Wax markers. Who knew?
I spent the day laying out every single piece of kit for the trip, then organizing and packing repeatedly until I got the weight distribution on the bike just right. It seems obvious once you’re aware, but an even weight distribution is critical on a motorcycle. If you ever see a motorcycle with a big load on the rear seat, or above the rear fender, what the rider is trying to do is keep the weight-load centered. Just a little fun fact for you.
Later in the day, my father-in-law (John) stopped by with his truck – the one I drove out to Colorado with – and we stopped at my friend Brian’s to hook up the trailer. As neither John nor I had previous experience with strapping down a motorcycle, we took a fair bit of time, ensuring that it was on center from all four corners.
Ciara absolutely knew that I would be gone for a long while. She literally followed me step-for-step throughout the day, frequently laying down in protest on top of the kit sprawled out on the driveway. When I let her out after the bike was on the trailer, she did something that caused me to get a giant lump in my throat. She went to her tennis ball bin in the garage, searched for a minute, then slowly and with purpose, walked to the side of the trailer, lifted the ball over the side of the trailer, and let go of the ball such that it rolled against the bike. She – literally – simultaneously whimpered and made full eye contact with me as she did so. I carried that tennis ball in my tank bag on the entire trip. When we returned home and were reunited, the tennis ball was the very first thing that I pulled out of my bags.
Later that evening, our family held an impromptu dinner/send-off. An idea I had was to use wax markers to write good luck messages on the bike. We all had an absolute hoot doing so, especially Eva and Elin. It turned out to be a real blessing on the trip: I literally read every single writing, every single day before I rode off. While in Seattle, the Smith family would add their signatures to both Zach’s and my bike.
The Day : Weather
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