Sunday, January 14

Sharon to visit Sharon

Late last season, I thought of some quirky rides that I could turn into interesting ride reports. I’ve never really liked my name, mainly because I rarely meet anyone under 70 with the name—not that there’s anything wrong with that. I started wondering just how many cities named "Sharon" are out there? Wouldn’t it be neat, I thought, to visit each one and take a picture underneath the city sign, possible with me holding my own cardboard sign with “Sharon” crudely printed on it with an arrow pointing to me? Why that’s interesting to me, I don’t know. Winter boredom, perhaps?

Here are the Sharon cities I’ve found along with mapquest one-way estimates that assume interstate travel, which underestimates the miles I’d travel to get to each given my preference for backloads and scenic routes.

Sharon, CT 850.17 miles
Sharon Springs, KS 800.70
Sharon, MA 989.26
Sharon, MI (Kalaska) 313.06
Sharon, MI (Washtenaw) 251.46
Sharon, ND 735.22
Sharon, PA 413.86
Sharon, WI 83.63

If anyone knows of other Sharon cities not listed, please let me know. I can begin chipping away at the Midwest Sharon cities this summer; the others will require more planning.

UPDATE: Thanks to those who have helped expand the list of Sharon places to visit!
These miles reflect approximate round trips (RT).

Sharon, LA 1,016 miles
Sharon, MS 1,446.28; 1,713.40 miles (requires visiting two counties)
Sharon, VT 1,860.32 miles

Sharon, Kalmykia Russia!

Update: 1/28/07--Ask, and people answer. I have a bunch of additional Sharon cities since asking on this blog and on the forum. I haven't done the mileage and city research on these yet, but I wanted to place them here so I can get back to them.

Sharon, CA
Sharon, ID
Sharon Grove, KY
Sharonville, North Cincinnati, OH
Sharon Center, OH
Sharon Township, OH (Columbus suburb)
New Sharon, MA
Sharon, NC (in 4 different counties)

And, Sharon, Queensland, Australia (to be continued...)

"Crack" Bike -- aka Queenie

One of my friends has taken to calling my bike a “crack” bike to convey what she feels is my addiction. I’m as anti-drugs as they come, but I must admit to being stone hooked on this bike. On many occasions I’ve given myself whiplash by instantly spinning my head around to the telltale sound of a motorcycle engine—V-twin or not. I’ve never been a clotheshorse; in fact, I detest clothes shopping and I never try on anything but I have the coolest motorcycle wardrobe--I fuss over and change in and out of jackets and pants a lot. I’ve never cared much about what makes my car operate, but I want to take apart my bike and put it back together again. I read my bike’s manual like it’s the latest Toni Morrison novel. I care about the looks of my car and when it gets a scratch, I take care of it right away. When I found a microscopic paint chip on the tank of my bike, probably from a pebble, I nearly gave birth. I asked the shop how to get ride of it. After nearly kissing the take to find it, I was told to take some clear nail polish and put it over the chip to contain it. It was “too tiny” to warrant a new paint job.

Many years ago, someone tried to steal my new fire engine red, three-door Honda Civic SI. I don’t know why ultimately they decided not to pilfer it. Perhaps the person was turned off from it being a stick shift. They left the door open. They smoked cigarettes and tossed the butts on the floor and they really finked up the car. I was furious! I filed a police report and when they didn’t ask, I ask them when they would come to dust for fingerprints. Chicago’s finest said, “We don’t dust for fingerprints—you’re lucky they didn’t take the car. We’ve got your report—contact your insurance company if there is damage.” That was it! I’m convinced that stick shift averted the thief. I complained about the police department for a couple of days and bellyached about the nerve of thieves. However, this past summer someone tried to steal my bike. I hope it was the audible alarm that thwarted the plan, it probably made him (I know it was a male) jump off the bike and in doing so--the despicable, so-called human being—dropped my bike, breaking the brake lever, putting a major stress bend in the handlebar and damaging the right mirror. The right frame slider prevented a lot of potentially costly frame damage.

When I walked into the garage and saw my gal-pal in a heap on her right side, I stood above her in stunned silence. It did not look good. After up righting her and surveying the damage, I immediately yearned for revenge, a payback just short of murder. I imagined catching the person and disconnecting his penis from his body, hacking with a machete I would buy for the occasion, all the while yelling at him, “How does it feel to have someone take something from you that you cherish?!" I envisioned electrifying the bike and enticing the thief to return to the crime scene where I would watch his body illuminate as he settled atop the bike. I saw myself screaming one of those evil shrieks that Hollywood characters make when they take over planet Earth. Sometimes I saw the person mounting the bike and being instantly Krazy glued to the handlebars, seat, and sides so that there was no way to extricate himself. My perverse joy would come from finding him stuck there where I would then proceed slowly to pluck his eyebrows and eyelashes out one by one. Then I would pour honey on him or hot grits--the topical varied with my mood--and let loose a bunch of honey-loving/grits-loving bugs to devour him. I spent weeks of this crazy-thinking about the person who had the audacity to try to steal my bike.
I’m ordinarily a nonviolent, peace-loving person—I even took a “How Evil am I” test that proved I’m “good.” People will make you lose your religion, if you have one. I know now that all my nonviolence talk and practice will fly out the door if someone messes with my family or my bike. So I can see what my friend means about Queenie being my “crack” bike. Crack makes you do really crazy things, things you wouldn’t ordinarily resort to. That’s true. I now maintain an ever-growing list of things I want to do to the person I catch trying to steal my Crack-bike.