Sunday, September 24, 2017

Action Packed...

No other way to describe it, this weekend (I'll include Wednesday evening, my weekends begin at 3:30 Thursday if I must be technical) has been packed with action of the very best kind....Riding.  Fits and starts, no major trips, destinations or plans but some quite fine road time, that's for sure.

The summer-feeling weather a major factor, it's been almost too nice, warm and sticky past the edge of hot.

Wednesday evening, Ol' Blue took me to Wabasha for dinner at the 7 Fires Grill, a place I'd not visited before.

Friday morning on our front deck, hot cup next to me, both barn cats on my lap.  I'd been there about 45 minutes at this point.  4 young does and 2 bucks in that time harvesting our apples just beneath me.

Friday around noon, I went to check on the progress of the new bridge being built, our local connection across the Mississippi to Wisconsin.  This bridge, commemorated in 1960 by Dwight Eisenhower.

 Sorry for the blur, I had my phone zoomed in as far as it would go.  This view from our Memorial Park....I've been up there for numerous other blog photos.

Mid-week I'd seen 2 Vincent's in Red Wing, meant to mention it and find out more but I forgot.  Then Mike said something about there being once again a meeting of the Vincent club at our local casino, Treasure Island.  Friday I wrote to Dave, wondering if he was interested.  We started planning and then with the heat and humidity that are uncharacteristic for us this late in September, we decided earlier on Saturday was a better idea.  I suggested breakfast on the way (sort of as you'll see) in Welch at a new owner's cafe there.  Once the Trout Scream, is now the Bleu Dog Cafe.  The food was very good and Melissa took good care of us.

Welch is the orange circle....I went SW so that I could go North.  The green circle is Treasure Island where we eventually found the Vincent group in the RV Parking area.

I found a quiet spot in the huge parking lot while Dave went in search of old British motorcycles....between Dave's request for directions and my texts from Mike, we figured out where everyone was.

I know almost nothing about the Vincents, so won't even try....

Another Mike we know was there....

I first knew about Craven luggage in the '70's, for some reason, have always been a the shape, the way it looks.  It must hold up well...this owner has had possession of this bike since 1959.

Mike led me over to this one that was nearby, not a Vincent but classic all the same.

Dave's got his 'new' K-bike out and about, a beautiful shade of red if you ask me.  From what I could tell, Justin's still adapting to his new space in the sidecar.

I went home, parked the Royal Enfield and figured I better put some time in with the Hyosung; it hasn't run since this spring and I needed to get a better idea of how it compares to the Barbie Honda.

Soup and sandwich lunch at the Eagle's Next cafe in Wabasha, then across the river to Nelson and up the Wisconsin side of the river to Stockholm for some Triple Berry w/ice cream at the Stockholm Pie Shop.

Stockholm was busy...


 Across Lake Pepin from Wisconsin to our side of the river.  In fact we live right between the "Y" in the branches.

When I got home, this was in Saturday's mail.....Rod did his part, now I've got to get it "back in there."

It's done and all is Hunky Dunky!!  The bike ran cool as a baby's bottom, the shock should have been replaced long ago....working better than ever!

It was not a long ride but a good test, with great confidence I headed right up the nearby Minimum Maintenance Road, rutted, rocky and slow.  My manual handlebar mounted fan switch did its job up the steep, slow road.

 It's been hot, almost too hot for the best riding.

 This one's for Canajun.....gravel traversed with aplomb.  It actually handled it quite well but this wasn't the first unpaved I'd been on.  Every ride starts out with a trip up our 1000' driveway and then a half mile of gravel before the surface gets hard.  We've got a new contractor caring for our township roads this year and for some reason, the crushed rock they're using is not bedding in and instead 'stays on top'.  Just getting started on each and every ride requires care.

But this was in Wisconsin, on a road I'd mistaken for something that didn't end in a farmer's field.

This distant bean field will get browner but I can't imagine it possible to be a brighter shade of yellow.

 Not too hot for ice cream!

 The line was long today, the place was hopping.

 ALL of my past ice cream visits have seen me seduced by those vixen red fruits...Rum Cherry, Raspberry Truffle....but today I fought that temptation and returned to Blueberry (my favorite fruit) Cheesecake.  It's good to be back where I belong.

 I don't think this is typical Wisconsin A/C....

So this afternoon mom called with her grocery list, so I took the sidecar rig to do her shopping and make the delivery.  Just as I was leaving, Peg called on her way home from a day in Mpls.

"Are you far from home?....wanna meet for a burger at King's?"

I was 20 minutes away, she was 20 minutes away.....And It Was Good!

Now I need to rest then get ready; we've plans for next weekend.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I Tried To Be Patient...

As always, my quip, my standard line is, "wait for winter...that's when all maintenance/repair will happen.  It breaks, I push it into the corner and ride something else."

My final day of riding in Wyoming was just a bit too much for the old '96 KLR.  Starting out that morning in the Snowy Mountains, I had a bunch of gravel (and less) National Forest roads to explore.  Mid-morning after a very casual and relaxed start to the day, I hadn't ridden very far when I noticed the bike feeling a bit funny.  It wasn't long and funny turned to squirelly.  Looking down at the rear while still in motion, nothing seemed drastically wrong.  In between funny and squirrelly,  I stopped and looked, not really noticing something but then suddenly, it all changed at once.

Just as I've already shared with my close associates, squirrelly turned to "9 inch pogo stick."  The seal had let go on the monoshock and I would soon be hoping for some Dramamine in my tank bag.  Pavement riding was bad enough, but getting back there from my gravel trail was turning downright uncomfortable.  Squat, tire break loose, up, squat, tire break loose, up....and repeat.

So once I got back to camp, the bike went onto the trailer and some planned History Part 2 stops were being planned on my way back to the Midwest. 

Once home, unloaded and "....pushed into the corner...."

Between the shock and my cooling issues on the Kawasaki, it was easy to give it a rest.  It wasn't like I lacked being able to ride something else.  The more I thought about it, the more it bothered me and finally tackling the problem seemed like less trouble than procrastination.  Into the shop and up on the lift.

Here's the nasty old thing....

Shock has been sent away for a rebuild with new spring.  Other things are being adjusted, cleaned, replaced, etc. etc.

After working on the dirty old KlR in the shop I walked out into the garage and looking over the other machines there, noted various colors, hues, bright and dull.  I suddenly realized that brighter, possibly something in more pastel tones was missing.

This one has taken care of that.  From this point forward, it shall be called My Little Jewel.  Possibly a threat to the Hyosung, these two will be separated in the garage from one another to avoid trouble when I'm not watching.  New chain, axle adjusters, an SAE cord, Ram ball, some Velcro stickum for my Timex that moves from bike to bike....I think this one will be ready for the Slimey Crud Run in a couple of weeks.

So, with these repair and maintenance operations being executed, it would appear that in one (and only one) metric, winter has arrived early in the valley.  In every other way, there's a lot more road to explore this fall and you can count on us doing our very best to get that accomplished.  After all, there's a pie chart that's getting filled.