Kevin — May 27, 2009, 10:14 pm

Headin’ Down To The Dirty Dirty

I hop down to Nashville every so often for work – my company sends me to Frankin, Tennessee every couple of months to work on a project there. It’s a pretty cool city – great music, some killer BBQ, and very nice folks.

Last time I was down the gang in Frankin took me out to lunch at a place called Leipers Fork where we had a fantastic lunch in a grocery store called “Puckett’s Grocery” which gets rave reviews from anyone who’s been there (including me, it’s super neat). I’ve never really spent a lot of time in “the Dirty Dirty” (which, apparently, is how the hip kids say “the south”) so it’s super cool to get taken to off-the-path places like this. I mean heck, they’ve got the General Lee parked out front!

general_lee

When I foolishly asked “is that the REAL General Lee?!” the group of locals I was with chuckled and said “sure, yeah, and so is the next one you see ten miles down the road”. Yeah, yeah. Well, still cool. You don’t see those trolling down Lexington Ave, so hey, it’s all new to me.

We drove back to Franklin on this road called the Natchez Trace which is a 444 mile park road that goes all the way from Franklin, Tennessee to Natchez, Mississippi. It’s BEE-Yootiful. Long, winding road, with nobody on it except the occasional cyclist and/or wild turkey.

map-of-natchez-trace-parkway

Beautiful.

Seel, I love long, winding roads.

More to the point, I love ripping them to ribbons by flinging myself down them while atop an excessively fast motorcycle.

Then it occurred to me – riding a motorcycle is something I have not done in a long time. I used to love riding bikes! It’s something I started doing a long time ago, like when I had hair. Owning a bike has even made me some money on occasion. Well, just that ONE occasion, but what the hell.

So I got to thinking: I fly into Nashville, work a few days, then go home. Why not stick around a few days? Why not get myself a bike and ride this amazing road (and for the sake of my frantic Mother – the road, i’m told, is LITTERED with cops, so don’t worry, I won’t speed… much) and see the REAL south? Like Memphis? New Orleans? YEAH!

So the last time I went home for the holidays I loaded up all my motorcycle gear and shipped it to New York. Now that the weather has changed it’s time to put my plan into action!

I am renting one of these babies:

honda-shadow-aero-4w

And hitting the open road! Isn’t that a cool looking bike? It’s a Honda Shadow Aero, and it’s a little wee 750 of a thing which means I can still flick it around a bit since it’s light. Should be fun!

My grand trek will start on June 12th when I finish my work for the day. I’ll take the highway to Memphis, which is a pretty straight and boring road, and get my “road legs” back. I’ll hang in Memphis on the Friday night, check out the city, eat some BBQ, and come Saturday Morning I’ll head down the highly raved-about Route 61 and see what I can see. I’ll spend most of the day ambling about and I’ll end up (with luck) in New Orleans on the night of June 13th. I’ll wander around Bourbon Street, have a few Hurricanes (the beverage, hopefully not the tropical storm version) and check out the area! On Sunday, June 14th I’ll hit the road to Natchez and wind back toward Nashville along the Trace, which looks just amazing. It’s a very gentle ride geared more toward seeing nice stuff than ripping up the pavement, but it should be a great little break. Sunday night I’ll bed down whenever and wherever I start to run out of light and Monday morning I’ll head back to Nashville and return my bike.

Should be a great time!

I’ll have my laptop and my crappy camera (man I need to save up for a new one!) so I’ll try to snag some pics. I SHOULD be able to post some photos from the road via my iPhone so I’ll give that a go as well.

Should be fun!

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