Rick Hood of Stories From The Road

New Experiences

Saturday, August 17th, I’m ready to head down to Charleston to participate in a photo collaboration with professional photographers and models. So you’re thinking, ‘I didn’t know you were a professional photographer!’ Well, I’m not. I’m an amateur photographer that has been invited to this collaboration of photographers, by my best friend. I won’t name her other than to say she is a revered photographer who was once a model in LA. To say I’m honored beyond words is an understatement. Not even to mention to have such a person as a friend.

Anyone who rides a motorcycle any amount of long distances is aware of checking their bikes before a trip. However, I was so inconsistent when checking my bike before heading out on the road. But, that changed when I discovered the T-CLOCK. Huh? T-CLOCK? You’re probably asking yourself, what is that? It’s a mnemonic that is used to help check out your bike before heading out on any long trip. T is for tires and wheels, C for controls, L for lights, O for oil and fluids, C for chassis, and last but not least, K for the kickstand. Don’t laugh about the kickstand one! I had to use a bungee cord once to hold my kickstand up when the spring jumped off while negotiating a traffic circle.

(for more detail on T-CLOCK, click this link – https://www.carolinacycles.com/helpful-info/safety-tips/)

Stoked about getting to Charleston for this event, I checked what gear I was going to ride in and take with me. I don’t usually wear a helmet when riding around home, but any time I go to Charleston, yeah, I wear one. If you’ve ever ridden in or around Charleston, you know what I’m talking about. This time I was going to ride hwy 176 into Goose Creek (NOT I-26) I love this road for the scenery and low traffic.

Rick Hood of Stories From The RoadOne last thing to check would be the weather. I’ve used Weatherbug for many years to track the weather when riding my bike. It’s been pretty reliable at helping me avoid running into storms. But like most things, it has had a hiccup or two. Today, it’s telling me there’s a 40% chance of rain in the greater Charleston metro area. Not bad, I thought. I’ll be leaving Charleston before that sets in. So, knowing I would be moving about a lot during this collaboration, I decided to wear shorts with my rain pants over them if by chance I run into any rain on the way down. I also took my ¾ helmet for the same reason. The face shield would protect me from the stinging rain.

Bike checked out, gear inventoried and/or wearing, BJ and I are ready to head out for Charleston. The ride to Charleston is not far, about 90ish miles. I use 3 routes to get there. If I’m in a hurry, I hit I-26 straight into Charleston. If I’m in a leisurely mode, I ride down I-26 to hwy 6 and then over to hwy 176 into Charleston. And then there’s hwy 178 into hwy 78 into North Charleston. Not one of the more popular routes I take, but every once in a while, I like to see the flying saucer in Bowman, SC. LOL! You’ll have to Google that!

BJ is patiently waiting for me in her personal parking space in the garage. Ever ready for a new adventure, I slow back BJ out of the garage on to the driveway. I sit there for a second, putting my helmet on. I press the start button, and BJ roars to life, talking to me through her two into one Vance and Hines Pro pipes. Music to my ears. As I slowly release the clutch, BJ and I head off the drive onto the street. The adventure begins!


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