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Discussion Starter #41
Was sunny and around 35F today with not so nice weather coming up so I took off on a little ride around the big lake. Well, big by Iowa standards. In Texas it would be a puddle. And in the Land of 1000 ... uh... puddles (MN) it would be large puddle. There is a mile long bridge that crosses half way up the elongated lake. The wind sock showed almost no wind so I proceeded across. Then down to the south end of the lake to cross back over on the dam. All told I ended up with 47 miles.

My wife is leaving Saturday for a trip to Louisiana to visit our son and his wife and our granddaughter. Since Feb 14 is Friday I stopped on my way back on the ride to pick up a rose. Figured she'd like to enjoy it before she left. If I waited until Friday she'd be upset that she couldn't enjoy it longer and wish I hadn't bothered. A long stem rose just fits in the under seat storage without any damages to it. I get stares from people seeing me walk out wearing my full motorcycle gear and a long rose. Of course, I was getting stares anyway due to the temps. It's nice having all that storage under the seat to carry stuff like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #42 (Edited)
With the crazy weather this winter I need to get out when I can. There are a few times when I pass but could have gone riding. Usually only when I am watching the grandkids, so I guess I really can't be gone riding for those times. We are in the middle of a few mild days right now and the temps will still be above 40F tomorrow but also a fair chance of rain. In Central Iowa it is rather unusual to have rain in February but that's what it looks like is coming. So I went riding yesterday and today.

Yesterday I only had evening to get out so went to get dinner at Chick Fil a and turned a 4 mile round trip into 10+ miles. Funny how that happens. Temps were around 39F at the time and there was just a little bit of water flow across the roads in very few places.

Today was around 46F and I wasn't headed anywhere in particular so went exploring on a newer road SW of home in the country. I had taken that road once before but this time I went in the opposite direction and also included a different road than what I had been on before to get there. Lots of water streams across the roads today. Both new roads were paved to service new Microsoft data centers. We now have 3 MS data centers in near proximity to each other and the plan for one of the new ones is to make it the largest in the MidWest. On the way past the first MS DC a dim-whitted bonehead must have been thinking he was the only vehicle that ever traveled on that road and started to pull out in front of me from the entrance in spite of the fact that another car had just passed him ahead of me coming along. Man, I really like having dual 132db horns in place of the wimpy typical mc horns the factory installs. I blasted the horn and he did stop before I got there... half way into the street. I noted that his driver side window was open so I blasted the horn a few more times as I passed just to let him know he needs to look. I really cannot be missed if he was really looking. I am wearing my brand spanking new very bright Hi-Viz Pivot jacket and a white helmet and riding a white scoot that is more visible than most objects in that dingy landscape (much of the snow that we had has been melting away so it is either very dirty or very gone). No other incident on this ride other than just enjoying the ride. I ended up with another 36 miles. Not long, but long enough for a short run. Stopped for gas just before arriving back home and calculated I am still getting 55 mpg.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Another day another short ride around the country side. Actually I included some in town riding this time to ride past a house I wanted to see and then headed out of town. Still lots of water across some of the roads. Temps were right at 33F when I started but the bike temp sensor showed 35F. Daytime temps have been in the 40sF for several days now so wasn't worried about the ground temp freezing any of that water just yet... but tomorrow will be entirely different as temps are headed down tonight and for a few days with snow possibly in the mix. Getting out when I can. Rode 29 miles today. Was thinking of riding more but discovered my heated gloves controller failed when I started. The knob on the controller just spun around with no stops and no power so the internal potentiometer had failed. With temps in the low 30sF I was OK for the most part but there were sections where my finger tips were getting cold without the heat. Now looking for a new controller since I don't want to buy a whole new setup ($50 vs $200-300). I've had this controller since 2011 so got my moneys worth out of it IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Here we go again. Another snow storm headed this way for all day Tuesday.

BUT! Today was great. Mostly sunny and relatively balmy. Was involved with doing up income taxes and my wife says "why don't you put that down for later and go for a ride?" so I did. 😁
Personally I think she really just wanted me to stop getting excited about the extra gas money we were going to be getting back from the government this time.
Checked tires as I usually do every ride during this time of year. My tires are holding air really well. Had the right psi for when it was much cooler (last ride) and had to let out about 3 psi per tire due to how warm it was.
I rode 65 miles this afternoon and the temps hovered around 60F all the way around. Was surprised to see only a few other motorcycles on the road today. I was taking mostly roads commonly traveled by other bikers during the season. I guess certain riders of really noisy but shiny V-Twins didn't want to pull their steeds out of storage just for a nice ride on a nice day.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Rode to Scooters in Anamosa, IA for the annual ST-Owners group RTE. 320 miles round trip. HeatDemon heat controller worked great kept my hands warm though I really should have worn my older warmer boots rather than my AlpineStars Air Plus v2.0 boots. The Air Plus boots work fine for short trips around the home base at any temp, warm or cold, but over the course of 2 1/2 hours the warmer boots would have been... warmer. Not that my feet were cold, just not as warm as they could have been. Temps started out around 27F and the warmed up throughout the trip eventually getting to just over 50F by the time I arrived back home. New TM Pivot Jacket also worked really well. Was a really nice day to ride and enjoyed trip.
 

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After about 4 months of not riding, two days ago I dressed up for the weather and did a short 30 ride to get some Auto parts for the wifes car at Autozone 6 miles away....
It was 42 deg F when I left and the same when I got back. Slight rain drizzle 8 miles out but cleared up. I was cold but not too bad.
Its a bit different than 'I must ride' to get to work is temps down to 10 deg F and light snow.
 

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Yesterday, I went out with two and a half dozen friends on a winding ride from Sherman Oaks to downtown Los Angeles, mostly on Mulholland then around the zoo and Dodger Stadium. Ended up at Phillipe The Original, a L.A. fixture for over a century (they claim to be "the home of the original French Dipped Sandwich" and at the very least their sandwiches are excellent). Weather was pleasant, not too cool even on the way up there that morning.

It went really well, as expected -- no mishaps, no breakdowns, nobody got lost, good conversation over sandwiches. Major props to the group leader, organizers (Hi Liam!) and volunteers.

Almost couldn't ask for more from a group ride. Well, ok, maybe going the whole length of Mulholland instead... wait, we did that last month. :)

- Rusty, riding sweep on his Burgman 200.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Added another 10 miles today to run to fill the tank after my last trip. 1.5 miles to get to gas station and another 8.5 miles just because. Didn't fill up right after the trip since there was a line of at least 3 cars at every pump lane not counting those already at the pumps when I rode by at that time.

Calculated the mileage at about 51 mpg on this trip. The mpg meter on the display is usually way off and this time was no exception since it was showing just over 40 mpg last I looked during the trip. I usually don't display the mpg for that reason and set it to show ambient temp instead. Not too bad considering the temps during the ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Another really nice day in the mid 50s F and sunny. Needed to make a run to the grocery store just 2 miles down the road so tacked on a total of 43 miles going there and back 😁
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Just can't figure out how this always happens...
Yesterday actually. Another errand to the grocery store 2 miles away somehow ended up showing as 11 miles round trip on my odometer! Sunny and near 60F. I think spring has sprung. Got an extra hour of sleep this morning but doesn't feel like it... at least that's what the clock told me.

Checked my brake pads and they are getting really close to time to replace. Will be doing the periodic maintenance soon so that will be included. Ordered a set of pads last fall just to have on hand.
 

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Mid to upper 60s and sunny here so going out in a bit. I took the wheels off the Helix yesterday for new tires, and without thinking blocked in the Burgman. So I might just take the SYM out for a spin in the country - not a speed demon but fun in it's own way.

And you better get that odometer checked out.😉
 

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Discussion Starter #52
Would be easier if it was consistent. But the road and the scenery keeps changing every time I go to the grocery store! 😁
 

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Don't know if there is a vaccine for Sidetrackitous. Once you get it its hard to shake.
 

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Was a very nice mostly sunny day today. Very comfortable at around 80 deg F give or take a degree or two. So I took off on a little 86 mile long ride in a different direction than the last one. I know the roads enough around the area to know where I can ride where there is nice scenery and a few low hills and curves along the way. Took off initially NW of my home and went on a big loop. Passed the High Trestle Trail Bridge (bicycle/walking trail). No, I didn't ride on it but it's just off to the south of the county highway I was on and is a very high bridge indeed. Someday I'll ride a bike across it. It's on the leg of the route I took between Woodward and Madrid where the river passes under.
Also crossed the mile long bridge over Saylorville Lake just South of Polk City. Sometimes it can get really windy on that bridge. Kind of like a wind tunnel blowing across it. Was a little windy but not bad today.
Mostly a mix of open fields and some woods to ride through.

Oh, I WAS going to try another video of some of the curvy bits but darned if the very first bug to hit the shield wasn't right in front of the camera lens. So much for that attempt. Didn't want to stop to clean it off so just kept going without any photo or video. When I am riding I like to just keep going. I do look at the scenery but really don't stop much to look at stuff unless there is a really notable overlook of something special.

Here is a map of the route I took.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/fJ1ximjPZxz9MSuw9

Was initially concerned before I even started because the moment I turned on the ignition the LED display showed CHEC and the bike wouldn't start. Not even turn over. No click, no anything but all the lights and displays turned on as normal, other than that warning message. I hadn't seen that warning before on this scoot nor had it not start. Then after checking a few things noted that the kill switch was moved to the kill position. Flipped it back to on and all was well with the world again. Learned something.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
FINALLY got out for ride today. First time in a week. I did get out last week but didn't make note of that time which was a very quick/short run to Lowe's and one other store for some essential supplies. Today was the first for a while to just go out and ride for fun. Ended up just over 60 miles and "rediscovered" a few roads I haven't been on for a few years. Temps were right at 48F the entire time until the very end when they dropped to 47F per the ambient temp sensor. There was solid clouds and no sun shining through and I even saw a few drops of rain on my visor at one time. I could count them on one hand (the left hand since the right hand was busy at the time). This matched my thermometer in the house. The roads I usually take don't have much if any traffic until I get closer to the metro and today the traffic was no less than normal. I guess I was expecting slightly less but it wasn't. Was very good to get out. Needed to stop for gas so handled the nozzle with a gloved hand. Gas was down to $1.659. Kept a definite 6 ft distance from everyone during the entire ride. :D
 

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Around noon I rode over to HomeDepot to get an order of 4 furnace air filters I had ordered 4 weeks ago but had not picked up. Store was almost empty. People were staying clear. No other furnace filters in stock.
Got some 'Moss Out' and a few other small items.
On the way home I got hit by a HUGE thunder storm with kidney bean size hail. Even thru the jacket and rain gear over all my gear, it stung
 

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Kidney Beaned is better than Kidney Stoned....Kidney Bean...was it Chili ?
 

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We've had a number of grey, cooler and at times stormy days with heavy downpours as of late here. At times so dark we need lights on already by 4pm. Not every day, mind you, but strategically always when my schedule gives me time to ride. I had been rationing my riding anyway (for reasons many in the riding community have discussed) but the nasty weather now only adds to the cabin fever feeling already setting in from the big bad bug. Can't even tend to the back yard. Heck, I moved here to the Sun Belt from more northerly weather for the expressed purpose of avoiding cabin fever, LOL.
The few times I have had a chance to ride, I've found traffic in the more developed areas lighter and heavier in the quieter areas that lead to the state and county parks and hiking trails where everyone seems to be headed on good weather days.
But being at home for long periods sucks. I'm not that social, but I love the outdoor sun. I used to entertain myself on junk weather days by working on nice 1000, 500 or even 300 piece puzzles you can purchase at Dollar Tree. By my last trip to multiple locations has shown that "hoarders" even pillaged all the supply of those too.
 

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Discussion Starter #60
Continued my social distancing by practicing to stay away from others while riding on country roads while also staying sterile (yeah, right) wearing all my gear (only a little bit of my neck felt the free breeze).

Extended my distance just a little over what I have usually gone in recent months and traveled a round trip route of 83 miles. The meter showed 52 mpg for just that ride but we all know the meter is always way low on that estimate... among other inaccuracies. Traveled the historic old highway 6 out west and then turned south after a winding path. Yes, Iowa is known for straight roads that go on forever almost, but not quite, like Kansas and Nebraska. But those are usually called Interstate highways. There are a lot of curvy roads as well when you get off the more commonly traveled routes. Not as tight and curvy as the Driftless region or other areas of the country but sweeping "S" curves that do make it an interesting enough ride through intermittent wooded areas between cultivated fields. And some hills too. Usually the hills and the woods and curves are all in the same general sections of road. Stopped along the side of the road for one photo and then felt the urge to stop again in Stuart, IA when I turned onto the historic White Pole Road. That's a highway lined with power poles with the lower section of almost every pole painted white as shown in the other photo. Also seen in that photo is the old historic Rock Island Railroad Terminal building.
IMG_20200326_142919.jpg IMG_20200326_143703.jpg
 
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