Scoot Commute

Buffalo Stance

Posted in Advocacy, Daily Commute, MSF RiderCoach by cheesebot on 2015/03/31

It was a bit chilly this morning but I decided to ride in anyway.  My ride in was uneventful, maybe a bit windy but without any Murano run ins or any other bikes for that matter.  On the way home I decided to cut through the Warwick CCRI campus (depending on the time of day it can be a nice shortcut) to see if the MSF classes had started up again.  I used to stop and watch and visit with Siobhan if it was near the break time.  Tonight I saw a bunch of little bikes going around in a counterclockwise oval with a RiderCoach on either side of the group.  I couldn’t tell who the coaches were tonight so I’m not sure if they knew who I was as I slowly rode by and out of the lot.  I know that she made a big impression with these people too.

I took these pics in September 2014

About to demonstrate an exercise on a TW200.

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Encouraging the next generation of riders going in a counterclockwise oval.

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She always loved to share her knowledge if she could help someone.  All of her jobs were about teaching in one way or another and I’m sure anyone who got their motorcycle license through her will remember her.

Hallelujah

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.

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

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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.

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VJ Day Ride to Connecticut

Natchaug State Forest, Connecticut on a Honda Transalp

Natchaug State Forest, Connecticut on a Honda Transalp

Rhode Island is the only US state to celebrate Victory over Japan Day, now called Victory Day as if that’s less offensive. Whatever your political views, I love the fact that we get holiday pay in the middle of August.

We woke up late and took our time getting out of the house. We both looked over some maps, and the boyfriend suggested a ride out to Tillinghast Farm for some clean air and cool water. But I wanted to head into northeastern Connecticut. In the end it was as if we didn’t even make plans because we just sorta wandered in a westward direction and wound up in the Natchaug State Forest.

At one point we found ourselves on Route 116 in Rhode Island, a really pretty road that skirts along the eastern shore of the Scituate Reservoir. Neither of us can remember if we ever rode this bit of road before…I really think it was the first time. It was beautiful as it’s part of the watershed so very few homes and virtually no traffic.

With Capt. Slow in the lead, we naturally got off-course. As we’re sitting in front of a house on a dead end street trying to figure out where we went wrong, a woman comes out and cheerfully sets us straight. I will never understand why Rhode Island doesn’t “do” road signage. At some places, it’s quite good, luring you in, until you get to the important junction. No signs, just guessing. And the guessing is usually wrong.

We rode out Snake Hill Road toward the Ponaganset Reservoir. What a beautiful ride. Today was a hot day and the skies opened up, drenching us in a much appreciated, cooling rain. I finally get the “wet your shirt and wear it under a mesh jacket” recommendation for riding in 90 degree heat.

Suzuki DRZ400SM and Honda Transalp at the Aldi in Connecticut

Suzuki DRZ400SM and Honda Transalp at the Aldi in Connecticut

The reservoir was peaceful and we eventually wound up on a western road, headed toward Connecticut. In Killingly the boyfriend pulled into the parking lot at the Aldi. I thought he wanted to confer on a route, but no! He wanted me to run in and see if they had the stupid moisturizer that I can no longer find at the Aldi stores in Rhode Island.

Hang head low. I bought 7 pots of the one type and one of the overnight stuff which I use less frequently (and already have a spare). The lady at the check-out was completely cool, but had to ask, so I told her that I can’t find it in Rhode Island. It was a woman-to-woman bonding moment.

[Sidenote: I used to live in Germany so when Aldi announced they were opening stores in Rhode Island, well I was thrilled! Company policy allows cashiers to sit (*gasp*!) as they ring up your goods and they charge for paper and plastic bags (so bring your own), instead of discounting your purchase like most mainstream grocery stores. In this case, the stick is much stronger than the carrot. All German grocery stores charged for bags as long ago as the 1980’s…when will the US get it?]

Natchaug River, Connecticut

Natchaug River, Connecticut

Natchaug State Forest with DRZ400SM and Transalp

Natchaug State Forest with DRZ400SM and Transalp

We rode into Natchaug State Forest, where we were greeted with two pages of rules and regulations and not one map. We went for a walk into the woods, enjoying the cool, shady air and the rustling of the river.

Natchaug State Forest, Connecticut

Natchaug State Forest, Connecticut

Natchaug State Forest, Connecticut

Natchaug State Forest, Connecticut

Hmmm, what goes on in the Natchaug State Forest in Connecticut?

Hmmm, what goes on in the Natchaug State Forest in Connecticut?

As it was getting late, we rode some of the roads in the forest before heading back toward Providence on 14A. It was a relaxing ride, a little more most welcome rain, and a freshly picked zucchini that I paid for with a Susan B. Anthony dollar because that’s all I had in my wallet (I keep meaning to bring them to the credit union). I asked the kid at the farm stand if it was a pain, and he replied no. But then he held it in his hand and said, “This is a dollar? Oh, it says ‘one dollar’.” Man, I felt like an old fart.

Beautiful afternoon of riding in the Natchaug State Forest, CT

Beautiful afternoon of riding in the Natchaug State Forest, CT

Providence and Worcester Railroad, Route 14A in Sterling, Connecticut

Providence and Worcester Railroad, Route 14A in Sterling, Connecticut

Flashback to cheap gas in Sterling, Connecticut

Flashback to cheap gas in Sterling, Connecticut

Badass Honda Transalp

Posted in Honda Transalp XL600V (Kaiju) by sbahn on 2011/07/25
Rallye 2 on a TA?

Rallye 2 on a TA?

 

Mud? Wha? You said easy double-track ahead.

Mud? Wha? You said easy double-track ahead.