Goodbye Cruiserface, Hello Happyface: The (old) Long and (new) Short Of It All

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by popscycle, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. The Opa

    The Opa experienced

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    John, I grew up in Iowa and really hated when March came in like a lion, only thing worse was when it went out like a lion........

    The tornado in SC was not far from us, but it was minimal with no injuries.

    We also offer our prayers for those in Alabama.




    .
    popscycle likes this.
  2. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    DASHing Through The Snow:

    [​IMG]

    Train fix.
  3. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    I also grew up in farm country (IL) and disliked March a lot. Aside from it's normally crappy weather, it was midway between that interminably long period between Christmas/New Year and the end of school on Memorial Day. Back then, March was like being in a cold, damp tunnel where you forgot the light at the start and can't yet see the light at the end. Even today, when you get your hopes for spring up around mid march, you get dumped on yet again, such as shown below for a year past.

    [​IMG]

    At least is isn't as bad out here as it was in the foothills of Mt. Level. One year we had snow drifts up to the the roof, which makes a foot or less mostly a non-issue.
  4. Toadady

    Toadady Push'n parts Supporter

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    i think i's BS we get winter in the first 3 months, then summer, and winter again at the end of the year...........
    FadinFast and popscycle like this.
  5. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Fortunately for you, y'all in southern MO don't get winter lake effect like folks a little south of Chicago. Also, I do remember getting a little sticky riding through southern MO back in the 60s, You are a little deeper in tornado alley though.
  6. Toadady

    Toadady Push'n parts Supporter

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    we definitely get all four seasons
  7. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Just Another Yard Pic: For some strange reason (perhaps old age senility? : - ), I thought this was an interesting shot and . . . .

    [​IMG]

    . . . . . I was also trying not to run afoul of the yard police by getting too close at this point.
  8. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Nitty Gritty Power Pic: Letting your zoom lens walk into the yard.

    [​IMG]
  9. jeickerman

    jeickerman Full of it.

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    They still have an EMD on the property. I wonder how long that will last?

    John
  10. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    I thought they'd replaced all of the GPs with dash8 units in a deal with GE but apparently not. Whatever's left will probably be run until the next major problem and then sold, scrapped or traded (to NRE, GETrans/Leasing or whomever will take them). Last year, I believe Heber Valley RR purchased 3 of them, with two being heritage units.
    B10Dave likes this.
  11. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Still not fit for man or beast outside (wintry mix), I got to thinking about Pan Am's heritage units and dug up this not-previously-posted pic of one of their Guilford GPs.

    [​IMG]

    Guilford Transportation, which bought Maine Central (MEC), later became part of the Pan Am network. Taken precisely three years ago (i.e., May 11, 2016), it was one of 40 or so MEC 300 series Guilford GP40 locomotives running around on Pan Am's domain at various times. Some were repainted in Pan Am blue, some not. In any event, one of these Guilford units went to Heber Valley RR in Utah along with two other MEC GPs. As of the first of this years, there was at least one MEC 300 series units to be seen in south Portland's Rigby yard (i.e. MEC 380). This is where PA seems to be keeping however many GPs it has left. An rrpicturearchives.net photo taken 12/15/2018 shows 5 GPs sitting in the yard.
  12. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Strange Connections: I was sitting at my desk working on CNC software and looking out the window at the crap weather when Ventura Highway (i.e. not a bad riding song) came up on the iPhone playlist. The part of the lyric where "some people say this town don't look good in snow" rang true looking out at the falling snow and wintry mix. The part about "seasons crying, no dispair . . . ." reminded me of both riding and a photo I took of something hanging in the air from a ceiling next to a gift shop. I stopped work and spent a good 15 minutes or more digging up that older (but not old) photo and another hour trying to marry it with another photo so that the sum of the two ride pics would look more interesting than each alone. Thinking alligator lizards belong in a jungle (or jungle-like setting), not hanging in the air from a ceiling or clouds; this is what resulted:

    [​IMG]

    There you have it - the result of a mind deprived of riding (by an insidious combination of moving, weather, having to learn new stuff, work, construction gophering , garage blockages, etc.). Nevertheless, it's a riding pic that's the sum of pics taken on two rides, whose construction took my mind off of not riding. Weird, huh?
  13. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    You'll be better in another three or four weeks John. Getting my fix right now in Fla. for March. Daytona today to watch the pirates parading.
    The Virginian, popscycle and black 8 like this.
  14. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Pictures or it didn't happen. :D
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  15. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    Pops,

    Wonderful photography as always and I just got caught up on your thread. It is on my to do list to visit the VA 611 engine this spring and I'll post pics of it when I do in your thread.

    Eric

    [​IMG]
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  16. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Thanks Eric! 611 and UP 4014 are the two engines I really want to see in this lifetime. With a little luck, we'll get south this spring or fall and I can pick up my own pics of 611 to drool over next winter.
  17. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    I'm not too far away so you have a guest room and private full bath should you need a pitstop.
    popscycle likes this.
  18. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Thank you for the kind offer. At the very least, we'd like to stop by and shake your hand. Will stay in touch.
    The Virginian likes this.
  19. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Not Quite The Halcyon Days: Those years following the turn of the century were not quite the stuff of fondest motorcycle memories. Although good, they were they years of the big pig, rolling road sofa, hapless hondapotamus or whatever moniker you'd assign to 1,000 lbs. of mushy motorcycle. We picked up our first Goldwing back in the 90s because it was the only ride Lynne would get on. Thinking an 1800 would be better than the very sloppy 1500, we celebrated living through the turn of the century by acquiring a slightly-used one. That's' when Lynne's bones wouldn't let her ride any more and I was stuck with a big behemoth of a bike - shown below in a 2004 pose. The absence of smiley face was no accident.

    [​IMG]

    Now don't get me wrong, I was both grateful and thankful to be still healthy, somewhat spry and have a motorcycle to ride; however, issues were surfacing and a good number of lessons were being learned. Some of these follow.
    1. Going newer and top-of-the-line does not a good bike guarantee: This road sofa had continually recurring and irritating issues. One was electrical problems with the switches. Another was poorly designed fork seals. Third was the "bucket of bolts" rattling nature of the tupperware. Fourth was the somewhat-dangerous problem ghost shifting (e.g. slipping into a lower gear at speed). I've forgotten the other, smaller issues (e.g. wheels that seemed to self-corrode, etc.).
    2. You need to change your riding habits as you age: It was during this period that I had my worst encounters with kidney stones, which can ruin your riding season. The lesson here was learning to hydrate. As it turned out, that was only part of the problem - another was hereditary. I also learned to take more frequent breaks when riding. The days of 600+ miles/day, x-country, iron butt stints were over. I really don't miss them.
    3. Motorcycle brands have riders with insane, rabid devotion: I'd never paid much attention to brand devotees until I got onto a Goldwing forum where any talk of negatives about the bike was considered blasphemous blather to be scorned, ridiculed and trolled. According to the GW cognescenti, the 1800 was a world-beater sports bike on steroids that defied the laws of gravity, especially Newtonian physics, and there was a video by a truck driver named Yellow Wolf to prove it. My simple suggestion that the GL should have removable luggage was met with howls of derision and getting temporarily banned from the board. Such folks are the people equivalent of loosely-attached, noisy mufflers and they should not to be taken seriously.
    4. Lighter is better: In motorcycles as in cars, lighter is better in many ways - acceleration, braking, overall handling, mileage, wear and tear. The difference in weight between the GS and the GL made for quite the "Aha" moment and I still revel 5 years later in the greatly-improved handling of the lighter bike. As I age and deteriorate more, an even lighter bike may be in the future.
    5. Image and hypocrisy abounds: It's a fact that HD riders have had the image of people who dress up as pirates to noisily ride from bar to bar with their beanie helmets, leathers, bandanas, get-back whips and other paraphernalia. A good many of the GL folks I ran into would make fun of them whilst sporting their uniform of vests and pins while riding sewing-machine-quiet motors down the slab from one restaurant to the next, thinking it was the epitome of motorcycling. Actually, the epitome of senior slab-riding may be in a Miata, if not on a GS, RT or equivalent, on a very twisty slab (IMHO, of course). In the Miata, you can control the amount of open-air, heat, cooling and humidity with which your old bones want to be pampered.
    6. Engineering matters: Without going into a whole lot of detail on what should be obvious, one glaring example would be to compare changing the air filter on a GS versus a GL1800. Enough said. I now pay more attention to a bike's engineering aspects (i.e., Did they think this or that through very well?) rather than how it looks, how many cylinders it has, etc. I also look for examples of ongoing innovation (e.g., throttle-by-wire, which these old carpel-tunnel hands greatly appreciate).
    7. Be prepared: In the old golden days, I'd throw some jeans, a shirt and several changes of socks and underwear in bag and head out with no worries. Now we need to pre-flight the carry-on to make sure it also includes the hydra-pak, daily prescription meds, emergency pain pills (if kidney stone attack occurs away from an ER), the electrics (liner and gloves) in case we encounter cold weather, rain gear, subsistence snacks, smart phone, tire kit and credit card. In the aspect of carrying stuff, the GS and similar rides are more versatile than the hard-case components of the big baggers.
    8. Enjoy your days: Every day you can ride is a good day and sometimes things get better as you get older and open yourself up to new possibilities. My riding got a whole lot more enjoyable after age 70.
    FadinFast, KMichael, black 8 and 5 others like this.
  20. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Next Best Thing: It's below freezing, there's black ice, the driveway's full of vehicles (i.., plumber, prime contractor, roofer), the motorcycle bay was blocked when I left the house and I've office duties this morning. In fact, I am stuck in the (not home) office right now waiting on another contractor to show up and do some work. Not the best riding day. The next best thing is on tap for later, though - getting the Miata out of storage for a period, if not permanently. After the priorities of your health and the well-being of your friends, family, work associates and other people you care for, piloting a Miata in spring is a close 2nd to riding. At nearly 10 years old, this MX-5 has a ways to go before being long of tooth. When two wheels is no longer an option, I would recommend these four over something with three if you can possibly swing it.

    [​IMG]

    Rent on the NC's storage unit is up the end of this month and I am not renewing it. When both kids are away, I can park it in a garage bay, otherwise it's out in the driveway under cover until the house is done. Carriage house contractors are going to learn not to clog up the driveway. Unless they're unloading, they can park in the street. We were supposed to be in last November.