Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Just For Dave



Hey Dave I think they are moving East.  This started about 3:45 this morning.  I believe it is Nature's Alarm Clock.  My only question is why so early?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

AWWWW Shit Moment

Here I sit in a nice campground in Eureka Springs, Arkansas and my wireless is working and I am just about ready to post. I've had a great barbeque dinner that I unhooked the pig pen to go get and as I start to log on I look over at Petunia. This is what I see:



After only 1,300 miles of a 6500+ mile trip I saw cords showing on my rear tire.  Now what?  I'm 60 miles from Fayetteville and that seems my best bet for a new tire.  I'll have to leave the trailer here at the campground and make a run there and pray the tire holds out.  I guess it could be worse it could have blown out.

Day 1 was a touch over 800 miles from Peoria to Shamrock, Texas. Because it was Interstate 40 riding, the most interesting part was the marble size hail that hit me for about 10 minutes. I gotta say that hurt like Hell, but there was no place to hide. The entire day was overcast and nothing was special until I noticed the mile markers. I started timing them and found for every ten miles I traveled Petunia's odometer only registered 9 miles. I triple checked and found after 20 miles of mile markers she went 18 miles and after 30 miles of mile markers she only went 27 miles. That might have something to do with Willy D and Dave going 80 mph compared to Petunia registering 70 when I went to Salinas. SO, at the next gas stop I took off the side cover and went to adjusting the Dakota Speed Sensor Override to make it all time right. After 45 miles of playing with it I think it is finally set where it was supposed to be when the 6 speed was installed 8,000 miles ago. No wonder my fuel mileage sucked.



This is just before the hail and when the sprinkles started.

Day 2 started cool and clammy. The humidity was up, but that allowed the riding to feel comfortable. Whenever I stopped I realized just how warm it really was. I knew I wanted to travel up to Northern Arkansas to take some of the back roads in the Osarks. At the Visitor Center a lady suggested using Route 71 with scenic overlooks or Arkansas 23 with twists and turns. Turns out Arkansas 23 is really the Pig Trail Scenic Byway.  I am happy that I chose this option as it is 132 miles of 571 curves.  I have only covered the first 100 miles of the route, But after getting a new tire I will be checking out more of it as I roll toward Harrison, Arkansas.




These are poor quality shots of the Pig Trail, but the scenery was spectacular.

Well it is time to look for the shower and think about calling Linda before turning in.  I'm guessing I won't be able to get a tire until 9:00 or after, but I will be there when they open.  The adventure has just begun!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Saturday In Salinas


Saturday morning in Salinas started about 7:45 with overcast skies and cool temperatures. Dave, BB, and I headed over to Rollicks for a cup of the good stuff and then across the street for a really good breakfast.


Quite differently than in the Phoenix area, in Old Town Salinas people really come down and spend time there. Besides Dave’s shop there are restaurants, shops, a new movie theater, and a parking lot that had a bike gathering on Friday evening and a Farmers’ Market on Saturday. Friday when we got there the street parking was all full, but since Rollicks is near the end of the block parking was as easy as making a U turn.




After breakfast we wondered back for more of the Hawaiian roast coffee that was the flavor being brewed Saturday morning. Hanging out at the shop seemed more like sitting around the kitchen table at my Granny’s house than being at a commercial establishment. Everyone, it seemed, knows Dave and BB and stopped for a chat, those driving down the street stopped for a quick word before going on their way, and it really was a great environment. We were just hanging out when the rumble of a couple of Harleys were heard rolling down the street. Willy D had ridden out and escorted the lovely Ms M to town. Ms M rode down from the Bay area for a visit and I was honored to be able to meet her in person.


Josiah asking BB about Bob, Willy D talking to Ms M, Dave and a friend talking.


About 10:00 or so we headed over to Willy D’s for the garage party. Ms M is preparing to attend the 2010 edition of the Sturgis rally and needed to make a few modifications to Bob.


Willy D was just the man to help in that department.


Dave and BB changing a rattling shift linkage


As is the case with most jobs on a bike something always seems to not go as planned. In this case it can be attributed to a mechanic who stripped a bolt and just left it instead of fixing it the right way. Then when the dealer returned Ms M’s parts they somehow forgot to include the heel toe shifter levers. Undaunted, Willy D went to the drawer and pulled out a set. I’m pretty sure Ms M was planning to have a stern talk to that Dealer when she got back home.

When the wrenching was done we went for a quick ride to pick up some things for a barbeque and headed to Dave and BB’s. Dave was the grill master, BB was at work, Willy D, his bride Carol, Ms M, and I watched. It seemed like I watched a lot today and didn’t do much constructive, but it was a great day. After dinner Ms M had to head the hour and a half back home, Willy D and Carol escorted her to the 101, and the rest of us just shot the bull until pumpkin thirty and I had to turn in.

Sunday morning was an escorted ride down to Paso Robles where we went our respective ways.  It was a great weekend of riding, visiting, and meeting new friends.  700 miles for a cup of coffee might seem extreme for some, but that coffee came with a lot more than cream and sugar.  Thank you all again for making my trip one that I will remember.   

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Ride Put On Hold

Regrettably, I have to put my summer ride on hold and will be out of touch for several weeks starting immediately. I have been very upset about the impending damage to the Louisiana coast, so when I received the call for help in clean-up and saw the picture of the oil soaked creatures that are washing up on the beach at Grand Isle, I immediately decided to answer the call. These poor creatures (as you can see) need to be thoroughly scrubbed and a lot of protective oils need to be applied before we can clothe them again. The call is loud and clear and the Obama Administration is not offering any assistance. While the Obama Administration does an environmental study these poor creatures cry out for help. It’s a humanitarian duty I cannot decline. Wish me luck.















Monday, June 21, 2010

Going For A Cup of Coffee



Coffee. Some have to have it to get going in the morning. Me? I just drink it because after 40+ years it is what I do when I get up. Plus it is also a good excuse to go for a ride. Such was the case last Friday when at 2:30 AM I headed out to get a cup. The cup above is what it looked like to me because I didn’t get that first hot, robust, full flavor sip until somewhere around 5:00 PM, some 695 miles later. Yep, I am just crazy enough to ride almost 700 miles for a cup of coffee and smiled every inch of the last 682 of them. As I was leaving I could feel the stress of the past school year evaporate, my mental state improved by about 1,000 percent and my attention turned to just enjoying the ride.














As I was standing there, enjoying that first cup of the day things became more focused. Ahhhh, Salinas, California at Rollicks Speciality Coffee and Internet. Salinas, California is the home of Road Grits CafĂ©, BB’s Road Trip, and DR. WRENCH. Dave, BB, and Willy D graciously encouraged me to come on up when I suggested, or told them I was on the way, that I might be in the area. Since Linda was hosting a girls night party for her daughter, sister, sister-in-law, and friends I jumped on the chance to get in a little pre-ride before the actual summer trip.

The ride up was just superslab get you there stuff. The kind that is conducive to setting the cruise about 80 and watch the scenery click by until the next gas stop. The exception was the LA morning commute traffic that I found myself in about 7:00. I don’t think I would be able to handle that on a daily basis. I know I needed my head on a swivel because they seem to think they can just push you over if they want your spot on the road. But even that couldn’t dampen the feelings that the ride was producing.


Dave and Willy D were going to meet me in Paso Robles to escort me the final 98 miles to Salinas. The plan was I would be there about noon. But, when I woke up Thursday at 2:30 ready to leave I knew I wouldn’t be waiting till 4 Friday morning to depart. So, at Lost Hills I stopped to say I was early and would be there at 11. Alright, so I beat them there. It was not a big deal and I didn’t mind standing up far a bit anyway. They arrived and options were given. Ride the 101 or the 1. Dave cautioned the 1 was longer and slower and because of the golf tournament traffic might be a problem at the end. The discussion really wasn’t a discussion and we were headed to the 1.






We hung out at the Coffee House until BB arrived and went to enjoy a great meal at the restaurant where BB is a manager. The food was great and they brew their own beer. As it had been a long day by then and we still had to ride to their house I limited myself to one. That was a hard decision because the beer was ice cold and very good. 

After dinner we left for Dave and BB’s place and about 11:30 I was ready for slumber time. It took about 45 seconds to fall asleep. Funny thing was I fell asleep with that jingle from Gilligan’s Island in my head.

...to be continued

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summer Started Yesterday


Linda is having a girls party this evening and that gave me a great excuse to take a short weekend trip on Petunia.  This was also the first day of my summer vacation because I taught summer school this year.  So Petunia and I found our way to Highway 1 over in California.   


2nd try

This is what it was supposed to say;

Blogger on the go? From my cell phone? This might work if I really went somewhere.

I am awake at 1:58 on a Friday morning and nothing to do today but wait until I leave on the summer ride. Might as well go get a cup of coffee.

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Sent from my Verizon Wireless mobile phone

Friday, June 18, 2010

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Anniversary Day

Here it is June 8th already and I haven’t even attempted to write about the Parker trip. Worse than that, I haven’t ridden much since then either. Well, that isn’t entirely true because my commute has grown from 6 miles a day to 44. I have to be the only idiot that celebrates getting to extend the commute to work multiplying five fold. Well, that is what riding will do for you. Since the start of my move I have happily been enjoying the extended time to ride sometimes on the freeway and sometimes on surface streets, it doesn’t really make any difference.

But, then I remembered today is my 2 year anniversary of leaving to Alaska in the summer of 2008. 729 days since Get Away Day. There have been many changes over the last two years. A long term relationship has ended, a new love has evolved, a marriage is in the planning stages and as normal, if anything is normal, a new ride is just days away.

Maybe I'm in a reflective mood today for many reasons. Whatever the reason on the ride to work today I got to thinking. I have Petunia's ThunderMax adjusted to get 39 MPG. But, on the way to summer school I got to thinking my thinking was flawed. You see, I had the air fuel ratio set leanest at the lowest RPM. My thought today was, isn't it really supposed to be leanest at higher RPM when the air is moving across the cylinder heads to keep it cool and MPG would be at optimal range?

Well, I got home, readjusted everything, and had to go test it out in 105 degree temperatures. I had just over a quarter tank of gas and decided to go the 45 miles to Black Canyon City to get gas. I rode it like I stole it and on every heavy acceleration the gas gauge went to the E range, but upon reaching cruising range it came back up. Once in Black Canyon City I gassed up at Shell and then stopped by Rocks Springs for a cool off. Then it was the same 45 miles home at 80+ and the gas gauge hasn’t moved.

There is plenty of power, the oil temperature gauge never got above 200 degrees, and I’m smart enough to realize that I need to ride the next few days to see what was really accomplished. I am hoping to not stop at a gas station for at least 450 miles on the summer trip. Wait, I know that isn’t realistic on five gallons of gas, but I will be carrying an extra five gallons and plan on using that as a water stop on the way. Along that line of thought, except on special days, it means stopping for gas only twice. The second time is when I’m stopping for the night.

Ahhhh, planning is always the way to prevent problems and I don’t need any problems this summer. Funny thing is my feeble brain is now planning on somewhat stupid ways to check this all out. Well, some might call them stupid, but I do need to leave the women folk to plan a wedding. Yep, that same event that isn’t happening for just over a year. Funny how women folk want to plan a year in advance when there is a great ride that is just twenty days away that needs attention. That is the difference between men and women. I'm not really making a judgement here, because if God created anything better than women he kept it for himself.