Friday, August 30, 2013

Destination: Albany, TX 2013

I had to put this post up a day earlier than usual since Margaret and I will be taking a 3 day road trip over the labor day weekend.  Hopefully we will have good fortune with our camera and Gopro and get some good media to share over the next couple of weeks.

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Installing Stuff

Saturday I took most of the day installing stuff we had ordered for both of our bikes.  I also had to do another oil change on mine having reached that 30K mileage mark.

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cranfills Gap 2013 & Meridian State Park

Following the previous weekend of hard riding I was able to talk Margaret into doing some riding related activities instead of riding the entire state of Texas again.  Saturday we both gave our bikes a good scrubbing.  They were still covered with an enormous amount of grasshopper goo.  This was her first washing of her Softail and a great experience too.  It was interesting to hear her whine and grumble about how nasty the bug parts were and that they wouldn't come off easily.  She wanted me to wash her bike but in my objective opinion, she hit the bugs on her bike so she needs to clean them off.  I had my own mess of splatters to scrub.  We also waxed the paint and polished the chrome on both bikes.  This was the first detailing for her bike so we took our time and did the process thoroughly.  This took all morning and we enjoyed doing it together.

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Dublin Dr Pepper & Goldthwaite Texas

We've been getting Margaret out on short rides for about a month.  Started out doing 20 miles round trip and worked up to 60 mile round trips.  I was thinking she was doing pretty good, didn't want to push her and provoke any discouragement by riding too far too fast and freaking her out.  I decided to trick her by doing a longer ride without telling her.  I worked up a route to Hico, Tx and back which was about 125 miles round trip.  The evening before Jim called to see what we were up to so I invited him and Pat along.

We met in Crowley and headed out.  The route took us through Godley, Bono, Granbury, then on some very nice FM roads to Hico.  Jim had to be back home to meet some construction contractors by noon so he broke off from us shortly before arriving at Hico.

Margaret and I had breakfast at the Koffee Kup and prepared to head back home.  She asked "where are we going now?"

"Back home" I responded.  Now is the turning point to this otherwise boring post.  She wasn't very happy with my response. She wanted to ride some more. Gotta keep your woman happy right?  We headed out on some more very nice FM roads and hours later ended up in Dublin TX.  We decided to take the tour of the historical Dr Pepper Museum and get a couple souvenirs. Apparently even this distance wasn't enough because when I said we were going to take a direct route home she whined about it.  We left Dublin and ended up back in Hico, then Glen Rose, then Granbury, Bono, Godley, Crowley, and finally home.  Every place we stopped at I encouraged a shorter route home to which I received evil glares and whining about what kind of rider was I? Shes a monster! To be honest, she finally broke loose on her bike and overcame a lot of her apprehensions about riding.  She relaxed, let the bike go, and enjoyed the ride and scenery.  She finally began to understand the beauty of riding.  She was hooked and there was no turning back now. We rode 300 miles that day and every mile and stop was wonderful.

Nice little story but little did I know it would continue sooner than later.  I slept in the next morning to about 8am.  That's VERY late for me considering my daily wake up time is 5am.  I crawled out of bed, wandering into her work room rubbing my eyes trying to clear my vision and shes standing there, dressed with her riding vest on.  "Where are we going today?" she asks with a completely serious demeanor.  WTH?!?! I'm thinking to myself that riding 300 miles in a day is a pretty nice ride in itself for one weekend and this woman wants to go out again?  I told her I didn't have anything planned to which she responded "Why not? You better figure out something soon so we can get going!"  OMG, this keeping your woman happy concept is starting to work against me!

Within an hour were back on the road, Crowley, Godley, Bono, Hico, Hamilton, and finally to Goldthwaite. We stopped at a restaurant named Peabody's to cool down and eat.  We arrived 30 minutes before closing time and stood at the front door for a few minutes while the staff walked around and ignored us. Margaret figured if we sat down we might be served. Not a chance. I finally went to the back of the restaurant where the staff was hiding out and asked if we were supposed to wait to be seated. A very rude server sharply informed me they were closed and turned away. If you go to Goldthwaithe stay away from Peabody's, they are not biker friendly.   We did manage to find a Dairy Queen and got some cool drinks and a burger. They were very friendly unlike the cold shoulder we received at Peabody's. There is a historic suspension bridge somewhere in the Goldthwaite area we wanted to see but by now it was late and we had a long ride to get home. We didn't get any pictures in Goldwaithe as there really wasn't anything to photograph. Well go back again and try to find that bridge on another trip. After another 10 hour day of riding and another 300 miles, we arrived home.

600 miles in two days.  I'm not really sure how to comment on that.  She loved it.  Every bit of it.  The riding, the stops at towns and rest areas where we would just enjoy the day together.  We stopped at quite a few historical sites as well. Even as I am typing this post shes asking about riding again.  I've got too much to do to take her out for another weekend like that this time but I promised we would go out tomorrow and ride somewhere.

During the ride back from Goldthwaite my bike started having some issues.  The voltage meter would either spike or drop at which point the check engine and battery indicators would come on.  Sometimes my cruise control would shut off if the voltage went to low.  Fortunately the bike never quit running during the trip.  I figured it might be the voltage regulator going bad.  We dropped it off at the dealership the next day for them to pull the event logs for diagnosis.  It was the voltage regulator which they replaced under the factory warranty. I know there are people that complain about Harley dealerships and service departments, but Fort Worth Harley Davidson has given us some of the best customer service of any business we have ever dealt with.

I took the camera and GoPro both of those days to try and get some media.  It's grasshopper season in Texas so I lost a lot of video due to those juicy things splattering on the lens cover of the GoPro even though I cleaned it at every stop. We still got some decent riding clips but entire portions of the ride were unusable due to the bug guts.  I still used what I was able to salvage and put together a short video. I hope you enjoy the media as much as we enjoyed the riding to compile it.



Ride to Dublin & Goldthwaite Video




Saturday, August 3, 2013

Accident Scene Management Class

With Margaret and I beginning to ride together we felt it might be a good idea to learn what to do in case of an accident.  No rider wants to go through that possibility but the reality is that it can happen.  When it happens the more someone might know about what to do at an accident scene could save the victims life.  Fort Worth HOG scheduled a class with Road Guardians on July 20 and July 21 for its members.  As soon as we were informed about it we reserved a spot for both of us.  The road captains in our chapter are required to take the course and keep their certifications active but we just thought it would be good for ourselves.

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