Morning Ride: Miles 153 – 281

31 May

I pulled out of the garage with the sun just coming up and mist still hanging in the trees. The Ninja slipped out onto the road and I was off for a four hour ride (three hour tour?). This is the first time I’ve had a chance to go on a long ride and I was looking forward to seeing just how comfortable the saddle and the ergos really are.

My first stop was just a short hop from my house to get some water and a little snack for breakfast. It was going to be a hot day with the temperature already at 70 degrees and it was only 6:00 am. I had a great chat with a local rider about the bike, the blog and riding in general. He was drawn in by the Ninja’s good looks, the California plates and possibly the guy in the yellow helmet wearing an H-D mesh jacket (me). This isn’t the first time this has happened in just the few days that I’ve been riding the Ninja. Other riders have asked about her and wanted to know more. Good thing I read all those reviews and spec sheets. After my morning snack I was off down Rt. 17 to meet up with Blue Ridge Mountain Rd which snakes it’s way up and over Mt. Weather. The elevation and tree lined road were much appreciated in the morning heat.

From Blue Ridge Mountain Rd I connected to Rt 7 for a just a second before turning onto Snickersville Turnpike, a long meandering road that passes through the heart of Virginia Horse country. Usually I’d take the turnpike all the way to Rt. 50 but I decided to turn off at New Ford Rd. and drive through St. Louis (VA) just for fun. Coming out on Rt. 50 I made my way to Middleburg and stopped for a stretch. One hour in the saddle is pretty much my limit so far on the bike. The seating position is good from the waist up. I get no strain on my back, arms or wrists from the seat to handlebars setup. Below the waist is a different situation. The seat is pretty firm and does allow me to move around a good bit which helps but I need to develop some riding callouses or I need to get a seat pad. The foot pegs are another area that, if I were able, I’d change. Sacrificing some lean angle for a little more room would be appreciated. However walking around for ten minuets every hour does the trick too.

After my stop in Middleburg I jumped on Rt 626 to The Plains where I picked up Rt. 55 to Front Royal. Route 55 is another long sweeping road that I love to lose myself on. The ride from The Plains to Front Royal has just the right amount of sweeping turns and rolling hills. There are roads close to my neck of the woods that have tighter turns and more of them but I’m still courting Ms. Betty and we haven’t gotten there yet. We will, and I think she’s ready, but I’m not … not yet. From Front Royal I took Rt. 522 to Rt 211 all the way back to Warrenton.

All in all it was a nice ride with maybe a few more stops than I would normally have taken. Fun and spirited as I expected. I think I’m going to like this bike.


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