Sunday, February 27, 2011

Do They Have One Hell of a Band?

I don't know about you, but I am an horror genre fan from old.  I couldn't tell you which Stephen King book was my first, or even how I got my hands on it.  It had to have been Carrie or Cujo or something.  But I've devoured King's books whenever they become available.  Of course, I do prefer his earlier works more.

Christine will always hold a dear place in my heart.  My dad had a good friend that owned an auto junkyard and his yard contained the wrecks that came out of the movie.  He even had some of the rubber parts from the car that "came back to life".  I must have been about eleven when I crawled through those cars and picked through the junk inside, snooping along floorboards and in trunks for some forgotten treasure.  I might even have a memento or two stashed in a memory box in the garage...

Plymouth Fury.  Photo from web.
I also enjoyed Hell Night with Linda Blair.  That film was shot at a mansion within a couple miles of where I grew up.  I would sneak through the property from the park next door to see the pond and curving staircase in the garden.  But never at night!

Photo from web.
Then there were the Friday the 13th standby's.  My uncle was responsible for starting me down that road.  To this day I still have a problem with murky water.  Canoeing, kayaking, swimming, it doesn't matter.  I get the heebie-jeebies when submerged branches poke up slimy tendrils and scratch along the underside of the boat.  Only able to see a foot down, the branches disappear into darkness.  Who knows what else hides down there?!?  Egads!  Just ask Mr. Oilburner about the canoe in Lake Mead...  He will have a good laugh.

I don't know what it is.  It's some irrational, primitive fear. I can think logically and know I have nothing to fear.  But as soon as I see those wispy branch fingertips grabbing from some unseen depth and scratch along the bottom of the boat like skeletal fingers on a chalkboard all I can wonder about is the dead body snared in the branches just out of my sight.

What does this have to do with riding?  Read Stephen King's short story "You Know They Got a Hell of a Band" in Nightmares & Dreamscapes.  Then ride around the South.

In a nutshell, the story is about a couple, long married with each typifying standard male and female stereotypes.  The wife thinks her husband has to prove he is always right, at any cost.  And the husband thinks the wife harps too much and gets the megrims too quickly.

While take a mini-vacation/road trip they get off the beaten path and find themselves on murky, dark, swampy two lane "trails" without any ability to safely turn around.  Any chances to turn around occurred while the wife slept.  And always one road ahead look promising...until after the next rise when it returned to two dirt lanes with grass growing in between that whispered along the undercarriage of the car.

When hope is waning a sign post appears.  It simple reads:

Welcome to
Rock and Roll Heaven, Ore.

We cook with gas!  So will you!

Then a beautifully paved and painted road rolls out.  And you just can't refuse the enticing asphalt.  

The next rise reveals the perfect little slice of "earth" that is Rock and Roll Heaven, Oregon, complete with perfect church steeples, clean shops along Main Street and even smoke curling from a couple perfect chimneys.

It is always too good to be true...

Mr. Oilburner and I took a relaxing ride along some quiet, almost forgotten back roads.  The kind of roads that no GPS would take any well-apportioned, immaculate Mercedes down.  Roads that any self-respecting yuppies would ever want to see.

Luckily we aren't those.  We took turns that led us in the general direction of our destination.  Roads that weren't traveled, except by the cars that lived on them.

But that is the crux.  Not many people lived on these roads anymore.  It was a little eerie traveling along these roads of second or third growth forest.  Every once in awhile a house would pop up.  It could have been a wood house that was quickly decaying into the trees and vines, left to die of neglect.  It could have been some single-wide trailer that had died in a fire, with insulation stuffing oozing out of the remaining walls.


Interspersed within these derelicts would be a house that was still lived in.  Occasionally the dooryard was swept nicely and the porch had rockers and pretty planters.  More likely the property was littered with long planted Detroit iron that was sinking back into the earth with exploding bags of garbage piled around.

People standing around in these yards or walking along the lanes would turn and stare as we passed.  There weren't smiles and waves, and there weren't malicious overtures.  There were unsettling, suspicious stares of people unaccustomed to strangers coming down these roads.

I'm not necessarily a city girl.  But I would probably not be a great rural girl if the rural were of this caliber.  Traveling down these roads made me start thinking Twilight Zone or some Stephen King dimension.  Had we slipped into one?  I always have my suspicions of these dirty, sinking back roads.  Afraid that I will zip around some curve in the road to be presented with the perfect little community...  And wonder if I will have the guts to stop.  Or just continue on through before I become caught in someone else's dream.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Is Spring Around the Corner?

Do you remember summer break from school when you were 10?

Laying in the grass in the backyard or a nearby neighborhood park.  Eyes half closed watching the shadows of the leaves moving with the breeze on the backs of your eyelids.  Seeing the speckled leaves and sky dancing above you.  The sun hitting you to warm your skin, this wonderful feeling of "just enough" sun.  Perfect after the long chill of winter.  Your body finally soaking in the warmth, knowing the cold will be gone for awhile.  The breeze coming through to keep you cooled.

The only sounds are rustling leaves, the lawn mower a block over and the airplane droning by 23,000 feet above.

The air is filled with the smell of cut grass and newly planted flowers in freshly tilled earth.  The concrete adding a touch of warming rock like desert hardpan.

Those were the days that everything added up in a subtle reminder that Spring was here.  Everything was waking up and saying that life was perfect.

I would have those same moments of realization in the house.  Mom had opened the windows and doors.  Some slight breeze would fluff the lace curtains.  The smell of burning incense would strengthen a little as it wafted about.  It only took the sound of that distant plane to put that last piece of the puzzle together.

To this day, when the first days of the new year begin to feel warm, without any chill, I have an urge to put the hammock up in the backyard, under the Golden Rain tree.  Feel the sun warm me to the depths of my bones, listen to the branches, look at the perfect, blue sky.  And wait for the sound of that passing plane to tell me spring is on its way.

Sit back.  Close your eyes.  Remember the feel and smells of your perfect childhood day.

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere...  it's coming...  I can feel it right around the corner...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Be Safe

Yesterday was a hard day.  A very hard, difficult day.  I originally didn't have any intention of putting this down in writing.  But other issues cropped up that loosely tied into the first.  So this is going to be more of a piece about safety.  Memorials and safety.

It all started a couple weeks ago when we learned that a friend had been killed.  I would like to say we were close friends.  But we weren't.  We were both in the BMW of Georgia club.  We had all been motorcycle marshals together at both of last year's Multiple Sclerosis rides.  We got along with him and his wife and could have made good friends since we had so much in common if only given the time to get to know each other.  We had tried meeting in the Sept/Oct time frame to spend some time together and see if we could get his wife out on her bike and feeling more comfortable.  Unfortunately health, family and holidays intruded and it didn't come to pass.  With all of this running through my head I didn't feel his tale was mine to tell.  Hopefully I can get my thoughts across and honor him and his values well.

He was killed in a senseless, useless accident by a senseless, useless man.  Our friend was a motorcycle rider of old, but had picked up the sport of bicycling recently.  When he embraced something, he really embraced it.  He had started off on a cross-country bicycle trip in the middle of January.  He made it two weeks down the road when someone hit him on some back country two lane road with very good visibility while wearing a hi-viz reflective vest and sporting a red flag on his 1 pm on a sunny day.  The story of the driver is that he went to pass and the bicyclist swerved into him.  The story from the bicyclists perspective cannot be told...

I used to be a bicyclist.  Before four-wheeled transportation was an option I purchased a second-hand 18-speed racing bike and rode it everywhere.  I look back now and wonder how much my mother may have worried about me when I was off on my adventures.  One of the big differences between southern California streets and streets in the South?  Width.  Southern California was laid out in a grid, allowing for planning and nicely sized roads.  Especially in the sleepy bedroom community that I grew up in.  The South is known for laying out streets on Indian walking paths and cow trails.  They wend and wind around, over and through hills.  They are barely wide enough to paint a white stripe on the edge.  And sometimes they aren't even that wide.

So bicyclists get very little respect in this day and age of cell phones, fast life, fast cars and people that are no longer capable of walking to the corner market for a stroll in the evenings.  Their longest uninterrupted walk is probably from their car to the front door of the grocery market.  If they even go to one of those and don't just dine out on fast food for every meal.

Like that popular song of the 80's people don't walk in Georgia.  It is a dangerous adventure when blind curves are at the tops of hills.  But back to our friend.  He was on a narrow, straight, slightly uphill road in a no-passing zone.  The [expletive] that hit him has not been charged yet.  But his history of 3 DUI's and documented spousal abuse has me pissed that he was even on the road.  His version of events does not sit well with me as an ex-bicyclist.  But I am not going into that.  Much has been said and much more will be done...let that one lay.

His memorial was yesterday.  The BMW club had a little go-round with riding vs driving to the memorial, two hours away from Atlanta.  Some people felt it would be a sign of disrespect to ride. While others thought the opposite.  His wife expressed happiness if club members would ride, so it was planned.  Ten bikes showed up at the meeting location and off we went.  I was a little leery about riding, but since I knew him best through riding, wanted to pay my respects.

The memorial was very moving and he will be greatly missed.

This is where my personal struggles to tell this come in, and ultimately why I am writing.  After services, some of us were going to the house with the family, two were continuing on to Savannah for the day and the remaining four were headed off for lunch.  Those of us going to the house were among the last to leave the funeral home.  We head up the street and crest a rise and see police cars, blue lights and ambulances.  We appropriately move over and merge into the remaining lane.  Our leader took a cursory glance and thought it was a traffic stop.  My look revealed bikes.  Motorbikes that I recognized.  Motorbikes that I had ridden down here with only one hour ago.

The leader continued on down the road, but I pulled over and sat in confusion trying to take in what I was seeing.  The bikes following me pulled over.  The story came out in bits and pieces and I am not going to rehash anything here.  But it comes down to two bikes had collided.  Who was at fault shall not be known to me as I wasn't a witness to the accident and am not going to speculate.  But it is a nasty business when bikes and friends collide.  One was carted off to the hospital and diagnosed with broken bones later.  The other rode home...


He had complained of an extremely sore-thumb and the ambulance EMT's diagnosed it as not broken.  The adrenaline was still coursing through his veins and he wasn't feeling any other ill-effects of his high-side get off.  (In very layman terms for those not into the lingo, a highside accident is when someone is thrown over and beyond the motorcycle.  Opposed to a lowside when the bike and rider come down together and the bike precedes the rider in the slide.)  Highsides can be very dangerous due to landing on head, shoulders or hips.  So this guy wasn't feeling the pain.  Yet...  He was devastated that he had hit is friend and wasn't through the shock yet.  He was now just focused on getting home.

What a day and time for this to happen.  And the new widow gets to drive by this and see friends in various states of disrepair.

What point am I trying to get to?  Safety.  Safety for you as a solo rider.  Safety for you and others while riding in a group.  It all comes down to safety.  I mean, as bicyclists and motorcycles we bitch enough about cagers not seeing us.  But what is this shit that we aren't seeing and looking after our own??

Talks ensued between a few of us moto-cyclists and some opinions are that the club doesn't do enough to focus on safety.  Other riding groups are constantly having discussions on rider safety for group rides: how to ride in a staggered formation, hand signal knowledge, group approaches to curves, gravel in mountain roads, etc.  These discussions take place during regular meet ups and before the first helmet is put on in a group ride.  It is drilled into your head to "watch out".  I am not completely convinced that safety discussions would have helped in the instance.  Others felt that it would have helped with the constant discussion being drilled into heads.

This club has some leaders that are not overly concerned with safety.  Why?  The reason is not known by me as I haven't participated in too many club events.  And this is actually one of the reasons why.  Stories that I have heard of past rides did not incline me to ride with these people "in" a group.  I will meet you for lunch, but don't particularly want you around me in the mountains.

I wonder if this encounter will set a few people to thinking.  I don't believe there will be any legal battles and finger pointing with the people involved.  They were good friends and I believe ride together regularly.  But that is not the case with a group ride that went sour last year with another group we ride with on occasion.  Again, I ride with them only when I know the groups are going to be small.  I avoid their larger rides as I don't know most of the people surrounding me.  And if I don't know you, I don't know your riding abilities.  If I don't know your abilities, I am not going to trust you.

That was an horrible instance when conditions and/or abilities were exceeded and bad things happened.  People mostly walked away from that and handshakes followed.  But as the insurance companies started getting involved (and they had the same insurance company) ill-will set in and clouded memories.  A year later and enemies have been made and lawsuits are starting to be filed.

Again...where am I going with this...

Safety.  I am a girl.  I am a girl riding in a male dominated sport.  I am a tom-boy at heart, but could put on the frilly dress and ribbons if I have to.  My parents can attest to my tree climbing abilities and mechanical skills at a young age.  And there are a couple motorcycle "studies" that I have made in my relatively short riding time: boys and girls are different.   Beyond the obvious anatomical differences, girls and boys approach risk taking in a different manner 99% of the time.  Most (not all by any means, but most) of the boys see it as a challenge to be overcome at all costs, riding willy-nilly into the sunset with their hair on fire.  Girls (again, not ALL) will generally find out as much information about it as they can and approach it cautiously with intent to chip away at it and win.  Guys don't need to "learn" about it, they will learn in the doing.  Girls will learn, practice, learn some more, practice and watch others and learn some more.

What are the pros and cons?  Boys will generally learn something by brute force.  They will learn faster, but with a higher cost if they don't learn in time.  Girls will learn slower but more thoroughly.  The cost can be just as high if they don't learn fast enough.  But there could also be a high quit rate as they learn more and don't like what they see.  And there is also the danger of never pushing herself closer to her limits, stalling her learning.

I don't have many girls to ride with.  The ones I do know fall into two basic categories: have no confidence in their ability and won't push themselves to gain that confidence, or want to beat the boys at their own game.  I have difficulty with both.  I would like to think that I fall into a middle ground.  I want to learn and continue improving, so I sometimes force myself outside of my comfort zone to increase my experiences.  But I try to do that cautiously and in as controlled a manner as I can achieve.

In these larger group rides of mostly men that don't ride together often (or in some cases men that don't even ride often), ego comes in and they believe they are expert riders.  They think it is a given that they will keep up with the guy in front of them.  And even creep up his ass to show he is the better rider.  While I sit there and roll my eyes at them puffing up their chest feathers.  I let them lie boast and just make it clear that I will be riding at the back.  I don't want you hugging my tail pipe and I don't want you running over me if I make a mistake. I will not be giving in to peer pressure to ride beyond my abilities in the twisties just to show that I can keep up with "the guys".  I am here to ride my own ride and enjoy the view.

All of these safety concerns can be mitigated:
  1. Ride in small groups (2 or 3) with people that you know well and ride with often.  That you know exactly how they ride, how they think, and how they will respond in an emergency situation.
  2. IF you ride with larger groups, surround yourself with people you trust or keep a distance between you and the guy in front of you
  3. On any larger group ride, have safety discussions and know that it isn't speed to the destination that is important.  If people intend to ride faster, let them go first.  (Although, with some of the guys that I know, they will repeat the mantra well, but as soon as they hit the twisties all thought, reason and logic are gone.)
  4. Ride solo.  Which will introduce an entirely new set of safety concerns.
Many bike to bike accidents that I have heard about can be attributed to speed and riding faster than your line of sight.  I take away: don't follow too close in the twisties and don't ride faster than you can stop, and this especially applies to twisties and night riding. I know many men that would scoff and say they know what they are doing.  But accident rates are increasing as more unskilled people get on bikes and more unskilled drivers take to the roads.  Each is racing his own race and can have a devastating affect on the other.

I know it might be difficult to reign in the little voice urging you on to show up the next person, proving that you are the queen, or king, of the road.  But think of the consequences.  Not just to your bike, but to your person, your job, your ability to take care of your family, your house, your finances, your loved ones if you weren't merely hurt.  Actually think of some consequences.

I know most of my blogging buddies are solo or small group riders and I am happy.  As far as I can tell from their writings and experiences they are safety minded.  So I am probably preaching to the choir.  But keep this in the back of your mind as you encounter new riding buddies and begin to assess their abilities.  Hopefully we can bring up safety concerns in a non-critical manner and help each other become safer riders.  Who knows, some day it may be our own life that we are saving.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Trikes and Leather

I've been avoiding the motorcycle shows.  Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a situation where I was boycotting them or anything.  I'm just not big into crowds and will generally avoid getting myself into situations where I can make a fool of myself.  OK.  Fine.  A fool of myself when I am not expressly trying to.  Am I the only one to psych myself out when thinking of attending a function like this and just envision forgetting to put the kickstand down and knocking over a line of bikes like dominoes?  or stalling the bike as I try to make my clean escape, when everyone is watching me because my bike is that awesome and my butt looks damn hot on it?  Does anyone else worry about these things?

No?  I knew it.  I am a loser...  :)

And all y'all are liars...

OK.  I really don't think about those things as much anymore.  But I'm still not necessarily enthusiastic about attending because I don't want to spend any more money on gear that I don't need, or hopefully won't fit in, in a couple of months.  And I certainly don't want, and can't afford, another bike.  Also I just don't like the general public that much to be jostling for floor space and breathable air.

But...the hype has started.  It began with one of those moto-magazines that sometimes hitches a ride home from the market in my shopping bag.  The picture caught my eye.  Then the discussions at a coffee & chat with one of our groups started.  Turns out one of the guys has already put his money where his mouth was.  Then some blog buddies start bantering merits about.  Turns out one of them has also committed.  The situation escalates when Bobskoot and George F attend their respective motorcycle shows and start posting pictures and first impressions...

The Yamaha Super Ténéré

2012 Yamaha Super Ténéré.  Picture from web.

You guys don't have a heart...  :'(

Armed with a spark of excitement, and a sinking dread, knowing that this is going to be a bike I will wind up lusting after, I decided to attend our motorcycle show.  I am hoping to at least get a look and feel to see if my desire is warranted.

Mr. Oilburner and I initially plan on going early Saturday, hoping to avoid the worst of the crowds.  And we sit there Friday night discussing logistics of arrival, depature and post-show destination rides when I slap my forehead in wonderment.  Why are we sitting here when we could be at the show right now?!?  They are open for another 3 hours and this will free up all of Saturday for riding.  The new plan is executed.  And it satisfies my desire for no crowds.

The first booth after the entrance is the World of Wheels (WOW) display...hawking many BMW's and sports bikes.  They are a large seller of used bikes.  Nothing I am interested in, but promising...

But the next display is trike conversions.  OOookkkaaayyyy....


Unfortunately we have a friend that likes monstrosities like this.  But I don't find them terribly attractive.  We take pictures to remind ourselves of "the horror".  But then we see some of the options and suspension... Damn!!  Just get a Smart Car.  It would probably be cheaper.




Then we move into some of the retail stuff.  Mostly involving sewing patches onto leather jackets and obnoxious helmet stickers.


I see the Harley shirt display and snap this picture for RiePe.  My requisite hot chick shot for the evening.  Cuz this place is mostly crawling with scruffy, scuzzy, dirty, hairy guys in tight leather.  Not hairly in any good way, and the leather is tight in ALL the wrong places...  Use your imagination, because I wasn't taking a picture.


I came to this thing for two reasons: find those gloves made for heated grips (with one layer in the palms and dual layers on the back of the hand) and the Super Ténéré.  I start asking around for the gloves and no one understand the concept.  What?  Don't believe in winter riding or something?  Which leads me into why I think they don't believe in winter riding...  Beyond WOW's and Blue Moon's (BMW dealer) booths all this place has to offer is trikes!!!  Every corner we turn to traverse another isle of wares is geared towards trikes.  Trikes and leather...  That is all this show is catering to!


Trikes, leather and Harley "bad boy" and "bad girl" jewelry.

Double Pathetic!

I guess the Atlanta market is for a bunch of old foggies in tight leathers, long beards full of birds nests, wearing chains that jingle, crawling down the road on trikes.  But you better believe they had all of the accoutrement  to deck their backrests out in leather bustier that lifted and spread, above tiny, boy shorts with suggestive sayings plastered across their backsides, and more chains that snaked from the dog collar around the neck, to the piercings on the chest and down to the waist.  The guys could look like crap but the girls had to be drop dead least in these outfits. I mean, according to them, you can always put a bag over their head...

I just love the way female riders are being acknowledged in my area of the world.  Apparently the men here believe we aren't supposed to ride.  We just better look good.

But about that second reason for being here...  Yamaha isn't here... 

No Super Ténéré...  :(

What is this show coming to?  Vancouver and New York get hot bikes and great displays.  We get trikes and leather.

The saving grace comes from the vintage displays and custom builds.

So for all of my buddies out there, come ride the twisties, eat some great BBQ and enjoy Spring and Autumn.  Don't come for the motorcycle show.  And for all you guys that have laid your hands on the Yamaha, or even gotten to test ride one...Andrew aka the Rider...know that you are slowly killing a little girl inside.  I am pouting.  I hope you feel a small amount of remorse that I am languishing here.

Why is Mr. Oilburner laughing uncontrollably at that last paragraph??  ;)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Warm Springs and SETI

What do you do when it is one of the best days of the year, so far, and want to go riding, but can't figure out where you want to go?

Let someone else plan and lead the ride!


One of our clubs had a "covered bridge" tour on the calendar, so we decided to tag along.  We were going to have to kick ourselves into high gear to make the meet time, though.

No fear. Some people can be counted on to always be a little fashionably late.  We arrived 3 minutes before the kickstand up time of 10 AM. But we (the group) hung around until 10:40 for some stragglers.  It was worthwhile for some of the conversations that came out of our time standing around.  I can't repeat some of them as they were raunchy!  But funny if you have that type of humor.

Everyone arrives and with some good natured ribbing we head for the road.  Turns out that this bridge tour is exactly that: a bridge.  As in one.  The leader had planned for two, until he discovered the other bridge was about 100 miles northeast of where we were headed.  Mr. Oilburner and I didn't mind as this was going to be another bridge in our belts that we hadn't visited before.

Red Oak Creek Covered Bridge is touted as being the longest covered bridge in Georgia.  But so is Watson Mill.  How can there be two?


We think Red Oak Creek bridge is considered the longest span at 391 feet, but the entire span isn't "covered".  Where as Watson Mill bridge is the longest/covered/full span at 229 feet.

Watson Mill Covered Bridge
Watson Mill Covered Bridge

Yes, we did ride through and across the bridge.  Only two others followed us.  Everyone else was chicken.  I can tell you that what I thought were abutting boards actually did have gaps between them.  I didn't see that until later since riding across them didn't give the appearance of any space.  I was a little glad I didn't know that beforehand.



This bridge is farther off the beaten track than others and sees its fair share of graffiti artists.  And I use the "artist" lightly.  A couple were cute or funny, but it was all the basic "Bubba and Jolene 4-ever" type of thing.



Then someone noticed a plaque high up the bridge wall noting the "high water mark" from flooding on July 7, 1994.  Wow!!  This was probably 18-20 feet above current water levels and mean that a large portion of this wide ravine was full of water.


You can make out the high water plaque in the upper left amid the black spray paint.

Once the sightseeing and speculation was done we headed over to Warm Springs for lunch.  Most people were interested in the BBQ place for lunch.  Since Mr. Oilburner and I had eaten there a couple of weeks ago, we opted to split and have lunch at the little cafe that serves diner fare.  Service was slow, but the food was good.  BLT was piled high with crispy bacon.  mmmmm......



After lunch saw people sightseeing and lounging around the ice cream shop.  But most of us just sat on the steps outside, soaking up the sun and camaraderie.  Now came decision time, continue south and west a little to hit some twisties at Pine Mtn? Or begin heading northeast towards Atlanta and see some large satellite dishes?




1948 Moto Guzzi

1924 Military Harley Davidson


As much as I didn't want the day to end, it was nearing 3 PM and heading away from Atlanta was going to give us a long ride time home.  Besides, I have seen (but not ridden) Pine Mtn.  I wanted to see these dishes in the middle of nowhere.

Today's roads were great.  Once out of the urban areas we stuck to the less traveled lanes that DOT (Department of Transportation) was letting slide.  The lanes were narrow and bumpy as the asphalt was beginning to break apart a little.  You know those lanes where you can feel the "sport" suspension on your bike.  :)  I loved the tour on these back roads where even farms and houses were few.  I would rather have enjoyed them at the posted speed limits.  But some people see these small roads as perfect opportunites to get a little wild.  I don't know if my inner-daredevil is a little bit chicken (could be), I am a girl (most definitely) or I don't want to have my motorbike impounded for reckless riding.  But I usually like to look around as I tour.  And I just can't be a tourist when I am worried about calculations and reaction times traveling down the lane.  Outside of that, the roads were fun and exciting.  It has been awhile since we have been on completely new road.

The dishes did not disappoint.  These are actual SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) dishes that  were originally an AT&T satellite relay station.  One dish has been refurbished for SETI use.  Currently parts for one dish are being cannibalized for the other dish since AT&T managed to damage both of them when they abandoned this site.  Georgia Tech University has reclaimed them.


We spent a few minutes chatting and speculating, wishing for tin foil to make hats to prevent our brain wavelengths from being read.  But it was now time to head home.  It was a great day with all the exciting and entertaining food, companions and destinations.  The temperatures started at a 42F (5.5C), necessitating heated gear.  But the end of the ride was a basking 64F (18C).  it is so nice when you can remove a layer of clothing during the ride!!  Out little jaunt came to 227 miles (365 km) of some great pavement.  More images available on Flickr.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

That's What I'm Talking About



Installation was super easy! 

I bribed Mr. Oilburner to do it.  :)

Actually pulled the "specialized" tool roll out.
Remove bolt holding exhaust.

Remove rim

GASP!  Remove Final Drive bolts!

Oxygen, Stat!!       Final Drive bolts out!

Preview.  The wheel may be missing, but it's looking pretty darn good.






There is actually quite a gap between the hugger and tire.  (Ignore the flat topping on my tire...)  And the hugger is mounted on the swing arm.  Therefore it bounces with the tire.  No chance of them hitting...unless something penetrates the tire.  Knock on wood...