Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wandering in the North

"If you are going to ride naked make sure you have a clean can" the voice intoned.

"The Voice" belonged to Oilburner, and he hadn't quite realized what he had said until it was out and ringing in our ears.  I immediately busted up laughing.  He might actually have blushed a little at that one, if his face could have been seen through the helmet.

I was riding as close to naked as I ever had.  No saddlebags, no top box, no luggage except for the tank bag.  I did still have the luggage racks and windshield, so I wasn't completely bare.


The topic of conversation was the stainless steel "can" (exhaust).  My bike and I had ridden in the rain since the last washing.  And my dogs nose had left slime trails.  The can was desperately dirty and didn't look like the lovely shiny can it can be.


Who cares?  Not me.  I wanted to ride, not was my motorbike!

This was the first perfect autumn weekend and I wasn't wasting it.  Daytime temps were supposed to peak out at 77F (25C).  Humidity should be around 45% mid-day.  It doesn't get much better than this.

Unfortunately I also had an invite to make jam.  I was interested since I have never made it before.  But this day was not made to be spend indoors.


Oilburner and I saddled up and met up with a friend on the road.  No one had a clue where to go, so we just figured "north" into the mountains.  We wound up on some beautiful scenic byways and headed towards Hwy 60, a notoriously enjoyable twisty road up here.  The day was complete with perfect weather, beautiful blue skies and leaf litter scattered across the road.



Our lack of destination gave us roads to head towards, but no restrictions on how we arrived there.  I tried to navigate on the less traveled roads.  I was plagued by slow drivers whenever I had to take the well-known roads.

Our food goal, for lack of finding another place, was the marina at Lake Burton.  The food is good and the place can not be beat for ambiance.




It was a lovely day with no particular place to go.  Such fun taking turns at random.  Sometimes it back fired and we ended up somewhere we had just left.  Other times we were introduced to roads we had never yet met.

I did force us to take the long way home.  Adding a couple extra miles pushed my year-to-date mileage over 9,000 (14,484 km) to keep up with my goal of 1,000 miles (1609 km) per month.  And it also kicked the odometer of the bike to 41,000 miles (65,980 km).  Small victories.  :)




I knew this trip was more about the ride and less about the scenery.  I knew I wasn't going to be able to play with the cameras, so just brought the point and shoot. I also discovered a way to attach it to my tank bag.  Therefore I was free to learn the complicated art of photography while riding.    I wasn't so successful all of the time.  For not taking many photos, I can't figure out how I had so many to upload.  You can view the more successful ones on Flickr.



Work has been keeping me tied down lately. We've been working on a product release...that finally occurred last Sunday.  I've been absent in the blogosphere, but look forward to catching up on all of your adventures.  :)  Chat with you soon!

Monday, September 12, 2011

What's It Worth To You?

Baby Ruth candy bar:
Diet Mtn Dew:
A stranger excitedly exclaiming that yours is the superior bike within Oilburners hearing, even though it is sitting next to a shiny, new, loaded BMW with the new DOHC engine:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Look What the [Cheshire Grinning] Cat Brought Home...


That's right.  I rode the brand spanking new RT home today.  Starts its new life in our household with 13 miles on it.  I brought it up to 21.  I took the slightly longish way home.  I wasn't going too far out of my way since it was evening traffic.  The only direction I could have gone was downtown if I didn't want to sit at stop lights.  I wasn't terribly gung-ho on that idea.  So we shared a few quiet lanes with a few quiet curves.  I can't get too crazy on it during the break in period and brand new shoes.  But we did have a little fun.

Oilburner was gracious enough to follow us home in the pickup.  He asked me to ride it home to sustain tradition.  When our group started back into the riding business, most of us were new enough that we didn't trust ourselves to ride our bikes home.  So Oilburner was tapped to be the first rider on all our bikes.  No one had done that for him, and look at his track record.  He is hoping to break any potential issues by having someone else ride the bike home for him.  Voila ME!

So...what can I say about the BMW's new Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC) engine?  Nothing.  Not a damn thing.  Though I gave Oilburner the thumbs down on the way home.  And I immediately called our sales guy and told him that I hated him and he wasn't allowed to play with Oilburner any more.

That is one flipping awesome engine!!!  Lower torque, smooth, quiet.  Almost has a little turbo diesel whine to it at times.  Sweet.  Just really super sweet.


I'm wondering if Oilburner's guilt is showing through.  He keeps pushing me to upgrade to the R1200R Classic.  Hmmm...that new engine makes it tempting...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Can you say "Dumbass"?

Guest blog kindly provided by Oilburner.

Check you six...and your three...and your OH CRAP!!  Call me Dumbass, my new nick name.


Well the week started off with perfect riding weather, especially for this time of year in Georgia.  Morning temps are a cool 75 F with afternoon temps reaching 85-95F with low humidity.  I am looking forward to riding every morning even it is means going to work.  Although sometimes it's hard to keep all 1200cc pointed in that direction.


Check your six...  I made it to work Monday and Tuesday, uneventful as usual, and for some reason wasn't really looking forward to the ride home Tuesday evening.  Work has been a little hectic and after a long day I think I just wanted to be home already.  It took a little while to put on all the gear and point her towards the freeway.  I manage through downtown traffic fine, and enter the freeway by way of the carpool entrance.  I have ridden this route home for a couple of years now, so it's become pretty routine, although I still look for the unexpected.  So, seeing all is as expected I turn on some music and start to settle in for the 35 miles home.  I've traveled almost to the I75/i85 connector (a distance of about 1/2 a mile) when, as I frequently do, I check my six and see an emergency vehicle approaching the cage behind me with its lights ablaze.  I decide to exit the carpool lane early and enter the normal traffic congestion for 5pm in hopes of speeding him along.


Check your three...  Both lanes were going approximately the same speed so I check my 3 o'clock and start the merge between two cages, with about a car length in front and behind me.  Well, here's where I think that things start to go wrong...  My peripheral vision is telling me I need to recheck my 3 o'clock again as something appears to have changed.  So I quickly recheck my six and turn my helmet clad head to the right and look  --nope, all is well--


Oh CRAP!!  By the time I look forward again everyone is stopping very fast.   Instincts kick in... this all seems so familiar to me for some strange reason...  I feel the anti-skid kick in as I attempt to swerve to the left, back into the carpool lane.  In slow motion I see the approaching cage and start to prepare for the inevitable impact.  Luck has it that the bike responds flawlessly to my input and instead of impacting head on and possibly launching me over the bars, I feel the right side of the bike ricochet off the left rear bumper.  The impact of the front forks and cylinder head on the bumper kicks the bike to the left.  In an attempt to correct my trajectory I countered steered back to the right.  The bike just caught and dumped us on the right side, sliding back behind the cage I just hit.  My mind still registering this as familiar and lets me watch my luggage eject from the bike and the plastic parts explode and bounce across the freeway.


When all is stopped I am fortunate I only have two small injuries: a swollen ankle and elbow.  My gear worked flawlessly with the only exception being that the sleeves of my jacket were too loose, allowing the armor to roll around out of place.


Oilburners name the past week has been "Dumbass".  He knows this was his fault, though he maintains that he was not speeding or riding recklessly.  It was just one of those accidents.  I asked him to write a guest blog to help us all with a lesson...he just couldn't come up with one other than "don't pull over for emergency vehicles."  See...the vehicle that was coming up wasn't an ambulance or anything.  It was a HERO unit.  In the south, these are response vehicles that come to the aid of stranded motorists whether it is an accident, flat tire, or running out of fuel.  When the HERO stopped for this, Oilburner questioned where the guy was rushing to, and why had he stopped here.  Turns out the HERO unit was headed towards a minor stall up the road...

Take what you will from this.  I will continue riding cautiously, as usual, and leave plenty of gaps around me.  Dumbass' dirt bike riding days were long ago, but I think they helped his reflexes in this instance.  Don't feel sorry for him though.  The bike doesn't appear too damaged, the damage just isn't readily visible.  The bike has been totaled and Dumbass is currently in the process of signing the paperwork for a new 2011 R1200RT (with the new DOHC engine).  I can't figure out if I am kind or stupid.  I considered forbidding him to purchase another bike and make him ride pillion behind me for awhile.  But that is just punishing me.  

Be safe out there friends.