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· Visionary
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This is actually a report on Wednesday-Saturday, it's been busy...

Wednesday - Thursday the weather looked great so played I hooky from work :biggrin: . My wife gets the whole summer off, she's a bad influence on me!

We got up early and rode 120 miles to Hershey Park on a planned winding trip on back roads, got gloriously lost on some beautiful roads in 'middleofnowherePennsylvania", gave up eventually and took the Interstate the last 40 miles and finally got there around noon :)

We spent the day at the amusement park, stayed over, then rode home on a different route, back roads again and this time I actually found my way home! We were well ahead of a big storm that we knew was coming but then got hungry about 40 miles from home and stopped for lunch....and rode the last 40 miles in pouring rain..we got soaked but it was warm and daylight on familiar roads so it was actually a lot of fun, until I looked at all the crud on the bikes!

We spent all morning Saturday washing the mud off and waxing and polishing, I guess that's the price paid for all the fun riding in the rain :)

Saturday wasn't supposed to be a riding day, we had a family birthday party to attend but it turns out that a couple of my daughter's friends are track racers and since they weren't racing and needed a bike fix they all brought their dirt bikes to the party, I jumped on my daughter's XR 100 and went ripping around their yard chasing the racers in the gravel and wet grass..fun!

Life is good!
 

· Visionary
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I played hooky from work and we had a great day, my wife and I rode about 60 miles from Bangor, PA on rt 611 and rt 32 to New Hope, PA, walked around and checked out all the cool shops, ate a great lunch, walked over the bridge to Lambertville, NJ. We strolled around for a while, then walked back over the river and bought chocolate for dessert, then rode home to a nice dinner cooked by her daughter.

This is a nice ride for anyone in the area, all small, twisty roads, shady and cool along the Delaware river, the perfect run on a hot August day.

I need to stay home from work more often.
 

· Visionary
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When a small part drops and seemingly disappears without a trace what really happens is that it hits the ground so hard it often bounces about 15 minutes into the future, you can look everywhere but until that time has elapsed you won't be able to find it, it's really not there yet. :)
When a small part takes off for places unknown in my shop, I've had good luck (after more time searching on my knees than I care to admit) by sweeping the floor and then putting a magnet to the pile of sweepings. I'll also run a magnet behind and under stuff and luck out finding a tiny part once in a while.
 

· Visionary
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I left the car home and rode my Vstar into work and back ( 144 Miles), the weather was gorgeous but chilly (53) in the AM, and nice and warm in the 80s for the ride home. With this huge variation I was very glad for the removable lining in my jacket.

Weather looks perfect again, I'll be riding it into work again tomorrow, so if you live near me expect a wakup call around 04:00 from Vance and Hines :)
:71baldboy:
 

· Visionary
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Another toothbrush on the spoke wheel fanatic...I'm that guy too! My wife hates cleaning hers, she gives them a few swats with a polish rag, calls it done and jumps on the bike to ride but I think it's very therapeutic to sit there for an hour and brush them all like teeth, THEN go ride it and get them all dirty again! :)
Yours look GREAT!!!
Took a ride up to my brothers home, he passed away last month suddenly and I spent several hours cleaning up his house and yard. As he lives in Northern NJ there are some very beautiful country roads to ride. When I got home mowed my own lawn and then gave the bike a very much needed bath and detail.
 

· Visionary
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I spent Saturday overhauling the tail lights and turn signals on my Vstar, I now am all LED (except for a couple of little indicator bulbs in the speedometer and those will be next).
This sounds like a simple bulb swap BUT Yamaha uses some weird offset pin sockets and none of the LEDs I could find fit, so I ended up replacing all the sockets except for the tail light. Then I rewired the flasher with a new electronic 3 wire LED capable one too, since the existing on didn't work with the LEDs. I did the 'diode mod' to make the indicator bulb work in the speedometer but for some reason it didn't work, this is not a show stopper by any means though so I'll open that up and fix it when I get a chance. Other than that it works great, and the current draw is much lower, my driving lights and headlight used to flicker sitting at a light if a turn signal was on and the bike was idling, that is no longer the case. The new lights are much brighter, both running and turn signals and brake, and to even further improve the brake/ tailight I added in a second bulb in the same big empty enclosure. That made the brake light REALLY bright, I can see it light up the road behind me when I hit the brakes.
I was busy Sunday with family stuff but I rode into work this morning in the 29F 4 am darkness, and I admit to changing lanes a few times just so I could use my new turn signals :)
 

· Visionary
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I tried out some new gear on the ride into work today, and it worked great, I was warm the whole 72 miles. I layered up with a polartec fleece jumpsuit under my riding gear, wore a balaclava under my helmet, and best of all I finally gave in and bought electric gloves yesterday. The gloves were an amazing thing, I actually got too warm with them on high even at 75 mph and had to lower them to the medium setting. The only part of me that got a little cold towardss the end of the ride was my toes, I had wool socks inside my boots but I guess I could look for a little bit thicker pair, but it really wasn't a problem, my toes weren't frozen or painful,just the one part of me that wasn't nice and cozy.
The weather looks to be colder but clear the next few days, as long as the road isn't frozen I'm riding on 2 wheels. :)
 

· Visionary
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Saturday my wife and I rode our V-Stars about 100 miles of local roads, checked out a local point of interest that I had always been curious about but never got around to, and of course found a nice inn for lunch. Blue skies and 60 degrees, what a day for late November! I was overdressed and hot for most of the ride down, which was a pleasant change to say the least!

We rode from Bangor, PA to Ringing Rocks park in Upper Black Eddy, PA. A nice easy ride down the riverside on rt 611, one of my favorite local roads. Ringing Rocks is a weird place that has a field of boulders that actually ring like metal bells when you hit them with a hammer. It's odd to be hiking with 20 people, all carrying hammers, but that's what you do there. It was fun!

http://www.davidhanauer.com/buckscounty/ringingrocks/

On the way home we ate lunch in the Rieglesville Inn, if your in the area riding 611, stop in for lunch, you won't be sorry.

We took a longer route home and ran some errands along the way, all in all it was a lovely day to be riding. We had so much fun that later that night when we saw it was was still warm after dark, instead of putting away the bikes we went out for an evening 20 mile ride, the excuse was a cup of coffee from the 'better' Dunkin Donuts 2 towns away :)
 

· Visionary
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Flying ice!! That's pretty darn scary! Glad it worked out ok!
Had a snowbird with a big 5th wheel camper pass me on their way south for the winter. There was heavy snow north of my locale and when he bounced across a bridge some huge clumps of packed snow and ice came flying out from under the camper. He was about a hundred feet ahead of me and I had time and room to evade the big chunks as they slid across the highway but if he had been along side of me, it might have been an unpleasant experience.
 

· Visionary
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Maybe I'll just stop at Campmor one day, they aren't that far from where I work, and check those out. I've been wearing wool but I think I can do better, I was going to see what the local Dick's or Modells had, I still might.
I think it's really my riding boots that are the issue, they are just thin leather harness boots with no insulation, I was thinking about riding in my heaviest insulated work boots on the coldest days, I might try that and see how it goes.

Hey Mike, you might want to check out "Darn Tough Merino Wool Mountaineering Over-the-Calf Extra Cushion Socks" from Campmor.com (Item #: 15675GRYM) I recently bought a pair of Forma Adventure boots and a couple pairs of these socks. Merinno wool so not itchy and not hot in warm weather, but nice and thick and warm. BTW, I buy a lot of "motorcycle riding gear" from Campmor. Much camping clothin can be adapted easily to riding service.

Cheers,

Mike
 

· Visionary
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Mike, your pictures make me envious of the country you have to ride in. That one pic is a heckuva big rock pile to play in! The grub looked pretty doggone good too!
The" Ringing Rock"s is actually the small local boulder pile, the cool thing about them is that they ring like metal bells. The big one is called appropriately enough "THE boulder field", but they don't ring.
http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/cs/groups/public/documents/document/dcnr_004626.pdf

You can see more of our local scenery here, this is all the motorcycle related pictures I have online
https://www.facebook.com/mike.stewart.1048/media_set?set=a.10206627689429734.1197423287&type=3


It's funny, I'm always planning our riding trips to see new scenery, I am finding out that I really like riding long distances and highways to get places.

My wife rides on those trips but she really prefers riding around all the side roads and byways, she can be happy with 8 hours on her bike and never get more than 50 miles away.

She pointed out when I was planning a 400 mile trip to see some fall foliage that so many people come here to Pennsylvania to see ours, what's different about Maine's trees that we should go see them?
She made a good point!

The image I attached isn't mine, but it's the Big Boulder field, I can't find my pics at the moment, it's a very odd place.
 

· Visionary
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I rode into work this morning, a beautiful, clear pre-dawn ride, not too cold, at 32 it was warmer than it has been and I was cozy and warm in my gear. Traffic was very light because of the holiday, almost no trucks and I had the highway to myself for long stretches. I wish it was like this every day. I saw one other rider on the trip, going the other way, we both recognized each others 3 light LED headlight patterns a long way coming and flashed the brights at each other, 2 ships passing in the night but it felt good to not be alone.

Today's tale from my commute though is actually from yesterday's ride home, it was a really beautiful day here in Newark, NJ and when I left to head home to Pennsylvania it was pushing 60+ with bright sunshine. Quite a change from the 29 I rode in at 4 am. I decided to pack 3/4 of the layers I rode in with in my backpack, and at the last minute packed my electric gloves and stuck on a pair of mesh gloves that were in my locker. I figured I would get home just before sunset, and it would feel so nice to ride in those thin gloves for a change, how cold could it get?
Well, I kind of forgot that this was the busiest road day of the year, and even with a bit of effort at sneaking through it I still sat in quite a bit of traffic, about an hours worth in fact. The warm sun and all the traffic heat around me and the warm engine under me felt good, and my hands were just a bit cool but so pleasant as I inched along.
Just as the sun is setting in spectacular fashion front of me I get past the last bottleneck, the road clears, and off I go at 75 mph, finally flying free at last. The speed feels good after the slow traffic, for about 5 minutes, then I realize that the sun has set, the temperature has dropped like a stone, and I'm wearing just a single lined jacket and MESH gloves! I have 25 miles to go, and as my fingers get numb I start thinking about how good an extra layer under my jacket, and those WARM electric gloves in my back pack would feel, but my mind counters with the thought of stopping in the dark, getting off the highway, finding someplace safe to park, stripping off the pack and jacket making me even colder, and then rigging the wires and all that in the dark side road with frozen fingers and then finding my way back to the highway.
I decided to tough it out and kept riding with what felt like wooden fingers, shivering my way along, balancing speed with shivering to minimize the pain for the rest of the trip. I finally got home an hour after sunset shivering in 34 degree cold, with visions of the WARM electric gloves that were 3 inches away in my backpack dancing in my head as I jumped off the bike, left it sitting there in front of the garage, and went inside and spent the next 10 minutes hugging the kitchen radiator until I could feel things again. :icon_cool:
I don't think I'll try that again!!
Ride Safe everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving!!!
 

· Visionary
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I discovered yesterday that the motorcycle jack that I have didn't fit my bike!

I've used it on a Marauder I rebuilt for my stepdaughter and it worked great, but when I went to put my V-Star up on it to remove the wheels ( My new tires came in, YAY!) I found that the lower frame is too wide for the jack. I took the jack platform section to work with me , and did a little lunch time project, cut off the stopper blocks on the end of the jack pads and fabricated some extensions out of scrap, just needed an inch to make it work. I bolted them on for now for a test fit, I'll probably weld them later after I make sure they fit. I took it home and gave it a quick test, worked great, so now I can take the wheels off when I get a chance.

The last few days the weather was bad so I hadn't rode since Sunday, but it was so nice last night that I took the bike to work, 42 degrees and I got my December ride in, not bad at all for Pennsylvania winter, I'll take it. The weekend looks great so I'm holding off on the tires so we can ride Saturday so my wife gets at least one December ride in too. Sunday after a morning ride if the weather holds the bike goes on the lift, the wheels come off, and to the shop they go! I'm sure the weather will be great the whole time I'm waiting for the wheels ( they said 2 days..), but I really need to get that back tire off the bike, let's just say at this point it's very well loved :)
 

· Visionary
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Rode about 225 miles on Saturday, a nice pre dawn run in the morning to get some bagels for breakfast. I might have detoured onto my favorite twisty section of rt 46 in NJ, funny how I always seem to make that wrong turn on the way back. Later that day got called into work, it was a gorgeous day so I rode the 72 miles there, and then back again at midnight.
Sunday I really wanted to ride but my tires were sitting in the shop, I bit the bullet and took off the wheels and dropped them off to have a set of Commander IIs installed. The shop is a bit backed up, they will be done Tuesday or Wednesday, till then it sits on the jack.
I can't wait to try out the new tires, but till they are ready I have some work to do, clean some hard to get to spots on the bike, and dissassemble the rear axle so I can lube the drive shaft splines. The brakes look great so that's one less thing that I need to do.
 

· Visionary
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After waiting 5 days my new tires finally were mounted and ready to pick up, I got home around 7pm with them in the back of my car. I headed right to the garage and put those bad boys on my bike, after a little bit of confusion over a spacer that I left out and a dinner break I had the bike ready to roll about 10 pm. I took a short ride to gas up and then parked it for the night. 4am I rode into work on the new shoes.
I have to say after 72 miles that I am liking these Michelin Commander 2 tires, it took me about 20 miles of riding a bit slowly to feel comfortable on a round rear tire again after my worn flat old ones but after I felt comfortable I started going faster and I realized that these tires really felt good. They are much more nimble, easier to lean into a turn and the bike seems to turn quicker. Even better, the front tire ignores cracks and tar snakes, there are some bad ones on my route and my Bridgestone Exedras were pretty bad at following these cracks and getting weird on tar, I tend to avoid these spots because of that. The Commander 2 rolled right over them without even noticing, and I actually hit a few on purpose and it never followed even one. I'm thinking this is the advantage of a front tire without a central groove vs one that had one.
My old tires were on the bike when I bought it, 7 years old according to the date on them , they were hard and slippery, so it comes as no surprise that they new tires have much better traction, though my trip was mostly highway so it's hard to really say how much better. I can't wait to try some twisty roads and see how they work on tighter curves. Roads were dry today, rain testing will have to wait.
Time will tell how long they last, and I suppose I'll be tinkering with pressures to see what works best for me, last night I just pumped them up to 35 front, 40 rear as a good safe starting point for my morning ride, after hearing that the Commander 2s like more pressure than most tires, some folks have posted that they get weird with low pressures and I wanted to avoid early morning madness :)
 

· Visionary
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Rest up and get well soon, 2 weeks..you can manage that .
Had my gall bladder removed yesterday...and today ain't no picnic in the park.....doc said I was gonna be sore but this really sucks.....

Two weeks before any rides or golf...Christmas season will dull that pain LOL
 

· Visionary
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I rode for the first time since my carpal tunnel surgery, I was patient, it's been a whole week :)

My wife and I took a lunch break from a day of cookie baking and rode 20 miles to her favorite roadside stand, Petie's Eaties, for some awesome bacon wrapped chili cheese dogs. Usually an outdoor stand isn't the greatest lunch option Christmas week but it was 41 degrees and bright sunshine, a perfect day for a ride. She was trying out her new Arai helmet, she bought herself an eArly present, it's a great helmet but wow was it $$$! Good thing I have a head like a rock and can get by with a cheap helmet :)

My hand feels good, it's still sore and weak and needs more healing time but for the first time I could actually feel the throttle grip while riding, no tingling or numbness after 1/2 mile like before. This is going to work out well.
 

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You nailed it. If your in the area it's a good spot to stop for hotdogs and ice cream. I'm told the cheesesteaks are good too but I haven't tried them yet. Some good hiking trails are just down the road in Jacobsburg park too. Peteys is actually my wife's favorite doggy stand, mine is Hot Dog Johnies in Buttzville, NJ. http://www.hotdogjohnny.com HDJ is a local landmark and fairly well known, lots of people make it a destination on a ride, it's a really scenic riverside spot. I've been going there for years, in fact thinking back I have arrived there by car, motorcycle, bicycle, hiking, kayak, and canoe.
So I'm not 100% sure - but here is my guess:

Petey?s Eatey?s
5879 Sullivan Trail
Nazareth, PA 18064

Mike will have to confirm or deny....


What a guy! He tells us it's his favorite roadside stand, but he doesn't tell us where it is or how to find it!
Well? C'mon! Give!
 

· Visionary
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They have plenty of seating, tables and benches on a roofed over open sided patio, plus a few extra tables and a brick wall for overflow seating without a roof.
Hey Mike721, do they have a place to sit inside and eat? Or is only outdoor window service. I looked at the satellite view and from the air it looks like a gas station with no place to sit, no benches or tables.
 

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I stopped by there today,in the interest of research I tried the cheesesteak it's great!
Plenty of seating under the roof and by the wall.

Excellent Mike. Thanks! I just wanted to make sure that there will be room for our group if we go there. I'll probably show up with seven or eight friends in tow!
 
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