We awoke to much better weather today. The plan today is to meet upstairs at 8am for breakfast. I hear footsteps upstairs. My normal routine is get cleaned up and dressed, then I pull the bike out and put the GPS on it. That way it is ready to go when we are. If the windshield is dirty we do some pre-ride cleaning.
After breakfast the smokers meet on the deck to smoke. We decided our first stop of the day will be Southern Powersports. Rain is forecast for later in the week and I want to get Donna a faceshield.
Donna is ready to roll.
At 8:27 we head down the driveway for the first adventure of our trip. My GPS says we should be at Southern Powersports at 8:59. They open at 9:00. I'm relying on the GPS to get us there. It is T-shirt weather for me which means Donna will be wearing a jacket.
The GPS led us flawlessly to Southern Powersports arriving at 9:01. Anytime we stop cigarettes are burned.
Southern Powersports is the largest Honda dealer in the country. Yet, when I walk in the door I am taken back at the number of bikes I see. Dozens of used Goldwings to my right. Other used bikes on my left. Dozens of new Goldwings in front of me and more bikes and ATVs beyond that.
We are naturally drawn to the field of used Goldwings. They have all kinds of colors and trims. Eventually Donna & I made our way to the accessory area to find the faceshields. We don't find any but one of the guys at the counter gets us some from the back. I got a tinted one for Donna and a clear one for me. John & Debby were also wandering through the accessory area. Mike was still in the used Goldwing area.
John and I looked at the wall of Kuryakyn accessories. He has his eye on a backrest. We looked at the Goldwing display they had set up with almost $10K of Kuryakyn accessories. We both ended up buying a piece of chrome trim that protects the trunk key hole. Mike was still in the used Goldwing area.
I went to visit the restroom but it was being cleaned. I hung around with Donna until it was available. When I came back Mike was still in the used Goldwing area. I saw Jerri and jokingly asked her if Mike was buying a bike. She smiled and said the salesman was running some numbers for him.
WHAT?????????? I was totally shocked. Just a few days ago Mike commented that "one of these years" he would probably upgrade from the Venture but he wasn't sure what it would be. Jerri said he was looking at a Goldwing he liked and when he turned the key on the display read "Hello Mike". Apparently this nudged him enough to have a salesman run some numbers for him.
After I got over the shock I was excited for him. John came by and I told him what Jerri said. He was shocked and excited too. We went over and looked at the bike Mike was interested in. It is the burgundy 2006 with the chrome mirror caps in the above picture. While Mike was away talking to the finance lady John and I were looking at the Goldwing next to it. It was the same color, three years newer, 20K less miles, had more useful accessories, and was only $500 more. We both agreed it was a better deal. When Mike came back we mentioned it to him and he agreed. He changed the paperwork to get the 2009.
All in all it took about 4 1/2 hours to complete the paperwork and get the Goldwing ready to go. Besides all the paperwork they had to check out Mike's old bike and prep the new bike. It has a lighted Kuryakyn license plate holder that required removing the fender to change the plate. It took the tech about 30 minutes to change it.
While the paperwork was being done John and I took the cupholder and radio equipment off his old bike. In preparation for this trip Mike & Jerri had bought trunk and saddlebag storage organizers. It was kind of a shame they only got a couple days use out of them. A small price to pay, though, for a newer bike. Removing the FRSet intercom adapter would have involved removing the trunk so we left it on. Mike's bike also has an upgraded regulator, highway pegs, driving lights, and a Kuryakyn voltage gauge, so whoever gets it will be getting a nice bike.
While all this excitement was going on I also got to see a train. There is some Norfolk Southern trackage that runs next to the dealership. The girls patiently waited while all the 'man excitement' was going on. Southern Powersports has a nice lounging area. Debby sat on a couple Honda Furys. She looked good setting on them as long as she didn't try to reach the pedals. Ha!
They had a Harley Heritage Softail Classic that I thought was beautiful. I also liked the CB1100's. They had a cool old look. I didn't like the F6Bs at all. Yuck!
A little after 1pm Mike's Goldwing was ready to go. Southern Powersports ordered a trailer hitch and we'll come back later in the week for the installation.
With a new bike in the pack it was time to get some lunch. A GPS search revealed the official restuarant of the East 50 Phelons was nearby...a Huddle House. After a couple interstate miles and some back street zig zagging we were there. When we arrived Mike needed his first Goldwing lesson...how to make it reverse. He was already excited about the power and improved handling.
Debby is making meatloaf for supper so we ate light. I had a club sandwich. Nearby there was an AC-130 doing 'touch-and-goes'. It appeared a couple kids were the only two running the restaurant and they kept going in and out of the store leaving it abandoned. Odd.
We still can't believe Mike & Jerri now have a Goldwing.
Chattanooga, TN. 15:00, mileage 65,630 - Mike's bike was running low on fuel so that was our next stop. There were some interesting people hanging around this gas station, so we fueled and moved on.
There's a new bike in the mirror now.
We still had a few hours to do something so we decided to check out the waterfront. John led this leg. It's nice to follow sometimes. He found a parking lot next to the aquarium.
It took a little bit of exploring to find a path to the riverfront but eventually we made it. The sun is out and it is fairly hot. I'm all about clouds.
We walked by a barge where they were setting up for a concert. Some people were fishing but not catching much. There is something relaxing about watching a river flow by.
We came upon the Southern Belle and went inside to browse the store and use the restroom. Ahhhh...air conditioning. We found some pins! Donna is looking for gifts for her kids and the grandbaby.
Our parking was only good for a limited amount of time so we walked a little farther down the pier then headed back to the bikes. On the way back we noticed a lot of garbage floating in the river. It looked nasty.
Once back on the bikes we waited at the stoplight next to the parking lot for our light to turn green...and waited...and waited. Finally Donna got off the bike and pushed the pedestrian crossing button. As we wound our way through the city I noticed something black hit my leg. It was my left speaker cover! Luckily I was able to pin it between my leg and the bike until I could reach down and snag it. That's the second time this year it has ejected itself.
Our next stop was back in Rock Spring at a farmer's market. The girls have been wanting to stop here since the first day. They picked up some fresh food for salads and pies.
Next was the BP station for cigarettes and fountain drinks. Two Mountain Dews for Donna and I.
When we got home Mike installed his cupholder on the new ride.
The girls made a wonderful supper of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and other goodies. The wonderful view from our dining room made a great backdrop for supper.
After supper John gave Mike a tutorial on the naviagational system. We also gave the new bike a good going over. It also has a fork brace, a trunk-mounted power outlet, and a BikeMP3 player. Mike got a good deal! John and I installed our keyhole protectors. We're also thinking about copying some of Mike's bike's LED lighting.
The weather was perfect so we spent the rest of the evening hanging out on the porch. This is what vacation is about. There are trees on the west side of the house that give good porch shade. The weather is supposed to be nice again tomorrow so we will do our '3 mountain, 3 state ride'. This will earn us an Alabama pin.
The theme for today was definitely 'we can't believe Mike got a new bike'.
Click here for our next day's adventure.