Monday, October 27, 2014

3 In A Row

A late October, Wisconsin weekend with Friday, Saturday and Sunday providing not only acceptable but fine weather for riding.  Just think of it!!

We did our best to take full advantage and that meant capping it off with an Extremely Fine ride on Sunday, actually the end crescendo of the 3 day group.

I'd call this riding weather.....

Once again our Route was created on the laptop ahead of time, my goal to string together some (not all!) of my favorites in the area east of the Chippewa River and just a bit further away from the Mississippi River.  Already in to the weekend, I contacted Eric, wondering if just possibly he might be up for joining us since the planned riding area was sort of mid-way between the two of us.  Pleased to hear back from him in the affirmative, some serious backwards-forwards scheduling needed to be calculated.  When I say I'm gonna be there, I'm gonna be there.  Picking a meeting spot for lunch and coordinating the rendezvous time placed a great deal of responsibility on Route execution.

It's a very good thing that I enjoy this high level planning to the extent that I do.

Ben and I stopped here on Serum Road for a break....but not too long of break. :)

Serum Road a bit further on and in motion.

Eide Bluff Road.......

Carl Valley Road.......

We made it this time....Ben's Bear Place from last week's interrupted ride and we did it with no oil leaking and two finely running engines.

Senn Bluff Road......

Almost perfect planning by both riding parties had us in downtown Mondovi within minutes of each the front end of the agreed upon time.  Eric and friend Hootie were ahead of us by only a couple of minutes.

After lunch, a quick gas stop and then south, our group of 3 bikes and 4 riders had some exploring to do.  We stopped here at a spot that should be marked on world maps as an official Overlook View.

Buell's Valley Road.......

Stop at County X to make sure everyone was still on board.

On to Nelson for that ice cream that I'd promised and when we came back out, saw that this nice old Honda was parked next to our group.  I'd very proudly own this one and I've not said that about very many of those Golden Wings.

Ready to depart and head our separate ways.  Eric and Hootie ready to head for home.  It was great to meet Hootie and ride with you again Eric, it's always going to be a pleasure!  Ben really enjoyed the day, thanks to you all for being part of it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

October Saturday

Early morning sunshine, some of us were up to enjoy it.

Ben and I suited up not long after our thermometer broke 50 degrees.  Today's ride was a clockwise loop, crossing the river at Red Wing, then working our way through Wisconsin down to Nelson, the next bridge crossing downriver.

Red Wing's Barn Bluff coming up on our right.  History tells us that 153 years ago Mr. Thoreau visited the peak on his trip West.  We just rode past today though we've been up on top numerous times.

On 450th St.....this a common sight today while we were up and out of the valleys.

 The always fun 410th Street......

 At the western edge of Wisconsin Rustic Road helmet cam lens violated.

First of 4 water crossings.......

Crossing #4, the climb out of the valley just ahead.

The other end of the Rustic Road just ahead....

Foster Road, Bogus Road down to State Highway 35 along the river and into Pepin, Wisconsin.

 Stopping for lunch at the Pickle Factory was our goal at this point and on our way along the riverfront, we passed both the Flyway Film Festival that I'd mentioned here as well as the very popular Harbor View Cafe ("Best From Scratch").  Reservations almost necessary, seems there's often a wait hence the pastel chairs.

Up Jahnke Hill and on top, Agriculture was in motion around every corner.

I had warned Ben that when I gave the signal on Goat Back Road, he was to be ready for the possibility of pooches on the road.......there was only one today though he looked the sort that might be very willing to compensate for his missing mates.

The long and winding Elk Creek Road..........

After winding our way back down to Nelson, we parked for ice cream, crossed the river back into Minnesota and headed north.  We stopped to buy apples from Ben's sister (I bought, she carried home) while she manned the store.  This morning as I type she's in-flight on her way to Portland for an audition.

Almost home, we used Territorial Road, one of Minnesota's earliest transportation paths, working our way back to Frontenac, with a quick loop through the parking lot at the beach on Lake Pepin.

Today we'll do it again once the heavy frost clears; I'll get the bug off from the helmet cam and make better use of the hand held for normal photographs.  Ben has probably worked up enough of a tolerance now for all of the stops I make.

One more very dandy day!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Broken Helix Diagnosed

More than one of my friends has asked about what really happened to the Helix this summer when Lauren and I had to have the scooter hauled home.  At the time, I pushed the yellow one back into the corner and since then I've just put any repair efforts into things I thought could be dealt with quickly.  This afternoon when we really wanted to be out riding (never got as warm as they'd said or stay as dry) we instead came back home and I began the arduous task of Winter Parking.

That meant that the Helix would finally come out of the back corner and roll into the shop and up on the lift.  this evening while the rest of the Coops were watching TV, I decided to head outside and open up the scooter.

It wasn't until the next day after we'd had our Helix ride interrupted that I remembered going over a very rough railroad crossing, jolting the rear end of the scooter severely enough that it actually hurt.  I've been wondering to myself if just possibly a casting had cracked, causing the oil leak and rear end failure.

Tonight I found the culprit; a ruined bearing.  Thoughts of a parts bike as a reasonable fix have seen me online checking out used Honda parts and complete bikes.  Discovering some very nice looking used scooters for decent prices have made me wonder all summer if my best repair solution might just be replacement rather than repair.

Online parts prices for my initial discovery cost less than $50 w/shipping.  Now that I'm not working every day in a machine shop, I'll need to find some help getting parts disassembled and pressed together again.  Hopefully I'll have the scooter back together soon, possibly in time for another ride yet in '14.

 Bad bearing on the left, good bearing on the right.

Ben and I had a shortened ride today, tomorrow we'll do some compensating.  Warm and pleasant the prediction going in.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Words Barely Describe

Ben and I took the bikes out yesterday to get our "paved" ride in and oh, my, what a day!  A bit cool to start, finally near 70 degrees at the apex of the afternoon.  It just can't get any better.  All photos are as the camera(s) captured the world.

Eagle Valley Road.....

 Pretzel Pass.......

Pretzel Pass a little further around.....

Independence Road.....

I had my helmet cam on yesterday, set this time to take shots every 5 seconds.   Included here for my friends that know these roads, sometimes better than I do. :)

Castlerock Museum seen on the right in downtown Alma, just up the street from our breakfast spot at Pier4.

 County N approaching Rose Valley Road......

Once again, the familiar Coop's Corner shot, this time a wider angle.

 County Road G......just past the little church.

 Many of the helmet cam photos taken yesterday show the Hyosung speedometer reading 40-45mph... I was on the Honda here (Hwy 95) and I'm very glad the speedometer isn't seen at the bottom of the shot.  The Honda was given its rein.

We stopped on Alligator Slide to swap bikes again.  There was a certain amount of discussion about the virtues of a lightweight 600cc sportbike.  My oh my does it want to go!

Pretzel Pass photo of the photo process....

Wolfe Road.....

 County Road Q....has been and will remain a top favorite....

We were doing so well.  

I stopped to ask Ben if he was up for a bit of gravel as we were leaving Gilmanton; neither one of us wanted to quit.  Up Gilman Valley Road to the 4 corners where Gilman meets Moy, the plan to take the adventurous Carl Valley back down to County double V.  I pulled over to change out my helmet cam battery.

 I turned back to see Ben coasting to a stop and looking down at his rear wheel.

Wet and a bit of smoke....

The short story is that we pulled the lower fairing panel off and discovered that the spin-on oil filter was leaking from its base o-ring.  We loosened, tightened but it was no use, anything over an idle made the oil flow where it wasn't supposed to.  I took off at a mostly brisk pace towards home so that I could come back with the van and trailer. 

Dave and Eric know this corner's a VERY quiet place......quiet as in not much traffic...though Ben did tell me that a couple of GS BMW's waved as they went past.  It took me 2 1/2 hours to get home and back and told Peg when I came home without Ben that I hoped the bears wouldn't get him.  By the time we were back home it was almost dark.  Last night Ben pulled things apart and discovered a hairline radial split in the gasket.  Today Ben put a new filter on, cleaned up the oil mess and we're back in business.

It was a very, very good day.