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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by GAS GUY, May 12, 2019.
Toledo, Ohio -
Burkes Garden - (End of day 1)
Up on that ridgeline is when the sky finally opened up and let loose. A brief but hard rain fell, along with the temperatures; a welcome relief from the heat. An appealing campsite didn't present itself, so I ran back down the mountain and finished riding the main loop. Took many pictures after the rain (which I've already posted). Every change in weather and lighting offers different photo opportunities.
The day was quickly coming to an end as the main loop ended, dumping me back out where I'd entered near Mattie's Place (General Store); it was Sunday evening and the store was closed. Later I would learn that they offer camping on their hill; will have to keep that in mind as a future potential campsite.
Fatigue was setting in, as well as nightfall, so I started riding towards Tazewell. The GPS led me to the Tazewell Motel. Lucked out, as this was my kind of motel; nothing fancy, but cheap and clean. The Indian lady that owned it was friendly and for $40.00 a night, I'd go back and also recommend it. The bright orange wall added a simple but upbeat touch to an ordinary room.
All of the GSA riders rode into work today. Wish we were heading out on a BDR adventure .... instead of wrenching all day.
Maumee River Ride - (Part 1 of 3) June 2nd 2019
Took the Ultra Classic out for a spin this past Sunday. Was supposed to ride out to, and attend, the paradoxical "Blessing of the Bikes" in Hell, Michigan (hosted by 1%er's), but when my friend, who was supposed to join me, couldn't make the run, I'd decided to break south to Ohio and get some miles in - to properly test out the newly installed 11" Freedom re-curve windshield.
After blasting down the Interstate to Toledo, I'd follow the meandering Maumee River on a leisurely cruise, enjoying the sun and wind on my face. In good weather, the open-face helmet is my preference. The feeling of freedom that it delivers is a welcome departure from the norm of the stuffy full- face.
The Maumee River was running high with all of the rain we've been getting, and it was much higher not long ago, judging by all of the wood debris (limbs, logs) that littered the banks of the river.
Whenever I follow this route, my favorite overlook is at Roche De Bout/Roche De Boeuf. It is an elevated section of the road with a gravel pull-off that is lined with boulders (perhaps so you don't drive right over the edge) and a historic sign that overlooks the Interurban Railroad Bridge (spanning the Maumee River) built in 1908, which is now defunct and crumbling, adding even more mystique to it's appearance.
The sign goes on to explain: The once-massive limestone rock outcropping standing in the Maumee River was a legendary sacred meeting place for Native Americans and the place where they gathered before the Battle of Fallen Timbers in August 1794.
Early records indicate a nearby French settlement in the 1700's was called both Roche de Bout and Roche de Beouf, but for the last hundred years or so the latter has been most frequently used for both the rock and the lost settlement.
About one-third of the rock was destroyed when the railroad bridge was built which caused a great controversy. One of the bridge's supports rests on the rock. The bridge's span was once the world's largest earth-filled reinforced concrete bridge.
- In the picture below you can see what is remaining of the rock outcropping and how it is acting as a support towards the middle of the bridge.
Will get back to the other two reports soon hopefully. Sorry, but it's often going to be a slow feed, as things are juggled. And random, often like my mind; too many things going on in there; can't seem to quiet it.
Right now I'd like to post up some pictures from Saturday's Michigan adventure ride. It's always exciting when new blood comes into the fold; with it comes new life, and it's rewarding to help get new riders going in the right direction and show them the ropes - while watching their astonishment at the new world that just opened up in front of them - that they had no idea even existed.
Dr. Buzzard (Will) is a veteran rider, but new to adventure riding on an enormous GSA. He picked up a 2011 GSA last fall from BMW Cleveland.
Herb (Thatskinnyguy) is a completely new rider all together. 42-years old and he just took the MSF course and recieved his permit. I've mentioned him and posted a picture of him in my old thread. He is the guy who could pass for Taliban, given the right circumstances. His first bike is a 2010 GSA; bought from an inmate.
So Saturday we met up at Roo's Roast for a wake-me-up double shot before heading out. Herb was quick to let me know, "This is the best cup of coffee I'd ever tasted, anywhere!" He is like me in the fact that he likes high-quality, strong coffee.
I'd take them down some of my favorite gravel and dirt roads west of Ann Arbor. I'd also show them a few of my secret secluded spots worthy of spending time at on any given opportunity.
Will, Herb, Ken, and I would squeeze all of this in before having to meet Glenn out at Capital Harley Davidson in Lansing (at 10:00 A.M.), as he was kind enough to procure (at a fantastic price) a take-off police seat for one of my Harley's, and even offered to deliver it to the halfway point. From there I'd strap it down on the GSA and haul it home. After more exploring, of course.
First road that I'd introduce them to was Cassidy. We'd be spending time in Waterloo State Recreation Area; it's the best riding in close proximity. Herb was instantly blown away. When we stopped along the shoulder for pictures he said, "You are creating a monster." To which I quickly countered, "Nope, not creating the monster, just unleashing the monster."
Good to see Dr. B playing in the dirt with his new bike
been a lot of years since I did it in the dirt Bob but never on a bike quit this large
The weather was favorable for our ride; cool refreshing air, ample amounts of sunshine, and most importantly - no rain for a change. If we could just string together a few of those days. Although, it was somewhat on the windy side, but we can deal with that.
Everyone really dug the first secret and secluded spot that I'd show them. On this day, we had numbers, so we stood around in discussion, as we soaked in the appealing vibe that this area has to offer. I've been known to journey out to this spot solo on a Saturday morning; sitting around with nary a sound, except the wind and birds whispering in my ear - as I sip on a fresh cup of steaming coffee from my stainless steel hobo cup.
This location also offers a picturesque view of Mud Lake, framed by the low-hanging branches of the nearby trees.
- Look at that gaggle of GSA riders.
Watching from just the other side of Toledo.... Nice pics and nice rides!
Cool. That's my hometown(s) area also. While Genoa was the most prominent, I also lived in Martin, Williston, Northwood, Woodville/Gibsonburg, and Toledo at various times (earlier on in my life).
hey we are missing a pic of someone, the man that organized this ride
for this writeup
We continued down a series of fast gravel roads until we came to the junction with the gravel access road leading down to Crooked Lake. This small road runs you along another ridgeline (hard to believe, I know, but there are actually a few subtle ridgelines in this recreation area) before dropping you down to the lake.
Years ago this road was in rough condition and often had sketchy sections of deep gravel that demanded your utmost attention. These days the gravel roads in this recreation area are well-maintained. Our gravel roads in Michigan seem to be improving - as our paved roads are beyond deteriorated. Go figure. Maybe paved roads are (as adventure junkies would like to believe) a waste of taxpayer's money.
This is another one of my favorite spots that I've been visiting for well over a decade. After parking the bikes, you have a short but sweet walk along a small peninsula that juts out into Crooked Lake.
As you approach the well-worn point, you quickly notice the cozy setting amongst the shade trees; there are a couple of picnic tables, park benches, and even a barbecue grill. As a bonus, someone had left behind a makeshift rope swing with a piece of driftwood tied onto the bottom to be used as a seat; Herb was having lot's of fun as he swung out over the lake. Herb is going to fit right into this adventure lifestyle.
It's a wonderful thing, when a grown man can still retain a part of their child-like wonder and exuberance for life. I think it's more of a gift than a choice; you either have the potential or you don't. If you have it - don't waste it.
No matter what, if you possess this quality, don't let anybody rob you of it. Don't let them try to guilt you into joining their toxic world. If they could experience what you feel for just a moment - they would give anything to have it.
We were having so much fun on the gravel and rural backroads that we arrived a half an hour late to Capital Harley Davidson. But Glenn was alright with that, that's the good thing about meeting up at a cool location - you don't mind spending some extra time there.
Kenny's first bike was an Electra Glide, so there will always be some love for the big dressers in his heart. He even did his first two Saddle Sore 1000's on that bike - and out of Capital HD no less. Capital HD used to host our regional Iron Butt rides, before old man Herm (he rode a 1984 Tour Glide (Evo) with over 250,000 miles on the odometer) retired and Jim Vandenberghe took over.
- Ken's face looked like he saw God - when he sat on a new full dresser that was sitting on the showroom floor. Or, maybe it was terror he saw, while remembering those all-nighters on the Harleys that we used to pull.
- The local HOG chapter happened to be grilling, so we settled in at a table out front and gorged on hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad, and chips.
- Herb was having way too much fun. He even climbed upon the coin-operated kiddie bike. Notice the coffee in one hand and donut in the other.
From Capital HD we ran more backroads all the way home. I'd just randomly grab interesting looking roads heading south or east. We even hit a few of those perfect gravel roads that I often (and only) find in Western Michigan; the deep brown and perfectly graded dirt roads with a uniform sprinkling of gravel; fantastic traction and graded for speed; enough gravel to give you some engaging twitchiness - but not so much as to be disconcerting. In the near future, I need to get out there and pursue those sweet Western Michigan gravel roads more often.
Herb only dropped his GSA once. On a paved road, and at an intersection. Didn't even see it, as I'd already taken off and was charging ahead. He told me later. Dr.Buzzard was following and helped him upright it. That is the second time; he dropped it at home once, with his son sitting on the back. No big deal. I humbly informed him, "We all drop them from time-to-time, get used to it."
That closes out this GSA day trip.
- One more picture from the ride home, as we stopped along an inland lake that came right up to the edge of a gravel road that we were traversing. Beautiful day.
Can you believe it ? Dr. Buzzard won a third place custom bike trophy at a show yesterday - with his mighty ST1300. Had to be the custom aluminum fuel cell and mounting that did it. He sent me a text and said, "Dont be a hater." I razzed him back and said, "That trophy should go to the builder!" Just kidding. That's amazing. Cool as hell; way to make the most of a dark and gloomy day !
Maumee River Ride - (Part 2 of 3)
While at the old Railroad bridge, there were a couple of kayakers taking a break around the backside of the bridge in some calmer water. Sounded like one of them was shouting advice to the other. I noticed a concerned looking park ranger out of his patrol car, standing near the road, and intently observing the kayakers, as if he was anticipating something going wrong. Eventually, the officer left and the kayakers re-entered the rough waters and carried on.
So I carried on also. Worked my way further southwest along the river until it eventually delivered me to Napoleon Harley Davidson. They were just about to close, so my visit was kept brief. This dealer really appeals to me because they have a nice little museum area; besides the interesting old bikes, they have a few of them situated in era-proper shop settings that catapult you back in time.
- Such as this 1962 GE Servi Car: The Servi Car was a workhorse. From a tow vehicle at the local gas station to a delivery motorcycle for a business or post office, the Servi Car adapted to many uses. Police departments were some of the largest customers of the Servi Car.
- This gorgeous and glossy Panhead sitting nearby, and out on the floor - grabbed my attention !
Found a period-correct license plate and tab for the old Road King. It will be a couple of years before it can be registered with it though. Was supposed to sell the King after buying the newer Ultra Classic - but I don't know. Just took the Evolution Road King for a short ride around the neighborhood - and that bike just has soul. Whole different experience. The Project Rushmore Ultra is worlds better two-up and for the long-haul, but for bombing around while being inspired, the King wins hands-down.
The First Day of Summer - (Ride-to-Eat)
Couldn't ask for better weather on this 21st day of June. Solid blue skies, with nary a cloud or condensation trail in sight (an hour after writing that, the sky was filled with white fluffy clouds). Every shade of green is represented within the trees, shrubs, and grasses - thanks to the abundance of rainfall throughout spring. Another one of our rewards for surviving the invariable rain this spring - is that even without the use of fertilizers, there are less weeds, mixed into the lawns. There is always a positive side, even if we don't always recognize it
The air is light and magical, with a slight breeze that tantalizes any exposed skin. The birds are exuberant and in chorus. It's Friday. My Mysterious Red Rushmore bike is sitting outside of the shop waiting to leisurely transport me along the lapping shores of Lake Erie and deliver me to Port Clinton, Ohio for a perch, shrimp, and hush puppy dinner - to be shared with close friends and travel partners. What more could I ask for ?
- Been getting better fuel mileage than I'd originally anticipated from the fully dressed Ultra Classic. Ran a good 50 miles or better (of the 103 miles) of Interstate on the way down also. Was touching 80 mph at times, so I wasn't just cruising around while returning those numbers.
- Looking across a section of Lake Erie (from Route 2) just west of Port Clinton, you can see the Davis-Bessie Nuclear Power Station off in the distance. Route 2 curves around and takes us right past the strange hourglass shaped structure that is constantly billowing vapor.
On the way back north, while stopped at a rest area, Dr. Buzzard smartly asked if I had a favorable tailwind, insinuating that I needed it, since I was running 80+ mph most of the way. It's easy to be cocky when you're wielding a mighty ST1300. I reminded him that I wasn't on the old Road King, and that the 1690 Project Rushmore was just cruising along sedately (not needing a tailwind), and not even breaking a sweat.
Detroit - (Michigan Avenue)
- An optimistic message for a blight-riddled city. Yep, I had the ST out today.