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Home Road Trips and Maps Road Trip Stories My Son's First Long Distance Trip

My Son's First Long Distance Trip

The following is my son's take on his first long distance motorcycle ride. After having his learners permit for 6 months, he went and got his license just a week prior to our leaving on this trip from Ellijay, GA to Panama City Beach, FL. When we left Elliay, the tempature was 22 degrees and it remained cold for the next 400 miles!

Jon is 21 and has written this account of his trip from a comical viewpoint. Enjoy!

 

The following is an account of a trip from the small town of Ellijay, GA to the happenin’ city of Panama City Beach. Some of the following may be unsuitable for minors due to the intensely graphic nature of the crash scene. If you start feeling dizzy or nauseous, please step away from the monitor and take a deep breath. It will be okay.

Our morning started out at roughly 7:00 AM (Eastern time). Slowly we arose and got busy doing the things that people do when going on trips. This however, is no ordinary trip. That’s right… this is a motorcycle road trip. Four hundred miles in one direction, and the temperature was below thirty. Yes, my children… it was cold.

I spent the last few minutes of my warm life, talking on messenger to Rachel. I told her that the plan was to leave at 9:00 AM (Eastern time). Slowly the clock counted down to that dreadful hour. Finally at about 8:30 AM (Eastern time), I shut down the computer. We were almost ready… However, somehow it took us nearly another hour to get out the door (after sweeping and doing those things that my dear mother deems necessary).

9:30 AM
We head out the driveway.
9:36 AM
We pull into the Gilmer County Bank parking lot, and readjust all our gear.
9:45 AM
We pull out of the bank parking lot, and hit the road for Florida!
9:51 AM
We stop again. My hands are freezing, and I have to change gloves.
9:54 AM
We hit the road again…
9:59 AM
We stop yet again. The vents on my helmet are pouring cold air in and hitting my forehead, making my brain and eyes ache.
10:02 AM
We’re off yet again. The wind is bitter cold. Within minutes, all my vital body parts are shutting down. We’re not going to make it.
10:17 AM
My father pulls off in Jasper, Ga. reconfirming my belief that there is a God. We stop for Starbucks coffee, and all is well with the world.
10:45 AM
We finally leave Starbucks, dear sweet Starbucks. We resolve to not stop until Canton.
11:05 AM
We make it to Canton and stop at Motor World to buy better gloves.
11:30 AM
Time to hit the road again. It is decided that we’re not stopping until the other side of Atlanta.
12:30 PM
Passing through downtown Atlanta.
12:58 PM
My balaclava and glasses are causing a bunch on my ear, causing it to hurt tremendously. I try to get dad’s attention, to no avail.
1:15 PM (130 miles)
We finally pull off at an exit, looking for sustenance. We miss our turn and stop in a subdivision. Before dad can make me leave, I shut down the engine and yank off my helmet. My ear is mauled and bleeding… from the feel of it. It however, is just red and sore. After jogging around for a couple minutes to get feeling back in my legs, we decide to head back to our missed turn and get something to eat.

1:25 PM (Content advisory)
I gear back up… but I forgot to put on my glasses. I left them sitting on the “dash” of the bike. We start heading down the road, and as I round a corner they slip off the dash and clatter onto the road. My heart jumps into my chest, and my life flashes before my blind eyes.
I quickly pulled into another subdivision and turned the bike around. Mom followed me, not knowing what was going on. I slowly drove back down the road, looking for them. I saw them and pointed it out to the car behind me, hoping they wouldn’t hit them. Luckily, they didn’t.
As I parked the bike and climbed off, dad pulled in. The car behind him swerved to go around. That’s when I heard it. The sounds of ultimate doom. The bane of my drive to Florida. It was the demolishment of my glasses. I stared in horror as the next car hit it as well, and the lens went flying down the road. This was going to be a very long trip.
Though I have been told to never leave a man behind, I had to turn my back upon my dear friend.
Good bye, you will be sorely missed.

1:36 PM
We arrive at Blimpies for lunch.
2:04 PM
After eating a bag of chips and drinking a Pepsi, I pulled the bike around to get some gas. Dad does the same, at which point a man approaches us. Dad and him get talking, and it turns out that he is from the CMA (Christian Motorcyclist Association). After chatting a little, he prays for us, and we head on our way once more.
3:12 PM (180-190 miles)
Arrived in Columbus rest area. Met a couple riding Harleys, and chatted with them for a little while. Also talked to the grounds keeper at the rest area, who was very interested in mom’s scooter. He asked lots of questions, and thought it
was quite interesting.
3:45 PM
Left rest area.
5:02 PM
We stopped in the “hood” of Eufaula, Alabama for gasoline. Snickered at the signs on the door.
“No shirt — No shoes — Low pants — No service”
6:05 PM
Stopped in Dothan and scarfed down a big mac and coffee. Stomach ache ensued.
6:46 PM (85 miles to go)
Changed shield on helmet to clear (because it was dark), and hit the road again.
7:22 PM (44 miles to go)
Stopped for a while to warm up. Core body temperature had dropped significant amount. Disorientation setting in.
7:40 PM
Headed out again.
8:10 PM (21 miles to go)
Stopped again to warm up. Core body temperature getting quite low. Disorientation getting a little worrisome.
8:32 PM
Headed out once more.
9:04 PM
We arrived in the Panama City outskirts, and stopped for gas. I could not control my hands, and when I could feel them, they would have pain shoot through them.
9:16 PM
Headed out for the last 10 mile leg of our journey.
9:46 PM
We arrive at our destination!! Cold, weary, and sore.
10:00 PM
I take my first walk on the beach in three years. I call my friends to let them know I have arrived safe and sound. Only took twelve hours, when it was supposed to have only been about seven. Overall, it was a really good trip. A good bit colder than I was hoping for, but still a good one for my first long trip.

R.I.P.
Glasses…

Tips for the long distance biker:
Order hot drinks at stops. Ice is not your friend.
Get a mouth guard. Don’t chew on your tongue.
Hug the engine of your following car, whenever you can.
If you don’t have a car, hug the exhaust pipe on your bike.
It is interesting, the amount of heat one can glean from a street light
Don’t worry about looking like a fool doing jumping-jacks in a parking lot. They’ll never see you again.
Don’t irritate the woman in the car behind you. Even if she is your mother.
Downing a Big Mac in less than 30 seconds is not advisable, no matter how hungry you are.
If you wear glasses, get a nerd cord.

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