Last weekend was the most gorgeous weather you could wish for in August in Georgia. The puffy white clouds traveled lazily across the sky, dropping the temperature several degrees when they came between the earth and her life-giving star. I met up with my favorite riding buddies and we set off for an unhurried trek down back roads, headed south east. We had chosen a destination – the Whistle Stop Cafe, site of the filming of the 1991 movie Fried Green Tomatoes (good movie, better book) – simply as a finish line to tag. As the miles wore on and the Atlanta traffic fell behind us, we found ourselves just five bikes, enjoying the day and each other’s company.
I love that motorcycling with friends is at once solitary and social. You share an experience but you don’t speak of it immediatley – you reflect and your thoughts come and go, and maybe you share them at your next stop. Or maybe not. Each person can have their own private moments with nature, their bike, and the road.
We took a couple of wrong turns, but I never mind that. Just part of the journey. (Unless you’re late for something. But I think you really shouldn’t HAVE to be somewhere when you’re riding for pleasure.) We rolled around the corner parallel with the tracks and – BAM – tourist central. The cafe is cute but all the buildings around have been turned into little tourist traps, selling Kountry Krap and movie-themed merchandise. With church groups ahead of us, it took a long time to be seated. But the huge mason jar of ice water and sizzling green tomatoes perked me right up. We discovered that across the tracks, a motorcycle museum has opened, but I’ll have to save that for another visit. And I’ll be back – not for the food and tchotchkes, but for the RIDE. We took 83 all the way back north, and it was beautiful. Totally rural, our only companions were the cows, goats and horses who lazily raised their heads from grazing as we passed. A two-laner with gradual curves and hills, it’s a perfect casual route when you’re in no rush and no mood to push your riding skills. Just over 200 miles round trip – what a wonderful summer Saturday.