Ride to Work

Monday, July 28, 2014

Llama Farm

No, that's not a real llama.
Just a short early evening ride to get the wheels moving on a beautiful Sunday.  The ride took me out Goshen across 252 to Grubbs Mill Road for a hard right before the llama farm.

Taking advantage of light traffic and a little bit of grassy shoulder to pull over on I was able to get a couple of photos before continuing on up Grubbs Mill.  Earlier in the day there would have been several llamas milling about the pasture but by the later part of the day they must be inside because the pasture was completely empty.  Well, there was one wooden cutout of llama in the middle pasture so it was not a complete loss by all accounts.

Llama Farm
Grubbs Mill is a good twisty run that, if you keep left, eventually leads to Davis Rd for a nice and fairly straight shot to a T at Warren Rd.  Continuing to push the Bullet for speed gave good performance on the straight on Davis and almost reached 70 mph there.  A hard left at the T with Warren gave me another straightaway to push getting the same results before reaching Providence.  I intended to go left on Providence to make the block on Goshen-Sugartown and back to Providence but the call of the dirt road on Warren was stronger than my intentions.

Warren between Providence and Goshen is a straight packed dirt country road that is mostly covered with some loose gravel and shaded by an avenue of tall trees.  The hard pack was washed out in some areas and the loose gravel was a little alarming but keeping the Bullet to no more than 35 mph proved to be the workable answer.  At the Goshen end Warren meets up with the parking lot of the Willistown Friends Meeting House.  I stopped there considering on taking a photo but there was one lonely SUV in the lot, right in front of the meeting house, that just ruined the shot.  That shot will have to be saved for another time.

From that stop at Warren and Goshen, I made the big blog of Goshen-Sugartown-Providence and a left at Goshen.  At the intersection with 252 I took a left to Newtown Street Road to Waterloo and Church for home.

It was a nice relaxing ride with the possibility of working the twists on Grubbs Mill now that it is no longer a first time on that route.  There was a light overcast which kept the sun out of my eyes and made for good visibility.  The ride totaled a little over 28 miles for an odo reading of 1392.2 at the end.  Getting close to scheduling time for the 1500 mile maintenance.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

2014 FIM Sidecar World Championship - Aragon

This is why I want a sidecar.  (Video link from my friend Phillip in Boise, ID).  Video from the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme's championship held in Alcañiz, Spain on 13 April 2014.
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Friday, July 25, 2014

The Chester County Dragon

Creek Rd. before Chadds Ford
The Dragon is done!  This is the continuation and conclusion of last Friday's ride which had to be aborted mid range because I waited to long to get on the road.  Today, taking advantage of Father Peter's Friday policies, I headed out as soon as I got home from work at about 12:35.

The ride began on the Goshen Loop but instead of turning at Providence or Delchester, I continued on to Garret Mill Rd avoiding the Pike completely.  Goshen is very torn up before the 252 intersection with a very uneven pavement.  The road work goes on beyond 252 for about 500 miles and it looks like the are widening that area of the road to allow for traffic from the new subdivision on 252 and Goshen.

Shortly after crossing Goshen I saw an old M-151, World War II style Jeep, with desert paint, top and windshield down going in the opposite direction.  Not an exotic but very cool none the less.

The run up 926 past the Pike was very smooth and clear.  I caught the red at the intersection with 202 and while waiting for the change, a guy in the left turn lane rolled down his window to ask me about the Bullet.  He knew what it was and that it was one of the new ones but he was very excited to talk about it.  I still enjoy those moments when someone asks.

Once on Creek Rd the twists and turns began in earnest.  The first part, out to Smiths Bridge Rd in Delaware was a lot of fun because, knowing what to expect from last Friday's run, I was able to push a little more.  After that part it continues to be a tremendously fun ride, specially after Kirk Rd turns into 82 and all the way up on that until Kennett Square.  Lots of twists, hill, great scenery, and great riding.  82 makes a hard left right after Hoopes Reservoir that is not marked and I almost missed that but was able to save it at the last second without getting lost.

On 926, before getting to 52, there is a nice flat stretch where I gave it a go and got going at 70 mph.  Still in the break-in so I didn't push beyond that.  That part of the ride is flatter but it picks up again after 52 for another fun part.

Crossing the pike at 926, I noticed a white exotic (addendum: I now think this was a McLaren) on the left turn lane to Garret Mill.  Could not tell what it was and I pulled into a drive way by the red barn to see if I could catch a picture of it.  Unfortunately, it blew by before I could get the camera ready.  Instead, got a nice shot of the barn and the farm where I stopped.  After that I just followed the reversed Goshen loop back home.

The Red Barn
Turtle Rock Farm
The Bullet

Turtle Rock Farm

While I am sure the Chester County Dragon pales in comparison with the Tail of the Dragon it is a fun and beautiful ride.  For someone with little experience, like me, it is challenging enough to keep you on your toes.  I don't know how many Father Peter Friday's we have left in the summer but I plan on using all of them on this ride.

With a total of 63 miles and a little over two hours of saddle time this ride is the longest the Bullet has made.  At the end of the ride the odo clocked 1368.4.

The exotic car tally stands at 2 Ferraris, 1 Lambo, 1 Maserati, and 1 McLaren.

1305.2 at 12:37
1368.4 at 14:40

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Lunch Run

Today at lunch I made a run to gas up.  The tank wasn't close to being empty but it was a good excuse to get out.  Took my regular commute route from work down Bryn Mawr Ave. to the West Chester Pike and followed that out to 352.  There, I pulled into the Wawa on the Pike just past 352 and gassed up.  I didn't check the mileage before I left work but at the pump the odo read 1232.9 miles.  The tank took 2.31 gallons so I guess it was a little closer to the line than I thought.  This tank the Bullet averaged 71.17 mpg.  I don't know why mileage is getting better, maybe it is because the trips are getting longer.  Next fill up at 1432, just before the next maintenance.

I headed out by the Manley St. exit of the gas station to 352 which I followed to Strasburg and down to Goshen.  I pondered on taking either Sugartown or Grubbs Mill to avoid the construction drama at 252 and Goshen but time was of the essence and I wanted to stop at home to eat something.  The construction at 252 although annoying did not present any mayor delays.  I had to circle around the Goshen detour beyond that to stop at home and after eating I headed back to work on my regular commute.  Saddle time was a little over and hour and fifteen but I'm not sure of mileage.  I figured somewhere around 25 to 30 miles total.
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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Chadds Ford and Delaware

This is the longest run the Bullet has ever made.   I left the house at about 14:45 on Friday afternoon with the intention of doing the Chester County Dragon and headed out towards Goshen.  When I reached there, found Goshen closed to traffic headed towards 252 so I made a left and headed towards Malin Rd.  At Malin I made a right turn to reach Bryn Mawr Rd and from there to the West Chester Pike.  I followed the Pike to 926 and that all they way to Creek Rd (Rt 100) for a hard left.  Keeping the exotic car tally, there was a silver Ferrari headed east on the Pike at 926.  Later on in the ride I saw a silver Maserati at the intersection of Smiths Bridge Road and 100 in Delaware.

Creek Rd is the first leg of the Chester County Dragon Loop or The Loop so once I reached that on 926 I followed it to Chadds Ford, across US 1, over the Brandywine, and across the Delaware border.  This route, 926 and 100 runs mostly across wooded country with scattered farms along the way.  It is full of good turns and some nice hills making for a really fun run.  Rt 100 is a double road with no marked divider and the surface can be sketchy in areas but overall it's not a bad road.  Just before getting to US 1 at Chadd's Ford I pulled into the parking lot of the Chadds Ford Historical Society.  The Society is in what looks like and old converted barn that made for a really nice photo.  It would have been nice to pose the Bullet in front of it but the lot is made up of loose gravel and the idea of the Bullet taking a nose dive did not appeal to me.

After that brief stop I crossed over US 1, this is a dog leg left because 100 does not cross it straight and the road directly across, Station Way Rd, is a one way in the opposite direction.  From there 100 continues its twists and turns along the Brandywine and at one point crosses over it by way of a nice looking old bridge, almost Roman in character.  Shortly after that it crosses the Delaware border; I caught a glimpse of the Delaware sign and it kind of threw me because I did not expect it that soon.

In Delaware Creek Rd turns into Montchanin Rd and continues on with its country road character.  At the Smiths Bridge Rd four way stop I realized that it was taking more time than I thought and if I didn't turn back soon, Friday afternoon rush hour traffic would be upon me.  This is where the silver Maserati came from my left on Smiths Bridge.  Less than five hundred yards beyond Smith's Bridge I saw a long driveway on the left and I turned into that to make the return.  Thank the gods I had the presence of mind to check my six before making the turn.  I had a couple on a Mercedes Benz 360 SL with Delaware plates on my tail since crossing US1 and at this point the genius decided that he was either following to close or that he couldn't wait for me to make the turn so we would pass me on the left.  If I hadn't checked my six and slowed the turn he would have blindsided me and probably done me serious harm.  There was one second in which I intended to cancel the turn and give him chase but I am trying to give up road rage and my Seny overcame the Rauxa.  To give the good with the bad, as I pulled into the log driveway to check get my bearings on Waze, and older gentleman in a pick-up truck pulled in behind me to check if I was OK.  I gave him the thumbs up and we were both on our way.

I made the return on 100 in the opposite direction, overshooting Station Way Rd and having to make a quick turn around on the empty road before a force right on US 1.  Rt 100 in the opposite direction seemed a little more fun and faster because, it appeared to me, the most challenging twists are on the downhill.  I had previously decided not to make the blind merge onto the West Chester Pike from 926 so I cut across the Pike to Garrett Mill Rd.  This road cuts across Garret Mill Park and Okehocking Preserve along Ridley Creek and is designated a scenic route.  It is short but it is well worth the ride because of the feel of the road and the great scenery.  There is one spot that where a single lane bridge crosses over Turtle Rock Run with a big red barn serving as backdrop that would make an excellent photo.  No place to pull over but I might have to figure something out to get that shot.

Garret Mill Rd comes out on Goshen just yards above Sugartown Rd.  I made a quick change on the fly to take Sugartown avoiding all the construction drama going on at Goshen and 252.  This meant taking the Sugartown - Paoli Pike loop to Church and home.

This was a great ride, the longest the Bullet has ever since in terms of miles, 55 miles, and time, an hour and 45 minutes.  It is too bad that the timing required an abort on the flight plan and an early return.  The new plan is to leave directly form work next Friday with the same plan.  I am considering reversing the route by going 926 to 82 and then to 100 but we'll see what next Friday brings.

On leaving the house the odo was reading 1159 miles and on return 1214 miles.  The exotic car tally stands at two Ferraris, one Lamborghini, and one Maserati.  (I saw a blue Maserati later that evening but I was not on the Bullet so it doesn't count.)

My editor, Lucifer, "helping" with this post 

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Grubbs Mill Road

Yesterday's ride began as a further exploration of the Grubbs Mill area.  The first leg was a regular run up Goshen towards the right turn at Grubbs Mill Rd.  From there to the White Horse fork and following that to the Davis Rd turn.  Davis Rd is a short, wooded, country lane that Ts out at Warren Rd.  A left turn at Warren goes through more wooded and farm areas on a double yellow that eventually comes to Providence Rd.  At the other side of Providence, Warren turns into a dirt lane that Ts out on Goshen.  I have been thinking about taking that portion of Warren for quiet a while but I haven't done it yet.  Instead, I took a left onto Providence towards Goshen for another right there.  I noticed quite a bit more traffic than I have seen before in this area and I also noticed a cop hiding out in a driveway before Hibid Farms waiting for speeders.
I took Goshen up to Reservoir Rd for a run to Paoli Pike and the Sugartown loop to Church Rd and home.  I briefly considered continuing on Sugartown to Dorset so I could stop at St. David's Episcopal for some pictures but decided against it.  I also briefly considered turning off from Church at Valley Forge Rd but I had a tailgater and some traffic at that intersection and I didn't want to risk a crowded left.

As I headed up the hill home, a chipmunk ran out of the woods and right into my path.  The only reason he didn't get run over is because the gods did not will it.  It could have been very ugly.  Ended up with 1135.7 miles on the odo.
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Inver House and Ellis Preserve

This last week we had our great-niece visiting from Louisiana so there was not a lot of opportunities for motorcycle riding.  I did, however, get in a couple of short rides on July 12th.  Having received in the mail a Canon S100 which I picked up on ebay, I was looking forward to trying the camera so I took a short ride in the morning more as an excuse to take a couple of pictures than anything else.

I headed towards Darby-Paoli Road to take a picture of the old gate that is just of the road.  My assumption was that this gate was part of the entrance to the old Ardrossan estate that was left as a vestige when that part of the estate was subdivided.  This assumption was completely wrong.  I had seen the gate many a time before, but I had never stopped to take a closer look.  On the top of each pillar under the lions, one can see very clearly the inscription "Inver House".   It turns out that Inver House was built in 1936 on the place of Laurento, another Main Line mansion.  Nothing remains of it now except for the gate and driveway leading nowhere.

 After the I continued on Darby-Paoli to a left on St. Davids, passed the roundabout and the under pass of 252 for another left onto 252.  From there I took a right on Goshen and followed that to Grubbs Mill Road where the llama farm is.  I took Grubbs Mill there and followed it for awhile, this was the first time I have been on this road.  Grubbs Mill is a true country lane with plenty of rolling hills, twists, and no dividing marks.  It crosses over Crum Creek on a single lane bridge and then comes to fork with White Horse Lane.  I followed White Horse which also crosses Crum Creek again and runs alongside the creek in a very picturesque manner.  Lots of old barns and farm houses but not much room to pull over and take pictures.  White Horse forks with Davis Rd but I followed White Horse to a right at South Valley Road which continued to merge with Grubbs Mill eventually running into 252 where I took a right.  I followed 252 to the new light at Sawmill and took that home after doing a neighborhood loop through that subdivision.

When I left the house the odo read 1076 and on return it clocked 1093.

Later that day, I took a ride over to Ellis Preserve to take some pictures of my great-niece on the Bullet and from there we rode to Honeygrow, in Radnor, for dinner.  When we returned, the sun had already gone down and we were riding in the dark.  This is the first time I've ridden the Bullet after dark and I was glad to see that, despite some things I've read on the internet, the stock headlights worked appropriately.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sunoco at Lunch

Made a run to get gas on the way back to work after lunch.  I could have gone to the Shell on Spring Mill Rd but I think that is the most expensive gas in the Mid-Atlantic.  Instead of going for the easy road back I took a left at Darby Paoli Rd to the dog leg turn at Brooke and Church.  I wanted to stay on Church, cross Conestoga to Aberdeen and then to the Sunoco at 30 and Aberdeen in Wayne.  However, Church was completely closed off by a work crew so the left fork to Brooke Rd was the only viable option.  That minor alteration meant a ride down Brooke to a right a Conestoga and a left a Aberdeen.  That is just as nice a ride as the Church portion, just a little longer.

After gassing up at the Sunoco I simply took 30 to the left at Spring Mill for the trip back to work.

At the Sunoco the tank took 2.455 gallons to fill up and the odo read 1068.5 miles.  This time the mileage was a little better than average figuring out to 70.61 mpg.  I don't know what caused that but it is a nice surprise.  Next fill up will have to be by 1268 miles.  I would have like to have a picture of the odo at 1066 but it completely escaped me until I noticed the mileage at the gas station
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Monday, July 7, 2014

Five Great Vintage Style Motorcycles

Gear Patrol has a listing of what they consider to be five great vintage motorcycles and a Royal Enfield is included.

RE Classic - Photo Credit: Gear Patrol

The list features the Triumph Scrambler at $9009, the Moto Guzzi V7 Special at $9290, the Honda Rebel at $4190, BMW R Nine T at $14900, and the Royal Enfield Classic at $6595.  While not the least expensive bike on the list it is definitely on the more affordable side and with definitely a lot of style points on its favor.
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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Big Loop for Lucy

Today I just ran a big loop in the late afternoon, it was a rough day and I needed to clear my head.  It started on the regular Goshen Rd. loop but I took a right on Sugartown to Providence.  There I took another right and stayed on Providence to the West Chester Pike.  I left the Pike with a right turn at Delchester Rd and followed that back to Goshen where I took a left. I followed Goshen to a right on Reservoir Rd and then on to the Paoli Pike.  Instead of keeping on the Paoli leg, I left the Pike with a right at Sugartown back to left on Goshen and then home.

Most of this ride, except for the portions on the pikes was done through country lanes with nice turns and easy hills.  At this time of the day, with the sun going down, there are some nice long shadows but the sun was still high enough not to be in my eyes.  Providence Rd is mostly wooded and shady and there are two four way stops between Strasburg and the Paoli Pike that slowed the run quite a bit.  The Paoli Pike was not busy and this was a rather enjoyable right for a change.

At the end of the ride the odor clocked 1044.9 miles for a total of 31 miles.

I think I'll begin keeping track of exotic cars I see in my rides.  Yesterday we ran across a white Lamborghini and the day before it was a yellow Ferrari, both on 926. 

Last night we had to put down our dog Lucy.  She was fourteen years old and had developed a tumor on her spleen.  She was a sweet old dog and we will miss her tremendously.


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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Goose Creek Grill

V Stoms at Goose Creek Grill
 Yesterday I noticed what looked like a cool place to have breakfast while on my ride on 926 and I made a plan to come back today with my wife.  We left the house about 09:00 and headed up Goshen to Providence road where we made a left turn.  Today that intersection was littered with gravel that was not there yesterday.  I don't know where it came from but luckily I saw as we approached so I was prepared for it and took the turn without any problems.  

We continued up the West Chester Pike and made the left at 926.  We crossed over 352 and found the Goose Creek Grill on the left soon after that.  As we pulled into the parking lot, we noticed a large group of riders on the side of the building.  We pulled up and parked next to the other bikes and before we were off the Bullet we had a group around us.  The Bullet draws attention everywhere it goes.  We talked to everyone about the Bullet and the bikes they had.  There was a majority of sports bikes and modern standards (including two V Strom 650s like Phillip's, my friend in Idaho), however, there was also a 1968 Honda that someone had on a trailer.  There was also a 2005 Bonneville T100 and a Ural sidecar that looked really nice.  I talked to the owner and he said that, even though he had bought the adapter kit for the Bonneville, he had a devil of a time getting the sidecar installed.  This was a great group of guys and, although they don't generally ride together, they meet at the Goose Creek Grill every Saturday around 08:00 and have breakfast together.  I don't think I will be able to make it next Saturday but we are making a plan to go the following Saturday.
Bonneville T100 with Ural sidecar

After breakfast and a walk around the park, we headed back on 926 to 353 across the Pike and to Strasburg for the way home.  Another great easy ride, the Bullet turned over 1000 miles shortly after we left the Goose Creek Grill parking lot and we added another 13 miles before getting home.

The HBC 100 plus communicators worked well for the trip out but once we turned them on for the trip back one of them refused to work.  I can hear my wife on mine but she can't hear me on hers.  I tried turning them off, rebooting, and re-synchronizing but none of these things seem to work.  I put in an email to UClear but I don't expect to get a reply at least until next Tuesday.  Very aggravating.

After this trip, the odo clocked 1013.8 for a total of 24 miles on the run.

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Friday, July 4, 2014

Brandywine Battlefield Ride

This morning the sky was still severely cloudy and the threat of rain and storms from Hurricane Arthur where still hanging in the air so any riding had to be postponed for better weather.  While it rained a little during the morning, by one o'clock the clouds were beginning to break up and the sun was beginning to poke out from behind them.  I made the decision that there might not be a better time so I headed out for a ride.

I didn't have a set flight plan when I left but while I debated going out Church I went up Goshen instead.  At Providence Road I made a hard left towards the West Chester Pike, I hadn't been on this run in a while and I enjoyed the nice easy turns and rolling hills.  At the Pike I made a right turn following it 926 where I took a left on that road.

This was my first time on 926 on a bike.  The portion between the Pike and 352 has some nice tight turns and a couple of good hills.  After 352, the road runs to some wooded areas and some developed areas but it is mostly straight if not necessarily flat.  I continued on 926 until I saw the first road sign for the Battle of Brandywine just past Birmingham Road.  I took the first left turn into a no outlet subdivision right after Birmingham Rd and used that as a turn around.

I thought about taking a left on 352 to hook up with Strasburg Road on the other side of the Pike but since the best part of 926 is past 352, I decided to stay on that to link up with the Pike.  The right exit from 926 to the Pike is a short off ramp with a stop that leads you to a blind merge onto the Pike.  I did not like that blind merge so, in the future, I may exit 926 by turning left on the Pike.

From the Pike, I took a left on Delchester Rd to reach Goshen and from there home.  However, when I got to the 252 interception I made a hard left and followed that to Sugartown to Church for the ride home.  I just felt like adding a couple of extra miles to the run.

Overall, a real nice run.  Glad to have begun exploring 926 as this will give access to the Baltimore Pike for runs into Maryland and to the Chester County Dragon that I plan on running soon.  No rain, no issues, just a fun run.  At the end of the run the odo clocked 986.2 miles for a total of 42.7 miles on this ride.
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Riding a Spyder in Idaho

Fueling up on the way out
I was out in Boise, Idaho, the last couple of days on a work deal but that doesn't mean that you can't ride.  Luckily, I was able to hang out with my friend Phillip who rides a Suzuki V Strom 650 and we did some cruising.  Phillip hooked me up with Birds of Prey Motorsports in Caldwell, just outside Boise, where they rented me a Can Am Spyder RT for only $129 a day.  Since I was not going to be in Boise long, I only got the one day rental but Phillip and I made good use of the time I had.

Phillip on his V Strom
On the evening of July 1st, we took a long ride out east of the city.  I'm not quite sure of the route as Phillip was leading and I was just trying to get used to piloting the Spyder.  (Addendum 06 July from my friend Phillip - "from SE Boise, east on e. Warm springs ave, s on hwy 21, s. Federal way, crossing I-84, s. Eiseman, west on gowen (south of BOI and air guard base), s on pleasant valley road past the quarry and two state prisons, east on kuna mora rd, which turns into black creek.  Blacks creek terminates at gravel road, which is called foothills...so we covered all of blacks creek road!")  This Spyder was the automatic model, without a clutch and with a thumb shifter, which took a little while to get used to but that I enjoyed none the less.  I figured the eventually we ended up on East Black Creek Road for quite a while.  This road links up with the Oregon Trail and runs part of the trail.  Whatever the route, the ride was very enjoyable with enough twists and hills to make it entertaining.  The terrain was very western high desert and we saw some rabbits and quail along the way.  On the way back we ended up on I-84 for a little while and I tried to push the Spyder to break the ton but I was only able to reach 91 mph as we approached our off ramp rather quickly.  We clocked a little over 60 miles on this run.

Me on the Spyder RT
The following morning we rode out towards Idaho City via Route 21 (Ponderosa Pine Scenic Route).  This is a really great ride rising from the high desert towards alpine meadows and mountains.  Roble's Creek runs along this route and there are several dam lakes and very scenic areas through out.  At about less than 10 miles from Idaho City we ran into road work and we turned around there because we were on a tight schedule.  We headed by to Boise and probably clocked a little over 40 miles on that run.

Phillip was nice enough to offer me a ride on his V Strom before we headed out to return the Spyder.  The V Strom is a really sweet ride, I did not go very far on it, just a little down the road in his neighborhood but I can tell there is a lot of pep in that bike.

On the way to Idaho City

On the way to Idaho City

I followed Phillip back out to Caldwell to return the bike but that ride was mostly done on I-84 so not much that another 40 miles on freeway conditions.  On the way to the airport we stopped at a Cycle Gear store in Meridian where I bought a UClear HBC 100 plus dual pack communicators.  When I test them out I will review them here.

The Old Toll Road

The Old Toll Road

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