On one of these, I took another stab at finding Pennsylvania's herd of wild elk. Still no luck. Maybe in the fall when they're most active. I did get a lovely shot of Lurgan Mill at the start of the ride.
This was my odometer as I pulled in the driveway following an after work ride yesterday:
This was after three years and one month on the R1200R. While I'm beginning to think about my next bike (probably a tourer), the R remains my favorite physical thing I've ever owned.
I do expect my mileage to decline soon. Once college football season begins, my Saturdays will be centered on that. My alma mater the University of South Carolina is expected to have the strongest team in school history. Perhaps if they lose a couple my interest will decline. And then having to begin working Mondays again, I'll have to devote Sundays to writing my weekly column for World Politics Review. I'd like to take another stab at a multi-day Virginia/West Virginia ride in the fall but with the hit to my family income from the furlough, I suspect that's not in the cards.
Late note on riding Route 555 looking for elk: http://cumberlink.com/news/state-and-regional/man-dies-when-motorcycle-hits-elk-in-western-pa/article_2cb86686-0a62-11e3-88df-001a4bcf887a.html So maybe not such a good idea, at least when it's still dark.
Thinking back over the past few years, I think the biggest risk to me is not cars and critters--I haven't had a close call with either for a very long time, largely because of my hyper-vigilent riding style--but the incompetence of the Pennsylvania Highway Department.
Along this same line, I had two near wrecks in the last month. One was when I was on a stretch of road under maintenance. The road surface was black and it was very dark because I had just gone under a canopy of trees. I was looking ahead at an upcoming curve and hit a huge pothole in the middle of the lane. It almost jerked the bars out of my hands, but I kept control.
The next day I was on a road I'd ridden just a few days earlier. I came into a blind curve and the highway department had decided to cut a rectangle out of the pavement in the middle of the lane and fill it with loose gravel. Luckily there wasn't any other traffic on the road so I was able to jerk the bike upright and slide into the other lane. Had either of those caused a wreck, I would have explored a law suit against the state. It might not have gone anywhere but I would have at least tried to make a case that the state has a responsibility to maintain the roads to a minimum level of safety, and PennDOT had failed in that responsibility.