Ride to Work

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Downingtown and the Willows

At The Willows
Yesterday afternoon, my wife and I took the MG for a spin out to Downingtown.

We headed up Goshen/Strasburg to 352.  On the way up Goshen, we saw an orange exotic, I didn't recognize it saw it will go under the unknown category in the tally.  At 352 we made a right turn to head north towards Downingtown.  Soon after that turn 352 forks with Boot Rd which we took and followed all the way to its end at Brandywine Ave on the edge of Downingtown.

We drove around town for a bit, there's not much to Downingtown, and then headed back the way we came.  Boot Rd is mostly rural and wooded with some subdivisions and commercial areas.  The wooded parts were just in full burst of autumn color and made for a great "leaf peeping" experience.  Unfortunately, as will always happen, I left my pocket camera and phone at home, so no photographic evidence of that part of the tour.

When we reached the Paoli Pike we headed into West Chester to get Lucifer some food since he was almost out and he eats like a little bear.   From there we headed back down the Pike to Five Corners for a right towards the West Chester Pike where we hooked up with the Stasburg/Goshen loop.

Once we got home I decided that we should take the car to The Willows for some shots since we had no photos to show for jaunt.  The Willows were mostly deserted owning to the lateness of the hour but that was great for photographing the car.  It was almost the Golden Hour and the sky was overcast so light conditions were almost perfect.  The following photos are from that shoot.

The exotic car tally stands now at 8 Ferraris, 2 Lambos, 2 Maseratis, 2 Cobras, 2 Unknowns, 1 Bentley, 1 DeLorean, 1 Tesla, and 1 MGA

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Short Rides

Note on MG Windshield
Sunday was also a busy day, we had a Brunch in Ocean City, NJ, and I didn't get back in town until after 13:30.  I took the Bullet out when I went to go get a haircut and then took a little neighborhood ride through Sawmill Road and then out 252 to the Newtown Rd-Sugartown-Church Rd loop.  Nothing fancy, just a little loop to take advantage of the beautiful sunny day.

Commuted on the Bullet most of last week, except Tuesday afternoon and all day Wednesday because of the rain, and did not have any issues with the false neutrals that I encountered the previous Friday.  That could have been operator error but I am still keeping an eye out for any repeats.  At the end of the ride, the odo read 2370 miles, didn't take notice of where I started but I figure the ride was just a little over 10 miles.

The long range forecast calls for good weather and temps for most of this week so I will try to ride as often as possible.  I did not use the Bullet this morning because I came in to work early and the temps were down to 36 degrees.  That is never a fun ride.  This afternoon is another story with temps in the mid 60s so at least I will make that ride.

We also took a short ride on the MG on Sunday evening to go get some dinner at the Chipotle in Radnor.  When we got back to the car, after dinner, we found the note in the photo on the windshield of the car.  That will go in the binder where I keep all the paperwork related to Montse.

On the ride back, the fuse on the headlights relay came loose and the headlights went out.  Luckily, there was still enough light so that it was not a problem.  I could have pulled over and fiddled with it to get it working (which is what I did once I got home) but I just went on ahead without lights.  I don't know if there is a fix, I tried crimping the fuse holder so we'll see if it continues to happen.
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Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Dragon on Montse

Hank's Place
Saturday morning my wife and I took a long ride on Montse to complete the Chester County Dragon loop.  We had done a portion of the Dragon before but had not completed the whole loop.  Saturday morning broke out beautiful and clear if a little chilly in the earlier part of the morning but by 11:00 the temps had risen enough to really make for a fantastic ride.  We left the house shortly after 10:00 and headed up Goshen to Garrett Mill Road for the run out to the Dragon.

Shortly after we crossed the West Chester Pike we ran into our first red Ferrari headed in the opposite direction on 926.  Not long after that we saw our second red Ferrari also on 926 headed in the opposite direction.  That was not the last Ferrari of the day, there was a black one on Creek Road.  We also saw a Cobra on 926, after the second red Ferrari.  As we passed Crebilly Farms on 926 a guy on a MGB gave us the wave.  Not counting the Bs in the exotic car tally but on 82 I had another B flash is light and give us the wave so we are going to record the MGs we see.  We got a lot of waves from folks in convertibles, I guess we are all happy to be able to go out with the top down for a long as we can.

On the topic of the wave, I customarily give the motorcycle two finger sign to any bike I see coming my way when on the MG.  Motorcyclist come in three stripes regarding this issue.  There are the ones that see the MG and give us the wave, thumbs up, and big smile before I can get my hand out to greet them; there are the ones that happily return the fingered wave without missing a beat, and then there are the ones that give us the "FU, you are not on a motorcycle" look.  Regardless, I will continue to salute all motorcyclist I see.

Hank's Place
Once we  got on the Dragon I wanted to stop at the Chadds Ford Historical Society to get a shot of the MG with that nice barn in the background but they had some activity going on and access to the parking lot was blocked.  We continued on and made an on the fly decision to stop at Hank's Place for brunch.  By then it was 10:45 and close enough to stop and get something to eat.  We had tried Hank's before but it has always been too busy.  This time we were lucky to walk up to the door and get two places at the counter right away.  We both had different frittatas which were really good. Hank's lived up to its reputation and is definitely a place to put in the rotation when doing the Dragon.

Garrett Snuff Mills
After brunch we continued on the Dragon toward Delaware but first we stopped at the Sunoco across Route 1 from Hank's to gas up. At that point we had put 128.9 miles since the last fill up and the odo read 2632 miles.  From there we headed down 100 to Delaware.  After we crossed the Brandywine, we pulled into the SW Farm Stand, along 100, were they had all their pumpkins displayed and they had set up for hayrides.  No hayrides for us, just rolling on the Dragon.  We continued on and stopped at the Garrett Snuff Mills for some more pics.  From there we pushed on to complete the loop and head back home.

SW Farm Stand

 On the way back on 926 we stopped at Goose Creek to check out the art shop in the old train station and take some more pictures.  We headed back home by way of the Wawa at 352 and then down Strasburg/Goshen.

A great ride with great weather.  We were out for a little over 3.5 hours with a break for brunch of about 45 minutes.  There were no issues with the car and she handled the twisties and hills of the Dragon without any problems.

The exotic car tally stands now at 8 Ferraris, 2 Lambos, 2 Maseratis, 2 Cobras, 1 Bentley, 1 DeLorean, 1 Teslas, 1 MGA, and 1 Unknown.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Royal Enfield GT Textile Riding Jacket Review

Found this review of a new Enfield riding jacket in Jorge Pullin's blog.

This looks like a jacket that I might like to have.
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Historical Car Club of Pennsylvania Show

At the HCCP Show
On Sunday, the wife and I went to the Historical Car Club of Pennsylvania's show on Sunday at the Delaware County Community College campus.  This is a yearly show at this location and we went to see the show last year but did not have a car to enter.  This year, we entered Montse in the show.

The organizers put her in the VW paddock.  I don't know why, maybe since she was the only replica there that was VW powered they felt that she should be in that paddock.  The show registration form said that there was a class for replica cars and that is what I entered but was not placed there.  The only other replica in the show was a 1936 Mercedes Benz 500K built on a Lincoln Mark II frame and powered by a Cleveland engine.  That car was in the 30s and 40s paddock.  Who knows how they figure this out.

In the VW Paddock
One of the funny things about being the VW paddock was that people kept asking why I was not with the English racing cars.  There was a red 1948 MG TC in that paddock and most people could see the resemblance to that and not to the VWs.  We talked to the owner of the TC and he came down to see Montse and compare her to his car.  He was very knowledgeable about MGs, as should be expected, and he was happy to talk to me about my replica.

MG TC in the British Car Paddock

Heritage? Mercedes Benz 500K
Before I left the show, the owner of the 500K drove down to the VW paddock to talk to me about replica cars.  He is a really nice guy that bought that kit in 1984 and worked on it for 26 years before getting it out on the road.  It sure is a beautiful car.  He told me who the maker was but I didn't recognize it.  One of the guys from the TD Replica Owners Club told me that it may have been a Heritage.  Whatever it is, it sure is awesome.

We really enjoyed the whole experience and are both looking forward to doing it again.  If the Parcae will it, I would love to enter this same show again next year.

Me and my new buddy with his MB 500K in the background.

We left the show at 15:00, an hour before the closing bell, and took a ride out to Valley Forge to enjoy the fall foliage.  It is really starting to look pretty out that way with a lot of the trees already changing color.  Another great ride with beautiful weather to accompany it.  The twists and turn at the Park were just made for this car.   

National Memorial Arch at Valley Forge Park
To see more pics of the HCCP car show, checkout my Flickr page Cars album.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Uncle Sam's Misguided Children Grille Badge

Part of getting ready for for the Historical Car Club of Pennsylvania's show on Sunday at the Delaware County Community College campus included mounting a USMC grille badge on Montse's badge bar.

I had contemplated removing the RAC and replacing it with the USMC badge but the original makers had coated the back of the bolts with some white goo that proved next to impossible to remove.  So the bar now holds the badges to real clubs (TD Replica Owners Club, USMC, and RACC)* I belong or belonged to and the grille holds the spurious badge. 

*The RACC is no longer really a club, just an automobile services company much like AAA or the RAC that was separated from the original club.

To see more pics of Montse, checkout my Flickr page Montse album.
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Getting Ready for the Show

Shiny and Ready to Go
Friday afternoon, after my ride on the Bullet, I finished prepping Montse for the Historical Car Club of Pennsylvania's show on Sunday at the Delaware County Community College campus.

As I had washed and vacuumed the car on Sunday on not ran it since then. the prepping consisting of waxing and redoing the tires.  This whole process took no more than an hour.  Taking advantage of the good weather and mild temps I took the MG to pick up my wife from work and then to go out to dinner.

At the end of the day it was just a short loop out Church to her work and then out to Route 30 for dinner at Veekoo, which turned out to be a really good restaurant.

To see more pics of Montse, checkout my Flickr page Montse album.
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False Neutrals Friday

Okehocking Preserve

Friday afternoon I took a ride out towards 926 to enjoy the clear day and the cool weather.  I also wanted to get some photos because the leaves are starting to turn.  I ran the loop out Goshen to Garrett Mill Road and stopped at Garrett Mill Park, across from the Okehocking Preserve to get some shots.  On the way up Goshen, I had an incident when the Bullet went into a false neutral on acceleration from fourth to fifth.  I tried to kick back down and it just get going back into false neutrals all the way down.  I pulled over to the side, kicked it down into first and then proceeded without trouble.

On the way out 926, I was decelerating from fourth to third coming to the to stop light at Shiloh Rd when the same thing happened again.  Not having a shoulder to pull into on 926, I coasted right on Shiloh to find a spot to get in gear again.  Once stopped, I was able to get into first and proceed on.  The flight plan did not include this turn, I had hoped to got to 202 and turn around at the shopping center there, so I had to improvise, adapt, and overcome.  

I followed Shiloh  to the T at Little Shiloh, then to Westtown Rd for a right and back to 926 for a left and the return loop.  

Despite the false neutral issues, it was a really good ride with no other issues and excellent weather and temps.   Not sure why the false neutral happened, all I can do is watch and see if it happens again.  If it does, I will have to have it checked and repair if needed.

At the beginning of the ride, the odo read 2303.6 miles and by the end it was at 2333.1 miles.

See my other Bullet pictures in my Flickr page Motorcycles album.

Okehocking Preserve

Okehocking Preserve

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

MGTDr Cowl Brackets

Cowl Brackets
 Got these aluminum cowl brackets for a Chevette based Fiberfab kit from one of the guys at The MGTD Replica Car Owners Club.  I thought that there should not be that much difference in this area between a VW based and Chevette based kit.

Unfortunately, the snaps to secure the side curtains to the body are quite close to the windshield post interfering with the placing of the cowl brackets.  Installing the brackets will not work out right with those snaps where they are now.

I am considering moving the snaps but before I do anything that drastic, I would need to put up the top and see if the snaps can be relocated.  That may be a project for sometime down the road.

It rained yesterday and in the afternoon of the day before.  I was able ride the Bullet to work in the morning of day before but not yesterday.  Today the weather is perfect, bright, blue, and cool.  Rode the Bullet to work and would like to take a ride after work but might not be able to do it because I have a lecture to attend and I may not get out until later.

Windshield Post & Side Curtain Snap

Location of Cowl Brackets

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Monday, October 13, 2014

The Way of the Bullet

My friend Phillip send me the link to this video on Old Delhi Motorcycles, a little restoration shop in Old Delhi that specializes in Royal Enfields.  These people are the philosophers of the Bullet.  It is a fabulous video that really highlights the mindset of the Bulleteer and their love for the machine.

Heads-up, there is definitely NSFW language all over the video.  But what is philosophy without strong language?

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French Royal Enfield Team Dakar Rally Video

Came across this video in Jorge Pullin's blog and he found it in David Blasco's blog.

Road Trip moto Argentine from Mono 500 - Riding Experiences - on Vimeo.

It's a video of a team of four French riders doing the Dakar Rally on Royal Enfields.  The Rally began in 1979 as a race from Paris to Dakar.  It has not been run in Africa since 2008.  That year it was cancelled due to security concerns after the murder of four French citizens and three Mauritanian soldiers.  The Rally was reinstated the following year but to be run in South America rather than Africa.

Great video with nice music but the best part is at the very end, after the logo, showing one of the riders getting a spitting from a guanaco.  Well worth the watch.
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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Montse in Valley Forge

New Jersey Brigade Memorial
Yesterday it rained on and off all day so there was no riding to be had.  Today the day was beautiful and cool so we decided to take a drive to Valley Forge Park in the Morning to see if the color had come in.  We had a nice ride up to the Park and then through some of its hills.  Great place to run a roadster, nice twists and hills to navigate.  I've done the park on the Bullet and on my old bike and it is always a really fun ride.  On the MG it was just miles of smiles.  We stopped at the New Jersey Brigade Memorial first for some pics.  Then we moved on to the National Memorial Arch and ended up at Mad Anthony Wayne's Monument.

National Memorial Arch
At the Arch, a nice older gentleman came up and chatted with us about the car for a good 10 minutes and at Mad Anthony's a really nice lady offered to take our picture in the car.  This is the first picture I have of me in the MG.  She was with an older couple who had had a 1952 MG back in 1952.  The gentleman told me that he loved his car but had to get rid of it when his wife got pregnant because and MGTD "is not a family car".

On the way back we stopped at the Paoli Wawa on 30 for sandwiches and coffee and went home via the Sugartown/St. Davids/Church Rd.  Loop.

First pic of me in the MG

General "Mad" Anthony Wayne Monument
I took the afternoon to make a pattern to order mats from Coco Mats.  I've been in contact with them and they sent me the materials to make the pattern based on their VW pattern on Friday.  These mats are definitely going to be larger than VW mats.  I also started prepping the car for the Historical Car Club of Pennsylvania car show next Sunday at the Delaware County Community College.  This will be the first car show I've ever participated in.  After finishing the clean up, I took a little ride to the True Value Hardware Store in Newtown Square to get copies of the keys made.  I've been living dangerously with only one key for the MG, now we are covered.

General "Mad" Anthony Wayne Monument
New Jersey Brigade Memorial

See the full Montse album in Flickr.
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Friday, October 10, 2014

Gassing up at Boyle's

Had to stop at Boyle's on the way home from work yesterday to gas up.  The odo was reading 2238.7 miles, a little over 210 miles since the last fill-up but the reserve light had not come on.  I don't generally like to push it over the 200 mile limit between fill ups but this time the count got away from me.  I also don't like to gas up the Bullet at Boyle's, although I generally do my regular cars there, because they are only full serve and just put the hose in the tank and walk away to take care of other customers.  Thankfully, they know me there so the kid that runs the pump let me fill-up by myself without his "help".

The tank took 3.419 gallons.  With 210.5 miles since the last fill up, the mileage on this tank was 61.56 mpg.  Again, I figure the low mileage is due to this tank being mostly taken it with the commute to work and not on long runs.

In the evening, my wife and I took a short turn on the MG.  Nothing far, just out to 252 on Newtown Street Rd to Sugartown and back on Church.  It was a nice evening, already dark but the temps were high enough so as not to freeze in the open car.

This morning I rode the Bullet to work although there is a threat of rain but I will be riding it home at lunch and putting it in the garage behind the MG.  It hasn't rain yet but I don't want to risk the afternoon possibilities because the sky is looking a little ugly.

Took this pic to keep track of the gallons since the pump didn't print a receipt but I liked the reflections in it.

Safe and sound before the rain.

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Riding to West Chester

The DK Diner in West Chester
 Yesterday afternoon we picked up the car from Gene's after they took care of the horn issue.  Harold, the mechanic at Gene's, said it was a simple issue of some wires having come disconnected when they installed the new horn button and he didn't charge me for the work.  I can imagine that if I had tried to fix it myself, it would have taken me three days and who knows how much aggravation.  So Gene's was the best answer.

After we picked up the car we took a ride up Goshen/Strasburg to the DK Diner on 3.  By the time we got there, around 15:00, the place was completely empty and we had it all to ourselves.  Lunch was good but I like their breakfast better.  We sat in a window booth and we could see the MG from there.  I was interesting to see several people pull over and walk around her trying to figure out what kind of car it was.

At the DK Diner in West Chester
After lunch, we stopped at the Wawa on Gay Street in West Chester to gas up.  I put 7.334 gallons in the tank, not filling it up because when close to completely full gas sloshes out of the top through the gas cap.  This is something that I will have to see about fixing soon.  Either by replacing the tank or seeing if it can be fixed.  At the gas stop, the odo read 2503 miles and the trip odometer was at 259.7.  I did not reset the trip odometer last time but I calculate that we ran the car for 189.2 since the last fill up.  From there we simply returned home using the same Goshen/Strasburg loop.  The weather was great, cool and breezy with temps in the low seventies.  At one point, shortly after leaving the Wawa, I lost my baseball cap because of the wind but I was able to make the block and come back to pick it up.  My EGA pin was destroyed, I suspect someone ran over the cap, but the cap it self did appear any worse for the wear.

This morning, on my way to work on the Bullet, I noticed that the odometer there was at 2222.2.  I need to gas up today because I am very close to the 200 mile range.


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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Montse Video

My friend Carles sent me this short video from our little ride on Saturday evening.  This is the first video I have of Montse so it's very exciting.
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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ellis Preserve, Old Cameras, and Llamas!

Saturday we had a friend visiting so the Bullet stayed in storage and the MG stayed in the garage for most of the day.  Early Saturday evening I took our friend for a short spin around the neighborhood.  He took some video on his phone which he promised to send to me so when I have that I will post it here.  It was a cool evening so we didn't go very far or stay out very long.

On Sunday morning, after I took our friend to the train station in Philly, we took a little spin up Goshen/Strasburg.  It was really cold and despite having the heater running full blast we decided to come back home without going any further.  

In the mid-afternoon, I took the MG to Ellis Preserve to try out an old Minolta XD-5 camera that I've had laying around for a while.  The pictures in this post are the result of that shoot.  The camera is over-exposing by at least one stop so I adjusted the levels in Photoshop to get the results you see here.  I like the camera so I will adjust the exposure settings and test it out again.  On the way out to the Preserve, I ran across a blue Maserati on Goshen for the exotic car tally.

The exotic car tally now stands at 6 Ferraris, 2 Lambos, 3 Maseratis, 1 unknown, 1 Cobra, 1 Bentley, 1 DeLorean, 1 Tesla, and 1 MGA.

Later that afternoon, after 18:00, my wife drove me out to the storage area so I could bring the Bullet home to have for the week's commute.  I was rather cold by then, so I just rode straight back home with out any side trips.  On Monday morning the temps were down to the mid 40s so the Bullet stayed home until the afternoon when I used it to go back home.

Today the temps were much higher, in the low 60s in the morning and up to the mid 70s in the afternoon, so the Bullet did the whole commute.  After supper, my wife and I took a ride on the MG down Church Rd to Sugartown and 252 to pick up the developed film at Ritz Camera.  On the way back on 252 we took a detour through Grubbs Mill out to Goshen.  It was early evening, the light was beginning to fade and the Harvest Moon was low and golden in the sky.  The ride was beautiful through those country roads.  We stopped in front of the llama farm because they were out feeding and I took a phone camera shot since I never seem to have a good camera handy when they are out.  

Tomorrow, I'm taking the MG in to Gene's.  I've fooled around with the horn, trying to get it fixed, but I haven't been too successful.  I hope they can get it fixed quickly.

To see the Montse Flickr set, click here.

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