Friday, February 16, 2018

Sun and Triggers

I had the briefest glimpse of a beautiful sun this morning. It was reflected in all of the rain drops still clinging to the bare branches. It’s been overcast and rainy for the last week, so this glimpse was much needed. It was brief because I was passing through it from the climate controlled car to the environment controlled office. Also brief because the clouds have started to float back in.

I did take a few moments to enjoy this special occurrence. I slowed my step, closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and luxuriated in the warmth of the sun on my cheeks. (And secretly wishing I was in the hammock.)  This moment was perfect. Wish it could be bottled.

Took a deep breath and had the lightest hint of some sweet, floral smell. As they say, smell is strongly linked to memory. This smell triggered some fleeting memory that I could not catch. It smelled like Easter. It was full of frills and pastels and brightly dyed eggs and sugary treats. Ahhh...the smell was jelly beans. The whiff of candied sugar when you first open a bag of jelly beans and the mish-mash of flavors wafts up. I’m not talking cloying and overbearing, just the fleetest of whiffs. Spring is already starting to scamper in.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

First Ride with the CB500X

How does time pass so quickly?!?  I've been meaning to update you on the new Honda in the stable. 

Yes, I did come home to find the lovely tan Honda CB500XA in the stable.  As I hadn't test sat on it, I was afraid the fit wouldn't be right.  I'm not one to purchase things sight unseen.  I also don't care to purchase bikes unridden, but very few new bikes are serviced and available for test riding.  That seems to only be the domain of Harley Davidson and BMW.  We had read many reviews that said this bike was very comfortable for tall riders in the 6 foot range.  So I was optimistic.

Oilburner had a difficult time finding the bike.  Dealers in the area said they were in stock, but not "in stock" to look at.  They could get them from the warehouse with a deposit.  He called around and located a dealer that said they had one.  When he arrived, the salesman he talked to was not available, and the one he was working with said the bike wasn't there.  Confusion abounds.  After some searching it was uncovered that the parts department had taken the bike and was using it as their display!  As you have seen from previous pics they had a mannequin with riding clothes, gloves, helmet, boots completed decked out.  So...that is how I got the bike.  Many people had been looking for it and inquiring about it, but the salesmen didn't know where it was.  (Even the owner of that pretty GS700 from a few posts ago and called about that bike before buying the GS.)

Then comes the haggling.  Now I am hearing this all second hand and am amazed at the dickering that Oilburner did.  The price tag on the bike was NOT what the advertised price was on Cycle Trader.  The salesman tried to get around it by saying it wasn't the same bike, until they checked VINs.  No disputing it.  Oilburner had them knocking $1700 off the bike in one fell swoop.  The Cycle Trader ad also mentioned a $100 gear credit.  Again, they hemmed and hawed, but gave in and gave it to him.  Wow.  Just wow. 

The story just gets so exciting!  Makes her look that much more attractive.


All this time I'm asking Oilburner if he intends to purchase one, or if he will be content with his XR650L.  He assured me that his 650 was great, he wasn't interested and it was paid for.  Yeah, those assurances didn't last long.  He rode mine 1 mile to unload it and get into in the stable and he was smitten.  Or course, I didn't know that at the time.  As we are talking about it more on Friday, I'm commenting that it is for the best that he keeps his XR650L as there would be no way that the dealership would possibly honor the same price for a second one.

I was wrong.  Apparently, he had already ordered one that had to be brought in from Alabama.  And they gave him the same price.  The only difference was that his didn't have ABS and mine did.  Hmmm...

Meet Oilburners bike...


We needed to break the new bikes in.  Mine had 1 mile on the clock.  His had 2.  :)  What better way to break a bike in then ride it like you stole it in the twisties.  That's how I broke the last GS in, and it hasn't leaked one drop of oil.

We grabbed Alex and went into the mountains.  Had lunch at TWoS and hit the curves hard.  Hwy 60, Hwy 180, Richard B Russell.  The boys were into the curves, so the only way I was getting pics of the bikes was to stop without them. They eventually found me.


Head on over to Flickr to see more glamour shots.  As I said, not many due to the fast paced ride.

Impression: Feels very light, even though only 100 lbs lighter than the 1200GS.  Very "flickable".  Shorter wheel-base made the twisties fun, after learning when to turn.  Never having ridden an inline engine she was very smooth to shift.  Learning to care for a chain driven bike with be fun what with lubing and adjusting on a regular basis. Love getting 54+ miles per gallon. 

Funny story: As I was not even in the state when Oilburner purchased my bike, obviously the bike is in his name.  I thought it only justified that his bike be in my name. HA!

And yes...the XR650L went up on the selling block.  More on that next time.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Remember that Honda XL600R?

A couple weeks ago I shocked the world by disclosing that we were actually reducing the stable by selling the Honda XL600R.  Trobairitz had asked if clearing space in the stable meant there might be a backfill…  I was pretty emphatic that there wasn’t going to be a replacement.  Yeah..hold that thought…

I was in some intense training in NJ Wed and Thurs of this week.  I hadn’t looked at my phone all day.  When I had a quick break at the end of the day this is what I saw that I had missed…
Of course, I looked at Oilburner’s messages first.  The three messages here were foreboding.  Then I went to another thread that had about 23 messages waiting to be read in a group chat with good friend Alex. And this is what I saw…
CA1.jpg CA2.jpg CA3.jpg
So guess who came home late Thursday night to see her new bike?  Guess I’m getting rid of the R1200R sooner than expected. 

P.S.  She is fun to ride…

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Something Followed Me Home


This fun little cutie drove me home the other day.  Before we all get our hopes up, no, she isn't here to stay.  She belongs to a friend.  Oilburner [was] volunteered to install a lowering kit.  So we met in between and transferred.  Gotta say this F700GS was EXCITING to ride!!!  She handled well, great suspension, headlight leaves something to be desired at night, and some fabulous wind sheer at highway speeds.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Back Inside the Jet Engine

Have you ever lived inside a jet engine?  We have.  In 20-ought-something we had a pipe burst and flood half the house.  We lived with 12 high powered fans and two huge, industrial style dehumidifiers in a little house.  Baseboards all removed, holes in the drywall, carpet and padding removed.  We didn't realize our insurance would have paid for a hotel stay.  So we subjected ourselves and our pups to this treatment for days until the house was deemed dry and restoration could begin. house, different leak, same jet engine.  Late last night we finally located the source of the moldy smell that I had been picking up on.  And in a rather disgusting way.  Let's just say you don't ever want to see mushrooms growing in your carpet.  We've spent today trying to find the company that could help us to remediate and restore.  Oilburner spent half the day trying to find the source of the leak, to no avail.  Same with the team that was sent out.  No clue.  No roofline, no spigot, no water pipes.  So now we have the carpet partially ripped up, the dehumidifier in the room, and just waiting until they can start pulling the lovely wood paneling down to see the exact extent of the water damage, the extent of the "growth", and determine if we can actually figure out the source of the water.  Sigh.

The darker wood is "wet"
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The darker wood is "wet".  It was detectably getting worse throughout the day, and slowly improving with the dehu.
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The wall had expanded enough to create this huge gap in the moulding.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

A Mesh Day


AAAAhhhhhhh....the first time you can get out the bikes in your mesh jacket is so liberating! We didn't have to bundle up with thermals, sweaters, gators, solid jackets, and the whatnot.  The freedom of not feeling like StayPuft the Marshmallow man.  No worries about getting chilled out and making sure you have extra layers.  Just basking in the spare room in the gear.  And this is our 3 weeks of spring where the temps are perfect, the humidity is non-existent, and the pollen is low.  Trifecta!

It averaged about 80 degrees (F) and we headed to Juliette, GA.  This was only the 3rd visit this year.  We hadn't been there in years, the food wasn't terribly thrilling. But they either changed owners, got a new cook, or both, because the food is spectacular!!  So yes, that is becoming one of my favorite destinations for an RTE and there are so many nice routes to boot.  Last month our trip home saw us spending a couple miles on dirt roads (as I finally found the Enduro setting on the GS that loosens the throttle response). 

We sat on the porch for a few minutes after eating.  Just letting everything settle and freeing up the table for another in the line on the 45 minute wait list.  Saw the bike my brother drools over.


Can this be believed??  We are actually letting go of some horses and clearing a space in the barn?  Unheard of!!  We've finally made the decision to release the pent up horses in the Honda XL600R and send it to a new and better home where it will get more attention.


I couldn't kick start the darn thing and hadn't yet gotten used to the height.  So peace be with her and hope that she gets more love and road time.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Who wants to join me?

Trobairitz, you in?  Sonja, you want to fly and ride?

Second Annual woman-led ADVWoman Rally dates announced for July 20-23, 2017, in Granby, Colorado

GRANBY, COLORADO, February 9, 2017 – Second Annual woman-led ADVWoman Rally dates Announced for July 20-23, 2017, at Flying Heels Rodeo Arena in Granby, Colorado

Dates are announced for the second annual adventure rally organized for women and families. To be held July 20-23, 2017, in Granby, Colorado, the event will include a variety of self-guided rides, Geocache scavenger hunt, classroom training sessions as well as on-range adventure and dirt bike rider training. All instructors are women! Men are welcome too-- this is a female and family friendly rally.
“We are building on last year’s success with several key changes,” said Pat Jacques, Rally Director. “BMW Off Road instructor Caroline Stevenson has joined the teaching staff, plus the rally is expanded to four days, Thursday through Sunday. We have obtained indoor convention space, and have hotel accommodations available.  We will teach on-range rider training ‘Adventure Essentials’ and ‘Dirt Bike Essentials’, and we’ve added the advanced level ‘BDR Essentials’ class. This will support riders in successfully completing the Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route teaching steep ascents and descents, hair pin turns, water crossings, and rocky terrain skills.”

Last year’s Rally was a great success with several participants traveling over 1800 miles to attend.  “I knew the ladies would have a blast, but I was most surprised by how much the gentlemen enjoyed themselves,” said Jacques. “They were thrilled to see their spouses and partners quickly gain confidence and skill, which translates to more opportunities to enjoy riding together and also strengthens the industry.”

Classroom Sessions are open to all attendees and will run Thursday & Friday 3:30PM-4:30PM and 4:45-5:45PM, with several classes running simultaneously in different locations. Topics include trailside maintenance, trailside first aid, intro to GPS navigation, fitness and training for off-road riding, truck & trailer motorcycle loading and unloading, flat tire repair, how to pick up a bike, moto-camping and travel photography.

“Women teaching women is natural and transformative. We’re excited to have Canadian GS Trophy Candidate and BMW Off-Road Certified Instructor Caroline Stevenson joining our all-woman staff this year. Caroline’s quiet, confident manner and considerable skill is sure to resonate with many women,” said Jacques.

Immediately following the Rally there will be a “First Ever” All-ladies Colorado Backcountry Discovery (COBDR) Tour led by Jacques and fellow adventure rider Alisa Clickenger. All classes are taught Thursday and Friday so participants can enjoy a full day of adventure riding on Saturday.