On day one I recall saying that every collaborative activity, such as the one we are now on requires a little time to pass before things like the briskness of the ride pace, the frequency of the stops to do things like stretch, eat, take pictures, and pee soon works itself out. And so today Day 3 seems to be the sweet spot.
For now we’re just sitting on an old well worn country couch waiting on a Vermont breakfast of French toast while around us three black Labrador retrievers walk the room.
Yesterday our happy riders proceeded merrily down highway nine; with our heads on swivels just admiring the Vermont countryside of changing deciduous leaves.
Everything changed for me the moment that adult deer decided to forego her nap and jump out of the forest just below the right side periphery of my vision and onto my lap. I didn’t hit a deer; it hit me. Big difference.
This morning I am still stiff and sore with pain in my right hip, the shoulders, elbow and wrist. And this morning at breakfast in our Grey Ghost lodging the guests included Road Scholar ladies, Harley biker guys and gals and our four person Vermont riding group. Surprisingly the word quickly got around that a guy got hit by Bambi. One guy even tried engaging us in a conversation about this mysterious guy who was T-boned by a full sized female deer.
When Kip told him it was me, at the point that I stopped riding the deer into the forest, while my Triumph Tiger catapulted itself to smitherings. Stop embellishing the story I said. The truth is bad enough.
The average age of a road scholar participant is 72 years of age. Several have engaged us in conversation and their desires for learning in their aged youths. The average age of the Harley bikers, around us most, on three wheeled behemoths also pulling a trailer is near seventy years of age.
Teri says I should start a GoFundMe account, not for me but, for the injured and missing she deer. John says I should be ok not getting hit by anything else for the rest of the week. But the end of the week is tomorrow I say. Then you still have a 1 in 116 chance of getting hit again.
Wow, those aren’t bad odds in my favor. What are my odds at ever seeing a my Vermont covered bridge; there are supposedly 100 around and I’ve yet to see one up close.
Today is day three of riding in Vermont where the morning fall temperature is now a brisk 39 degrees outside. The leaves have truly changed to those foliage colors in the higher, cooler areas. The fall here moves from north to south across the state.
My right hip feels much better today and I might even be able to go into my senior years without a titanium hip replacement.
Day 3 the group bonded together and we sing a Kumbaya song before starting a 300 mile plus riding day of Vermont. Let me now try to encapsulate today. We rode countless country roads like the kind that John Denver so wonderfully sings about. We saw mostly Mormon sized homes and palatial sized countryside estates the likes of which mere mortals could never afford to own unless they were passed on from many many generations ago.
We all started this ride with a desire to see a covered bridge; and then we saw three. One that was eyesight of the other and then a third also appeared. And countless road miles later we began to actually see a town with lots of people in it; Woodstock! I thought it was the original real place but, was corrected by our own pillion riding road scholar Teri. The real one is in New York.
And then I actually saw garbage on the parking lot of a Walgreens. The guy just littered. And earlier there were mobile homes and some junk cars littered about. And a University or two or three. This side of Vermont is now the middle class without their huge fields for jumping horses or snow skiing or even snowmobiling. The jobs seem to be everything state or federal and colleges. Teri swears they don’t drink coffee in Vermont as she hasn’t been able to find a coffee shop anywhere on our Vermont travels. I tend to agree.
Soon though this 9 day ride will be over and we’ll all be back to the land of perpetual riding- sunny California. But first I will do my best to try and bond with this stupid tall Yamaha Super Tenere. (If you missed it earlier the other bike catapulted itself to smitherings) I just don’t like it. Even the grips are stiff unyielding plastic.
I was just starting to bond with the other bike- the Triumph Tiger. It felt so good going into any corner aggressively and with confidence. I soon moved up to the lead of the group taking point. My navigational skills were superb and I could quickly spot a picture perfect opportunity from a great distance. Not anymore I’m now in last place with those full knobbies jut pounding the pavement away causing me undue pain and suffering on my rear, hips and shoulders. Why I even had a pet name all picked out for the Triumph. I think I will try to buy her and call her Bambi Tiger. I’ll leave the fuel tank dented by the deer paw mark and fix everything else. But then again, tomorrow is still another day.