Day 6

Crash, it’s just too big… it won’t fit.

Thomas, you fit right in.

Where the hell is Rigelsky?

By JB Brostrom – Friday began with the Pack performing their morning rituals… wait… only the windscreens were cleaned? Seems Lone Star was approached by a construction crew (no, not for any building damage) on their way to work from the hotel. After asking about the bikes and the Pack and the Jillian fund they decided to stop and say a prayer, with Lone Star and the rest of the Pack, for a safe journey.

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The shy and demure Patti felt obligated, not because she was shamed into anything, to get out of bed and send off the Pack on their day’s journey. The GAL gals, numbering three now are out to send off the Pack. Jennie being eternally grateful for having her hot spot serviced. The GAL gals’ and Patti’s Misters are arriving for weekend r&r in Nashville.

The bikes and the Mars’ Rover Rover fired up on-time at 8:00. In tow are now Papa, Cal, Captain, GQ, Lone Star, Mikey’s Dad and Paco. They are followed by Bert in his Toyota and the Mars’ Rover Rover helmed by Rover and assisted by Judge, Crash (formerly Klinger) and the elusive and often missing, Rigelsky. Finally we have three GAL gals, Kerry is joining us for our morning visit to Novatech. Today will be the most logistically challenging day of our Patriots Pack career. We have a morning Novatech visit on the south side of Nashville and an evening dealer visit at Perry Pro Tech on the north side of Columbus, Ohio! We will lose an hour to the time-zone gods. If we depart on time from Nashville and are devoid of traffic issues we “may” make it… “may”.

Nonetheless we are greeted warmly at Novatech. We arrived before the drone was in the air documenting our arrival but we accommodated on our departure. This is a lovely and spirited team of professionals… and they had Paleo Donuts!!! If you add bacon to any donut it is scientifically proven to negate all adverse dietary issues… don’t be a science deny-er.

It never ceases to amaze and invigorate the Pack to commune with inquisitive professionals. You all suspend your busy work days and are genially curious about the Pack travels and mission. We cannot thank you enough. Papa is chomping at his bit to get the Pack moving. Walking the fine line between our tight schedule and being inappropriate with our wonderful hosts…. Chick-fil-A on the way? Well, if we hurry at our fuel two fuel stops we can wait for the needed protein.

It is decided to coordinate an exit parade for the Novatech drone. We will parade the front of the building, do a tight parking lot loop and head back to the main parking lot before departing en masse. This photo op, we assume, was fabulous. Perhaps we can get some of the stills and video later. It is time for our departure. This is where we will say goodbye to the GAL gals. Captain and Bert will peel off now and head back to the Iowa cornfields. Is Rigelsky actually in theMars’ Rover Rover?

The two wheeled Pack wind out of the business park and onto the connector freeway to find I65 north to Louisville where they will take I71 into Columbus. Unfortunately this tight schedule disallows our hoped for stop in Lexington to see Phil. When your famous you just need to make sacrifices. Next year Phil… we sincerely apologize.

Papa counts heads and finds Cal, GQ, Lone Star, Mikey’s Dad and Paco. No sighting of the Mars’ Rover Rover but they have a Glympse of where we are heading so off we roar. Presumably the Mars’ Rover Rover crew are searching for Rigelsky.

It is decided to get north and out of the Nashville metro before topping off the tanks and preparing for the hard ride to Columbus. We were a few minutes late departing due to the never ending Midwestern style goodbyes. Out of Nashville Papa exits the Pack to a fuel stop. Let’s make this a quick turnaround… I suppose Mrs Papa feels the Pack’s pain and has seen those eyes of disdain at the incessant lollygaging. Just pump it, squeeze it and suck it hard… and let’s get going. We have and audience awaiting. It is probably akin to trying to get The Rolling Stones or The Who on stage and on-time. Maybe more like Ozzy Osbourne.

Papa sends a message to the Judge to alert Perry Protech that if the traffic gods comply we may be nearly on-time-ish. Engines roar and off we go… the Pack is riding defensively on the Northern Tennessee interstates. Someone please investigate where Tennessee has invested their federal highway dollars…. certainly not on the roads.

Kentucky roads are an immediate change for the better.

The Pack is rolling smoothly and even finds the Mars’ Rover Rover in it’s sights and passes it by. Did anyone look to see if Rigelsky is on board? The Pack successfully and efficiently passes around Louisville and sets sights on Cincinnati. Cincinnati will be final hurdle before roaring into Columbus. A couple of hours in, with Cincinnati approaching the traffic warnings talk about congestion at the Ohio river crossing in Cincinnati. On the Kentucky side is seems all traffic is heading for the long bypass and very little traffic is staying on I71. Papa stays the course and the Pack begins to descend into the Ohio river valley to cross into Cincinnati. We will make our way past the riverfront sports arena, up the Ohio side of the valley and once on top will navigate the Ohio farmland into Columbus. Three lane speed down the hill and and and… roar to a complete stop!

We are two miles short of the crossing and three speeding lanes are being merged into one slow lane at the crossing. Two blasted miles short! For the next hours the Pack safely navigated the merge and crossing. Thank yo to the accommodating Kentucky/Ohio auto and truck drivers. GQ took a moment to wave at one such trucker and then got a chance to closely inspect Cal’s rather impressive rear end. Not a sliver of paint was traded. As soon as we cross the river the Pack regained highway speeds and headed toward Columbus. One more fuel / bio stop before we would arrive. This stop, in the middle of the Ohio heartland was as inefficient as ever but… we are all healthy (for the most part) and all bikes remain rubber side down. Papa reaches out to Judge who assures the Pack that Barry Clark from Perry Protech is the world’s most patient human.

The Pack returns to I71 north to make their way to Columbus. Due to the Cincinnati bridge debacle, it is apparent the PAck will arrive at Perry Protech after 5:00pm on a Friday afternoon. It will be an act of faith in the Pack and our mission if this crew remains patient.

Well after 5:00pm the Pack rolls into the north Columbus business park looking for building signs. What we sighted was a series of tents, waving and adorning Perry Protech-ers and what seems to be cold beverages and food! They did wait!!! What a cool and welcomed welcome. The Pack came to a stop in formation and began to dismount. About the time we doffed our cover we heard the familiar honk from the Mar’s Rover

Rover as it lumbered into the. Parking area. All is well in Pack-land.

The Perry team was wonderful and we never felt rushed nor any irritation for our tardiness. Again with wonderful conversation, photo opportunities, the local GM even used the Mars’ Rover Rover as her personal jungle gym! The Pack never tires of these welcomes and celebrations. It is quite the opposite. It is fuel to keep the mission going.

After about 90 minutes it is time to depart to our Columbus hotel. The Mars’ Rover Rover needs fuel so the rest of the Pack will navigate back on the I71 and head back to the airport area hotel. While on the overpass we discover the roadway south is dead-stopped. A quick look back at GQ and a side glance to Cal and the unspoken word is to avoid. We make an evasive maneuver to avoid our left hand turn and proceed straight. Papa takes the next left onto a surface road and slows. Papa changes Harley GPS to avoid highways and proceeds to follow the new directions. We do have traffic lights to navigate but… we are moving… which is better than camping on I71 South. After about 10 minutes we catch a glimpse of the now parallel I71 and the traffic is moving. Papa re-reconnoiters the Harley GPS to use highways and we proceed to our Hotel without incident.

Tonight is laundry night for some. There is deep discussion about sharing the load. Is it proper protocol to commingle undies? Lone Star is prepared with Tide-pods and quarters. Donna, he really is the best. Lone Star is also visited by his former neighbor. The one for whom Donna called the fire department, false alarm, and cost $50.00. This old butter-fingered Air Force plane mechanic was itching for an audience to tell his stories. Just another color onto the Pack’s canvas.

Other than the in-room rain storm that Paco’s second floor suite was causing into Papa’s first floor cabana, the evening was successful. It was decided we would not leave for any sustenance and gather at the Mars’ Rover Rover relax for the evening. Papa, Paco, and Cal began a load of laundry and the PAck settled into the Mars’ Rover Rover outdoor seating area. Mikey’s Dad roared across the street to search for a phone replacement. Much of the discussion devolved around the term “stank” and its origins related to the Pack.

After sundown a gentleman was admiring the bikes and the sponsor adorned Mars’ Rover Rover. Thomas Massey walked into the circle of trust. He accepted our offer of a beer. Seems he just left a funeral service for a friend who lost his cancer battle. After hearing our mission he asked if he would be allowed to donate. Judge, being the attorney wouldn’t give him a straight answer. Papa, exclaimed “YES”! Straight cash homie, donate online and we will provide a link or… buy raffle tickets and win the Clover Harley. By this tie we know that Thomas is a money manager and will choose option three… it is just the right thing to do. 8 tickets, and two Benjamins later, and the Jillian fund is $200.00 richer. What we do works… it is just undeniable. Thomas sticks around for a while more. He shared his email so he can keep up with the Pack and the blog. Thomas… you are our hero for the day… since Hiro left us.

Tomorrow, Saturday, will be a short riding day but perhaps our most difficult. Our Pack brother Paul Youngberg passed since our past ride. We will visit his family on Saturday. The family has allowed us to share a memorial service with them.

SOURCE Industry Analysts Inc.

The Jillian Ride Day 4 Little Rock AR to Memphis TN