Sunday, October 14, 2018

Overall, A Passing Grade

I told myself and anyone else that would listen, "No riding this weekend".

Well you can already imagine what happened but we'll get to that in a bit.  Until we do, an explanation of why it's been a busy week.

Monday night was our monthly VJMC meeting in Mpls, the first I've attended all summer.

Tuesday night, my first of 6 evening Community Ed History classes of Red Wing and area history.  I really enjoyed episode 1 and am looking forward to the next 5 Tuesday evenings; next week Red Wing's contribution and involvement in the Civil War years.  I've participated in more than one of Fred's previous presentations and own some of his other books.

Wednesday I had training to do at a facility down in Sheldon Iowa and on my way home, I stopped at Iowa's highest elevation, Hawkeye Point to eat my road lunch.

Way up at 1670, where the air is thin.....

End of week, plow truck started and hopefully ready for the inevitable snow, the much neglected portable generator started (2nd pull!!) that hasn't run since our last bad weather which was 2 winters ago.  Lots of organizing, getting my camping stuff in containers and Traveling Van put back into Cargo Mode Van.  Bikes shuffled, nothing winterized yet because I am overall an optimistic person.

The brake lever on the Himalaya finally replaced after I got an OEM pair from Marty at GoMoto.  Also, I finally got my engine guards put on.  I'd attempted the install weeks ago but quickly discovered there were some minor issues and didn't have or take the time to make 'adjustments'.  One hole needed the threads cleaned out and there wasn't clearance for my tap; you can break them off if they're crookwards, something I know.  Part of the bash plate had to be cut away, almost but not quite enough clearance for the engine guard mounting tab.  Anyway, today they are on and though 'along', hopefully won't be used all that much as the miles build.

Cleaned up both of our Kitty Tubes, previous homes for our barn cats, Moisha and Percy, both now sadly deceased.  We shall not be housing opossums.  These are listed on Craig's and I can help with delivery; neither unit will be shipped.

Our huge rural mailbox post is rotten and needs repair, that resolution still waiting for a plan.  It sees a lot of abuse from Township snow plowing.

Then it was mid-afternoon Saturday, sun popping through the clouds and the yearn to be in the breeze quite strong.  It wasn't a big ride, no more than 5 miles at most, but it was a good ride.

No dangerous water.....we've been lucky this summer with the many hard rains and propensity for local flooding.

Entrance, Frontenac State Park.

My Annual Motorcycle State Park Permit being flashed.....we riders get a discount so I continue to get the card even though I don't always visit as often as I might, just to support the appreciated program.

Up the big hill.....

When the kids were small, we used our mini-boggans and sleds on that hill.

Only during Leaf Time is our local park's lot this full.

'made a loop through the campground....

From the Minnesota side on the park's bluff, looking across to Maiden Rock, Wisconsin across Lake Pepin.

Our local beach on the Mississippi River.  Again, when offspring were small, there were many swimming sessions here.  Later, the girls would ride their horses down here for their horses to do some swimming.

Not yet enough ice for me to be out there with the fishermen.....just give it a month or so.

The Garrard's were some of the first landowners/speculators in the area, their roots in Cincinnati pre-Civil War.  My great grandfather bought our 162 acres from Israel Garrard in 1884.

A big surprise Saturday evening, Peg called from her part time job at the beautiful newly remodeled Sheldon Theater in Red Wing that she had 2 free tickets to the evening's show.  Would I like to go?  Do bears sleep in woods???  Peg hustled home to change and get something to eat and together we traveled back into Red Wing.

I was told by Peg, "...a woman vocalist, lounge-type performance, old standards...14 and older only....sounds like fun..."

Peg was told, "'ve got to see her, incredible voice, looks like a model, a mouth like a sailor...."

Storm Large.  An amazing voice and performer, someone absolutely meant to entertain us from a stage.  Part of the Sheldon's Enlighten Series, performances meant to push and stretch a boundary here and there.  I believe that she did that last evening in Red Wing.  She incredibly exercises her wit, charm, entire body and finally best of all, a voice that a freight train should take a dirt road to listen to.  When you are lucky enough to get the opportunity.....

Our buddy John was in the crowd, certainly unexpected.  I noticed him only a bit after mentioning to Peg that I was surprised that there was no one in the audience that I recognized.  John had been down in Winona looking at a Cougar (not to worry Louise, this the 4 wheel variety) and just happened to stop in Red Wing, then with an invitation to stick around for the evening show.  We'll be seeing John next week at the monthly Guzzi Breakfast.

The Sheldon has a great season's-worth of shows coming up.  The entire Coop Clan (those living within 100 miles at least) will be there for the Good Lovelies on December 7th.  The show isn't sold out and you really should do your part to change that.  You'll be happy to thank me later.

8am this (Sunday) morning, no way to start a motorcycle picnic day.  Listen closely and you'll hear the pheasants complaining.

Chip once again graciously hosted our annual VJMC Picnic in North Minneapolis and the members showed up on a snowy October day.  Food provided and potluck dishes brought one went nor needed to go hungry.  I re-upped for another year and am looking forward to more time spent with these dedicated and talented enthusiasts.

Many bike photos, Function key and F11 will go full screen and give more one's phone is big enough.

Home mid-afternoon, still cool up on the hills in our nearby valley, magical skies and colors with the white hilltops.

So, a warmer and drier week ahead.  A very good chance that there will be some miles added next weekend.  A passing grade because I mostly stayed away from riding, though didn't stay away from the 2 wheel'd machines.


  1. Managed to not get altitude sickness going through Iowa. Any pictures of the crash bar installation? It sounds like a lot of mods for something “from the factory”. But, it is RE...

    1. No photos yet, thought it was a bit dark in the garage with all of the black. Actually the bend, location of mounting holes, etc on the bars themselves was about perfect and no complaints there. The lower tapped hole on the right side would not allow a SHCS to start and I didn't want to force it. To clean that thread, I wanted to run a tap in and the exhaust pipe was right there, not allowing the tap to stay on axis. Once the pipe was loose on both ends, I had enough clearance. A bit of paint, small piece of grit, whatever it was, I may have gotten away with just winding the fastener in. I chose to do it the way I thought was better.

      The other side just nudged the skid plate. Had I loosened it up I probably could have nudged it far enough (only 1/16" interference). Instead I took the Dremel and carved out an extra bit of clearance.

      All in all, a fluke in the thread and sheet metal....not bad at all.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this post Doug. It had a definite Garrison Keillor Thanksgiving turkey dinner comforting feel to it. Thank you.

  3. David, thank you! Very kind of you to say.