Sunday, August 31, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
(Not my commute, thank God!)
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
The MaineToday.com wrote, "The almanac's 2009 edition, which goes on sale Tuesday, says at least two-thirds of the country can expect colder than average temperatures, with only the Far West and Southeast in line for near-normal readings." Entire article is here.
That last part is probably good news for those riders Washington, Oregon, and California. I suspect there will be mornings this winter when the heat of sweltering +100º F days endured by riders will be fondly remembered.
Personally, I can handle the cold. It just takes the right gear. By the way, did you noticed the difference between the old and new wind chill charts/formula? The old windchill chart didn't indicated any decrease in chilled temperatures after 40mph. The new ones (2001) usually display the wind chill up to 60mph. Somehow, I think I'll feel warmer this winter if I keep using the old chart.
Winter precipitation in the Buckeye state is what puts the brakes on riding, though. And the Almanac says,"...above-normal snowfall for the Great Lakes and Midwest, especially during January and February, and above-normal precipitation for the Southwest in December and..." blah, blah blah...
They say the Almanac has an accuracy rate of around 80 - 85% which is probably as good as some weather guessers, I suppose. My take on it is this: Its a good place to find a compilation of historical meteorological data.
However, if you want to know the weather in your neighborhood, use this method...
From Google Images
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
So, instead of recreating the work – which was probably too wordy in the first place – I’ll just post some of the pics and provide a brief description.
You see all kinds of things on the road. Here’s someone with a new purchase.
Years ago, when we moved into the home we live at now, we had a cast iron claw foot tub. We yanked it out and sold it for $100. Now days, I could probably get $500 for it. Oh well.
We took SR 159 out of Lancaster towards Chillicothe. The views from the road were mostly corn and soy beans.
We stopped at The Great Seal State Park which was not so great unless you have a horse to ride. So we continued on to Athens and then to Burr Oak State Park.
The park has a lodge and restaurant. The menu was modest but the view over Burr Oak Lake was pretty awesome.
And the park has plenty of deer with little fear of humans. You can bet that with 3 fawns beside the road, at least 2 doe were nearby.
We traveled SR 78, a designated Scenic Byway, to McConnellsville.
This route is in the same area as the famed Ohio Triple Nickel, SR 555. I’ll ride that route someday but it will probably be solo as Teresa loves the wind in her face, but not so much the leaning required for the curves.
Crossing the Muskingum River at Malta and McConnellsville.
Traveling SR 60 north to Zanesville, riding in tandem with our shadow.
The sun had set before we headed west and home again. It was a great ending to a great ride.
One last indulgence if you don't mind. A story: Between Chillicothe and Athens on US 50 is a wide spot in the road with about a dozen residents. As soon as I passed the sign I had an overwhelming sense of deja vu. And then it hit me: I have been here before.
When I was about 8 years old, my mother, grandmother, sister and I traveled this same route. When we came to the village sign, my grandmother pulled the car over to the side of the road and said, "Get the camera. We need to take a picture!"
I dutifully grabbed my Kodak Brownie camera and exited the car with them and took a picture of the three of them bent over in front of the Prattsville sign. Fortunately, their backsides remained covered.
This time around I felt a strange compulsion and had to do the same showing what some have said is my best side. Ride Safe.
He's riding for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) and will be leaving the Las Vegas area heading for the east coast at the end of September. Its a sponsored event and worth your time to check out and consider supporting.
He's setup a website separate from his blog to promote the event. The trip itinerary is posted and you can see if he'll be traveling through your neck of the woods.
I've never done very much blatant promotion for myself, but I'm a pretty good cheerleader. You'll notice the promo gadget on the top right of this page. It'll take you to his Ride Site. I'll keep it up there until he completes his trip.
Ken, like me, is a fairly new rider whose enthusiasm is contagious. So spend 3 or 4 minutes checking out his Blog and his Coast to Coast Ride Site.
Monday, August 18, 2008
However, in a moment of defiance, Blogger erased my work and automatically saved a copy of the now erased text. Crap!!
So, while I gather my composure, I'll post a followup to a comment about the reflectivity and visibility of the Fieldsheer jacket I found at a yard sale.
I may still add some additional clear reflective material to the back side of the saddle bags and maybe some reflective decals to the helmet. But this is certainly better than just the running lights and license plate.
Friday, August 15, 2008
As I mentioned to Dan after reading about his changes and then visiting his site, most of my blog reading is done through a "reader", in my case, the Google Reader. Readers are a special web site that collects new posts from your favorite blogs and displays them all in a single convenient location.
The Google Reader does a good job of displaying text and pictures, and even video that has been embedded in a post, but sometimes photos are are limited to the first 1 or 2. And since only posts are displayed, whenever someone makes a change in their template that change goes unnoticed by the subscriber.
Another thing I've noticed about the Google Reader is that, often times, the newly published content from a site is collected just moments after it has been published. This has provided some unintentional insight to some of the bloggers I subscribe to and may have provided others with undesired insight into this blogger.
Here's a typical scenario:
A blogger publishes something on their site as a test or rant or something not ready for prime time. A few moments pass and they get the results of their test or think better of posting their rant or whatever, and they save the post as a Draft or maybe delete it.
If the Google Reader retrieved a copy of the post sometime between its publish time and before it was re-saved as a Draft or deleted, some or all of the content of that post is still available to subscribers via the reader. Hence the potential of having unwanted content 'out there', sorta the cyberspace version of an open fly.
Hmmm. I wonder how amny blunders I've made...
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
- A Goldwing rider wearing a florescent green T-shirt with a SAFETY logo on the back and NOT wearing a helmet.
- A little red compact car with the license plate JCOOL on the back and the driver's 5 year oldish daughter in the front seat.
- New front brake pads for better stopping.
- Driving lights for better visibility.
- A convenient way to carry my guitar.
- A bumper sticker for the tailgaters to use as an excuse for running into me.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
I've noticed it for a couple of weeks but I didn't want to admit it.
Its something I knew was happening and was powerless to stop it or change it.
The days have been growing shorter and finally I cannot deny the obvious any longer because today is the third day this week that a major portion of my commute will be in darkness.
Subconsciously, for the past couple of weeks, I believe I have been delaying my departure from home so that I could enjoy the daylight. That is no longer possible since I leave home around 6:00 and sunrise today is 6:32.
Central Ohio will lose about 2 minutes of sunlight each day.
It doesn't seem fair but it is what it is.
Unless I relocate further south... Maybe I should just start riding south.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
The ride did not take us to northwest Ohio and to Hudson Leather like I had guessed it might.
Instead we traveled mostly west through Centerburg, Delaware, Marysville, Plain City and finally Springfield. While I’m sure that each burg has its own claim to fame, the ones of which I am aware are Delaware and Marysville. Delaware is home to The Little Brown Jug, a harness race for horses. And, of course Marysville is home to a large Honda manufacturing site where they don’t make motorcycles anymore.
Near Marysville, we stopped at a covered bridge to stretch our legs and take a picture. Some people are fascinated by covered bridges. I’m fascinated by what history a covered bridge might hold.
I've heard of mega malls and been to superstores but this place bills itself as one better - a Mega Superstore.
And it was big. About 40,000 square feet of new and used motorcycles and ATVs, parts, apparel, gear, and anything chrome.
It may have been a mistake for Teresa and me to come here because Teresa saw something she couldn't live without and the only way I could exit the store was if she were the new owner of a pink half helmet.
Of course, I had no alternative because, as everyone knows, “When Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” She does look awful cute with it on, though.
Our next stop was the local Harley-Davidson dealership, Mid-Ohio Harley-Davidson. As I mentioned before, it seems that stopping at a Harley dealer is a prerequisite whenever this group rides.
Everyone ooohed and aaahed and drooled over the American icons. I admired the craftsmanship and chuckled to myself at how the riders, who were so proud of their iron horses a moment ago, believed their bike was now second rate and they needed the newest model.
We were gone from about 9:00am until about 8:00pm and tallied close to 200 miles; a leisurely pace by any measure. My "to do" list was still waiting for me Sunday but I count the day with these friends on two wheels as time well spent. I'll mow the grass another day.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Teresa hollered, “Oh look!” and two large white tailed deer took off along the wood line parallel to the road, headed the same direction we intended.
There are always deer on Mom’s property. She lives about 10 miles from the city in a rural area. I swear she puts out a block of salt for them to lick but she swears not. Anyway, it was that time of the evening when the deer start moving around and extra caution has to be taken by both motorcycles and cars.
I’m always cautious at this time in her neck of the county and so I kept our speed down until we passed the same deer again about 300 yards away. Near the bottom on the hill, they turned into the woods and I gave Lady some throttle going up the other side.
We crested the next hill and what I saw immediately caused me to move to the right side of my lane: Two riders on horse back, staggered side by side, galloping up the hill on their side of the road.
I slowed and engaged the clutch to quiet an already quiet engine but the horses were spooked and put out all fours in an effort to stop. They probably were shod with shoes and we were on brand new asphalt pavement.
The horses lost the footing and went down, falling on their sides toward the center of the road, spilling the riders.
I came to a stop and Teresa jumped off so I could make a “U” turn on the narrow road. We met the equestrian riders, a mom in her late 30’s and a teenage girl I assumed was her daughter.
They said they were fine, but I could see differently. Mom was bleeding from a bump on the forehead and the girl had some nasty bruising or road rash near her waist and hip.
I opened a packet of Windex paper towels and tried to clean the mom’s wound. It must have stung like the dickens but it was the only clean cloths I had. The mom said they only lived around the corner and would walk the horses back.
I’m sure this was not how they expected their evening ride to end.
As we left them to continue our journey home, I couldn't help but feel responsible for their injuries. My head says, “It’s not my fault. They weren't wearing any headgear and I couldn't control the actions of the horses.” My heart says, “We should've picked another way home.”
Would've. Should've. Could've.
In the end, the equestrian riders were a little banged up. The horses, while a little skittish, were uninjured. And this rider was reminded of the importance of wearing safety gear.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Absent from the gathering were Mike and Diana and their neighbor Keith. Diana was the one that had the flat tire on the way back from the Farmington, PA trip.
When I asked about them one answer came forth from several people: Sturgis. The rest of the story, however was soon to follow.
After arriving at their destination, Keith got a phone call about a death in the family and after staying the night left the next morning.
Shortly after hearing this story Keith pulled into the parking lot and joined us. He was 30 minutes from home and saw the gathering of bikes and decided to stop. He had been on the road for 28 hours with a 4 hour delay for a flat tire and a short snooze about 3:00am that morning. If he walked a little stiff no one could blame him!
His trip from Sturgis, SD was about 1,400 miles, definitely Iron Butt territory.
This loose group of riders is planning a trip this Saturday. Destination: unknown, but the direction of travel is northwest. It doesn't really matter where we end up, we're just looking forward to the time spent together.
We might find ourselves going to Hudson Leather in Pioneer, Ohio but that's about a 4 hour trip one way.
One stop that was mentioned was the G & R Tavern in Waldo, Ohio - Home of World Famous Fried Bologna Sandwich. I guess people travel from afar to see and eat at this place. License plates on cars and bikes from half a dozen states can be found in the parking area. All because of a sandwich with an inch thick slab of fried bologna.
If we stop I'll put on my food critique's hat and post a report.