Monday, June 29, 2020

The Year Of The Tire??

Last year I had more than my fair share of chain issues...this year it seems the trend has been to tires losing their air pressure.  Not only have I been replacing tires (yes, the result of overflowing pie charts) but I've been having to cut rides short and trailer machines home.

This was the Plan...4 Southeast Minnesota State Parks, 3 of which I'd never visited before.  It seemed like a perfect loop.

A lovely, early Saturday morning start.

Another squishy ride being confirmed...wasn't just the pavement.

As far as I was able to make it.

Called AAA, a long wait reported, after I heard that due to Sharona, there would be no riding with tow truck drivers so it was up to me to arrange transportation while waiting.  I decided to call Peg for help...."on my way..."  Figured I'd try again, to at least get the bike hauled so that I wouldn't have to come back for it, more wait time so I was advised to use the online App.  I downloaded it but there was no allowance for the RV Premium coverage that I signed up for this year.  Then I learned that I could text for help, which I did and heard no response.

I'm actually looking forward to this Customer Satisfaction Survey's arrival.

Peg came to pick me up, we went back for the van/trailer and she joined me for another trip to help push the midsize VStar on to the trailer.  I had the presence of mind to bring the air tank, but we had only a minute or so of push time before the tire was once again flat on the bottom, so it was a rushed trailer loading operation.  The Nerstrand Woods State Park was very happy to have my bike out of their parking lot....must have been one of their busiest days ever.

I worked in central Iowa most of last week, just off of I-80.

Windmill construction was going on everywhere, every phase of it.  These guys were at the same motel that I was.

Lots of Big in Iowa.  Most of my recent trips through Iowa have had me passing through and/or ending up very near to Waterloo where John Deere has a lot of history.  John Deere isn't the only farm equipment manufacturer in Iowa.  I drove past the Kinze operations everyday, very disappointed that their Information Center was closed or I'd have been in their museum, possibly more than once.

This Standing-In-Air display very prominently seen from the Interstate.  A (large) green/red tractor at the planter's base.

Note the shadow cast by the 60' planter towering above the tractor

This photo from Street View on the Exit Ramp view of their grain cart, an old image because currently they've got multiple carts stacked up tiny on top to huge at the base.

A week ago Minnesota officially lightened up, just a little, the rules regarding visits to senior health care facilities so Friday I signed up to visit mom...across a 6' table.  Masks all around, temperature taken, releases signed, questions answered.  We speak almost daily, I drop off groceries weekly but we haven't seen each other since early March.

Finally, more birds.  These young barn swallows were a joy to watch on the temporary railing at our back deck.  Four of them, waiting between practice flights for mom to bring more bugs.  Hard to see in the photo but they've got little fuzzies around the perimeter of their heads, just like old bald men with the fringe around the 45th parallel.

Number 4 is down the railing distant.  Watching them bird-walk up the angle was the cutest thing.  They'd disappear and I thought they were likely down in the grass but no.  A few minutes later they'd come flying back, waiting for mom to stop in with another supply of food.

Sunday morning I met Mark in River Falls for breakfast, said "No" to pie though.

I'll bet that you can appreciate my sacrifice.

A very special request was made to come into the office Sunday afternoon for a demo.  A current customer was simply too busy to visit our showroom during the week and really wanted to see one of our 5 axis machines in action.  I obliged and was there to show it off with no plans to make this a common occurrence. 

Some vacation time coming up and quite naturally, there will be some devoted motorcycle time.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Scooter Weekend

First, I'll get to some Odds and Ends.

Listening to the radio one morning, the guys from Valley Outdoors program were discussing Mississippi river levels, noting that the river readings were way down at the low end, to the point that the navigation channel would need the pools raised to maintain the 9' channel depth for the barges.  They knew of more than one boat out fishing in the back channel that had serious lower unit damage.

Due to the pandemic changing the course of rural high school graduations, photo lawn signs are everywhere honoring this year's graduating students.  I noticed this past weekend that many neighbors had signs out as well which I thought was kinda cool.

"Jake's our neighbor, he stuck with it and we're so proud of him!!"

"Go Melissa, she lives next door, good luck at college!!"

And so on.

Our Clematis, while not special compared to those with real flower growing skills, the best bloom we've ever had.

Pondering my problems in the morning sun....before I accomplished a very light beard trim and before Crystal tidied my top side...leaner and meaner now.

John came and picked up the 850...

Belt inspection on the Helix...

Rode over to help Mark and Mike load the fine TX750 for its trip to its new owner in the Denver area.

Catbirds, the return of the Orioles and now the Grosbeaks are begging for something sweet.  Peg says enough already!!  "The finches get one bowl of jelly a day and that's it!!" (we've become very conscious of glucose levels).

Ran some errands in Red Wing and was passed by this interesting combination on the trailer.

Friday was a Helix ride day, another gentle wander.  I stopped in Prescott, WI at the Great River Road Visitor and Learning Center, disappointed but not surprised to find it Corona'd.  The view of the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers is always worth a stop even if the building isn't open.  It was a good place and time to brew a cup.

I like these information plaques....but you already know that.

Saturday morning coincidentally, brother Kevin met me in Prescott for our ride to the Rockfalls Raceway to see some drag races that never happened due to rain.

We walked through the pits, got to see some of the cars, some in and out of their cocoon trailers.  We even got to hear a few of them running, heading down to the staging area, only to be turned away when no mater how much track drying the STAFF did, the rain kept the track un-raceable.

Steve and I had stopped one Saturday too many years ago....the track is definitely going through some enhancements!

I had one just like this, only mine was brown.  Different rear wheels though; my tires allowed for an ample-sized trunk unlike this one's compromised space.

There were cars at the track from far away, some very far.

 Loved all the station wagons! 

As they say....Turn It Up!!

 The entire family was along to help dad go fast, it was after all, Father's Day weekend.

Thursday afternoon the quick KLR ride to River Falls but Friday, Saturday and Sunday it was all Scooter, all the time.  Red was Helix, green was 2 days of Morphous riding, some of it very wet.

Elevation changes on the Morphous....325 miles Saturday/Sunday for the Yamaha, another 132 on the Helix.

Twin Row soybeans.  Research shows 5 more pods/plant, 500,000 more/acre.  I looked it up.

Had to turn around....

Plum City's trout pond...

There was some's June for gosh sakes. many deer...I lost count of the ones on and crossing the road Sunday.  3 does with twins, a couple of does with single youngsters.

Just before the Morphous was blocked by that tree in the earlier photo above, I rounded a corner to find mom and babies crossing the road.  I stopped, the Yamaha still idling and I stayed on the bike but stood up.  Mom and baby #1 dashed over the bank but baby #2 was curious enough to not only stay but approach me.  Check out the time stamp on these helmet cam photos.

1 minute, 45 seconds before baby #2 hopped over the bank to join its family.

I'm in Iowa working this week, back next weekend for more adventures!