Saturday, April 23, 2016

2 Stroke Day

We all received the email from Chip this week..."2 Stroke Day at Diamonds".  Something I don't have, I'd most likely have taken the old Honda 400 (4 stroke) regardless since it's now based in St. Paul.  Considering the ratio of 2 stroke motorcycles that exist AND can be ridden legally on the public roadways, the turnout today wasn't all that bad.

Mike's Peugeot was the first "one that smokes" though I had arrived a few minutes before him, me on a "isn't supposed to smoke."   My guess is that it took Mike just a wee bit longer to suit up today than it normally does, usually we take turns being the first to show up.

Rod a.k.a. Mr. Majestic arrived only minutes later, the 3 of us now needing absolutely the hot coffee to warm up after our 40 degree, 6:45AM rides in.  Hearing what sounded to me like a chainsaw, we all swiveled our heads up and down Central Avenue, expecting to see another arrival but there wasn't a vehicle in view.  Then Jeff's modified Hodaka Trials bike peeked around the corner of the building (not a street legal machine), he standing on the pegs like Trials pilots are intended to do as he slowly rode up the sidewalk to where we were seated.

The People's Choice vote was taken and the People's voted for BOTH the Hodaka and Arie's H1 Kawasaki Triple.  A coin toss went to Jeff's Hodaka, both 2 strokes conveniently near each other......

Jeff gave a fine speech, direct relatives were thanked for everything he is today, more distant relatives eluded to.....

I left right after the official results were in, spent time at mom's house sorting and stacking.  After 2PM some time, I was home, changed and on Tran Zalp.

Best first gravel was Tushaus Hill Road in the Zumbro Bottoms State Forest.....


Are these real flowers or dainty yellow leaves opening up??

Weaver Landing....

I stopped for dinner at the Wabasha Dairy Queen, a place the Coop's once visited fairly often when we were out and about exploring.  Today I was there solo but memories came back to me as I ate, memories with the family, the kids going back for ketchup, using their Tokens for ice cream, etc.

One memory was especially strong however.  Back in the summer when Ben was 14, he accompanied me down to southern Indiana to bring the ST2 home.  We rented a van in early June, drove down to Terre Haute on a Saturday, spent the night and then early Sunday were in rural Vincennes to pick up the bike, making it back home that same evening.  Away from riding and motorcycle ownership for 20 years while the kids were growing up, safety and behaving oneself on a motorcycle somehow was a common point of discussion that summer in the Coop household.  This was going to be a big change from baby lambs and an ornery goat.  After all, there was a very impressionable young man present, soaking up everything.

Later that summer we were in this very Dairy Queen, long tables here just to my right with a very expansive view of Highway 61 which is 150 yards or so in the distance.  While we were enjoying our Chicken Finger Basket meals, Ben and I facing the highway, Ben's mom and sisters with their backs to the highway, a couple of large Sportbikes were headed south (left to right)  At a point on the 4 lane highway, maybe centered in this photo, both bikes lofted their front wheels and kept them high for about as far as we could watch them without us jumping up and spilling our fries.

The highway transitions just a bit to the north from 2 lane to 4 lane but there's another half mile or so to the south before the limit bumps up to 65 (72 the the low end of average actual).  I could literally feel Ben's head turning to keep watching the bikes head south.  My head turned just like his had and when I saw Ben turn back to me with his eyes wide, I knew that there would be something he had to say, most likely more than one something.

With great care and subtle though quick determination, I brought my finger up to my lips and saw a very large and most wonderful smile appear on Ben's face.

We did it.....message sent, message received.

Together we'd just had a very precious father-son moment.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

All 3's

It happened Friday morning on my way to St. Paul.

Headed to breakfast with Mike and Rod, I pulled over, pleased that it was a reasonable place to stop.  After breakfast with the guys it was time to get busy with our "Mom's House" project.  A busy morning, a lot was accomplished.  By early afternoon I'd had enough but before leaving the city, I needed to settle up with Marty for the new rear Ascot tire he mounted for me last week.

Saturday morning another trip to town, this time in the van to move more of mom's merchandise. An early drive up, in time to get the 400 Auto started for a coffee meet at Diamonds.  There earlier than expected, I made a big loop around a few big blocks and discovered these big blocks.

Mike's arrival on his Enfield car rig......

So Friday and Saturday the red one was warmed up, Sparkles as well.  This morning I met Eric down in Alma for breakfast, the yellow one was today's choice for a very thorough warm-up ride.

A rest stop on Pretzel Pass....

Trempealeau Wildlife National Refuge.....a hike out to the island to stretch our legs.

Pelicans were playing in the backwaters....

Home and then I fired up the Yamaha for a dinner ride...

There probably won't be much riding next weekend but in 2 weeks???

Slimey Crud Run!!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Lost One Gained One

Mike is (once again) the proud owner of a 1982 RT100 BMW.  I dropped it off at his domicile after we gathered for coffee this morning.  He and Speedy have been missing it and I just haven't been showing it enough attention or deserved affection.  I pulled up this one's spreadsheet and printed it out for Mike's reference ......exactly 1700 miles on it since he sold it to me back in November 2012. 

Here's hoping that they'll put that many miles on it in one season instead of 3 it took me to get that far.

Rolled off the trailer, it took a bit for the cold-blooded beast to settle into a rough idle.  I'd loaded it on the trailer last night and this morning it was covered in an inch of fresh snow.  Today's nasty NW wind wasn't helping ANYthing to warm up.  Mike had the downstairs parking garage door open and as I rode the still-rich-running German machine to his allotted parking spaces, I saw this interloper taking up what I'd expected to be BMW-space.

Now the word's out on this stealthy secret of Mike's (I never got this memo)  He beat me to sidecar ownership and I'm quite happy about it.  This of course means that a new T-shirt is called for, one that says "If you can read this, she's in the sidecar" rather than ".......she fell off".

Here's the one that took the Beemer's physical space in my garage.  Dad's 1980 GS850 Suzuki that's been sitting very still for more than 15 years.  He and mom had some very good times on this one....

Not sure what I'm going to do with it right now.....I've got time to think about its future.  One thing is certain, it won't see any riding miles in '16.