I have a friend named Miriam...one of my favorite people I don't see enough of. Every once in a great while we'd hop on one of my motorbikes and tool around town. She started getting the idea of having her own bike and was quizzing me on models and asking for help/advice on buying one. Fast forward to a rainy Saturday in April...she rolls up in this very used 300,000 mile Ford F250 4x4 Diesel Farm Truck a friend of her's from back home had. She swung the door open and I simply said "good god, I've just stepped into and Eagles song".We had some map print outs, some craigslist ads and a mission. Motorcycle hunting, picture taking, road tripping, and hopefully we'd both bring home a prize. Polo IL, close-ish to Dixon was where her 1975 Honda CB360 was...a year newer bike than my "rHonda 360" project bike. Which I've deemed "The Perfect City Bike". The guy wanted $1000. Miriam offered $800, the guy went for it. Done. It was like a girl with a new pony, the excitement was infectious.
shot of me by Miriam
From Polo we headed west on RT 52 toward Savanna and then up to Galena. We stopped off in Lanark IL for a quick drop in to see my mechanic Jeff...the wizard...buy some spark plugs, grips and say howdy. 1/2 the price of Chicago bike mechanics and way better at the old bikes.
Once we hit Savanna and headed north, you're right along the Mississippi river, the bluffs, the rolling hills, this is the type of landscape I grew up in...rural to the extreme, but lush and beautiful.
I had spotted a 73 Yamaha TX500 in Galena IL on craigslist...5000 miles, complete, but not running. The price was right, it was close to the folks, we had a truck, it was beautiful out, we were off to meet Jim the bike guy.
Jim's place was on top a hill right in Galena, he must have had about 50 bikes, mopeds, bicycles, all stacked into a machine shed. He talked a mile a minute, and was showing me 10 things at once. He showed me the bike he was selling, told me the story, and we haggled. Did the small town price dance, which kind of enjoy, we agreed on a price that we could both live with. I loaded my 6th bike up next to Miriam's first. Next was a windy trip down RT 20 to Stockton IL. for quick stop in at the folks and then back to Chicago. I had brought along my old rangefinder camera and an old polaroid camera...I had such a good time snapping shots, hanging out with one of my favorite people and scoring two motorcycles for just over a grand. A good day indeed. I snapped this Polaroid near the lookout tower just outside of Galena...I love this image...perfect depiction of a great day.