Night Riding with Yo and Mr. Fun

Sometime during the recent MAMMARY run, Yo Adrian proclaimed that he and his friend Scott (Mr. Fun) would be stopping at my place on their way to Butch and Pam’s farm for the gathering called Meet in the Middle. So it came to be that Yo and Mr. Fun showed up in my driveway about 8:30pm with plans to pick me up and ride on to Anderson, IN… another four hours away.

I had been tracking Yo on his GPS but a caching problem caused me to think that they were still stuck at the border in Detroit, MI. Imagine my surprise when I heard the rumble of bikes in my driveway.

My original plan was to wait until they were about 15 minutes out and go get a pizza to it would be ready to eat when they arrived. Alas, the GPS snafu killed that idea. I dashed out for a Hot-n-ready pizza at the local Little Caesar’s and was back in about 10 minutes. We dined and eventually hit the road at about 9pm.

The plan to ride the 237 miles to Anderson, IN was attractive largely because Anderson is home to a Super 8 hotel that only charges $50 for a two-bed room. (That and the fact that it was less than an hour from where we’d want to be the next morning at around 9am–Henley’s Paint Shop.) Given our late start, it was unlikely that we would get that far.

I have a lot of riding friends that hate riding at night with a fierce passion. There’s the limited visibility, the glare of headlights on windshields, visors, and glasses, the abundance of additional wildlife to avoid; plenty of reasons to wait for daylight. I actually like riding at night. There’s less traffic. There are more trucks on the road, but they generally drive more considerately than your average minivan driver. In the summer months, it’s cooler. And finally, I like being able to glance up at the stars occasionally. As a result, a nighttime blast down the Interstate at a good rate of speed with two friends in tow was quite enjoyable… and we were making very good time. 🙂

Of course, the downside to making very good time is that your gas mileage goes to hell. The Cruiser hit reserve before we had even reached Fort Wayne, IN. Absurd. When I pulled us off into a gas station, a quick calculation revealed a heinous mileage figure of 24.6 miles per gallon. I guess we were moving along pretty well.

We used Yo’s GPS to find an alternative Super 8 hotel near Marion, IN, which was a good 40 miles short of our original goal. While I was plenty willing to ride the extra miles to Anderson, Yo and Mr. Fun had already ridden over four hours just to get to my place. I acquiesced.

We got back on the road and I got back to enjoying the evening. It had cooled down a bit (we all had added a layer back at the gas stop) so it was very comfortable. The sky was completely clear and the oncoming traffic was so rare that there was little light pollution disrupting a good view of the night sky. It was right about then that we found a helicopter on the road.

Over in the opposite lane, there had been a bad accident involving a motorcycle. Surrounding the site was a whole herd of rescue vehicles, ambulances, fire trucks, tow trucks, and police cars, all with lights flashing. At the front of the pack, perched in the middle of the highway, was a helicopter, blades idly spinning while the paramedics prepared the poor rider(s) for transport. Behind all this commotion was a good two miles of backed up traffic since the road was closed. (I mean, would you really want to squeeze your motorhome around a helicopter in the middle of the road?)

As for our three bikes, we reached the target hotel a little after midnight, which is good because Yo and Mr. Fun were both about to turn into pumpkins. We acquired rooms, unpacked, and got to sleep (after writing up this report first, of course).

The following is the map from the night’s ride.

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