Friday, October 19, 2018

Some Surprises

New roads, some things learned and a remarkable coincidence.

I had a couple of designs/drawings to work on before getting on the bike this morning, not such a bad thing since the weather was only getting better after 8am.

 I mentioned last weekend, my non-riding weekend, that I'd installed my engine guards.

That stainless SHCS, the lower mount, is the one that had the buggered threads.  The exhaust had to almost be removed to get my 8mm tap on axis.  At this point, my bike was still clean.

Taylor Hill Road....

Rollingstone for breakfast.....

Too big for the roads even without the corn or grain heads...

I've been by this one so many times I can't even count them....finally today it was taken.

This was one of today's surprises; the most demanding gravel riding conditions I've ever done.  We've had lots of moisture, there's been frost and yesterday it was in the mid-70's.  Did moisture come up from the earth's core??  Not only did it make my bike the dirtiest it's ever been, these ruts were firm yet the top inch was greasy.  There were times the bars were almost yanked from my arms. 

Going down today would have been easier than my recent sand riding and it was never appeared to be so.

A fisherman not far from here...

It got nicer outside....

Such a nice ride, many new roads today, the result of just wandering.  Out the driveway and a basic 'turn left'.  218 miles, many of them on new roads, a surprise because I'd been under the impression that I'd done most of the 'good ones' in this general area.  Today the list of Good Ones grew.

Speaking of new, I stopped for lunch in Chatfield at JW's Silver Grill.  The only place I've previously stopped at in Chatfield was the Kwik gas station for fuel, a sandwich and coffee.  Today I decided to try a cafe, pulled out my phone and the Silver Grill seemed perfect.

Seated and waiting for a fresh pot to be brewed, one couple came in and sat at an adjoining table; at that point we were 3 customers.  A couple of minutes later, another couple entered and when she turned around, I saw a familiar face.  They live near Hudson, Wisconsin, she and I have mutual friends and through those friends, have been involved in a design project together, sharing backgrounds in the medical device field.  I was introduced to husband Greg whom I'd not met before and then the coincidences really started flying.  Growing up in the same Twin City suburb with shared knowledge of the neighborhoods, time spent as youths in the same general area near our current home in southern Minnesota, the same technical college and some of the same interests.  It had to almost be a part of some master plan though I'm not sure who had put everything together.  These 2 had been in the area scouting back roads and exploring Amish country.  Thanks for lunch Elaine and Greg, a real pleasure to meet you.  I'll do some digging about that family and ask mom some more questions.


  1. Dom, I tried to hose it off this afternoon in the cool windy sunshine. The chunks are gone but not the sticky greasy tan. I had 3 dirty bikes to finally get to, both north and south Wisconsin grime and from yesterday, southern MN muddy dust.