Godspeed Unk...

Rest in peace John.

My sympathies go out to his friends and family. We had planned a trip up north but unfortunately, life got in the way. I deeply regret never getting to know him outside of the net.

**** I updated the post with a few pictures from his brother's blog, ShopTeacherBob. ****

Fun in the south

This past Friday, I headed south to Nashville, IN to meet up with some friends for a bachelor par-tay. The bachelor, his friend and myself headed down SR 9, to 44 and into Franklin to catch 135 South. Our ride was uneventful, especially since we were either stuck behind a truck or stuck behind "Jay Feather" the camper through all the fun twisty parts. As we made our way out of Nashville towards the cabin, the sun was setting and the pavement began dwindle.

By the time we reached our destination, the road was gravel and we had a good size hill to tackle. We successfully made it up the hill but decided to use a friends car for any trips to town. The bike line up was pretty diverse: VStrom, BMW K bike, a 900 Vulcan and my wee SECA II.

Beers were drank, meat was cooked on the grill, cigars were smoked and stories were told around a campfire. I think we spent about 5 minutes total talking about marriage, the rest of the time was spent talking about motorcycles and future trips.

On Sunday morning we followed our friend on the Strom that lives in the area. He literally rides the road we took every day. It was almost unnatural how fast and smooth he navigated the twists and turns. I know my cornering skills need some work and coming in too hot on one corner only reinforced that. So, time to practice practice practice (and read "Proficient Motorcycling"). The rest of the ride back was up boring 37 North.

The trip was great and it looks like we're going to make it a yearly event.

the walk of shame...

Today, I rode to work and got to park with all the other bikes like a big boy. I even managed to bring my wife a drink from Starbucks on my way home for lunch. All was well until I was on my home after running errands.

I felt a sputter and thought "Hmmm, my exhaust sounds rather farty.". It wasn't my imagination. Nor was it my brain playing tricks on me when I was riding two-up and thought I heard and felt the same thing.

Well, as the title says, I got to do the walk, or rather push of shame. I pushed the XJ about 3/4 of a mile home.

Turns out, my mileage estimates were a bit, uh, generous. At 160 miles, I have to switch to reserve. So, since the last stretch towards home is all up hill, the bike pooped out a bit early. By the time I got back to flat ground, I was so pissed off I didn't think about the possibility of running out of gas.

Live and learn.


first two-up ride (of many to come)

The Mrs and I suited up and rode north to Kokomo for a vintage bike meet. While my bike isn't technically vintage, it is 19 years old. I figured it was old enough to sneak in. =] The owners of Throttle Jockey were having a cookout and showing "On Any Sunday" via projector onto the garage door.

There was an awesome assortment of bikes but I was lazy and only took pics of a couple of flat track bikes. We met some cool people, saw cool bikes and had a good ride. It was my first time riding with The Mrs, she did great as a passenger. The ride back at night was a bit crisp but nice. There was a spot where my I swear I felt the engine stumble a few times. Immediately, my paranoia kicked into full swing! It's 10pm, we're in between podunk towns and I do not want to have a break down with my wife on the back. Add to those worries the fact that we were hungry, tired and ready to be home.

The odometer was at about 140 miles, too early for reserve but I twisted it over any way. I didn't notice the "stumbling" anymore but that could be because it never happened. The rest of the trip was uneventful unless you can the two botched shifts where I didn't make it past neutral! I guess being tired and hungry was taking it's toll on me, glad we were close to home.

All in all, it was a great time and I'm glad The Mrs had a good time and is looking forward to another trip. This morning, we browsed online for some better riding gear for her. We'll also need to invest in a bigger more comfy bike for longer trips. The SECA is great for short two-up runs or longer solo trips but not so much for longer two-up trips.

Good stuff.


covering your what-ifs.

Last fall, I let my policy with Progressive expire. I went with them because they seemed to offer the best coverage for the money. Now that I'm mobile again, I started shopping around to see if I could get a better deal. I looked into Dairyland, which lots of people on the interwebs recommend but they wanted 4 times the amount Progressive wanted for the same coverage. Really? Let's try GEICO, hmmm, not much better. Still over double of what Flo is asking. I didn't even finish my All State quote due to the "wonderful" customer service I received when I called about an issue.

Looks like I'm going back to Progressive. Who is your policy through?

I love this pic.