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Old 07-13-2012, 03:55 AM   #76
Gooner
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Previous poster beat me to it. The Internet/mail order Comp Acc is run out of South Carolina now I believe.

Ok, so the 71 to 65 drone back to our fair city isn't ever going to make anyone's "Great Rides before you Die" list.
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:53 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klaviator View Post
It was getting hot so I decided to stop at the Kentucky welcome center to take a break and soak my cooling vest. When I pulled into the parking lot I saw a loaded Wee Strom so I parked next to it. I pulled off my helmet, jacket and gloves and before I could walk into the welcome center, the Wee Strom rider walked up. We started talking. It turns out he is also an inmate of this forum. We ended up talking for about 20 minutes or so before we both needed to get going. I did get a pic:



One of the benefits of riding, as opposed to just traveling in a cage is that you are much more likely to meet interesting people, at least that has been my experience.

Anyway, Jeff, if you see this post It was good talking to you.

Then I went in, soaked my vest, put it on and got back on the road. For those of you who have never tried a cooling vest, it's like riding with a wet t-shirt except it stays wet for hours.

my route was 71 south to 265 to 65 south.

Some random pics:



.



I got to Cave City sometime in the evening. Total distance for the day was 462 miles. I think that 500+ miles on my 250 would not be a problem and much more if I needed to.

I had dinner with my brother and sister in law followed but hanging out by the hotel hot tub. They say in the tub but after a day in the heat, sitting in a hot tub was the last thing I wanted to do. It was great to get to spend some more time with them since our time at my parents house was far to short.

Then I called it a night. I still had another half day of riding the next day......and I had no route planned yet.

Wish I would have known you were in the Louisville area. I work in Louisville and have made to trips to Cave City; I would have bought you a beer or two
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:09 AM   #78
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klaviator---

Great to meet with you on the road. Nice trip report! You always have a place to stay in Kentucky if you make it back this way anytime.


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Old 07-15-2012, 05:42 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by BlueLghtning View Post
Definitely enjoying your report.

My wife and I had scooters for a little bit. She had a Genuine Buddy 125 and I had a Genuine Blur 150. At that time, I had a 4 mile commute and rode it every day to work and loved it. It was much fun to ride and like you pointed out downsizing to small bikes just lets you experience stuff you don't on bigger bikes. My wife didn't quite become as attached to her scooter, but I think it was mostly because of the 10" wheels. It was fun to ride, but it beat you up and small potholes were always having to be dodged. I would kept her's and enjoyed it myself, but it was pink and didn't matched my helmet!

The Blur on the other had 13" wheels, handled corners like a dream and brakes that were amazing. Unfortunately the motor decided to go boom when a friend was riding it. I don't think he did anything, just something let loose. Its been siting as a garage ornament for like 3 years now. One day, I might part it out.

My wife test rode a Vespa 250 one time and loved it, so we might have scooters in our future again. The SportCity 250 was always one I admired too and thought it would be a fun one to ride.
The Blur is now a fuel injected 220. Time for a new scooter




Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Ford View Post
The Competition Accessories you stopped by isn't associated with the mail order store anymore. I believe that relationship fizzled out several years ago. The one in Springfield, on the surface anyway, is a giant adult toy store full of gear and bikes, but they actually have very little in the way of gear and what they do have seems way over priced. The bike selection is rather exceptional though. Don't expect any bargaining on price though, they are very firm.

If you really want to visit the motorcycle gear mecca of the mid-west, a stop by Iron Pony in Westerville will leave you with a lighter wallet and a more satisfying experience.

Anyway, I'm loving this ride report.
Thanks for the info on Comp ACC. That explains a lot. I won't waste my time stopping there again. Maybe I can stop at Iron Pony next time.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooner View Post
Previous poster beat me to it. The Internet/mail order Comp Acc is run out of South Carolina now I believe.

Ok, so the 71 to 65 drone back to our fair city isn't ever going to make anyone's "Great Rides before you Die" list.
If not for the somewhat boring roads out there we would never appreciate the really good ones.
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:45 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by Davidc83 View Post
Wish I would have known you were in the Louisville area. I work in Louisville and have made to trips to Cave City; I would have bought you a beer or two
Thanks for the offer. The disadvantage of not planning very much and then doing the ride report after the trip is that you only meet other inmates through pure chance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff_connors View Post
klaviator---

Great to meet with you on the road. Nice trip report! You always have a place to stay in Kentucky if you make it back this way anytime.


Thanks Jeff. I'll keep your offer in mind. Again, nice talking to you.
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:11 AM   #81
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Last day of the trip:

I got up early and was at the first one at the breakfast bat at 6:00 AM. By 7 I was on the road. It was still cool but I didn't expect that to last. I decided to avoid the interstate and avoid Bowling Green and Nashville during morning rush hour. I don't know if those two cities have bad traffic during rush hour but living in the Atlanta area has gotten me in the habit of avoiding rush hour if at all possible.

My route would be 90 to 31E to 231 to Huntsville. For the most part there wasn't much traffic on these roads and my speed was close to what I'd be doing on the interstate except when going through the numerous towns along the way.

Some Kentucky countryside:



One town I went through in TN had a town square so I stopped for some pics. I don't remember the name of this town but perhaps someone from the area will recognize it>



.



.



I did remember that there were some inmates who lived in this area and one even did a ride report on the roads around Murfreesboro, TN.

It soon got hot and I put on my cooling vest. I didn't know it at the time but this was the beginning of an intense heat wave in the south which would see many temperature records broken. It would have been a miserable ride without the vest.

This next pic was going through a town in TN.



The reason I took this pic was to get the price of gas on the sign: $302. Gas was under $3.10 when I started the trip but kept going up as I went North. It was around $3.50 in Ohio. In less than a week I would fill up for $2.91 in Alabama. The difference in gas prices is mostly due to taxes. With higher taxes you would think that the northern states would have more money to maintain their roads but the roads in the south were in much better shape. I think Ohio spends that extra tax money to hire more State troopers to harass motorists on their interstates

For the most part 231 was a pleasant but not very exciting ride.



Then, somewhere south of Shelbyville, it briefly turned into a very nice road through some wooded hills with some nice sweepers.



But it didn't last.



Back in the Rocket City.



I was done just before noon. Total for the day: 192 miles. I'll wrap up the trip in my next post.
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:29 AM   #82
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Great ride report with interesting pics. Your SportCity seems to have met the challenge with panache, elan and esprit de corps. Small scooter touring is an excellent way to go.

By the way the picture you posted was Lebanon TN, but I cheated with Google......haha.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:54 AM   #83
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Great ride report with interesting pics. Your SportCity seems to have met the challenge with panache, elan and esprit de corps. Small scooter touring is an excellent way to go.

By the way the picture you posted was Lebanon TN, but I cheated with Google......haha.

Panache? elan? esprit de corps? My Sport City is Italian, not french

OK, how did you figure out it was Lebanon using Google?
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:10 PM   #84
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Nice ride report it really shows that it's not the bike but the biker who really matters and you have the adventure rider spirit.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:45 AM   #85
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Nice ride report it really shows that it's not the bike but the biker who really matters and you have the adventure rider spirit.
People do put to much emphasis on having just the right bike. Personally, I place much more importance on where I ride. I'd much rather ride a beat up old Honda 350 on a scenic, twisty road than I would a Ducati Panignale in the middle of Kansas.

Luckily, on this trip, my Aprilia was a great bike for the ride.

Now, before I procrastinate any more, I'll try to wrap up this report.

First, my bike. The Sport City was a great bike for this trip. It is fun to ride on twisty roads. Small and light enough that I'm not afraid to take it off the pavement. It was comfortable even on the highway. A little more power would have been nice but the little 244cc motor was certainly adequate.

The Route: I didn't check off everything I wanted too. I wanted to check out 421 south of Shady Valley. It's still high on my list. I'll try to hit it on a weekend this year or next year at the latest. I never made it to Willville Cycle Camp. I had also wanted to ride North East West Virginia but ended up staying on 16 all the way. 16 was a great ride but the best part was between Marion, VA and Beckley, WV.

Camping. This was only the second time I carried my camping gear on the bike. I really enjoyed staying at Blue Ridge Cycle Camp. Motorcycle Campgrounds are great places to stay because they are set up for riders and there are always other riders to meet and talk to. Hungry Mother state park was also nice. North Bend in W VA was just a place to sleep. I never did sleep that well on my 1" thick mattress and I will need to come up with something better if I want to do more of this in the future. A regular Air mattress is comfortable but takes up a lot of room. Any suggestions?

It was great going back home and spending some time with relatives and old friends.

I was not really looking forward to the ride back to Huntsville in a day and a half but I even enjoyed that.

This trip was a good learning experience for me. Some day I hope to go on a really long ride around the country. There's a few things I will need to figure out before then.

First, what bike to take. I'm undecided between a slightly bigger scooter or a small Adventure bike. I guess I'll take what I happen to have at the time.

Second, I need to figure out how to camp better as already mentioned.

Third. I need to get a smart phone or small laptop so I can update my ride report as I go.

OK, that's about it. For everyone who followed along, I hope you enjoyed my report. To everyone who participated by responding, thanks and I hope to see you all on the road some time in the future.
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:18 AM   #86
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"People do put to much emphasis on having just the right bike. Personally, I place much more importance on where I ride. I'd much rather ride a beat up old Honda 350 on a scenic, twisty road..."

How true. I wrote a blog entry a long time ago about that. So many have to wait for the perfect bike, and all the perfect gear that the whole thing becomes about the gear and not the ride. I say fine, if I had the money I'd have a Tiger adventure bike, Aerostitch leather suit, boots made to exactly fit my feet, full face Arai helmet, etc. etc. But when I started riding all I could afford was gas and some rudimentary gear (read cheap jacket and a second-hand pair of boots). And yes, I even rode all the was from Florida to Michigan and back in plain old blue jeans!!! And that was on a 40 year old CB350!! But the thing is, I went; I didn't wait until I could afford the "right stuff." And I had a blast.

And this: "A regular Air mattress is comfortable but takes up a lot of room. Any suggestions?" I would love to hear some cheap (yep, I'mm still cheap) and portable solutions. So far I have just slept on the ground, and nowdays state parks have gravel camp sites!

Sound like you had a great time and didn't get caught up in all the "stuff."

Cheers,

Mike
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:08 AM   #87
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I have slept on the ground a lot (former military). That is not the way to go. Even more important-it's a safety issue. You want a good night's rest so you are not falling asleep at the bar's (I have and it scares the wit's out of me---among other things!) They have self-inflating foam mattresses now. They are expensive and I never used one so don't know how well they work or how small they fold up. If you carry a small compressor with you, a regular air mattress can be pumped up quickly and they are extremely comfortable. Sleeping on air is 'more better'...in my opin...than any foam. Foam is hard--better than gravel or the ground but still hard. I have old military air mattresses which are built well and are not heavy or take up much room when deflated and rolled up. My 2 cents.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:13 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LWRider View Post
"People do put to much emphasis on having just the right bike. Personally, I place much more importance on where I ride. I'd much rather ride a beat up old Honda 350 on a scenic, twisty road..."

How true. I wrote a blog entry a long time ago about that. So many have to wait for the perfect bike, and all the perfect gear that the whole thing becomes about the gear and not the ride. I say fine, if I had the money I'd have a Tiger adventure bike, Aerostitch leather suit, boots made to exactly fit my feet, full face Arai helmet, etc. etc. But when I started riding all I could afford was gas and some rudimentary gear (read cheap jacket and a second-hand pair of boots). And yes, I even rode all the was from Florida to Michigan and back in plain old blue jeans!!! And that was on a 40 year old CB350!! But the thing is, I went; I didn't wait until I could afford the "right stuff." And I had a blast.

And this: "A regular Air mattress is comfortable but takes up a lot of room. Any suggestions?" I would love to hear some cheap (yep, I'mm still cheap) and portable solutions. So far I have just slept on the ground, and nowdays state parks have gravel camp sites!

Sound like you had a great time and didn't get caught up in all the "stuff."

Cheers,

Mike
You are absolutely right and good on you for taking that long trip on an old 350 while wearing blue jeans.

As for having the right stuff, I actually had some pretty good riding gear although I didn't spend that much on it. Nowadays you can get fairly good riding gear pretty cheap if you look around. My gear:
Fieldshear mesh jacket and pants. I got them from Comp. ACC. for around $150 on closeout.
Fulmer modular helmet with internal sunshade: $100 (retail $150)
Yoshimura Gloves: around $30 on closeout
LL Bean goretex hiking boots that I bought around 10 years ago
Motoboss Cooling vest: $10 on closeout

My camping gear:
Tent from Wally World: $25
Field & Stream self inflating ground pad: around $60-70
Sleeping bag: $25
Camping pillow: around $10-15



Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff_connors View Post
I have slept on the ground a lot (former military). That is not the way to go. Even more important-it's a safety issue. You want a good night's rest so you are not falling asleep at the bar's (I have and it scares the wit's out of me---among other things!) They have self-inflating foam mattresses now. They are expensive and I never used one so don't know how well they work or how small they fold up. If you carry a small compressor with you, a regular air mattress can be pumped up quickly and they are extremely comfortable. Sleeping on air is 'more better'...in my opin...than any foam. Foam is hard--better than gravel or the ground but still hard. I have old military air mattresses which are built well and are not heavy or take up much room when deflated and rolled up. My 2 cents.
I have a regular air mattress which I use when camping out of my truck. It is much more comfortable but also takes up much more space. Add in the required air compressor and it takes up a significant amount of space. This is not such a big deal when on a bigger bike with more luggage space but I wanted to be able to fit all my camping gear in the bag on my rear seat. I do have one of the self inflating ground ads but 1" is just not thick enough. It would be nice if there was something thicker that 1" but less bulky than a typical 6"+ air mattress.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:44 AM   #89
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My wife and I have the REI Trekker 1.75" sleeping pads. They seemed to be the best compromise on size, but still be comfortable. I'm able to get a fairly good night rest with those. We can fit both sleeping pads and both our sleeping bags in a Dry bag that one of us carries behind us on our seat. The other person carries the tent although we just upgraded to a Kelty Gunnison 3.1 and it packs pretty small compared to our old cheapy tent we had. We also bought a Kelty Gunnison 2.1 for when either of us go solo camping and it really packs light and small. When we do that, one of us can get the tent, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag all in 1 dry bag.

We recently had some guests from Washington State spend the evening with us and they had a queen size air mattress that I was amazed at how small it folded down to. It even had a rechargeable pump that pumped it up and deflated it and it was pretty small too. I would say it took up less room than our 2 sleeping pads did. He was able to store their tent, air mattress, sheet for the air mattress and 1 sleeping bag that they opened up all in 1 side case on his BMW 1200.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:56 AM   #90
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My wife and I have the REI Trekker 1.75" sleeping pads. They seemed to be the best compromise on size, but still be comfortable. I'm able to get a fairly good night rest with those. We can fit both sleeping pads and both our sleeping bags in a 20L Dry bag that one of us carries behind us on our seat. The other person carries the tent although we just upgraded to a Kelty Gunnison 3.1 and it packs pretty small compared to our old cheapy tent we had. We also bought a Kelty Gunnison 2.1 for when either of us go solo camping and it really packs light and small. When we do that, one of us can get the tent, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag all in 1 dry bag.

We recently had some guests from Washington State spend the evening with us and they had a queen size air mattress that I was amazed at how small it folded down to. It even had a rechargeable pump that pumped it up and deflated it and it was pretty small too. I would say it took up less room than our 2 sleeping pads did. He was able to store their tent, air mattress, sheet for the air mattress and 1 sleeping bag that they opened up all in 1 side case on his BMW 1200.
You guys got me thinking. I got out my air mattress and compared it to my ground pad. It doesn't take up that much room when folded. I took a pic of both and a rechargeable pump. I added a size 12 boot for reference.



The air mattress can be folded one more time and end up close to the same size as the ground pad. I may just take it along next time.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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