164.2 miles

Funke and I went out yesterday, enjoying one of the last nice days. We headed south to Nashville for some grub then head home. Thankfully, I had my hand guards installed (thanks DirtCrashr!) Without them, I wouldn't have made it much farther than a few miles. We tore down I65 and eventually to 135 which has some great curves and hills. It was pretty common to see flowers and crosses in those turns. Kinda unnerves you a bit.

After a while we hit Nashville and filled up on coffee and grub. Eating at restaurants is always challenging and a bit nerve racking for me, thanks to my stupid gluten intolerance. The bean soup proved to be safe and tasty. With full bellies, we headed out to hop on 45 towards Unionville where we met up with Funke's riding buddy.

Another cuppa joe at an amazing house tucked back in the woods and we were back on the road. By now, it's pitch black and a bit frosty outside. I tough it out and we navigate the twisties in the dark. We hit massive traffic in Bloomington and finally get out on 37 North. Control..., we have a problem. The faster I go, the more pressure my right guard puts on the brake lever, causing my brake light to stay on. We thought we had fixed this before we left. Now, it's night and really freaking unsafe.

I pass Funke and he tails me into another gas station. I'm starting to get pissed. My hands are cold, I'm hungry again and just wanna get home and warm up by the wood stove. I pull out my tool kit and start pulling off the guards. I can either try to secure the guard another way (no can do, forgot to pack my zip ties) or I can pull the wires for the front brake switch. With wires pulled, now I have to try to mount the guard again. All the while, thinking, "where the hell are my zip ties?". Oh, they're in my old tool kit that was packed for my CB750. Generous use of white electrical tape does it's job and we're geared up and ready to go. Crap....just like Randy in "Christmas Story", I have to pee. No more delays, I'll ride it out and stop when my hands go numb.

We make the rest of the trip with only one pitstop. The cold and hunger start to take their toll on my newly forming skills. Thankfully, the ride is uneventful. Once we're off the super slab, I start to get some feeling back in my digits. Wind guards and insulated gloves just can't cut it when it's 20-some degrees outside w/o calculating speed into the mix. I'll be adding heated grips and hard hand guards before the bike comes out of winter storage.

I know we got some strange looks ripping up 37 in the cold and dark. With my hands frozen into hooks, lips cracked and dry...I am alive. Aware of my existence, aware of the eventual dirt nap and everything in between. What an amazing night.


scratch and sting

First off, the Mrs found my knife in her car! So, I added a a pocket clip from one of the box cutter knives. Works pretty well.

So, the Mrs and I were thinking about getting a few chickens next year but I'm also thinking about getting a hive instead. Eggs are pretty cheap, honey is not. I don't want to do both because it will pretty much just be me tending to whatever we get. The bees seem a bit less involved and I could be the crazy guy in the neighborhood with bees. I could also rock a bee-beard.

It's all just day dreaming right now. Before we start another project, I need to finally get our garden going.


it's sad day indeed...

When I was in 2nd grade, my Mom gave me a Victorinox Hiker. I've carried that knife off and on for the past 24 years. It lost it at work a few months ago and thankfully someone turned it in. Today, I wasn't so lucky.

I'm obviously pissed but now I'm faced with a choice. Do I buy another Swiss Army style knife or do I step into the world of multi-tools? I have a few multi-tools around but they live in our emergency bags, so I've never carried them on a regular basis. I'm hesitant to go with another knife (I'll buy a replacement but probably won't carry it) since they're easy to lose. Right now, I'm leaning towards the Gerber Octane. It's simple and it has pocket clip!


cookin' in the sun, freezin' at night

I've been riding to work the last couple of days. Chilly in the morning, 70 by midday! The main reason I've been riding (I'm ashamed to admit) is because the waterpump in my truck decided to start peeing coolant all over the place Tuesday afternoon. Limped it home and started wrenching that night. Had to call it a night when I could see my breath in the flashlight beam.

Rode the scoot to work Thursday. After work, I strapped a milk crate on the back to haul home my water pump and anti-freeze. This would have been fine but I'm also on-call for work. So, in addition to my cargo, I was also carrying my laptop, work tools, and all the liners/layers from my morning commute in my backpack. I felt like a cramped pack mule. The load shifted my riding position forward quite a bit and made the ride pretty crappy.

Got the pump swapped out last night and had to research how to bleed the stupid closed cooling system. What a messy job.

Taking the truck tomorrow, need to give it a good test run.

In addition to the waterpump, I ordered parts for my Remington 597 and realized I lost a set screw for the guide rods! Ugh... After a bit of shopping, I found the right size by trial and error. (Remington doesn't list the size/pitch.) If anyone needs set screws, I gotta ton!



I got my riding pants last night and decided to ride to work today. Put some layers on, threw my work clothes in my backpack and fired up the bike. I left about 30 minutes earlier than normal, so traffic was very light. The ride was good and all the gear kept me warm. The insulated gloves work ok but my hands still get chilly. So, I'm thinking about doing this instead of heated grips or electric gloves. Seems like a good alternative to the slip on grips.

The weather should be nice next week but due to work scheduling, commuting will be unlikely.

Riding to work...a good way to start the day.