By the middle of the week, friend Pat reminded me that they would be doing their annual B&B weekend across the river so plans were being formed for a meetup. Later in the week, friend Eric wrote and shared a link of the counties in Wisconsin that were at or near 100% color for autumn leaves. All weekend the temps were predicted to crescendo so Friday, heading north where the leaves were at their prime only partly made sense but with all plans and commitments considered, Friday seemed to be the best day to head north.
If you remember, my old Quest GPS unit has been giving me lots of trouble lately, a huge disappointment since it's been my very favorite ride companion. A couple of years ago (almost to the day) I bought a Tom Tom Rider and I'm still trying to figure out if I like it. Determined to give it another go, I loaded a Route using their Tyre software and off we went Friday morning, colored-leaf bound.
As I got closer to Eau Claire, my plan was to bypass the city, work my way around to the east side and begin the part I'd been most looking forward to on the east end of town at Hwy 178. My approach was from the southwest corner and by the time I finally reached the 178/29 junction I was ready to 1) smash the Tom Tom and then 2) throw it in the Chippewa River. By the end of the day we'd reached a sort-of truce.
When I got home, I opened up the manual and learned that many of my troubles were my own fault....trying to 'Garmin' my way through the Tom Tom. My Saturday ride was much more successful. Our 8th grade Algebra teacher's admonition came to mind...."When alllll else fails, try following directions." In this case at least, it did in fact make a difference.
North of Chippewa Falls along the Chippewa River.
Working my way up to Cornell, then east to Gilman where I stopped for a Friday Fish Fry meal.
After lunch, I worked my way up to the Chequamegon National Forest and took a side trip to the Chippewa National Forest Campground.
Our road has become full of washboards, hopefully the grader will make another pass before freeze-up. I was surprised at how well the camera captured these.
All day, crisp, cooler than I'd hoped for but the skies were fantastic.....here along Lake Pepin, no clouds.
I wouldn't have told you that gold was a proper color but this '63 looked awfully fine.
Had hoped to get closer to Hayward but decided to turn towards home at Bruce. There was some more consternation with "Tom" as I got closer to Bloomer.....though we worked it out once more.
So the above was all Friday. Saturday morning I headed down to Pier 4 for breakfast (had the Special and it was).
With my newfound knowledge of Tom Tom usage, I was ready and loaded for bear though changes were already needing to be made. Pat texted me while I was eating, our noon lunch venue had to change and now my Route planned at home the evening before was NDG. Feeling cocky and very proud of myself, I Cancelled Route, chose New Route and then picked Winding Roads. At that point in the selection process, you can choose Change Route which I did, more than once after seeing 2 Route previews that were presented. Settling on the 3rd Route the unit picked, I was soon delighted to see that 2 of my favorite Gravel roads had been picked.....and that made me smile. Happy that the unit didn't know a gravel Winding Road from a paved one, things were definitely looking up.
I met Susan, Dave, Christine and Pat at Mindoro at the home of 100+ burgers on the menu.
Not mentioned above, my hope for the weekend was to give some of the other bikes a bit of exercise before getting them bedded down for their winter sleep. The fact that I chose to do both Friday's and Saturday's ride on the Breva is a testament to the fun I've been having on it. It is just SO motorcycly. Friday's ride was 400+ miles, I haven't been doing those lately and it never felt like a long day, all day long.
Today (Peg got home from Cleveland very late last night) I had one more chance to get the other bikes out. The KLR was first, a new fill of gas, a bit of gravel another bit of pavement and then home. The Ascot was out for a longer loop, took me to lunch at Pier 4 and then on from there for some more leaf watching.
From my table at lunch, a tug and barges bound for the Twin Cities.
Serum Road, a good place if gravel is in the plan......as sometimes happens, a paved start....though in the distance the best fun begins. There was lots of washing, more ruts than I remember ever seeing on this road.....made it extra fun. :)
Home, the Ascot parked and the XS650 fired up.....a nice ride through the corn and bean country, much of both crops already in the bins.
One last loop for the day on the Hyosung.....Lake Pepin and a Tow headed downriver.
There was speculation that we'd break an October high temperature for the day. I'm not sure if we actually made 84 or not but if the record wasn't broken, we were very close. Crowds, motorcycles and Asian Beetles everywhere with very special emphasis on Everywhere.
Quite a few miles this weekend, haven't even totaled them up yet, almost everything out that should/could come out. Between batteries and tires, the rest of them are getting ready for hibernation until they get rolled mid-sleep into the heated shop for their annual TLC.