Last weekend we made our yearly trip up to the mountains of Gifu Prefecture for the Club SPLENDOR Hirayu Onsen Touring.
We haven’t had any really cold weather yet this fall, so the foliage wasn’t quite as spectacular as in previous years, but we had perfect riding weather and the roads, as always, were exhilirating.
We met up early in the morning at Dangōzaka service area on the Chūō expressway.
Ami-chan, who’s joining us for her first SPLENDOR touring event, sprained her ankle on Thursday.
But she’s such a badass that she still decided to come along, hanging off the high ape bars on her Softail.
Here I unexpectedly bumped into GB from Riding Sun, who was heading off in the same direction for a trip around the Venus Line with his buddies from Club X4.
I was kicking myself for not snapping a picture, but I couldn’t have posted it anyway to protect his pseudonymity.
We headed off with Kazu on her Sportster, Go on his Dyna, YOS on his shovelhead FL, Yuka on her CB750K1, Ara on his Springer, and Ami, the Stinger, and me on our Softails.
Here we met up with our buddy Mitchi, who lives in the area.
So far I’ve always only met up with him at rallies, so I had never seen his old shovelhead tourer in motion before.
Great to finally have a chance to ride together.
The weather report for Sunday was looking bad, so we decided to get in as much riding as we could on Saturday, and took the long way around, looping south through the Kiso valley past Narai-Juku.
At a roadside rest stop near Takayama, we grabbed some local delicacy beef-on-a-stick (and some not particularly good ramen).
We strolled to the local onsen bath to rinse off the road dust and relax our muscles, and then grabbed some dinner.
Hasshi’s panhead wouldn’t start in the morning and he didn’t get started until after noon, but as always he still made sure to get there in time for the party.
(I usually don’t take pictures from this angle, but I wanted to get a feel for how people usually see me.)
MaSa brought delicious udon noodles all the way from Kagawa on Shikoku island.
We headed out for a morning bath at the Shinzansō mixed bath.
What with the deep blue skies, the vivid mountain colors, the hot water and the liberating feeling of the bath, we ended up taking lots of pictures, but not many that can be posted on a family-oriented blog like this one(?).
We got some great shots, but you’re all just going to have to imagine them.
Alternating hot water and cold wind helped take the edge off our hangovers.
Thus ends another amazing weekend with the SPLENDOR crew.
I’m lucky to have such a great group of bikers to ride with. Thanks Everybody!