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. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    The theme for the third show was North American luxury automobiles. Here are a few for your enjoyment.

    prowan 185.jpg

    prowan 220.jpg

    prowan 218.jpg

    prowan 189.jpg

    And a true survivor 1954 Imperial with it's original 331 C.I. Hemi engine.

    prowan 216.jpg

    prowan 214.jpg

    prowan 215.jpg
  2. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Tank A Day Adventure - Ho Ro: At the onset of Memorial Day weekend, I rode to the Collings Foundation's, newly-opened American Heritage Museum and spent some time photographing and obtaining information on each exhibit. Below is the 28th of these - a Type 4 Ho Ro self-propelled gun.

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    The Type 4 Ho Ro was a self-propelled gun (SPG) developed by Japanese Imperial Army in WWII. It was inspired by self-propelled artillery vehicles developed earlier by Nazi Germany. The Ho Ro weighed 16.3 tons and was powered by a 170 hp, V-12, air-cooled Mitsubishi Type 100 engine. The SPG had a crew of 6, could travel 23 mph with a range of 125 miles. The SPG had 0.98 in. frontal armor protecting the crew operating a 150 mm. howitzer. With no side or rear armor, crew members were quite exposed and the vehicle was extremely vulnerable in close combat.

    Only 12 of these SPGs were built between 1944 and 1945, making them quite rare. So rare, in fact, that this Type 4 Ho Ro is the only one known to be in existence today. It saw its last action at the Battle Of Luzon near Clark Airfield in the Philippines in 1945.


    Reality extends beyond the limits of our perception.
  3. MadRider777

    MadRider777 Been here awhile

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    I think I'm a hunker looking at this thing. Hello, The Great Gatsby! :-)
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  4. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Renaissance Of A Bridge: I have ridden by this small, ratty old stone bridge hundreds of times thinking I should get a picture but never did. It was once part of an old road long since displaced and I was just too lazy to ride the redhead the few yards down to it. The bridge is shown below in a photo I grabbed from the internet. The small stone-arch bridge, which spanned the Quinsigamond River in Grafton, was built in the early 1800s, closed sometime around 1950 (nobody knows for sure) and became an eyesore surrounded by trees, weeds and litter.

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    A group of volunteers led by the Grafton Fire Department have totally refurbished the bridge and surrounding area into a small park dedicated to a late, well-known citizen. You wouldn't believe the difference. There follows pictures taken a week ago when the volunteers were finishing up for a dedication yesterday.

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    You couldn't get near the place for most the of the day yesterday, so I didn't try. We now know, though, that the bridge will hold up when fully-packed with people.

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    Below is another internet picture showing the stone arch before restoration.

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    Below is what it looks like now from about the same spot.

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    Going across the bridge and looking back gets you this view (below):

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    It should be noted that no state or federal money went into the project. It was done with local funds and donations. Volunteers, not town employees, will maintain the bridge and small surrounding park area. This will be yet another great place to stop, stretch, park the butt on a bridge bench and eat a tasty sandwich. It is important for aging riders to have a good inventory of such places. Thus, you can find the bridge at coordinates 42.230733, -71.707949.
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  5. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Town ought to be proud to have volunteers like that. They have done a wonderful rejuvenation.
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  6. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Yes. Civic pride and dedicated and creative volunteers is the best antidote to the blight that's so pervasive in some towns. A small gem like this little park can sparkle beyond its physical boundaries.

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    People were finding it inspirational. Another view seems in order.
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  7. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Tank A Day Adventure - M3 GMC: At the onset of Memorial Day weekend, I rode to the Collings Foundation's, newly-opened American Heritage Museum and spent some time photographing and obtaining information on each exhibit. Below is the 29th of these - an M3 GMC Half Track.

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    The M3 GMC (Gun Motor Carriage) was a WWII half-track (light) tank destroyer. The M3 GMC weighed 10 tons and was powered by a 147 hp, 6 cylinder, White 160AX engine. The GMC had a crew of 5, could travel 47 mph with a range of 150 miles. The SPG had 0.5 in. frontal armor protecting the crew operating a 75 mm. gun. Guns mounted on the M3 were WWI French M1897 produced. Some 2,202 GMCs were made between 1941 and 1943 by White/General Motors

    The M3 GMC saw combat in North Africa with the Army and in the Pacific with the USMC. It was especially effective against light Japanese tanks in the island campaigns (e.g., Saipan, Peleliu, Okinawa, etc.). This particular M3 GMC is only one of three on display in the U.S.
  8. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    That Train Thing: "OK," I was asked, "What's with that train thing?" "Why do you like railroad museums and riding to railroad yards and tracks to photograph trains?" It's a fair question and one whose answer can be a bit complicated and varied. Nevertheless we'll give it a go. But first, however, we must preface any explanation attempt with a brief train fix (recent) pic, shown below.

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    So, what is it that pulls us onto the bike and into a railroad yard? For some of us, the love of trains goes back to early childhood where we first saw huge locomotives (in my case, steam) coming at us down the tracks belching steam and smoke and making the ground shake. As such, the locomotive brought with it a small sense of of fear and dread (of such a big scary thing) with a big sense of awe and anticipation (of arrival, travel and adventure) in the form of a large shot of adrenaline. Once had, the memories of such are not easily put aside and the adrenaline jolt can diminish with time when you see a train, but never quite leave. Beyond that are other factors:
    1. Trains move. Things that move are more interesting than things that don't. Beyond that, train engines have lots of interesting, moving parts working in concert. And, who doesn't like a mechanical concert?
    2. Trains make noise. Noise can register our positive attention if it is not distracting or irritating (e.g., irritating like a bevy of throttle-blipping Harleys). The roar of a diesel, whomp-whoosh-whoosh of a steamer's smoke stack, hiss of a steam line, sound of the whistle, clanging of the bell or screech of the brakes can be a siren song that plays, whether real or as a memory.
    3. Interest in mechanical things and technology. As children, many of us developed an interest in putting things together (and/or taking them apart). With us older folks, it began with blocks, TinkerToys, Lincoln Logs and/or (if you were lucky) an Erector Set. A little later on, those interests often morphed into a desire for an electric train set. As for real trains, the 1940s and 1950s steam engines were the epitome of mechanical with today's diesel electrics being up there in terms of engineering things technical and mechanical.
    4. Trains are adventure. Trains epitomize adventure delivered by giving you a cacophony of sensory experiences, not the least of which is watching an ever-changing, detailed landscape going by at some rate of speed. By contrast, you can't see all that much from a plane.
    5. Trains have a trail. Trains run on a trail of steel that is, in itself, interesting and something that can be followed by multiple means (e.g., motorcycles, rail bikes, speeders and shank's mares). By contrast planes do not have such a tangible and interesting trail. Air and clouds are necessary but not visually interesting
    When none of this registers, you can fall back on the old "Those that do understand don't need an explanation and for those that don't, no explanation will suffice."
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  9. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Scene Seen While Riding: Another favorite (and protected by land trust) old mill pond that makes for a peaceful stopping place.

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  10. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Tank A Day Adventure - Shilka: At the onset of Memorial Day weekend, I rode to the Collings Foundation's, newly-opened American Heritage Museum and spent some time photographing and obtaining information on each exhibit. Below is the 30th of these, a Soviet ZSU-23-4M Shilka Self-Propelled, Anti-Aircraft Gun (SPAAG).

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    The Soviet Shilka was a revolutionary, radar-guided, tracked, anti-aircraft weapon that appeared during the 1960s. The Shilka weighed 21 tons and was powered by a 280 hp, 6 cylinder, V6-R engine. The Shilka had a crew of 4, could travel 31 mph with a range of 280 miles. The Shilka had 0.59 in. body armor and 0.36 in. turret armor protecting the crew operating four 23 mm 2A7, water-cooled, autocannons. Some 6,500 Shilkas were produced between 1964 and 1982 by MMZ.

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    The Shilka was a formidable anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapon and was highly effective shooting down low-flying aircraft. It should be noted, however, that the Shilka had a rather large (and relatively slow by today's standards), complicated, electro-mechanical fire control calculator that occupied a lot of real estate inside the hull. The Shilka saw combat in the Iran-Iraq war and Soviet-Afghan wars of the 1980s. Although considered obsolete during the Gulf War, it still compelled coalition aircraft to be very cautious at low altitudes, which caused mission errors.

    Reality extends beyond the limits of our perception.
  11. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    One Example Of Why Motorcycles Are Good For You: I happened across this older pic of R2 taking a nap during an exploration of old railroad stations. This is prima facie evidence that motorcycle adventures are good for you - a good morning's ride followed by a meatloaf sandwich in a diner relaxes a person who has an extremely high-pressure job to such an extent that he can nap on station bench when a train is coming.

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    I was surprised when the train woke him up.
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  12. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Just A Quick Ride: Just a single pic taken on a short ride that pretty much shows the road and surroundings that was the highlight. Needless to say, I had to pound some pavement to get to the gravel.

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    We were, of course, quicker on the pavement and slower on the gravel, the ride on which must be savored.
    KMichael, Shaggie, B10Dave and 3 others like this.
  13. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Another Day, Another Mill Pond Pic: Redhead posing by the dam on bucolic Connor Pond.

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  14. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Tank A Day Adventure - MAZ 543: At the onset of Memorial Day weekend, I rode to the Collings Foundation's, newly-opened American Heritage Museum and spent some time photographing and obtaining information on each exhibit. Below is the 31th of these, a Soviet MAZ-543 launcher with an Elbrus "Scud B" Tactical Ballistic Missile.

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    The Soviet Scud B was technically a MAZ-543 mobile launcher with an R-17 Elbrus missile. It weighed 19 tons and was powered by a 525 hp, 12 cylinder, D12A-525 diesel tank engine. The Scud had a crew of 3 and could travel 37 mph. The launchers have been built by the Minsk Automotive Plant (MAZ) from 1962 to present. The R-17 Elbrus missile (a.k.a. Scud B), had a range of 190 miles, carried a 2,167 lb. explosive and was accurate only up to 450 meters. It is estimated that some 7,000 of these missiles were built with over 2,500 having been fired. Although capable of carrying a chemical or nuclear warhead, the Scud B was more of a terror weapon than one that inflicts a lot of damage since it could not pinpoint military targets. You may recall that it was used by Iraq in the Gulf War to try to draw Israel into the war with no success. During the Gulf War, some 46 were fired into Saudia Arabia and 42 into Israel with little overall effect on the war. The Scud's real danger was its psychological effect and payload.

    The MAZ-534/Elbrus on display is the only known one of its kind in North America.
  15. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    How About A V-12 Diesel Airhead: I am neither an authentic gearhead nor a motor expert; however, I am thinking that an air-cooled, V1-12 diesel engine is something out of the ordinary. Perhaps other inmates here can straighten me out on this but the idea they're unusual came to mind when this morning I found I had taken a picture of one. Shown below, I had taken a picture of it sitting out on the floor at the AHM last month.

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    This is (or was) the type of engine that powered the extremely rare, Japanese Type 4 Ho-Ro SPG shown below. The picture below is another view of the Ho-Ro in a previous Tank-A-Day post.

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    If you know of other types of airhead diesel V cylinder engines, we'd appreciate hearing of them.
  16. panzer

    panzer The Mountains Are Calling And I Must Go Supporter

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    I could use something like this on the sporting clays course lately...
  17. panzer

    panzer The Mountains Are Calling And I Must Go Supporter

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    I have seen some Soviet block farm tractors with air cooled diesels, simplicity has its place!
  18. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Pan Am Still Has A Heritage Geep: Seen at the yard several days ago.

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    Yet another instance when you can let your zoom lens walk into the forbidden railroad yard. Walking the lens further back shows more of the PA yard birds.

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    Bottom Line: Train fix du jour.
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  19. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    I am reminded of days back in the 50s when a bunch of us kids would all stand out in the yard blasting away with 12 ga. shotguns at the thousands of starlings that would try to roost in the trees (and shit all over your yard, car and scoot). It was like the Hitchcock movie.
  20. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    OK, you've jarred my memory - Tatra! Perhaps @MadRider777 has pics of such things.
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