27 November 2010

Ride Report: The Short Ride

21 November 2010
I planned to ride by myself last Sunday but I wanted to do it with the heated gloves but I didn't get the new controller made in time.  The week before this ride on the test, it wasn't exactly what I wanted so I tore it apart to rebuild it differently.  I didn't finish that before this ride but the weather was forecasting warmer temps so it wasn't so much an issue.  That and we planned a shorter ride with a later start time to accommodate EricR.  He'd missed The Ambitious Ride with an exposed nerve and the ReRun ride because of his allergies.  I fully expected Cruzman to tell me something else had gone wrong and he'd miss this one too.  But as I got ready to leave, no word so everything was still on.

I told Cruzman about planning to ride Hwy 52 last weekend and he incorporated it into the route for this weekend.
I planned to meet Cruzman at Cumberland Mall at 10:30 and got off to a little bit of a late start.  I thought for sure I'd be late but I arrived 5 minutes early taking the interstate basically the whole way.  It was a chance to test my new Raider Hand Guards and the R1 Shift Mod I'd installed since the last ride and the Altoids Tin Mixer I made to replace the Rockstar.  Both were awesome and everything everyone said they'd be!  I was able to wear my icon Tarmac Gloves and not have cold hands at highway speeds.  With the new shifter (and modified shift rod to clear the frame) I didn't miss one shift but finding neutral is a little more difficult than with the OEM one.  The DIY Mixer is better than the Rockstar and worth the three+ hours I spent making it.

By the time I got to Cumberland Mall, I was pleased with my recent changes and looking forward to the good roads on the ride.  I'd only glanced at the route and hadn't bothered to load it in the GPS.  I knew we were meeting at McDonald's in Canton around 11, but for some reason it never computed how far Cumberland Mall was from Canton.

Cruzman was a little late which made me worry that I hadn't gone to the right place.  It occurs to me now that I wasn't worried about him being in an accident or anything bad.  We didn't linger long before jumping on I-75 for our rendez-vous with EricR and Shawn.  The four of us talked for a while before I mentioned wanting to gas up before we hit the road.  It's one of those things that I've learned from group riding and have been especially conscious of since the K&N filter debacle (See the camping with Cruzman trip reports).

I'm still not sure how my gas mileage is since I did the jetting.  I think it's about the same, but the gas hand doesn't read the same.  I guess I'll do a more conscientious test in the next few weeks.  I'm digressing...

Anyway, we left the gas station and got on GA HWY 20 and were promptly caught in construction traffic.  The road was down to one lane so the wait was long enough for me to turn off the bike and daydream a bit.
Cruzman and EricR waiting for the pilot truck way up yonder!
Shawn (only one not ATGATT) on his Naked Gen2.
Finally getting going.
It looked like we'd be stuck behind a long line of traffic, but once we crested that hill, it all seemed to disappear.  Before long, we were making a left onto 108 heading toward Waleska.  The memory of Cruzman's roll on's from the last ride had me watching out for every long straight ready to twist the wrist as soon as I heard Stella roar.  The Motocomm system is still flawed so Cruzman didn't respond to my calls the first time to let him know the coast was clear to pass or when I wanted to know if Stella was feeling well enough for a good romp.

Next, we passed Reinhardt College on Hwy 140 on the way to the Salacoa RD that EricR had gone over in a sort of ride brief style when we were talking at McDonald's.  I was looking forward to the surprise curves and a little bit more technical road.  It was not a disappointment and when got to the end, I could have turned around and did it again!  Somewhere on the road, I passed Shawn after tailgating him and worrying that I was pressuring him.  He has bar end mirrors and said he didn't even know I was doing it!  Unfortunately, we didn't turn around and re-ride Salacoa, instead we continued on our planned route onto 411 then Hwy 53 making our way to this "great" BBQ place Cruzman had been talking about for the last few days in Ellijay.

Heading into Walesaka

We passed beautiful farms

Shawn behind me after Salacoa

Cruzman and EricR ahead
On one of these roads, Cruzman finally let Stella loose.  Baby was chomping at the bit and as soon as he saw Stella begin to stretch her legs he lept forward too!  The next thing I knew, we were gaining on EricR and Baby was still wanting more!!  I let off of the throttle and glanced down to see the speedometer falling from above 120.  Later, I check the gps track and learned my top speed was 128 m.p.h.!  I glanced back in my mirror to see Shawn a distant dot at least a mile behind me.

The great BBQ place was okay.  I found the food to be extremely greasy.  The corn bread things they brought out were dripping with oil and I passed on them as soon as they set them on the table.  Had I put two and two together sooner, I might have passed on lunch.  My pulled beef sandwich was greasy too and tough. I guess I got all of the crispy bits!  Maybe I ordered the wrong thing.

EricR and his 06 FZ1 (Gen2) in Ellijay
After lunch, Cruzman and I switched rides so I could feel the difference in his re-positioned handlebar and he could feel the handguards and shift arm.  He loved the handguards (and went out and bought some on Black Friday) but claimed he couldn't tell the difference with the shift arm!  He also compared the feel between the two bikes.  He says Baby handles better than Stella but I think they feel about the same.  His tires definitely felt better and made me certain I would not be getting another set of Angels when these wore out.

The Angels simply felt greasy compared to the PR2s.  I had more confidence going aggressive in the curves.  I think it was a combination of the handle bar and the tires.  The ride position was definitely more comfortable and I was ready to rush home and switch to my gen2 bar!  A short discussion revealed I could likely forego the expense of powdercoating by spray painting and baking the paint.  That's my next warm day project.

It was a short lived jaunt from Ellijay to the Cohutta Overlook on HWY 52.  It was the same place Cruzman and I went to on our first ride together and watched the sunset and had to ride bike to Ellijay in the dark.

USGS Station at the Cohutta Overlook

The bikes:  Stella, EricR's red 06, Shawn's Liquid Silver 06, and Baby
From the Cohutta Overlooked, we continued on HWY 52 to that pullout that everyone seems to stop at where we made rideby videos!

We goofed around long enough that by the time we reached Chatsworth it was nearing 4 and the sun was making a beeline for the horizon.  Did I mention I miss the longer days?

As a result, we took HWY 411 all the way to the interstate and the interstate the rest of the way home.  Cruzman and I split at 285.  Cruzman kept asking if I minded taking the interstate home rather than cutting out and taking the shorter way via backroads but I was fine with it.  Especially since I left my clear faceshield in the garage.  The lights on the highway would help the HIDs although behind the face shield, they just look like normal lights.

Despite not a lot of backroads, it was still a great day.  I got in about 312 miles putting me closer to my 30k miles by the end of the year goal.

Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer

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