Hello all, Shon here. This week I’m writing about things we don’t do in the UAE, and which we are enjoying while in Northeastern Georgia. I want to warn you right off the bat, that part of this post is about motorcycling, so if you find that boring (which you shouldn’t, because it’s amazing), you may want to skip this and spend your time reading something else.
Motorcycling exists in the UAE, of course, but I left my Triumph in the States and don’t ride in the UAE. Why not? Because the UAE is known (rightly) for its lunatic drivers, and I figured a motorcyclist is easy prey for a zooming SUV in the wrong hands. After a couple years’ residence in the area, I now feel I’d be okay, but still, why push my luck? Besides, it’s just plain too hot to ride in full gear there much of the year.
Georgia is both safer and more comfortable for riding. Nonetheless, the high humidity does a lot to offset the drastic 20-30 degree Fahrenheit difference in temperature from Al Ain to the southeast US, and normally I don’t go on a ride of any length without full safety gear–armored pants, jacket, etc., which makes the ride much warmer. Spending any time outdoors is miserable in leathers if you’re not moving and the thermometer reads in the 90s.
I’ve put about 450 miles under my bike’s tires in the last couple of weeks, which doesn’t sound like that much, I know. Still, the Thruxton has been to some of Georgia’s best riding roads–US129, Highway 17, Route 60, and Route 197. These routes are absolutely beautiful, offering mountain scenery to rival many of the prettiest parts of the world, and smooth, swooping roads that may be the best in the Union. These trips have been with my brother and another close friend, so the rides are great experiences in more than one way (unless, of course, we end up stuck beside the road doing repairs, when it becomes uncomfortably hot and sticky).
Regrettably, the Wife has to stay home and watch the littlest Rand, so she doesn’t share the pleasures of the mountain roads I’ve named above. Not that she particularly enjoys riding on the back anyway. Sadder still, she finds herself jealous of the Thruxton because I want to spend time on it, which is itself entirely innocent of any wrongdoing.
Luckily, in a way she does share my taste for horsepower. She just prefers the sort that has four legs and shoes, rather than tires.
The other day we had the opportunity to go for a lengthy trail ride near Watson Mill State Park in Comer, Georgia, thanks to a friend’s friend who made arrangements.
The ride took us over varied terrain near a fork of the Broad River, through trees and pastures, and was altogether a good time. Despite the sweltering heat and humidity, the horses were in high spirits. The owners, who were also our guides, were surprised by the animals’ friskiness. They’d expected the heat to make them sluggish, but instead, they were frequently trotting and jostling for the pole position.
We’ve both been on horseback a couple of times before, but this was the first time that we got to gallop–and that was lots of fun! There was a stretch of unbroken, smooth pasture that we were able to let our steeds run on, and run they did. By the time our ride was done, the equines had worked up a fair lather, and both horses and riders were ready for either a shower or an ice cold glass of water.
The owners have 28 horses which they own mainly for pleasure, but which also are used in various competitions, such as Cowboy Mounted Shooting, something you can check out in this video.
So to recap, we’ve been having a very nice summer. There’s been good riding that kept us both happy, and like I said in a previous entry, we’re still reveling in the pervasive greenery and gorgeous blue skies.