Motorcycle Saga Continues

So I went on a really nice big ride last week up to the Grumpy Troll in Wisconsin with RTRC. I have come to learn that any ride lead by Martin in the group results in an all day adventure. I have no problem with that, but we were out riding from 9:30 until about 8:00 pm that night. Of course my GPS seems to have failed on me with dead batteries again so I did not get the route. I reeally need to keep a closer eye on that sort of stuff. 

Also my saga for a new motorcycle is slowing continuing. I am sort of actively looking for something and have calls into two dealers. We will see if something develops, but I can't say that my experience with either dealer has been stellar as of yet. I feel like I need to pull teeth to get any sort of information out of them. You would think they would be making more strides to get me content when they have a person approaching them with a potential sale. 

If it happens it happens, if not I will truck along perfectly fine on my ZR-7. Actually I suppose I should say I might. Even if this purchase through a dealer doesn't play out I have a real inkling to try and sell or trade my ZR-7 on Craigslist for a dual sport, likely a KLR. Something about the dual sporting really seems appealing to me and I figure at this point I will get a standard street bike again eventually so why not get the dual sport in the garage?

Again, I think we will just sort of see what happens. 

The war of the rabbits.

August 10th, 2012

The war with the rabbits has been on going for almost three years now. Both countries to the north and to the west appear to have been invaded and completely conquered by these free loving savages. I am surprised that the north was conquered due the border protection they had from their Dramatic Ordinance Gunnery System (D.O.G.S.), but the enemy appears to have gone underground and is fighting with guerrilla warfare. Ultimately it appears to be stalemate with no side gaining an upper hand at this point. 

Initial encounters with the rabbits were mostly benign, but it is clear now the mistake we all made three years ago. What was once thought to be a mutual trade agreement of foraging in exchange for cat entertainment was clearly just a ruse for the rabbits to determine the weaknesses of our command infrastructure. 

This afternoon our uneasy stalemate was destroyed. While doing standard reconnaissance and mowing one of our scouts on patrol found an old chipmunk hole to apparently be inhabited by the rabbits. This clearly is a breach of the Beatrix P. treaty of 2010 and definitely and act of aggression towards our way of life. Without further intel we can only assume this location is being setup as a forward operating base for future invasion plans. 

Word was quickly passed to the Home Committee and to the Prime Minister and an emergency meeting was called. Recognizing the quick downfall of both the east and northern territories over the past years a decision was quickly made to immediately neutralize the situation. A vote was held and with no opposition a full nuclear strike was ordered to neutralize the threat and impart a decisive blow against the invader. It has been determined that a strong response is required, something that will get their attention. 

Therefore issued as of 15:00 hours all command line troops have been given a green light for a full artillery strike with an 80lb wet mix concrete bunker buster. Those issuing the order recognize the importance of the measure, but we all pray that any troops in that bunker get out before the final round.

God help them all.......

May and June Donations

Slowly but surely I am catching up to my monthly charitable donations. My May Donation is for the ASPCA. I am sure we have all seen the commericals with Sarah Mclachlan in them that tear at your heart strings (i might just cry typing this). As I have said before I am a sucker when it comes to caring for animals. The ASPCA seems like an obvious choice.

My June donation is for the Garfield Conservatory in Lincoln Park. Last year they suffered a devistating blow when a hail storm knocked out a large portion of the windows at the conservatory. 

The Convervatory has always been one of my favorite places to visit whenver I went to the Lincoln Park Zoo. I have always found greenhouses and conservatories incredibly calming. So warm and quiet inside. I often times went to the green houses at University of Illinois when I was there during the winter just to escape the cold and drab weather and the stresses of the school. They were an incredibly meditative place in all of thecrazy that is sometimes a college campus. 

Ridelog: 07-21-12: C9Y Iowa

View Ridelog: 07-21-12: C9Y Iowa in a larger map

Yesterday I went on a very long trip with the RTRC group and a few others. We rode our way out to highway C9Y in Iowa. Approximately 543 miles round trip. The trip was a blast and everyone in the group was great.

No motorcyle issues with anyone, but I did have a spin out myself when we stopped on an uphill piece of road that was going to be chip and sealed and only had the chip down. It was basically gravel. It's trips like this one that really make me wish I had a GoPro for my bike as some of the views along the Mississippi River were quite nice.

Ride Log: 07-15-12

View Ride Log: 07-15-12 in a larger map

This GPS track unfortunately is only about half of my ride today. I found out that my GPS died about half way through the ride. I am left now not knowing exactly were we rode.

This was another breakfast ride up to Full Moon and then northwest into the Kettle Moraine area of Wisconsin. Overall we had some excellent riding and the roads were great with some fun twisties. Unfortunately, about two thirds of the way into our ride one person in our group crashed in a turn. I didn't see the crash but it was pretty bad. Her bike is likely totaled and she may have a broken leg. Unsure at this point, but it appears she is OK. She was lucky that she did not hit any trees where we were, so count our blessings on that.

April Donation: Rolling Dog Farm

So I have totally dropped the ball on updating my donations for the past couple of months, but I plan to get back up to speed on that. 

My April donation is to Rolling Dog Ranch. Rolling Dog Ranch is a rescue ranch for disabled dogs and horses. 

Rolling Dog Farm rescues and shelters disabled dogs and horses. They come to us from humane societies, animal control shelters and rescue groups across the country, literally from coast to coast. Every animal who arrives at the farm gets another chance to have a safe and loving home. Most of our dogs are blind, while some are blind and deaf, and others have neurological and orthopedic issues. Our horses are blind. Although these animals may have disabilities, they do not consider themselves handicapped. They just want to get on with life and enjoy themselves.

Actually Jack Hanna does an amazing job in this video showcasing and explaining the ranch. You can find more information about the work they do as well as information on each of the animals over at their website: 

L.A.T.E. Ride 2012

This past weekend Megan and I attended the annual L.A.T.E. Ride of Chicago. This is a night bicycle ride through the various neighborhoods of Chicago design to raise money for the parks. It usually has a great turnout of 5,000 - 6,000 people. This year however seems to have a much larger number of people show up. I learned later that there was a Groupon at some point over the past several months.

Unfortunately it seems that this influx of people had a pretty detrimental effect on the overall event. Right out of the gate the starting times were excruciatingly slow. We were in the third group of riders and in the past the organizers generally late groups go about every ten minutes. This year the groups were let out in about twenty minute intervals, so we didn't even get out of the gate until an hour later. 

Pace for the event was excruciatingly slow. Now this is not a race, but it seems that some of the people participating in the event didn't even know the most basic of riding etiquette, riding 6-8 across the street. 

To top it off when we arrived at the rest stop half way through the course all of the water, bananas and snacks were gone. More than half of the participants must have still been on the course, so clearly there was some sort of breakdown in communication. 

Overall not the greatest of events this year, and to top things off the front brake on my bike broke right when we got there. I have a decent Trek 820 that I have had since eighth grade. The bike is in OK shape, but is at least fifteen years old at this point. I think it might be time to get myself a new casual bike for riding around town in addition to a road bike for exercise. 

Ridelog: 05/20/12 - Road & Track Riders of Chicago

View 05-20-12 Ride Log in a larger map

The weather finally cooperated this weekend and I think just about everyone was able to get out for a ride. I finally had a change to ride with RTRC. We met up initally in Schaumburg and then road north to have breakfast at a resturant called The Full Moon Family Resturant. It seems to be quite the biker hangout. The ride continued on throught he Highland Park area where we at one point stopped at a nice beach on Lake Michigan. 

Hard work and a bit of disappointment

It has been a couple of weeks since I have had the opportunity to get out and ride. Last week I posted a status update on some of the upgrades I have been working on for the ZR-7. It was around that same time that I had been looking at the Powerbronze fender eliminator for the bike. To just my unluck I found this kit exactly one week after the manufacturer had decided to discontinue it. THe timing was truly remarkable and after following up with two different US distributors it seems I missed the boat. So in order to avoid a similar future fate I decided to bite the bullet and purchase the Competition Werks fender eliminator. 

Now this kit is stainless steel compared to the fiberglass of the PB kit. It has some advantages and disadvantageous over the other, but it seems it was my only option. It arrived this past week and I was not completely planning on installing it for a while, but I was planning for a nice bike ride up to Lake Geneva on Saturday (more on that in a bit) so I wanted to get it installed for the big ride. 

So Friday afternoon I went at it. Overall the kit was fairly easily to install once you figure out how it goes. The biggest problem was the instruction manual was absolute garbage. If anyone plans on getting this kit themselves, my advice is to just look at the photos and work your way from front to back on putting all of the screws in. I spent probably a good thirty minutes trying to figure out where the signal panels went before realizing that they went on the outside of the kit. Overall though the end results turned out pretty good. 

So the point of getting that thing installed as quickly as I could was to get ready for a large ride up to Lake Geneva this weekend with the Road & Track Riders of Chicago. Unfortunately my neighborhood got nailed by thunderstorms and I couldn't get out to meet up with the group and I was left with another weekend of no riding. Needless to say I was very disappointed.