Ride to Work

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Follow On MG Ride

Random photo of Charlene on the Bullet in front of Bartram's Covered Bridge
On Tuesday afternoon, after I got back home from my ride on the Bullet, my wife and I went out for a ride on the MG.  I am trying to burn as much gas as I can because I got an appointment for next Tuesday at Gene's to install the new tank.

We wanted to go out to the Starbucks in Edgemont, on the West Chester Pike, but I did not want to drive out there on the Pike.  We headed out Goshen to Providence and took that to the Pike.  At the Pike I wasn't sure if the Edgemont was East or West of the Providence intersection so I chose West.  Wrong answer.  We followed the Pike all the way to 352 and made a right for Strasburg Rd.  We followed that down past Providence and then took the right at Boot Rd just past Bartram's Covered Bridge.  Once we reached the Pike again we stopped at the Starbucks and got some coffee.

From there we took the Pike to Providence and followed that all the way to Sugartown and then took the right to Spring/Jaffrey.  At the intersection of Spring and Warren we ran into a pelotón milling about, one of the guys was wearing an ONCE (the National Organization of the Spanish Blind - also the people that run the lottery in Spain) jersey which I found amusing, but they cleared the way and took off down Warren. I was glad for that because I did not want them in front of my on Jaffrey and I would have then taken Warren instead which is not as much fun on the twists and turns.  I followed Jaffrey to Grubb, mimicking my earlier ride, and took the right there.  However, at the link up with Davis and White Horse I took White Horse to Grubbs Mill and that to Goshen for the ride back fearing that we were losing light fast and keeping in mind that my head lights are still out.

Before we left I put on the original hubcaps to test them out.  They held up pretty well until we got less than a thousand yards from the house.  At that point on Earles Lane I lost the left front and the left rear within seconds of each other.  So much for my fix.

We saw a black Maserati on Goshen very near to 252 and a white Tesla on Earles Lane when I stopped to pick up the first runaway hubcap.  This may be the same white Tesla I've seen in the neighborhood before.  We also so a late 60s/early 70's Pontiac and a red GTO on Goshen on the way out.  I'll count the exotics but I don't think I'll count the other two in the classic tally.  Today on my commute home on the Bullet I saw a metallic blue Ferrari on Sproul Rd.

The ride on Spring/Jaffrey is almost as much fun on the MG as it is on the Bullet.  The roads back there are just the right amount of twist and hill to really make a fabulous ride.  I will miss that when we are gone.

That brings the exotic tally to 10 Ferraris, 8 Teslas, 2 Lambos, 6 Maseratis, 2 Cobras, 2 Bentleys, 2 Unknowns, 1 Rolls Royce, 1 DeLorean, and 1 Austin-Healey.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Little Red Barn

Little Red Barn
Yesterday afternoon I went for a short ride at around 17:00 which proved to be the worst time to go riding.  I didn't have a long ride in mind because I needed to be home by 18:00 so I headed up Goshen towards Providence Rd.  The ride on Goshen before getting to 252 was not bad but after crossing 252 there must have been a line of five or six cars following Goshen in front of me.  I thought for a second to the take the right turn on Grubbs Mill Rd but that got passed me because I was focus on the traffic ahead.  There was a line of cars backed up from the stop sign at Providence to almost the intersection of Grubbs Mill.

There I decided to take a right and follow Providence to Sugartown for another right to Spring Road.  I figured that Providence and Sugartown would be heavy but Spring might not be as bad and I wanted to try the curves on Spring/Jaffrey again.  I was right.  Did much better on those curves as well because I knew what to expect and nothing got me unaware.   At the end of Jaffrey I took a left on Grubb and followed that out all the way to the General Wayne Elementary School parking lot where I turned around and headed back down Grubb.  I did not want to go up to Devon Rd because I figured traffic would be bad there as well.  On the way back down Grubb, I pulled into someone's driveway to take a couple of shots of this little red barn I noticed on the way out.  I wanted the tree in the shot and it's too bad the the power lines run right through it because otherwise it would have been a great shot.

From there I continued on down Grubb to Davis Rd and followed that to Warren Ave.  I took the left on Warren towards Providence Rd because I wanted to see if traffic had dissipated.  It had scaled down a little but not much and the crossroads at Providence and Goshen were still backed up all four ways.  From there I followed Goshen back home.

Nice temps and blue skies with some scattered clouds.  I was smart enough to wear leather and a fleece under jacket with the Bohn gear so no cold issues.  The lesson learned is that there is quite a bit of commuter traffic even in the back roads so not a really good time to ride.

I left the house at 17:15 with 3116.7 miles on the odo and returned at 18:04 with 3137.0 on the odo.

This morning on the commute to work on the Bullet I saw a silver and white Rolls just past the Notre Dame de Namur School on Sproul Road.  This afternoon on the way home I saw a black Bentley on Spring Mill Rd just past the overpass.  That brings the exotic tally to 9 Ferraris, 7 Teslas, 2 Lambos, 5 Maseratis, 2 Cobras, 2 Bentleys, 2 Unknowns, 1 Rolls Royce, 1 DeLorean, and 1 Austin-Healey.

Little Red Barn

Outbound 3116.7

On return 3137.0
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Monday, April 27, 2015

Route 926

Shoo Mama's
Yesterday the day was blue and crisp and it looked like a real good time to take a long ride.  Over exposure to the cold temps of last winter have, however, damaged my sense of what good temps are.  At 11:00, when I left the house, the temp was at 53 degrees but the blue and clear really messed with my perception.  Generally, I consider 55 degrees the low edge of comfortable riding and that is only doable with the right amount of gear, i.e. thermal layers, glove liners, leather.  I my over optimistic state of mind I left the house with a mesh jacket, the Bohn underpants, a cotton zip up sweat shirt, and leather gloves with no liners.  Big mistake.

My plan was to run out Goshen to Garrett Mill, cross the West Chester Pike to 926 and run that all the way from beginning to end at Route 10.  There I was to take the left to hook up with Route one and follow that to the other side of the Mason-Dixon line for a brief visit to Dixie.  The cold and wind only let me accomplished a portion of that.

By the time I had reached Pocopson I realized that I was going to have to change the flight plan.  I was still in good shape but I began to have doubts about being able to make it all the way.  Despite that, I was determined to go further.  I noticed several packs riding in the opposite direction, most of them on cruisers and wearing more appropriate gear than I was.  When I got to the intersection of Gap Newport Pike (Rt 41) I had a stall out which I blame on poor hand coordination.  So I decided to cross the road and find a suitable turn around because I was not having fun anymore and this is supposed to be about having fun.  I did not have to go far, just past Jennersville Rd I found a subdivision on the right and used that as a turnaround.

The run back was a little better maybe because it felt like the wind was on my back and the cold didn't feel as bad.  My hands were still resenting it despite all that.  When I reached 202, I decided to pull into the little shopping center there and stop at Shoo Mama's for something to eat and to warm up a little before returning to the road.  I had a cup of turkey chili and half a roast "beast" sandwich.  The chili was great, nice and spicy and warm enough.  The roast "beast" was nothing to write home about.  I should have just had a bowl of chili and call it quits.  The ride back from there was uneventful, more of the same on the temp side but since by then there wasn't much left of it it wasn't that bad.

Route 926 is a great road.  Pass Rt 81, the limit of where I have ridden it before, it has some very nice twists and hills running to wooded areas and farmland.  Crossing Gap  Newport Pike is a little hairy, it's a wide four lanes with quite a bit of traffic and no light but on Sunday the traffic was light enough that there were several gaps in a short succession of time despite my troubles with the stall out.

When it gets a little warmer I will try this run again to its end in Maryland.

On leaving the house at 11:07 the odo read 3032.3 and the temp was 53 degrees.  On return at 13:25 the odo read 3097.0 and them was 55 degrees.  The total mileage for this run was almost 65 miles.  I think that is the longest the bullet has gone in one run.


On return
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GE 4415A Amber Fog Light

GE 4415A
Saturday we were in DC most of the day but we got back early enough that I had enough time to fool around with the car.

The fog light on the MG has been out since shortly after I got it and I've been meaning to replace it.  My idea was to climb under the car and take it off because you can't just undo the screw holding the rim of the light together because the badge bar and apron are on the way.  I didn't jack the car up, just got under it, unfastened the bolt holding the light, and then removed the rim.  The light is held in place by three spring clips, one of which managed to sail off into the unknown not to be found again until the following day.  But I can't complain, I found the dammed thing.

I took the bulb to my local Pep Boys but I did not expect that they would have it in stock.  I was not disappointed.  They did search the net and found the bulb I needed listed in several places.  I could have done that myself but I appreciate the extra effort.

I found the bulb at Replacement Light Bulbs for $8.49 plus shipping.  It's not a GE but a Wagner but I don't really care so long as it works.  I ordered right away and got confirmation today that it would be here in 3 to 5 days.  Just in time for the weekend.

My plan was not to separate the fog light frame from the car but, as things would have it, re-assembling the whole contraption proved harder than I imagined.  So I cut the wire and took the fixture off.  I didn't see the point of reassembling until I had the new light so all the parts are sitting now in a bag on top of my workbench.  We'll see what the weekend brings.
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MG Replacement Hubcaps - Part II

"New" hubcaps on Montse
Last Friday I got the hubcaps I bought from one of the guys at the TDr Forum.  They are in great shape, there is some surface rust on the backside but the fronts look great.  The surface rust on the back is nothing that a little Naval Jelly won't get rid off and with just a little work they will be perfect.

However, I still like the originals that came with the car better.  They have a painted black background, behind the wires, that makes them stand out quite a bit more than these "new" ones.  So keeping that in mind, I spend some time with the one that had fallen off.  I clamped it down to my work bench and took a screwdriver and rubber mallet to it until the clips were all forced back in place and it was usable again.  Not sure what I'm doing next.  The old hubcaps need some cleaning and polishing but I hadn't wanted to spend the time doing that if I was going to replace them.  Now I may not replace them at all.  I will keep the new ones but I may go back to the old ones once I clean them up or I may go the whole other route and get the smooth VW hubcaps and attach the MG emblem (part number 200-277) from Moss Motors to the middle.  What an embarrassment of riches!

"New" hubcap

Old hubcap

Old hubcap clip after "treatment"

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Carlisle Import & Kit Car Show

Number 16 for Carlisle
I was out all weekend on a work trip so there was no riding to be had.  There was some rain on Monday so no commute then either.  However, this morning cleared up quickly after some early rain that started about 07:00 but was done by 08:00.  I stopped at Boyle's for gas on the way home for lunch but I did not take the Bullet back because I had an appointment with the eye doctor and riding with dilated pupils did not appeal to me.

The good news is that the pass to the Carlisle Import & Kit Nationals came in today's mail.  Now we are ready for Montse's first big show.  The show is just a little less than a month away and I still haven't heard from the welder.  I've called and left a couple of messages but they don't return my calls.  I guess I will have to go with the leaky tank because at this rate I won't have the tank back in time to have it installed.  Not happy about this.

3018.7 at Boyle's
At Boyle's the odo read 3018.7, the next fill up need to happen before 3218.  I got a receipt from the pump but I misplaced it somewhere so I have no way of calculating mileage.  ( Addendum: I found the receipt.  The tank took 2.337 gallons at $3.019 per gallon for $7.06.  That is 140.2 miles since the last fill up for 59.99 mpg.)

On leaving Boyle's I made a right on Conestoga because making a left out of there is taking your life in your own hands.  I followed Conestoga to Church, made a left on Abrahams Lane and then a right on Newtown Road to Darby-Paoli.  At the stop on Darby Paoli I saw a white Tesla making a left onto Newtown Rd.

The exotic car tally now stands at 9 Ferraris, 7 Teslas, 2 Lambos, 5 Maseratis, 2 Cobras, 2 Unknowns, 1 Bentley, 1 DeLorean, and 1 Austin-Healey.
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Friday, April 17, 2015

3K Miles on the Bullet

At the Octagonal School House behind Birmingham-Lafayette Cemetery
This morning the roads were wet from evening rain but by 13:00 the clouds had broken up and the roads were fairly dry.  I had a day off from work today because I am leaving for a conference tonight and I took a little break in my preparations to take a ride on the Bullet.

My original flight plan was to do the Dragon but as I got into the ride I had to keep revising that plan down because I realized that I really did not have that much time.  I headed up Goshen towards Garrett Mill Rd and there across the West Chester Pike into 926.  By about the time I had reached 352 I had scaled the plan down to either go to Chadds Ford or to Pocopson and turn around.  As I continued up 926, I revised the plan again to make a left on Birmingham Rd, go to the Birmingham-Lafayette Cemetery and use that as a turn around point.

Birmingham-Lafayette Cemetery
I stopped at the cemetery to take some pics and made the return trip on a reverse route.  It was another excellent ride.  The sky never quite turn completely blue and there were some threatening clouds to the southeast but the rain never came back.  I wore the Bohn pants and a T-shirt and a mesh jacket.  I think I was a little over ambitious in thinking summer.  While it was not uncomfortable, it was still too chilly to just wear a short sleeve shirt with the mesh jacket.  It would have been better if I had had a sweatshirt under the jacket.

No issues, no fuss, no muss.  Road conditions are still not ideal and I was extra careful on Birmingham Rd since I haven't been on it since last year but, other than a rough spot at 926, it was pretty solid all the way to the cemetery.

At the beginning of the ride the odo read 2980.4 miles and at the end 3012.1 miles.  The Bullet went over the 3000 mark on 926 close to Westtown Rd.  I will be taking it in for the 3000 mile check up but not until after the end of May.  I had a check up and oil change done at Joe's less than a month ago so I am not worried.

Octagonal School House

Octagonal School House

Octagonal School House

Octagonal School House

Quaker Meeting House

Quaker Meeting House

Octagonal School House

Birmingham-Lafayette Cemetery

2996.0 at the cemetery

3012.1 at the end of the ride

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MG Replacement Hubcaps - Part I

This week I got the replacement hubcaps I ordered from MG Magic to replace the originals because of the one I lost.  They are ABS so I wasn't too thrilled with them but I could not find original replacement made of metal.  I ordered the hubcaps and the spacers I needed to mount them.  I got two sets of spacers just in case one got lost.

They went on easily enough, as could be expected, and they didn't look too bad despite not being metal.

The issue with the hubcaps arose yesterday when my wife and I took and afternoon ride on the MG.  Despite the fact that the hubcaps mounted on solidly enough, they made a dreadful racket going down the road.  The things are constructed in two pieces that are attached to each other via a rivet and, it seems, that the pressure from the center hub of the VW wheel causes the two sections to separate and rattle against each other when moving.  We had to cut our ride short and come home because I was afraid the things were going to come apart on the road.

I am pretty sure I'm not keeping these things but I need a replacement.  Not knowing what to do, I posted on the MG TD replica forum asking for help.  Some of the guys answered up right away with some pretty good solutions involving getting regular smooth VW hubcaps and attaching an MG emblem (part number 200-277) from Moss Motors to the middle.  I actually really liked this solution and I might do that in the future but I got an even better answer from one of the guys.  It seems that he has a car just like mine and when he bought it, last October, it had the same kind of hubcaps that I have.  He made a set with the MG emblem and he offered to sell me his original set of 5 for $100.  I sent him the money today and I hope to have the new (to me) hubcaps soon.  I definitely post some pics when I get them.

ABS Hubcap


Spacer on rear wheel.  Only need to mount spacers on the rear.

On the car.
On the car.

VW hubcaps with MG emblems from Moss Motors

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Afternoon Ride

2960.4 at the end of the ride.
Monday was a fabulous day, clear, blue skies, and temps in the mid 70s.  A perfect day to take a ride after commuting to work.

I took the road up Goshen to Grubbs Mill Rd. and made that right in front of the Llama Farm.  Followed Grubbs Mill to White Horse and the fork of Davis Rd. where I took that to Providence Rd.  At Providence I made a right to Sugartown and then took the next right on Spring Rd.  Following that across Warren into Jaffrey Rd. to where it Ts out on Grubb.  At Grubb I made a left and followed that to the Devon Rd.  I made a right at Devon to Darby and crossed 252 onto Sugartown.  I followed that to Church and made the right on Church to Beaumont for another right.  On Newtown Rd. I made a ride to the roundabout and took that to St. Davids following it back to Church and then home.

The roads conditions are still spotty everywhere but knowing where the big holes are makes the ride a little easier.  The run down Jaffrey is new to me.  Jaffrey has some pretty tight turns and keeps with the generally hilly topography of the area.  There was one spot in which I took one of those turns a little high and I had to drift onto the oncoming lane.  Not a good feeling and thankfully there was no other traffic so it all worked out.  Excellent ride overall, glad the season has finally turned.  It was actually a little warm in a leather jacket with the Bohn armor, long sleeve Tshirt, and zip up sweatshirt.  Time to readjust the wardrobe.

At the end of the ride the odo read 2960.4.  I figured that it must have been around 2937 after the commute to work so I calculate the ride at about 23 miles, give or take.
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Sunday, April 12, 2015

First Group Ride - Delaware County Motorcycle Riders

Some of the bikes at the Wawa before the ride
Today I joined the Delaware County Motorcycle Riders for a group ride out to Kennett Square.  I found then through Meet Up on the internet and I though it might be a fun thing to try out.  Today's ride plan was to take West Chester Pike from the WaWa at 352 to Westtown Way to Westtown Road to Cheyney Road to Route 1 to Fairville to Hillendale to Power Place at 576 Rosedale where Power Place was putting on a Bike Blessing.  I rode out to the Wawa via my usual loop up Goshen to 352 and got there shortly before the meeting time of 10:45.  There were already quite a few riders milling around but I headed for the pumps to fill up before going on to meet them.  As usual with something like this, I managed to overfill the tank and spill all over.  Cleaned it up as best I could and then moved on to the staging area.  There I milled around and met a couple of the people; Melissa and Rhonda, the ride organizers, and Bart, who was riding an Indian Chief.  What a beautiful bike that is.

Bart's Indian Chief
A couple of the guys wandered over and asked about the Bullet and it was like that that I met Doc Ralph who was riding an awesome Bonneville.  Melissa asked me to take the two spot when we headed out so I fell in on that position.  When I got on the Bullet I noticed that gas was seeping out from under the cap due to the overfill but at that moment there was nothing I could do.  We left the lot and headed to the Route 3 intersection and no sooner had we made the right onto 3 that the Bullet cut out and died.  I pulled over, started again, and joined the pack pulling to the left lane to get back to the two spot.  I did not have enough road to make that spot so I pulled into the five spot and settled there for the rest of the ride.

Westown Way, Westown Road, Cheyney Road, Fairville, and Hillendale are all pretty rough with some sizeable potholes but nothing that would eat a bike.  Melissa let the way single file and kept us pretty much out of harms way.  Those roads are all back roads with some good twists and turns and nice rolling hills.  Somewhere on Fairville we fell in behind a turquoise and white Nash Metropolitan and I wondered if that was the same one I saw on Easter Sunday.  Next time I will try to get a look at the license plate, he was too far ahead of me to get that detail this time.  The portion on Route 1 was a little heavier on traffic than I like but nothing out of the ordinary.  There was a spot where the five of us on the lead pulled through a light and left the pack behind but they caught up soon enough and resumed together.  I really enjoyed the experience and will definitely try some of their rides again.

Part of our line up at Power Place
When we got to Power Place we rode the back and parked.  There were over a hundred riders all told including the twenty or so that came with our group.  There were also a handful of classic cars and some displays by Rommel Harley Davidson and RetroTours.

I mostly hung out and got to know Doc Ralph who is a really interesting guy and very friendly.  He even taught me a couple of words in Chinese!

After the event was over, the group headed out for a longer ride but I had to get back home and prep for next week so I left on my own.  I followed the route in reverse until I got on Route 1.  There, I made to block on Creek Road to cross 1 and head back towards 926.  On 926 I saw another Red Tail Hawk flying in circles over a field but this time on my left.  I had planned on staying on 926 to Goshen but on reaching 352 I turned left to go to the Wawa and get a frozen mocha.  After that I just headed back home on the regular route.  When I reached the turn at 352, an orange Hot Rod crossed my path headed out towards West Chester Pike.  It might have been a Ford model A body, the one with the rumble seat, but I can't swear to that.

The route back home on Goshen was easy.  I wore the Bohn armor throughout the ride and did not experience any discomfort.  I am glad to have it because it is easy to wear and provides a level of protection that I like.

This morning at the Wawa the odo read 2878.5.  The tank took 2.416 gallons for a total of $7.39.  I put 143.4 miles on the odo since the last fill-up.   That puts the mileage at 59.35 mpg.  At the end of the ride the odo read 2927.2.

The classic car tally is now two Nash Metropolitans, one MGA, one 1950s Jag, one Hot Rod, and one Ford Model A.

Bart's Indian Chief

Bart's Indian Chief

Bart's Indian Chief

Retro Tours' Ducati 500 Sport

Retro Tours' Yankee

Doc Ralph's Bonneville

Bullet in the line up
2878.5 at the Wawa before fill up

2927.2 at the end of the ride

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