So this past weekend, I am supposed to attend a wedding on Hilton Head Island, SC. My wife couldn't make the trip, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to ride there (bride and groom are friends from my workplace).
I made the 530+/- trip, via super slab without incident, other than the typical brief southern afternoon rainstorm. I got to my hotel in plenty of time to meet up with another buddy from work who was also attending the wedding and have dinner. At dinner I learn (because he-man yours truly did not bother reading or brining the invitation) that the wedding is at 0900 (thats am) the next day--I just figured weddings are supposed to be in the afternoon? So much for sleeping in, coffee, newspaper, etc.
With this nugget of knowledge, I change my plan of a two night stay and check out of the hotel the next morning, planning to ride back to Northern Virginia after the reception. I donned my ATGATT attire and rode the 13 miles or so from my hotel in Bluffton to the Island. I was running a little behind my planned schedule but would still be early.
I arrive at the community hosting the wedding--"The Plantation"--and pull up to the gate that my GPS directed me to on my rather handsome R1150RT. I greet the guard and advise that I'm here for a wedding. To which, he replies "thats great, but there are absolutely no motorcyles allowed on the premises." Yeah right, I say. Yeah, right, he says--no kidding. Blasphemy--what communist came up with this rule?
To add insult to blaspheme, the guard (a nice guy actually) tells me its too far to walk and I would need to ride to the "other" gate--by going another two miles out and around The Plantation DMZ--to the main Gestapo office where my bike can be parked (after registering it with security, even though I'm not allowed in) and I can call someone to come get me. By now its 0855 and I'm hosed.
I go to the other, main security office where I get the same schpiel, even though I told them I know the rule, just here to park. Anyway, I have missed the wedding by now, so I wait a few minutes for the ceremony to hopefully be over before I interrupt and call someone to come get me. My faithful companion from the evening before (also a rider and aghast at "the rule") comes to get me and, upon arrival, I'm greeted by the entire wedding party and guests as they wait for me for the group photo. I did paraphrase our new President for the first time by stating to the group that "the security force acted stupidly" (just a joke, they were following their gestapo training and strict rule adherence).
All ended up well at the reception, other than hearing for the umpteenth time "you mean you came all the way down here on a [I]motorcycle?"[I]
After all was said and done, the hooligan (me) was transported back to his offending machine. Upon arrival, I was surprised to see that one of the super troopers had apparently taken my helmet, jacket and boots inside and was bringing them out to me. I'm not sure if that was a kind gesture or they didn't want the residents to think I had disrobed and was gallavanting through the hallowed grounds?
In any event, I thanked Sgt. Ballbricker for her kindness--she even posed for a snapshot while wagging her finger at me. I actually thought maybe they weren't so bad after all--until I donned my gear and shortly thereafter realized they must have stored it in the room where they take their smoke breaks. I rode the next 8 hours up I-95 enjoying a Marlboro Light scented Schuberth C2.
In all seriousness--If you are planning on riding to anywhere that might cause you to have to enter a private, gated community, it might be worth the effort to make sure motorcycles are allowed--or, you can ride 500+ miles like me and find out the hard way. I'm pretty sure they followed me for a few hundred miles, just to make sure I didn't come back and try to sneak in. I could be wrong (I bet I am on the double super secret probation list now though).
Thanks for reading the rant.