Apr 25, 2012

catching up...

the past week or so has been hectic. now that things are slowing down, it's time to catch up...

two weekends ago, while waiting for the family to return from florida, i took the opportunity to ride around the southern part of virginia snagging some bbq joints for the smoke chasing grand tour. and threw in a waffle house just for the fun of it...

day started early, heading up to henderson to get pictures of a few bbq places. as is common in rural areas and the gps, the locations the gps thinks the place should be and where the place actually is aren't the same. or the place doesn't exist at all. i'd find both in henderson. missing my first bbq opportunity to a place that didn't exist. while stopped at a light on my way to the second place, i stopped another bbq place. ahhh, this will make up for the first one i missed, i thought. only to realize, as i pulled into the parking lot, it was actually the second place i was headed - mis-located by the gps. the rest of henderson would be this way. luckily i only had a few stops in there, including a waffle house, before heading up to virginia.

virginia was good, spanning from south hill to danville. i picked up all the locations i planned. and one additional place that i quickly turned around for because it had the word "smoke" in the title. i ended up picking up seven places in virginia - two more than needed for my goal of obtaining griller status - five bbq joints in three states.

leaving virginia, heading home, i picked up two more bbq places, making for a great day out on the bike. although one of these days, i really should stop into one of these places and take in a meal.

you can follow my smoke quest here or see the route i took for my ride here - track in green.

Apr 14, 2012

what the hell am i doing here???

have you ever had an opportunity present itself and think, "that would be so cool?" Or "that would be so much fun?" So you get involved and then ask yourself, "what the hell am i doing here??" i can't count the number of times i've done that...

for example, one time at work i had the chance to work on a team consisting of really smart, well respected developers. who wouldn't jump at the opportunity to work on a team like that? shortly after joining the team, listening to every one's input during a meeting, the reality of the challenges i would face, both in proving my capabilities and maintaining the high standards of the team, i think, "what the hell am i doing here?"

another time, after taking the msf basic rider course, i thought it would be really cool to become an instructor. i've always enjoyed teaching. i have a passion for motorcycling. what could be better than combining the two? first weekend, sitting in the middle of the range on the bike, instructors throwing information at us at a hundred miles an our, i look around the range, at the other people in the class and think, "what the hell am i doing here?"

i could go on and on with examples... and you would think over time, i might slow down and think before jumping in. well, unfortunately i haven't learned that lesson because i've done it again!!!

over the past year or so i've discovered that i really enjoy long distance riding. don't get me wrong, i'm far from being an expert in long distance riding. and compared to the folks out there who are long distance riders, my rides look more like trips to the local grocery store. but i do find a fascination in long distance riding.

a couple friends i ride with have talked about and participated in the cape fear 1000. when i had the chance to join in this year's rally, i jumped at it!! not only that, i volunteered my wonderful wife to ride with me!!

the past two weeks have been filled with preparations for the rally. paying the registration fees, reserving the hotel, reading the rally rules, getting the liability statements notarized, providing proof of insurance... as i'm doing this, i find i'm asking, "what the hell am i doing here?" what did i get us into??

looking back, every time i've been in the situation where i wonder what the hell i'm doing, i've reacted the same way... i've stuck with the original plan, embraced the challenge and didn't give up. i've appreciated the opportunity. and the feeling of accomplishment i get when i reach my goal.

i'm approaching the cape fear 1000 the same way. my goal, just finishing. i'm looking forward to the ride; looking forward to sharing the experience with my wife.

Apr 12, 2012

smoke chasing bonuses...

every once in a while, the smoke chasing grillmaster will throw out a bonus. needing all the help i can get, i do what i can to participate in these bonuses. as an added incentive, there's usually a prize associated with the bonus. last month's was a backwards bonus - just needed a picture of the bike, the bbq place and the back of our flag. easy enough... and the prize?? which i didn't win!! a set of  dunlop tires!! not a bad deal.

this month there are two bonus opportunities. first, a dive contest. basically the worst looking bbq place we can find. compared to some of the other competitors, i don't think i have a chance at this one.

the second bonus this month is called friends don't let friends go hungry. for this one, we get one chance at winning the bonus for every friend that signs up for the smoke chasing tour. for all of you who thought this tour might be fun, now's the time to sign up!! sign up over here, then e-mail the grillmaster (smokechasing [at] hotmail.com) and tell them i sent you. but hurry, this bonus ends at the end of april.