I was the first one to arrive at the meeting spot on St. Patrick's Day morning. The steam from my coffee warmed my partially chilled face. The rest of me was comfortably toasty thanks to my usual winter riding gear.
The next to show up was my chapless buddy Bill riding an '07 Heritage Softail Classic which he pulled up carefully next to my ’07 Ultra. He immediately ran inside to get warm. Bill ordered a pastry as we swapped a few stories about the past couple of weeks. A third amigo, Jeff followed soon after on another Heritage.
Our eyes, squinting from the streaming light of the sunrise were closed even further from laughter and smiles as we recounted past trips and adventures. All that was needed for our next ride to begin was the arrival of the fourth of our merry band. It wasn’t long before we heard the familiar rumble of Dennis’ Fatboy in the distance. At last, we were all together and ready to go.
We had no specific plans about where we would go, or when we would be back. After another week of schedules, meetings, and deadlines it felt good to be flying by the seat of our pants again. Once each had shared a few ideas we settled quickly on a basic route and off we flew northward toward hwy 149 and through the forest on some of our favorite twisty roads. A few traffic lights were all that stood between us and miles of non-stop pleasure. Stop light number one: might as well make the most of it. I rev my engine and glance over at Dennis. He looks at me and gives the thumbs up. The light changes and we’re off. Dang that Fatboy is fast! Oh well, I’ll get him next time.
Shamrock green hills and trees adorn the countryside as we roll over shadow streaked roads. Quiet ponds next to beautiful country homes reflect the perfectly blue skies. Spring calves playfully roll on their backs in the freshly sprouting clover. Spring, though not yet here is certainly announcing her eminent arrival. The cool of the morning gives way to bursts of sunlight as we move from tightly shaded lanes to rolling pastured hills.
Almost there! I can taste those homemade chips and perfectly grilled burgers all washed down with a bottle of my favorite brew. A “Reduced Speed Ahead” sign tells us the tiny town of Carlos, Texas is just ahead. And so we arrive at Yankee’s Tavern and a refill for us (the bikes can wait). After a bit of banter with the waitress we all get a customary pinch for our negligence to honor the day by the wearing of the green. Though we had forgotten what day it was due to our busy week day rushes it was great to see that there was plenty of green to go around on the road sides.
So many bikes. So many smiles. So many tannless faces. Winter getting smaller in the rearview mirrors of our minds. Our bellies full, it was time to fill our tanks and follow our newly decided on trail home. I may not be Irish but I sure am happy to see the green.