Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday, 8 June 2014 Ride Report

Time for another ride!

There were a few nearby bonus locations that needed to be finished, so they constituted today’s ride. A Grant County (WV) sign (for the Team Strange Airheads Presidential Grand Tour), the 10th Mountain Division memorial at Seneca Rocks (Tour of Honor), and the Edinburg, VA Post Office (for the Team Strange 30th Anniversary Grand Tour).

I’d wanted to take Connie along some of Old WV Route 55, so that was in the mix, also.


The weather was perfect…it was in the mid-70’s when we left, and didn’t get above about 85 all day. The temperature dipped to the mid-60’s as we rode through areas affected by recent thunderstorm activity. We were rained on a bit in Petersburg, VA but a couple of stops under gas station awnings ensured we missed the worst of the downpours.

U.S. Route 48 is slowly straightening the route that old WV Route 55 still follows. The old road is quite twisty, so it’s a lot of fun on a motorcycle. Since we weren’t in any hurry to get to where we were going, it was a wonderful day to explore the old road.

We got fuel at the new Sheetz in Moorefield, then headed south to Petersburg. After a bit of a rain delay, we reached the Grant County (named for U.S. Grant) line, and got the needed photograph.

Our next stop was the Front Porch Restaurant at Seneca Rocks. We try to stop there every time we’re through the area. We had a nice, and somewhat extensive, discussion with the motorcyclists at the next table.

After lunch, we headed over to the 10th Mountain Division memorial at the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center. It took a couple of tries to find the best access (with motorcycle parking available), but find it we did.

From Seneca Rocks, we headed south and east on U.S. 33 until nearly to Harrisonburg. We’d been on I-81 A LOT, so I wanted to find some back roads to take us home. We took routes 613 and 42 through some wonderful farm country, and along some amazing ridge views.

We got the needed Edinburg, VA Post Office photograph, then continued north through Woodstock and Toms Brook. We picked up I-66 where it intersects U.S. 340 (and where we got something chilly to drink), and headed for the barn.

Another great ride and a great day!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Farkle day

I noticed that the Powerlet outlet on the left side wasn't working after I picked the bike up from the first clutch repair. Ugh. I tried to debug it before Connie and I went on a ride, but ran out of time. 

During that ride, Connie's heated gear connector started acting flakey, and I narrowed it down to that particular connection (not a connection further toward the bike).

So, with two failed electrical connections, it was time to make a few repairs. I suspected that the Powerlet connection failure was corrosion-related. Both the female and male connections looked bad. I could read voltage (but lower than expected) on the female connector, but the male connector looked like it failed on the ground side (likely caused by corrosion).

I ordered the parts directly from Powerlet, and they showed up yesterday afternoon. Today was a 9/80 Friday, so I had time and beautiful weather to take the bike apart for the fix. The Powerlet connector replacement was a bear. The brass nut had corroded to the base metal connector body, so I had to cut the nut off. The new connector went on with a good coating of lithium grease for the nut and dielectric grease for the electrical connections. It works great.

I then fixed Connie's heated gear wire, and installed a new wire to power the tank bag. Both of those work great, as well. Everything looked fine when I powered up the bike, so I think I'm all set for the next big ride.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday, 1 June 2014 Ride Report

I picked up the bike from Bob’s BMW on Saturday, and needed to get out for a shakedown run. Connie mentioned that she wanted to return to a place we both enjoyed in Washington, Virginia, so off we went!

There’s a tradition in the long-distance riding community called a Ride to Eat. Usually, these RTE events involve many hundreds of miles…we didn’t have that much time, so a short ride around Virginia was in order.


I planned to get us to Stonyman Gourmet Farmer at lunchtime, so we took a somewhat circuitous route. We headed west along I-66, and turned south to explore Fort Valley Road. It’s beautiful.


So, we cruised south until we got to U.S. 211, then headed east for lunch. U.S. 211 is a great road, fully of “twisties”.

We had a great lunch at Stonyman Gourmet Farmer – BLT sandwiches with salad, and soda. The temperature was marvelous, so we sat outside in their garden courtyard, and enjoyed out meal (and the birds).

From Washington, we headed north to ride a stretch of Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park. We were “warned” we might see bear, but alas, no bears were in sight. We did have a great ride, though.

We headed home via Stanardsville and Ruckersville, familiar territory for our rides.

All that, and we got back at a decent hour!