Month: November 2010

Frukost i öknen

Cool vid of two 650 Dakars in the desert.

Garmin eTrex Legend C


illness on Flickr”>New (to me) GPS

Today I bought a “new to me” GPS unit that I found on Craigslist. It’s a Garmin eTrex Legend C, which is similar in appearance to my old eTrex Legend, but has some important advantages. First, it’s got a color screen which is much easier to read in daylight. Although it is has less pixels, it presents the data better and the scrolling is much quicker. Another plus is that it uses the same bike mount as my Legend so I can just swap the backplate instead of buying a whole new one.

A huge advantage this unit has over my old one is that it has a mini-USB connection. This means I can connect it to my computer to transfer data back and forth easily. My old Legend had a serial connection only, and who the heck has a serial port on their computers anymore? The USB connection also gives the Legend C its biggest advantage–the USB cord is used as a power source. I routed a USB cable up to the handlebars and now the GPS has unlimited juice. No more worrying about battreries! FYI, the other USB cable is routed up into the tankbag, and I can plug my G1 into it.

New (to me) GPS

I’m still learning all the new features on the new GPS but there appears to be tons more fun stuff plus more memory for maps. Although this model is an old one (discontinued and pretty much obsolete compared to modern GPS units), it is going to be perfect as a trip computer, which is one thing that my bike lacks. And all for only $30!

Fun Vid with Royal Enfields

Iran and Pakistan 2/3 Holland to Nepal on BMW R1200GS

and cialis 40mg on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/barron/4773058660/”>Gaerne Panorama Boots

I got some proper boots for the motorbike: Gaerne Panorama boots. They are rated pretty good and aren’t too expensive. Italian boot-maker Gaerne has a good reputation too. They may be a little warm for summer riding, but I am somewhat tolerant of the heat so I should be ok.
no rx on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/barron/4773058660/”>Gaerne Panorama Boots

I got some proper boots for the motorbike: Gaerne Panorama boots. They are rated pretty good and aren’t too expensive. Gaerne has a good reputation too. They may be a little warm for summer riding, but I am somewhat tolerant of the heat so I should be ok.
We’ve been away for over a week on vacation and while it was a lot of fun, page I did miss riding my GS. This week has been pretty rainy during the day so I haven’t had a chance to ride it until this evening. Riding off for a very quick 15-minute cruise was super-fun! The bike felt so nimble and easy to ride. The controls felt natural and shifting was a breeze. It’s the best taking off out of my garage and up our inclined driveway while standing. So simple but feels so good. And during the ride I didn’t really have to think of riding procedure either. In other words, pill when I was accelerating I just thought about getting up to the right speed as opposed to “twist throttle, somnology let off throttle, pull in clutch lever, toe-shift up, out with clutch lever while matching throttle”. All that procedure was done without thinking. Also, when coming up to a stop, the braking, downshifting, and stopping was all so smooth that I could focus on traffic and other drivers. I was actually kind of surprised that it seemed so effortless! Even though motorcycling is always a learning experience (as I have heard and read), I think I just completed an important step towards safer riding. Now I can focus more attention on situational awareness and enjoying the ride and less attention on the mechanics.

Oh, and I can get into my ATGATT gear in less than a minute, plus change the helmet faceshield in a few seconds!
viagra here on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/barron/4850736418/”>On the Way to Pedernales Falls

The other weekend I went for a nice long ride out to Pedernales Falls State Park. The morning air was so crisp and clean and smelled great. When I arrived at the park, human enhancement it was already getting hot and when I hided down to the overlook I was sweating like a pig! It didn’t help that I was wearing my Revit overpants and Gaerne boots. But I did get to try out something that I heard about on Sidestand Up: cooling down using a wet shirt and letting the wind bring down the temperature. It really works! My textile (not mesh) jacket isn’t really made for summer riding, but it does have vents in the front and back, so air can pass through easily. What I did was to dunk my undershirt under the park’s bathroom sink and get it all wet from the chest up. Then when I was on the road at about 30mph and up I was nice and cool. It really did work! The only problem was that my shirt is the synthetic athletic shirt that wicks away moisture real quick. So after about a half hour of riding, it wasn’t so cool. Maybe I will try a regular cotton shirt next time.

After leaving Pedernales, I headed north and visited Inks Lake State Park. (I have a park pass, so no need to pay admission) While Pedernales only had a few visitors who were hiking or fishing, Inks Lake was packed with picnickers and boaters. It was kind of a madhouse. I pretty much just used their restroom, cooled down again, then rode around the park a bit before leaving. The ride home via Highway 29 was fast and fun and I was back home around lunchtime. Another nice Sunday morning ride!

Miles traveled : 173 at ~64mpg
decease 0,40,0″>

I haven’t posted in a while now, but I have been riding. Over the Labor Day weekend I put on quite a few miles, heading out to Cow Creek, where I took the video above. It was kind of an experiment to see if I could get some better video with less vibration. I guess it is a little better, but nothing compared to a nice smooth 4-cylinder bike. On Sunday I went out East for a quick ride around Pflugerville. Monday was a longer 103-miler up 183 to Lampasas and back. That was a fun ride and it was actually chilly! I just had a short-sleeve shirt under my jacket, and I had to turn on the heated grips.

Pinhole BMW

This morning I went back up to Lampasas, then rode on a smaller County Road (CR41) which was really interesting, just riding a narrow road that gives access to several ranches and home. I really enjoyed that because you can really look around and take in all the scenery and beautiful sky.

Lampasas County Courthouse

I am loving my motorcycle more with each ride I go on. It’s perfect for slow exploring on the County Roads, but also has enough power to comfortable cruise at 75mph. The seating position is nice to because you can lean forward in a low position if you want to cut down wind resistance, you can sit upright comfortably, you can scooch your butt back if you want, and even stand up on the pegs. So far I’ve put on 2,421 miles on the GS and they have all been pretty great.
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This morning I decided that instead of heading out for a long ride, I would just ride around Austin and take it easy. It was a beautiful morning, with relatively cool temperatures. First, I hopped on the freeway (first time riding on the freeway actually!) and rode down 183 and stopped at a Starbucks for some caffeine. A double-espresso down the hatch and I was off again. I rode down Loop 360 and decided to take a photo by the Pennybacker Bridge. I was making a u-turn when I misjudged the angle of the ground, and then bike came down. It’s funny because I was thinking I could make the u-turn before some oncoming cars came but decided to play it safe and come to a stop and let them pass. When I put my left foot down, it was a bit lower than I was expecting. I knew instantly that the bike was going down, so I hopped off, then reached down and turned off the bike. I was getting ready to lift up the bike when a driver pulled next to me and offered to help. I said sure and while we were righting the bike, he says, “Yeah, been there, done that.” It’s good to know that motorcyclists tend to look after one-another. Well, here’s the picture of my bike and the bridge. At the end of this post are the photos of the damage to the bike.

Pennybacker Bridge

After the photo break I continued south on 360, then took Bee Cave to Barton Springs, then rode around South Congress and downtown. Pretty fun to ride in the city with tall buildings on either side of you, especially when there is no traffic. Then I rode up Lamar Blvd, made a left on 35th and rode by Mount Bonnell. 2222 up to Volente and then back home was tons of fun. Lots of twisties. The video above is the short stretch on 2222 above The County Line BBQ.

It was a really nice ride, and I was back home by 9am! Total miles: 60.

Bar End

Clutch Lever
This evening I rode my motorcycle to the drugstore to pick up a prescription. There’s a small detour on the way that leads down a couple side streets in a quiet neighborhood. I was rounding a corner when I heard some barking, hospital then looked down to see a brown and white dog making a beeline towards me. In no time he was literally nipping at my heels and biting my ankles. After I straightened the bike I hit the throttle and took off. That’s one more good reason to wear a tough pair of boots!
treatment 0, drugs 40, anesthetist 0″>

I haven’t posted in a while now, but I have been riding. Over the Labor Day weekend I put on quite a few miles, heading out to Cow Creek, where I took the video above. It was kind of an experiment to see if I could get some better video with less vibration. I guess it is a little better, but nothing compared to a nice smooth 4-cylinder bike. On Sunday I went out East for a quick ride around Pflugerville. Monday was a longer 103-miler up 183 to Lampasas and back. That was a fun ride and it was actually chilly! I just had a short-sleeve shirt under my jacket, and I had to turn on the heated grips.

Pinhole BMW

This morning I went back up to Lampasas, then rode on a smaller County Road (CR41) which was really interesting, just riding a narrow road that gives access to several ranches and home. I really enjoyed that because you can really look around and take in all the scenery and beautiful sky.

Lampasas County Courthouse

I am loving my motorcycle more with each ride I go on. It’s perfect for slow exploring on the County Roads, but also has enough power to comfortable cruise at 75mph. The seating position is nice to because you can lean forward in a low position if you want to cut down wind resistance, you can sit upright comfortably, you can scooch your butt back if you want, and even stand up on the pegs.
this web on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/barron/5039891545/”>Sept 26th Ride

The air is getting cooler here in Central Texas and it’s perfect riding weather. In fact, therapy the mornings can be a little cold. Even a mild 72°F can get pretty chilly when the wind is hitting you at 70mph! With that in mind, treat I put on a long sleeve T over my usual workout shirt before zipping up my jacket and heading out.

I decided to go south on 620 again then out towards Pedernales Falls. There are some really nice roads out there. I really need to keep my camera on the handlebar mount and ready to take a photo, because I come upon some really nice views, but they are gone in a flash. For instance, riding down Crumley Ranch Road affords some beautiful Hill Country vistas.

On Fitzhugh Road I came up on a water crossing which was maybe about 10 feet long, and I thought I slowed down enough but when I went through, the water kicked up with such force that my feet got knocked off the pegs and water flew up everywhere, soaking me and my bike. That shook me up a bit, but then the water on the outside of the jacket started making me cold. I had to turn on the heated grips to high in order to warm up. I have to say that it was pretty fun though!

Next I rode towards Willow City, where the Willow City Loop begins. I thought about riding it, but decided to wait until I could go with a friend. The road I took to get there (1323) was great. A decent amount of twisties and no traffic. When I passed the other endpoint of the Willow City Loop, I saw a couple motorcyclists hanging out under the trees. I thought at first that they were a couple of motorcycle police, and I cut throttle as soon as I saw them. When I passed them and waved, I think they were laughing at me. I’m just glad it wasn’t a policeman sitting there giving out “performance certificates”.

During this ride I wore some earplugs that my friend Jeremy gave me. They are the simple foam ones from Home Depot, but they work great and are very comfortable. It really makes riding more enjoyable. If you don’t know, riding above 60mph gets very loud not because of the bike, but because of wind noise. It depends on the helmet of course, but earplugs are definitely the way to go. I am a convert. The only downside to them is that you get so comfortable on the bike that it is easier to go way over the speed limit. You just don’t realize you are going so fast. Just gotta get used to it I guess.

On the way back I took good ol 1431 which is always fun. Zero traffic and lots of twisties is a dream! I was back before 11am and ready to spend the rest of the weekend relaxing with the family.
Took a quick ride over to the library this evening, mind and Autumn is definitely in the air! Not only is it a lot cooler, syringe but many houses have fires going in their fireplaces. And since it isn’t too late, lots of people have their barbecues going. This is part of what makes riding on a motorcycle so fun. You are really right in the elements, not having everything filtered through a windshield or air conditioning system. Sometimes the smells are not so great, like riding past a skunk or cow manure, but burning fireplace logs and BBQ totally make up for those times. They say the sense of smell can evoke vivid memories, and tonight I remembered the last time I experienced these things on a bike. I was still riding my little Supercub probably about a year ago. That was really a fun little motorbike. But the bigger bike is much better.
Took a quick ride over to the library this evening, mind and Autumn is definitely in the air! Not only is it a lot cooler, syringe but many houses have fires going in their fireplaces. And since it isn’t too late, lots of people have their barbecues going. This is part of what makes riding on a motorcycle so fun. You are really right in the elements, not having everything filtered through a windshield or air conditioning system. Sometimes the smells are not so great, like riding past a skunk or cow manure, but burning fireplace logs and BBQ totally make up for those times. They say the sense of smell can evoke vivid memories, and tonight I remembered the last time I experienced these things on a bike. I was still riding my little Supercub probably about a year ago. That was really a fun little motorbike. But the bigger bike is much better.
for sale
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A cool little video for those who like motorcycle adventure travel.

2011 BMW G650 GS

Last week I got a phone call from my sister-in-law’s dad, stuff Richard. He said that my brother Kevin told him that I had a new motorcycle. Well, Richard was in San Antonio for a couple weeks and brought his bike and has been riding all around the Hill Country. He asked if I wanted to meet up on the weekend and go for a ride, and I of course said I’d love to. I had only rode solo before so this would be a new experience for me. I had no idea what kind of bike Richard rode, or if he wore a helmet even. I was somewhat surprised when he arrived at our house on a nicely farkled BMW R1100 RS, dressed ATGATT with a Revit Air mesh jacket and Shoei modular helmet. Pretty cool gear! After a short visit with my family we fueled up the bikes and headed out.

Of course we took 1431 west from Cedar Park. It was great weather, with clouds covering the sun and a mild temperature. We got caught behind a couple cars, but it was still a lot of fun. At Marble Falls, we headed south towards Round Mountain, then west again towards Willow City. I wanted to try the Willow City Loop since I’ve read a little about it and it seemed like it would be fun. I was not disappointed at all! It’s a pretty slow road; I kept it at around 30-35 mph and flipped up my faceshield to enjoy the breeze. The loop is very popular when the wildflowers are in bloom, with bumper to bumper traffic even! For us however, we only saw a couple cars (locals) and one group of motorcycles pass us in the other direction. The scenery itself is pretty great. The road gives some amazing vistas, and then drops down into a small canyon with cliff-faces off to the right side. There were several dry water crossings, and two that still had water. They were a little slick but nothing too terrible. Pretyy much the entire loop was fantastic. Lots of trees, a few deer and cows, and a really nice creek. It was almost like a good hike, but without the physical exertion. I think it is a road that you really need to ride if you are in the area (and it’s not wildflower season!).

After we finished the loop, we rode up to Llano for lunch and coffee. It was about 2:30 when we parted ways, with Richard heading south back down to San Antonio and myself heading east back home. It was a great day and I look forward to riding with Richard in the future.

Barron and Richard

The “new” G650 GS has been announced, diabetes and pregnancy and it looks pretty cool. It’s basically the same engine and frame as before, surgery but with updated body plastics, case headlight, and dash. I really like the updated look, which brings it in line with the F800 and 1200 GS bikes. It’s got the asymmetrical headlights and a digital readout on the dash. Apart from those details, there’s a slightly smaller fuel tank, heated handgrips are optional, and instead of spoked wheels, they are cast. These may be an upgrade to some, or a downgrade to others. Still, I’m glad BMW is keeping the single-cylinder bike going and many parts should be exactly the same. I’m wondering if that two-tone seat will fit on my 2007 GS?

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