Saturday, October 15, 2005

Day ride: Dixon, IL

At 8:30AM I was already in route to my friend’s house to do an oil change on the ST3. The bike now has 3900 miles and I was supposed to do an oil change at 3K. He also has all the tools that are needed. All went well with the oil change and since I had no plans today, a friend and I met up with a group of sportbikes at Woodfield Mall. Now, meeting up on a Saturday afternoon for lunch at a busy mall? Not my first choice, but it wasn’t my ride. So off I go. Now, we sport-touring kinds like to meet away from congestion, not ride directly in to it. This is a very popular mall, and it was pretty busy too. Since I don’t go to malls I had a tough time finding it and the place we were meeting at. But I finally made it. No one was there.

I call my friend to ask where the heck is everyone? I’m told to go to the other side of the mall, they are at the Hooters. So the lunch spot was changed? It takes me 20 minutes to get there. At first I didn’t see the place, went past it, the trees were in the way and I couldn’t see the building at all. Then I couldn’t figure out how to get in to the parking lot. I attempted to turn in but ended up on a road that led out of the mall and couldn’t turn left from there in to the lot. Finally made it.

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After lunch I volunteered to lead to Dixon. The ride took a long time to get out to the boonies, there were a lot of bikes and the traffic was really bad. We stopped a few times too. The wind really picked up in the afternoon, it was very gusty at times, but the temperature was in the mid 60’s and it was sunny and very pleasant. The wind doesn’t bother me as much on the ST3. Riders kept leaving the ride and by the time we got to Dixon, only half of the people made it. From there we split and only four people ride back with me. Then it was me and my friend, and it was dinner time We stopped at a Mediterranean joint for some dinner. I had some chicken kabob on a pita. Food was good, the night wasn’t too cold either.

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So this ride made me think. There are some major differences between the riding styles of sportbikers and sport-tourers, even when doing a day ride.

Sportbikers like to socialize first, ride later, ride less
Sport-tourers like to ride first, socialize later, ride further

Sportbikers make a lot of unplanned stops
Sport-tourers stop seldom

Sportbikers don’t venture very far from where they live and 3-4 hours on a bike is a long ride for them
Sport-tourers usually spend 10-12 hours on a bike, and that is not even considered a “long” ride

I’ve had sportbikes for a while, but I never rode like a typical sportbiker. I think that is why sport-tourers ride with sport-tourers and sportbikes ride with other sportbikes.

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