Nazgul Makes Some Friends

Nazgul Makes Some Friends
Originally uploaded by mercutio2k
I had a big surprise today when I went out for my regular Friday morning ride - a pack of Harleys stopped at the gas station. I spotted a white Road King, and turned to see who it might be. Then I saw the eight other bikes. Riding over, I found a couple of long time Jeddah riders and a few newcomers all out for a morning ride. Up from Jeddah going all the way to Shafa.

I joined in the ride, assuming position fourth in line. Not really sure why, but once I took it I stayed with it for the day. It was my first experience formation riding. I had to learn hand singles and such as we went along.

Our first stop was a coffee shop that was either on the outskirts of Hada or Taif, I'm not sure which at that point. I ordered first and was served last as a result. That's what I get for ordering "froofy" - an iced cappuccino. I sucked it down and got back on the road. We had police escort through town, which made life easier. The club also had two chase cars with us.

From there we saddled up and headed to Shafa. The ride was good, and I got a feel for station keeping. Riding in formation is fun, different from solo but fun in it's own way. We circled the ring road in Shafa and found a mosque for Jumaa, congregation prayer. The roar of the bikes over the call to prayer made an interesting contrast. The photo we didn't get, and I would have loved to have, was all of us in riding gear amidst the white thobed locals.

Getting out of prayer and getting my boots on we headed out to the radio tower peak. Brief photos, then off to another overlook. Minutes there and we get told lunch is waiting. Can't miss that! We head back into Shafa and park along the road. Apparently lunch wasn't as ready as we thought, or we don't know where it is.

While we wait a couple of workers on a scooter go by. We give them waves and salutes as they go by. They are obviously cheered by the camaraderie. We get word that lunch is ready, again, and we are back on the road.

We go to an inn, little rooms with private courtyards. Far less fancy than it sounds, but still nice. The ever present garbage in Saudi towns taking away from what would otherwise be a nice spot. We get the bikes tucked away, one guy dropping his as he stops on the sand. We get him and bike up in short order, the sand prevented any damage.

We settle into the room and lunch, eventually, arrives. Big platters of rice with meat on it. Hot sauce on the side. Reach in and start eating from the part of the plate nearest you. What is known as a "goat grab". It's the second time I've had it.

After lunch the guys break out an oud and a doumbek. We get some live music while others lounge. My planned two hours of riding and photos has stretched to four. I say my salaams and get back on the road home.


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