Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day Weekend - 2018

First of all and by far most important, heartfelt thanks to our Veterans, past and present.  Some gave everything; all have sacrificed a great deal.  A very special thanks to our son Ben, serving currently. When his choices were many, still he heard the call.  4 generations of Coop's and I'm the one that did not participate.

No real rides planned, instead some chores, some promises made this past Spring to follow through on around the estate.  There was some gardening, some cleaning, preparation for our Soldier to come home for a visit in June as well as preparation for the upcoming rally, my week over against Lake Michigan and for the Road America AHRMA event in early June.

That doesn't mean there wasn't some riding accomplished on the very hot, late July/early August typical temperature days.

Friday a medical checkup, some chain oiling, tire pressure updates, the few remaining license tab applications on the bikes that hadn't been out in the sun yet.  Saturday morning I met with a local contractor about the final cleanup of our fallen barn and hopefully some driveway improvements.

But after that, WaHooo!

Mississippi Valley and Minnesota in the distance.

The woods primeval....

Some very nice looking winter wheat...

113.7 miles for the ride.....

For an evening ride and temps that hadn't really moderated....

The new access to the future river bridge.

The climb up into Red Wing's Memorial Park.  Normally I've got the sound on my videos turned off since the only thing heard is wind noise but at this slower speed, you can hear the little V-Twin.  As I've said repeatedly, "I like this motor".

Viewing the Contour videos using their Story Teller software.  The inset includes a satellite view and a graph that plays while the video does, providing feedback as to speed, elevation, etc.

The hazy, hot, sunset view into Wisconsin....the new river bridge being built.

 The last tight switchback on the way down from Memorial Park

Out of Red Wing and on my way home, shadows long.

So these were the rides for the day, Green on the sidecar, Red with the Hyosung.

Zoomed in to show the Memorial Park detail using two maps, the first the Garmin map in Basecamp.

Same location, different map.  These topographic maps are available for free.

 Scooter Sunday.....and County NN

Julson Ridge Road....some almost Minimum Maintenance gravel a mile further on.

County BB trailing off in the valley below .....

Pretzel Pass.....

The intersection of Alligator Slide and Pretzel Pass

Looking back on part of Pretzel Pass from that intersection...

Eagle Valley Community Church....

Home by 1PM, lawn mowing, chores, items to the recycling center, etc. etc.

6PM, back out for a ride hopefully a bit cooler; it was after all, Scooter Sunday.  Stopped at a nearby Historical Marker commemorating the area's former Clay Industry.

Sleek....Timeless ...... the quintessential ......right Mike???

After lo these many years, I guess this will have to be altered...or removed.  I bet a strategic "NOT" would be a rather easy alteration.  Watch for it.

 Memorial Day, out before 7am on the Auto .....

We've got some neighbors up the valley that like Deep Mud and the sound of Big Eights; the Machine Gun Shoots a different weekend, different valley.

Breakfast on a Holiday.... the green, not a vegetable but in this case at least, a very good thing.

Needed the parking brake today....

The Whitewater River....

If you need a Steiger...... area code 507

Some more Up/Down this morning .....

There's a Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail (I looked it up) that just might be fun on the Honda 400 Automatic.  I'm thinking that one of these just may be the ticket.... the 16" should bolt right up.  Looks like I'm going to need some more ADV stickers....

Something discovered today, I can say with certain authority that our tar strips have turned soluble, especially so in the sweepers.

Finally, the big bike was out for a short loop, but not until after some bleu burgers on the grill and fruit salad ....

The Frontenac beach and boat ramp....

A full and enjoyable weekend all around.  Hope that everyone got a chance to Remember and Thank those that have served.

This coming weekend, BMW's, rhubarb and the Royal Enfield with 3 wheels.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Minnesota VJMC 2018 June Show

It's going to be big and unless you've got a VERY good excuse, you should be there.  I covered it the best I could last year but there's no substitute for actually being present to witness and enjoy it yourself.

Monday, May 21, 2018

GR3 - Great River Road Rally - 2018

This was the 44th Annual event for the Madison BMW Club and it was a success, the Soldiers Grove Lions group, the Madison BMW Club and attendees put on a great show.  We heard at the awards presentation that there were 260 registered.  Rain was, then on, then rescheduled, then changed again....and so on.  We agreed that there were a few drops not long after midnight Sunday morning but by 8:30 this morning when I left, there was no real 'event' rain.  I did ride in a light shower just after crossing the Iowa/Minnesota border on my way home but that was the extent of it. Friday and Saturday the weather was just about perfect, the cold front went through overnight, threatening the rain and bringing much cooler temperatures.

First of all, the inarguable facts....

I left home a few minutes before 6AM on Friday.....

and stopped where I often have along Lake Pepin.

Staying on the Minnesota side of the river, I stopped in New Albin which is right on the MN/IA border to check out the lovely flower baskets.

Then I went inside the City Meat Market to get never quite enough of the World's Best Pork Jerky.

Since I'd be sharing with friends, an Integrity Verification was performed right there in the parking lot immediately before leaving the location.

Crossing the river at Lansing.....

Early fun on County B.....

Arriving in Soldiers Grove around 9:30.....only a handful of rallygoers.

My tent hook up.  Fly and footprint in one compression sack, the tent and 'porch floor' for my vestibule, Twin Headlight Ernie's 8" stainless steel stakes in one of his protective pouches and my 16" poles.

Friday it was Eric, my brother and astounding.

Friday's potential hazards were many....

My camera wasn't rolling; not sure if Eric's was.  How the 4 geese in the road decided which one should come after me, I don't know.  We easily could have witnessed and been part of a gaggle of down.

An odd story here...We were going downhill on a gravel section and moments later I felt something new, lightly pushing against my rear end, almost as if my wallet was finding a new spot.  Assuming something but having no idea what, had come loose, I reached back to find this rock.  Somehow, my rear tire must have thrown it, wedged it somehow, somewhere.  I never felt anything on my foot, my leg, anywhere else, only that something new was directly behind me and ahead of that bump on the seat.

Ludwig's new HD

In and around the campground...

Free firewood provided by the Soldiers Grove Lions ......

Dave and Dan had a corner staked out....

While I continue to lose luster, Ludwig gains polish....he looks better than he did when I first met him.

Thanks Eric
I met Paul last year when he wondered if I was the Coop that had a blog.  He came all the way from Kansas City....again and joined us Saturday for our ride.

Crossing into Iowa at McGregor

Thanks Eric
According to Wolftrax, this is the only fire tower in Iowa; he knew exactly where we were.....Yellow River State Forest.

More Yellow River State Forest.  The last time I was here, a group from CO was riding through and one of their bikes decided to take a short nap in this vicinity.  It was wetter that day.

Thanks Eric

Our health, always a paramount concern, saw us walking to the Ice Cream Place.

I assume that we learned that there's a place in Niger 5840 miles away.

I've ridden over the culvert and concrete spillway but it was a long time ago.  It has been in this condition for quite some time.  Kevin went through and Paul went over to choose which track looked the best.

Nice to have a Button....

At the drawing I was lucky enough to win 2 admissions to the Wisconsin Dells BMW Rally in September.  I've never been before so now there's no excuse.

Saturday evening's Taco Bar and desert feed....I think we were all surprised at the beer and brats provided Friday evening, a first and appreciated yes ma'am!

When we're not riding, we can excel at this....

We packed up our tents and loaded before the rain we were sure would happen.  I had about 5 miles worth of light drops, that was all.

Last stop on my way home, Winona.

Paul, great seeing you again and glad that you joined us for the Iowa loop; see you in Grand Marais in a few weeks.  Bernie, your Tracks on their way soon.  Jim, I'll see you at the RA gate, mentioned coffee???

In a couple of weeks, the Hiawatha Rally and the chance to figure out what we didn't last weekend.