Monday, May 28, 2012

Route 66 Meets Mad Max

In one of those convergences of life, both Amanda and I ended up simultaneously getting motorcycles. Both were located north of us and so we ended up doing a road trip picking them up. For Amanda and I nothing seems to be conventional. Our daddy date nights consisted of motorcycles and gun ranges. She's the artist in the family. More than just that, she's truly has an artist's mind. Having her in my life has opened my view of the world as she exposes me to seeing life with more color and nuance. I am so deeply grateful for her as she is not only beautiful, she brings beauty in the way she creates things.
Jodi's cousin, Hope, was kind enough to give Amanda her 1989 Virago Route 66. It's a 250cc standard. Considered by many to be the ideal starter bike. I found my dream bike on Ebay for a great price: 1989 Yamaha VMax. It's one of those bikes that has almost a mythic air about it. It looks like a standard and has the power of a sport bike. It has many nicknames: The Widowmaker, The Instruement Of Death, Muscle Madness and of course Mad Max. It's scary fast.
The trip was one that took us from Knoxville, to Nashville, to Louisville, to Merrillville (all those 'villes'!), to Chicago (to pick her bike up), to Fortville (just outside Indianapolis), to Florence and back to Knoxville. About 21 hours in the car!
A big shout out to my friend and co-worker Mike Hill who lent us a trailer which saved us the trouble of renting and all of that hassle and cost. The first few hours in the car was just wonderful catching up with her. She's in college studying film making. I can say without parental bias that she has almost unlimited talent to succeed. Her films have already won awards and her stories are so deep and amazing. It's also fun to hear about her pets and her job at Jersey Mike's (Mmmmm, Philly Cheese Steaks!). Our first stop was at the Louisville Motorcycle Superstore Outlet. To be honest, the prices weren't that impressive even though the selection was great. We did eat lunch at a killer Japanese restaurant (another one our "things" that we do together). We got to talk about Japanese culture and someday travelling together to Japan. She ate her usual Bento box. I had Katsu and Philly roll sushi. We holed up in a Red Roof Inn in Merrillville (nice for the price). Dinner was at the food court in a local mall. My fortune cookie hit the mark:

Sometimes God gives you something really cool. I guess He knows how much I love launching myself down the road on a two wheeled rocket. As I said, somehow He reveals himself to me there!
The morning was on to Chicago where we hit tons of traffic, but allowed me to get a shot of the New Comiskey Park:

I would usually plan in a ballgame, but both Chicago teams we were out of town. We met up with Hope and found her bike in decent, but non-functioning state. The front brake was seized, the throttle was stuck, the rear tire was dry rotted and there were small patches of rust. Here's the bike with a beautiful model on it:

We loaded the bike and headed through the north side of town. That meant driving by Wrigley Field. I've been to Chicago so many times and have never seen a game there!
Heading down to Fortville which is just east of Indianapolis. Of course we were crazy enough to go through there on Memorial Day weekend. If you don't know, that's the same time as the Indianapolis 500! Thankfully, we missed most of the traffic. There we met up with the VMax. It's old and rough looking, but that belies the fact that it has power. Lot's of power. I test drove it and knew that this bike will be something special. My hope is that this is the last bike I own. I'm sure I'll never need any more power and speed in a bike. Just hope I don't get old and scared.

I think that Amanda has found love (at a Burger King):

We made it home where I'm working on getting her bike running. I'm also finding new ways to launch myself through the horizon.
So why blog all about this? Because it will be a memory that I will have forever with my beautiful daughter. Beyond getting two cool motorcycles, I will cherish that God granted my two and half days with just me and Amanda. When your kids become adults, the time that you had taken for granted becomes deeply missed. For me, with her it's gun ranges, motorcycles, and Japanese restaurants. There's so many little things I love about my daughter, her blue eyes, her ironic and dark sense of humor, her love of films, her inexhaustible creativity and her sweet laugh. So my next date night will either be flying to Tokyo with her, or cruising down  Foothills Parkway. Route 66, meet Mad Max!

1 comment:

  1. Jim, I liked the pictures. As you know my son in law jeff loves cycles. Hope you get it working. Thanks for sharing. Glenn