Let’s go for a ride: Leesburg to Antietam
Part I. Decisions, decisions…
After exhausting gnasher ammo in Gears of War 3 and failing to make podium in Forza 4 (thanks SR20DET), I explored the internet for local riding roads in the DMV area. Winter break released the shackles of academia but there was a physical yearning to see beyond a digital Nurburgring.
Stumbled upon Motorcycle Roads | Motorcycle Roads and Rides | MotorcycleRoads.com that Tuesday night and fancied a route from Leesburg to Antietam National Park. Stamped Thursday, New Years Eve, as the ride date.
Pacenotes were scribbled and the event was set. Initially this was going to be a solo mission, but decided it was a great opportunity to make new friends. So a Facebook post was made, Miro shot me a PM, and a man-date was set for 1030 hours. It was going to be a good time, no homo.
Part II. Rise and shine, the A/F is fine (meh, lean).
Winter weather didn’t stop me from putting 3000 miles under the GS’s three months of running. But it did school me on bundling up. Here’s what works for me.
Head: Balaclava, Helmet
Hands: “Head” liner, Fieldsheer Summer gloves
Torso: Under Armor, T-shirt, Perforated Leather Jacket, Nursing home windbreaker
Legs: Thermal, leather pants, Burton snowboard socks
Dried mangos and drinks were thrown into the backpack and away the GS whisked its masked rider.
Upon arrival at the Giant in Leesburg, I spotted a Royal Enfield and its owner anticipating something in the parking lot. Hands were shook, greetings were exchanged, and our purpose broke the ice that would otherwise exist. Miro and I briefly talked about our backgrounds. Our familiarity with the area. The GS, Enfield, and our history on two wheels.
The Suzuki was red, the sky was blue, the Royal was green, and so were our wallets too. The 500s fired up and the expedition began.
Part III. Vivacious views, vulgar vrooms, tea.
I perceive that when people hear the word “motorcycle” they naturally assume the need for speed and its rudimentary associations. But the 45-mile trek reminded us of riding’s core fundamental. The wind slithering through zippers, feeling the physics of hairpins, and being inundated with nature in the nude. It was about living in the moment and absorbing the beauty that surrounds you. Only miles from your couch. And the two of you thundering down, owning, this journey. Your masculinity is not questioned.
Below are some photos of the roads we traveled in VA, WV, and MD. But we didn’t take pics of every moment YA FREE LOADERS!
Once we reached sharpsburg, I decided that a break was needed to snack and chit chat. Although we were content with Costco’s finest bananas and trail mix, Miro fancied some tea to which I concurred. Low and behold we find a Persian tea shop Shahanzadeh’s in this small country town. Figures.
Miro’s Russian fireball and my white chocolate mousse tea were excellent. But moreso, it was a time to befriend each other arm. Discussing about bikes, ethnic customs while chewing mangos and cashews. A unique moment.
Here we were. A Czech, a Pakistani, sitting in a Persian restaurant, served by a Puerto Rican, while next to significant land in america’s civil war. Syntax nightmare yes I know, but a testament to what “Freedom” morphed to become.
Back into the groove:
Part IV. Sightseeing Antietam
Antietam. A pivotal battle in America’s civil war theatre. The last piece of land over 22,000 would set foot on. The sights were awe-inspiring and the hills were characterized by luscious curves. But it was an ironic quality to the amount of lives that perished in the bloody conflict. Our destination left us with a deep respect for those who perished.
The visitor center guides were amicable and enthusiastic to discuss its significance. Even better, they provided us a self drive around tour which we did on our bikes. An awesome way to engage history.
Alas, reader, the trip arrived at its conclusion. I had a date with an electrician at 3:00PM so 2:00PM marked both of our departures. Manshakes were exchanged once again, plans for the Wednesday meets were discussed, and the GS belched at 9K RPM to pedestrians. (Psh, what a show off)
Motorcycles. They convince you to share 45 miles with another rider. Forge friendships. Interact with the world around you. Move, excite, live. And that’s exactly what we did New Years Eve. Live an ordinary thursday seeing the tri-state beauty and sharing it with a splendid gentlemen. ’Til next time.