04 November 2011

Ride Report: Rattling theWolf--It's gonna be a long day

29 Oct 2011
Not long after we (Cruzman) changed the rear wheel bearings, Cruzman said something about riding in a few weeks.  A few weeks from when he proposed was my big brother's birthday weekend.  I knew we wouldn't be doing anything on Saturday because he has to work but I wasn't sure about Sunday, his actual birthday.  I hadn't done anything for my big brother on his birthday beyond calling and singing happy birthday off key.  Since it's been a rough couple of months, I wanted to be sure we did something on his birthday so I told Cruzman the only day I could ride that weekend was Saturday.

He said Saturday was fine with him and asked if I had any place in mind.  I didn't but suggested the Northwest part of the state.  We always ride Northeast and he has the longest commute to and from the ride.  This is the right time of year to go that way because it won't be too hot.

A few days later, he had a route planned.  I only glanced at it and knew it was going to be a long day!  This is what always happens when I let him plan the route.  He wants to do a month's worth of riding in one day.  I don't mind.  I like long days.  Actually most of the routes I plan are long days too so why am I getting on him?  Ummm....on to the next thing.

I don't know what was happening with me in the days leading up to the ride.  I couldn't do anything.  I mean not a damned thing.  The dishes were piling up in the kitchen, dirty clothes running out of my room, the dawgs need a bath, etc.  I guess theWolf was gnawing on my brain a bit.  Cruzman noticed it in our conversations.  I can't say that I was thinking about anything, actually nothing which I found a bit alarming.

IIRC, I was thinking about nothing before I had the brain flare back in 2005.  This was the kind of thing my rheumy told me to keep an eye on.  This ride was coming just at the right time.  It was a day or so away when I realized I was thinking about nothing.  I wanted to think about thinking about nothing but I couldn't even do that!

Fortunately the kids got me out of the house the weekend before when we went to Ellijay to get apples for home made apple pie.  We made apple pies and I made a great Sunday dinner.  The kids cleaned the kitchen before they went home and I piled the dishes back up eating leftovers until I got tired of eating Sunday dinner around mid week.

Did I mention I didn't feel like doing anything?  There were no groceries in the house either!  I'd been telling myself every nice day for the last two weeks that I was going to go for a ride and every nice day I wouldn't go for a ride.  It was good to have a planned ride with someone to meet to force me to go.  Even better that I didn't have to do anything but follow Cruzman and make sure to stop when he stopped.

I did manage to gas up the bike somewhere in those weeks of nothingness.  I don't even remember doing it but noticed it when I went down to the garage on Friday night to check the air pressures in the tires and the oil level.  Wait, I did change the oil and re align the exup.  I also got an air compressor and other tools I need to do a tire change myself.  So that's something.

Anyway, the weather had changed from warm days cool nights to cool days cold nights after a rainstorm came through.  It even rained on Friday night making it even colder.  The forecast temp for my departure time was in the 30s.  I pulled out my winter gear and made sure I had all the liners in and double checked the connections on the heated stuff.  I put the heat glove controller on the bike and the clothes controller and heated jacket in that tail case.  I got my clothes all lined up so I could be out of the house quickly in the morning.

I even managed to meet Cruzman on time in Cumming just as the sun was peaking above the horizon.  It gave us time to eat breakfast before heading out.  It was somewhere around then that I realized I didn't fully mount the glove controller correctly.  I had way to many hanging wires and that's now how it was supposed to be.  But I did have it connected to the outlet box inside my tank bag rather than directly to the battery so I was able to leave them on without constantly turning them off.

The day's route
My guess is that the outlet doesn't put out as many voltage as come directly from the battery.  I was relieved when I realized that I didn't need to remake the gloves after all.   I was finally thinking about something!  Cruzman and I chatted as we rode down Hwy 9 to some other highway.  To be honest, I don't remember how we got to where we went.

I was concentrating to be sure I didn't hit Cruzman.  It was a day just like that morning that I ran into him earlier this year so I was being over-vigilant.  I tried not to notice how the sky was so cloudless in light blue or how the trees were finally beginning to change.  I couldn't help notice how cold my toes were though.  They weren't that cold last winter but then I changed boots.  I couldn't even notice the engine heat on my feet!  I had on the wrong socks; all that laying out my clothes and I forgot about my feet.

I did notice that we were the only two idiots on motorcycles that brisk beautiful morning.  We had the roads almost to ourselves on some stretches.  My bulky winter garb prevented me from taking pics as we moved along.  Maybe that's why people mount cameras to their handlebars.

I had the stuff and the video cams to mount for videoing but I didn't want to be bothered with it.  I pondered that for a bit too wondering if I had a more conventional setup would I be making videos?  No, not that day.  I just wanted to ride.  Cruzman was kind enough to stop in Canton or near there so I could change my visor from clear to smoke because I forgot to do it when were at Waffle House.

I also decided to move the plug on the controller since I wasn't wearing the heated liner.  I put it on the battery and no sooner than we took off did I notice a difference. Those gloves got hot no matter how low I put the controller!  About 30 minutes later, I realized I had to get rid of the coffee I drank at breakfast.  I didn't have to when we stopped but with all the clothes I had on, I didn't want to wait until I really had to either.

Cruzman was kind enough to stop again so I could eliminate the coffee at some gas station we passed and once I did that, I moved the glove controller power back to the tank bag.  I liked riding along with heat all the time.  About a mile after we left the gas station, my throttle grip let go.  I'd re-glued it the night before because it was moving too much but I guess a morning's worth of heat was too much.  I dropped way back because I could give the bike gas without the grip spinning around the tube.  We HAD to stop again, this time less than 15 minutes after we'd gotten started again.

I had the glue in the bag so this time I removed the heat shrink I had installed under the grip heater on that side.  It was slick when I removed it!  Then I put the most of the rest of the glue on the grip and stuck it directly to the throttle tube.  I gave it a few minutes to dry before I put the last few drops in the glue tube onto the grip and slid it back in place.  If that didn't hold, I was going home.

We gassed up and were away again some 30 minutes after we stopped.  Not long after that, my comm stopped working so we stopped so I could switch and smelled fried chicken cooking at a gas station that made me want to eat too.  We didn't.  That stop wasn't too long, maybe 10 minutes while I got everything synced up again.

We were heading towards Cloudland Canyon.  I remembered some of those roads from the previous July or what ever hot as hell month it was that we last rode out that way.  It was definitely much more comfortable and I began to realize that I like riding in colder weather even with the bulkiness of the clothing that's required to be comfortable.

Our next stop was the first planned stop.  We stopped at the place where the hang gliders take off.  I actually took pictures too!

Even with my ear plugs still in, it was loud standing there.  I had another equipment failure here too.  Well it happened earlier but it was really annoying by the time we got here.  Sometime after we did the wheel bearings, I went back to my small tank bag.  I don't know why I did, but I did.  Anyway I used a cd case cover to secure the base for the gps mount.  That worked well until this morning when the case broke.  So the gps was moving around.  I thought I had the bar mount with me but it was another suction cup base.  I managed to put the gps so it didn't move and we were off for Ruby Falls where Cruzman had planned for us to have lunch.

In accordance with the way things were going that day, something had to rub off on Cruzman.  It did when he didn't see where he wanted to go for lunch.  We rode around for a bit before deciding to stop at a Chinese Buffet.  The food wasn't too bad.

I figured since we were near something I could find a solution for the gps mount.  I went to that Auto Zone in the back ground but they sent me to Kmart.  Neither had what I wanted so I bought some cashews and socks.  The socks so my toes wouldn't freeze and the cashews because they had a plastic top that I thought the suction cup might stick to.  It did for about 5 minutes before I was back to having a moving gps again.  The socks helped too but my toes were still cold.  At least everything else was warm.

It was the perfect day to be out on the bike.  The fall colors were stunning and I felt in no hurry to do anything.  I think that may have been annoying to Cruzman because I noticed he was beginning to leave his helmet on whenever we stopped.  Was he trying to tell me something?  I'm not sure, I was thinking about how to fix the moving gps.  Cruzman said he knew what to do and we'd stop at the next Home Depot or Lowe's we saw.

I think he said that to ease my mind.  It worked because I didn't think about it again until we stopped at a gas station across from where I ended the Twisty Butt.  How'd we get there?  Weren't we just in Tennessee?  Yes and I hadn't run into Cruzman either!  (I hadn't thought about it since I last reminded myself to be diligent either.)

We got gas and their bathroom was broke so we walked across the street to the other station (it was the same place) and used their facilities and got a snack.  As I ate my snack while standing in front of the bike I realized we didn't need to stop at Home Depot, I just needed tape.  I went inside and got some hose tape (the only kind they had) and taped that sucker down.  It didn't move for the rest of the ride!

Since I'd been there before I knew where we were and about how we'd get home.  There'd been hints all day but I didn't really pay attention to them because I was listening to how good the bike sounded and enjoying being out.  After that, we road Fort Mountain into Ellijay.

Somewhere near the top, my chest got cold for the first time all day.  It was in the 30s when I left the house, 40s when we left Waffle House and I never got cold there.  Cruzman stopped to check in with my sister wife (she said it first), and I pulled out the heated liner.  I think this was the first time I'd used this one.  That controller situation ain't right so I'm going to have to rework it but after fiddling around with it for a few minutes, we came up with a solution that worked and were heading down 515 with the plan to take the interstate all the way home.

The sun setting had a lot to do with it.  I didn't want to ride twisty roads in the dark no matter how good my HIDs light up the night.  Also I'd watched a bigfoot special and knew bigfoot lived in the forest we would be riding through.  They had video of bigfoot crossing the road up there!  They've got footprints!  No, I didn't want to be the next kook who declares, "I swear it was B-I-G-F-O-O-T and not just a bear."  I'd been having that kind of day.

We ended our day together at the Krispy Kreme in Marietta where I finally remembered to put my throttle boss on.  I was concentrating on getting the clothes controller on, I forgot all about it until we were zooming down 515!  Good thing I have the Throttlemeister.  It came in handy too because the big gloves make my right thumb ache.  It worked better with the grip finally secured too.  I'd been having doubts about it since I got it in January.

It was a great day!  I was grateful for Cruzman's company as always.  I've discovered I miss him on the rides when I'm with someone and he's not there.  When we got home, we had a long email conversation about our pace and everything I'd done that day (and the last ride too I think) to slow it down.  I had been working on it but the last two rides I know I wasn't up to speed like I should have been and before he even emailed me I'd vowed to fix it.

Every woman should have a moto-hubby as great as Cruzman.  If I ever lost him I'll never get another, he's spoiled me for all the potention moto-suitors out there.  Now if I can just find a hubby to go with the moto-hubby it'd be all good.  Would they be brother hubbies?

I digress.  When I got home, I did some things to my setup that should have been done before I left anyway.  Since mounting the gps on the tank bag doesn't work with the small gps, I put it on the handlebar and moved the glove controller to the tank bag.  I also velro tied the connectors so I don't have the dangling wires.  I don't know why I forgot all about that!  So here's the new(ish) setup.

Not sure how long that'll last.  I gave it a test today and I don't know how much I like it.  The GPS just seems to be in the wrong spot!  I guess I'm going back to the big tank bag.

I also fortified the toes on my boots with that hose tape.

That works!  I feel the engine heat on the top of my foot so no need to tape all the perforated parts.  More importantly, I don't have to buy sport boots to wear for only two or three months in the year, four at the most!

Thanks for reading this wandering post,
patrice, theWolfTamer

1 comment:

  1. You were not to bad the trip before this one. We were moto camping and it was a fun trip once I got you out of the tent and on the bike. Yes this trip was a bit frustrating, but in the end it was a nice trip.


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