Scoot Commute

Pressure Drop

I didn’t ride yesterday because there were tornadoes (!) predicted in the area and I’m somewhat sensible.  I did ride today on the BMW and it’s obvious that my mind was elsewhere because I forgot to turn off my turn signals after almost every turn (hey, at least I use them) and twice I forgot to downshift into first gear at traffic lights.  I did pass some guy on an old Tengai on I-95 (going the opposite direction) and I think I’ve seen him around West Warwick too where we’ve done the wave.  Oddly enough I didn’t see any other bikes this morning despite it being 70F and dry.

So yeah, I’ve got a lot on my mind.  I haven’t really been on my own in twenty years or so and I’m trying to figure out what my plan is or even if I have a plan.  I’m sure it’ll sort itself out and in the meantime I’ll do my best to do things that I enjoy.

And to change the subject I was messing around with Google Earth yesterday and found a much better Street View featuring Siobhan.

Pretty obvious who it is now!

Pretty obvious who it is now!


Longshot Kick De Bucket

Posted in BMW R75/5 (Mackie Messer), Daily Commute by cheesebot on 2015/06/08

I’m just going to start this with a congratulations to American Pharoah and I’m sad that Siobhan didn’t get a chance to see another Triple Crown winner.  She so loved her ponies and would’ve been thrilled at the news.

The amount of time Siobhan spent on the computer working on this blog and other stuff (ADVrider ride reports and reviews, paying bills, selling and buying on eBay, etc.) was a massive amount of our time spent together.  As long as we lived together we shared an office with our computers back to back so we could converse while working or playing.  This was my typical view:


My point is that writing is a lot of work.  Especially for a perfectionist like me who has to carefully chose the exact word, make sure there are no misplaced commas, and doublecheck my doublespacing habit.

Siobhan had to be constantly doing something and that was probably a good influence on me because it forced me to go out and do things atypical of my character.  We also always gave ourselves extra work for some additional income.  When we started out I was a caretaker at a nature preserve on Long Island in addition to my full time job at the university library.  She sold on eBay (a lot) in addition to her full time job and helping me with the caretaker job.  At the end she was teaching the MSF classes along with her job at Providence College (by the way, this write-up that PC did describes her job much better than my attempts) and we both were also managing rental apartments in houses that we own on our street.

Everything is up to me now and it’s a lot of work.  On our rides and trips Siobhan was the documentarian and photographer so I got the privilege of sitting back and enjoying the ride.  I’m too accustomed to experiencing and not recording so I won’t be as good at reporting.

Wow, that’s a lot of words to apologize for my lack of updates – see what I mean?

Anyway, I have been riding to work but, as I’ve said, my commute is mainly on the highway and so is far less interesting and dramatic.  The coolest thing is that I get to see elephants on the ride home because I pass the Roger Williams Park Zoo on I-95 (I promise to snap a pic as soon as I remember to grab the real camera).

For as long as I’ve owned the BMW R75/5 it’s had a sticky throttle and I thought this was kind of normal; or at least an effect of the throttle tube binding on the narrower-than-stock euro version handlebars that I have on there.  I grew used to it and I kind of liked how I could use the sticky throttle as a cruise control of sorts and use my right hand when necessary.  However, getting stuck in traffic the other day it just became unbearable and even a little dangerous because it got to the point where I had to use some force to bring the idle back down each time and I decided that it was time to open up the thing and figure out what was going on.

When I took the throttle assembly apart back in the garage, lubed everything up, and got it all back together it stopped working normally.  I took a look at the cam thingy that the throttle turns and noticed that the gears were pretty stripped.

I ordered a new one from Hans along with a spare clutch cable (can’t have too many of those) and some springs.  This weekend I had a chance to put it all back together and, OH WOW, it feels like a totally new bike.  The throttle is so smooth I just want to ride around for no reason whatsoever – and I did.

I still have to figure out what my vacation trip will be this year.  I have a lot of time I need to use up and right now we’d typically be preparing for our big camping couple of weeks.  I’m think about taking the BMW this time though.


Posted in BMW R75/5 (Mackie Messer), Daily Commute by cheesebot on 2015/03/28

This week finally brought milder temperatures and I vowed to myself to get on one of the bikes at some point (in between bouts of darkness and pouring rain).  I only got into the garage a couple times over the winter storms and even then it was just to move the battery tenders around to other bikes, move the snowblower around or grab some tools for something in the house.  Due to the mind-numbing snow and cold and grey combined with my occasional self-imposed isolation I managed to get none of the planned projects even started.  Whatever, I’ve got some time for that, now I’ve just got to make sure these guys are road worthy.

My usual go-to bike is the BMW.  He’s was running a bit rough last time so I wanted to check the timing, plugs, etc.

2015-03-15 13.40.39

The timing looked pretty good but when I pulled the plugs…

2015-03-25 17.56.32

I probably should check these more often.  It’s a good thing I found a seller on eBay with a couple NOS boxes of the correct plugs.

2015-03-25 17.54.08

Well, after getting the BMW all buttoned up and fueled up I found the battery was still too weak to get it going and the kickstart didn’t want to wake him up from his winter slumber.  It’s probably time for a new battery.

Anyway, I went over to the Honda Elite 250.  Turn the key, push the button – vrooooom.  Yay Honda.  I went over to the Transalp.  Turn the key, choke all the way out, push the button – vroooooom.  Yay Honda again.  I let it warm up a bit, pumped up the tires and checked for any loose thingies.

Finally on Friday the temperatures and precipitation conspired to get me back on the road.  I was nervous about hopping back on a bike (it’s been since Dec 5th) but I instantly felt at home – no emotional baggage (yet) and no uneasiness with my skills or balance.  I went to lunch at Trinity (typical Friday lunch) and had my mug filled with Siobhan’s Stout.

2015-03-27 12.49.50

2014 in Mileage

Posted in BMW R75/5 (Mackie Messer), Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf) by cheesebot on 2015/01/01

The yearly mileage update is a good way to evaluate how much we rode last year.  Unfortunately, sbahn wasn’t sure how to get to the odometer on the Husky TE610 because it has one of those new-fangled digital TrailTech Vapor gauge thingies.  She put thousands of miles on that bike alone including riding it all the way up to Providence from Key West (and not the quickest way either).  I’ll try to do some research on what the mileage was when she picked it up and update with my findings.

As far as everything else, here we go:

2008 Genuine Buddy St. Tropez 150 scooter

1/1/14:  15,231.0
1/1/15:  16,439.8

Total miles for 2014:  1,208.8

2008 Genuine Buddy St. Tropez 150 mileage 1/1/15

1995 Suzuki DR350SE

1/1/14:  11,074.7
1/1/15:  13,281.3
Total miles for 2014:  2,206.6

1995 Suzuki DR350 mileage 1/1/15

1986 Honda Elite 250

1/1/14:    7,979.8
1/1/15:  10,141.4
Total miles for 2014:  2,161.6

1986 Honda Elite 250 mileage 1/1/15

2006 Husqvarna TE610

1/1/14:    TBD
1/1/15:  5,393.0
Total miles for 2014:  TBD

2006 Husqvarna TE610 mileage 1/1/15

1999 Suzuki DR350SE

1/1/15:  1,460 + 5,280 = 6,740
Total miles for 2014:  NA

1999 Suzuki DR350SE mileage 1/1/15

1971 BMW R75/5

1/1/14:  86,138
1/1/15:  87,036
Total miles for 2014:  898

1971 BMW R75/5 mileage 1/1/15

1989 Honda Transalp

1/1/14:  42,128.8
1/1/15:  47,853.6
Total miles for 2014:  5,724.8

1989 Honda Transalp XL600V mileage 1/1/15

sbahn’s mileage for the year: 5,577 + Husky mileage

My (cheesebot) mileage for the year: 6,622.8

We definitely succeeded in surpassing last year’s mileage (Obligatory New Year’s Day Post — Welcome 2014) and that’s even with her missing out on the last month of riding in 2014.

Lunch at Trinity Brewhouse in Providence, Rhode Island

I needed to get something notarized so I met the boy at Trinity for lunch before heading around the corner to our bank. The food, chicken caesar salad, was literally walking out of the kitchen as I pulled off my jacket. Thanks Julie!

Apparently I missed a Bajaj that rode by seconds after I took off back to campus.

Buddy and BMW in downtown Providence

Buddy and BMW in downtown Providence


Posted in BMW R75/5 (Mackie Messer), Rugby, Suzuki DR350SE (1995) by sbahn on 2013/10/20
PC winning a lineout

PC winning a lineout

I love rugby, the game they play in heaven. 80 minutes, 15 men, real shorts, sin bin, blood bin, no time-outs. What’s not to love?

all the pics

Saturday afternoon saw Southern Connecticut State University visit Providence College. The match was held on the brand new pitch, sandwiched inside of the fancy schmancy track, and also used for football (soccer) matches. The pitch is sized oddly; I don’t know if that’s a college thing or someone f’d-up bad. The rugby pitch is marked in red; soccer in white so it was a bit confusing.

PC gets the ball out of the scrum, passing it to the backs

PC gets the ball out of the scrum, passing it to the backs

I went to watch the whole team, but in particular, one of the kids that works in a department down the hall from my office. Unfortunately he’s not a starter, but he did play most of the second half. I was surprised by the number of supporters, including loads of students, moms and dads, and PC’s women’s rugby. It was hilarious listening to comments from the crowd as the vast majority had no clue what was going on. We really needed an announcer. Hmmm, a job for me perhaps?

PC converts the try!

PC converts the try!

The match itself? Terrific! PC won, 7-5. One converted try by PC against a try with a missed conversion, later in the match, by Southern CT.

PC needs to recruit some properly sized props. PC got wheeled in almost every scrum; it became painful to watch. One time the scrum wheeled around three times before the ref could blow his whistle.

Southern CT feeds the scrum

Southern CT feeds the scrum

Lineouts are another area where PC needs to do some work. I couldn’t tell if it was lack of communication or skill, but Southern CT stole about a quarter of the PC lineouts. Both sides need to work on kicking. Poor  Southern CT missed tying the match because of a missed conversion that really should have been made.

All in all, for a club sport where most of the players have just begun playing in college, I thought it was an entertaining, exciting match. Or maybe I’m just biased ‘cos any fall afternoon spent watching rugby is going to be a helluva lot of fun.

Oh, I forgot to mention, one of of the PC kids got sent off, no warning, straight to red card. I’m dying to know what he said to the ref. I’ll get it outta John this week. And both sides would have scored a try each if it weren’t for being held up. So kudos to you, defence, as I couldn’t believe it. PC’s defence was Herculean, and the fly-half on Southern CT was incredible. Every time he got the ball, all I could think was, “please PC, tackle him, get him down.” I’m convinced he’s not American and has been playing a lot longer than the kids that started in college.

PC getting ready to throw in on a lineout

PC getting ready to throw in on a lineout

By the way, we rode the Suzuki DR350 and the BMW KR75/5 to the pitch!

Matt’s going away Pachaug Camp & Ride

I’m really sad, but onto the weekend’s festivities! July 19-21, 2013 at Green Falls campground in Pachaug State Forest, Voluntown, CT.

Much too hot to do any proper riding, but still a great time of bullshittin’ around the non-existent fire.

Best story of the CNR involved a pompier dancing on a bar while getting a bj from “a granny.”

Best quote of CNR came from a guy at the site next door, screamed at the top of his lungs around 5:00 AM: I WANT TO GO HOME. F THIS [bundle of sticks word] CAMPING. Dude, whatever skunk you’re smoking, you need to find a better supplier.

Friday evening

did you know that p_funk was actually a monarch buttefly?

does this even need a caption?

mmmm…alcontrast brought sushi to share on Friday night

I kicked Rhode Hazard out as he hadn’t indicated his intention of dropping by … back to little Rhody, ya bahstahd

xjake’s updated R100GS … I’m loving the big tank

Rhode Trip and MrsTrip heading out Saturday morning

the rain FINALLY came late Saturday afternoon … love this pic of GF of WAP

serious rain … ChrisRiedinger working his corner of the shelter

cheesebot’s BMW R75/5 after the rain

akarob chillin’ with one of the guys from the site next door … if only women could get away with that, there would be no anorexia

akarob with drewha (right) hamming it up with drewha’s chili (Saturday’s dinner)

it was so freakin’ hot that there were no campfires … but fear not, as alcontrast brought his Gen 1 ammo box winter camp stove heater for its initial light up

akarob with Gen 1 stove heater and a cup of lemon water

the gang providing many insights on how to improve the Gen 1

even though my DR350 was sitting on a milkcrate in my back yard, we couldn’t have a CNR without one … new guy gresh125 showed up in the darkness with his ’90 DR350 … gotta get me that RM250 snout

packed up and ready to head back to Probbydense on Sunday on one of the ugliest scooters ever made, a mid-80’s Honda Elite 250 (mind you, the 150s are Devo cool)

akarob, GF of WAP, alconstrast, lester3, cheesebot, mrt10x, WAP as mrt10x gets ready to head back to little Rhody

I’m not gonna get all mushy save to say, mrt10x, thank you for the innumerable times you’ve helped me, or just plain did it yourself, pick up my bike, and for being foolish enough to lend me your DRZ400E on the 2012 Somers Fun Run a week after my sweet Elsa was stolen. It sums up the kind of guy you are.

Obligatory New Year’s Day Post — Welcome 2013

Loving the windshield on the Elite

Loving the windshield on the Elite

First, the ride! Took out the 1986 Honda Elite 250 for a ride up and down the block. No gear and it was wikkid cold. Brrrrrrr just thinking about it. He’s ready for tomorrow’s commute!

Maneuvering the Honda Elite out of the garage on the ice...oh yeah, wintah in New England

Maneuvering the Honda Elite out of the garage on the ice…oh yeah, wintah in New England

Thanks to the boyfriend for getting the Elite properly registered. I’m all legal!

Squeezing the Honda Elite 250 between the tenants' cars

Squeezing the Honda Elite 250 between the tenants’ cars

Now, on to the mileage!

First up, drum roll please, the Buddy (my daily commuter).
1/1/12: 10,014.3
1/1/13: 13,104
Total miles for 2012: 3,089.7

13,104.0 on January 1, 2013

13,104.0 on January 1, 2013

Next up Centipede, the DR350SE

Mileage at purchase on September 8, 2012: 5,539.3
1/1/13: 7,185.9
Total miles for 2012: 1,646.6
Not bad for a bike that has been barely ridden. Just wait until he’s set up for touring!

Mileage on the DR350 on January 1, 2013: 7188.9

Mileage on the DR350 on January 1, 2013: 7188.9

The new-to-me 1986 Honda Elite 250 (CH250)…boy, I’m gonna love this thing. Just registered 12/20/12.

Mileage at purchase on November 5, 2012: 7,351.1
1/1/13: 7,367.0
Total miles for 2012: 15.9 miles
Scoot was not registered and not ridden except to get it home. Let the miles roll on!

Honda Elite 250 mileage at the start of 2013

Honda Elite 250 mileage at the start of 2013

Boyfriend’s 1971 BMW R75/5
1/1/12: 83,943
1/1/13: 85,262
Total miles for 2012: 1,319

The year in mileage on the R75/5

The year in mileage on the R75/5

Boyfriend’s Transalp, the tourer and commuter
1/1/12: 33,140.9
1/1/13: 38,575.0
Total miles for 2012: 5,616.1

1989 Honda Transalp mileage for the year: 5,616

1989 Honda Transalp mileage for the year: 5,616

And most sadly, I’m trying to figure mileage on my beloved Elsa, the Suzuki DR-Z 400 SM that was ruthlessly stolen overnight of  August 12-13, 2012. I’ve unfortunately not heard of any severe accidents on a half-dirt bike, half-Schiaparelli glamour machine so I still hold out hope she’s out there.

After the blown motor fiasco in West Virginia, the boyfriend and I went on a long weekend to Vermont (using Townshend State Park as main base) after he rebuilt the top end and put in a new piston. There were small rides here and there but this is the best I can do figuring out mileage.

I made a video on July 30, 2012 of how to set the clock on the DRZ (for Al) and that showed the mileage at 24,391.8. I wrote down the mileage from the Vermont trip, 469.1 miles. This was on the dirt wheels which distorts mileage, as did the trip to WV because I don’t recalibrate the speedo. Whatever, close enough.

1/1/12: 21,894.3
8/12/12: 24,860.9 (guess)
Total for the year 2012 before the theft: 2,966.6

My total mileage for the year: 7,718.8

Wow, that seems really low. It doesn’t include all those miles riding in a circle doing MSF training ;)

I gotta do more riding in 2013.


July 2012 Camp & Ride: Bringing the Buddy to a KTM fest

This year I told myself to camp more off the Buddy. And even though this weekend’s Camp-and-Ride (CNR) in Voluntown, CT called out to the newly rebuilt DRZ400 (looooong story), I hunkered down and took the Buddy while the boyfriend rode the 1971 BMW R75/5. His mom was going to meet up with us at the campground with a bunch of street-legal dirt bike hooligans. There are 4-6 CNRs a year and I always miss the June gathering. No way I was going to miss the July ride despite the miserable water-from-the-sky forecast.

All the pics:

Heading out from Providence to Voluntown (about 50 miles on the backroads route we take)

When we got to Voluntown and gassed up (at Chucky’s, best restroom in eastern CT!), the skies opened. Both of us slooooowed way down on the gravel roads into the campground because of the multiple washouts. That’s the /5 headlight taken over my shoulder as I was riding.

Road to Green Falls campground, Pachaug State Forest

BMW R75/5 as imagined by Claude Monet

One of the guys brought a Gas Gas trials bike, just because, and let Rob, the guy who organizes the CNR, take it for a ride. Rob kept trying to sit…on a bike without a seat!

Saturday morning…filthy Prima after the ride in the afternoon before.

We brought the big tent because the boyfriend’s mom was driving up from New York to camp with us. A 16lb tent on a 41 year old BMW in the pouring rain on a dirt road = really?

Rob marks the main campsite so we all know where to go. We’re not the brightest bunch.

The boyfriend’s mom on the back of the /5. This was her first time on this bike. A 41 year old bike can handle washed out gravel roads.

One handed Buddy riding to grab these shots. Oops, wash-out up ahead, drop the camera (good thing I have a lanyard).

Boyfriend and boyfriend’s mom at Bluff Point State Park, Groton CT when the rain finally stopped. I don’t mind getting rained on, usually, but when it’s cold (70F in July?!), I’m moving at a good clip, wearing the Rukka which flows air really, really well…I was freeeeeezing. It’s July; where’s the 90F day?!

Riding 117 back north to get out of the rain (which failed miserably). Note the blue Buddy reflected in the toaster tank. Oh yeeeeeah.

The other BMW at the CNR…Jerry hauling his new-to-him Yamaha WR250 on the back of his X3.

Rob, the organizer of the CNR, wheelie-ing his KTM for the camera. Despite the overabundance of “the orange” at the CNRs, they were all over the Buddy.

This guy is ready to build a skidplate and hand-guards for the Buddy. I told him, “The suspension is but a twinkle in the engineer’s eye. Do I really want to destroy my daily commuter on the rocks?”

Saturday afternoon/evening, the skies opened up and it rained, rained, rained. Rob organized a raffle.

Lincoln selecting his prize.

Me tending to the Saturday evening fire…after the rain finally stopped. Ya gotta understand, it POURED for at least 2 hours and we still managed to keep the fire going (thanks Al!). We start a fire on Friday night (with one match) and keep the coals hot enough to not need another match the entire weekend. My job is to make sure the fires are good.

About half of us cook over the fire

End of the July 2012 CNR Sad

Lots of mud, lots of rain, lots of dirt. Oh yeeeeah! Put yer feet on the passenger pegs and stand; Franz Biberkopf the Buddy St. Tropez goes over anything (that’s less than 10 inches of clearance).

Durrrrrrrty BMW R75/5 — love me some drum brakes

Still life with Buddy headset

My Ortlieb haulin’ boy!

Riding back into Providence…this is a building on Reservoir Avenue, Cranston that I always look at to admire my reflection. I managed to capture both of us, but ya gotta know what yer looking fer.

Sunday, back home. No rain on the ride back, but man, was it cold! If you’re looking for mesh gear that moves air, Rukka Air is for you. I had my rain jacket on underneath the Rukka and I was still freezing…and the bank said it was 74F. Sheeeesh.

Back home, neighbor’s cat (I renamed him Tiberius) happy to have us back since she provides minimal care (and food and water).

I’m going to try to get in a camping trip out to the Cape (that would be Cape Caaaahd) in September or October on the scoot. We’ll see.

Despite all the rain and the lack of trail riding, it was a great CNR! The LL Bean tent kept me, the b/f and his mom dry and comfy. None of the boys broke themselves or their bikes; probably the first time ever.

The Year in Mileage

2008 Genuine Buddy St. Tropez (150 cc) – my commuter scooter

1/1/11: 7,636.5
1/1/12: 10,014.3
Total miles for 2011: 2,377.8

Buddy 150 scooter

Buddy 150 scooter

2007 Suzuki DR-Z400SM (400 cc) – my ADV bike

1/1/11: 13,883.5
1/1/12: 21,894.3
Total miles for 2011: 8,010.8 (plus another 750 to 1,000 miles for when I ride on the S wheels and don’t recalibrate the speedo)



1971 BMW R75/5 – the boyfriend’s commuter

1/1/12: 83,943
I didn’t note the mileage last January.

BMW R75/5

BMW R75/5

1989 Honda Transalp – the boyfriend’s ADV bike

1/1/12: 33,140.9
I didn’t note the mileage last January.

Honda Transalp

Honda Transalp

My total mileage for the year is 10,388.6. Not bad for a 4 mile commute. The two weeks touring through Quebec, New Brunswick and New England helped.