Sunday, April 29, 2012

John and Wendie Visit.

Nancy and I had visitors this weekend. My riding buddy John, and his wife Wendie, came up from St. Paul, Mn on Saturday. They arrived around noon stayed until this morning. I gave them the tour of the new place and we spent the next few hours chatting. Around 3:30 in the afternoon John and I went for a ride. He had brought his riding gear with him, so I loaned him my FJR and I rode the Zx-14. We took a nice 70 mile loop north and circled Lake Namakagon. We were back home in about 2 hours. We hung around in the garage talking and checking out the base that John had made up for the tire changer. A few years ago, I went in on "halves" on a complete Cyclehill brand tire changer set up with John. We had it bolted to the floor of my garage in Prescott. When I moved into this house, I told John I was a little hesitant to drill into the concrete of this garage, because of the hot water heat piping in the floor. John had a friend of his weld up a mount for the changer. It's similar to one we saw this winter being sold by Nomar tire changers at the Motorcycle Show. All we have to do is park a car or truck on one end of the stand to hold it in place. I probably wont need to mount tires on the Zx-14 until just before my trip west in July or August. Here's John on my FJR
The Cyclehill changer is bolted to the homemade base and there's a box to set the rim on when it's time to break the bead. There's a hole in the top of the box that is sized to support the rim, but allow the rotor to go through. This will keep any pressure off the rotor and also keep it off the floor.
Last night, the 4 of us went out for dinner at the Sawmill Saloon in Seeley. Afterwards, we went back to our place and spent the rest of the night sitting in front of the fireplace. This morning, we had make-your-own omelets in a bag, with a side of fruit and muffins. Sorry, I forgot to get the required food pictures. John and Wendie were on their way back home by 10:30 so John could hook up with his computer guy. Thanks for coming up!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Where Does Your Bike Live?

A few of the bloggers I follow have posted up pictures of their bikes in their garages. So, I'll follow along. It took me a full day and a half to organize it enough to take a picture. We moved in to this place in the middle of winter and most of the items in the garage were just kind of thrown in. A ton of the boxes destined for the basement were still out in the garage. I still have to mount the kayak racks to the wall so I can get them off the floor and I have 2 pieces of furniture in the garage that I need to find a home for. I have one thing still not moved north, a 1953, Allis-Chalmers, model B tractor. Someday, I'll make a trip to MN to bring it home.

Here are a few of the blogs...

Road to nowhere

Trobairitz' Tablet

Bandit Rider

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My lucky Day!

Today, the temps up here in the north woods of WI were headed for the upper 70's with bright, clear skies. A great day to take the Wr250x on a ride down some fire lanes and through the woods. I left home with 60 miles already on the last fill up, so I gassed up in town. The little 2 gallon tank is only good for about 90 miles before the low fuel light comes on. I drove 12 miles and turned off the main road and onto Mosquito Brook Road. I followed it down to Phipps and turned east onto Phipps Fire Lane. A mile or so later and I was on gravel. I stayed on gravel for the next 19 miles. I saw no one, no cars, no bicycles, no ATV's. Parts of the Phipps and Rock Lake Fire Lanes are not much more than a bulldozer trail through the woods. I had a great time!

I ended up coming out of the Chequamegon National Forest and onto a paved road about 3 miles from home.
The whole area around Cable is loaded with bicycle trails and ATV trails, but for some reason, motorcycles are not allowed on the ATV trails. I guess that's OK, there are plenty of Forrest Service Roads and Fire Lanes to ride on. I have a LOT more exploring to do!

So why was it my lucky day? I got home, stopped at the mail box, stuffed the mail in my jacked and rode up the driveway. I got off the bike and started to unload my things. I couldn't find my wallet. I had it with me when I stopped for gas. I checked all my pockets, my driveway, by the mail box, the tank bag... Nothing. I got back on the bike and started to retrace my ride backwards. So, driving along CR-M, about 2 and a half miles from home, I catch a glimpse of something on the east bound shoulder... I turned around and....

I'll probably never be that lucky again!!! I had visions of it lying in a ditch and never being able to find it again. A good lesson learned, zip all pockets and keep the wallet in an inside pocket. I'll have to make a record of all the credit cards and their contact numbers. It would've been such a huge pain to go through, if I had lost it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I Went for a Ride Today!

It sure brought back a lot of memories. I took a ride up to Ashland, WI, childhood home of my mother. My maternal Grandmother used to live in Ashland until her death in 1974. I can remember spending time up there in the summer of 1972. I know I was there with my mother, but I don't remember if my sister was along then or not. I remember riding my bicycle down to the Suzuki dealer by Lake Superior. I know it was 1972, because all of the motorcycles parked out front were orange and white. I remember wanting a TS-90 or a TS-125. I would have been 11 years old that summer. It would be another year or two before I'd get my first motorcycle.

This is the building that used to be a Suzuki dealer. That's Lake Superior behind it.

That summer, all of the Enduros looked like this.


There is still room in the garage for a nice looking '72 TS-250. I saw one last year that was in very nice shape. I'll just be patient and watch craigslist.....

I drove around Ashland and tried to spot my Grandmothers house. I remember that it was a few blocks up from Beaser School on 12th. Ave W., between 9th St and 10th St. I know it was the second house up, because my Grandmother's sister lived next door, on the corner. The house looked a lot different than it did 40 years ago. I don't remember how many times I've been to Ashland since my Grandmother passed away in '74, but it's probably fewer than 5.

I also got pictures of one of the old Soo Line ore docks. They're being torn down. That's too bad because they were such a distinctive Ashland landmark. The locks were built in 1916 and used until 1965. Loaded railroad iron ore cars were brought out onto the dock and the ore was dumped through chutes, into great lakes freighters below. The docks are 80' high, 75' wide, and 1800' long.

There is a Soo Line steam locomotive on display in the middle of town. It's a 190,000 lb Baldwin Decapod (10 drive wheels).

It was a great day for a memory filled ride!!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Messing with the Cats...

Because I live in an area with abundant predatory wild life, the cats are now no longer free to roam outside. To keep them entertained, I've started to feed squirrels right outside the patio door. This drives the cats crazy and gives them something to do all day. I took a ceder 1x6 and drove 3 nails through it. I put ear corn on the nails and let the squirrels come to feed. If there's a squirrel out on the feeder and the cats are watching, all I have to do is whisper s-q-u-i-r-r-e-l-l-l-l... and the cats will fold their ears back like a Scottish Fold, flatten themselves out on the floor, and they'll start twitching and making AAAAAAAAkkkk noises. The poor cats are just waiting for me to flip the door latch and slide the patio door open so they can chase them.

At my last house, one of the cats, Vinnie, caught a squirrel on our deck. He had it by the neck for a few seconds, but it managed to twist its way out of Vinnie's mouth. Vinnie has been waiting for round two....Two of the other cats are very skilled hunters. Sticky, once brought home a mouse, a chipmunk, and a robin all in one short afternoon outside, and he has no teeth!!!

4 of the 6 boys..... waiting....

Waiting for this....

Screamer(L), and Vinnie(R) ready for the chase....