Ride to Work

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Running with the Top Up

After I got home from my Bishop Hollow Rd run we took the MG out to do a test on the chrome edging and to see how riding with the top up felt.  I am afraid that the chrome edging will not hold up to road shake but on our short run it stayed in place.

We just ran out Goshen to Garrett Mill and took that to the Pike and did a reverse run to get home.  It was close to 20:00 when we left so although the sun hadn't gone down yet it was beginning to get dark and in the wooded areas it was really dark.  Driving with the top up is a little different, it feels weird not to have a 360 degree view and there are some serious blind spots at 5 and 7 o'clock that the mirrors just don't cover.

Obstinate goose
When we passed the Red Barn the white goose that has chased me before was there sitting on the side of the road.  Of course, he was camera shy and refused to let Charlene take his picture but at least we got him despite his refusal.  We stopped at Garrett Mill Park where I checked the chrome and snapped a couple of shots of the MG.  That was our turn around point.

It was a great ride, the chrome stayed on, and having the top up did not kill me.  I will try to get the rest of the car's edge chromed because it does look much better and maybe I won't regret the effort and lost time.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Bishop Hollow Run or Polyphemus' Revenge

This evening I took a run a completing the Bishop Hollow run that got shorted by the lost of the headlight a while back.

A very simple flight plan; out 252 to Winding Rd to cross the West Chester Pike onto Bishop Hollow and follow that out to Ridley Creek and Rose Tree to hit 352 for the loop back to 926, Garret Mill, and Goshen for the loop back.

The road has been completely fixed and there was very little storm debris left on the surface.  Knowing the condition of the road I pushed the Bullet a little more than usual and everything worked out perfectly.  The twists and turns are a lot of fun on this road and with good road conditions so much the better.  Once on 352, with traffic very light, I was able to open her up and let her roar.  At one point I got as far as 65 mph before shifting up to fifth gear.  Removing the kickstand safety switch has been a tremendous improvement on performance.  No more hiccups and no more stalling at random intervals.

The weather was really excellent, cloudy and cool but very comfortable and easy for the ride.

Shortly after getting on Bishop Hollow there was a gun metal gray Ferrari headed in the opposite direction.  I also saw several riders and a couple of packs enjoying the end of what has been a beautiful day for riding.  It is unfortunate that I had to work today and did not get a chance to enjoy more of it.  I did commute to and from work, including lunch, so at least all was not lost.

The ride this evening lasted a little under an hour and we covered a little over 26 miles on this loop.

The exotic tally now stands at 18 Ferraris, 17 Teslas, 11 Maseratis, 5 Bentleys, 5 McLarens, 3 Cobras, 2 Austin-Healeys, 2 Lambos, 2 Unknowns, 1 Rolls Royce, and 1 DeLorean.
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Chadds Ford Antiquing

The overcast began to break up shortly after my return from the morning ride so we took the MG and headed to Chadds Ford to enjoy the afternoon and do a little antiquing on the way.  We headed out using our regular route on Goshen to Garrett Mill and across the Pike to 926 and Creek Road.

Once we reached Route 1 on Creek we took a right stopping at Spring House Furnishings and Brandywine View Antiques before ending up a Brandywine River Antique Market (the White Barn), the place where we bought the photo of the 1920s hottie a couple of weeks back.

Brandywine View Antiques is changing locations and they did have very many good things left in stock but the most interesting thing about it was the place.  The business was located in an old, three story, farm house with a big porch all around.  The people that originally build this place must have had money because, while not a mansion by any means, they did build a very nice, large house for the era (probably early XX century).  I hope the house doesn't get torn down.

We didn't find any great treasures but I did buy an illustrated book on the history of cavalry at the White Barn.  After that we stopped at Mushrooms, next to the White Barn, for a late lunch.  We both had soup and sandwiches which where very good.  They have really good mushroom soup and we bought a quart of that to bring home.  As we ate I kept an eye on the sky because it was getting progressively darker as the afternoon moved on so after lunch we headed back on a reverse route for home.

On the way back we pulled over to Thornbury Farm to get some tomatoes and found a flock of Rhode Island Reds had taken over the road.  They had broken out of the farm across the street from the farm stand and where quite content to just mill around the road and parking lot completely unphased by anything.  After leaving the farm stand and turning back on 926 we fell in behind an orange McLaren and followed it all the way to 352 where it turned off towards the Pike.    

It never rained while we were out, actually it never rained all afternoon, but the threat seemed real enough to cut the ride short.  When we got home I put the top up, firs time I've done so since I got the car, and cleaned it.  I also attempted to install chrome edging to the leading seams and succeeded in getting the starboard front bumper done but I don't think it will hold.  The edge of the fiberglass is of varying thicknesses and I don't think the edging will stand up to the shake of the road.  That was an hours worth of work so I want to see what happens before I consider doing the rest of the car.

Top up.  You can see the chrome edging on the starboard fender

Nice ride, if not very long.  I think the brakes are feeling a little spongy but I'm not sure that is not just in my head.  Will have to keep an eye on that.

The exotic tally now stands at 17 Teslas, 17 Ferraris, 11 Maseratis, 5 Bentleys, 5 McLarens, 3 Cobras, 2 Austin-Healeys, 2 Lambos, 2 Unknowns,1 Rolls Royce, and 1 DeLorean.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Morning at the Office

It has been quite a while since I've taken a decent ride on the Bullet.  Unfortunately, this weekend did not afford me much of an opportunity to remedy that situation.  Saturday it rained all day, sometimes hard, sometimes barely at all, but it rained all day.  This morning broke blue and clear with very nice temps and very little humidity.  The Bullet was almost dry and I needed to go to the office for a little while so I left the house shortly before 10;00 and headed to my favorite refueling spot at the Wawa on the end of the Goshen loop.

The ride there and back was smooth and enjoyable and, since I had to go to the office, I continued on Goshen all to way to its end on the Darby Paoli Rd.  There, just after crossing the bridge on Darby Creek, I took the right to Roberts Lane where I made a left to Sproul.  I took Sproul to a right at Cove and that to a left on Ithan all the way to County Line Rd and my office.  This is the first time I've done this run on this direction since I mostly use this route to come home from work but I've never used it to go to work.  There was still quite a bit of debris on the road from the last two storms we have had and the twists and turns on Ithan are a little more challenging in this direction since they are mostly uphill.  I am pretty sure this will not become my regular commute to work but it will be another nice loop to try on weekends.

When I left the office blue had turned to cloudy so I just took the Spring Mill/Sproul/Godfrey route to get back home.

When I left the house I had 4214 miles on the odo, with just enough gas to get the Wawa.  At the gas station the odo read 4224.6 and the tank took 2.419 gallons of premium at $3.159 a gallon for a total of $7.64.  Since the last refuel I put in 149 miles on the Bullet, running almost to my safety line, for a mileage of 61.59 mpg.

At refuel
Sunday morning at the office I can park wherever I like

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Friday Night Dinner Ride

Friday evening we took the MG out and went to the Fellini Café in Newtown Square to get dinner.  We eat at this Fellini fairly regularly and we always enjoy their food.  From there we took a little ride up Goshen to fuel up at the Wawa on the West Chester Pike and 352.

After we refuel we continued on the Pike towards West Chester looking for a coffee shop.  We found a Starbucks on the corner of the Pike and Five Points Rd.  Much to my surprise, the Starbucks was closed so we just continued up Five Points Rd to the Paoli Pike and took that to Ellis Rd.  At Ellis we made a ride and returned to Strasburg to follow that back home.

In the field across from the Oreo Cow Farm, on the Pike side of the road, we saw a young buck feeding.  We have seen a doe feeding there several times before in the early evening but this is the first time we have seen a buck.  On one of the rides I took with our great-niece we saw several turkey buzzards feeding on a dead deer in this same spot and it always worries me that one will jump out on the road in front of us.

It wasn't a long ride and it was basically an excuse to refuel but we were both glad because the evening was very nice and the weather perfect for riding.

At the gas station the tank took 4.297 gallons of premium at $3.159 for a total of $13.57.  Mileage since last refuel was 26.99 mpg on 116 miles traveled.
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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Losing Parts

Yesterday I noticed that the MG was missing part of the running board trim.  This is going to be a nightmare to replace.

I began by checking with the MG Magic website and I found a replacement set there that doesn't even look like mine and that costs almost $100.  After the hubcap debacle (see here, here, here, and here) the wise decision is not to even consider MG Magic unless they have absolutely, exactly, the same thing one is looking for.

I checked with the guys on the MG TDr forum and they came up with some good suggestions, auto part stores, boat stores, the internet, but nothing that has panned out.  The local NAPA, as expected, was no help at all and Pep Boys was even worse.  I did find something similar on the internet and ordered 10 feet of it as a possible back up.  At a little under $10 with shipping I couldn't see how it could go wrong even if it doesn't fit at all.

My next plan is to keep an eye out for boat stores and see if maybe that pans out.  I believe there are a couple of boat places on 30 out towards Lancaster County and I will stop there next time I head out that way.

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Royal Enfield Café Racer for Sale in Wayne

From Craigslist in Wayne, PA, just down the street.  I might have to go take a look at this thing this weekend.  Asking price is $7,500.  I've emailed the guy to set up a look see.

A grammar Nazi aside: one of my pet peeves when someone uses "pretty unique" or "very unique."  A thing is either unique, one of a kind, or it is not.  If it's "pretty unique" then there are others like it and it's not one of a kind or unique at all.

The wording from the ad on Craigslist:

"This is an almost new Enfield Bullet with only 575 miles on the clock. My buddy saw the episode on Café Racer TV and had to have one built, but then lost interest. This is a really nice bike. It has the Hitchcock's of England Alloy Body Kit which in itself was an over $2500 option. Enfield is now making a factory version which is cheaper, but this bike is pretty unique. Electric Start and Fuel Injection are nice touches, as are the clip-on bars and the rearsets."

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Antique Plates (Part II)

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in its infinite wisdom, has seen it fitting and proper to issue Montse with an antique plate.  The plate and title came in a week ago under separate cover.  The title came directly to me in the mail but the plate was delivered to First Class Auto Tag Service for pick up.  The lady at First Class called me a week ago Friday but we were in New York then and did not get back to PA until late on Saturday night.  First Class is closed on Mondays so I was not able to pick up the plate until Tuesday but it's finally on the car.  I also bought a new frame at Pep Boys yesterday to replace the original since it was cracked on the top.  Surprisingly enough, Pep Boys had the same identical frame for about $7.00.

Once the plate is issued there is no need to ever renew it and the inspection requirement for the car goes away.  I will continue to have a safety inspection performed once a year by a qualified VW mechanic to make sure that all systems are go but that is something that I will have to do on my own.

Odometer reading on  27 June 2015
The new title used the same mileage as I reported on Sept. 26 of last year, 2214 miles, but I am not opening the can of worms to get it revised.  The odometer reading yesterday (26 June 2015) evening was 4325 miles and I am using this blog and the photo of the odometer (with EFIX dating) as a memorialized evidentiary support of that fact.

The trick question is whether once I move from Pennsylvania would I be able to keep the car registered as a PA antique vehicle.  I think so but only time will tell.

Random accidental shot of the last inspection sticker Montse should ever have

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Friday, June 26, 2015

The Lost Week

Ahlanna at the wheel
For the last week and a half we had our great-niece staying with us as she does every summer and, other than for a couple of errands, I didn't get to ride the Bullet very much because we were busy doing other things.  However, Ahlanna and I did enjoy several rides on the MG.

We took several short rides around the Goshen loop and then last Monday we took a real long ride on the Dragon.  We first stopped at Thornbury Farms to get some cookies.  Being a Monday there was no one else there and when paying I noticed a picture of a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang reproduction that I had seen at the Chester County Antique Car Show in May.  I pointed it out to Ahlanna and the girl behind the counter told me that it was their car, her father, the owner of Thornbury Farms, had made it for her and her siblings and that they took it to several shows.  I showed her the picture I had taken of it at Kimberton and we chatted about it for a while.  She said it was built on a 1929 Model T and that it was very popular whenever they showed it.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at Kimberton
From there we rode down to the Birmingham-Lafayette Cemetery and took some shots of Ahlanna in the car in front of the octagonal school house.  Then we continued on down the way to get on the Dragon.  We had taken the precaution of fueling up the night before at the Wawa on the West Chester Pike and 352 so we didn't need to stop at the Sunoco on Route 1 to fuel up.

(When we fueled up on Sunday night, the tank took 3.520 gallons of Premium for a total of $11.79.  I had to take a picture of the pump because it didn't give me a receipt.  Since the refuel the week before we had put on 86.3 miles on the odo which, at refueling, read 4229 miles.  (This will become important on a later post.)  The mileage on this tank was 24.51 mpg.)

4229 miles on 21 June 2015
We stopped at the Taqueria Guadalajara for some carne asada tacos and horchata that we both enjoyed tremendously.  Instead of staying on the Dragon we veered off to stop at Baldwin's Book Barn.  We took a little break there and then doubled back to Birmingham Rd to catch 926.  On the way back we took Route 3 back to the edge of West Chester to run some errands but came back home via Strasburg/Goshen.  All in all we put almost 100 miles on the car on this ride.  It was the last opportunity that Ahlanna and I had to ride together (although we got two or three shorter rides before that) and she really enjoyed the car and the attention.  There were several instances were I noticed young boys her age who could not figure out where to look, at the car or the girl.  It was great fun for both of us.

On this Monday ride we saw two black Ferraris, a dark colored Tesla, a hot rod, and a late 40s early 50s pickup.  That brings the exotic tally to 17 Teslas, 17 Ferraris, 11 Maseratis, 5 Bentleys, 4 McLarens, 3 Cobras, 2 Austin-Healeys, 2 Lambos, 2 Unknowns,1 Rolls Royce, and 1 DeLorean.  The classic car tally is now three Nash Metropolitans, three 1950s Jags, three 1960's 'Vettes, one MGA, two Hot Rods, one 1950s Chrysler, one 1950s Oldsmobile, one 1950's Plymouth, one Karmann Ghia, one 1950s grocery-getter, one 40s/50s pickup, one Triumph TR4, and one Ford Model A.

On the way for a ride on Wednesday night

Wednesday night

At Thornbury Farms

Birmingham, Lafayette

Birmingham, Lafayette

Snuff Mill

A natural at the wheel

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The Sugartown Moose

The Sugartown Moose
On Sunday night, 14 June, Charlene and I took the MG out for a short ride and refuel since we were close to hitting the bottom of my 150 miles per tank safety mark.  We did a Goshen loop out to the Wawa on the Chester Pike and 352 were we refueled.

When we fueled up, the tank took 6.378 gallons of Premium at $3.329 a gallon for a total of $21.23.  Since the last refuel on the MG we had put on 159.2 miles on the odo which, at refueling, read 4143 miles.  The mileage on this tank was 24.96 mpg.  From there we headed back home the long way going down Dutton Mill and Sugartown, where we got a shot of the flowered moose by slowing down on the middle of the road, and then turning around just past the Paoli Pike to retrace our run down Sugartown.  We took a couple of detours on some side roads but eventually took Providence, from Sugartown, and then cut back on Warren to Davis and back to Grubbs Mill.

Weather was perfect and it was another great ride.

4143 miles on Sunday, 14 June, 2015.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Vive l'Empereur!

"La garde meurt et ne se rend pas!" General Cambronne.   Je pense qu'il a dit "Merde!"

18 juin 1815.
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Monday, June 15, 2015

Fourth Annual Paoli Car Show

Paoli Car Show
Saturday morning, the Paoli Methodist Church put on a car show at the church on Devon Rd.  We had attended this show a couple of years back and we wanted to take the MG to it.  It's a very small show, maybe fifty cars at most but it seemed like a fun thing to do and the last time we went there were some interesting cars.

This time the show did not disappoint either; there were at least six Ferraris in attendance, some really nice looking Model As, and one really cool yellow MGB.  We met a couple who are also members of HCCP, Bob and Pat Bodek, who have a red 1930 Model A hotrod and the yellow MGB.  We chatted with them for quite a while and really enjoyed our conversation.  They were really nice people and I think both of us learned quite a bit from them.  I am looking forward to seeing them at some of these events.  Bob told me that there is a cruise night at the East Goshen Park Famers' Market on the 18th, unfortunately we won't be able to make it this time.

This was a great outing because the show was small but there was still quite a bit of people traffic and it was very relaxed.  They organizers don't collect a registration fee but accept donations for the sponsoring church.  They also had food and music.  Both of us really enjoyed this show.

On the way back home we took a ride through Devon and Wayne and generally took the long way to enjoy the car.

See the rest of the photos from the show in my Flickr Cars Album.

Bob's 1930 Model A Hotrod

Pat's MGB
Two of the six Ferrraris on the field

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Más Mexicali Cantina

Courthouse Clock Tower from the Terrace
Despite our previous misadventure with dinner in West Chester we took a ride out there on Friday night to eat at the Más Mexicali Cantina on State Street.  We took the MG on our regular West Chester route, up Goshen/Strasburg to the Pike and then straight into town on Gay Street.  All the parking spots in the downtown area were full so we had to find alternative parking in a structure on the corner of Walnut and Chestnut.  This arrangement worked out pretty well because, as long as one doesn't stay for more than three hours, it's cheaper to park here than in the open lots.

Dinner at the Cantina was good, not the best Mexican I've ever had but not bad at all.  We sat on the terrace which is a happening spot for the younger crowd but since the weather was so good it was a shame to sit inside.  After dinner we took a walk to Gemelli for gelato, great as always and then a short passeggiata through the downtown area.

On the way back we took a short ride around the University area and then headed out Market to the Pike.  I overshot Strasburg but got on it from Ellis and then did the reverse ride home.  I am really loving the rides in the early evenings.  The weather has been great at this time of day, even when it has gotten hotter during the day, and it is really an enjoyable experience.  

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Two Half Dragons

Friday morning I commuted to work on the Bullet as usual and stopped at the Most Expensive Gas Station in the Galaxy,  the Shell on the corner of Spring Mill and 30.  The reason for the stop was so that I could leave straight from the parking lot at noon and head out towards the Dragon without having to go home or stop somewhere for gas.  I wasn't sure that I could make it all the way out to Chadds Ford  before refueling and that is the most convenient station on this route.

At the station the Bullet had 4075.1 miles on the odo.  The tank took 2.182 gallons of premium at $3.999 a gallon for a total of $8.73.  Since the last refuel the Bullet had racked up 128.7 miles for a mileage of  58.98 mpg.

A little after noon I headed out Ithan with just a little oover 4075.1 miles on the odo.  I followed the Ithan loop to Sproul and took a left there to Roberts for the Right at Darby Paoli to Goshen.

From there I followed my regular loop out to the Dragon and stayed on that all the way until I entered Kennett Square.  I used the parking lot of the Gran Sasso, on the corner of 82 and Walnut as a turn around point and took the same route back.  The run in reverse was just as much fun but I did get lost on Mt. Cuba again.  This time I took the wrong fork and realized as soon as I had done so I did a quick turn around and got back on 82.

I think I have reached the limit of the envelope on this ride.  There are some curves the really scare the bejesus out of me but I am taking most of them as fast as I am going to do it.  The two way ride was really very enjoyable because it drops out the boring part of 926 but it is a little tiring.  Despite all that I think I will keep at it for most Friday afternoons from now on.

I got home at 14:38, figuring getting on the road about 12:15 that makes for a little under two and a half hours on the ride.  The odo read 4152.6 making this loop a little over 77 miles.  A good ride all in all, not mechanical problems, and no traffic problems.

On return

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Alpacas Not Llamas

I guess now it's Alpaca Farm

Charlene and I went for a short ride on the MG last night shortly before 19:00.  It turned out to be wild life night or something.  We saw at least a total six ground hogs feeding along our route and a herd of deer, probably six or eight, feeding in the back pasture behind the Oreo Cow Farm.  We also saw the Oreo cows, the white goose that chased me by the red barn, and the alpacas at what I used to call Llama farm.

When we were headed out Goshen, we noticed that the herd was out close to fence on Llama Farm.  We made a quick U turn on Providence and came back to Grubbs Mill pulling over and parking across from the farm.  We were able to get up to the fence and the little beasties did not even move an inch.  On closer examination, we both realized that they were not llamas but alpacas.  They are not as large and their ears are much shorter so I guess I will have to call the place Alpaca Farm from now on.

We got some good close ups of the llamas, even the little cria which has gotten pretty big but is still not close being a tui (a yearling).  This time I was able to get his picture without the blur I had last time.  He even posed for a portrait.  From there we headed out Grubbs Mill to Warren, Providence, and Sugartown back to Goshen.  We didn't stay on Goshen long taking the short leg to Garrett Mills.  Charlene wanted to go by the red barn on Garrett Mill because we usually see a couple of little donkeys on the pasture and we wanted to get some shots of them.  Unfortunately, they were not out tonight but that white goose was there and honked at us when we passed by.  We continued across the West Chester Pike and followed 926 to Westtown Rd where we took a right.  We stayed on Westtown until we reached Five Points and followed that to the Pike.  At the Pike we made a right to Strasburg and head back towards home.  However, we did not stay on Strasburg/Goshen all the way but took the left at Duttons Mill.  This is when we saw the herd of deer in the back pasture.  Duttons Mill took us to Sugartown were we took the left for the loop to the Paoli Pike, Devon, Darby, Sugartown, and Church to home.

The moose statue on Sugartown has a garland on flowers on its antlers.  It would have been great to take a shot of that but the one thing about these country roads is that often there is no place to safely pull over and stop.  I guess we could come back with camera ready and slow down on the road if there is no one behind us.  Maybe we'll try that this weekend.

It was a perfect ride at the perfect time of the day.  The MG ran like a top and all is fine with the world.    

Charlene call the guy in the background
White-Faced Simony

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Antique Plates (Part I) & The Paper Mill House

Paper Mill House, St. Davids Road

Yesterday Charlene and I took a little drive during lunch just because we could.  We didn't have a lot of time so we just went to the Wawa's on 352 and 3 to get a frozen mocha drink.  We took the regular loop up Goshen/Strasburg and headed back the same way.  We had a little extra time so we continued on to First Class Auto Tag Service to see if we could get an antique plate for the MG.  To get to First Class we continued on Goshen to Malin and then took Bryn Mawr Rd to Sproul following that all the way to West Chester Pike.

I've been checking the PennDOT site for the requirements for antique plates and have found them just a little confusing so I called the lady at First Class and she said all I needed was the title, proof of insurance, and my driver's license.  So armed with all that stuff, we stopped to see her.  Coincidentally, she also remembered having registered the car last year when we first got it.  She made copies of my driver's license and proof of insurance and took the original title giving me a copy for my records.  According to her, PennDOT will mail me the new title in about 10 days.  She will get the new plate from PennDOT and call me to come pick it up when she has it.  PennDOT charged me $75 for the plate, $50 for the registration, and Fist Class took $25 for their time and trouble.  If this works out, I will be a happy camper.  With an antique plate I won't need to do a yearly inspection or registration.  I plan to have yearly safety checks but it's nice to know that some of the paper work requirements will be cut out.

Paper Mill House and bridge over Darby Creek
The transaction took a lot less time than I'd imagined so we still had a little time for a small loop.  We headed back on Sproul to Godfrey and Darby Paoli.  At Darby Paoli and Saw Mill Rd we saw what appeared to be an orange McLaren going in the opposite direction on Darby Paoli.  We continued to St. Davids and stopped at the Paper Mill House to take some shots. I've ridden by the Paper Mill House countless times on the Bullet but I've never pulled in because the parking lot is loose gravel and I just don't like that.  From there we took a little loop to the end of Paper Mill Rd and back and then just headed up St. Davids to Newtown Street Rd, Waterloo, and Church for a complete loop back home with enough time to spare.

A short ride but much fun and I am hopeful that it will lead to antique plates on the MG.

The exotic tally stands at 16 Teslas, 15 Ferraris, 11 Maseratis, 5 Bentleys, 4 McLarens, 3 Cobras, 2 Austin-Healeys, 2 Lambos, 2 Unknowns,1 Rolls Royce, and 1 DeLorean.

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