Ride to Work

Monday, September 29, 2014

Montse to New Castle

Montse in the morning
 This was our first long ride on Montse and she behaved admirably well.  Not perfectly, but admirably well.  We started out with a run up Goshen/Strasburg to gas up at the Wawa on 352 and 3.  From there we headed up 352 to an antique shop on 352 just past Gradyville.

After that stop we went back ton 352 to 926 and out towards Delaware.  At the corner of 352 and 926 we pulled up next to a red MGA with a couple doing the same thing we were, riding around and burning gas.

We followed 926 for the left at 100 to get on the Chester County Dragon.  The Dragon in challenging on a bike and equally as challenging in this little roadster.  However, Montse handled the portion that we took, up to the intersection of 52 with aplomb.  We followed 52 to 2, which runs across northwestern Wilmington and out to 141, the down to 273 into New Castle via Delaware Street.

In New Castle
We stopped in downtown New Castle and spent a little time at the Art Fair they had in Battery Park.  On the return trip we took 141 north and stayed on that until we hit 52.  On that leg of the trip we saw a red Ferrari and we past a car show on 52 near the PA border.  Once on 52 we took a right on 82 to take the Dragon back in reverse order.  Shortly after the intersection of 100 and 92 there was a single vehicle accident in which a SUV had run off the road into a telephone pole.  By the time we drove by there were only two state troopers on the scene and a utility truck on its way in front of us.  The road conditions were clean and clear and the only reason I can think of someone going of the road was taking the curves just a little too fast.  Might not be the Big Dragon, but it is enough.

We stopped at Hank's on Route 1 and 100 for lunch but the place was packed so we continued on.  We stopped again at a place on 202 and 926 but the menu did not look good so we went on again.  While stopped at the parking lot, the horn went off and stayed on for no particular reason.  I fiddled with the fuses and figured out that it was the same fuse that had given me trouble on Friday night, turning off all my lights.  Not being able to do anything about the horn, I disconnected one of the wires and will have to figure out what the issue is at a later time.

From there we continued on 926 where I picked up an orange Lambo that followed us all the way to the intersection of 3.  We cut across 3 to Garrets Mill, Goshen, and then home.  I didn't get the total mileage but it was a good long trip and other than the horn issue everything went well with the car.  We got lots of attention from other folks on the road, specially motorcyclist.  It was an almost perfect ride and a lot of fun.  I know we won't be able to have another long ride next Saturday, but maybe we still have a couple of more runs before the weather turns bad.

The exotic car tally now stands at 5 Ferraris, 2 Lambos, 2 Maseratis, 1 unkwon, 1 Cobra, 1 Bentley, 1 DeLorean, 1 Tesla, and 1 MGA.

Mileage at the gas station.  2314 total, 70.5 since pick up at Gene's

Read More »

Mystery Mansion

Manor House on Wetherby Lane 
There's a house in New Orleans... No, the house is actually on Wetherby Lane in Easttown but that's a good line to start out with and its is really not so much a house as and English manor.   At any rate, this house sits at the top of a hill at the end of a lane surrounded by what looks like a typical 1970s subdivision.  Try as I might, information on the house has been very elusive so its history is till shrouded in mystery.

What actually happened, while unknown to me, is that probably that the former owners of the estate fell into hard times and sold the property to be subdivided while keeping the main house in the center of the development.  At any rate, I've been seeing this place for the last couple of years and finally, on Saturday morning, I took a ride out the with the Bullet to take a couple of shots.

The Bullet and the Manor House
This Saturday morning ride was very short as we had plans to take Montse out for a longer drive out to New Castle, Delaware.  An early morning Saturday ride usually means that there is not much traffic but for some strange reason it seemed that every Pennsylvanian was out on the road intent on being in my way.  The ride started out up Church Rd towards Wetherby Ln, but I overshot the turn and made a left on Waterloo to find a turn around point.  As soon as that was done I went back to the Lane so I could get the pictures taken.  

After that I headed back on Church towards St. Davids Rd for a right turn towards Newtown Rd.  From there I followed that to Sugartown out to 30 and Conestoga for the trip back home.  On the way home, at the corner of Malin and Earles Lane, I saw a white Tesla at the stop sign on Earles Lane.  The exotic car tally now stands at 4 Ferraris, 1 Lambo, 2 Maseratis, 1 unkwon, 1 Cobra, 1 Bentley, 1 DeLorean, and 1 Tesla.

At the beginning of the ride the Bullet had 2051.8 miles on the odo by the end we were up to 2070.8   

Mileage at beginning

Bullet and Manor

Manor House

Bullet and Manor

Read More »

Friday, September 26, 2014

Playing Hookie on Friday Morning

Willistown Quaker Meeting House
Got Montse back from Gene's Foreign Car Service this morning, as promised.  Harold installed the new Bosch starter and did some other things that needed to be done and that I will list somewhere else later.  Taking advantage that the weather was awesome and that my wife did not have to be at work until 13:00, we took the morning to take her out for a spin.  We headed out Church towards Waterloo because I wanted to stop at NAPA and return the core of the starter for the deposit.  From there we headed west on 30 to the storage area to set up an automatic payment.  Then we came back to Central St. through Malvern and out Warren.  Warren is blocked between Paoli Pike and Providence Road so we took the Pike to Sugartown and then Providence to Goshen.  We stopped at the Willistown Quaker Meeting House because I thought it would be a nice stop for a couple of shots even if I didn't have my good camera with me.   From there we went up Goshen to 352 to get a Frozen Mocha drink at Wawa and returned down Goshen on the regular loop.

Great ride, great weather, and two exotic car sightings on the return on Goshen.  A Ferrari and a Maserati with maybe a mile separation on the road.  The tally now stands a 4 Ferraris, 1 Lambo, 2 Maseratis, 1 unkwon, 1 Cobra, 1 Bentley, and one DeLorean.

I had to go to work in the afternoon because I had a meeting that I could not miss but I took the car with me since that weather is so awesome for riding.  For all kinds of different reasons, I haven't ridden the Bullet all week.  I might have to put in a ride tonight before it gets dark.

Willistown Quaker Meeting House

Read More »

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Boy and His Car

Pep Enric & Montse
The starter on the MGTDr has gone to a better place and left me stranded in the garage.  I could have probably started the car by coasting it down the hill and popping the clutch but what would have happened at the bottom of the hill if it hadn't?  So another ride on the back of a tow truck.  This time I didn't bother with AAA and called Bob & Joe's Towing, in Haverford, first.  What a difference.  I called at 07:00 and by 08:05 the car was in the back of the truck.  Mike, with whom I had spoken on the phone, came out with the truck, loaded it up, and had Montse on the way to Gene's Foreign Car Service, in Broomall, in the blink of an eye.

Gene's has been fixing VWs since the 70s and they only work on VWs, Audis, Hondas, and Acuras.  I got a recommendation for them from a friend and I want to try them out.  Hopefully they can get this thing rolling soon because I want to take advantage of the good weather.

The photo above is of my grandson enjoying Montse.  I did some changes on the badging, removing the Union Jack on the radiator grille and replacing it with a MG badge.  I also removed the Great Britain badge from the badge bar and replaced it with a Real Automóvil Club de Cataluña (RACC) antique badge that I found on eBay.  I would have liked to have found one with the writing in Catalan but those are really rare.  While in Catalunya, I looked in a couple of places and was unable to find one so I guess I will keep on hunting.  To see the rest of the Montse photos with Pep Enric, please, check out the Flickr set.

New Badges

No bike commute to work today.

Read More »

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Autumnal Equinox Ride

This year it doesn't happen until Tuesday the 23rd but that's in the middle of the week and there might not be an opportunity to get a good ride in then, so we'll call today the Autumnal Equinox.

This was a midday afternoon ride starting with the Goshen/Strasburg loop.  Weather was nice but a little warmer than yesterday so no need for leather gloves.  The traffic on Goshen/Strasburg was very light so there was a good chance to open up the Bullet.  There were two places where the police had set up radar speed counters and I noticed on both places that the speedo did not appear to be as ambitious as I had noticed before.  I kept the Bullet at 60 mph on approach to both counters and they registered 57 and 58 mph respectively.  No idea why or how that happened.

Shortly after crossing over Ridley Creek someone has placed  a series of homemade signs on the north side of the road a la Burma Shave that read "I'm so sorry for what I did.  Please, forgive me.  Kirk." and shortly after that "Would you go out with me?"  Don't know what Kirk did but he should get points for inventiveness.

From there I went to the Wawa on 352 and 3 to gas up.  The tank was nowhere near empty but a full tank doesn't rust so a stop was not a bad idea.  At the pump the odo read 2028.25, making that a 10 mile run from the house.  The tank took 1.432 gallons to fill up making the mileage on this tank 67.14 mpg.  After filling up I got back on 352 and headed out to Granite Run Mall.

The ride out 352 was fairly clear but once past Gradyville traffic started to pick up and get heavy.  There was a flea market going on in the Mall's parking lot but I did not stop, just turn around and headed out.

The return ride was via 926, that portion of this ride on the north side of 3 is always really good because it is lightly travel and it runs through some very picturesque and twisty country roads.

On return at the house, the odo had just over 2052 miles for a total of 34 miles on the ride and the run took just minutes over an hour.  A very nice, easy ride with just a little bit of challenge on the twisties on 926.  Another beautiful riding day with several other riders on the road and just the right temps to make it really enjoyable.  Tomorrow, back to the grind and some commuting rides.  It is hard going back to work after two weeks off but it is nice to be able to ride again.

Route Outbound: Goshen/Strasburg to a left on 352 with a stop at the Wawa on 352 and 3 for refueling and the out 352 to Granite Run Mall

Route Inbound: Turn around at Granite Run Mall down 352 to 926, across 3 to Garrett Mill for a right at Goshen.
Read More »

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Random Rides

Baldwin's Book Barn
(taken with my Nikon D7000)

The last month has been very busy with work and travel and not much time for riding.  Since August 14th I've only been able to clock a little over 300 miles on the Bullet.  Some of that was done commuting to work and with just a handful of short rides.

Willistown Quaker Meeting House
On August 14th, I managed a ride out to Baldwin's Book Barn using the Goshen to 926 route with a right turn on Creek Road to Lanape Road/52.  On this run I managed to stop at the Willistown Meeting House and take some pics of the Bullet on an empty parking lot.  This was a nice ride out to the Barn and back on the same route with a stop for gas at the station on the corner of 202 and 926.  There, the gas station attendant, a nice older Indian gentleman, came out to talk to me about the Bullet and to make sure that I understood that they were made in India.  You could tell the level of national pride he took on seeing the Bullet on American roads.  I thoroughly enjoy talking to him about Royal Enfields and his motorcycle experiences in India.

New Seven Inch Light and Visor
Sometime after that ride, I took the Bullet out to Pottstown to have the Kiss Honda folks install a seven inch head light and visor.   They did the work with the usual high level of services and speed.  I also had them adjust the shifter to be a little higher because it was not comfortable to use.  This adjustment has improved the shifting pattern and has definitely reduced the number of false neutrals the Bullet kept insisting on.

The ride out and back to Pottstown was a nice stretch after just commuting to work and definitely enjoyable.  Road surfaces have all been redone which made the ride quite enjoyable  and fun.

New Seven Inch Light and Visor
New Seven Inch Light and Visor

 On September 6th and 7th I took a couple of short rides out on the Goshen-Strasburg loop with some deviations.  The ride on the 6th included a refueling stop at the Wawa on Route 3 and 352 with a return loop out 352 to 926 and the back to Garret Mill and Goshen.  This was an early evening ride that also included a run out Grubbs Mill to Warren and Providence on the outbound leg.  It was a nice even ride and very enjoyable.

The Institutes in Malvern
On the 7th, I took an early ride out Goshen to  Sugartown and Providence for a stop at The Institutes for some photos in their campus.  From there I looped back to Goshen and turned around at the bridge over Ridley Creek for a run to Warren.  This loop out Warren Road was to take the Bullet to my storage facility as I would be leaving the country the next day and I did not want to leave it at home for that time.  I was out in Barcelona attending the events commemorating the 300th Anniversary of the September 11th of 1714 which marks a very important date in Catalan history.  I also took part in the Vote for Independence demonstration held in Barcelona on September 11th.  

The Institutes in Malvern

American Flag Farm on Providence Road

Yesterday I picked the Bullet up from storage and took a short ride on some back roads through Malvern and Paoli.  Today I took the first long ride in quite a while going out Goshen to the 926 loop but leaving 926 at 202 to ride through West Chester and back.  That is the first time I've taken that route, 202 runs into High Street and goes through West Chester where it eventually meets Union Street for the way back.

This was another excellent ride, the weather is starting to turn cold and the leaves are starting to change color.  I had to wear long sleeves under my mesh jacket and use my leather gloves instead of the summer gloves.  It is very enjoyable but Fall will be officially here tomorrow and soon the riding season will come to an end.  I wanted to clock 3,000 miles before having to put the bike away for the winter and I don't know if I will be able to do that.  When I picked the Bullet up from storage it had 1950 miles on the clock.  After today's ride the clock is reading 2008.4 miles.  If the temperatures continue to drop and we have an early Winter, I may not be able to clock the next 992 miles.  Last year I had my last ride on December 27th but things got really bad shortly after that and there was no riding again until April.  This year winter may come earlier and last longer.  Only time will tell.

The next fill up will not be due until 2132 miles.

Viure Lliure - Live Free
Barcelona, Catalunya

With my son and my grandson at the Fossar de les Moreres on 11 Sept 2014
El Born, Barcelona, Catalunya

Castells on the Pla de la Seu on 11 Sept 2014
Tarragona, Catalunya

With my wife and my grandson on 11 Sept 2014
Les Rambles, Barcelona, Catalunya
(See the rest of my Catalunya photos in the Flickr set Catalunya 2014)
Read More »