Rooster and I decided it was time to go on the first ride of spring. This blog is about the places we rode to and the adventure we experienced. #Wolfies #Indian motorcycle #Mo Joe #dogs #tradition
The First Ride of Spring
The first ride of spring is a tradition in the motorcycle community. It’s even more like an unwritten law in the biker code of conduct. On the first 70-degree day of spring, bikers pull their bikes out of storage and take to the highway by the thousands. We started the ride late because Rooster had to work. Still, Rooster and I took The First Ride of Spring.
The giant dark clouds in the sky looked ominous, but the radar didn’t show any precipitation in our area. In some parts of the country, 70-degrees might be considered chilly, but Hoosiers blood runs thick this time of year.
We pulled out onto the street wearing our raingear for protection but had on short sleeves underneath the thin material. Muscle memory reminds me of the thousands of times I’ve climbed onto the seat of a motorcycle. As we moved out into the country a faint trace of wood smoke drifted in the breeze.
People are taking advantage of the warm day to start on their yard work, burning off unwanted debris that has collected over the winter. Tree limbs brought down by ice, and leftover fall leaves blown into the yard are tossed into the blaze.
The road sounds are muffled by the radio station playing on the speakers inside my helmet. Rooster and I sail down the highway with Tab Benoit singing the blues in my ear. We hadn’t been on the road long before It turned into the perfect day for the first ride of spring.
A visit to Wolfies Waterfront Grill.
We headed for Wolfies Waterfront Grill. The restaurant is located at 20999 Hague Road in Noblesville, Indiana. It is a favorite destination for motorcyclists in our area. They serve good food at a reasonable price.
A bonus to this location is the deck where you can eat and watch the boats on Morse Reservoir. This is the reason we pick this destination as one of our favorite places to eat when we take a late afternoon ride. Rooster and I both selected a new item on the menu. We had the Peanut Butter Bacon Burger. (None of the ingredients in this meal were on the list of items I’m allowed to consume, but rules and regulations don’t exist when you take the first ride of spring.
My blood sugar was 104 when I tested later that evening. I couldn’t have done much damage except in the cholesterol department.) Rooster and I enjoyed the combination of flavors in the burger. The peanut butter and bacon combination added a flavorful dimension to the burger. We’d have it again on our next visit. Wolfies did some remodeling over the winter. The new flooring and the updates to the restrooms gave the place a contemporary appearance that was fresh and clean.
Dogs like to chase motorcycles.
We climbed on the bike and took country roads on a slow meander toward home. The only incident we experienced was a large dog running toward us from a side yard. The canine vectored on us and would have brought us down if Rooster hadn’t laid on the throttle. He almost performed the maneuver too late because it appeared the animal was behind a fence. I could tell it was a stockade type railing that could easily be breached. Here’s the thing about dogs and motorcycles, we don’t mix.
Dogs like to chase motorcycles not because they are bad animals, but because that is what they do. When they make contact with a bike, the story doesn’t end well for either the dog or the biker. One way to avoid colliding with a canine is to readjust your speed to confuse the animal. Once a dog starts running, he is committed to maintaining his rate of motion.
Strategy to avoid colliding with A DOG.
The motorcyclist can change their speed at any time. The biker basically confuses the dog and escapes without harm. We had a friend who suffered three broken ribs and several internal injuries after a collision with a dog. Pet owners are liable if their animal runs into the road and makes contact with a motorcycle. Even if your dog doesn’t chase cars, the animal might go after a fast-moving bike. It’s important to keep your dog restrained for his safety as well as for motorcyclists traveling down your road. Also, it would be a good idea to keep your grass clippings off the road.
Evidence of the old traditions is starting to disappear.
There were so many motorcycles on the road it looked like a swarm of angry hornets had descended on the highways. It’s the wind in our hair, the rumble of the engine, and the faint smell of wood smoke that motivates us all to throw a leg over the seat of a bike. We even saw our grandson riding with his pack when we made our way back into the city. He didn’t wave. Only one of the guys in his organization acknowledged our presence. Motorcycle etiquette is lost with this generation of bikers.
These days ‘the wave’ is only done based on the type of bike a person rides or what club they are a member of. The wave was meant to be an acknowledgment of respect and brotherhood to the other rider on the road.
It’s all about respect.
Personal choice and freedom have disappeared from the ranks of the American biker. It has been replaced by conformity to brand and group. It’s all about looking cool and riding hard. Maybe the class system and cliquishness always existed like in every other American walk of life. We used to be Harley owners.
We noticed a drastic drop in brotherhood when we bought another make and model of motorcycle beside a Harley. Our choice of motorcycle now in an Indian Dark Horse. We make no apologies. It is a nostalgic, sleek, flat black machine. We will show respect to all the other riders on the road regardless of what brand of motorcycle they own or how much they paid for it. That’s what riding should stand for. We won’t leave a brother or sister biker beside the road.
After we finished cruise through Highland Park, Rooster asked me what I wanted to do. I knew the perfect way to end our first ride of spring. Above all, I wanted a cup of hot steaming coffee. (I really need to end my relationship with this enticing brew. What writer can stay away from coffee? I’ve tried, but I can’t kick the habit.)
We ended up at Mo Joes about the time every guy, his prom date, and their parents made their way downtown. Their objective was to take pictures with the new piece of sculpture at the end of the alleyway between the buildings. I don’t know what traveling to the center of the city to capture a memory of the prom which takes place a couple of miles away has to do with the event, but this seems to be the hip thing to do. We parked the motorcycle on the courthouse square, made our way across the street, and entered the world of Mo Joe.
The stuff that makes Mo Joes so cool.
Mo Joes is located in a historic building constructed sometime in the late 1880s. Three businesses occupy this space. They co-exist in harmony because they fit together well. As soon as you step through the door, you enter Mo Joe Coffee Company.
An antique piano equipped with red lights illuminates the inside workings of the instrument, creating an interesting display. The coffee shop is an eclectic world with steampunk lighting fixtures made of plumbing pipe, old suitcases used for shelving, and half a bicycle hands the wall. A cluster of umbrellas dangles from the ceiling. I discovered there is even a brand of Pirate Coffee. In the rear of the building behind Mo Joes Coffee Company, you will find Fired Arts Studio.
There is always a group of teenagers there doing ceramics or painting. I met an amazing young man named Dyrk Reed during my visit. The painting he was working on showed real talent. Upstairs is a funky boutique which keeps weird hours. They carry an interesting line of clothing.
About Mo Joe
It was fun hanging out in this eclectic atmosphere to complete our first ride of spring. You should pay this intriguing coffee shop a visit if you’re ever in Kokomo. Their address is 106 N. Main Street Kokomo. Indiana, or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MO-Joe-Coffee-Co-866813320188451/. Tell them the Hen House Lady sent you.
Returning home from the first ride of spring.
By the time we put the Dark Horse away for the night, the sensation of exhaustion overtook us. It was a wonderful ride. The weather cooperated. We enjoyed a fine meal at Wolfies and appreciated a warm cup of coffee in the stimulating environment of Mo Joes. The Indiana countryside is still barren by the effects of winter, but we could see signs everywhere that our world was about to turn green. The promise of the exciting summer ahead caused anticipation to stir in our hearts. I’m certain we will go on some interesting adventures which will be fun to blog about.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana, who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures click here.
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