Not A Father's Day Ride
Posted by dutchinterceptor, 24 June 2009 · 241 views
I'm definitely not a father and I wanted to ride so I decided to celebrate Not A Father's Day. I had initially planned to do a three day run through the Ozarks but thanks to a knucklehead at the pharmacy I had to sort out some issues with my mom's scripts before I could leave. With Friday out I still figured two days would be good so off I went in search of a little curve therapy.
The temps were forcast to hit 91 for a high but I think that was a rather modest prediction. Passing bank signs often showed 95-100 along the way. The bike air temp hovered around 93-95 at speed. I must admit that I was having a tough time with the heat especially considering I was wearing my stich but at least I brought my hydration pack. Whew....
One of my goal's was to adventure out looking for new roads but all in all that was a total wash. Out of 5 possible new roads programmed into the GPS all of them turned to gravel/dirt after a few miles. Bummer when you have to backtrack but hey, at least I was riding. Some of the areas in AR are a bit on the scary side when you are out in the sticks on a tiny sidewalk of a road with hardly any humans in site. Thoughts of filming my own Blair Witch Project or revisiting scenes from Deliverence came to mind.
I haven't been riding much lately and my first leg was 205 miles. Even then I only stopped long enough to gas-up and check my rear tire. I would stop 30 miles later for lunch. Needless to say my backside was complaining. After pressing on after lunch and finding more gravel roads I found myself hammering up AR7 between Hot Springs and Ola. AR7 is a fun road with it's sweepers, long sight lines and good road surface but the amount of traffic almost always kills it. Saturday was one of those days.
AR9 from Morrilton to Clinton isn't too much fun but it was a means to an end heading for AR16/9. That's about as fun as it gets in AR. Sections of that road are reminiscent of the roads in North Carolina with their elevation changes and tight back and forth corners. The heat and traffic were now in the back of my mind as the fear of flying off the mountainside took over. Wow....amazing how rusty you get when you don't ride regularly. I survived and it didn't take long to find my rhythm just in time for AR14 and the finale.....Push Mountain(AR341).
Yellville was my final stop and is my usual place of residence when I go to Arkansas. The Carlton Marion Inn is a small family run motel. The owners live on site and are extremely friendly. $50 gets a very clean room, access to a pool, and a cliffside view of the river below with a short walk across the yard and through some bushes. I highly recommend it. Once unpacked, I sucked down a couple beers and then walked down to the Yellville square for some live music. Bluegrass was the music for the night so I didn't stay long. I grabbed a pizza from Breadroux's near the square and hiked back to my room. What a day!
After a whole pizza and 6 pack of Heinekin, Sunday morning came a little too early. I kept dragging my feet and finally left the parking lot around 9am. I didn't know how far I could push my tires(Dunlop Roadsmart) since they were at the wear bars so I opted to run a slightly easier pace. So after an hour of going easy on the throttle I was hammering the roads again. I'd check the tire from time to time and it looked good so I quit worrying a bit. Some of you might have seen the picture of the tire I pushed a little too far on one of my other trips. Didn't want to call the ball and chain again to bail me out.
The temps were a little better Sunday. It didn't hit 90's till nearly noon. All of the roads were good with very little traffic. Some even pulled over to let me by which is much better than the ones that try to hold you off. AR123 from Pearcetown to Clarksville was my highlight of the day with a quick run down AR74 also. I noticed an odd site on AR74 just north of Jasper on one of the straight sections. Some guy has motorcycles, mostly 70's-80's street bikes hanging from a tree in front of his house. Next to the tree is an old rusted out pickup and a sign that says Harley parking only. Guess he doesn't care for imports?
If you are ever in Clarksville look for South Park Cafe on AR103 on the southwest side of I-40. This place is a truckstop but they offer a great lunch special. You get your choice of 4-6 different meats and that includes three or four sides including desert and rolls. You won't be disappointed. The temp crept up while I was stuffing my face. The bike showed 114 even after sitting for nearly an hour.
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful with the exception of a couple of very near-hits with law enforcement. I reeled in a sheriff near Paris that I had to follow for twenty miles at or just below 55. I went screaming past a sheriff hidden on the side of AR23 as I was doing 80+ in a 55 but he never flinched so I kept rolling. After I got back in Texas I kept the speeds around 80 since the speed limits are 70. As luck would have it I topped a hill at the same time as a DPS officer coming the other way. I chopped the throttle and dropped to 78 before he irradiated me but again he wasn't interested. Lucky, lucky me! Over ten years of speeding and only three or four warnings means I must be doing something right! Finally made it to the house and my rear tire had just started to show cords so the ride worked out beautifully.