Saturday, October 26, 2013

Don't Need No Stinkin' GPS???

Well, I guess you don't......but I'm sure having a Big Time with mine.

Check this out.........  Push "Play" and it will be much enhanced if you have Goog Earth installed.

This is my first attempt and there will be more files, for sure.

P. S.     Note the heart rate (BPM), a testament to my excellent physical conditioning; it never changes, uphill or down.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Short Visit, Short Ride

I didn't venture far from home today though I did cross the river and ride in Wisconsin (again).  Mark and Mike are busy trying to get a '72 XS650 polished and ready to deliver to an anxious new owner in Kansas.

I had to park around the corner since all of the parking spots were full out in front; I guess in a college town students get hungry at noon on Sunday.

The guys did take the time to meet me at South Fork for the breakfast buffet at noon and thanks for breakfast Mark!  I followed them over to the shop and mostly stood in the way while they continued work on the pretty red and white bike. This evening I learned that they had it running and put a few miles on it by  late afternoon.

Anxious to do some local riding, I left them to their business.

I wandered today with no plan, playing with some new-to-me functions on the GPS.

I'm thinking that our leaves must be just about at their peak though that may depend on whether we have a wet or windy week.

After a coffee and cookie stop, I rode in the shadows of the MN bluffs along the Mississippi, too stubborn to stop and put another layer on as I headed for home.

It is that time of year.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Day 4 - Change Of Plans

Monday evening (Day 3 of 4), I was diligently Route planning for the 2 GPS units (more on this in a later Post) that I had along, redundant Routes so that I could use/compare how each satellite receiving device would handle my zig-zag exploration.  Through the course of Monday afternoon, much thought was given to which direction I'd head, destinations that I'd seek out, etc.  Many things were considered and then finally, I buckled down and created my next day's ride.

That was at slumber time on Monday.  By wake time on Tuesday, plans were altered.  Considering my location in SW (almost South Central) Wisconsin, heading east to visit a couple of friends between Madison and Milwaukee (SE Wisconsin) was suddenly the new and improved ride plan for the day.  Gene and John are old rally friends that I see off and on each summer at the various brand rally gatherings.  Now that the end of our riding season's are coming up, it may be a long time before I get the chance to see them again so a personal visit was decided upon.

First a call to John, and then to Gene got things organized.  I rode east, into a bright but I'm-not-complaining sun where I was to meet John in Waterloo.  John picked a rendezvous time perfectly based on my called-from position and I nailed our meeting time.  From there, I followed, he in his TDI to Gene's place in Watertown.  This is a section of Wisconsin I've spent the least amount of time riding in.  It's typically more urban, less hilly and the roads much straighter.  I think we'd all agree that the riding is better to the west.

Based on Bob's and Dave's (two other guys that I mingle with at these outings, both close to Gene and John) suggestion, I rode through the Roxbury crossroads to stop at the Dorf Haus.  A German-themed supper club that serves, according to Dave, the world's finest pancakes, the place was very quiet at 10AM on a Tuesday.  Sunday's are breakfast pannycake days so my timing was off for the delicate monsters, soaked in honest-to-goodness real maple syrup.  Instead of a Sunday Coffee, looks like we'll have to arrange a Sunday Pancake.

It was great seeing, sitting down with and discussing the same sort of things that we talked about last time and will talk about the next's just that letting the gaps between those same discussions get overly long is less than ideal.  Guys, I'm happier than you know that I called and made the trip over; glad that it worked for us to get together again.

Following John's advice, leaving Watertown, I went north up to WI #60 (that didn't quite go as John advised) and then following State 60 back to the west, I blended perfectly into County PF as John did advise, a road known to any and all decent Slimey Crud attendees.  Thinking I might seek out Martha's nearby Lodi wilderness hiking area on the way, I changed my mind and kept on going, my next stop at a much quieter, weekday Leland.  One of the bar owners was out spraying the exterior for box elder bugs; a few cars in front of his establishment.

No people, no motorcycles....well, one motorcycle.

The pond is still there....

An empty parking lot....

Across the road, another park area beyond the pines and where the "Beer Here" sign was on Sunday.

The pond from the other side of the barn.

Peek-a-boo farm; in a couple of months it will easily be seen from this spot on the road.

The road through the cut....

and a bit to the left, a natural amphitheater, the picked corn on stage.

Almost back to Richland Center; I'm still behind the distant load of hay after following from up on the hill.

Just outside of downtown Neptune on Dogwood Hollow Road.

Back to the car, the Honda soon to be tied down and moving under something else's power.  My stay at the Starlight Motel (sign across the highway) was a very pleasant one......I hope to do this again.

Monday, October 7, 2013

3rd Day - Just Ride

Well, I mostly just rode .......  when I wasn't stopping -

  • To sit, listen and look
  • To use my camera phone
It was a beautiful day, almost too good for early October in our neighborhood.  The weather site said 40 degrees at 7, I was on the bike at 9:30 and it wasn't yet 50 but getting close.  I left the Lumix camera home today and pulled out the 4S for every shot.  I'm still not as smooth with it as I should be but I keep trying.

Hwy 60 west of Gotham, the Wisconsin River.

A perfect arc.....and I'm going to do it next.

Looking north, a very long ways, over the top of the Wisconsin River Valley and beyond.

You just know it's a good one when it starts out like this.......narrow and soon steep.....

and at the crest....

A hundred yards beyond and down again.

Mid-summer this area had double digits of rain in one storm and I saw remnants again today.

Once again, the photo flattens out a prominent hill; the bull in the foreground was paying very close attention to me.  I meant no harm to his girls.

I met the grader, a good thing we were both going slow.

After turning on to the next gravel road, I discovered that he'd already finished that one.  The newly roughed up gravel made for slightly more careful navigating.  Staying completely on one side or the other of the road's crown was the prudent thing to do.

A momentary dip, then a rise, then a steep descent.

One of my favorites, Gran Grea Road.

The adjacent walnut grove w/red vines highlighting their early leaf drop.....

These valleys are full of springs and the resulting streams.

A long green hayfield bordered by pavement.

Just before cresting the hill, I came upon this almost moon-scape, eroded hillside, abandoned farmstead except for the cattle grazing around it.

Once at the crest and looking back down....

You can't buy gates like this at the farm store......

I'm not even sure how far I went today, almost 250 based on the gas I used.......just under 4 gallons.  It's a good thing I'm going home tomorrow evening or I'd get so good at this wandering that I might forget how to get back to Minnesota......but until late tomorrow afternoon, there are some more roads......

Sunday, October 6, 2013

2nd Day - Slimey Crud

Today's featured attraction was to be attendance at the Slimey Crud Run, the reason that Mike and I built our trip around this weekend, this first Sunday in October.  Our last visit to Pine Bluff and Leland was back in the spring version (first Sunday of May) of 2012; Jeff joined us for that one.  It was wet, today's was not, unless you count the fog that was so thick this morning that I couldn't keep my glasses or my visor clean.

Last night, just after dark, while Mike and I were out admiring the evening weather.a couple of bikes showed up in our Richland Center motel parking lot.  We both could tell by the sound of the motor (and the dry rattley clutch) that one of them was a Ducati; both of them were twins.  As the stands went down and helmets came off, in the pale light both Mike and I knew one of the bikes....and its rider.  Eric Tretbar was on the green Moto Guzzi.  His bike is featured in the Indie film "Girl Meets Bike", a film we saw premiered last winter.  Eric's bike was in the film he wrote and directed.

Breakfast was planned, as last time, at the Lone Rock airport.  Here's the Piccadilly Lilly restaurant, this time without standing water in the parking lot.

After breakfast, we crossed the Wisconsin River at Lone Rock, rode past the Frank Lloyd Wright Museum and the American Players Theater.  Our roads?  High Point, Amacher Hollow, Sweeny Road, Zwettler Road, etc. on to Pine Bluff.  As we pulled in the parking lot of the Red Mouse (Crun Run Central), friend Bob was just getting out of some of his cold weather gear.  The sun was out, the winds calm and it was actually getting warm.  Quite a feat since Mike and I had left the motel at 7:30 in 40 degree heavy fog.

We were just west of Madison....

Crowds getting larger, bikes arriving by the minute....

An unfortunate scene in the viewfinder?

Another Honda Police bike, much like Mike's....

Leather on the 'other' American-made machine.....

The Cubs were handing out kickstand pads to prevent parking lot sink.

A sleek Norton.......

Two Ducati-powered machines, one for short runs, the other for maximum top speed.

A Victory from above.....

The middle guy of 5 has one too, but slightly different.

Wildcat Rally friends Tom and Brian showed up, posing here for a group photo.

All of the above photos were at the 'south end' of the Crud run in Pine Bluff.  Mike and I left around 11 to head towards Leland, via Spring Green.

In the large parking area in Leland.

The pond is back; it had gone dry for a few years and we missed it.

Still arriving from Pine Bluff...

Chad was there with his DR650.

Old style....

A better view of the pond.....the clouds getting cool, dark and thick.

Mike explaining, once more, the origins of his '70 Police bike.

Mike and I left around 2PM, our goal to wind our way back to Richland Center by 3PM so that he could get back to Mpls.  His bike in the truck, mine shuttled to motel #2 for the weekend and he was off.  I got checked in to the Starlite and headed out for another afternoon loop ride.

I've been paying extra special attention to large, lush Weeping Willows lately, not sure why, quite possibly because ours has barely managed to survive.....deer, dogs, goats and who knows what else.

This is a beautiful specimen....three giant trunks in there.  I had seen two trees, a matched pair, earlier today and not sure what it would take to top those.

Late afternoon clouds, County B along the Wisconsin River sand flats.

Looking forward to good rest tonight and more good riding tomorrow.