31 March 2002

spring 200

200 miles of fun. Sunday started as a beautiful day. Looking at the weather it was extremely clar that not only would it start to get cruddy out later in the evening, it was going to remain so through the week. I therefore had a moral imperative to get out and enjoy the weather.

I hopped on my ZR and headed that-a-way. Today was the first time since September since I had ventured onto the freeway. I was a little anxious about it but all that slipped away as flicked the throttle and glided past traffic. The freeways in south-east Michigan are horrible and many of the roads are rutted from extremely heavy tractor-trailers. These ruts are unnerving as I lean through sweeping turns. My wheels would ride up and down the walls of a ruts as I cut through the lane and the changing angle of the road with respect to my tire can feel like my lean is getting out of control. I had some problem with this last year on one stretch of US-23 as it turns into M 14 west. But today it felt good--encouraging.

I headed down to Adrian, then north-west past Jackson and then north to Mason on US-127. There was about a 10 miles stretch before I exited that I really couldn't resist the wide open and clear (everybody was home eating easter dinner) freeway and I kept the bike up around 110 mph. It amazes me how stable my bike continues to be at this speed, I rarely have conditions that allow such high sustained speeds.

At Mason I jumped on M-36 which would take me close to Ann Arbor. 36 provided a reasonable amount of gentle twistees and remained fairly clear. I did meet two people I didn't really care to, though. The first was driving a champagne corvette. The driver of the corvette had slowed to about 40 mph (in a 55) and remained at that speed for the duration of several miles of no passing zone. No big deal, I hung back and enjoyed the ride. But when the opportunity arose I passed the corvette and he seemed to take this as an act of war. I passed and continued on, but within a minute I found the corvette and crept up on my rear, my speed at 65 mph. I increased my speed a little and then worked a section of twistees well, putting some distance between us. He closed the gap again, and remained close to me for about another five minutes. Annoying. The corvette eventually disappeared.

On M-52 a county sheriff pulled me over to ask if my registration has expired. When I told him no and then showed him the certificate he at least had the decency to let me go on my way. All motorcycles registrations in Michigan expire on the night of March 31, he still had a couple hours before he could have fun with that game. I'm glad to report that the officer was nice and polite. Being the first time I'd been pulled over on my bike I wasn't sure what to expect.

The rest of the ride was uneventful, aside from the rain of gnats splattering against me and the ZR. I pulled into the Ann Arbor area with about 185 miles and tooled around for the last 15, ending the day at 201.6. Nice.
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