04 November 2015

Trip Report: FZ1OA Octoberfest

October 9 – 11, 2015:  FZ1OA Octoberfest

The gatherings with the members of the FZ1OA have started to feel as much like renuions than rally.  I often say it's my FZ1 family and the rallys are a family reunion.  This one felt more like that than any of the others.

I started out my travel day at the butt crack of dawn so I could be there in time for the Friday morning ride.  I didn't realize I was supposed to be going up on Thursday until I got a text from Cruzman asking if I'd already gotten there.  I had enough time to leave home and get there that evening but Scandal.

So after I watched Scandal, I packed my bags and wondered about how my luggage would work on a camping trip.  So far it was great and I was adjusting to having a wider bike.  I'm still contemplating how to make them removable and after I put the new rubber on earlier in the week, I made sure everything was nice and tight.

Remember that bit about getting used to a wider bike?  As I pulled out of the garage, I bumped the car and went tumbling over on the left side.  I wasn't hurt and Baby appeared to be just fine.  Since I knew I'd be parking on grass or gravel a lot I was glad to have gotten the drop over with.

I was on the road a little later than I expected as usual but with just enough time to be there before the group left.  I chose the most direct route and got there just in time to check in with the TWoS Lady before she left to run errands.

Cruzman helped me get the tent setup enough for me to store my stuff and we were off for the ride.  I rushed putting my new SJ7000 cameras on the bike.  It was the first time I had a camera that I knew where it was pointing before we took off.  Maybe the novelty of that made me not tighten them enough.

As we rode down 60, I watched the front camera slowly pan left because I hadn't tightned the mount.  There was no telling what the rear camera was pointing at by now.  There is telling, but I'd forgotten to connect the wifi to the phone.  I just wanted to be on the road unloaded to get a feel for the new Bridgestone S20/T30 tires I'd chosen.

They felt great!  It was like Baby was back to being Baby again after the cupped front tire and worn rear tire had me thinking about suspension maintenance.  I also had brakes on my mind since I saw how little pad I had left.  PJ and Corey had the brembo pads I asked them to get for me the last time I saw them but they weren't there yet.

With the cupped tire, I wasn't riding fast enough to really notice the reduced bite from the brakes.  The new tires had me feeling like I could put Baby exactly where I wanted him to be again and as a result, I rode a little faster.  That's when I noticed how bad the brakes were.  Rear brakes still felt fine but I'm not a rear braker.  Or at least I wasn't until then.

If I didn't have pads on the way, I would have left the group riding straight toward the nearest Yamaha dealer to get new pads.  Luckily I was on my roads, 60 to 19 to 129 to Richard Russell to 17 to 76 to 197 to La Pareda Chophouse on Lake Burton.

Those roads were listed during the conversation between Cruzman and iluvmyfz1 prior to our departure.  I'd only vaguely paid attention so when they suggested I might want to lead, I deferred.

I may have been a little slower than usual but I remained safe and fought the desire to “keep up” as the other riders left my ass.  The ego is a strange thing.  I pray before every ride that God guides my decision making so I will always do what needs to be done to stay safe.  As the ride goes on, watching brake lights disappear up the road does something to my right hand.

I like being able to see those lights up at the next bend.  I like being able to see their headlights comeing out of the last bend as I enter the next.  I do not like losing visual contact with the group.  I definitley don't like being passed and watching tail lights become empty road.
ZGrand, Scrappy1, Cruzman, and theWolfTamer

For most of this riding season, that's been my reality.  I can usually feel when I'm going too fast.  Lately that feeling has been happening even when I'm not going fast at all.  The tires, now the brakes.  This winter I will service the forks so I can stop thinking that is a part of it too.

Lesson learned about the tires.  For everday riding, there was nothing wrong with them.  But when Sport riding, everything needs to be perfect.  Feel perfect.

After a rousing ride on 76 listening to gospel music, I got to 197 forgetting about the brakes but remembering the good feeling the tires inspired.  It only took one sharp curve to remind me to take it easy until I could get my hands on the brembo pads.

For lunch, I got the prime rib dip sandwich.  It was okay but judging from everyone elses reaction to their food, I began to remember my life in California where none of the food tasted right, except the sushi.  With new stresses in my life, I'm hyper vigilante about another flare up in my brain.  To me, the lack of taste in food is a symptom.  I won't mention that every time I've eaten there I haven't been super impressed with the food.
Lunch at La Pareda

After lunch I noticed a nut missing from my left side bag and broke away from the group to get a new nut and go to WalMart to get the things I usually buy when camping.  At the pace I was riding, I needed to be on my own anyway so I wouldn't hold up the group.

I went to Helen because it was the closest town hoping to find a hardware or auto parts store so I could get nylock nuts this time.  When Cruzman and I put the bags on a few months ago, it was supposed to be temporary.  Since then, I've carried multiple 6 packs of coke, or gallons of tea, or whatever eles I could put in them without much concern for weight.  Up until the moment the nut was missing, they'd been trouble free.  So much in fact I was thinking about just leaving them permanently mounted.

When I couldn't find the bag for my sleeping bag or my air mattress prior to leaving that morning, I discovered the flaw in my current mounting system:  fixed bags.  I want to be able to remove the bags for packing/unpacking.

I spent the afternoon finishing my campsite setup and wondering how I'd make/strike camp on a multi-day trip.  I takes about an hour for me to get everything setup like I like it and another hour to break it down and load the bike.  I'd even like to add a hammock to the setup for multi day trips.

By the time I was setup to my liking, other members of the family started to show up but not PJ and my brake pads.  I heard that he was maybe two hours away so I wasn't too concerned.

I enjoyed hanging out on the porch and chatting with the other riders hanging about TWoS.  It was kind of cool seeing all those Gen 1's lined up in the parking lot and that lonely Gen 2 who I later discovered belonged to a guy I was certain had a Gen 1.

The thing about meeting people at a rally is that I tend to associate them with their bike then their screen name.  I write about them on the blog and use their screen name, even when I've stopped calling them or even thinking of them by that name.

That night, I met a guy who reads my blog but I think wasn't an FZ1 guy.  That is so cool when I get to meet people who know me by the words I put on the internet.  We had an awesome dinner at the resort that tasted fantastic.  Maybe my earlier worry was premature.

That night, we gathered around the fire in front of the cabins and told tall tales about how amazing we are.  Well, they gathered.  I put my new brake pads on in the dark because I didn't think about moving the bike until it was too late.  I managed to lose only one r-clip!  I was very proud of myself.  Then I gathered around the fire until the first drop of rain sent me scurrying for the tent.

A few hours later, I realized I'd forgotten to make sure I'd tied down everything from the rush of getting the tent up earlier.  The fly was touching the inner tent which meant I'd lost my bubble that kept the wet out.  There was a drip inside to accompany the rain outside but not so bad that I was flooded out.

The next morning after a fitful night's sleep interupted by pounding rain or heavy wind, I was releived to be mostly dry with only a few puddles in the corners and none near my gear.  The overnight rain lingered into the day postponing the planned group ride over Fort Mountain for barbeque.

Dreary weather didn't stop all of us, just some.

There were FZ1s everywhere you looked.  14 in all, only one gen2.

Then someone said something about visiting Riders Hill and I was in since I'd missed it the day before dealing with the bags and missing sleeping gear.  We went in iluvmyfz1s cage and drooled on bikes while I asked if they had a cotter pin to replace the r-clip for my brakes.  Drooling on Italian studs took the sting out of not trying out my new brakes yet.

Heavy rain meant any thought at looking for it once it got daylight were washed away about the same time that my tent started leaking. They didn't have the r-clip but he did give me two cotter pins.

I got to talk to two very cool guys about bikes, racism, and politics on the porch there.  There's something to be said about the porches at bike places.  During this trip, I revelled in being a motorcyclist off of the bike.  I met some very cool people and had interesting conversations all weekend long.

I didn't mind getting rained out for just that reason.  We got a call saying they were heading out because the rain looked to be letting up.  Not where we were, if anything it was raining steady.

After studying the radar maps, I decided to take off and do the Cooler Run solo so I could take my time and not fight myself trying to keep up with others.

I hit the window at just the right time and was able to get in a mostly dry run.  I thought about going out with any other group when I got back but again the conversation on the porch snared me.  It was cool to hang out with family and watch the bikes roll in and out.  It was terrible watching the Volunteers win with a bunch of Volunteer fans. I plan to be there next year to watch the game with my new friends.

I got to see the very rare MOTUS live and in person.  It does exist and looks like it might be worth every penny.  Someone else's pennies.  I like to tinker too much to have a perfect bike out of the box.

The ladies at TWoS promised to hold Ribeyes for us for dinner and make cake for dessert.  Everything was delicious.  Maybe my tastebuds were calibrated for the cooking at the resort because I loved everything I ate there.  Breakfast was great too.

Saturday night was a repeat of Friday night without the rain.  I am always amazed at the conversations around the fire.  Highbrow, lowbrow and everything in between.  Bikes, life, a little bit of everything.  I sat there until I realized I was stiff and decided to head to the tent.  I got much better sleep since the rain wasn't trying to come into the tent.

I made a mistake of putting the tent directly under the tree so stuff kept hitting the tent all night but at least I stayed dry.

The next morning, I got up in time to watch the race with the other people at the resort over breakfast.  Then I took my time breaking camp and contemplating how I was going to load the bike.  Turns out I like to load the stuff as I take it down.

Maybe if I could take the bags off, I may have moved the bike out of the wet grass and into the parking lot.  Cruzman rescued me by riding the loaded bike to the parking lot while I futzed around with my tank bag, radio, and gear.

I didn't know about a plan for the morning but when I looked up, Cruzman was asking how long before I was ready.  Hmmm, do I want anyone waiting for me?  No.  Nor did I want to ride Wolf Pen Gap on a dampish road so I agreed to meet them at the store and told them I was going to take the other way since I'd taken Wolf Pen Gap the day before.

I didn't leave too long after them.  I lubed my chain, stored my rain gear, and took the time to clean my face shield before heading out.  It was another perfect morning for riding.  In fact, despite the rain on Saturday, every day had been perfect for riding.  Not too hot or cold, maybe too wet.  But still an awesome day to be out.

We left the store heading toward Dahlonega with a plan to have lunch at a place iluvmyfz1 and mrs frequented.  Thanks to traffic on 60, we got separated.  When we got into town, they were no where to be seen.  I knew he said the place was downtown, so I suggested we take the first right so we could get into town quickly.

Fortunately for us, another gen1 rider pulled up and told us where they were.  It was a quiet little place that we seemed to have to ourselves.  I got to see the first quarter of the Falcons game over a almost decent salmon salad.  Their idea of sweet tea however left too much of the sweet out.

I headed home alone arriving much quicker than I'd anticipated.  It was a great weekend hanging with my OA family.  Next year should be even better!

Thanks for reading!
patrice, theWolfTamer


  1. Sure it was the traffic's fault that we got separated on our way to Dahlonega.

  2. Dang, that edit didn't include me saying i wasn't willing to pass on that stretch. Must have saved that for the upcoming post about fork maintenance. ;) "...everything must be perfect to for sport riding..."


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