15 January 2013

Ride Report: First Ride 2013

12 Jan 2013:  Solo Excursion
My New Year's Resolution is to ride more.  The last week or so the weather has been unseasonably warm so I thought I try to get a ride in on the weekend.  My brother suggested a Saturday ride so I could be home to watch the Falcons on Sunday.  Unfortunately, it wasn't until after 1 a.m. Saturday morning.

I figured I'd wake up about my regular time and do my pre-ride assesment to see if I felt like riding.  I woke up a couple of hours later than usual and spent a long time trying to decide if it was too late to ride.  I felt okay so I got dressed and did a pre ride check on Baby while the dawgs handled some important business outside.

There were a few clouds in the sky but nothing too threatening and only a 20% chance of rain in the forecast.  Even though it was a lot later than I normally leave, I decided I'd go ahead and go for a short ride.  I was riding out of the driveway right at noon with about a gallon and a half of gas and decided I'd ride as far as I could before stopping for gas.

I wasn't sure where to go but I managed to
put together a nice route anyway.
I still wasn't sure where I was going but found myself taking the quick way to the mountains.  I started out with my winter gloves on but during a long traffic light I switched to the summer gloves because my hands were really hot after less than 10 miles.  I also opened the front vents on my winter jacket but decided I'd leave the liner in because even though it was warm it's still winter.  I turned over 44k in front of the mall too! I guess it's time to finally get that overdue valve check done.

I made it all the way to the Racetrack just outside of Gainesville before I got gas.  Then I dropped Baby in the parking lot while trying to get in a space pointing outward.  Rather than drop it while I was maneuvering the bike, I did it after I put the side stand down.  The bike rolled forward as I was getting off and side stand folded up.  I couldn't stop it and down he went.  In a parking lot full of people, I got no assistance--not that I was looking for any.

I used the Skert method to walk the bike back upright and assessed the damage while I caught my breath.  I had to put the turn signal back on the stalk but other than that there was no damage done to the bike.  This is the second time the bike has "rolled" off of the side stand.  I managed to catch it the first time so I made a mental note to tighten the bolt a little more in hopes of preventing it in the future.

I bought a sandwich with the plan to eat it somewhere a long the way and got back on the road.  I noticed right away that my helmet was a lot louder than before.  I pulled over after making the turn onto 52 and noticed that I had not properly re-secured the faceshield.  Fortunately it wasn't broken.  About that time I noticed that the Bilt helmet was fitting a little looser than before.  I guess it's because I'd been wearing the hood under it during the cold rides.  I've been think about a new helmet anyway because the Bilt helmet has served it's purpose:  I like the inner shield.

On my way up to the mountains, I figured I'd take the road I missed on the way home from the last ride to see if it went where I thought.  It did but only if you make the correct turn which I didn't so I decided to ride the reverse of what I thought I would ride.  On to Blood Mountain via Cleveland.

My new HD Mini DVs arrived on Jan 2 and I've been anxious to see how it'd do during a ride.

It's a little more sensitive than the d001's so there's a little waviness even when I used the shock mounts.  I have an fpv mount on the way for a gyro cam experiment that I'm hoping will get rid of that.

At the runaway truck ramp, I pulled off to change the cam location because there really hadn't been anything in front of me and I wanted to see what could be seen from the other spot.  Naturally, I got back on the road behind a pickup that was using the whole road, ignoring the painted lines, and generally providing a lot of entertainment but making it impossible to pass if I'd wanted to.

I pulled off at the turn onto Richard B Russell Scenic Highway, switched cam location, and noticed this
for the first time after a guy from the FZ1OA forum pulled over to talk to me.  It was RDWarrior102 who I met at the Deals Gap Resort last summer.  He was on is Road Warrior and told me that he'd sold his beautiful Kenny Roberts tribute Gen1 FZ1.
RDWarrior102 on his Road Warrior
I decided I'd take a real break for the first time since I left Racetrac.

Then RBR!

I really like that view but the magic arm mount doesn't have any vibe damping.  I saved may favorite mounting location for the ride up 17/75 but the camera's battery was done after about 40 minutes of video (as advertised).  I forgot to bring the cable so that I could run it while connected so no more video on the day.

By this time, the looseness of the helmet was proving to be really annoying.  I wondered about getting a new helmet or using the louder Xpeed.  I'll probably do the latter until I can save up for a new one since I finally found a high quality helmet that I like.  It's only taken me since I started riding to find one.

At the end of RBR, I wondered whether or not I should turn right and head home or ride some more.  It was as if Cruzman was there:  there was a couple of hours of daylight left so no need to go home just yet.  I made the left despite my intention to go home.

Go home or ride some more?
I was glad I decided not to go home.  I felt so good being on the bike and really wished I could be taking off on my long dreamed of cross country adventure rather than a little day ride.  I should have a trip with Daddy this year and Cruzman and I are planning a long trip to get to the Rally this year.  Hopefully those won't be the only two trips I take.

I'm not sure why I don't ride 17/75 more often.  I like it about as much as Blood Mountain or 197.  Maybe I will now.  From 17/75, I took 76 over to 197.  Might as well ride it as much as I can before the weather gets nicer and more people head to the mountains since I've decided to relegate it to my "off season" routes.  I took 197 all the way to Clarkesville then took a break to get out of the loose helmet.

Heading home, I took the turn off of 115 that I didn't take the last time.  That highway is much better than the straight 115 with a lot less traffic.  I passed the turn that would take me straight to 284 then 52 but now I know where it is for the next time.

It was a great day!  The roads were drying by the time I got to them so the late start turned out to be a good thing.  I wondered what it might have looked like if I'd left around my usual time but was glad that I left anyway.  There have been other days when I didn't ride because it was "too late" to leave but now I know better.  I rode about 230 miles in around 7 hours.

Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer

eflyguy rode Sunday early and took this pic on Blood Mountain.  Glad I left late and missed the morning fog!


  1. Looks like you had a nice day. I am thinking we need to see about getting you a cage for you bike. Then you can just stop using your kickstand and drop your bike when you get to a stopping point. :)

    1. My response is not kind but I think you can guess what it is. A cage will make Baby heavy. At least there was no gravel.


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