Monday, April 24, 2017

So Much To Tell!

This week's wrap up is going to be full to the brim, brim full I tell you!

Weekday evenings out in the garage that were supposed to be happening during the cold months have found me playing catch-up with getting the bikes ready for the '17 road.  A new windscreen on the Enfield sidecar rig, wiring/turnsignals/stoplight/license plate light/license backer plate all were finished up.  I finally decided on a few pounds of ballast (tools, some extra fuel, odds and ends that might help others....) since getting that wheel off the ground has been easy to do on the tight right handers.  The Cozy came with a windshield (left off for the time being), a luggage rack (now installed) and a steering damper (left off for the time being.  More on the rig later.

Friday morning I changed oil in the Morphous, then took it out for a nice 100 mile loop.




Various shades of green.....


So I got home and since Richard has been after me to get all the bikes on the road, I'm down to just a couple and the ST2 was closest to the front.  After wheeling it outside, gear on, confident and ready, it turned over twice and started right up.  Sounding nice....almost musical...I pulled the clutch in and....Nothing.  The lever went right to the bar, my hydraulic clutch quickly diagnosed to a leaky slave cylinder.  The red one needed to be backed inside, to right where it had spent the last 5 months for a bit more rest.  Before the evening was through, a new clutch slave cylinder was on the way.

Saturday's plan had originally been for a quick run up to Mpls for coffee, the Morphous loaded and ready.  But Friday evening I found out that plans had to change; our daughter was busy and would not be coming down until Sunday to finish up the build phase of her Tack Cabinet.  There was a quick text message sent to Eric and Jeff to accept their ride invitation.  It was necessary to inform the Minnepolitans that I would NOT be attending their gathering after all and I later heard about it...."where's Doug...he said he'd be here??"

By 9 AM we all had arrived at the Riverside Cafe in Durand.  Jeff, Eric and Kevin, who I hadn't yet had the chance to meet.

Based on the planned machines that would be on the ride, I naturally picked the Morphous as my Adventure ride.

Thanks Eric!

During the course of our day, Jeff once again reminded me (he's been very patient with me.....) about listening to the Adventure Ride Podcasts, knowing full well my penchant for radio and podcast leanings.  He went on to explain to the group about a recent show highlighting the exploits of a certain Aussie Royal Enfield rider that while at work one day, dropped EVERYthing he was doing and soon was on an African adventure.

Well that did it, not only did it sound interesting (Jeff shared that this guy was a hoot) but he was loyal to my new loyal brand, Royal Enfield.  Last night I not only listened to the podcast, but downloaded the free copy of Luke Gelmi's Book 1.  I could provide all sorts of links here but instead will encourage anyone interested to listen as I did and not take any shortcuts to that prize.

An African riding adventure wasn't the only thing Jeff shared yesterday, he was really full of it information yesterday.  At coffee one morning he told a few of us that he'd been watching Harley and The Davidsons on the television.  Here at home we don't have cable but we are customers of some of the internet access channels so last night I jumped on Prime with my Kindle and did some treadmill time as I started watching the series.  This came along just in time since I'd just finished my 3rd read of Nick Adams' Beyond the Coffee Shop while walking in circles.  Now I've got Africa and old times in Milwaukee to learn about while hoofing.

Breakfast in Durand....


A rest stop along the Chippewa River.....the sun was feeling oh so good!  Eric and Kevin had started out Early....still frosty.




Kevin had things to take care of at home, so he left from here, Jeff, Eric and I continued on to Elkmound and down-geared our way on the steep road up into the park so that we could climb the stairs in the observation tower for some more up.  The view from up there is actually quite amazing.




Up through Colfax, then north on W into some very nice gravel road country.  We stopped as I have before in front of the No Trespassing Sign....."Vincent, this means YOU" for a snack and water break.


Though nothing like Luke Gelmi's West Africa trip, we did what we could.....

Thanks Eric!

The Storage Industry is huge in our part of the country and Eric managed to catch this sample.......no one wants to pay for more space than they use.

Thanks Eric!

From there we worked our way south and west along Red Cedar River where the many, many homes and summer residences line the shoreline.  We stopped for a sandwich in Knapp and the cafe there was in big preparation for that evening's local prom.  People dressed much nicer and with a great deal more flair than our table of 3 were beginning to arrive, decorations were being hung.....it was hard not to get caught up in the excitement.  After one of my longer fueling stops, we zipped over the hill and through the switchbacks to within throwing distance of Interstate 94.  

Jeff headed back to Mpls, Eric headed to the Southeast (never the short way) and I headed back to MN.  I'm sure that neither Jeff or I took routes as convoluted as Eric's though both of us certainly could have gone more direct.

Together we did the Red, my ride was the grey.  Another, very nice day of riding together.


Sunday morning I had time to sneak in a breakfast ride, the weather once again perfect.  I stopped here in Bay City, anxious to sit down for coffee and breakfast to enjoy a meal as I've done in the past, only to find that the diner had closed.  


The entire dining area has been converted to beer storage (Wisconsin), the only remaining sign that this had been a cafe....


Honest, I don't seek these out....it now seems they're seeking me!


So, still hungry AND thirsty, I headed north through Esdaile on one of my favorite local roads.

When it gets better than this where you are, please send me a postcard.


Breakfast finally happened in East Ellsworth, then a dash home to help our daughter finish up the "build" phase of her Tack Cabinet.



It was a Grand Weekend....you'll hear not a single complaint from me!

14 comments:

  1. ... yer a lucky.. and bless'd man Mr. C.

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    1. Mike, all of the above and as a dear friend reminds me, I strive to remember to not take it for granted.

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  2. A very full weekend indeed!

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    1. Dar, it's almost tiring...but I'd sure enjoy some more of them!! :)

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  3. That is a postcard photo for sure!

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    1. Eric, it was just so very nice out there...

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  4. As soon as you see the right hand turn, get of the seat and put most of your weight on the right footpeg. Sort of sitting mostly off the seat to the sidecar side. You'll soon find that you don't need the ballast as all that weight will just slow you down.

    The weather like looks beautiful. Almost as nice as here...

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    1. Richard, sounds easy and intuitive...but I haven't been doing it. I'll give it a GO, thanks!

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  5. Wow you did have a full weekend. Good to see someone getting sunshine and some two-wheeled rides in.

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    1. You guys are still without?? Hopefully by now conditions have changed for you.

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  6. That was a great ride with fine weather. Your landscape looks much like ours does now. I love that feel of the green pushing away the barren winter scenes. The world feels brand new. To be riding through it is a gift.

    Thanks for sharing the experience.

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

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    1. Steve, you've nailed it. I truly enjoy the transition and it seems that if you blink more than a few times, the change is done. Late fall and early spring riding is always a new adventure; being able to see into and through the woods. But that explosion of green is exactly that, all is new, full of life and fresh again.

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  7. You and Dom and Bill are shaming me!

    And to think I'm sitting out the first club ride of the season. Shame, shame.

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    1. I know, you're just saving it all up!?! Have a great and safe start, whenever it happens!

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