Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Full Weekend - Last Of The Season?

Early last week another long weekend of camping (on/with the bike) was being considered but then as the weekend got closer, I decided to forego another weekend away and instead fill the 3 days with day rides.  Peg and Lauren were away so I was Home Alone ....just me and the cats.

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 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.

County N.....

Serum Road, a good place if gravel is in the 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. :)


Wiechmann Road.......

 County "I"......

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.


  1. Lots of wonderful pictures of beautiful riding weather. You may have several more weekends at this rate...

    1. Richard, we're really hoping so, maybe it can go on for months?? :)

  2. Great pics! I envy your pick of bikes! We have had a stellar summer and it is drawing rapidly to a close. Fog is setting in turning the colourfull landscape to dull endless gray & cooler temps.

    1. Thanks Dar, it's been a grand year for riding here as well. Now this will be expected next season and beyond. Our "fog" will soon be measured in inches and for some of us, in our way. :)

  3. Wow, you really did get out for a few rides. When does 400 miles not seem like a long day? That bike must be comfortable.

    Thanks for sharing all the pictures. I never get tired of seeing the scenery around your area.

    1. Brandy, I surprised myself with the mileage that day and had to go back and verify; they all just sort of happened. Our many roads and topography make for some nice riding.

  4. Beautiful colours in those hills ... I too feel like it is coming to a close though we've had more than stellar weather this weekend.

    1. Karen, not only were the leaves colorful but the temps and weather overall had EVERYone out. I saw crowds in places I've not seen before. One last desperate grab of the season I imagine for all.

      Too nice to be inside, that's for sure.

  5. I feel the urge to fly over and visit the area. So beautiful. I keep my fingers crossed that you get in a few more days like this. Winter will come back soon enough. Seize the moment.

    1. Sonja, if you do, please make sure you touch down for at least a little while. My problem really is that I've been seizing moments the last few weekends when I should have been seizing a paint brush, taking care of yard work, etc., etc.

      It's been lots of fun though :)

  6. Coop-What a gorgeous bunch of style, out in the woods, old rough roads. Your area is very similar to mine with the hills, the hidden places, the river (Ohio for me!). I say ride until we freeze our keester off! LOL Maybe even then...
    Meanwhile, enjoyed riding along with you on your sweet journey!

    1. Deb, I've known all along that you'd feel right at home up here as I would down there along your old river. I'm not done yet, hope we've both got weeks to go!