MOTORCYCLE DIARY: 12

JUNE 30, 2021 – Minneapolis, MN to chicago, IL

Pidge in front of 7th Street Entry – note the WALT MINK star

RECORDED EAST OF MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL, MN

[START OF AUDIO] What is it? June the 30th, give or take. I’m about 30 miles, 35 miles, 40 miles east of Minneapolis. My stop for the evening will be Ashley and Travis’s home in Chicago. By the way – when I was in Pasadena, I went to Sammy’s Camera and bought a couple of SD cards and some Energizer AA batteries, and last night, I installed those brand new batteries in this audio recorder and they were dead. Here I am at a truck stop east of Minneapolis, and I got new AA batteries and we’re back in business.

Yesterday was a glorious ride, all business. I stayed in a hotel in Minneapolis, met a couple of people this morning, and photographed them on the bike. Names, for the record: his, Courvoisier, just like the cognac, and hers: Chevy. They were stylish, they were cool, they were awesome, they sat on the bike, I took their photos both with the Leica and the Rolleiflex. Then I stopped by First Avenue on my way out of town, took some photos of the bike outside the venue with the Walt Mink star in the background. I felt like that was a must to do. Not a lot of photos yesterday because it was a day of travel and that’s pretty much going to be the plan for the rest of the trip.

Chevy & Courvoisier

I have… not a map… but I have plotted a route home. This new, purposeful, get-home, get-to-a-destination approach rather than ride until you feel like you’ve had enough took me– it’s a four-day, four-bullet point adventure. Bullet 1 on the list was Minneapolis, Bullet 2 is Chicago, Bullet 3 is Cleveland, Bullet 4 is Brooklyn. The mileage is pretty… I was going to say conservative, which it isn’t, but it’s doable. All of the days are in the 300+ range. That’s not true. Yesterday, it was 460. Today and tomorrow are in the 300s.

I think my plan will just be honestly for the first time [inaudible 00:03:05] set an alarm, get up early, hit the road early. Admittedly, some mornings I’ve just been up, puttering around, having coffee, like today, not really getting going in earnest until noon. Here I am having started at noon and I’m already pulled over and I’m only 35 miles into the ride. Whatever. Anyway, I wanted to check back in with the audio recorder. I’m going to keep it in the trunk and if I pull over after 200 miles or whatever, maybe I’ll bust it back out and record some more updates. Otherwise, that’ll happen tonight or tomorrow. Okay. Bye. [END OF AUDIO]

RECORDED IN CHICAGO, IL

[START OF AUDIO] [clears throat] June 30th, 11:36 PM Central Time. (The past few entries have all been Central Time, by the way.) North Magnolia Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Ashley and Travis’s house. I got here around 8:00 PM, did about 415 miles today, give or take. Glorious ride, another day in which the destination was the thing. Not as many photographs. 200 miles, and then a stop, then 200 more miles here. The end. The Pigeon is parked in their garage. Tonight, I have a guest bedroom and guest bathroom all to myself. I am happy, and The Pigeon is happy. We had Thai food and a couple of beers, shot the shit for a few hours. It was wonderful. Played with their dog Violet.

Garaged in Chicago.

Tonight, at some point, their cat will come back to the house, but I will be asleep when that happens. Just sitting on the back deck now. In the distance to the– I think it’s to the Northeast — there’s some lightning. It rained here heavily, I think, shortly before I arrived. It was not raining at all while I was riding. There was a fair amount of evidence of a heavy rainfall, deep puddles, and so on. Lots of steam, the air was particularly fragrant. Anyway, not much to report but that I am here, I made it. It was a lovely ride, another day in which the motorcycling itself was the activity that mattered.

I have amended tomorrow’s itinerary. I’m not going to stop in Cleveland. I am going to shoot past Cleveland and attempt to stay in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I think A, why stop in Cleveland? B, Pittsburgh is a weird, cool place. Also, I think it will be more palatable psychologically to wake up on the last day in Pennsylvania, and know that I am riding home rather than waking up in Ohio and having to get all the way home from there. Just a little bit closer, a little bit less daunting a final day. A little bit of an extra push tomorrow, which will reduce the mileage on the final day. Hopefully, I won’t arrive home too terribly late and therefore I won’t be too exhausted in the morning when we leave for the lake. Anyway, that’s the update.

At the Car WaRsh.

This morning in Minneapolis, before I departed, I photographed a couple whose names were Courvoisier and Chevy. They were super nice, and I sat them on the bike and took their photo. I think probably I already mentioned this, now that I think about it. Anyway, they were great, just making sure I noted it. Tomorrow will be another day entirely on the bike, just eating up the miles, interstates pretty much the whole way. Hopefully, arrive in Pittsburgh safely, find a place to stay. Then my next and final stop will be in Brooklyn, New York, where I live, believe it or not. [END OF AUDIO]