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Sunday, October 4th 2015

5:10 PM

Some Days It Works Regardless

I had determined to head toward McMinnville and run wonderful Hwy 30. It was a bit cool and wet, so a good chance to try out  some of my new gear.

But. I find that the heated vest I was planning to use had been fouled by the cat. So, hand wash and drip dry that thing and, of course, can't use it today. So, on to the riding pants which don't have a zipper down the side. That's a problem with a foot that doesn't have an ankle to flex.

I did fight my into the thing and got the rest of the gear on. So, no added heat and starting out frustrated. Decided to run 269 instead as it is a little shorter and more suited to my mood.

Actually a great ride. There were bicyclists, asphalt grooved by the grinding machines, light rain, and even some chip seal....the Scrambler doesn't care. It motors confidently through it all. I didn't get cold but I would have felt more comfortable with a little. Still, no problems and a nice nice ride. There were only a sprinkling of bikes out. They don't know what they were missing.



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Sunday, September 20th 2015

7:36 PM

Short Mountain

This was the first place that I got the VStrom muddy and I hadn't been back since. No mud this time, but it seems every patch of gravel road in TN is now not maintained. The climb up really begins at the bible camp (the road to that point wasn't all that great. There is a sharp climb over diagonally rutted gravel and then a sharp hairpin of the same kind of ruts plus the potholes created by truck going up to the radio towers. Overall pretty crappy. I had to slip the clutch considerably, but the Scrambler climbed easily. The rest of it was pretty ordinary gravel.

This time, since I looked at it with Google satellite, I went all the way to the end where there is a turn around loop at the end next to a large tower.

Next I followed my memory to N. Short Mountain Road (since all the road signs are gone) which is a rather long stretch of gravel. There is one long, steep section that was heavily wash boarded. Good thing I was going down. Going up would have been a fight.

So, another old time favorite visited. Also ran hwy 53 back up to Liberty. A nice stretch of pavement. One thing I've noticed with the windshield: you find yourself exceeding the speed limit because the Scrambler does it so easily. Without the "wind in the chest" indicator, speed builds quickly.


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Sunday, September 13th 2015

7:52 PM

I Hit Some Favorites

TN 85, 62 and 116. The Scrambler is enormously competent. The little windshield is a wonder. Temps were unusually cool. Got to get the heated gear hooked up.




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Monday, August 31st 2015

5:33 PM

Wet, dry, repeat

I've begun visiting places (rides) I haven't visited in a while. This weekend, TN141. I did a lot of the planned route, 141 was closed just as it approached the Caney fork. So, I cut that short and did a little side riding on the way back to the house. Got a little wet in spotty rain showers.

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Saturday, August 15th 2015

2:30 PM

A Chores Day

I had a few things that had to get done today. One of them was to get over to Bloodworth's and get the service reset on the Scrambler as the software wouldn't do it the day I had the initial service.

Wouldn't do it today either...I guess Ducati is better at motorcycles than computer software. No problem really. The little service symbol stays on.

While there I ate the free burger that is usually available on summer Saturday's when its not raining. Well, there were storms building in the south and I knew it was coming, so I was wolfing that thing down.

As I am eating in a rather undignified way, a pretty young woman comes over and sits across from me. She's there to test ride a Vespa, but its been busy and Glenn has sort of forgotten her. I told her that Glenn is a good guy and just bounces off the walls a bit on busy Saturdays. I suggested that she go over and tell Glenn they needed to talk business. I also told her that a Vespa was the first powered two wheeler that I had  desperately wanted, but I never got one.

I was going to chase Glenn down myself, but she took my advise and Glenn got into action. Just as I was leaving I talked to her a little about the Scrambler as Glenn was getting the Vespa backed out and started. I told her to have fun as I left to go north away from the rain and take Briley Parkway back home.

I hope she got her ride in before the rain came.

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Thursday, August 6th 2015

5:06 PM

Riding What?

The VStrom was always a bit tall for me, but I always managed. Nary a drop in 70K miles. But now I need to know the ground is closer so I can tag it with this carbon fiber leg of mine.

Unfortunately, nearly all the bikes I like are too tall. I could ride a cruiser, but I wouldn't be all that happy with it. Just in time Scrambler comes to town. At first it wasn't available and I hadn't heard any good thing about the local dealer (next closest...150 miles). I looked at a Yammy FZ07 and liked it well enough, but it is strictly a street bike and I am very fond of poorly maintained gravel roads.

I meant to have a bike by May, but a variety of things kept me from it. Finally, I got over to the Ducati dealer and talked bikes to the sales guy. All it took was a look at the Scrambler. I knew it was the bike for me. It was two more weeks before I could get around to a test ride. I hadn't ridden in a year and half and I was pretty nervous.

I had to walk it around a trailer in the parking lot and angle down to White Bridge road. Once I got through the first intersection onto some open road...A beautiful engine. Lots of pop right from the bottom. Very little flywheel and a quick throttle...Things that I can get used to. 30" seat and 5-1/2" inches of suspension, wide bars, barely over 400 lbs..pretty much everything I wanted. A real hoot to ride. Suspension a bit stiff, seat a little hard. More thing I can get used to.


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Sunday, August 2nd 2015

10:26 AM

I'm Alive and I'm Riding

Not that it's been easy.

It will be two years in October when a hyper aggressive goober in a SUV decided to jump place in a four way stop and accelerated right through me as I took my turn in the intersection.

I remember every second. It was a very hard hit. I was thrown about 10 yards into a ditch. When I unwrapped myself, I knew my right leg was in bad shape. There, on the ground, waiting for the ambulance, I knew I was going to loose the leg.

The ambulance crew was great. I was conscious the whole time. They really took good care of me. They carefully cut every stitch of clothing off me (riding suit, a great heated jacket, fairly new riding boots) and got me prepped for the ride to Vanderbilt Trauma. I had no feeling in my right foot.

Two weeks in the trauma hospital, two weeks in the rehab hospital, and two weeks at home...I decided to go back to work. As a hobbling amputee on a walker...well, it wasn't a pretty site. But people at work let me work and held back from excessive sympathy.

Slowly I got fully healed and started working on the prosthetic. It was a slow go, but now I run, ride my bicycle, and now own and ride a Ducati Scrambler. Life is good in spite of everything.

Now I can continue my riding journal.

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Sunday, September 15th 2013

3:10 PM

Just Riding

My never ending sad tale is that of few vacation days. I worked 30 years to get enough days and that ended when the industry I was in went totally China. Since then I've have recovered somewhat, even though for 3 years nobody would consider hiring an old guy for anything.

So, money improved, available time diminished.

That is why I took only two days (my wife and daughter were there for a week) for the beach. And I decided to take the VStrom on the I-65 trek down and back. 470 mi each way of mostly interstate.

And you know, it was a blast. Night riding going down and love bug day riding on the way back. The weather was perfect and the Wee ate up the miles with ease. In fact, I got home not very tired.

Oh, Dauphin Island was nice too.
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Sunday, August 18th 2013

2:55 PM

Norma Road

A little history. Years ago my friend Phil and I rode down the road. He on his ST1100 and I on my CB1000C. This was before GPS and even the maps weren't very good for this area. It then was a logging road mainly, but graveled well enough. Our rides weren't all that well matched for the trip, but, what can I say, we did it anyway. The road mainly follows new river and the rail line. Right in the middle (about 30 mi of gravel) we got directions from two of the drunkest guys I have ever seen. Their eyes, like the old saying, were like fried eggs in a slop bucket.

I have wanted for a couple of years to retrace that route and have been deterred a couple of time, but this weekend the stars aligned and I accomplished the retrip. The VStrom is much more capable on these kinds of roads, so I make good time. There was some rutting and washboarding, but not so bad considering how much rain we've had this summer. 

It was a great ride.

Norma Road

The Route
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Saturday, July 20th 2013

5:42 PM

This n that

Been riding a good bit, some written up in ADVRider:

Cordell Hull

Harpeth River



Today: Old Short Mountain Road





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