It looks like the groundhog poked his head out a little early and the weatherman is giving us a little break this week. Terry texted me and let me know Tuesday and Wednesday were looking pretty good so I got us set up at a new place I saw while on another ride. Tuesday looks a little better so I set it up for then I'll have to get my bike on the charger for this one.
The science is settled. We will leave from the Sleep Inn @ 11:30.
Here it is.............. China Star
1401 E 11th Ave
Hutchinson, Kansas 67501
Facebook Page............https://www.facebook.com/pages/China-St ... 2318438328
Old man winter cut us a little slack this week and gave us a good day for a ride to Hutchenson, albeit a little breezy. It started out pretty overcast, but by launch time it started to clear. At Bayrd's this morning I staggered in barely aware of my own existence, and fashionably late. By the time I got there the time and place for the launch had already been decided. 11:30 from the Sleep Inn. That seemed a little early but I just went with the flow. I didn't think we need 1½ hours to get to Hutchinson.
When I got to the Sleep Inn I found Leon who was waiting for Morry. They like to take a more leisurely pace. Morrey arrived and the two of them launched. Terry and John pulled in next and before long many more arrived. Louie showed up on his new BMW adventure tourer. It's a sweet bike that I'd love to take on my dream trip through he back roads of Utah.
By launch time we and a contingency of about 10. We fired up and hit the road. I was still feeling the effects of an abbreviated nights sleep and I wasn't really wound into this adventure. I was a little cold and the wind wasn't doing me any favors. The wind was mostly out of the south placing it in our faces. In the condition I was in my focus shifted to what this headwind was doing to my gas mileage. I have had a good headwind gulp down a full tank of gas between Salina and Wichita. When we got to a more westerly portion on our route the wind was coming more from the left and the ride became more of a wrestling match. I was holding my own against the wind until an 18 wheeler decided that these bikers were just too slow hammered down to get past us. While he was beside me it was a welcome respite from the pounding wind. That was swiftly quashed once he got past. The left wind blew his wake directly into my lane and I felt like I was inside a punching bag. Just about the time we pulled into Hutchinson we caught up to Leon and Morrey. About two miles down the road we pulled into the China Star buffet. I was immediately taken aback by all the bikes that were conspicuous by their absence. We were about 30 minutes early. We entered and I was immediately approached by the hostess asking if we were the group of 20 that they were preparing for. I wasn't the first one in, but somehow she picked me out to question. It must be my natural air of authority. At this point there were seven of us. I told her we were indeed that group but it looked like we weren't going to get the 20 I had estimated. Considering the fact there were only seven of us. I did mention that there may be more coming, but for now we were it. The cause of my confusion was the fact that the Salina group is NEVER first on the scene. This time we were. I thought leaving at 11:30 was a little early. In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not the biggest fan of Chinese food. All that sweet/sour, been sprouts and the like. But I've found that these Chinese buffets there is enough variety that I never leave hungry. One of my favorites is the egg drop soup. As our scheduled arrival time rolled around, so did the rest of the gang, and when all was said and done, we had 19 show up. Just one short of my estimate. The staff was cordial and very attentive. The waiter was quite impressed with all the bikes. After three trips to the buffet and two glasses of lemonade I barely had enough room for my fortune cookie. I feverishly broke it open only to find that it DID NOT advise me to go home and wait for Publishers Clearing House to arrive. At this time I'm getting a little lethargic while I settled up and went outside to get shots of the bikes that arrived after I was inside. I approached a fellow on a V-Rod and found he was not one of us. He was just out enjoying a good day to ride. I told him that today he was one of us. I introduced myself and told him about us and gave him a card. I milled around kicking tires until the parking lot started to thin out. Once again I wimped out and opted to ride straight home. About half way to McPherson I determined that I'd rather expedite the trip and jump on the freeway. With the wind at my back the ride was much less fatiguing than the trip down. The four miles eastbound at McPherson had me beaten up by a vicious right crosswind, which threatened to blow my glasses off. I was relieved to hit the slab and get the wind at my back again. If I lose the glasses I won't be able to find the bike. Back in Salina, a quick stop at Dillon's to pick up the milk that escaped me on my last trip, I pulled into my garage, checked the mail for subpoenas, and collapsed into my chair to check my eyelids for cracks. I happy to report that no cracks were found.
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