It was a good week, perhaps even a very good week in some respects but with a somewhat anxious end to the week in other respects.
First, the good news.
After my 3rd course of antibiotics and four days of allergen-free air down in Key West I felt I finally vanquished my sinus infection and the associated balance issues such that I was able to resume my daily commute via motorcycle. I’m not sure why, but beginning and ending my work day with a motorcycle ride vs. making the same trip in a steel cage somehow puts me in a better frame of mind, reminds me that work is just part of life and lends some added balance to the work day.
Saturday finally gave us dry, albeit overcast skies and that allowed us to take our first tandem bicycle ride in three weeks after being sidelined by the crud since May 23rd. Yes, we attempted a few tandem rides while I was still fighting the crud but the results were not good and typically exacerbated my symptoms and suffering. However, after today’s ride I felt pretty much normal, and that was a good thing! Our form had definitely suffered given the lack of any meaningful ride time since the Georgia Tandem Rally in May, so we’ll have to refocus our efforts and make sure we get out on the tandem as often as we can over the next few weeks and months to regain some form just for personal satisfaction. Speaking of form, I guess we need to get the registration form filled out for the Southern Tandem Rally and see about securing a room; it’s right around the corner! Sadly, I don’t think we’ve been able to find a way to sneak in a trip up North for the Eastern Tandem Rally, something we’d really like to do as we have many, many good friends who attend and who we’d really like to visit with. Unfortunately, Debbie’s vacation schedule just doesn’t allow for more than a full week off in December around the holidays and another around the week of July 4th. Moreover, the drive up to ETR is just a bit too far out of reach to allow for a long weekend which we usually can find a way of sneaking in to her work schedule.
Saturday also allowed us to get in a double, as is a day riding two-up on the tandem as well as a 90-mile, two-up on the Harley with our dear friends and motorcycling partners in crime, David & Deb. We’d originally talked about doing an overnight trip up to Tennessee during our “Finally a Friday” gathering at On the Border, but we withheld final approval pending a better look at the weather for both Saturday & Sunday as well as a look at our honey-do list, noting we’d essentially taken the last two weekend’s off as part of our 9-day holiday week. So, around 8am on Saturday I shot off a text message to David letting him know that we’d decided to pass on doing the quick-trip, but might be up for an afternoon ride closer to home.
David came up with the destination — the covered bridge in Euharlee (you-harley), Georgia — and we targeted 2:00pm as the departure time, noting we’d meet at our house since it was on the way. The trip out to Euharlee was about 30-miles, noting that I opted to take the scenic route instead of the more direct, 55-mph highway route. The weather was overcast, upper 70’s but with high humidity so it actually felt a bit cooler than it was. But, overall, a very nice day for a ride. The covered bridge wasn’t exactly the picturesque example I had in my mind’s eye, but it was a rather impressive in terms of just how large of a span the bridge covers and that it remained in use through 1980 as the sole way across the Euharlee River at Euharlee.
From the web:
The Euharlee Covered Bridge, also known as the Euharlee Creek Covered Bridge or rarely the Lowry Bridge, is a wooden Town lattice covered bridgecrossing Euharlee Creek in Euharlee, Georgia, United States, a small town west of Cartersville. The bridge was built after the raging creek swept away an old bridge on the property of Daniel Lowry. The collapse of the bridge killed one man. A new bridge was built using some materials provided by Lowry.
The bridge was built in 1886 by Horace King’s son Washington King and Johnathan H. Burke. The bridge spans 138 feet. The lattice trusses consist of planks crisscrossing at 45- to 60-degree angles and are fastened with wooden pegs, or trunnels, at each intersection.Traffic finally stopped across the bridge in 1980 when a new two-lane bridge was built.
After our visit to the bridge and the adjacent Euharlee Museum, we headed over to the local Harley-Davidson dealership in Cartersville, only because it was “on the way” for our 60-mile return loop and has nice rest rooms. No purchases, but lots of eye-candy as they had a very robust collection of FLHRs, including the CVO models in all three color combinations: Burgundy Blaze, Sapphire and the 110th Anniversary model. Frankly, as nice as those CVO models are I think I’ve finally gotten my head wrapped around the idea of a second-hand ’09 model for about 1/2 the cost, similar to the one pictured above right with the removable bat wing fairing & lowers. Of course, the trick is leaving the ’09 alone and not dumping in the “other 1/2” of what it would have cost to buy the CVO model. Once again, if you have the coin the 35% premium you pay on a CVO can really end up being a great deal since it comes with the $3k wheels, the $2k custom paint job, the $5k engine upgrade, $2k in special body pieces and $2k in chrome parts that a lot of buyers throw on their stock Harley’s after they buy them. So, if you do the math you can come out $4k ahead buying a CVO. Decisions, decisions…. including a non-decision. More on that in a minute.
After our visit to H-D of Cartersville we headed north to White and then took a little two-lane road over towards Canton and then made our way back home to complete the 90-mile loop. I’m pretty sure we helped to keep the rain at bay by having all of our rain gear stowed on the bike, a sure-fire way to keep from getting soaked. All-in-all, it was a pretty good afternoon and I think everyone was happy with the 90 miles. We’ll shoot for that overnighter to the Smokey Mountains on a weekend when the weather will be a bit nicer, as it’s best to do those twisty mountain roads when they’re dry and the sun’s shining.
Now, as for the anxious part of the week… I’ve gotten restless with our local community, noting that while we love our home and do our best to keep it looking nice I can’t say the same for many of our neighbors. So, our home value has continued to suffer and I worry that it will continue to remain stagnant as we continue to “improve” our home, i.e., throwing good money after bad. With that in mind, we’ve been keeping our eyes on another community about 5 miles away that is very nice and well kept, with homes valued about 50% – 75% higher than the ones in our community.
On Friday, a very nice home went on the market that really grabbed our interest, so much so that we were actually considering a move without even going on a tour. We decided that we’d ride by it on Saturday and then make an appointment to go and look at the house on Sunday. Well, when we called the agent to make the appointment we learned the house had already gone under contract after the first client visited the home. I think Debbie took it harder than I did as she’s been the hold-out on staying put, but was really intrigued with the idea of making the move to this particular home in that particular neighborhood. In fact, by the time we made the call to go see the home we’d already gotten ourselves girded up for the transition cost of doing a bridge loan until we could do a quick spruce-up of our home and get it sold such that we’d likely end up with two homes for about a month or two, never mind giving up any hope of an early retirement. After all, we pretty much own the house we live in and going to a new home would saddle us with another 15-year mortgage. So, at least in the near term, I think we’re going to make our home “market ready” by doing some things that just need to be done anyway, i.e., exterior repaint, new flooring and some interior paint projects, and then get serious about figuring out where we’d really like to be. Well, other than the house that slipped away today, which really would have been just about ideal.