Well, we checked a few boxes, but not all of them… and there’s even a little tandem cycling content on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon!
After a work week that just seemed way too long, we had a really nice time at On The Border with our friends David & Deb but then called it a night. That worked out OK, in that I was 1/2 way through a project on the Harley and getting home early allowed me to take a nap and then spend a few hours between midnight and 3am fiddling around out in the garage with the bike. Nothing super-secret on the bike, just decided to change out the emblems on the gas tank from something I didn’t think looked quite right to something I thought look better: full details on our other blog HERE.
I got a few more hours of sleep before the sun came up and was able to take care of a few chores around the house, to include getting the Harley washed (it was covered with polishing compound sling) and getting my Toyota Tundra washed for the first time in I don’t know how long: it was pretty nasty. Around 10:30 we heard from our friends David & Deb regarding the “plan for the day”. We’d talked about getting out for a motorcycle ride as David hadn’t been able ride for several weeks due to a project that had been keeping him out-of-town on several weekends, so we were looking forward to getting to see them on Saturday.
The plan was that we’d meet down at Earl Small’s Harley-Davidson around noon where a 26th Anniversary event was taking place, replete with the ubiquitous live band, vendors, bikini contest, big discounts on apparel & gear (26% – 50%) and part (15%) and a drawing for a 2013 Harley SuperGlide.
We got there around 12:15 and the place was pretty packed with parking at a premium. We ended up at the far end of the used bike building lot and made our way up the hill to the main showroom building where the stage and outdoor merchandise & vendor tents were set-up. We found David & Deb checking out the 50% off racks and our arrival coincided with the start of the bikini contest (yawn).
The primary draw for our quartet was a long-shot chance at winning a 2012 Harley that a local radio station was giving away. But, there was a hook: you had to be on-hand at 2:00 when they called out the 2o names of finalists who would be given keys, of which only one would start the bike. So, seeing it was about 12:30 and we were all hungry, I suggested a short trip to the Red Eyed Mule for lunch.
I mentioned the Red Eyed Mule back in early August and did a short write-up that you can find HERE. It was about a 15-minute ride and it wasn’t all that busy, so Sabra had our orders in moments after we walked in the door and we had our food about 15 minutes later: it’s not fast food… just awesome food. Debbie and I split a Jake’s Big Daddy: pictured at right, this is a black angus chuck burger served on Texas toast with lettuce, tomato, & onions + a slice of cheese + a dollop of sloppy joe + a fried egg. The Jake’s Big Daddy is quite simply the BEST burger in town, albeit a mess to eat. I think Debbie and Dave stuck with the “Jakes Deluxe”, which is the basic cheese burger with “a run through the garden”. Just a great lunch and we were back at Earl’s by 1:45. Oh yeah, none of us got called as one of the finalists for the bike give-away. Imagine that?
We rolled-out of Earl’s shortly after 2:00 and made our way across the east side of Marietta to Bells Ferry Rd, and then headed North to Lake Allatoona and the Little River Grill where we stopped to enjoy some refreshments on the deck next to the lake. It was a good time, especially when a group of about 14 other ‘bikers’ showed up and were having a grand time. I think it was about 4:00 when we left LRG. Deb & David decided to head for home so they could relax a bit before heading out to dinner, and we headed out to ride a little more before we headed home to get ready for our evening out.
Our evening out was a birthday bash for our long-time and dear friends Roger & Eve, who we met through our mutual interest in tandem cycling back in August of 1997. They’re at ground zero in our “tandem family”… a group of friends who might as well be family as we’ve spent more time with them than just about anyone else over the past 16 years. Roger & Eve are culinary arts enthusiasts who seek out interesting places to eat (check out their “Friday Date Night” blog), have a penchant for hand crafted beers, and they also like coordinating social events and tandem rallies, so they did not disappoint with their birthday soiree .
The event was held on the premises of the year-old Red Hare Brewing Company in Marietta, Georgia and featured beer tasting inside the brewery and Willy’s Mexican Grill’s catering truck out in the parking lot. It was awesome, but that’s what we’ve come to expect. Perhaps the highlight of our evening was getting some time to visit with Roger’s parents, Ken-Bob & Boots! We’ve had a few chances to meet with them over the years, but I think we may have spent more time talking with them on Saturday night than we had in all of our previous visits. It was really the icing on the cake of a really great evening with many of our tandem cycling friends.
The party broke up around 10:00 and I’d had it in mind to head over to Jimmy Mac’s to catch Pretty Twisted’s gig and visit with our other friends from ‘Twisted Nation”, but Debbie wasn’t biting on that idea. So, that was pretty much the end of our Saturday. Still a good day, but I really wanted to kick up my heels and throw back a few icy cold Bud Lights… my preference these days. It’s not great beer by a long shot, but it tastes good when it’s really cold and it’s only $2 a glass on tap at Jimmy Mac’s.
Sunday ended up being “our day”. I was up a little bit early and headed out to the garage to give Debbie’s little S2000 some much-needed cosmetic attention. So, in addition to giving it a bath, it also got a complete ‘rub down’ with Zaino Fusion – Dual Action Paint Cleaner Swirl Remover, followed up by a fresh layer of Z-5 PRO Show Car Polish. Despite its 8 years and 80k miles, her little car still shines up quite nicely. I had a few more small projects that I worked in during the morning while Debbie did weekend chores in the house. After not hearing anything from our riding partners, around noon-time Debbie and I headed out for an 80-mile loop motorcycle ride through Cartersville, White, and Canton Georgia on mostly back roads that brought us back to our favorite lake-side haunt: Little River Grill.
As has been our weekend habit when we go out for a motorcycle ride and find ourselves at the Little River Grill, we grabbed a seat on the small outdoor deck that adjoins the outdoor stage and had our server/friend Taylor bring us a couple of cokes and a couple Pittsburg Burgers. The burger patties aren’t exactly top shelf beef, but the way they dress the burgers with a spicy relish, blue cheese crumbles, lettuce and tomato makes for a really tasty treat. But, the real treat is the view of the lake and relaxing atmosphere. Of course, today the temp was about 73° and the wind was blowing about 10-15 mph, so it was a bit more invigorating than usual. I’d suggested that Debbie might want to take a long-sleeve shirt along, and it was a good thing she did, as it came in handy at LRG.
Sadly, we learned that the Little River Grill’s lower bar and outdoor deck would probably be closed for the rest of the fall and winter and our friend Taylor was working her last weekend until next Spring. Yup, the seasons they are a changing and the water level is definitely getting low as the Army Corps begins to drain the lake for the winter.
After finishing up our lunch Debbie asked if I wanted to head back north and get in a few more miles. I thought about it and suggested that we head home, change into our cycling togs and get about an hour of riding in on the tandem bike since we’d not done that earlier in the day or on Saturday. So, we made it home around 4:00 and were out on the tandem by 4:30. It made for a nice end to the weekend’s out-of-doors activities.
The evening was spent watching a few of the NFL games from the afternoon finish up, and then Sunday Night Football… which is in the 2nd half as I tap out this weekend entry.