Bow Tie Tour

Alaska and back again, our motorcycle tales

Archive for the 'Day 01' Category

Day 1 – Tennessee to Missouri

Of Leaving Late, Long Roads, and Law Enforcement

Our preparations were frenzied.
We were supposed to leave first thing Thursday morning, and we surely had our hands full the previous days… Bike maintenance, luggage installation, parts that were shipped late, saying goodbye to friends and fiance.
It was nuts!
Wednesday (D-Day Minus One), was “final follow up day” and it was great, we tied up a lot of loose ends, went for a “Farewell ride” across the TN countryside with some friends and did some last minute wrenching on our bikes.

Here’s “Southern Boy” Josh/ Jolly working on Ethan’s front sprocket.

Wrenching on the FZ1 :-)

The next morning we woke up bright and early (aka: We overslept) hopped in my car and rushed into town. Before we could leave, we had some welding that needed to be done, and I had to pick up my hard bags from the Post Office that randomly closes early (Noon!) on Wednesdays.

After dropping off the windscreen parts that needed to be welded, we grabbed the hard bags and installed them in record time. Then, a quick trip to the DMV to get my bike properly registered, and a Prayer, and we were off!

As we rode through Dayton, I felt something like an explorer or a pioneer (I know, I know it sounds fruity lol :-) two bikes fully loaded and setting off on a ride that few people would ever attempt to make. It was a pretty cool feeling!

On the road to Crossville, I discovered that I CAN in fact drag a knee on my bike, even with the full luggage installed :-D (Definitely an accomplishment for me, and it’s fun!).

Our first stop was a gas station near Cookeville, where we met the lady that Ethan mentions in his post below. I snagged this shot to commemorate the first stop of this great adventure.
FZ1 Bowtie Tour stop 1

Moments after I took that photo, a trucker walked over to let us know that there was some major traffic on I-40 Westbound so we should hop on a back road (hwy 70) which ended up being a GREAT ride! Knee dragging corners, clean and smooth… It was a blast!

Of course being pulled over wasn’t the best, but such is life (See Ethan’s post for more info).

We finally arrived in Nashville after riding for almost 5 hours (Traffic!), we rolled into Opry Mills mall and had a much needed and delicious lunch with my dear friend Freya and her friend Amanda… It was great!

(Freya and I as we were getting ready to roll again)

Eric Farewell and Freya Ross

By this time, we were already experiencing some serious heat… Riding through traffic had proven to be hellish and even with the water bladders we’d installed in our tank bags, we were still dying from the heat. After confronting more traffic on our proposed route, we jumped off the Interstate and headed North West on beautiful back roads towards Kentucky.

Our first sunset on the trip…

Ethan Demme Yamaha FZ1 TN Bowtie Tour

Our destination for this leg was the Homeschool Alumni Reunion in Mount Vernon, MO… After all of the traffic and delays we knew we wouldn’t be able to safely make it there in one day, so we decided to ride until we found a motel.

That came a full State later in “Future City” Illinois… The ride there, had been wonderful… Lots of miles, gorgeous scenery and finally, crossing the Mississippi (Always a monumental achievement!).
Why, oh WHY then, did we have to wake up to look out our window (at 6AM no less) knowing that we had to ride 8 hours through THIS:
Ethan Demme Eric Farewell Bowtie Tour

A new update coming soon folks :-)

From Nebraska,

Ethan’s Side –

After taking care of last minute business i.e. Eric finally getting his bike registered, picking up hard bags and installing them in the parking lot. We packed our bags, locked our cars, said a prayer and were on our way.

Leaving at 12:30 p.m. we headed north up 27 to 68 which we took to Crossville which was a fun ride full of grand views and sweeping turns. Before getting on I-40 we stopped to fuel up and fill our camel baks with water. At the gas station an older lady asked us the question that will most likely repeated throughout our trip. “Where are you boys headed?” We told her our destination and she replied that she was actually from Alaska and wished she could go with us :-) The back window of her pickup was filled with old Alaska license plates. Providentially a truck driver stopped and informed us that I-40 was backed up with traffic so we headed out 70 W towards Nashville.
The alternate route turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. Blessing-wise if was a fun road to ride on, plenty of hills and tight corners but perhaps it was just a little too fun. As we came out through the mountains the road became long, smooth and straight. Heading down a small hill we saw ahead of us a black Chevy Impala pause then pull out directly in front of us. We both slammed on our brakes as the car quickly accelerated in front of us.
Such are the ways of cars and motorcycles, each a bane to the others existence. When a passing zone appeared we passed the car to leave the crazy woman driver behind. We came up on a truck and quickly passed as well with my bike finishing the pass just as the passing zone closed. To our surprise the Impala passed as well and began to tailgate us. Eric waved me to slow down and pull over to let mrs. crazy pass, when the lights came on. It was an unmarked, plainclothes officer :-( She had us for speeding, passing on a double yellow and as icing on the cake Eric did not have proof of insurance with him. sigh. But after chatting for a while with her and the other sheriff that came up she let us go. It’s amazing what a little respect and smiling will do :-)
After that incident we drove (albeit slower) into Nashville where me met some people for lunch. It was well over a hundred degrees and humid so we took our time eating. After Dinner we hit the road again heading southwest on I-40 to avoid traffic then took back roads all the way up to Cairo Illinois. It was a pleasant ride, watching the sun set and listening to Johnny Cash on my iPod. After dark we stopped for gas and I let Eric borrow my iPod because my ears were getting a little sore. A few miles down the road he pulled over and announced that the iPod had fallen from his tank bag :-( we took a short hike up the road to look for it but to no avail. We mounted up again and road the rest of the way to Cairo, a small town on the Mississippi river.
At 11pm central time we pulled into a Days Inn, paid the inflated prices of a supply and demand market where the two are not balanced and hit the proverbial hay.

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