Monday, November 6, 2017

60,000 Miles and Counting

Well, it has happened.

....I have ridden my Ninja 60,000 miles!....

It has taken me since July 18, 2015 to log these last 10,000 miles.  I'm kind o' slow, I guess. 

Here's a recap, for those of you who don't know, I started riding a motorcycle (this motorcycle) in late 2007, at the then youthful age of 57.  I had been thinking about it for a long time, and a colleague at work encouraged me.  (Thank you, Jeff.)  I took the MSF Basic Riders Class, bought an almost new motorcycle, and set out to learn how to ride it.

Along the way, I have met people I would otherwise not have met, and I have gone places I otherwise might not have gone.  Some of those places are chronicled here in this blog of mine, along with the progression of learning how to ride, and a few other topics that interest me and maybe you, too. 

This momentous event -- reaching the 60,0000 mile mark, I mean -- took place on September 26, 2017, almost exactly ten years after I bought the bike.  In those ten years, I have had the bike out of the garage 728 times.  (Yes, I count.  I'm an engineer, don't you know.)

I note that I have not ridden as much since I retired from the job as I had anticipated.  It appears that I have been too busy with other things to ride as much!  I'd like to go more often, but I also can't seem to find a riding buddy who isn't working, and who wants to go to the places and at the pace I do.  (Let me know if you want to ride some time.)

I also have not written as much on these pages as I used to, because I tend to ride to many of the same places that I have already written about, so I don't want to bore you.   Sassafras Mountain (the highest point in South Carolina), Whitewater Falls, Table Rock State Park, Saluda North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and a few other places that are beautiful and great places to ride are all frequent repeats.

One infrequent place I did go with a friend was the Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley North Carolina back in July.  He rides at about my pace, and we had a great time riding up US-178, NC-215, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I enjoyed seeing the museum again, but my buddy had not been there before.  One of the museum's mottoes is "Our Visitors Are Like Family".  That is fitting.  Every time I have been there, each of the staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful in every way. 

Unfortunately, just as we were fueling up for the return trip, it began to sprinkle, then rain, then rain hard, then downpour for a good long distance on the way back home.  Noah and his Ark would have been welcome in a few places.  It dried up not long after we entered South Carolina.  I hadn't taken my rain gear 'cause it didn't look like rain, so I was soaked to the skin by that time.  We took it slow in the rain, and arrived without mishap.  Unfortunately, another motorcyclist was not so fortunate, as we passed the scene of an accident where he went down near Balsam Grove, NC. 

I have also grabbed a few tags on the ADVRider Upstate SC Tag-O-Rama, here, here, and here, and set a few challenging new ones.  (If you are interested in playing, all of the various South Carolina tag games are listed on this page.) 

I suppose you could say that I am mostly keeping to myself when riding. 

[Come on, Bucky, tell us where this latest mileage achievement occurred.]

Well, first a little history about where some previous milestones were reached:

Now, where did I reach 60,000, you ask? 

At a cemetery.

Yes, that's right, at a cemetery.  (So what was I supposed to do, fake the record of this historical event for the purpose of being in a more interesting spot?  I think there is too much fake news these days.)

Here's where it is, on SC-288, also known as Table Rock Road after the nearby geological feature and state park of the same name.

Click here for larger, interactive map.
Notice that the twisty US-178 is to the west, Table Rock State Park is toward the northeast, and the thriving metropolis of Pumpkintown is to the east. 

Actually, it turns out that this cemetery is an interesting place after all.  It is the Chastain family cemetery, whose several generations of occupants were born in 1743 or after, and who died in 1924 or before.  There are at least nine bodies buried here.

Here are some photographs.

That last photograph is the largest monument, and is nearest the road, announcing the presence of the graveyard.  Here is a list of those buried there, along with their relatives names:

Closer photographs of the stones are here, taken from the Internet.

This John Chastain (John Jr.) lived during the Civil War, and served in the Confederate Army. 
The most interesting marker for a man buried here, I think, is for one Rev John "Ten Shilling Bell" Chastain Sr., inscribed at the top on this more modern stone, along with a history of the family. 

Reverend Chastain was born in 1743 in Manakintown, Goochland County, Province of Virginia, fought in the Revolutionary War, and was a Baptist preacher, who traveled up and down the frontier, preaching and establishing churches.  He was one of the founders and the first minister of the Oolenoy Baptist Church, now located at 201 Miracle Hill Rd, Pickens, South Carolina, and founder of Crossroads Baptist Church.  

If I counted correctly, Reverend John fathered fourteen children by two wives.  
Click here for larger, interactive map.
I am sure, by now, that you are wondering about Reverend Chastain's nickname.  Well, legend has it that John Chastain's preaching voice was so loud and so ringingly clear that he was given the nickname of "Ten Shilling Bell".  Oh, that preachers were that forceful and eloquent today as he, perhaps was.  You can read more about the Chastains by clicking the links at the end of this posting. 

Getting back to the bike, there have not been any troubles with the bike in the last 10,000 miles.  It has been a joy to operate. Since I bought the bike slightly used, the odometer showed 60,640 miles total when I reached this milestone. 

Here is the victorious rider: 

I went on a little further that day, meandering around the country roads near the historic spot.   One place I went is to Table Rock State Park, stopping at the Pinnacle Lake overlook,

That bike kept wanting to pose for the picture.

and at the lodge,

Again, posing

and to see Table Rock itself, viewed from the park road. 

The day was a short one -- only 84 miles, but quite enjoyable.  When I first started riding, I never dreamed that I would ride 60,0000 miles and more on two wheels. 

I'll keep on writing here as interesting things come to mind, especially landmarks and good roads. 

See you on the [hopefully long] road ahead. 

Bucky's Other Milestones:

Chastain Cemetery References:
s ridden miles i have ridden motorcycle mileage miles i have ridden the motorcycle miles i have ridden this motorcycle miles i have ridden the bike miles i have ridden the scooter mileage record mileage threadhow far have you ridden distance I have ridden the motorcycle distance i have ridden this motorcycle distance i have ridden the bike distance you have ridden the scooter distance you have ridden the motorcycle distance you have ridden this motorcycle  distance you have ridden the bike distance you have ridden the scooter.


brismith said...

Hey Bucky, congratulations on 60k! It'll be a while yet before I hit that mark. Have you ever visited Soapstone Baptist Church? That's not far from your are, and from what I've read has a remarkable history.

Bucky said...

Yes, I have visited Soapstone a few times, but never when the buildings were open. I believe the cemetery is just to the southeast of the church.