Saturday, October 14, 2017

Easing Into The Last Half Of October

Monday afternoon before our monthly VJMC meeting, we had a chance to inspect Roy's new '72 Honda, this one with 4 wheels.

A big 600cc engine....


Tuesday afternoon's short ride.....

 The Mississippi River is at spring-time high levels, unusual for the second week of October.

Friday's mid-morning's sky to the west.....

 .....and then a short 5 minutes later.  Not long after that, some sprinkles which sent me back home; I'd not worn the right clothing for 50 degree rain.

Before I'd gone very far on my way back home, the rain quit and the skies got a bit brighter, contrary to the images I'd been watching on the radar.  A boat launch in the Wisconsin back channel; the docks not very usable.

Red Wing's Back Channel which doesn't really belong to our side of the river at all.  Here I was surrounded by water.

A bunch of bridge construction photos for Tom...

 This worker was struggling to get his Lift positioned properly.....there was water everywhere, only complicating construction with the river's high water level.

Re-bar and more re-bar....

Looking through the boat docks over to the Red Wing (Minnesota) side.


Looking downriver, I was surprised to hear the splashing of her SUV approach, thinking that someone might be coming to get me out of there.

Then it dawned on me that she was most likely one of the construction workers' partner, trying to access the many large camper trailers that were on the downriver side beneath the bridge.  Island Campground and Marina straddles the area under the highway and there were quite a few trailers beyond where we were.

I'm parked almost exactly where the Island Campground is marked below, the pavement ends where the white line does.  With the high water levels, much of the island is now very wet.

Back out the way I came....this the longest (and deepest) section.  Ahead there's an island where...

....I stopped...

 to take another photo and to let some water drain out of the cowling.  Now at home, I'm not smelling fish....yet.

You too could live on the a "Tiny House".

 On the way back home, one more stop for a photo of the bridge project.

Home for a late lunch...and then the skies got brighter.  I'd thought about switching machines but the Morphous was working so well that I got back on to head out once more.

The late morning ride to Baldwin (clouds) on the left and afternoon ride up to Durand on the right.

An October Saturday afternoon ride wouldn't be complete without some gravel...Elk Creek Road was my chosen venue.

You'll note on the map above the SW vector in ends along the river in the small town of Stockholm.


A pretty stop in Bay City's Park for a quick call to mom at the promised time, reassuring her that I would in fact be in town to do her shopping.

Home, a phone call to get "The List", the Morphous in the garage, the sidecar pushed outside (this pushing 'action' STILL makes me smile every time I do it) and on my way.  The Shop went well at The Grocery, pleased with myself that everything is going to fit in the sidecar, jacket on, helmet on and glove, earplugs left out for the short trip to mom's Assisted Living location, I climb on.  All I get is my very new relay clicking which was actually more of a buzz.  Not putting 1+1 together, I slide my purchased items around, unload some of them to access the tool area behind the sidecar's seat, knowing that my custom made jumper cables will be right where I left them.

I wish everything was right where I left it but all too often, somehow, some way, things must get shifted to some other place.

Assuming (you know what they say...) that my new relay is at fault, I put the red clamp right over to the terminal on the starter.......Uhhhh....not enough battery to spin the starter.  It's only then that I see a connector that was apart and apparently still is from my relay replacement.  At that point, things are starting to finally gel in my mind.  I remember thinking the neutral light seemed very dim in town and I didn't have my shaded visor down.  I'd beep-honked my horn at a local rider I'd met in town and the horn sounded weird.  So I was pretty sure that I knew why I was having trouble but what to do about it was still a puzzle. 

Across the street, a store with batteries and I'd remembered, even some designed for Sport Vehicles.  I didn't find a 12volt the correct size with the Positive terminal on the Right side but I did see some very nice, cheaper garden tractor batteries.  I didn't need a bag, thank you and back out to the bike.  Somehow I had the presence of mind to suit up, realign the groceries leaving room for my spare battery and confident that I'd figured out my problem.  Helmet and gear on with the new big battery on the ground, red clamp again on the starter's Hot lug and the bike didn't have to turn over even once to be running.  A very quick dance to get my battery, cables too in the car and I was off.

Road construction did me a favor, forcing a longer short route to mom's.  The visit was briefer than we'd both planned on (I'll be returning today to take care of business) since I was still not all that confident about the fix and it was getting dark.  When I got back outside to go home, I pushed the button and it again was running as designed.  Just to be sure, I put the 1 amp charger on for a couple of hours before bedtime.

Just over 200 for the day and ready for another ride(s)!!


  1. How does the scooter manage the slippery looking dirt roads? Looks like pretty difficult terrain to me.

    With my few belongings I could live in a tiny house, but I'd need a garage for car and bike and bicycles. Would it still count as minimalism?

    1. Sonja, the surface wasn't as slippery as it might look...just wet gravel. I kept the bike vertical and luckily avoided ruts or anything else under the water.

      I think Minimalism can't be defined as we see fit. Give a little here...take a little there.

  2. I must be hard on batteries, I go through them more often than most people it seems.

    1. Dom, you manage to ride more months that those of us in the Midwest. I've been using Tenders for all of my batteries not only during the winter but even during the summer, some of the machines sit for months between Starts.

      I think they help but it's only anecdotal. My problem this week was a connector for the charging circuit that I neglected to connect.

      I now have an extra battery if you need one. :)

  3. That old Honda is pretty cool, I remember someone in high school had a blue one, but it wasn't in that nice of shape.

    Glad you managed to limp the bike/sidecar home. Smart thinking on buying the battery.

    1. Brandy, Roy had one back in the day and put a lot of miles on it, multi-state trips and everything. This one's been repainted but seems to be in very good shape.

      I had jumper cables in the bike, only because there was room for them. It was the right bike and right time to have low voltage.