Saturday, October 30, 2010

35 Miles and 11 Graveyards*

An auspicious beginning. Do we really want to ride in this? Rain and fog, fog and rain. No one knows we're coming...we won't be missed...
Two wheels, two pedals, no combustion engine, a few of dead bodies, and a promise of free pizza and cupcakes at the end. All righty then. We're off and riding into the soggy, foggy, rain in search of graveyards, ghosts and ghouls.
 Millersburg Cemetary
We'll find out later we have an ancestor here.

I catch up to the others who are hell bent on finishing this ride and have no time to stop for photo ops.
A few more miles, a few more hills and we're close to another stop. There's a little bit of fall color still showing in the trees.
Scravel Hill Road
You can pretend to ignore me, but I'm still gonna get the pic! 

A few years ago we saw a ghost at Knox Butte Cemetery, a lady in a white dress walking her dog. She appeared from the side of the cemetery, and in the next moment she was gone. We haven't seen her since, and she didn't show up today.
 Knox Butte Cemetery

We wind our way back towards Albany staying well to the right of Oregon Beaver's fans rushing to the game. Eventually we end up at the Masonic Cemetery where we go for a short ride amongst the graves. There is strange music playing, and we hear screams...

 What's everyone lookin' at?
He seems a nice enough sort, we invite him to lunch.
Ciddici's Pizza is located in the old Oregon Electric Train Depot, ( Note the OER in the gable), a nicely restored, old  historic building in downtown Albany.

Patiently waiting for pizza.

No time to get pizza photos before the gluttonous orgy begins. Do not come between hungry bicyclists and their food. Only got a snap of a few cupcakes that survived the carnage. Okay, not really...I just forgot to take the food pics again!
*Yes I know, not all 11 graveyards are listed...did you really want to read that much about a bicycle ride? I didn't think so! :)


Monday, October 25, 2010

Last of the Sunny Days?

I haven't posted up much lately. There hasn't been much to post up. Most mornings this is the view:
From a past commute
The outside of my faceshield mists up badly in the fog. Maybe it's the smaller windscreen on the Ninja, since I never had that happen on the cruiser with it's massive windshield. As quickly as I wipe it off it fogs back up. I'm giving the heated grips mixed reviews. Perhaps my gloves are too thick, but with the colder temps I barely feel the warmth.  I'm not sure they'll be warm enough for lower temps. Still, they help keep the edge off even if the fingers still get chilled.

The afternoon commute is payback for the foggy mornings. Dry roads, warm sun. My co-worker is jealous (not my fault he didn't ride). Yeah, the afternoon commute has been a treat. I went for a short ride on Friday that pretty much sums up the afternoon rides this week.
The weekend forecast calls for rain blown in on the wind. Ron and I wimp out on a bicycle ride. 55 miles with lots of climbing, rain and wind...pass, thank you. We'll spend the weekend plotting home improvements, and leave all two-wheeled vehicles in the garage.
Sunday brought hail, thunder, wind, know, typical Pacific northwest weather.
The Storm
Fifteen minutes later
It's supposed to be the same nasty weather tomorrow. I think Sam needs another day off.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Heated Gear, Sunsets, and Library Cards

Brief update on the heated gear.
I've had a couple of mornings to try out the heated gear. This morning for the first time I had the jacket on high. I turned it back down. I want something left for when I really need it. The grips are nice and toasty, not that I've really needed them yet. It hasn't been cold enough for a true test of them, but cold weather need not hurry on my account. The wind deflectors are instant gratification. I like them. Simple, low-tech and works well. For whatever reason I find that satisfying. A little bigger would be perfection; the wind still creeps over the top and underneath, but it's not bad.

Mundane stuff...
This evening I had an errand to run. My library card has expired, and I can't download ebooks. I don't do well without a stack of reading material. I'm not sure how one "stacks" ebooks, but you get the picture. A quick run to the library is in order. I grab my helmet and jacket, and a couple of overdue books (the printed kind) and head off on Sam. I turn in my old card and am issued a shiny new one. All is right with the world once again.

It's two miles to the library. It takes sixteen miles to return home. Funny how that works. Sam and I went out to enjoy the sunset. It was peaceful along the side of the road.
Perhaps less peaceful on the road.  The carnage...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Heated Grips Install

I have the bestest husband in the world (Love ya Hon)!! This was a tedious project and he spent most of the weekend working on my bike. I've decided I'm not cut out for the modding stuff, and I suck at trying to document it. I did come up with a great title, but it was, um, a bit over the top, so I went with something simple instead.

After our bicycle ride yesterday (and a nap following) we got started on the heated grips and handguards install. Ron removes the bar end weights.
He uses the air compressor to help slip off the old grips.
 We clean off the old glue. Ron uses WD40 on the throttle, and brake parts cleaner on the bar. Brake parts cleaner seems rather harsh, but it worked.
Per the instructions we do a dry run with the grips to be sure everything works before actually gluing them into place.
 Weights added. We didn't have to trim anything.
We wire everything up and check if it works. Yes! We have heat.

We mount the controller with the clutch lever bolts to the clutch lever thingy. The wiring runs down through a harness(?) following original wiring when possible. We'll run the wires down under and alongside the gas tank to access an area under the seat.
The next morning we start on the handguards install and windshield modification. I'm using Barkbuster Storm handguards. They're supposed to fit with one simple modification - yeah right! The handguards hit the stock windshield and even more so with the Puig windshield. We basically spend the next couple hours dremeling away the windshield bit by bit until full lock of the handlebars is achieved. That the dremel survived this process is a miracle. It was long, tedious, monotonous, and took for ever. Did I mention boring, and long...and tedious... Slap me if I ever decide to do another mod! But we get the guards installed and the windshield trimmed accordingly.
As mentioned earlier, Ron runs the wiring alongside the gas tank. the wires aren't long enough to get to the relay under the seat. He'll end up splicing and dicing, and replacing the connectors with a style better suited to the relay. With everything wired up, dremeled, fastened and glued. We fire her up, and the Ninja doesn't burst into flame. I see no smoke, and smell nothing burning. These are all good signs. Everything is in good working order including the new, toasty grips.
Closer and closer to becoming a little sport tourer.
Sam now looks like a big green sheep with floppy black ears. Ron and I take a quick ride over to the Beanery in Albany to see if everything works. Grips work. The heated jacket still works. The bike didn't burn up or blow up, and she started up again after running the extra stuff. I think we're good to go!
I put off getting heated gear, because I wasn't really sure I'd stick with this riding stuff. I guess this makes me an official-for-real  motorcycle commuter.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Apple Daze

I don't normally post club rides, but I don't have much motorcycle news this week, so bicycles it is. This weekend was Apple Daze at  Detering Orchards near Coburg. We start in Brownsville, and the transportation for today is Kermit, the big green tandem.
There is one "small" hill between us and Deterings. After that it's mostly flat.
 The hill on Gap Road

A disease I know, but I like climbing hills. The downhills are pretty good too.
Not as exciting as a motorcycle vid, but fun to ride. I don't have editing software for my videos, so no edits, and no music just rushing wind and muffled dialog.
Soon enough I'm distracted from bicycling. I think the rider was surprised by the crazy cyclist chick taking his picture. Nice road for motorcycling. 

We're under way once again and after getting lost, discovering our connector route is gravel, and having to ride a couple extra miles we finally arrive at Detering's. Kids, pumpkins, fruits and vegetables, and free apple cobbler a la mode, but my favorite item is a Suzuki.
DR650 - Ron can take the tandem home...I"ll take this one.
Apple cobbler a la mode

I happen to go past the Suzuki again and see that it's found a friend.
Kawasaki Spectre - The helmet looks old school too. 
Not too many pics on the return trip. The wind is from the northeast...and we're going north and east. We see a group of sport bikes at a gas station once we return to Brownsville. One guy gets gas while the other two wait...did someone forget to fill up this morning? Total mileage for the day is just a tad under 47 miles.
Just before we head home, there is a Ural parked on Main Street. I wish I'd gone back to get a photo. It would be a nice final photo for the day.

Tomorrow: Heated grips. We got started on the install this evening.