All about scooting...

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by CaptnJim, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scooter Pilot

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    The manager of this RV resort said they haven't had hail here in 9 years. This past week makes up for it. We lived in the Black Hills for almost 30 years; I recall hail at times, but it wasn't a regular thing. I think there are two paintless dent repair places in town normally... I think there are another 10 temporary places that have moved in. This would be their "Christmas rush."

    Airstream trailers are skinned with aluminum (like aircraft that aren't composite). In some respects, with the rivets, they can look "dimpled"... those who know and love 'em know better. The paintless dent repair places count on being able to have access to the inside of the dented surface - that isn't going to be an easy chore with an Airstream, since they are insulated and then have an inner aluminum skin riveted in place. The aluminum skins on an Airstream are reasonably tough, but when they get dented, it is a time consuming and expensive task to repair.

    We will get the motorhome, car, and trailer looking good again - it just may not be right away. I have taken care of the temporary "patches" so there shouldn't be any water intrusion. The full body paint on the outside of our motorhome withstood the pelting decently. There are a few exterior things, like the metal door to the water heater and furnace that I will likely be able to pound out. The real damage on the motorhome is on the roof and hood. The hood damage is cosmetic - a body shop or paintless dent repair should be able to take care of that with no issue. Fortunately, that area is all white, so there won't be a problem with matching paint on the classy stripes.

    The roof may be able to be repaired by using roof caulk. It isn't something you can see from the ground, so if there are some places with that on it, it won't be unsightly. If it is determined that the roof has more unseen damage, then it will likely have to go back to Winnebago for that repair. Talking with the insurance person today, she assured me that they will be on my schedule, and if I want to wait until we return home to get repairs done, they are fine with that. We absolutely do NOT want to be displaced from our "home on wheels" while we are out and about.

    So, I expect some out-of-pocket expenses with deductibles, some inconvenience with getting estimates and scheduling repairs, but it won't change our lives. The last time we had a claim was in the late 90s when a brand new motorcoach simply stopped on our second outing. It had to be towed about 150 miles to the nearest facility that could work on it, and the tow truck driver drove like a mad-man and did some damage to the front of the coach. Progressive came out as soon as we got to our destination and wrote us a check on the spot. Because of the pandemic, they are not sending anyone out to assess damage. I will be photographing and videoing each conveyance and sending that to them. If a body shop comes in with a higher cost than what Progressive's estimate, they will pay the difference direct to the shop... after their claims people determine if that is reasonable.

    At least that is how this is supposed to work. We'll see how it all plays out, but it won't likely be anything we rush into.
  2. theloop

    theloop Long timer

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    Airstream are kind of like a Vespa, the skin gives it strength, not a frame under the skin.
  3. DandyDoug

    DandyDoug Long timer Supporter

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    I certainly hope you have better luck with the Progressive people than we did.
    We were with them for 13 years always paid timely and never had a claim.
    My wife had a very minor fender bender and they doubled our rates ( that's 3 policies) .
    Would not even discuss it with us, take it or leave it.
    We left and found another company.
    Hope the bad weather is gone now and you have a quiet summer.
  4. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scooter Pilot

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    I was thinking "I can't catch a break," with all the hail storms. Today being the 13th... nah, I am not a superstitious guy. Joan was sleeping in this morning, the wind was gusting above 30mph, so I took the CR-V out for some sight-seeing. I drove some roads that we haven't been on with the scoots this season... glad I had the car: some ugly gravel/dirt construction, and a stretch of Spearfish Canyon where crews were removing fallen trees from the tornado that hit there on Friday (same day we had the nasty hail). I guess maybe I did catch a break.

    I drove through Deadwood and rolling along in Boulder Canyon, a deer darted out from the left. I slammed on the breaks and saw Bambi face-to-face with me through the driver's side window. I was almost stopped at that point, but Bambi was still running full speed. The deer slammed into the car right at the rear wheel well. Bambi limped off as I pulled to the side of the road to assess this new damage. Shit! I can't catch a break.

    I was expecting some crushed sheet metal, but there was only a scuff and some deer fur caught in the trim around the wheel well. No new dents, beyond what is already there. I got to thinking what that would have been like if I had been on the Vespa and decided that maybe things aren't so bad.

    When I got back to the coach, the wind had died down to about 20mph, so I pulled the Vespa out - I bought an Iron Mountain Road t-shirt last week, and the large was a bit snug. I still weigh the same, so I'm guessing it is the cut. I go between L and XL depending on the shirt. Joan was reading by this time, so I was off solo.

    Absolutely great curvy roads all the way to the Iron Mountain Road Store. I had the original bag and the receipt, but the guy was a bit grumpy that I wanted to exchange the shirt. He pulled the Large out of the bag and looked it over real close... I guess determining that I hadn't worn it. A nice lady (I'm guessing his wife) went to the shelf and pulled off an XL. She held them up back to back and the XL is bit bigger (as expected), but it wasn't a huge difference. I swim in some XLs. They made the exchange, I went to their food side of the store and bought a Diet Coke. I sat under the shade of their outdoor seating, with no one else around, just taking in the lovely weather.

    Then, 6 UTVs pulled in, engines roaring, stereos blaring. It was mostly couples, most looked around my age, maybe a month or two younger. :-) Sipping on my soda, I watched as most of them poured into the store. I asked one guy who sat on another picnic table in the shade, "What's the attraction with those things? Why not Harleys?" (I may be stereo-typing, but they looked like older Harley types.)

    He said, "We used to have Harleys, but these are more fun. Less of an issue if we decide to have a drink or two along the way. You get the same wind in the face. We just all enjoy hanging out together. We can take them off road or even in the mud if we want."

    So, I guessed that right: they did Harleys for a while, and this is the current "toy attraction." I wished him good riding... or driving... and went to get on my Vespa. Sitting under the cover, I didn't see the dark clouds rolling in from the southwest. "Oh crap - I really don't like to ride in the rain these days." I put my helmet and jacket on (yeah, it was about 80º, but I wore my armored mesh jacket, keeping in mind the "cant catch a break" stuff). I thought I might ride more of Iron Mountain Road, but decided to head straight back to the RV resort.

    The clouds were getting darker and moving right along. I'm guessing Mt Rushmore and areas around that were getting wet. I was hoping to stay ahead of it. Turning off Iron Mountain Road and onto Playhouse Road (just as curvy, without the "fancy features" like tunnels and pig-tail bridges). No traffic and I moved right along. A short stretch onto the highway, and then an immediate right onto Rockerville Road and more curves. I came around a corner and had to get on the brakes... there are two hunks of machinery, painting a fresh white line on our side of the road. Solid double yellow down the middle. I felt/saw the first raindrop on my face shield. Then another, then a couple on the windshield. I really didn't want to get out the rain gear... I can't catch a break.

    I followed behind the painting trucks for about 3 miles at about 4mph. I knew there were no breaks in the solid double yellow on this stretch of road. Coming down one curvy hill, I swung out and could see around them... at 4mph, it was an easy pass. Probably not legal, but fast and easy. And no more rain drops. Maybe I can catch a break?

    Two more great curvy roads to get back to the resort, and I pulled up to the trailer without getting wet. I put the Vespa away, and it looked like the clouds were splitting around us, with a nice blue hole right over us. Yeah, I guess all things considered, I did catch a break... well, several of them... today.
  5. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner Supporter

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    Loved all of this
    What a day
    Was hanging on every word
    Appreciate the sharing
  6. Wentwest

    Wentwest How's that work?

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    Maybe you ought to go back to work as a captain on whale watching boats? Retirement sounds too dangerous for you.

    Seriously, there are days when you get reminded how close the line is between a pleasant, quiet afternoon and the depths of hell.
  7. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scooter Pilot

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    Dangerous? If I suggested going back to work to the Blonde, I'd get my ass handed to me. There are some days when I think about perfect water conditions, whales close by, and a boat full of smiling faces... and then I remember days with no whale reports, snotty weather and water conditions, and people puking off both sides of the boat, and me feeling like I'm strapped to a mechanical bull for hours on end. Truly, it was a great job, but I think I got out at the right time... the pandemic, politicizing the plight of the Southern Resident Killer Whales, and making stupid rules for commercial operators. There were times I felt I had the best job in the world, and times that the scooter commute on the way home was the best part of my day.

    Mother Nature being snitty on land is different from her being snitty on the water. People thought my job was to get them to and from the whales... that was certainly part of it, but my constant thought was to get everybody back alive. Less stress being retired... I only have to answer to the Blonde and Rufus.
  8. DandyDoug

    DandyDoug Long timer Supporter

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    Going back to work again is an unpleasant thought.
    I got laid off from my "part time/hobby job" when all this pandemic started. I say it was a "hobby" job because it was the only outside activity I had left after hanging up my helmet. Then I got to the point where I felt I could ride. You all know that story , so I won't go back over it.
    So my old boss calls me a couple of weeks ago and asks if I am interested in coming back to work. I ask if they really need the help, he waffles and say's they are not sure. Business has picked up but they have not made a decision about bring back all the part time drivers. I left it open , but in my heart I think I may not want to go back now that I am riding a little again.
    SWMBO say's she liked having the few $$ every week or so , but we don't need the $$ so she is not excited over the idea.
  9. Wentwest

    Wentwest How's that work?

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    OK, just to be clear, I was just fooling around when I suggested going back to work. Me, I was born to retire. Work is not in my plans anymore. My job was as an Administrative Law Judge for Social Security, a job that could easily be described as a great deal, but it carried responsibility and obligation with it and was very repetitive. At some point it was just time to go, and 7+ years ago, I went. Every planner I used said we would be okay for money in retirement and so far that's been true, but you might never really know until the end, and by then I won't give a damn anyway.

    I'm a much better mechanic now.
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  10. Dan V.

    Dan V. Long timer

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    Close calls with deer.....I think right now the fawns are big enough to go on further forays with mom right now. On a 90 minute ride around the city last night I came across at least a half a dozen deer at the side of the road feeding. Good salad abounds in the suburbs - none of these deer were in the country. Also happened across two big turkeys.

    I'm usually leery of evening rides this time of year because of the deer - gotta be alert! We are getting more reports of bears in the 'burbs, too.

    Glad you were relatively unscathed on your encounter, Jim!
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  11. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scooter Pilot

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  12. Wentwest

    Wentwest How's that work?

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    I passed a McClaren once, on a 30 year old Honda Elite 250.
  13. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scooter Pilot

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    The Vette was just tooling along at the speed limit. I have no doubt he would have left us in a cloud of dust if he had the desire to do so.

    I mentioned this in the blog post, but I was almost giddy about getting 96mpg with the Vespa today, and a good portion of that was highway riding. That glee was short-lived when Joan looked up from the calculator on her phone and announced 107.95mpg! With an Xmax! How is that even possible??? We are both running non-ethanol here; elevations 3,500 to 5,000 +/-.
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  14. DandyDoug

    DandyDoug Long timer Supporter

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    Your video's are terrific.
  15. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer Supporter

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    I always feel better gas mileage with non ethanol premium though I've never gotten 90mpg on anything other than the Buddy.
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  16. minimac

    minimac Long timer

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    I wet my pants (almost) when my Goldwing gets 45!
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  17. wanna bECO

    wanna bECO Long timer

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    LOL Jim that trailer is epic! Getting caught up with the thread this morning and went to the blog to read about your haircut. I too needed to get some trim... on my hair. Unlike you though, and per usual in my life.... I had to do it myself. I find myself in the bathroom with and electronic device because doin it by hand just doesn't cut it any longer. It was nice, but not as nice as when the girl I use does it for me. It's also a lot shorter when I use the electric device... No where near as long as when she does it. Oh well......
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  18. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner Supporter

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    better gas mileage at altitude with proper fuel injection
    i suppose that is the reason why
    i know you live in breckenridge... i'm sure you have experienced the bump in mpg over texas riding
  19. Dan V.

    Dan V. Long timer

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    Aaaah, Jim. Your video "trailers" always make me smile. Have Joan chase some buffalo on the next one!
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  20. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scooter Pilot

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    When Joan and I had a pair of Goldwings, a guy at a gas station commented "You two are getting better gas mileage than my car and having more fun." I had to correct him when I explained that having to fill two bikes means we are getting half what he thinks, and about the same gas mileage as his car... but agreed that we were having more fun. :-)

    I am just amazed at the 15 to 20mpg increase we get while tearing around the Black Hills. Yes, we spend a bit more for the non-ethanol, but in my mind the scoots like that better than the crap ethanol we have to use at home. Plus, not a lot of stop and go traffic here. Plus, trees and hills and curves (oh my!).

    And, for full disclosure, when I see better than 8mpg on the motorhome while double towing, I dance around the gas pumps. :clap It doesn't happen very often.

    In the grand scheme of things, getting 96mpg vs 76mpg on the Vespa isn't a big deal when you're filling up once a day. It just makes my heart happy! Well, that, and the riding. :nod

    Joan is putting together a picnic lunch for us this morning to take on the scoots today. :ricky
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