Sunday, September 28, 2008

Made it home again......

Today was the return trip. Woke up this morning and just decided that I wanted to bee-line home. I followed I35 to the TX95 bypass through Taylor so I could avoid the traffic and construction in Temple, but it was a straight shot home. Only about 230 miles today. I only stopped once in Waco for gas and lunch. The R90 only has about 120-140 miles before it is time to get off and stretch a bit. Today was a very nice ride. No excitement, no startling revelations, no grand epiphanies......just a bit of quiet time spent in my head with the hum of the engine. It still suprises me how soothing that drone is. I guess this one will be short, I will post a wrap up after I crawl in the shower, shave my head, and knock the road grime off.

Here is the route:

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Downhill run.....

Today was the relaxing day. Absolutely no plan, no direction, really didn't know where I was going to end up. The real point of humor in the whole thing is that I ended up in the hotel that is immediately behind the hotel I stayed in Thursday night.

I started with the knowledge that I needed to at least be back in Texas by the end of today. I started heading east out of Norman, OK. Turned south on us377 in OK and started heading south. That is where I lost my mind. I ended up taking a wrong turn at Ada, OK, and ended up going southeast on OK Highway 3......whatever that is supposed to be. The road is actually gorgeous.....when you are not in a podunk town with a 20 mph speed limit. The most interesting thing that I noticed out there is that the casinos have taken over. I probably passed 15 casinos while on the road in OK. I am sure it does wonders for the economy, but I think it is kind of pathetic that I saw more large casinos in OK than I did actual industry. But I digress.....Once I hit Atoka, OK, I got on US75. Who would have guessed that Central expressway went all the way from a small town in Oklahoma to the middle of Dallas. I just kind of followed 75 back to 35, and turned north looking for a hotel .

I actually decided I wanted a beer in my hotel room. That means I needed to hit a hotel with a bar....... I headed for a relatively inexpensive hotel that might work out in Denton, where 35E and 35W meet. I get there to discover that it is closed. Poop. This is where the decision was made that I am sore and I need a hot This was the next hotel up the road, and here I am. I still have not decided if I am going to bee-line it home, or piddle extensively. Either way, I will update one more time when I get home.

Here is the route:

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Friday, September 26, 2008

All that way, and I got a Jolt cola......

I am a dork.....just a flat out dork. I rode 400+ miles to Pop's Route 66 and i froze up while looking at the selection of drinks. I got a Jolt cola.....I am a dork.

The ride started out fairly well, it was very cold this morning and pretty windy. I made it to the OK border at around 10:00. Here is the shot as I leave holy ground:

The first thing that I always see that lets me know I am riding in Oklahoma is the red dirt that washes over the road and leaves all of the bridges stained red. The big sign saying you are now entering Oklahoma is a big clue too......

The other thing that clues me in that I am in Oklahoma is the incredible amount of bug goo that appears on my visor:

When I finally called it a day at the Hotel, this nice little girl behind the gounter pointed out that my visor was covered with bugs......I can't believe she actually had the nerve to say something about it. After she got me situated with a room, she cleaned my visor for me. Now that is service......

I stopped off at the OKC BMW Dealership. There is actually a very nice dealership there. It kind of makes the one in Dallas look....dinky. The staff is very nice, and they have a great decompression facility. I have noticed that I am pushing about 120 miles between gas stops. Here is the bench in front of OKC BMW:

I finally came to understand how the very short stopping distance for a motorcycle is not really a benefit. I almost took a pickup up the tailpipe on I35 coming through OKC. The truck in front of me decided that it would stop short and I didn't have much of a choice but to follow suit. The pickup behind me, however, did not have a very good stopping distance. I have determined that the most disturbing sound in the world is anti-lock brakes doing their job heard echoing in your helmet. I managed to get onto the shoulder before the pickup went through the spot that I was sitting just before. He missed me by a mile, but I don't think he even noticed, he had his arms locked and his eyes closed. Wow. I am a lucky SOB. I love solo roadtrips.......they are so good at providing perspective.

oh well.....Here is the route for the day:

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Might as well go for soda......

So it is time for a bit of a "get out of town". Time to blow some of the cobwebs out from between the old ears. Started out early after work, took off around 4:30, made Waco around 6:30, and Denton around 8:30.

Here is the route:

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Not a whole hell of a lot of excitement today, really pretty boring. Fortunately, that is the point of this trip. No excitement, no plan, just ride till I am tired, and see where I end up. Basic idea right now is to go to Edmond, OK to get a coke at Pop's Route 66, then maybe head up to Tulsa to get a picture at Sam Kinison's grave. Don't know yet, just have to see where I end up. Either way, my brain will be drain-o'd....



Friday, September 19, 2008

Ok, so I am a dork

It turns out that the problems that I was having with the new transmission were just due to getting the new box broken in, and getting me used to actually having to shift the gears instead of just shuffling them randomly.

Now that I am riding the bike properly for the new gearbox, I am finding it much more responsive than the it was before. I also got ahold of one of the San Jose fork braces for the front end. It is possibly the best money ever spent on a motorcycle, other than gas of course. The purpose of the fork brace is to keep the fork legs in line during heavy braking, fast cornering, and general stupidity. I would not have believed that a simple chuck of steel between the forks would do things like......drop 10% off of my stopping distance. Now I don't get the lateral pull when I get on the front brakes as hard. It also changes the way the bike feels when I go into a corner. Before, the big corner on my way to work felt kind of mushyif I took it over about 30. It kind of had that "low tire" feel to it. Now, I have taken it up to 45 (the actual speed limit for both roads) and there is no movement at all. I am definately not inspired to engage in random acts of "squid-idity", but I certainly feel much more confident in the ability of the bike to make emergency manouvers, or sudden stops without wadding up.

Now that everything is back in working order and we are coming up on winter, it is time to start thinking about what I want to do toward the customization/frankenbiking of Athena. The original plan for this bike was to turn her into a cafe racer, with the ability to do real distance. I know the two sound mutually exclusive, but If I do it intelligently, it should not be a problem. The big things that need to be done are the clean-up of the fairing, painting the tank, getting the corbin /6 gunfighter solo seat installed, and the final touch will be upgrading the front brakes to dual disks. I don't see the brake upgrade happening in the near future, but it is worth a thought.

I will probably just break down and spray paint the fairing I have until I can get around to buying the parts and having them professionally shot.



Thursday, September 4, 2008

Well, poopie.

It looks like the transmission that got rebuilt is still having problems, so it is going back to mikey. That means another week or so without her. I will be hauling her in on saturday.....again.

well, poo.



Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Yay!!!!!!!! The R90 is back.

I just got back in from San Marcos with the R90. New transmission, and a front fork brace. Everything is running very nicely. I am so happy, I am going to take her to work tomorrow. I will probably let the Ural sit for a couple weeks while I get to know her again. All I need to do now is figure out how to get the fork brace attached. The bolt holes are set up for a /7 fender, and I am riding a /6........poop.

Oh well.....


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

'Bout damn time, and all that......

My life since my last post, has been what we call in the computer industry, an MPCCF. For those people not used to acronyms, Massively Parallel Cascading Cluster F(ail). That is where a bunch of things go wrong simultaneously, and cause other things to fail in a chain reaction.

It all started with the trip that I had planned to blow the cobwebs out of my brain got sidetracked due to a mess at work that had to be handled. While getting everything sorted on that front, I noticed that the gearbox on the R90 was starting to feel a bit notchy. On the way to work one evening, 3rd gear let go on me. This called for a new gearbox. Just about the time I got ready to get the new box put in, I ended up getting sent out of town for work for a week. This culminated in 6 weeks of work without a day off. When all is finally said and done, I wind up getting everything done on the thursday before labor day weekend. I get the R90 dropped off with Mikey, and Kel and I get ready for the Labor Day Weekend escape. This time we are dragging along two of our friends.

The trip starts falling apart with one of the participants running into family problems the wednesday before we leave. One bike down, three to go. We end up with a trio of airheads heading for Fredricksburg. Two R90's and a Ural. We make it almost 30 miles before we discover that the other friend's R90 is not charging the battery. This can't be good. We end up writing off Saturday getting the battery replaced. Now there is a good battery, but it is still not charging to the highest capacity. It will only charge to maintenance levels if the headlight is off. Sunday is spend tearing through the charging system with a voltmeter checking all of the outputs, cleaning all contacts, and making sure all ground connections are good. At the end of sunday, we are getting 13.8v out of the charging system and all is good.

This brings us to the ride. Finally, I get to put more than 5 consecutive miles on the bike. We end up taking Hamilton Pool Road to 281, and then to Marble Falls. Have Lunch at the Bluebonnet Cafe, and then come home down 1431. We only pushed about 125 miles, but it was better than a beating (just barely). In the end it was a nice ride. I had lots of fun.

Here is the route. Sorry, no pictures.

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Time to start planning a trip for sometime around my b-day.