08 December 2012

Ride Report: Around Lake Burton

8 Dec 2012:  Solo Ride

After getting the adjustable kickstand installed, I decided to give it an extended test.  I thought it would happen earlier in the week when I went to the doctor but as soon as I walked in the office and saw a full waiting room, I knew that wasn't going to happen.  The weather has been really mild lately, with high temps into the mid 70s, so I hoped the trend would continue for the weekend.  The forecast called for intermittent showers on a kinda cloudy day so I decided to take a chance.

Since the sun isn't coming up until the 7 o'clock hour and setting in the 5 o'clock hour, I wanted to take advantage of the daylight hours and try to be home before the sun set.  With that in mind, I plotted a route that was fairly close to home and included one of my favorite roads, GA 197.  I was thinking the adventure would be getting to and from 197 taking roads that I didn't ride often and avoiding the interstate.

I also re-made my heated jacket liner over the last few weeks. I realized during the last ride that I've lost too much weight to for the old one to be effective.  This time I went with a fleece jacket that I picked up from Goodwill and transferred the wires.  I added an extra section of nichrome to the back too.  Today would be the first extended trial for it too.  I didn't bother with the heated glove liners because I noticed my new Bilt gloves were pretty warm when I wore them to the doctor's office.  I did put the heated ones in the top box just in case though.

I decided I'd leave at 7 a.m. because it was enough before the sun came up that I would be closer to the mountains by the time it did.  For once, I left the house exactly when I wanted to!  Naturally, that was too good be to true because not long after I got underway the gps decided to go to sleep.  Actually not sleep but completely shut down.  I got it going but it shutoff again so I pulled over to wiggle the power cable thinking that was the problem.

That solved it for a few miles but when I got caught in construction traffic and decided to detour, it was too much for the thing and it shut off again.  I got it going enough to see that it was routing me to the interstate--exactly what I wanted to avoid.  I decided to go with it since the gps was mis-behaving and I was certain of how to get to where I wanted to go that way.

Between the house and just outside of Cleveland, GA, I pulled over twice trying to get that stupid gps to do it's damned job.  During the last stop, I managed to snap the gps mount and had to rig a temp solution.

It was also about this time that I realized I'd left my cameras sitting on the bed so I had to rely on my cell phone for pics today.  While I was taking this pic, I noticed a text from MyGuy asking where I wanted to meet him for lunch.  We'd talked about it the night before but never really decided on a place.

Pic I accidentally took while trying to take the phone out of camera mode
I had to pull over one more time to pick a rendez-vous spot because he doesn't know that much about GA.  I was a little annoyed with the delay and tried to convince him not to bother but he was insistent and since I brought it up...well, anyway I told him to meet me at the state park along 197.  The only problem:  I was a lot closer than he was.  At first I didn't think it would be a big deal.  The gps was finally doing it's job and I figured I could use the extra time riding 197 and some of the other roads in the area.

I had to turn around since I'd missed my turn trying to give directions to MyGuy.  I love my bluetooth headset because I was able to do it on the go but it also meant I couldn't hear the directions from the gps.  It was also hard to see in its new location.  I'd pulled over off of 17 and had to backtrack about a 1/4 mile to 255.  Hwy 255 meets Hwy 197 in Batesville.  I took 197 to Burton Dam Rd noticing how the morning clouds had given way to sunshine, the cows, and that the "Art Zone" wasn't a temporary thing like I thought the last time I was in the area.

The other thing I noticed was how the heat to my jacket liner seemed to be intermittent.  I suspect the lamp wire I bought since it also failed on the glove liners (I'm going to do those over too but in the meantime I'm using the too hot liners).  Looks like I'll be cracking that box and replacing it sometime in the near future.  There were plenty of cars about but not many motorcycles and those that were out were mostly cruisers.

Say what you want about Harley Davidsons but many of their owners ride them.  Fortunately I didn't get stuck behind any since they were mostly headed the other direction.  I didn't encounter any bikes once I got on 255 then 197 but did get behind a mini van as soon as I got on Burton Dam RD.  I didn't have a lot of miles to ride and had a turn coming up in a couple of miles so I slowed down and followed along at a leisurely pace.

It was the first time I'd ridden Burton Dam Rd in that direction (that I can remember) and at that time of day.  Unfortunately, the mini van made the same turn as me and I followed it up Bridge Creek Rd then watched as it made the next turn I wanted to make too.  If I'd thought about it, I would have kept going straight and let the gps re route me to hwy 76 but I simply followed along until an ambulance pulled out in front of us.  The timing couldn't've been better!

By the time I got to 76, the gps had shut off again.  I pulled over once I got on 197, started it again, then contemplated a future gps purchase.  I suspect the vibes from the bike got to this one.

Did I mention how much I love riding Hwy 197?  This morning it was awesome.  I was taking the curves, and likely the road in general, at a greater pace than I have in the past partially due to the better suspended front end.  Baby was simply hugging the road and going where I pointed even if I didn't mean to point him that way.  I'm still getting used to how much more precise steering is with the R1 forks.

When 197 met with 255, I continued on 197 instead of taking 255 or 384 like I have in the past.  I've been on that part of 197 before but it was a few years ago and coming from Clarkesville so I didn't remember it that well.  The first thing I noticed once I rounded the corner was the road narrowed a lot.

Hwy 197 follows the Soquee River.  The next thing I realized was how much the road reminded me of the roads around the Nantahala in NC with the river flowing along on one side and a few homes/farms on the other.  There were also a few cars parked randomly along side the road.  I could only guess the owners were hunting or fishing.

I saw a few turkeys, a group of them actually, alongside the road and began to slow down.  One of them ran along the yellow line in front of me as I slowed before taking flight going right across my path.  As soon as he left the ground, the rest of the group followed either flying or running to the woods on the other side.  If I had one of my real cameras with me, I could have taken a picture but that was too much trouble with just the cell phone.

Once in Clarkesville, I called MyGuy because with the gps going in and out I decided to just head towards home.  It turns out he wasn't close at all (like I suspected) so I changed our rendez-vous spot to one of the parks off of Buford Dam RD.  That would give me a little more scenery before the drudgery of suburban Christmas shopping traffic.

The route I ended up taking
On the way to meet MyGuy, Cruzman called and I heard him starting a bike in the back ground.  Guess what that was.  Yep, Sam is running!  Okay, only on one cylinder but it's much better than I had the patience for.  Good job Cruzman!  Pretty soon there'll be a posting for a 93 VX800 for sale or trade.  Yep, I want a dual sport/adventure single cylinder bike.  Don't ask why, I don't know yet.

Buoyed by the good news, I proceeded to pass the park where the rendez-vous was.  In fact, I passed it twice--once in each direction.  First time because of Cruzman, second time because the rain picked up and the gps was off and I thought I remembered it saying the park was off of a different road.

Turned out that was wrong.  I pulled over, called MyGuy to get a better description of where he was and turned around.  I never realized there were so many parks along Buford Dam RD before.  There's even a new one (or at least new looking one).  By chance I look over and see him parked as I'm rounding one of the curves atop the dam.

We walked around the park a little and down to the beach to watch the waves and for him to take pics.  He's convinced a beach needs salt water.  Not when there's a lake around!  He kept looking for gators too.  I guess he's missing Florida but I'm not moving there.  After walking around the park we ate lunch at Subway and went our separate ways.  I managed to make my goal of getting home before sunset too!  Great day.  Cruzman says we'll ride next weekend.  Can you see the grin on my face?

Report on the stuff I wanted to test:
I used plasti dip cover the
old wrench and new knob.
The kickstand extension works great.  I rubbed off the plasti-dip on the knob but the rest still looks good.  The jb weld is definitely strong enough and I think it'll last for as long as I have the bike.  The plasti-dip on the knob wore off, like I suspected it would, but the knob itself is fine.
The redone heated jacket liner heats well when the controller lets it.  I really liked having more heat across my shoulders too.  I'll probably be fixing the controller wiring though.  Adding the extra loop increased the amps but not more than the capacity of the 15a controller.  I already have a new case for it just need to get higher gauge wires.
The Bilt Gloves and Boots (no, I didn't get the cow looking ones) are a great value.  They feel cheap to the touch but perform like expensive stuff.   Because they feel cheap, I don't think I'd pay the non-sale price for them.  The boots are made in Pakistan just like the name brand stuff and the style reminds me of the too small Frank Thomas Venus boot I exchanged for the Sedici.  The sole on the Sedici boots were devoured by my old side stand so they had to be trashed.  They're too big but with thick socks feel fine plus it's nice to have extra room in the toe for the shifter.

Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer

Along Charlie Mountain RD, shortly after the ambulance turned in front of me.

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