The Bumblebee and the Vespa 2014

I think it's time for me to redefine what this new blog is about. In the past I've posted individual blogs for motorcycle/motor scooter rides to places like Alaska, Nova Scotia, Key West, Mexico, Canada, New York, etc. That's all well and good but it seems nowadays I'm dividing my rides into shorter ones comprised of two or more weeks each on different bikes. The total time and mileage is about the same, it's just split into multiple rides with a break somewhere in the middle.

The summer of 2014 serves as a good example of that wherein I rode south to Tombstone, AZ on my '92 BMW R100GS Bumblebee/Ural sidecar rig, (phew!) then returned home for a few days and set out again on my '07 Vespa 250ie motor scooter to visit Canada. That summer has gone and the seasons have changed as will the reports, some will be about shorter rides, some will be about maintenance, and maybe on occasion I'll post a photo or two just for interest. I may even introduce other bikes, a few of which are lurking under cover in the barn...

Navigating this blog is easy, just scroll down the list of posts by date to whatever interests you, click on it and you're in. Photos can be viewed in larger format by clicking on them.

Finally, if you'd care to post comments please do so, I'd love to hear from you. CLICK ON "NO COMMENTS" TO ENTER YOUR REMARKS. That seems really silly but that's how it works. The entry window is located at the bottom of each screen. Thanks for visiting, I hope you enjoy your stay.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Jul 06 - Day 13 Bumblebee - Home again, Home again

Burns amazed me it's grown so much in recent years. For that matter it seems all of our eastern towns have taken off like crazy and although I know it's probably good for the folks who live there in a way I hate to see it; they're losing their small town charm. There's the flip side though, now you can find modern motels which I prefer over the old fashioned motor courts - no air conditioning, no WIFI, really saggy beds, no freeby breakfasts, etc.

The place I stayed in last night I'd stayed in a year or so ago and it's really nice. It should be, even after haggling by the time the dust settled the tab with taxes was still close to a hundred bucks.Haggling with motel operators is something I'd never tried before but my buddy Chuck who runs one of our local places put me on to it. I guess it's like any other business, they need to sell their rooms and they're willing to dicker. In this case it was worth twenty bucks and that paid for my dinner.

Really nice digs but not cheap
Speaking of dinners, last year Herself and I ate at the Applebee's next door and although the service was super I had one of the worst meals I've ever had. Probably because I ordered the Captain's Plate extravaganza which in hindsight seems kind of dumb. Let's face it, ordering seafood of any kind in the middle of cattle country probably wasn't the best decision. We complained to the servers and the manager who were sympathetic but couldn't do much beyond that.

So with that experience in hand I proceeded to visit their establishment again last night only this time I figured I'd stick with something basic and likely to be less challenging to the chef. Or cook. The man with the can opener. I ordered corn beef hash with biscuits and gravy. Ordinarily I'd just take it with hash browns but the server guy said I could have B&G if I wanted so I did. Wrong. wrong, wrong, wrong! The corned beef hash was as expected, out of a can. This was after all Applebee's and that's how they do stuff, open cans, heat, serve. The biscuits - there were four of them - came smothered in grey gooey gravy, out of a can and tasting like gravy out of a can. Two of the biscuits were not willing to give up their existence without a struggle and I gave up on them, you couldn't cut them with a sharp ax.

When my server guy brought the bill I handed him my fork and said "Here, see if you can cut one of those buggers."  He tried and was unable to do so. He asked if I'd like another round and I declined saying only that I thought it might serve Applebee's best interests if he had the chief can-opener-person have a go at it just to illustrate my point. He promised he would. Right, you're going back into the kitchen and piss the cook off. I don't think so. Is there a moral to this story? The thing that comes to mind is the old saw "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me." Duh...

I mentioned the two Harley guys with their matching red fireman rides? Evidently they didn't get killed on their evening ride, probably to the nearest tavern as both bikes were back this morning.

Loud pipes really don't save lives guys, quality helmets do. Loud pipes just piss people off.
Finished with another manly breakfast I turned my fate over to the Garmin people and hit the road. Actually I don't really need a GPS to find my way home from Burns, it's just entertaining plus I like being able to query the gadget occasionally with the adult version of "Are we there yet?" Worthy of note, today being Sunday and half the planet on their way home you'd have thought the coppers would be everywhere but I didn't see a single one. Hey I wonder if I can program my GPS to "avoid doughnut shops", the same way you can ask it to avoid toll roads. You see where I'm going with this don't you:?

While traveling one thing I like to do is keep an eye out for unusual odometer readings of note. As an example 66,666 would be cool to see. I missed that one a few days ago by letting my brain move onto another fantasy before it arrived. Bummer!

Today however I was determined to see the 70,000 mile mark turn over and I spent several somewhat reckless moments waiting for it to appear. Now it's one thing just to witness such a monumental event but quite another to co-ordinate it with finding a spot to pull over and document it. Today I got lucky. [Note to self: Consider what you just said about getting lucky and compare that to what it used to mean not so many years ago. Lucky indeed.] BTW, and as a sidebar, have any of you noticed how curious cows and other bovines are when you stop your vehicle close to their domain?

Pretty damned exciting I'd say. 70,000 big ones

Anyway back to the continuing saga, I kept the throttle control aka cruise control set at slightly illegal speeds and .sat back and watched the vegetation drift by. My fuel consumption dropped to a more reasonable level due to the lower OR limits of 55 mph as opposed to insane levels like 80 mph.That part I liked although I really prefer riding BB at around 65 mph best.

The rest of the ride was uneventful, great sunny weather not too hot and most of the crazies headed in the opposite direction so not many traffic issues. Jerry Smith flagged me down along Highway 42-S, not too many miles from home and we had a brief chat alongside the road. I had to cut things short as Linda was waiting for me to arrive, then she could leave for a week long art seminar. We really are a lot like ships that pass in the night sometimes.Or maybe like barges?

Garmin says we rode over 4,000  miles. My butt would agree.

Final odometer reads 407 miles today
No one's been mowing while I was away.....Tsk tsk...

Toby's such a happy guy. Hi Toby!
Riley, OTOH, is totally crackers most of the time. Guess that's why we love him so much.

So that'll do it, the ride was fun, only got rained on one day, met some interesting people, visited some old friends, saw some really cool stuff, and in general really enjoyed riding BB. You never can tell how well a particular bike will turn out to be until you've gone on the road with it. BB's pretty cool.

See you next time around.


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