Saturday, March 19, 2011

Catch Up and Flamingos

First the catch up.

Last weekend I went on my longest ride ever: 223 miles. I didn't take many photos. What interested me the most was how I felt after the ride.

The De Soto, Missouri Railroad Employees Memorial

It is the way I feel after nearly every ride, but it was more pronounced after being on the bike most of the day.

It's a mixture of feelings. It is part accomplishment, part astonishment, part satisfaction, and part tranquility, yet it is more. It is a profound sense of well-being. After the ride, I was tired, 223 miles on a 101cc bike is a long way, but couldn't stop smiling.

By the way, when I stopped for lunch, I happened to look at the odometer.

There is a young man named Binh Cheung who rode a Symba just like mine from San Jose, California to the Arctic Circle and back. He went a total of 7747 miles. It took him a little over a month to go that far. It took me a little over a year to go that far. I accomplished this milestone in Sullivan, Missouri. Here's a link to a blog with Binh's story:

Now for the flamingos.

Today I spent the morning giving Billie her post winter bath. It was quite a job. Not long after I finished my son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter surprised me with a visit. So, I took them out for a late lunch. This didn't leave much time for riding, so I decided to work on my slow speed driving skills, or as I prefer to say: I went Flamingo hunting. And, while putzing through a new neighborhood, boy did I hit the mother-lode !

I happened upon a house with a flock of flamingos in front of it.

I pulled over and took a picture. After I took the photo, I noticed a man walking his dog and as is my custom I went over and let him know I was taking pictures of the flamingo and not casing the neighborhood. He told me if I liked flamingos I really had to meet the woman who lived in the house. And, he lead me up the driveway to meet Linda. Linda had pulled into her driveway while I was talking to the man.

This is Linda. She didn't put this hat on for me. This is what she was wearing.
Linda was excited to show me her collection. We started in her backyard. She apologized for them not being in there usual places, but rather sort of clumped together for the winter.

Then we moved to her basement.

She was quite proud of this treasure.

Next came the kitchen.

And, then the front rooms.

This one danced and sang, "You Are My Sunshine."

Thank you, Linda.
Since I've been riding my Symba I have met people I would never have met. It is true that I have met the nicest and most interesting people on my Symba.

And, whether it is a long ride, a short ride, or a full blown flamingo safari when I get home there is a smile on my face and contentment in my soul.


  1. Thank You, Keith. You brought a wonderful smile to my face as I scrolled through the flamingo family house. All the fluffy flamingos!! (Said in my best Agnes voice from Despicable Me.) :)

    And congrats on your personal long distance best.


  2. Wow, that is a lot of flamingos for one household. It is great that by stopping to take a picture of one small group of flamingos you got to meet the homeowner and received a tour too.

    Love your header pic too by the way. It is a great color combination with the crocus in the lawn.

  3. Lori,
    Glad to bring a smile to your face. The whole situation definitely brought a smile to my face.

    Thanks for the congratulations. There were a number of hills that had to be done in 2nd gear. I only pulled off to the side of the road to let cars by 3x. It was a hoot.

  4. Trobairitz,
    If I had not seen all these flamingos with my own eyes I don't think I'd have believed it.

    Billie is so unassuming and non-intimidating. I have people come up to me in parking lots wanting to know about her. I've been amazed at how many people I've met by just stopping by. This has been a real bonus of riding.

    Thanks for taking the time to write a comment.

  5. Congrats on taking your longest ride! Woot!


    as I'm scrolling down through the pics...

    I dunno...

    maybe a little unnerving...


    J/K, what a cool lady and what a great collection! :)

  6. Kari,
    She was a very cool lady. And, she was so delighted to show me her collection. I'm looking forward to going back later in the summer to see what her yard looks like then. Stay tuned.

    Thanks for reading and making a comment.

  7. Dear Keith:

    I know exactly what you are talking about when you begin to assess distance on a motorcycle... And suddenly, the farthest you have gone is not quite far enough. I assure you the day is coming when you will look at the map and say, "I wonder what that place looks like."

    Asking that question lets the genii out of the bottle. Because the next question is, "I could easily get there and back in a day, on a machine that did 85 miles per hour."

    I like people who have pink flamingoes. I knew a couple, eho were the height of fashion, and who were presented with a pair of flamingoes. They hated them, but felt compelled to put in the garden for a short while to be polite.

    A week later, the flamingoes were stolen. The couple was relieved... Until they started getting the letters and the pictures. The flamingoes had run away to get married. The first picture was one of them in a top hat and the other in bridal veil. The flamingoes traveled all around the country... Sending pictures of themselves in New York City... Mount Rushmore... Stone Mountain... The Golden Gate Bridge... And then one day, they were back. It was the best joke. And the couple left the flamingoes in the garden after all.

    The allure of the road is starting to call you... Be careful... Soon it will call you by your first name.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  8. Keith, i am jealous of your good weather! We had a nice break from winter in the last week, and now i am watching it snow again. Amazing amount of flamingos that lady has. It was also interesting to read about the guy who keeps repainting his bike. I would rather ride it than paint it.

  9. Keith:

    that is a large collection of Flamingos. It is nice to be able to get a tour inside their home, it would never happen here. People are too suspicious of thieves and crooks.

    also congrats on your long ride, hopefully it is a stepping stone to expanding your coverage

    Riding the Wet Coast