We woke to skies as clear blue as they’ve seen in Nashville. Papa was up early churning words. Lone Star was the first face he saw, before sun-up, and he looked like he could have had a little more sleep. The crew had made their way home from Nashville nightlife in shifts. Some late, some later, and some in the wee hours of today.
Lone Star went through his pre-flight checklist on all the bikes. To Papa’s amazement, the entire crew was at the ready early. Hugs and goodbyes were extended to the BPO Medial Mogul Patricia Ames, from Rota Spain, as well as the ladies from Make Great American Leasing Again. We will be losing them from the Mars’ Rover Rover along with Jim Demidio, the Czar of Muratec America. Since Rover himself was on assignment for 24 hours, the Mars’ Rover Rover will be piloted by Berg assisted by First Officer Judge.
Novatech is expecting us at 8:00am, not 7:59, not 8:01… 8:00:00. This is a precision organization. We had multiple texts and the Pack was sent multiple communiqué with specific approach and parking instruction. Instruction on where and in which formation to park. The last communiqué was an actual video/audio explaining our task. I believe in a past life this dude directed aircraft carrier landings.
As 7:30am approached, the Pack and the Mars’ Rover Rover were in position and ready to go… only we can’t go. In order to arrive at 8:00:00 we needed about 6 minutes of drive time. We have a good 20 minutes to stall. In the past 5 days we’ve gone from searching toilet stalls for Slaw to holding the Pack back from a too early departure… my work here is done! This gave the Pack more time to share our disparate stories from the prior evening… or earlier in the same day.
Time has approached for the Pack to depart. All the bikes have been positioned for a smooth start. Mars’ Rover Rover is taking the easy way from the parking lot but requires an uncontrolled left hand turn into an immediate right hand turn in morning traffic. Papa is leading the Pack out the back of the parking lot to an alleyway that will give us a right hand turn on the only road we need to Novatech. Boner rose to the occasion and blocked oncoming traffic allowing the Pack a perfect entry to the street and we were on our way. 6 minutes later we approached Novatech, pulled into the left turning lane and noticed traffic cones had been put out for our direction. Even thought it is early in the day, Boner again rose to the occasion, blocked oncoming traffic and we proceeded into the narrow parking lot. As directed we were to take the ramp up to the parking structure on top of a building. The ramp was narrow, the ramp turned a bit to the right. The ramp was pitched to the left. Momentum would be our friend. This really is landing on an aircraft carrier. USS Novatech. Now we understand the precision instructions coupled with video and audio. The Pack proceed without incident to the structure. Once we arrived we saw Harley Davidson road glide parked in position to guide us into ours. Magnificent instructions Mr. Charlie Metz!
Upon arrival we also saw we were drone tracked and photographed. Looking forward to seeing that video. Slaw pulled in next to me and looked amazed he was able to navigate this landing…. We were all amazed. Departing would be a similar trick… momentum is our friend.
Check out video here.
Several of the Novatech team came to greet us and were were instructed, very precisely (imagine that) on how to gather and pose for our photo op.. .ops really. Once inside we noticed an very clean and sharp looking office. Novatech is an impressive orgainization. We were escorted to conference area with a completely open to the outside wall overlooking Charlotte Avenue and the city of Nashville. We were treated to breakfast fix’ns and good coffee. The staff was polite and generous. Dan Cooper and team presented Paco and the Pack a generous donation to the Jillian fund.
(I am writing this realtime in the Atlanta Marriott Peachtree Corners lobby. Front desk dude is looking crosseyed at an aging motorcycle Pack member in leathers and boots actually working on his laptop. It is not fitting his eye. So much so that security is now lurking. Hysterical!)
But I digress… We were given a brief tour with he highlight being a Game of Thrones style display of a hatchet destroyed server. Guess the cloud is more safe. I hope a photo of this augments the blog. After a tour and conversation about the business we made our way to the deck of the USS Novatech and prepared for takeoff. It would be an aircraft carrier style takeoff down the ramp, a Boner assisted righthand turn followed by another controlled intersection and the I 40 onramp. Simple except the Mars’ Rover Rover was parked in a position that was not conducive to us getting into formation with them until our first stop. This stop had yet to be determined so a bit of communication would be required. We entered I 40 east and immediately veered southeast on I440 toward I 24 to Chattanooga. Just prior to the I440 split Bert and the Captain split off and headed northwest back to Iowa and Nebraska respectively. Neither will be able to complete the ride but we ride with our brothers in their stead. Just as every day we ride with brother Doc in hour hearts. We soon merged onto I24 heading south east to Chattanooga and took the first exit withe a fuel station once we were south out of the Nashville traffic scrum. Papa immediately called to the Mars’ Rover Rover to give them the exit number but Leadfoot Berg was two exits past. We would simply catch up with them after a quick fuel stopl. And Leadfoot Berg would slow a bit. The Pack topped off and roared southeast toward Chattanooga. With a large motorcycle train we would not be pushing the speed too much. Also the truck traffic was thick and we were about to enter a more mountainous terrain. About 80 miles out we had not yet caught the Leadfoot piloted Mars’ Rover Rover and we were in the twisties crawling up Signal Mountan. Two thirds of the way up we pulled off into a rest stop for Slwa. Papa immediately called the Mars’ Rover Rover. Leadfoot had the chase vehicle still several miles ahead of the Pack. It is time for Ladfoot Berg to stop driving his age.
The Pack rolled southeast. After some coaching by GQ a plan was formed. The plan was to stay in formation, avoid the need for lane changing and crawl through Chattanooga. We would enter Georgia, Tennessee again and then Georgia once more. Our crawl was not a crawl at all and with proper planning as well as the GQ coaching we breezed through Chattanooga. Georgia on the horizon. We pushed the speed a bit to catch the Mars’ Rover Rover. We were going about 40 miles into Georgia and then getting off the interstate and too state/county roads for the final 60 miles to the Atalanta Marriott Peachtree Corners. Eventually we did have a slowed Mars’ Rover Rover in our sights. As we roared past, Leadfoot Berg fell into formation as we headed for exit 306 and route 140. We exited and pulled off the road for a bio and snack/hydration stop. Some of the Pack who enjoyed much of Nashville a bit longer than the rest looked a bit rough at 2:00 in the afternoon sun.
Soon we were on our way winding south and east from North Georgia to our destination. This was a smooth and relaxing ride. Please know if you have never been to Georgia, I challenge you to find a straight road. We were often heading north to make our way southeast to the Atlanta metro. Once must trust their instruments. Papa had an internal struggle with on such interchange. With a large train it was too late to make the necessary right hand exit to the next road. This caused an egregious 4 mile detour costing us at least 8 minutes of time. Eventually we approached the metro area and the incessant traffic signals. Traffic was at a maximum. Patience was needed. Boner again rose to the occasion and blocked some traffic at aright hand merge. We roared into the left turn lane. Papa once again trusted his instruments and not his gut and worked the Pack into a straight lane only to change his mind… along with horn coaching from GQ. We needed to go left. Paco negotiated with a car in traffic to let us back in and the turn was managed. We did lose the Mars’ Rover Rover in that scrum but they have GOS to the hotel. We made the last 6 miles without incident and rolled into the hotel parking lot. We will not be allowed to use the entrance canopy for bike parking in a Marriott. The bikes will be parked without protection. The Pack went through the check in process and agreed to meet back in the lobby at 6:15. Upon arrival we were greeted with the return of Fish. He has decided (got spousal permission) to finish the ride with us! Work is overrated.
Papa was greeted with the arrival of cousins Rachel, Joe and Cristy who reside in Atlanta. They would join the Pack for drinks, dinner and eventually some time in the Circle of trust. This meant they needed to endure the Spanish Inquisition.
The Pack anxiously awaited the re-arrival of Rover from the Mars’ Rover Rover. He had been on assignment in Philadelphia. During dinner there was a rousing welcome for his re-arrival. The caucus disturbed the entire first floor of the Marriott. After dinner Fish was searching for his cigars, GQ his Tennessee cool-aid, and Paco his Russian mineral water. The Pack gathered on the pool deck and the circle was formed. The Circle had an uninvited visitor. Much of the Pack is still speechless this morning. It is a good thing we have the Judge combined with the two Papa cousin attorneys in this group. Our guest was inappropriate at best. Let’s just say that if you can embarrass and frighten perhaps even cause revulsion in this group with your feminine antics then you’ve accomplished a feat for which your mother would not be proud.
Nightmares. Apparently our visitor spent the first part of the night on the lobby couch.