Diaper Dude put me up to this... I wasn't going to write it, mainly because it wasn't all *that* interesting.
So... I will keep it short.
This report is titled the way it is because all I did was ride and eat... and work. Yeah, it was a "work-vation"... a ride I took because we are so danged busy at work that I can't go to Spokane.
The ride started with a video shoot here in Atlanta... for a new client called Worldwise Education. This is a start-up company that we're helping to launch.
The shoot ended about 6pm last Thursday, and since I had come packed and ready to go, I headed up I-75, enjoying the HOV lane in Atlanta's famous rush-hour traffic.
Along the way I stopped for gas in Diaper Dude's favorite store:
Too bad there's a law against the interstate transport of fireworks, otherwise I would have bought Jon a present.
Got to just south of Louisville, KY that evening... and should have gotten to north of Louisville because the next morning I got absolutely hammered by an hour of driving rain. BMW's Savannah 2 pants do not work as advertised... so I rode the next 3-4 hours feeling like a fish... soaking wet.
Or was that Phish? As I headed north through Indiana I noticed hundreds of cars full of 60's looking people... had I time warped or something? No... it turns out that they were all heading to the last Phish concert ever, to be held on Friday and Saturday night in Wisconsin.
After two and a half hours of traffic hell on I-90 east of Chigago, I arrived in Aurora, IL... home of Diaper Dude. That evening was spent eating fantastic steaks and potatoes cooked by Dude and his wife Sue... interspersed with cuddles by Alicia, the source of the Dude's new handle.
A "double butterfat" ice cream cone was our desert. Oy!
The next morning dawned bright, and I chowed down on the free breakfast bar at the Hampton Inn. (No camping on this work-vation... especially when you can expense the hotel room!). After a few hours of work on a Saturday morning (a marketing analysis for another client)... I headed for a lunch meeting with Diaper Dude & Sue Diaz... and surprise guest Doug Grosjean.
For those who don't know Doug, he is a writer extraordinaire... and a big contributor to the BMW MOA web site (although his articles have been taken down...) and the inventer of Grosjean Numbers. And... I finally got to meet Doug's son, Jean-Luc.
After a lunch involving a Belly Buster Burger, I headed north to Beemerhill, home of Ambassadors Brian Manke and Sue Rihn-Manke. Sue met me halfway, and escorted me though some great riding roads in southern Wisconsin.
We stopped at the Buell Motorcycle factory, at Thoroughbred Cycles (a small independent shop featuring a keg that's free to customers and friends of customers....) and then went out to dinner for another big hamburger and a classic midrift, uh, midwest beer garden party to raise funds for the local firefighters.
The next morning, Steve Huber (good friend and BMW MOA web site volunteer) appeared at 7 am, ready to lead me on my way to the next stop in Minnesota.
Man, Wisconsin is a beatiful place to ride, and Steve took me on a series of great roads through the countryside, along the Wisconsin River and across the Mississippi into Iowa.
There we parted company, him heading home to Madison, WI and me taking the really back roads (Root River area) to my next meeting in Rochester, MN... at the Mayo Clinic. We are working on an interactive media assignment for Mayo, and I got the cook's tour of the place. Amazing facilility, but sorry... no pics.
Incredible food for dinner, lunch and breakfast... man, I can't wait to get on my bathroom scale back in Atlanta.
Anyway..... after the second day of meetings, the ride home started at 2:30 on Tuesday and ended 1,089 miles later at 2 pm on Wednesday... another 1,000 in 24 that goes undocumented (just too unorganized for that kind of thing!). This time I took I-90 to I-39 to I-57, I-74 to I-24 to I-75 and I-85.... i, yi, yi... all slab and no good roads!)
Even with work interspersed, it was still a great ride... and it will have to do for long rides this year, except for a planned breakaway to Vintage Days in a couple weeks...