Ride to Work

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pittsburgh Grand Prix Countryside Tour

Montse with our flight
Last July we drove out to join the Countryside Tour put on in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix.  The Grand Prix is a huge event over several days but unfortunately we had other commitments and could only make it there for the Countryside Tour.

This year, the tour began at the Century Inn in Scenery Hill, PA and ended at the Coventry Inn in Indiana, PA.  That is quite a hike out into western PA from where we live so we left the morning before and planned on spending the night at the Century Inn to be where the action was the following morning.  As luck would have it, rain followed us all the way from home until we got there but fortunately it let up shortly before pulling into the Inn and it didn't rain again for the rest of the trip.

Our flight catches a faster flight at a light

The following morning there were quite a bit of cars for the tour and we selected to go with a slow flight composed of a Healey, a TR3 and a MGA.  The flights were generally made up of four cars and were divided into fast, moderate and slow categories.  The run out to Indiana took us through some very nice back roads and very scenic terrain.  We left around 09:00 and got there at about 13:00.  If we had gone on a straight line it would not have taken half that long but the purpose of the thing was to run out and have a good time on the back roads.

Ed's car

We met a bunch of really nice people at breakfast at the Inn.  We also met a couple of the guys from the MGTDr forum.  It was great fun and could not have asked for a nicer day for a run like this.  Unfortunately, we needed to be back in Philly by evening so we left right after lunch for the long ride back home on the turnpike.

Montse behaved admirably, even in the rain on the Turnpike on the way out.  We had no issues but it sure was a major beating driving all the way there and back.  I've bought a tow bar to use on trips like this from now on.  The long distances on the interstate are just not fun at all.  We are planning on going back next year and stay for at least a couple of days to join in on the festivities.

To see more pics from the run, please, checkout my Flickr Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Album.

Tail gun Charlie
At the midway point
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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Indian Nation: Indian Motorcycles and America

A special exhibition at the American Swedish Historical Museum, in Philadelphia, open now until 22 Aug., 2015.

The story of the Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company closely mirrors the history and attitudes of 20th century America.  Indian was founded in 1901 by George Hendee, an American bicycle racer and builder, and Carl Oscar Hedstrom, a Swedish immigrant and machinist.  The exhibition at the museum features rare Indians from 1903 to 1953 including a 1903 single engine Indian, a 1911 experimental prototype that Hedstrom and friend, Ben "The Terrible Swede" Swenson, personally worked on, a 1946 power plus with sidecar, a 1947 Chief, plus engines, historic photos, racing memorabilia, and much more.

Charlene and I visited the exhibit yesterday and although small it was well put together and worth seeing.  A great collection of the best motorcycles ever made.  Although the did mention the rebadged Royal Enfield Indians, they did not have one on exhibit.

To see the rest of the pictures I took yesterday, please, visit my Flickr Album - Indian Nation.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Blogger Fatigue

After the wash

I've been doing this for a little over a year and I think fatigue has set in.  I don't think I will continue posting every ride but instead will only post rides or events out of the ordinary.  The daily upkeep has become too much and, frankly, it is not as much fun as it once might have been.

Since I last posted, I took the MG to Gene's and it had to have the rear brakes replaced.  Some spring had broken off on the rear left drum and destroyed the pads.  No wonder the brakes were starting to feel mushy.  We took a handful of rides in the MG since I got it back last Wednesday and everything has been working great.  The repair cost for the brake job and oil change came to a little over $400.

On Friday afternoon I took a ride on the dragon with the Bullet.  Everything went well except that I took a curve to the left a little fast, fixated on the apex, and ran off the road.  Didn't dump or stall the bike but it sure gave me one hell of a scare.  The lesson, keep my eyes on the turn and avoid target fixation.  Simple but easy to forget when fear sets in.  After I got back, I washed off the dirt and everything ended up fine, no damage, and no worries.

Over the weekend we took some rides on the MG and went to the HCCP annual picnic.  We met a lot of nice folks and had a great time.

I refueled the Bullet yesterday, I put 2.36 gallons of Ultra in the tank at the Sunoco on the West Chester Pike and Strasburg.  The odo read 4470.2.  Next refuel should be at around 4620.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Great Valley Baptist Church, Valley Forge, and Deer

At the Baptist Church in the Great Valley
Yesterday we took the MG out in one of our early evening spins.  Instead of heading out to the Goshen loop we took the Darby Paoli Rd route to go Valley Forge Park.  That route goes out to Church and then Waterloo following Waterloo until it merges with 252 and goes into the park.

I was very surprised to see that road conditions on Waterloo have not improved very much since the last ride we took there.  The road is still full of pot holes on torn up in several sections, especially on the return side.  I thought that by now this would have been repaired but it doesn't appear that they have done much work at all.

As we passed the Great Valley Baptist Church I made a quick decision to stop and take a couple of shot there.  I've been wanting to do that for the last 3 years and have never stopped.  Not the best or most dramatic shots ever but they will do.

From there we continued on to Valley Forge and did a couple of loops through the inner and outer defense lines.  The light was falling dramatically, especially under the canopy, and we had seen several small group of deer on the way in so I did not take the twists as hard as I would have liked for fear of having a close encounter of the deer kind.  However, it is still a nice fun drive on the MG with all the tight hair pin turns and hills to climb.

On the way back I wanted to avoid Waterloo because of the road issues so I went under 202, took the left and followed that to the West Valley Rd for another left under 202 in the opposite direction to get to Swedesford Rd.  Once there I followed it out to Walker and took that towards Old Gulph Rd.  On the way out we noticed more deer in small packs and somewhere on Walker we drove up to a doe and fawn sitting no more than 10 feet from the edge of the road.  They look at us as we slowed down and didn't even blink and eye.

Once on Old Gulph we took the left to South Wayne and took that across downtown Wayne and into the Louella neighborhood.  We followed some side roads, instead of cutting across to Conestoga, that wound us around back to 30 over by Chamonix.  From there we just took 30 to Radnor Chester Rd and Newtown Rd to home.

A great ride, specially in the park.  At this time of day there was hardly anyone else on the back roads at the park and even if I couldn't go as fast or as hard as I would have liked, it was a very enjoyable ride.  Other than the concern about keeping an eye out for deer we could not have asked for better conditions.

I made an appointment to take the MG in today for a complete check before we head out for Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix next week.

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Under a Threatening Sky

On departure
Yesterday morning I took the Bullet out for a spin after almost a week away.  I headed out Bishop Hollow with the intention of doing a loop out to my gun club to see the progress on the storm repairs and then maybe do a longer run from there since I had the day off.

I was surprised by the level of debris and gravel on the road.  We had some rain the day before and throughout the evening but nothing that would bring the level of debris on the road.  The really worrying bit was the amount of large gravel on the road way.  In some places cars had already cleared a path but the large chunks of rocks on the sides and center of the roadway were intimidating.
Keeping all of this in mind plus the messages that the club have been sending about damages to the area the plan had to be changed.  At 352 I took a right and headed all the way out to the West Chester Pike to refuel at the Wawa and to come up with a new plan.  As I headed out that way I noticed the sky getting darker and more ominous to the point that when I finally got to the gas station it looked like rain was coming at any minute.  Not wanting to be out in it I just headed home via Goshen to try to beat the rain.  About half an hour after I got home the sky began to clear with never a drop having come down.  I could have stayed out but that would have been a sure way of having a deluge.

At the gas station
On leaving the house at 09:00 the odo read 4311.6.  At the gas station it read 4329.1 and the tank took 1.814gallons of premium at $3.199 a gallon for a total of $5.80.  Since the last refuel I put in 104.5 miles on the Bullet for a mileage of 57.6 mpg.  On return at 10:00 the odo read 4338.9.

The last time I rode the Bullet was on Tuesday, 30 June, to commute to work.  On the way home from work I saw a black Ferrari convertible turning left from Conestoga onto Ithan and when I was on Sproul headed towards Godfrey some high speed low drag exotic blew by me on the opposite direction.  It was moving too fast and had very little time to figure out what it was, mostly it was a blur of metallic cooper with googly headlights going by.
This tow encounters bring the exotic tally to 19 Ferraris, 17 Teslas, 11 Maseratis, 5 Bentleys, 5 McLarens, 3 Cobras, 2 Austin-Healeys, 2 Lambos, 3 Unknowns, 1 Rolls Royce, and 1 DeLorean.

On return

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Riding in Minneapolis - Not

We went to Minneapolis to visit my son for the 4th of July and my son and I had made plans to riding during our visit.  Unfortunately, my son's bike was in the shop and with the ever present unexpected complications they did not have it ready to be picked up on Friday.  The last minute back up plan was to see if we could rent a bike from a local place on Friday.

I tried to contact Eagle Rider in Minneapolis but every time the rental guy was unavailable or some other nonsense.  Eventually we took a drive out to the place, my daughter-in-law and I in their truck and my son following on her motorcycle so if we could get something we could start riding from there.  We got to Eagle Rider around 16:00 and the rental guy was out to lunch!  The other people there were completely un-helpful.  They couldn't say if they had anything available or come up with an answer or solution other than "hang around and wait for the guy to turn up."  All I can say is that the customer service at this place was really very poor.  Not wanting to waste time we just left and went back home.  All I can say i

On the trip back, I rode my daughter-in-law's V-Star 250.  It wasn't much of a ride but it sure reminded me how much fun those little bikes are.  They handle well, are very peppy, and are just plain fun.  I wish I had never sold mine.

Random pic of my son and his family in Minneapolis on the Mississippi River

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Friday, July 3, 2015

Body Trim and Chrome Edging

Wednesday evening we put the top down and took a short drive up Goshen to the Wawa to get a frozen coffee and just to do a little bit of a ride.  From the Wawa we came back home via Sugartown/Paoli Pike/Darby/Devon and Church.  We also did a couple of loops on St Davids and Waterloo before returning home.

Weather was beautiful with nice temps and light cloud cover.  We had no incidents or problems and there was little traffic to contend with.

When we got home I found the package from Brandsport.  I thought I had ordered 10 feet because their internet copy said that it came in 5 foot lengths but they sell in 1 foot units so I ended up with 2 feet which is what I needed for the missing strip.  So I put it on the missing space and I won't replace the rest.  It's not identical but it's close enough that unless one is looking it is not really noticeable.

Also I put the edging on both rear fenders now the only thing left is to put it on the front port side fender.  I may look for different edging to see if I can get something to cover the rear fenders completely because now all I can do is cover the wheel wells due to the thinness of the edging.

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