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Monday, March 22, 2010

Friends Don't Let Friends Ride Alone

Friends don’t let friends ride alone, so Dave L. said, “Where do you want to ride this weekend, I was thinking about Coupeville.” Larry laughed and said he was thinking the same thing. So Dave sent out an email to a few friends and asked if they wanted to join in for a lunch ride. Mt. Baker Chapter HOG rides have not officially started yet but most of the members have been riding with groups of friends anyway because the weather has been so nice for this time of year--even better with heated gear. Have I mentioned before how much I enjoy my new heated jacket liner and gloves?

After the HOG meeting Thursday night, Greg Head, the new owner of Mt. Baker Harley-Davidson asked a small group of us who were still milling around laughing and talking, where we were riding this weekend (Greg has been reading the tri glide Facebook page and blog so he knows about our adventures). Coupeville was the answer and Greg said he would like to join us. Greg hasn’t had a chance to do a lot of riding since buying the dealership, hiring new employees, and moving his family to Bellingham, so this will be a chance experience some new roads and places he can show his family.

Larry and I headed out on Saturday morning about 9:15 AM to gas up the bike before arriving at the shop, because you always show up for a ride with a full tank. Wow! There was almost no room to park; what a great sight. Coffee and donuts and we were ready to ride. Fifteen bikes with four up when we rolled out of Bellingham and down Chuckanut Drive (Joan and Angie on their first big group ride and Shelia on her brand new one day old CVO street glide), our favorite route south and one we never get tired of. We stopped at the gas station on highway 20 to take a break and call ahead to the Tyee to make lunch reservations before continuing on.

Dave L. decided we would have to wait until we saw how many sightseers were at Deception Pass to decide if we could stop on the way to lunch or the way back. It must have been our lucky day because there were about three car lengths of open space and another car pulling out on the north side of the bridge, so we pulled over for photos. Almost no wind, lots of sunshine, and not a lot of people, made for a perfect spot to stop. This was not the case on the other side of the bridge which was packed with cars and camera toting visitors everywhere.

We were almost through Oak Harbor when a cage decided to squeeze into our group and stayed there all the way to Coupeville. I’m not sure why anyone would want to position their car in the middle of a large group of motorcycles and then proceed to ride up on the bikes in front of them and stay close to their fenders.

As we rode along, there were fields and pastures with chickens pecking for spring bugs (at lunch I was told today is the first day of spring, the Vernal Equinox 12:32 PM), a pinto horse was rolling back and forth in a green field enjoying the sun, and later someone asked what type sheep has little horns; and being the farmers we are not, Larry declared they were “Little Horned Sheep.” There were also several eagle sightings which always causes the group to point them out for following bikes. Dave and Dawn were not able to ride with us today, but drove down to meet us for lunch at the Tyee Restaurant. Our group left Bellingham late and because of this Dave and Dawn arrived, had lunch, and were ready to head for home by the time our group did get there. We had a chance to visit with them for a few minutes before they needed to get head back home.

Fish and chips was the overwhelming favorite lunch item and the staff served us quickly for such a large group. Lunch was over and the group was going to break up along the way. Dave L. dropped Jan off at her mother's in Coupeville and took a scenic route with Ron J. and Lorri around Madrona Way along the water before heading home. Shelia and Peter headed straight for the freeway after we crossed Deception Pass and the rest of the group turned off highway 20 to take the back roads to La Conner and on to Conway where we stopped for a break.

Back on the road to Big Lake and Gunderson Road where Angie and Ken left us to head home. The remaining group took a side trip down Gunderson Road to Clear Lake, and Sedro-Woolley where Bill and Marla peeled off and that left six bikes heading to Acme for a pit stop. Peanuts and cold drinks and it was time to head for home. Rick, Joan, and Greg stayed on Mt. Baker Highway heading into Bellingham, while Dave M., Lorie, Gary, Larry, and I took off at Smith Road for Ferndale where we all split up.

Larry and I made it back to Ferndale in time to attend the 6:00 PM church services. Dave M. asked, when we were in Acme, if we were really going to go to church on the bike wearing leathers and we said yes. When your pastor (Bob Marvel at Cornwall Church) rides a Harley, why wouldn’t you. The trike did get a lot of attention in the designated motorcycle parking right in front of the church. Besides, the church greeters are always super friendly when we arrive in biker clothing...every time they enthusiastically say, "Welcome to Cornwall" as if we had never been there before!

This is why friends don’t let friends ride alone-- it’s much more fun sharing the ride, the food, scenery and conversation with friendly, like-minded Harley folks.

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