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Posts Tagged ‘Road’

  1. Season’s End?

    November 12, 2012 by Anthony O 2

    Much to my dismay, the riding season is coming to an end. That isn’t to say I won’t be riding through the Winter, but the days of having someone to ride with have all but come to an end. And this realization has helped me to enjoy the last two rides with friends all the more. Our previous ride was a three bike endeavor featuring only custom cruisers: an amalgamation Harley with a 110 S&S motor, a Harley Davidson 883 bobber, and the Cain Abomination AntiCruizer. Despite that ride being rather short, only about 130 miles, it was epic in proportion as it was made with one of my closest friends (who happens to claim responsibility for my addiction to riding) and another friend I only recently started hanging out again (and surprise, surprise, that is because of motorcycles).

    The day was cool to say the least, bordering on cold by most motorcycle standards, but that didn’t stop us from donning our cool weather gear and heading out on short notice for what we thought would be the last ride of the season. Somehow it has become my responsibility to decide on the route for rides, perhaps because I have a pension for trying to get lost, then finding myself. These rides tend to wander through the countryside on back roads that all but the locals know not exist, and those are the roads for which we live. scenery, open highways, and my favorite, twisties. Granted, the guys on the lowered, custom, raked out machines aren’t necessarily a fan of the last in that list, but that’s what they get for allowing me to lead the way. This ride went particularly smooth considering there were two custom Harleys in the group. I don’t really have good luck riding with Harleys. They tend to not survive the roads every 5th ride or so. But it was a great ride, and I even managed to get lost at one point. Of course, the guys following me never knew that since I just kept cruising (perhaps cruizing since I was on the AntiCruizer) and eventually found a highway number that would lead us in the direction we needed to go. And to top it off we got to finish with one of my favorite roads.

    Then today I thought I had a group together for the last ride of the season since this weekend was unusually warm, but nothing seemed to pan out. One person working, another hanging out with his family, another having blown the exhaust off his bike leaving him on a loaner from a friend that he wasn’t comfortable enough to ride for any distance yet, and any myriad of excuses other than those to leave it down to a two person ride. Instead of riding my own SV I took to the Shadow as I was under the impression the guy I was riding with would be on his old ’52 Triumph “Cafe Cruiser“, but he broke out his chopper thinking we would be traveling at a blistering pace. Far be it from me to disappoint I flogged the Shadow for everything that little 600 was worth to keep up when I wasn’t leading, and we ended up just making what be a total of 60 miles ridden. The journey is the important part, though, and this day that journey included dinner at the Stephen Foster Restaurant, but before that the hypercharger blew off the chopper and being the good Samaritan I am I stopped and tossed it in my saddlebag. After eating (dessert first, of course) we were ready to roll out, but there was a hiccup in the plan. The chopper died just before pulling onto the highway. More than two hours later we finally had the American engineered monster running again thanks to a guy with a local shop, and I was busy playing catch-up yet again. A windy, yet warm, ride back was a near perfect way to wrap up the season.

    But here’s to hoping the weather gives one last gift so I can have one more day on the road with my brothers. As much as I love and prefer riding, it’s so much more enjoyable with a friend.

  2. Like Peter Pan, My Shadow was Lost

    December 6, 2011 by Anthony O 2

    Recently I ventured out on yet another ride, and once again I found myself enjoying the back roads of Central Kentucky here in Grayson County. But despite my enjoyment of the ride, the day held a surprise for which I was not prepared. It was possibly the last of the warm days here in Kentucky, and, as a result, I found myself unable to fight the call of the open road. I knew there would not be many more days that would be comfortable riding the Shadow so I took the little cruiser out for what would likely be the last ride of the all but gone riding season. The previous weekend I had been fortunate enough to enjoy a ride to visit a friend who was in on leave from the Navy in surprisingly warm weather for November, so when the following weekend again brought temperatures in the low 60s I didn’t hesitate hop on the Shadow and take off gallivanting across the countryside. After a quick pit stop to fill up the gas tank I was cruising on my favorite back roads soaking up the waning warmth. The Honda had started cutting out, sometimes even dying when twisting the throttle from a standstill so my destination was once again the motorcycle shop. I had started to mess around with her at the house, but I quickly discovered I was unable to get to the battery to check the wire connections with the tools I had at the house. For some odd reason Honda decided to place the bolts in such a way they weren’t easy access with the included tool pouch, which consisted of one Phillips screwdriver. The shop, I knew, had the right size screwdriver so I my intention was to end up there early in the afternoon then come home to get my ZG1 for a little more spirited play mid-afternoon.

    The Shadow, it seems, had other plans.

    After gomming around at the shop I finally set to the task at hand, which resulted in a discovery: There was nothing wrong with the cables or connections. Since she had been running great for the last couple weeks after I started using Startron I just chalked the past problems up something in the carbs.

    Boy was I ever wrong.

    The shop closed, everyone was gone except my buddy, the Shadow was warmed up, but when I began to pull away she died. After nearly 30 minutes of messing with her and trying to jump-start her we decided there was nothing to be done and I was forced to be a caged animal once again, at least until I got home. My friend gave me a ride home and I was forced to break the bad news: The Shadow was dead.

    Poppa took it all in stride, his only question was “How did you get back?” There was no fussing, no threats about covering whatever had happened, just a calm nod a question about what had happened. It really was odd, as I explained to him. She wouldn’t even begin to fire. The starter fired like crazy when we tried to jump her, but there was just nothing there. At this point I would expect others to be upset, but she was in good hands at the shop and I had it on good authority the culprit was likely just that the battery was “that dead”.

    I was skeptical. But who am I to question those who have been working on motorcycles for years.

    When the weekend was over, and between my Monday classes, I made the caged trek, all 47 miles from campus to work on the bike. It’s not like I could do much. After all I have no clue when it comes to mechanics, but I figured if it was something as simple as the battery then I could at least pull the old one off and replace it. What I didn’t know is they were way ahead of me at the shop. While I had been in my morning class they had already pulled the old battery and found the problem was simply the battery was “that dead”. A quick charge of a new battery and tossing it on the bike resulted in her firing up immediately, and I might add it sounded like she was running better. And it wasn’t just my ears longing to hear her run as the guys at the shop made a similar comment.

    Nothing exciting to report, I know, but it was a bit worrisome over the weekend. I’ve broken a fair share of other people’s toys and I was definitely not looking forward to having been responsible for yet another vehicular catastrophe. Thankfully, this nothing a brand-spanking-new Yuasa battery couldn’t fix. Now all I’ve gotta do is wait until the middle of the week to pick her up and bring her back home.

    Of course, I could have picked her up today, but riding in a cold rain with the temperature already in the 40s isn’t my idea of a good time, especially considering I didn’t have any riding or rain gear with me. And to top it all off I would’ve needed to get a ride back out to the shop to get back in the cage so I could return to my night class. Now all that’s left to do is wait another 33 hours for the shop to open so I can thumb a ride down there and take the ol’ girl out for one last little ride before she’s likely hidden away for the winter. At least that’s the plan for now. Who knows what will happen in a few weeks after I’ve grown accustomed to the near freezing or colder temperatures and we get another warm spell into the 40s. Maybe then the Shadow will escape from her confines temporarily for another “last ride” of the season.

  3. Mini Road Trip pt. 4

    November 2, 2011 by Anthony O 2

  4. Mini Road Trip pt. 3

    November 2, 2011 by Anthony O 2

  5. Mini Road Trip pt. 2

    November 2, 2011 by Anthony O 2