Saturday, October 31, 2009


Where does all the time go? Here it is Saturday again, a week later, and I haven't posted about the Bisbee ride last weekend yet. I'm going to buy a couple of Lottery tickets and maybe be able to retire to a life of full time Biker Bum.

A week of sitting grandpuppies was ending with taking them and Pongo to my daughter's house for the next three days. Moving three energy filled dogs with kennels and all accessories is more trouble than diaper bags and kids. Got them all settled, picked up Linda, packed up Petunia, and we got out of town a bit after 9. Traffic was light and with just over a half tank of gas we were off. Running in the HOV lane, with cruise set at 74, I planned to stop over on the east side of town to top off, but the needle never moved. OK, I would stretch it to Casa Grande. Didn't need to stop there, so I kept rolling all the way to Eloy and exit 200 before I began to get anxious and finally stopped for fuel. Since having Petunia tuned in Sturgis she has run great and has been getting great fuel mileage. This tank took us all the way to Bisbee where I topped off for the anticipated riding to be done there.

Bisbee is an old copper mining town. It originally was an open pit operation, but switched to underground sometime in the 1930s.

Today you can sample some of that underground experience by taking the tour, riding about 1200 feet below the ground, and listening to old miners telling about their experiences.

These pictures of Linda and I going on the tour are from the trip over Labor Day.

Linda's Noni worked in this bar, St. Elmo, while raising six kids back in the late 1920s. We stopped in and there were critters to accost.

And while the boys were bellying up to the bar what should appear? Hey, fellas, what about me? Only in small town America. The little fella stayed on the stool the whole time they were there.

We spent some time down on the Giacoletti Ranch, a 680 acre cattle ranch, owned by Linda's uncle and cousins. The ranch butts up against the US/Mexico Border fence. How do you get there you might wonder.

Riding down about 15 miles of rutted, dirt road would be the answer. Oh, and by the way Sherrif Joe has nothing on the US Border Patrol when it comes to stopping folks. On three occassions in two days they had people who appeared to be walking down the road stopped, sitting a line, and appearing to be waiting for a method of transporting them somewhere.

Sunday morning it was time to head back to Phoenix and was a brisk 38 degrees. Linda, who has been waiting for cooler weather, got her wish and decided that she might need something stronger than leather chaps. She went shopping when we got back and bought ski pants. I told her it hadn't even got cold yet.

It was a great weekend and escape from the real world that was over to quickly. I need more rides like this. It is only a couple of weeks to my next day off of school, I need to plan a ride for Veterans' Day.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Anatomy of Tire Issues

This is in response to Ms M and Dave's comments on the Riding Post? post.

I bought Petunia in February 18, 2007 with 3,890 miles on her odometer. I had a 5,000 mile service and a new set of Metzler 880s installed in March with 9,953 miles on her original Dunlop tires. As luck would have it the tire went flat as I was talking to the service writer at the dealer scheduling that service. Because of changing to Metzler I changed both front and rear.

My next rear tire change came after 8,787 miles and I stayed with Metzler. I was very happy with the ride quality of the Metzler and found them to be quite good sticking to the road. Many of these miles were on the highway in wet weather and I was very confident of their gripping power.

Metezler was my choice again in 6,840 miles. This was going to be my fourth rear tire in 25,580 miles. There were miles left on this tire, but I was getting ready to head to Alaska and opted to change it prior to leaving. This time after only 4,747 miles I had to replace the bald Metzler, in Anchorage, after pulling a trailer across the AlCan Highway. The Anchorage Harley dealer only carried Dunlop and so I was a captive audience.

Arriving back home in Arizona I put on the set of Metzler black walls I bought before leaving for Alaska. This was the first time I changed the Metzler front tire in 24,946 miles and only changed it because I bought the set. The Dunlop had 4,572 miles and was well worn, but would have lasted a while longer. This change was chronicled here and all of these miles were with Piggy attached and traveling the highways coming home from Alaska.

I went with Dunlops when I changed this summer prior to heading to Sturgis. I put these on with 43,125 miles on Petunia and that made the Metzler last only 8,226 miles. That brings me to this week when I again changed out a rear tire after only 7,328 miles. Granted 4,000 or so of those miles were pulling the trailer and most of the others were two up, but only over 7,000 miles seem odd. The shop did find the caliper misaligned and maybe the tire was as well.

So, in my world there have been seven tire changes in 50,453 miles. That averages to 7,207 miles a tire. Three of those tires were Dunlop and four have been Metzlers. This recent tire change is only the second that I have had done at a reputable location, if you count the Stealer as reputable. That dealer installed tire lasted 8,787 miles which by far is the best except for the original. Also important to note is all the tires listed here, except the dealer and this last one, were purchased from the Internet. There are those who subscribe to the theory that all of the Internet tires are seconds, blemish, and old stock tires. I only know changing rear tires every 7,000 miles is getting expensive.

So, when this new Metzler is getting thin I will make arraignments to have a set of Avons at the Wheel Shop and give those a shot. The Metzlers have a great ride and I find they stick to the road very well even in wet conditions, but I'm looking for more miles out of a tire. A part of the trouble is timing for long trips for me and I always opt for leaving with maximum thread. I'm now thinking of adjusting that philosophy and just changing a tire when needed during the ride.

Riding Post?

I woke Wednesday to a wonderful 63 degree, sunshine filled morning. My plan was to get in a bit of riding, but first I had to go some new skin on the rear of Petunia that I didn't get around to doing on Tuesday. The last several sets of tires I put on her were bought off the Internet and installed by Bikers Bay. On the last rear tire their price for installation almost doubled and the quality of their work has become suspect. So, I called around for a price and remembered a place named The Wheel Shop . I had used them for tires years ago and was happy, but they were all the way over on the other side of town. I was sitting in their drive when they rolled open the doors and after a quick chat I changed my mind from Dunlop to a Metzler 880. I have used Metzler in the past, but the last three, starting with the one I needed in Anchorage were Dunlop. Because the current one only lasted 8,000 miles I was thinking of trying an Avon, but they weren't in stock and we are riding out of town this weekend.

During the installation the tech called me over saying there was a problem. On the last tire the caliper was misaligned and it tore up the rubber caliper bushing. That was an easy problem to fix and everything was installed and I was on the road in just over an hour and a half. So, for only about $30 more than my buy over the Internet, pay some flunky to install it, good deal I have a quality installation that feels great when rolling down the road. But, than again new tires always make a bike feel good.

That road took me out US 60 on a perfect early afternoon to break in the tire.

I headed over to Superior to try the food at Los Hermanos. This was one of the stops on the BACA runs a couple of weeks ago. When I sat down they brought out the chips and hot sauce. These homemade chips are fried to a perfect crisp and the sauce is terrific. I ordered the #7 chili relleno dinner with green sauce for $7.50. The first bite tasted of well worn grease and I was thinking bad thoughts. But, that first bite wasn't what the meal was about. The chilies were flavorful without being burning hot. The beans were homemade and some of, if not, the best I have ever eaten and the rice was good also. It also came with a homemade, hot, flour tortilla that was also great. So, now that I have my personal seal of approval I will have to take Linda there so she will forgive me for going without her.

Coming back I detoured to Tortilla Flats to ride the twisties and break in the chicken strips on the new Metzler. I thought I was leaning over until I looked this morning and see that I didn't even remove the rubber tits out on the edge of the damn thing. So, we'll see how she looks when we return from Bisbee.

Now it is off to find a place to dump some old oil and change fluids in Petunia. This seems to come around pretty darn regularly. I guess that is better than parking in some stuffy garage or something.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How's Your Day Going?

What a day this is turning into. Starts off innocently enough with a doctor appointment because at the advanced age of 56 it is time to be checked out. All is going well until he opens the drawer and removes a tube of lube and announces, “It is time to examine your prostate. Lift the gown and bend over the table please.”

Please? Hell no I don’t please, but for the sake of good health and fear of prison I comply with the request. I’m not real sure about the term a bums rush, but that is just what happened to me. PLOP! Scratch, scratch, me struggling to get away from the intrusion, and it being over. Whew! Maybe getting run over has its rewards.

To celebrate I take myself to IHOP for breakfast. Get a feeling someone is looking at me. Look up to see twenty-something, tall, slender, eyes framed in stylish glasses, dark green hair fashionably pulled back in a matching headband, with a devilish smile, walking to the booth in front of me. Sits down facing me with a low cut top and a wink. I try not to look, wishing the waitress would hurry with my change so I can leave. As I stand to leave I notice hands suggestively run across chest, enhancing the cleavage. Head turns up and I hear, “I can make you very happy.”

“What? Are you going to introduce me to your mother?”

“It’s your loss,” he replies.

I think I’m going to the motorcycle shop to get a new tire. Hopefully it will be safe there. But, the way my day has started I’m not counting on it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thought for the Day

Have you ever wondered if the one dollar bills in your wallet were ever in a stripper's butt crack?

If not, you're wondering now. So folks, always remember to wash your hands after handling money.

Have a nice day …

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Weekend Wrapup

I did get in a bike ride this past weekend, but that is only the second best thing I did. Sunday found me taking my daughter, son-in-law, and two grand daughters out to breakfast. After breakfast it was back to their house to spend the rest of the morning, up to nap time, playing in the sand box, pushing the swing, pulling the wagon, playing catch, and generally being at the beck and call of these two beautiful little bundles of joy.

Saturday was overcast, cool, and perfect for the East Valley BACA Run. It took us out to Superior, Arizona, out US 60, for a stop at Los Hermanos. I am going to have to go back and try the food soon.

Surprise, surprise, surprise! There were critters lining the streets in east Mesa.

While I spent time with the grandbabies Linda, her daughter, sister, and grand daughter were walking in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure. It has been reported that the male coach of the ASU women's softball team penned the slogan, "Save 2nd base." I've also heard that some people don't get it and that is the part I don't get.

It was a terrific weekend and I spent it doing my favorite things, biking and Poppying. Been a busy week having conference with parents and it will last until six tonight. But that means out of school for a week at noon tomorrow. That is why I love this job!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Just Saying

My mood heading into the day can best be described as;

Keel over
Pissed off

After my meeting with the Superintendent this afternoon it might get better, or worse. However there is a ride this weekend that should make everything good again. And if that doesn't work there is breakfast with the grand babies on Sunday that is a guarantee to brighten life.