Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Story of Nothing

Well we have had a very slightly cooler, but still hot summer. We have also had an unusually high amount of rainfall. The monsoon season is slowly coming to an end and with that is the arrival of our good riding season.


It rains everywhere and most riders just keep riding, but our summer rains are accompanied by fierce thunder and lightning as well and this alone keeps us mainly to short rides that get us home by noon. We have taken a few rides for breakfast or early lunch and a ride in to work once a week or so, but nothing blog worthy. Hurricane season ends in November, so we should be able to get out for a better look at central Florida again soon.


It is not just the weather that has kept us (me) from making any significant rides, but I also took this summer season as an opportunity to learn to play the ukulele. I know, the sound of it makes me smile and laugh too, so go ahead... If you pass a bike on the back roads and happen to notice a ukulele strapped to the riders' back, that is most likely me. Be sure to flag me down.


We do have a nice ride planned for the near future. We'll be riding the Concours and the Vulcan to north Georgia, eastern Tennessee, and western North Carolina. We'll be riding some of the more familiar rides in those states as well as exploring the back roads and small towns. It should be big fun and we'll take a few pictures to share as well.


Earlier this summer I changed the tires on the Vulcan. Have to tell you that I had Dunlops on it front and rear and was very pleased with them. They held well in the rain and rain grooves and other road irregularities caused very little squirming.  I switched to Metzeler 880 Marathons more to try something new than for any performance deficiency of the Dunlops.  The report on the Metzelers is also very good.  They hold tight in the rain and are not much effected by road irregularities.  They do seem to roll in and out of the curves with very little effort, but that may be because they still have a nice round profile and the center of the Dunlops were gone.


One thing that came to light when changing the tires was a bit of corrosion on the inside of my rims.  Our bikes are kept in the garage except when being ridden or when sitting in the parking lot on trips or at work.  Seems the rain must have found its’ way into the rim by following the spokes, then it went to work on the inner rims.  They cleaned up nicely, but it still puzzles me that there was any corrosion at all.


The last little bit of nothing to pass on today involves a germ of an idea that I both hope comes true and also hope does not come true.  Because I am one of those that sings the praise of simple bikes, I have been thinking it would be fun to take a long trip on a small displacement bike. 


Two events have entered my head and have been taking up way too much of my free thinking time.  The first is a notice I received that there will be another cannonball run in 2014.  This time the ride is limited to bikes built before 1937.  In 2012 the cut off was for bikes built no later than 1929 and in 2010, the newest machine eligible was made in 1915.


The second thought that keeps running through my brain is that 2014 is the 110 year anniversary of the start of the Lewis and Clark expedition.  Why not combine these two events into a just for fun, small displacement trek from the Atlantic coast in south or central Florida, northwest to St. Louis to pick up the trail of Lewis and Clark, then continue northwest for a final destination of Oregon?  Well, it would be fun and it deserves more thought.  I’ll get to that later, I have to practice my ukulele now…


  1. Sometimes the fun is in the planning..... it will be interesting to see if you do a Cannonball or a Lewis and Clark run.

    Riding in the rain isn't bad, but you said it - not good with thunder and lightning. A grim reminder of this a week or so ago here in Oregon when a Harley rider and his wife went to wait out a thunder storm under a tree. Lightning hit the tree and the husband died. So sad.

    1. Appreciate the encouragement. I will certainly plan the route and explore some travel options. The hard part is getting the time and funds together. But I am hopeful!

  2. That is a beautiful machine, mounted by an enthusiastic and musically inclined if not musically skilled, rider.....I like it! Your contemplated (hopefully to be planned) trip sounds intriguing. I'll be watching.....:)

    1. Thanks Coop, i think :) I have never been able to play a musical instrument and my singing send dogs for cover, but I am determined to have fun, so maybe I'll learn something too.

      The trip is going to get planned and we'll see if we can pull it off. Not too many years ago we all travelled two up on 450s, at least those that had the big bikes did. The rest of us thought our 125s and 175s were enough for solo trips and local two up, so I think for fun slow paced trip a couple of 250s would be a hoot. After all, if you are only cruising at 50 and see the trip rather than the end of the trip as the goal, they should be perfect.

      We'll see.