She thought it was all about the bike. I wanted her to think that. I spent six months planning a ride on the motorcycle where I could ride and be together with my wife. I planned rides across five states, across the lower Southwest, across the lower Southeast…anywhere.
But, she lit a fuse. During one of our conversations she mentioned that she liked the description of a ride to Hot Springs, Arkansas. Well, I called and called and all of the hotels were booked full. Did I mention that our 25th anniversary and Easter shared the same weekend?
I planned and I schemed and I made a million calls and I did it right. We left early in the morning of our anniversary riding to Wichita Falls to a dealership where I could get a phantom noise addressed. We spent just enough time in the shop to make our arrival at our destination perfectly.
The ride west through Amarillo to Clines Corner, New Mexico was standard western fare—a whole lot of nothing, accentuated by nothing. The views of nothing, however, were nothing short of spectacular. We did get to see some of the damage done by wildfires and there were emergency signs posted frequently warning of the extreme fire hazard. Some counties had even forbidden smoking cigarettes outside! During the ride west our temperatures were in the high 90s, Jennifer burned…so did I.
I haven’t mentioned the bike. I had purchased a ’05 Road King and loved it, but it wasn’t enough of what I wanted. I traded it for a ’06 Ultra Classic Electra Glide. I love it. Jennifer loves it. Jennifer compared it to a two-wheeled convertible, and isn’t far from wrong; it has all the amenities.
Outward we rode, into the sunset. It was terribly romantic. When we hit Clines Corners at the end of a 14-hour day we were glad to turn north on US 285 heading to Santa Fe. That is the best road I have ever ridden. I want a house in Santa Fe and a job in Clines. The road begs you to twist the throttle…it is straight as an arrow. The views are nothing short of awe inspiring. I could ride that road twice a day for the rest of my life.
Ohhhhh, but when we got to the resort in La Cienega, it was dark. Jennifer had no clue as to what this was all about until we checked in and went to our room. She cried. I had definitely surprised her, and when she awoke the next morning and saw the mountains it was just icing on the cake. Jennifer did the works at the resort. Facials, hot tubs, saunas, foot massages, hot rocks, you name it. Then she got up the next morning and climbed on the bike for the ride home…What a woman.
The stock Glide rode and handled like a dream. I had several situations where I had to treat the big bike like a sport bike and it was very forgiving. The luggage and the liners are exceptional with only one lock breaking, not sure why, but Harley assures me it will be replaced. A loose primary chain was the phantom noise I addressed earlier. The stereo is without a doubt absolutely awesome. The judges are still out for mileage—it is just being broken in, but it looks good on paper.
Jennifer got stung by a bee on the way home and it was indeed proven that you can break-dance on the back of a moving Harley-Davidson.
Story and photos by Mike Lousha