Saturday, May 30, 2009

Down On All Fours

It's a beautiful day and I want to go out.

The Suzuki needs a tune-up (again). The Daytonas battery died (not sure why). The Ducati is still dressed for the track.

Luckily I have backup for the backup for the backup. I have toys with four wheels.

After a little time on the battery charger (and a little time under the hose) the Green Machine was declared road-worthy. (Okay, yes dad, you're right. No 30+ year-old car is road-worthy. Particularly one made at a British factory more famous for labor strife than efficiency. But, hey, I work with what I've got. It starts, it turns, it even stops. That equals "road-worthy".)

I decided to try the route I took Monday on the bike. (Minus the mud-pushing.) Ignore the moronic path between F and G. Google Maps is missing some data I guess.

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Every time I ride the Suzuki I'm amazed at how pleasant it is. Much more relaxed, much more like a weekend should be.

The same was true today except an order of magnitude bigger. I was going a robust 32 mph but it sure felt good. Top down, no helmet, no heavy leather jacket, same twisty road. I could even carry a refreshing beverage.


I think this four-wheels-with-a-motor thing might just catch on.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Feeling a Little Loopy

Saturday Duane and I went out for a nice long motorcycle tour. The freeway sections were a little rough but overall a nice way to burn most of the day:

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Monday I wanted to do some focused wandering. My intent was to go up Paradise Lake Rd (I had heard it was pretty nice) and investigate a few minor variations on my typical weekend ride. The plan was:

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Unfortunately, Google Maps doesn't mention that
  • Most of the roads are unmarked
  • Many were dirt or unmaintained.
  • And some are permanently blocked.
Oh well. I suppose it's good exercise pushing your bike around gates and through mud. And I did see some interesting scenery.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fake Right, Go Left

Back to Oregon Raceway Park over the weekend. Two full days. Exciting stuff. I even considered bringing the Ducati since I knew the track a little.

The weather forecast was "Sat: 80, sunny, no wind" "Sun: 85, sunny, no wind". How can you beat that?

By Saturday afternoon the track and I had come to a mutually-acceptable agreement: I'd accelerate over blind hills and the track would agree not to move between laps. Wonderfully efficient. I was feeling good, moving well, not scaring myself nearly as often as usual. I think I may have even passed someone.

Sunday morning I was back and ready to pick up where I left off.

Then came the word: "Today we're going to ride the track in other direction." ... Dammit! Back to square one. A whole new set of blind rises and corners. I was so slow I switched to the beginner group Sunday afternoon (partly to have more space since there were 1/2 as many bikes in that group).

I wasn't the only one struggling. Sunday was pretty rough all around. There were more than a few downed bikes. The ambulance had to respond twice. (Once for an on-track incident, once for a spectator that collapsed in the heat.) Happily everyone was fine but it was hard to get into any sort of rhythm. I'm sure glad I didn't bring the Ducati.

Here's a lap from Saturday. (It's similar to the lap from April with more of the motion-sickness inducing aspects that I know both of my readers crave):

Here's a nearly traffic-free lap from Sunday afternoon:

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Random Odds + Ends

ORP (well, actually the dirt road leading to ORP) highlighted some problems. Everything inside the trailer was covered in dust. So I spent the week taking apart the interior and trying to reseal it. We'll see how successful I was in a couple weeks.

I ran out of batteries to power the camera too. Thought it would be easy to tap into the bike for power but the fuse I pull to disable the headlights also disables the tail lights, turn signals, and license plate light. I'll need to poke around and find a switchable source that's easy to get to and not effected by that fuse.

My cousin is off on his road trip.

I'm still planning to go back to ORP in a couple weeks. I'm waiting for the weather forecast before signing up and getting a hotel.

BTW, if you're ever in need of breakfast in The Dalles Oregon, I suggest stopping by the Country Cousin Inn. Get a cinnamon roll. Fresh basked and as big as your head!