Friday, October 11, 2013

Hello there!

Hi there folks!

I'm still around. Haven't been riding much. No particular reason really. The car is easier. I still haven't found any problem with the bike. I rode twice this week and it was fine. It sure felt good to be in the saddle again. High winds and a threat of rain put me back in the Forester for today's commute.

I've been running more (and not blogging about that either) and just doing the work thing. Nothing terribly exciting happening. That's not really a bad thing though. The granddaughter is getting so big so fast! And, guess what, she's going to have a boy cousin to push around in about a month. Well, he'll be here in about a month. She won't be pushing him around for another year or so. :-)

Good times! I hope you are all enjoying your rides!

My happy place parked in front of my other happy place - my CrossFit gym.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Maybe It's Me

Greetings fellow riders!

I'm not sure what's going on. There's possibly some gremlins doing their handy work on my bike. I dropped the bike off before I went to a conference. I was away all of last week. The bike had stalled as I pulled into my driveway after being serviced for a new battery and a tune up. I hadn't done any of the regular factory maintenance in a while and it was also due for an oil change. The previous stalling issue was determined to be a low battery. So, happily I rode it home feeling that the problem had been solved. But, alas, it died as I pulled into the driveway. Weird.

I dropped it back at Mike's Motorcycle and he said he'd keep it while I was away and maybe take it on a longer ride just to see what's up. He ran the computer codes but nothing had registered. He rode it for 60 miles and it didn't do anything. So, I picked it up today. I don't know what's going on. I can't imagine I'm doing anything odd to make it die. But, it died twice on the way home today. I was nearly home when it did. So, that's after about 20 - 25 miles of riding. It was fairly hot today but that shouldn't matter. Brand new gel battery. Fresh oil change. Hubby thinks it's bad gas. I was on my way to get gas when it died so decided to ride it home instead. I'll fill up tomorrow. I think Mike put gas in it on Saturday.

I just don't know what to do other than keep riding it to try to determine a pattern. If it's me, I'd like to figure out what I'm doing wrong so I can correct it. If it isn't me, at least I'll have more data.

Maybe I need a new gremlin bell?

Oh well, at least it's a good excuse to ride it a lot. :-)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Trip Report - 6th Anniversary Road Trip

A few things were different for this, our 4th road trip. We decided not to fight the heat by driving the Subaru Forester with it's cushy, comfy, air conditioned ride. We still chose a destination where neither of us had been before - Capitol Reef. And, despite having the car, we still decided not to camp. Ok, so far that's only one thing that was different. I guess it just felt much different because we didn't have the bikes. :-)

We drove straight through from the Denver area to Torrey, UT. It's a pretty straight forward route, west on I-70 and south on Utah Hwy 24. Torrey is a small town with no stop lights. There are several lodging options. We chose Austin's Chuckwagon Motel. Very nice folks, fairly quiet, there's laundry on site, a grocery with everything you could possibly need, and a deli that's open for made to order breakfast and lunch. Torrey also has several restaurants. We chose to eat at one of them three times. (The beer was cold and the pizza was tasty and it was just up the street.)

On our first day we did a drive through the park and a visit to the Visitor's Center, to scope out the hikes and scenery. We sat in on a ranger talk at the visitor's center which was about the geology of the park. That helped us get our bearings for the driving tours. There were several ranger talks throughout the week. We also did a ranger led geology hike. We were a little late getting to it but were able to catch the group before they headed up the ridge.
Heading up!

Ranger explaining time as rocks.

Looking into the canyon.
 Another ranger led hike was about the petroglyphs in the park. Very cool!
Petroglyphs!
Boardwalk trail to see the petroglyphs. It was closed at one end because of some downed trees.
Another hike was into the Grand Wash. We needed to time this one to go out early in the morning and also not when there was the threat of rain. It is just what it says it is, a flash flood wash area. It's also inside the canyon so not very shady. The rangers all warned us to take more food and water than we thought we'd need. It's only about a mile or so into the are called the Narrows. So, we felt well prepared to manage that safely. It's not a terribly difficult hike in terms of the terrain either. But, like good motorcyclists, we were aware of our surroundings and had an escape plan if we needed it.
The Narrows
A cubby we found for lunch and also our turn around point.
Beautiful!
Beautiful sky!
During our hike it was so quiet. We were the only ones out that early. It wasn't even that early, maybe 8:30 or so. On the way back we started to see more people heading out. The cloud cover that we'd enjoyed for most of our hike was starting to break. That meant it was getting hot but also meant the storms weren't coming just yet. After we finished this trail, hubby wanted to check out another canyon he'd noticed just up the road. We hiked into the gully and into this small box canyon. It dead ended with what looked like a whirlpool in the sand. It was pretty cool and odd. We were imagining that water would come from the cliff above because the washed out plants were all facing that direction. It must be a sight to see when it's happening.

After our hike we drove back into town and had some lunch. While sitting there, we watched the storms roll in over the park and wondered how many people were hiking in the Grand Wash.
Storms rolling in.
Lunch was very tasty!
Afterwards, we went back into the park and did a short hike, the beginning of Chimney Rock. The hike goes to the top of a mesa overlooking the Chimney Rock. We didn't want to be up there while the lightning was going on. I didn't want to be up there period.
We ended up leaving a day earlier than planned but stopped in Glenwood Springs, CO on the way home. We didn't visit the hot spring but got up early to hike to Hanging Lake. This was something we tried to do last year on our way home but it was too late in the morning and way too crowded. This time we hit it just right. Amazing!
Along the trail
At the lake.
The water is so clear!
Tim at Spouting Rock above Hanging Lake.

By the end of the trip we'd visited one national park (Capitol Reef), one national monument (Grand Staircase-Escalante), and two state parks (Anasazi and Goblin Valley). 
In Grand Staircase-Escalante
In Grand Staircase-Escalante

In Grand Staircase-Escalante
In Grand Staircase-Escalante
In Grand Staircase-Escalante
Goblin Valley State Park. We must come back here with the motos!
Goblin Valley
Goblin Valley - panorama
We must return to both Goblin Valley and Grand Staircase-Escalante. We only drove through Grand Staircase which borders Capitol Reef. We lucked out with the weather on that day as well. The storms came through the day after and we are sure that the dirt road would have been washed out and flooded in places. And Goblin Valley has a lovely campground next to the start of the 4WD road. There are even two yurts to rent and they both had swamp coolers! It was terribly hot when we were there. We stopped on the way back home so didn't spend too much time there. It was about 2:00 or so, the hottest part of the day.

Once again, a very nice time was had by all. It was too short of course. We did run out of things to do in Capitol Reef and got bored in Torrey. That's why we left a day early. But, we did all the things we'd planned to do as well. So, it was a very successful trip. :-)

And now that the precedent has been set, and we don't have to ride the motorcycles on our vacation trips, we are wondering where we could fly to next year.... ;-)

And now, we must plan for our fall make up moto ride, as soon as we figure out why my GS keeps stalling. More on that later.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Stay tuned for the road trip report!

I promise to get it written up soon! We had a great time! One national park, one national monument, two state parks! Hooray for Utah!


Going back to work is exhausting! :-/

 More soon!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

On our way!

This year, our anniversary road trip is more about the destination and less about the ride there. As I type, we are on the way to Utah. We've seen a few motorcyclists on the road already. But we have no regrets about taking the Subaru on this trip. Having the car will allows us to spend more time exploring the park and more time hiking. I'm excited!

Ride safe folks and enjoy the ride. 


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Vacation countdown!

We leave Sunday morning for Capitol Reef National Park! Woo hoo!! I'm super excited to have a full week to spend with my lovely hubby! We are definitely taking the car for this one. It's just going to be more comfortable with the heat. No worries though. A make up motorcycle adventure is in the planning, at least in our minds. :-)

I purchased the Utah Gazetteer for the trip. We've checked out several library books - hiking guidebooks. I'm making my packing lists. Last load of laundry on Saturday and a bit of shopping, car wash and vacuum, and a last check on some things around the house.

Stay tuned for the trip photos and reports from the road! :-)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sad moto. Sad moto owner.

Well, first let me say that nothing horrible has happened. That's the good news. However, here is my tale of woe.

What a day. So, I didn't even get very far from my office. I was at the light at 28th and Arapahoe, just a few blocks from my office, when the bike hesitated. So, I gave it some throttle thinking I just hadn't throttled enough before letting the clutch go. (I don't know why I thought that.) The bike accelerated through the intersection and then just died. I was able to coast into a parking lot and even into a parking spot at a strip mall. Sigh. By then I was sweating profusely from sitting at the light and then not getting any airflow because I had to pull over so quickly. (Good gravy it was hot!) So, I took my helmet off, and jacket off, and peeled my gloves off, before trying to start the bike again. (I'd also tried to start it as I was rolling through the parking lot.) Nothing.
Sad moto.

I walked over to a shady spot to text my friends. We were meeting after work for a ride to dinner. Then I called the hubby, who was, luckily, driving up to meet us for dinner. He rerouted to meet me where I was stalled.

My first thought was bad gas causing a plug again. I didn't really think it was the battery. The way it stalled just seemed more like fuel than power. I haven't had much experience with either but, whatever. Hubby seemed to think the same thing as well. So, we decided it was too hot to stand around messing with it so we went to the pizza place in the strip mall and had dinner and enjoyed the air conditioning.

We decided that if it didn't start we'd call AAA and have them tow it to Mike's Motorcycle, which is where my oil change appointment is on Tuesday. I wasn't sure how I felt about leaving it there since they were closed and it wouldn't be secure. But, I didn't think going all the way home was a good idea either.

After dinner it did eventually start but then it died again when hubby gave it some throttle. Then it wouldn't start again. So, we called AAA. In the meantime, it's starting to get late. The tow truck came and he wanted to try jumping it. It started and he drove off. I still didn't feel comfortable but with it running, we ,ay as well go home. With hubby there to follow me it seemed like the best idea. And then I noticed the sky. (I didn't get a photo because I was trying to get my gear on and get on the road.) It was kind of purple with flashes of light. Yikes!

We hit the highway with the storm to our west. No rain but lots of flashing cloud lightning and also really scary looking cloud to ground lightning. As we approached our exit, I decided I was done. I pulled into the park and ride and we left it there in the garage.
video
I took this video from the car after we parked the bike. It started to rain almost right after we were both in the car heading home. It rained pretty hard too. Those lightning flashes were what caused me to park the bike. I don't mind riding in the rain at all. I actually really like it. Lightning scares the crap out of me. Sitting at the light waiting to turn towards the park and ride, I would flinch every time there was a flash. Scary!

So, the bike spent the night in the parking garage where it was hopefully safe enough. We won't get to pick it up until after work today. Sigh.

Sad moto. Sad moto owner.

The really bad news is that I missed watching "Sharknado" on SyFy last night! I really love those cheesy movies. I don't know why. They make me laugh out loud. :-) Sharknado. Hahaha!! Really?! Sharknado? Hahahaha!!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Our Summer Wedding

It seemed like a good idea at the time... When we chose a date for our wedding, we decided on summer because most of the other things we celebrate are in the winter. Most of our birthdays are in November, then there's all the holidays that month and in December. And, since it was 2007, we thought getting married in the 7th month on the 27th day would help us to remember the date. Yes, that's a true statement. That plan was mostly for my benefit. But, guess what. It's freakin' hot at the end of July. So, we are considering driving rather than riding the motos for this next anniversary road trip.

The hubby suffers greatly in the heat. I do as well but I seem to be able to recover in the evenings. He's just always overheated it seems. We are thinking we'd enjoy hiking around the park and also driving there in 8 hours, if we are shuttling ourselves in air conditioned comfort. The funny thing is, I think we both thought of this idea simultaneously. So, there was not much discussion or even regret. Last night we thought we could take a motorcycle trip in the fall instead. Perhaps a nice fall ride to Steamboat Springs to see the changing leaves.

Truth is, we aren't getting any younger. We don't have anything to prove on these rides. The idea has always been to visit some place neither of have been before. We can accomplish that in the car or on the bikes. Perhaps this will spark some discussion of why we need a couple of 250cc dual sports to haul with us on these trips. I've seen a couple of these around town a lot lately. ;-)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Hello old friend!

Dusted off the GS for my work commute. It sure has been a while. It sure feels good being back in the saddle again. :-)


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Road trip planning

So, I've already changed one minor detail. We won't be staying in Caineville. It's closer to home but there are no restaurants in this little town. So, we will drive to the other side of the park and stay in Torrey, UT at Austin's Chuckwagon Motel. Oh yeah! We are going all out on this adventure! They have smaller rooms with a queen bed for $55 a night with air conditioning and private bathrooms. Torrey seems to have many restaurant options as well. On our anniversary we like to be able to talk to dinner and not have to gear up and ride anywhere. All we really need for these trips is air conditioning, burgers, beer and an occasional steak. We should be good to go in Torrey I think.

Here are some links about the town and area.

http://www.torreyutah.com/

http://www.torreyutah.gov/

http://www.capitolreef.org/index.html

http://www.fiveutahparks.com/

http://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/anasazi

http://www.visitutah.com/parks-monuments/national-parks/capitol-reef/

Next up, I need to hit up the library for some books with hiking trails and scenic drives. :-)


Thursday, May 30, 2013

6th Anniversary & 4th Road Trip!!!

Howdy folks!! Well, I haven't been riding much lately hence the lack of blog entries. But, we shall be making up for that when we make our next motorcycling road trip. It's our 6th wedding anniversary (on July 27th) and our 4th road trip with the only goal being to visit a place neither of us have been before. It was in our vows to visit new places. :-) Hubby's suggestion was to finally get to Utah. I've never visited any of the parks there. And I've only driven through once on a road trip with his daughter to visit colleges. She chose Oregon State in Corvallis and has long since graduated. That was an awesome road trip. She only had her driving permit. We drove my Civic from Denver to the west coast and back to Denver. Good times indeed. :-) But, I digress...

We've selected Capitol Reef National Park for this trip. The hubby has been to Arches and Canyonlands before so Capitol Reef was the next closest location. Bryce would have been our first choice I think but, rooms were all booked already. No worries. There are all sorts of things to see and do in that part of the world. We are excited to see and do them!

I just booked our room in Caineville, UT. It's on the east side of the park so, closer to Colorado. I think it will be another grand adventure. How can it not?  :-)

Stay tuned!!

(Hmmm.... I wonder if we can find a dual sport for the hubby before July 20th.... hmmmm....)

Monday, April 22, 2013

More and more SNOW!!

I can't believe it's almost May and I haven't been out on the moto once this year! I am a grumpy grumpy girl. Hmmm.

Yes, it is snowing yet again. For the 3rd week in a row we've had winter storms starting Monday afternoon or evening and dumping white stuff through late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. What the heck?! Where is spring?!

I am grumpy. It doesn't make for good running weather either which is the other thing I enjoy doing.

Grrrr.



http://radar.cbslocal.com/kcnc/5day.jpg

This has been the norm for the past three or four weeks now. Folks are getting cranky, myself included.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Intro To Adventure Camp

The more I think about this the more I really want to do it.
http://www.rawhyde-offroad.com/intro2adv.html

"Intro to Adventure" training will include:

  • An introduction to dirt riding techniques and the top mistakes people make.
  • Body position for effective off-road riding
  • Throttle, brake and clutch techniques
  • Weight-shift techniques for steering
  • Balance techniques
  • Turning technique using counterbalancing
  • Obstacle avoidance
  • How to control front and rear wheel skids
  • Hard Acceleration technique on dirt and gravel
  • Hill Climbing
  • Descending steep hills in a controlled manner
  • How to ride in Sand and Gravel
  • How to recover from a stall on a steep hill.
  • How to turn around, fully loaded on a steep hill.
Adventure Camp also provides hands on technology overviews, opportunities to learn about the tools and equipment that are available for the adventure rider, plus demonstrations about such important things as tire repair "on the trail".

When I first learned to ride a motorcycle, it was as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal. We did a lot of this type of off road training. We even learned how to clean the carbs, change a tire, and some other maintenance stuff. It was a 6 day class, the first 3 days being the MSF Beginner Rider Course and the last three days being maintenance and trail stuff. It was so awesome! I think we may have been one of the last PCVs to have motos. The bikes were Suzuki TS125s. 
My 1st bike in the terrain I traveled more often than not.
I inherited this red TS after Kristen completed her service. It was brand new when she got it. :-)
Pretty amazing to think of my time there and how fortunate I was to have that experience. :-)

I'm sure not much of what I learned back then, or even experienced on the little TS125, transfers to the 650GS with side cases and a trunk. :-) Even fully loaded, I'm sure the 125 didn't weigh as much as the GS. But, I know the GS is quite capable of being an off road monster. And I want to test that out on mine. Maybe I can convince the hubby to take the class as well. They have rental bikes. There's a class just a couple of weekends before our anniversary. Hmmmm.....

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Trapped in the Garage


So, there has been some water main work going on in the neighborhood that finally made it's way to our block about a month ago. I don't actually remember when it started but it sure feels like it's been at least a month. We got a notice saying not to park on the street between the hours of 7am and 5pm. You may remember that we have quite a collection of vehicles at our house. So, we've parked the F-250 in the driveway next to the Chevy S10 (which my hubby drives on the weekend). We also have my step-daughter's Subaru. She parks in the driveway behind the S10 because she works the morning shift at Starbucks. When there is a big pile of dirt in front of our house, I park behind the F-250. Usually, hubby, who drives an Escape for work, and I can both park on the street because we are usually not home between 7am and 5pm. But, the F-250 remains, which means, I can't get the motorcycle out of the garage.

We can't really move it because we can't park it on the street. And even if we could, and I took the moto to work, I'd then have to find a place to park the Forester during the day. It's just not worth the trouble for a project that we hope will soon be over.

In the meantime, we've been enjoying watching this little one grow and learn. :-)




I also recently learned about this class being offered in Colorado!
http://www.rawhyde-offroad.com/intro2adv.html
I am seriously considering spending some of my savings on this. How cool would that be!?!

Hope everyone is enjoying their spring time weather!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Making Plans

This week I learned that my job is secure for another 6 months beyond the last 6 months. At full time, same salary. That gets me through the end of September (the Federal fiscal year). Great news! When I shared that with the hubby via email he replied, "Was thinking this morning about our anniversary trip – shall we finally do southern Utah – Bryce, and the like?"

:-)

I'm usually the one planning well ahead like that. But, the job situation has me thinking much shorter term lately. It was a nice reminder of the fun we have to look forward to! Yay!

I'll be checking out some library books this weekend so we can see what our options are. He's been to Canyonlands and Arches. I've never been to any Utah parks. Our only rule is to go somewhere we've never been before. I'm thinking Bryce would be a good choice. We will need to decide if we want to see as much as we can or pick a place and see as much of it as we can. So much to see and do! I'm excited! I love planning stuff!

And here is a little break for your day. My granddaughter, New Year's, laughing at her grandpa. Enjoy! She's 7 months old now and has figured out how to move around the floor. Not quite a crawl but more like a seal. But, we've begun to be much more aware of things that shouldn't be on the floor. 

video

Sunday, January 6, 2013

2012 Recap

Wow! Have I really not posted anything since the beginning of October? Well, it's just been that kind of year. This was the year of taking care of everyone else which really took away from my motorcycling time. But, it's all good. :-)

We did manage to make our anniversary moto road trip. We stayed in Colorado this time, not wanting to travel too far away from the new granddaughter. But, we did meet our goal of traveling to a place we'd never been before. Fruita and the Colorado National Monument was amazing! And less time on the road meant more time together and that's always a good thing. :-)

If I looked back, I could probably count the number of times I road the moto on two hands. That makes me sad. But, the reasons for that are all good reasons. My mom got two new knees, making two trips to Colorado for them. She was with us for 5 months! Wow! And it was all good. Phew! But, it was a challenge. Hubby and I are both introverts and need our quiet time to recharge. We are still working to find that time to recharge.

We had a full house for Thanksgiving and New Years as well. People and dogs! And it was all good times as well. :-) I really love my in laws. They are the best. I wish we all lived closer to each other.

Not much to report in the way of motorcycling in this year end recap. I realized that if we continue to make these anniversary road trips, that would be a great way to keep track of yearly mileage. So, starting mileage of last year's road trip to starting mileage of this year's I rode a total of 5,248 miles. That's definitely the lowest mileage I've ever had. And, I realize, many people don't get to ride (commute) as often as I do, and I empathize with you all. :-)

The low miles were mostly because my mom was here and I wasn't commuting to work at that time. I was home with her. It sucks because the weather was so warm for so long. And so dry. It still is. There are plenty of folks commuting around here still. I saw plenty of motos out yesterday. It also means I've put lots of miles on the Forester. In fact, I think the Subaru may have caught up to the GS! Yikes! That means I've been spending more on gas as well. And still paying more for parking at work. Sigh. With my work insecurity, I really need to change that.

This year was also the first time I put the moto on a battery tender. The last time I attempted to ride it started but quickly ran out of juice. When I stopped for gas, it wouldn't start again. That was an interesting day. Two young men in a pick up truck stopped to ask if I needed any help. I thanked them and said I didn't because my hubby was on his way. They said ok and drove on. But then they came back and asked again. Normally, that's a red flag for women alone but these guys did all the right things. One said he worked in a BMW shop and had a charger in his truck if I wanted to try it. He then explained without trying to do anything to the bike how he knew what he was talking about. He also let me do most of the work of taking the seat off and stuff while he gathered his tools. We tried to jump it but were unsuccessful. When hubby arrived, he was able to jump it. He determined the problem jumping it was needed a better ground. Off I went to work!

That was the last time I rode. We put it on the battery tender that evening. :-( I don't even remember when that was.

So, here is to a fruitful, fun, safe, riding year ahead!

Happy New Year my blog reading and writing friends!