Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Slimey Crud May 2014

 The Event

All week long the weather predictions for the weekend seemed to inch slowly better, day by day.  Sunday in Richland Center dawned clear and cool; oh what a relief.  I moved the van and trailer across the street to the shopping mall parking lot, walked back and after checking out, was on the road a few minutes before 6:30.  I had looked online to verify that the Lone Rock airport's diner, the Piccadilly Lilly, would be open at 6 with the intention of being one of the first Saturday morning customers.  Last year Mike and I rode down for breakfast in freezing fog; conditions were much nicer this year.

After just the right amount of hot coffee and another great breakfast, I headed south to cross the Wisconsin River at Lone Rock.  The highway ends against the riverbank, making these stop signs bad ones to run, that is unless you can make the corner.

Right around the corner as the highway bends away from the river, the high water at the public boat launch begged me to stop.  I could have made the loop, honest.

 TW200 roads......an endless stream of them.

I always take the long way to Pine Bluff, this year's ride was even longer still.  I had intentionally started early enough to both make a longer loop and to make the Red Mouse's parking lot earlier than I'd ever done before.  It did work out.

Friend Bob from Illinois (when it's warm, South TX when it's not) was just arriving as I was.  It's always a surprise to see what he'll be twisting the grip of.  This year it's a 650 Husky.  He came north, I came south.  He was surprised at how late Spring was 'up north' in Wisconsin, I was enjoying how much greener things were than they were at home.  A few hundred miles makes a huge difference.

Little commentary here, just some shots of the machines.......except..... one guy leaned over and took a look inside this saddle....."there's an entire family of mice still in there!!"  The solid oak luggage rack is what sets this bike apart.

Mr. Egan arrived on a Norton.......

A trio of Gooses.......

Sweet little Honda's, once considered Big Bikes.


 I left about 10:30 for Leland, the 'other' destination.  Most riders do more direct routes, about 50 miles, nothing structured or formal.  Everyone head's out on their own time at their own pace.  My rides swing west through Spring Green, typically more like 65 miles to Leland.

Arriving in Leland.......they came.....and they came......and they came.....


I was here early as well and parked where I almost always do, right up by the dam for the pond.  I ran into numerous friends, but a couple that were expected meet-ups didn't happen.  I knew John was planning to be there and it took lots of walking around for us to find each other.  Cell phone signal in this valley is horrendous.  Just as I noticed John, he was taking a photograph of a view that included people only, not a single motorcycle was in sight.....there were that many people.  I think this is the most crowded Slimey that I've ever attended.

Mike and I were checking out this 'enhanced' Bandit.  There are some very serious enhancements here upon close inspection.  Those Bandit motors are known to be strong but still.......

 There are gauge doohickey's up on the bars that don't report mph, rather keep track of other important information.

By 2PM I was getting restless to be out exploring some more roads.  I left and rode just about non-stop until getting back to Richland Center, the bike back on the trailer and headed for home about 6PM.

These roads and views are why.

 I'm stopped at the crest here, had passed the bicyclists and waited (and waited.....) for them to get over the top and coast down.  The road runs between the buildings at the farm beyond, all downhill and they didn't have to rotate those cranks one revolution to roll far beyond the farmstead.  This is a lot more 'down' than it appears here.

306 miles on the van, 394 on the Yamaha.  Just a few minutes after 9PM, stopped along Lake Pepin and almost home.

 The last couple of miles into Pine Bluff.

Always fun, Neuheisel Road.  Again, steeper than it presents itself here.  I think it's cool that the sign warns of down while we still are struggling to get up.

The last couple of miles in to Leland, from the North.  Here as well as in Pine Bluff, I was way early and the crowds were still to gather.


This week after I get some more of my pokey video uploaded I'll be combining the video with GPS location and the aerial view.  The roads more fun, the scenery more varied.


  1. Looks like a blast! Lots of pretty bikes out, too!

    1. Lucky, we'll see you there, first Sunday in October!

  2. Yes, Wisconsin's looking very pretty right now :^) It has a habit of doing that after winter.

    Hondas used to be "big bikes". It's the people who got too big! I just read that many businesses that offer trail horse rides are switching to DRAFT HORSES for the rides because people have gotten too big!

    Long live the little things in life. Glad you had perfect weather for your event.

    1. It's such a pretty time for the wandering I do. Greens are proud, yellows are starting and yet the woods are still open with things seen that will soon be hidden.

      You can imagine how good it felt to be out and going.

  3. I think maybe so many bikes were out as everyone was ready to have some fun after the winter you've had.

    A great group of bikes. Looks like a little Honda Grom was even there. Something tells me your TW might be more fun though.

    1. Brandy, I think you nailed it. Lots of pent up "lets get outside". With the huge variety of machines and sizes, the Grom almost went unnoticed. It's a big looking small bike.

      I'm sure the Grom would be a blast but the Tdub and I are a much better fit.

  4. Lot of people and a lot of bikes. Beautiful scenery you have there and I especially like the photo of the bicycles headed down the hill. I noticed the Grom as well and think that it would be a fun bike to run around on.

    1. I neglected to truly photograph the crowds at their peak. According to a couple of friends that were later than I at both ends of the gathering, things were still building as I moved through.

      The TW loves 30-50mph, but quite willingly does 60 if forced though I doubt I made more than 15 miles total all weekend at that super high speed. I don't think the Grom would stay out of most everyone's way on the state highways.

  5. Looks like you had a blast. The TM seems to be just the right bike for the occasion, and it makes me want one, too.
    A huge gathering of pretty bikes. I guess after the long long winter everybody wanted to get out on two wheels.

    1. I blast was had, that's for sure. As you can tell, I get much enjoyment from time on my Learner's Bike.

      I walked past various discussions of weather and "finally". We honestly needed the weekend we were lucky enough to enjoy.

  6. ,, great time... If I had went.. it would have snowed... :(

    1. We'll come up with a hot, early August version and then you'll be more than welcome!

      I've got some new roads to show you......

  7. I can understand why you stopped at the boat launch =o)
    What a great time ... looked almost warmish, definitely snowless and filled with great motorcycles!

    1. Karen, we felt communally warm; would have willed it so even if we'd have had to work at it a bit harder. Walking around the crowd, there was a feeling that now we've all got time that needs to be made up.

      Just a week or so ago it was freezing here at night......6 weeks before the solstice??

  8. What a sweet time!

    Grom...very tempting and yes I think about it sometimes too!

    Nice post!

  9. It was a grand way to start the season. For all the odd and quirky there an out of the showroom Grom had more than its share of comments.

    Thanks Deb!