode, suffice to say, at ten years of age and 98k plus miles, Ole Girl still has a lot of giddy-up! Using other cars, trucks and tractor-trailers as cover, Ole Girl and I catch up with the boys and carefully slide into the group as if we had always been there to begin with! At the next stop me and my buddies laugh loudly at each other as I give them a hard time about not waiting for me, they fill me in on all of the 'issues' that caused them to be so tardy! We continued our ride south to Gettysburg-it was such a beautiful day and it felt good to ride with old buddies!