The Quest for Miles

I’ve been obsessed for the past couple of years with attaining the two hundred thousand mile mark on my trusty Honda ST1100. There were times when that goal seemed far out of reach. Then, at the end of last years riding season, the odometer showed about eight thousand and some odd miles to go. Easily obtainable, or so I thought, this year. I had cut back to working four days a week in Faribault, effective in January and so that would affect the weekly tally of miles put on the bike. There were plans to take a trip to Davenport, Iowa in September, something that had not happened since the Covid outbreak in 2020. That trip alone would account for about six hundred miles in a weekend of riding, but alas, that did not happen again this year due to unforeseen circumstances. I commenced riding the big bike whenever I had the chance all summer but the thing would just sit most weekends as there was always something else more important to take care of. I continued to ride to work every day, rain or shine, and so the miles ticked by. October came and it looked like crunch time. The weather started looking iffy and the daily sightings of deer and other critters increased. Still, I soldiered on, day after day. Sometimes getting wet, other times starting off in below freezing temperatures in the predawn hours, bringing stares of disbelief and comments from my coworkers upon arrival. Then, wonder of wonders, wouldn’t you know, the weather in late October went from cool-ish to summer-like in just a couple of days. Yes! It looked like I would make it with no problem! As the bike neared the two hundred thousand mark I became increasingly paranoid of encountering a deer or even a large raccoon, both of which would have upset the apple cart and possibly totaled the bike out in the process, so close to the goal line. Then, on the third of November, at approximately four fifteen in the afternoon, in the tiny town of Bombay, Minnesota, the odometer on the big Honda clicked over to the much anticipated amount of two hundred thousand miles. We had done it. The eagle had landed. I pulled over to the side of the road and took some time to relish the accomplishment, took a few photos and then continued on home. It was the most miles I have put on any of my more than forty motorcycles that I have owned in my lifetime. This Honda has been the most reliable of all of them, by far. What’s next for the old girl, you ask? Well, I could go for the three hundred thousand mark. That would only take ten sets of tires, about two thousand gallons of gas and at least ten more years of riding. Or, I could go for an upgrade by purchasing a newer model with less miles. There are a few out there in the classified ads. I’m more inclined to go that way and keep the big ST for a spare. She’s not worth much to anyone other than me anyway, and besides, we are a great team together.

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