He’s now 12 years old and has been waiting a long time for his first motorcycle adventure. Bryce is a very special young man, who just happens to be our first-born grandson. He had to be tall enough to reach the foot pegs on my motorcycle. That day has finally come, and we went out on a beautiful Wednesday, June 11th, 2014.
I started out by picking up Bryce in our car and bringing him to our house on Tuesday so he could stay the night with us. We were able to spend some time talking about school, finances and the rules for being a passenger on a motorcycle. He learned about the importance of keeping his feet on the pegs, limiting his movements, leaning with me and to always wait until I said it was OK to get on or off the bike. He was getting really excited, and wanted to ride that night! We needed a good night of sleep first. It’s best to be fully rested and alert when riding a motorcycle, since a great percentage of drivers you encounter are not.
The next morning Bryce slept until a little after 9. I made breakfast for us; eggs, bacon and a small waffle with real maple syrup. Yummy! While our food was settling, we got dressed for the ride and gathered our helmets and gloves. Bryce’s first motorcycle adventure had begun! First, we checked the tire pressures and added a little air to the rear tire. Then checked the oil, lights, horn and turn signal operation. I did a once-over visual inspection and then started the bike to let it warm up a little. Bryce put on his helmet (borrowed from Grandma) and I made sure the strap was fastened properly.
I’ve owned a lot of different bikes over the years, but have really come to enjoy riding Harley Davidson motorcycles. My previous bike was a Harley Electra Glide Ultra Classic. I now have one of the Sportster motorcycles Harley makes, a 2005 Roadster 1200. I really like this bike. It’s fun to ride and has good power. Mine has a touring seat, small windshield, saddlebags, passenger back rest and luggage rack.
Bryce and bike, ready to ride!
Since Bryce had never ridden far on a motorcycle before, I started out by riding in a low traffic area to let him get used to the feel of leaning over in the turns. He was a little tense about it at first. It didn’t help matters any that some ding-bat was backing out of their driveway right in front of us! I even had my horn blaring and they just kept coming! I started applying the brakes when they finally saw us and stopped, and I gave them the “stink-eye” as we rode around them. I pulled over and stopped, and explained to Bryce it was not unusual for people in cars to do stupid things, but not to worry: I was always watching for this and he could relax and have fun. We then stopped to fill up and the motorcycle adventure was rolling along.
Our route started in West Des Moines, Iowa, through town to Hickman Rd. (Hwy 6) and followed it to Adel. After touring around town for a bit we went to Patrick’s restaurant to get some lunch. Bryce wanted a pizza (what a shock) and I had fish (grilled orange roughy) and fries. The food was good and so was the service. We finished our meal, tanked up on water and payed our bill. My plan was to ride on county roads to Redfield, then over to the middle part of P28. So off we went.
When we got to Redfield, I found the route I wanted to take was closed and had a detour. Well, we were out to ride, so we rode the detour. It ended up in Stuart, where we took a break to stretch our legs and give our butts a rest. I asked Bryce if he was tired. He said “A little.” But once I mentioned our next stop would be for some ice cream, his fatigue seemed to vanish!
Once we were going again, we headed North to Panora on county road P28, a scenic and curvy road, perfect for our motorcycle adventure. We cruised along leaning into the curves and rolling on the throttle at each apex. Bryce really liked that and was riding like a pro by now.
At the intersection of P28 and Hwy 44 in Panora we turned right and went to PJ’s Drive In for our ice cream.
Bryce had a small chocolate shake and I got a chocolate malt. While we were waiting, we talked to two Guthrie county sheriffs having lunch. They were really nice and told us to watch out for deer since they have a lot of them in their county. I said I would definitely do that, as always! By now we had our shakes and went outside to eat them. It was warming up nicely, just a perfect day! When we finished, we were really full. No more food for us! Time to ride again.
Bryce at PJ’s in Panora; full of ice cream and ready for more cruising!
Helmets back on, we headed East to Dallas Center on Hwy 44, then took county road R16 back to Hickman (Hwy 6), then through town to our house. We went inside to get Bryce’s backpack and then rode to his Mom’s house to drop him off. Our total was over 100 miles for the day! He had a great time, and so did Grandpa. Pretty impressive for his first motorcycle adventure!