Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gadget and Toys

I've always been a gadget geek, from a transistor radio as a kid, to the high tech stuff of today, trying the latest and greatest is a passion of mine.  As I expand my motorcycling into long distance riding, of course it's only natural that I include as many high tech gizmos as possible.  Now that winter is here, most days you'll find me right here by the fire in my comfy Ekornes Stressless Recliner with laptop table .
I've been an Apple fanboy for a while now because they make great stuff and it just works but lately I've been branching out some.  Most of the long distance rally info seems better suited for using windows devices for routing and planning.  Garmin Basecamp has versions for both MAC and PC and my new BMW Navigator V connects to my MAC just fine but other tools such as ezBake and Microsoft Streets and Trips run much better on a PC.  I've been looking for a while, and picked up an ASUS Transformer Book T100 yesterday.  This little windows 8.1 machine has a detachable tablet and keyboard combo that should work nicely as a routing computer.  I played around some with it yesterday and here's how it looks in action.

I wish there was an IOS version of Basecamp that I could run on my Apple iPad Mini Retina.  There a couple of apps that are nice, Motion X GPS Drive and Motion X-GPS .  I use both of them on the mini and my iPhone 5s to navigate, store bonus information, etc.  What's really nice about Motion X-GPS is you can associate a picture of the bonus location with the coordinates as well as a note about what is expected to claim the bonus points.  It's very handy to pull up at the bonus location to review quickly.  
I'm entered in the 2014 Big Money Rally and it looks like it will be a lot fun.  As you ride to each bonus location, you submit a picture from your phone at that location.  I like that they've included the use of smartphones into the rally.  From the old days of Polaroid cameras, to the modern times of digital cameras, the next logical step is smartphone use.  I know my iPhone 5s takes better pics than the digital camera I have. Most of the time, great apps come to IOS before there's an Android version.  That's not the case with Bubbler GPS , a tracking program that also includes the ability to send quick OK messages to those who might be concerned about your ride.  Joel Tolbert has also developed an app for the Big Money Rally for android, BMR App that allows easy check in from each bonus location as well as picture submission.  Maybe I need an Android phone to try out.  Hmmm.  
As you can see, I'm definitely a gadgetholic, it's cheaper than crack.....maybe.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

End of the year update

I haven't done too well keeping the blog current this year, something I intend to do better at in 2014.  I have had a good year motorcycling with just over 25, 000 miles on 2 wheels.  Shortly after the Big Texas Rally, I took my RT in for service at Tulsa BMW and took a liking to a new 2014 F800GS Adventure they had sitting on the showroom floor.  I'd been thinking about one for a while and just couldn't resist so I'm now a 2 bike owner again.  Here's my riding companion, Missy, on one of our morning rides around Lake Draper.
I've only got a couple of thousand miles on it so far but really like riding warm weather.  There is no comparison between it and the RT for blocking wind and cold so I doubt I ride it much between now and spring.  I prefer the RT's big windscreen, heated seat, and grips for the cooler weather riding.  I ordered side cases or I guess the proper name is panniers for the GS and they took almost 6 weeks to arrive but here's a pic of them.
I haven't been on any other trips or rallies since Big Texas and it looks like my RT is going to end the year with just over 51,000 trouble free miles.  She is going to be 20 months old next week so I guess that's not too bad.  I turned in just over 22, 000 miles to the BMW MOA mileage contest this year which ran between April and October so we'll see how that ranks among other riders in the country.  Last year, I was the high mileage rider in Oklahoma but not even a top 25 finisher nation wide.  I use a  Spot GPS tracking device most of the time when I ride.  It allows me to track where I've been, send messages to those who might be worried about me, and send an SOS message if I should have an emergency.  Here's a screenshot of most of my trips made in 2013.
All in all, it's been a great riding year with some great scenery, no mishaps, and a fun time on the bike.  In 2014, I've got several plans made for rides I'd like to take.  The first will be in mid March when I plan to ride to San Diego, get an external fuel cell made, then ride a 50cc (coast to coast under 50 hours) to Jacksonville, FL for the Iron Butt Associations bike week meet up.  Later in the year, I plan to ride in the How The West Was Won rally in Colorado as well the Big Texas Rally again.  I might ride in a couple of others and I need to cover some of the eastern part of the country that I haven't ridden in yet.
I plan to update the blog more frequently as I enjoy riding the bikes and retirement.  Stay tuned for 2014, have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Big Texas 36 Hour Rally Ride Report

This past weekend I rode the Big Texas Rally, my first attempt at an Iron Butt type rally.  If you're not familiar with how these work, you're provided a list of bonii with each being worth a different number of points.  Then you're provided a check in or rally end location and the time you must be there.  You're task is to select the number of bonii you can ride to, do whatever the rally book calls for at this location, and get to the end location on time.
The Big Texas rally book had about 90 potential bonus locations and several locations you could start from.  I chose to start in Childress, Texas.  The night before the rally start, Mark and Eric had reserved a room at Maxey's Steak House for us to have dinner if we wanted to.  I went, had a good meal, and heard some good discussion about the rally.  As a newbie, I just sat and listened to those who had done several rallies.
The rally start was at 6 am on Friday, I was there early, got my starting receipt, and was anxious to get started.  About 20 riders were starting at Childress, here's a pic of some of them.
We got started at 6 am, I don't think anyone but me noticed me stalling the bike as I started out of the lot, something I've done on the RT about 3 times the entire time I've owned it.  My planned route was to ride over to Amarillo, get the Cadillac Ranch first, then head to Palo Duro Canyon.  It was pretty chilly and dark on the way over, I was watching for deer but didn't see any.  I got to Cadillac Ranch ok and walked down to take the required picture.  The rally book stated we must paint our first and last name as well as rider number on the roof or trunk of any car, then take a pic of ourselves including all. I had an issue with my flag blowing around and obscuring my number so I had to make 3 attempts at it before I got this. You have to look real close to see my info because I tried to use a paint pen instead of the spray paint that would have been much better.  I should have researched it better online and I would have known this.
I jumped back on the bike and headed for Palo Duro Canyon.  If you haven't been there before, it's really a pretty place and fun ride to the bottom.  I got passed by the eventual rally winner, Erik on the way down but that's ok, he was in it to win it, I was in it to finish.  Nice job Erik.  He was at the plaque when I arrived and was gracious enough to take the pic for me.
Rally Master Wayne had a great idea that changed things considerably for me and several other riders as well.  Originally, there was a list of 12 Texas icons worth 150 points each if you took a pic of them along the way.  At the start, it was announced that these icons would be worth 1500 points each instead.  Suddenly, I went from worrying about getting the required 25,000 points to be considered a finisher to knowing that I could relax a bit and have plenty of points just by picking up a few of these. Anyone collecting 10 or more would also get an extra 5,000 points.  I managed to get 5 of the icons, a windmill, a pump jack, a posted sign, a cactus, and a rodeo grounds.  Here are the pics of those.

I won't bore you with every single bonus I picked up but I rode my plan pretty well Friday but made the mistake of a newbie by not hydrating very well and I waited too long to grab anything to eat.  By 5 pm I had a thumping headache and at least 3 hours left to ride.  I made it to Sonora, Texas right at 9 pm after a harrowing ride on I10 where I just knew I'd have a close call with Bambi's daddy.  We were warned about I10 just after dark and just before dawn being very bad for deer in the road.  My route planned for me to be on it for both, not a great idea but I was lucky enough to avoid any mishaps.
The rally book called for a minimum rest bonus of 4 hours and 15 points per minute up to 8 hours.  I checked in to the motel, took some tylenol, and laid down with a cold wash cloth to try and get rid of my headache.
The alarm went off early on Saturday and I was feeling quite a bit better.  I got my rest bonus end receipt and a cup of coffee to start the day.  I already had enough points from Friday to be a finisher so I decided to take an easier route and make it safely to the finish on time.  I grabbed some great BBQ at Kreuz Market in Lockhart and headed to Austin for a noon picture bonus at the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue.  Parking here was bad so I parked about half a mile away and looked like a strange sight walking among all the joggers and walkers in my riding gear.  Just about everybody in the rally showed up at this bonus.  The rally book said that at exactly noon, 1 picture would be taken and for 2,000 points we had to be clearly visible in it with our rally flag as well.
After this picture, I hot footed it back to the bike and head for the next bonus, a pistol shoot near Killeen.  Here, we had to place our rally flag about 10 yards away, then shoot at it 3 times with either our pistol or one provided by the rally.  I opted to shoot a Ruger 9mm and managed to perforate my flag 3 times.  1 of the 3 was a flesh wound, just on the edge but a hit is a hit.
I had originally planned to get several more bonii after the pistol shoot but I was dragging and that nagging headache was starting to come back so I headed towards the rally check in location.  I had heard that I35 north was shut down due to an accident so I meandered north up highway 317 a while. This turned into a nice winding road and I was able to just relax and enjoy the ride.  At the start of the rally, our driver's license and insurance cards were sealed in an envelope.  At the end, if the envelope was still sealed, it was worth 5,000 points.  I only saw 3 or 4 troopers my entire ride and rode no more than 5 miles over the limit, so I had these points in the bag.
I made it to the rally check in just before 5 pm, completed my scoring paperwork, and was scored.  I had ridden just over 1200 miles, scored just over 30,000 points, and completed my first rally.  After a shower, the bar was open, we had some good food, and I met more riders.  The scoring took a while and the winners were announced just after 11 pm.  Congrats again to Erik and all of the riders who participated in the rally.  A special thanks to Steve B for giving me some rally routing pointers prior to the rally.  Texas is really very scenic and I'd encourage anyone to take a drive around to see it.  I'd like to thank Wayne and all the others for putting on the rally.  I think I'm hooked, it's cheaper than crack....barely.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Long Distance Riding Legend Is Gone

John Ryan, the man who would stop at nothing, is gone.  I'm sitting here this morning, unable to sleep, still thinking it's all a bad dream. John was killed yesterday in a motorcycle accident.  While I hadn't known known John very long or really all that well, I feel like a void has been created in my life.  I didn't meet John until this year's Very Boring Rally in Minnesota.  I had read about him and his long distance riding accomplishments including his record time of just over 86 hours from Alaska to Florida. So why is a usually non-sentimental guy like me at such a loss?

I just started riding motorcycles in late 2010 and did not discover long distance riding until mid 2011.  I started posting some of my accomplishments on Facebook and mentioned John in a couple of those.  One day I logged in and had a friend request from The John Ryan, I was thrilled.  I accepted the request and before too long, when I would post something about riding, a rant about liberals, or how a good guy shot a bad guy, I'd get a "like" from John.  Maybe stupid to some, but to me, it was exciting every single time.  His posts were always entertaining, even during that time he thought about quitting Facebook.  I loved reading the stories about Fubar Farms or how he thought Obama was the worst President ever.  It seemed we shared a bond that was hard to explain.  That's how John was to me, a legend but a guy who didn't act like it and took the time to make you feel like you belonged.

I met John briefly at the Aerostich Very Boring Rally this year and heard him speak.  I remember wanting to get there early in case the room filled up so I could sit close.  When I walked in the room, John was asleep on the stage, just sacked out in his Stich, not moving a muscle.  He woke up right at the starting time but was having some issues with his blood sugar level and ate some fruit before he started talking.  I could tell he wasn't comfortable in front of a crowd and would probably prefer to be out riding somewhere on his bike instead of speaking.  He talked for a while, then answered every question anyone had.  I remember how good natured he was with the ventriloquist when I'm sure he would have preferred to strangle the guy but there were too many witnesses.  I was so awestruck, I took a picture of his Yamaha parked just outside the front door.  It looked...well.....ridden.  John didn't care about the latest technology or a clean shiny bike, he liked to ride.  No bluetooth helmet, smartphone, or any other contraption, just him, the bike, and the road.

John and I were gong to share a room at the end of this month at the Iron Butt Association party in Dallas.  I was looking forward to it, but now I'm not sure I want to go.  I can hear John now though when he sees all of us mourning his loss and he'd probably say something like this "F it, I zigged when I should have zagged and that f-ing cager nailed me.  You guys don't sit around feeling sorry me, get off your ass and go ride."  I'll go ride, but I'll be a little less excited about knowing John's not here to "like" my post when I write about it.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Great Salt Plains

As I've mentioned before, the Tulsa BMW store has a summer adventure contest going on until the end of September.  They've picked several sites around the state, some with locations, and some you have to determine where they are based on the picture they've provided.  I've visited all but 4 of the sites and today it was the Great Salt Plains just west of Jet, OK.  I've lived in Oklahoma most of my 57 years and have never seen this area of the state.
My friend Tom and I rode up there this afternoon and stopped to enjoy some Eichen's chicken along the way in Okarche at the oldest bar in Oklahoma.  Tom had never been and didn't know quite what to expect but once he got past the no menu and chicken delivered with some wax paper to eat it off of, he liked it.
Tom used to live in this area and we took a short cut that led us down a gravel road that quickly turned to sand.  A bit of slipping and sliding but we made it without dropping the bikes and I have to say, it's pretty vast area of salt plains, in fact, I'd say great even.  Here's a pic of today's big adventure.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Rides between the rides

I've been back from my northwest ride a few weeks now and have mostly been just riding around locally and to a few more of the Tulsa BMW Summer Adventure tour locations.  I made runs last week NE to the Blue Whale at Catoosa, the big oil guy at Expo Center in Tulsa, Bartlesvile, Great Salt Plains Lake, and Ponca City.  Well...Ponca City was a screw up on my part, the correct item I'm supposed to photograph is The Pioneer Museum in Woodward, not the Pioneer Woman Museum in Ponca City.  Oh well, it was a nice week for riding, sure can't complain about highs in the 80's in August.
Later this week I'm headed north to the Very Boring Rally, The Aerostich company is putting on in Duluth, Minnesota.  Long distance riding legend, John Ryan will be speaking on Saturday as well as several other seminars and some nice riding.  I'll be able to add Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to my states ridden in map when I get back.
I'm also getting into a new game, long distance rallying.  My first attempt will be at the Big Texas Rally in October I've been thinking about this ever since the Iron Butt Rally in July.  This rally is 36 hours in length and most of us will ride between 900 and 1800 miles.  Basically, you get a rally packet with multiple locations called bonuses, each worth a certain number of points.  Some of these require a picture of you and your rally flag or bike, require you to take some other action, or answer a question about that location.  Your job is to take the packet, look at the locations, figure out how many you can safely ride to and still make it to the check in location on time.  There is a required rest bonus in this rally as well as at least one mandatory bonus stop.  It's not a race, more like a scavenger hunt on wheels.  I'm looking forward to giving it a try so be watching for my rally report after I ride in it.  That's it for today's update, I'll clue you in to all the excitement from this weekend's Very Boring Rally when I get back next Monday.  Here's a few pics of some summer adventure locations in Ok.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Northwest Ride Week 2 Report

After riding the twisting Highway 12 over to Missoula, Montana, I got a room, walked next door to Five Guys and just hung out the rest of the evening.  On Monday morning I got up, ate some breakfast and headed out southeast on I90 briefly before branching out on Highway 12 again.  This road is 2 lane blacktop for most of it and the speed limit is 70 mph, quite unlike Oregon.  While Montana is pretty scenic, it's a different, dryer landscape than Oregon.  After riding Highway 12, I jumped back on I90 for a while and then Hwy 78 down into Red Lodge for the night.  Red Lodge is a nice little town and I walked down to a local bar for a couple of glasses of locally brewed amber beer.  Good stuff!  There was also a stream flowing nicely right beside the motel I stayed at.  I'd like to spend more time there at some point in the future.

Tuesday morning I got up early, loaded up the bike and headed south for Beartooth Pass, one of my favorite motorcycle roads in America.  I had ridden there last year with Shannon on the back on our way to Yellowstone but wanted to ride it again by myself to hit the curves a little faster.  I had a great time riding it and saw some more great scenery along the way as you can see in this video.

Not quite as extreme as Beartooth Pass but still a great ride is the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway from the south end of Beartooth over to Cody, Wyoming.  I took one picture of my bike near a curve that had some lens flare that actually looks pretty cool.
I also used the GoPro Hero 2 to record some video.  I got a little too confident on some of the curves and a tar snake almost bit me, causing me to drift slightly over the yellow line.  Fortunately, no other vehicle was coming so I got away with it.
After Beartooth and Chief Joseph, I stopped in Cody for lunch at Irma's, an old restaurant and hotel.  This mirror on the bar serves as a reminder how great a country we live in.
After lunch, I left Cody and rode on down to Casper, WY where my daughter, son in law, and grandkids are living.  I spent a couple of nights there and hung out with them.  Walker is 6 and Raegan is 4, they are both growing up very fast.  Michelle is a great mom too.  She took me to Rotary Park in Casper where they have a cool little waterfall where the kids and I posed for a pic.
After staying with them a couple of days, I took off early Friday morning and headed on down to Paonia, Colorado for the Top Of The Rockies Rally.  My friend Ron has a cabin not too far from there and met me.  We spent most of the day Saturday riding highway 550 down to Durango and back.  It was the first time I've ridden in this area and it is some of the best roads I've ever ridden.  Unfortunately, I uploaded the video straight to facebook instead of my computer first so you'll have to check them out there if you want to watch them.
Ron and I left early Sunday morning, he headed to the cabin and I headed 780 miles back to Moore.  The first hour of our trip was pretty scary riding down Hwy 92 in the rain, fog, and local deer convention.  Maybe it was my new lights, but I saw more deer in that 1 hour trip down the mountain, than I've seen in all my other riding combined.  That, combined with rain, fog, and 20 mph curves, made for some tense riding.
Once we hit Highway 50 though things got easier, still some nice curves and scenery but no rain or fog.  Ron followed me over to I25 and left it to me to ride the rest of the way home.  It was nice riding weather until I got to flat, hot, windy Oklahoma.  I made the mistake of coming thru the panhandle and that has to be some of the most boring riding in all the land.
I got home around 9:30 Sunday night, about 14 1/2 hours of riding that day.  I was definitely ready for a cold beer and sleeping in a real bed.
I rode a total of 5605 miles on this little 2 week jaunt and saw some great scenery along the way.  I'd never been to Oregon, Washington, or Idaho before and all 3 states were great to ride in.  The bike ran great, I had no problems, and I'm ready to go again.  I washed the 10 states of dirt off my bike Monday and added 3 states to the little map on back of it to show the states I've ridden in.  The bike has just over 38,000 miles on it now, is out of warranty, and is resting up this week before she gets fresh oil next week.  I  hope you enjoyed reading about my little trip, I sure enjoyed taking it.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Ride Northwest Week 1

As I've already blogged about, my trip to Salem, OR for the BMW MOA rally began with a Bun Burner Gold ride to Boise, Idaho.  I returned home last night after riding 5605 miles since July 14th.

After finishing the BBG, I spent a couple of nights in Boise.  My Cousin Randy was kind enough to take Tuesday off and show me some of the great scenery around the mountains there.  I hadn't seen him in 18 years so it was good to catch up.  Here's a pic of Randy with a great view behind him.
I left Boise on Wednesday morning and rode over towards Salem.  Both western Idaho and Oregon are very pretty.  The ride in Oregon was along a nice river with winding roads and big rock formations.  As I got closer to Salem, I started seeing all the mountains.  The trees were so thick along the road, my satellite radio signal faded in and out.  Here are a couple of pics of Oregon scenery.

What really surprised me is that the speed limits in Oregon are 55 mph on almost every road.  As an example, a nice smooth road in Oregon has a limit of 55 mph while a 2 lane country road in Montana has a limit of 70 mph.  Oregon also requires gas station attendants to pump gas but for a motorcycle they can hand you the pump handle.  
I got to the rally and checked in Wednesday afternoon.  I was surprised at how many people had already set up their tents.  I have a nice little Nemo Morpho 2 that is very easy to set up and take down. Here is a pic of my camp set up with my nifty Kermit chair that I wrote about before.
The rally was fun and I attended several seminars on various topics ranging from using the GPS and Basecamp to slow speed maneuvering.  I also got a set of Clearwater Krista lights installed on my RT.  These things really light up the night.  The good news is you see animals that you never knew were there, the bad news is you see a lot of animals.  I bet I saw 20-30 deer while riding back to Oklahoma. I think they look pretty slick on the bike too.

While at the BMW rally, I rode over to the Oregon coast and north on Highway 101.  It was chilly and windy along the coast but some great riding.  I camped at the rally Wed thru Sat nights, then loaded up and took off early Sunday morning for Missoula, Montana via Wallawalla, Washington and highway 12.  This sign is on highway 12 and when it says 99 miles of winding roads, it means it.  Here is a video taken near the summit of Lolo Pass.  Look for the deer near the end of it. I made it to Missoula and checked into a local motel to celebrate the end of week one of my road trip.  Week 2 will be posted shortly.  I also took a few videos of riding along the coast.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Longest Ride Of My Life

I've been thinking about trying to ride a Bun Burner Gold,   A ride of more than 1500 miles in less than 24 hours. Since this years national BMW MOA rally is in Salem, OR and I have a cousin that lives in Boise, ID, it was the perfect opportunity to give it a try. I did a little planning and decided to leave at 8:00 PM on Sunday, July 14. The reasoning behind this was I thought it would be better to get the night riding part over first on roads I was fairly familiar with. 

Sunday finally came and wouldn't you know it, it rained most of the day. I thought about waiting a day but decided to just stick with my original plan. I have good riding gear, an Aerostich Darien Light jacket and pants along with BMW Touring Pro boots that keep me nice and dry. The day dragged along and although I tried to take an afternoon nap, I was too wound up to be able to get any sleep. 8 PM finally came and I pulled into the gas station to fill up and get my starting receipt. Wouldn't you know it, the receipt printer at the pump malfunctioned and I had to go inside to get one. This was not a good feeling for the start of the ride. But as I jumped on I40 and headed east, a rainbow spread across the sky signaling the end of the rain and maybe a sign for a good ride ahead. 

The ride north on I35 was uneventful with pleasant weather and just an occasional sprinkle to keep me nice and cool. The sunset to the west was pretty and dusk slowly turned to dark. I haven't done much night riding and I was a little apprehensive about it. As I crossed the Kansas border and managed to pay the toll without dropping my bike I was approaching my first gas stop. When I pulled into a station just north of Wichita my bike's engine died for no apparent reason. I coasted to the pump and started it again. It started fine and I have no idea why it died other than to give me a near heart attack. I gassed up and headed on up I135 to Salina then started the dreaded long trek west on I70. If you've never ridden across I70 thru Kansas, let me tell you, it is the most boring motorcycle ride in the world. To help pass the time, I listened to an Audible book titled The Man Who Would Stop At Nothing, by Lisa Holbrook Pierson, .
This book is about her motorcycle riding, long distance riding in general, and long distance riding legend, John Ryan. It kept me entertained all the way across Kanasa and north on I25 thru Colorado. This stretch of road was problem free and I only saw one deer cross the road in front of me. He was moving about as fast as I was and neither one of us cared to meet each other. 

After I crossed the Wyoming border just after sunrise, I turned west on I80 and set the cruise a couple of miles over the 75 mile per hour speed limit.  It took a while but it was smooth sailing across the  wide open country with only a little bit of fog and temperatures in the high 50's with light winds.  Just before Salt Lake City, I turned northwest and the temperature started to climb as I left Utah and entered Idaho.  This was my first time riding in Idaho so now I can add that state to my little US map on the bike showing what states I've ridden in. Did I say the temperature started to rise?  It got hotter and hotter and I began to lose both energy and the will to continue.  I kept thinking to myself, if those guys  can ride over 11,000 miles in 11 days, I can finish the 200 miles.  It seemed like the odometer clicked off 1 mile at a time but I grew closer and closer to the magical 1500  mile mark.

I finally made it to Boise right at 4:45 but decided to ride on to Nampa just to be sure to have enough miles for anyone reviewing the ride certification I will submit.  As I pulled into the gas pump it was 4:59 pm local time or 21 hours and 59 minutes after leaving my starting point in Oklahoma City and 1528 miles.  I had made it on my first Bun Burner Gold attempt. After gassing up, I rode back over to Boise, found a motel and checked in.  I took a cold shower, walked over to a nearby restaurant and had a steak.  I was in bed by 8 pm and although I was sore all over, slept better than I do most nights.  All and all it wasn't that difficult of a ride since it was all interstate and good riding conditions for most of the trip.  I can now submit my paperwork and look forward to putting that license plate backer on my bike.  Now it's on to Salem, Oregon for the nation BMW MOA forum, at a more leisurely pace. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Chair

The Kermit Chair is very popular among motorcycle campers and I bought one at last year's RA Rally in Copper Mountain, Colorado.  They pack down very small so they're easy to fit on a motorcycle with my other camping gear.  In fact, I can get my sleeping bag, air mattress, jetboil stove, pillow, hatchet, tent, and coffee making equipment all in 1 Helen 2 wheels large drawstring sack.  The Kermit chair with leg extensions and cup holder fits in a smaller sack and both strap onto the rear seat of the bike easily.
One service Kermit offers is embroidery of your name and a motoman on the chair back.  I had asked Shannon to use her super duper new sewing machine with embroidery attachment to put my name, forum handle, and blog address on the left side with a picture of my R1200RT on the right.  She did a great job and I'm sure I'll be the envy of all the campers next week at the BMW MOA Rally in Salem, Oregon.  Here are a few pics of her handiwork:

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Short Twisty Ride

Fun little road out of Devil's Den State Park in Arkansas.

Where is LngRdr?

One device I use while on long rides is a Spot tracker , a device that tracks my progress and also has a messaging function for normal updates or to send the cavalry in case I have an accident or am pinned down by a group of Hell's Angels and down to my last magazine.  Most of the long distance riders use them as a tool to let loved one's know they are still ok and also to document their rides.  In fact, the Iron Butt Rally is currently in progress and as you can see from this link showing their progress, they are making a fast track across the country, picking up as many bonus locations as they can before the end of Leg 2 in Sacramento. IBR public Spotwalla .
I'm nowhere near the accomplished long distance rider of these guys but I do occasionally put a few miles on Bridget the Beemer in a day.  Yesterday, I rode over to Arkansas, met up with my friend John in Ft. Smith, and he led me on a tour of some twisty back roads up to Eureka Springs where we had a nice lunch before riding back down highway 21 to I40.  I decided to ride on home and made it in about 9:45.  Not a bad day of riding from my 6:30 am departure from home.  Maybe I might make a long distance rider yet.  Here's my spot tracker route from my little ride to eat.  Thanks John for a nice day of Arkansas twisty roads.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Tulsa BMW Summer Adventure

The BMW dealer in Tulsa,  Iron Lightning is having a summer adventure contest where you ride your bike to several places around Oklahoma as pictured in the passport book they handed out.  Some of the locations are named and some are up to the rider to figure out what and where they are.  Once you ride to the location, you take a picture of the location with you and/or your bike included.
The contest runs from July 1 until September and is a fun way to see some of the sites in Oklahoma.  Today, we rode to the roaring metropolis of Gene Autry, OK to take a picture of the bike with the Gene Autry museum in the background.  It was a good day for a ride and we took the long way down, Hwy 9 east to Hwy 102 south, Hwy 39 east to Hwy 177 south, to Hwy 53 west.  On the way home we rode Hwy 77 north thru the Turner Falls area, stopped for a fried pie, then hit I35 north for the rest of the trip.  A total ride of just under 200 miles in just less than 4 hours.  I ran my gas gauge all the way down to just 10 miles remaining and hope I can make it to the gas station in the morning before I run out.  Here's a picture of yours truly and Bridget The Beemer in front of the Gene Autry sign.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Weekend Riding

Went on a couple of short rides this weekend around my usual routes. My friend Kevin and I did the Hwy 9 to Hwy 102 south route yesterday with a nice ride along Slaughterville Road. I just found this road last week and its got some fun hills and curves. My riding partner, Missy and I went around Lake Draper and Starbucks as well. 
This morning I rode Hwy 102 north to Rt 66 and then into Edmond for lunch with my daughter and grand kids. The high today was only in the 80's so it was pleasant riding conditions. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ride plan for BMW MOA rally and Iron Butt Bun Burner Gold attempt

I'll be posting my trips this summer on this blog.  My next big adventure is to the BMW MOA rally in Salem, Oregon. I plan to leave on July 13th and attempt a Bun Burner Gold, Iron Butt ride of 1537 miles in less than 24 hours to just the other side of Boise, ID.  I have a cousin that lives near there I can visit before I meander at a much easier pace up towards Salem.  I'm not sure about my return route yet but thinking about going over to Missoula, Montana, then down Hwy 89 thru Beartooth Pass, Chief Joseph Highway, and Wyoming.  I may go to the Top Of the Rockies Rally before I head on home. You can check out the IBA here . Here's my planned route as it stands right now.