Friday, March 11, 2011

Post Script

Now I remember why I was in such a hurry to get back. I wanted to beat THIS storm home.

Hmmmm... I could have used this storm as an excuse to star there longer...

And, No, I do not typically leave my bike outside the garage for no reason. But the garage is currently the woodworking shop, so I need to put the bike back in storage for a few weeks.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wrap up

Well, that concludes another trip to Daytona Beach.
Highlights include great weather, dinner with John and Rae, and the great group of guys who helped me fix my bike.
The weather at Daytona was fantastic. The weather on the trip down included 10 hours of rain. At least it was wet and not frozen!

Looking forward to next year. I have to pick out some artwork to put on the bike. It would be nice if I could arrange to trailer bikes down, so that Marion could ride too. Maybe I will pull hers behind mine. Who knows?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


1000+ miles in 16 hours.
Knees hurt.
Little chilled.
Could have pushed more water.

But I am home. More details tomorrow with a wrap-up.

Oh, I earned the Iron Butt award a third time!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Best laid plans...

Dinner at Maria Bonita's was fantastic.

Jump on the bike to run back to the hotel to pack and CLICK. I hear the starter solenoid click, but the motor does not even try to crank over. Lights very bright. Brand new battery. Terminals clean and tight.

I called John and Rae, but they are an hour away, and heading towards Orlando. He suggested I push start it to get to the hotel. That worked on a warm engine, but I am not so confident about it getting me all the way back to Ohio.

I was talking to some of the other riders here at the hotel, and when they heard me talking about difficulties with my Goldwing, they said "You want to talk to Pat". Actually, first they made jokes about rice and chopstick and then said Pat. Pat, it turns out, works on Goldwings.

Out come the tools, and he starts testing things. Battery fully charged. Relevant fuses intact. Output from Relay A fine. Moving the starter and trying to start again gave no joy (in case it was bad brushes on the starter) Relay B is buried fairly deep. Not quite open hear surgery, but it sure felt like it, in the dark, in a hotel parking lot! 3 hours later, (and a lot of good banter between the Harley guys and the Honda guys), Pat identified Relay B as faulty. Wiggling the terminals enabled the bike to start. He made sure I knew which terminals needed jiggled in case it fails on the way home, and we buttoned everything up.

I tried to pay for the next beer or pizza run, but they all refused. Something about helping me out of the goodness of the heart.

Moral of the story, if you are going to have your Honda break down, do it in a hotel parking lot filled with Harley riders who are expert Honda mechanics.

Thanks, Pat and the rest of the crew. Ride safe.

Did someone say Shopping?

Having a blast. Still have not found a new denim jacket. It is not a must have but I figured that while I am here, I can look.

New patches for the old jacket. Some souvenirs and such.

Puddles of drool looking at all the trick bikes.

I have a Mexican dinner planned for tonight. Come back early, pack, and roll out tomorrow morning.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

There at last!

My bike on the right. Main street, Daytona Beach.

It hit 81 today.

Shopped for hours. Still want to find a new jacket.

Might get some custom detailing done tomorrow.

Went out to dinner with John and Rae. Great steak. They sure can find awesome restaurants anywhere!

2 nights at this hotel. A Whole day of shopping, and then a good rest before the trip back home.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Changed plans and good progress

This morning, about to leave, I could not help dwelling on the fact that it was going to be 10 solid hours of rain. Warm, but rain.

Then it hit me. WARM! Warm enough to take the direct route! The 77 route cuts a lot of time off, and it was warm enough to avoid the mountain snow storm risk, and avoid most of the heavy rain.

Now I am at a hotel in Georgia, 240 or so miles away from Daytona.

A fattening burger at the bar next door, a bit of TV and hopefully Marion will call to say how much she misses me.

A nights rest, and then off to the festivities tomorrow.

The temp, just before I pulled in for the night, was 72. AAAAAahhhhhhhh..........

Friday, March 4, 2011

All set

Packed. (1)
Fueled. (2)
Just about to lay down to rest before an early start tomorrow.
I feel like I am 7 and it's Christmas eve...

1. But I will surely find something critical I messed once I am on my way.
2. And with 87 this time. Please no jokes. Really. Hey, it was 4am and I was pushing hard to get home.


How does that go? Shortest distance - straight line - What?

Yes, this is my route down to Daytona Beach. Yes, it adds about 250 miles and 4 hours each way.

But it keeps me out of the Appalachians. Something about sudden snow storms in the mountains.

The rain is starting now. Drizzle all day, changing to thunderstorms around dinnertime, so trying to leave early this evening will not keep me out of the rain. Thunderstorms all day tomorrow. Looks like I will leave early tomorrow, in the wet.

At least it will be in the mid 40's. Warm enough that I can get away with my wet gear and several layers underneath. Better than just my cold gear, which has some points of failure in the rain.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Coldest. Ride. Ever.

Officially the coldest ride I have had so far.

But I would rather have this for the start of my trip than what the weatherman is promising. Lower 40's and thunderstorms.

My cold weather gear kept me quite comfortable this morning, and my wet weather gear keeps me quite dry, but they are separate outfits. I might have to go with extra layers and the wet weather gear on Saturday. By the time I get to Louisville, the temp should be in the mid 50's, and continue to get warmer as I go south.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

First ride of the year

I rode the bike to work today. I figure that it is better to find the chinks in the armor on a 45 minute ride that a 10 hour leg down to Daytona.

This is the temp reading on the GoldWing. Overall, a very comfortable ride in. I DID keep an eye out for ice. The melt water from the snow piles has a tendency to re-freeze overnight. But this only showed itself on the ramps and parking lots.

I need to get better gloves. My fingers stayed warm, but my wrists were cold, even with the big cuffs that fit over most of my forearms.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

And in the forecast

An earlier forecast for Daytona suggested rain for the few days I would be there, but this newer one looks promising. I will still have rain pretty much the whole way down. I hope my Frogg Toggs keep me dry and warm.

The bike is coming out of storage today. The valves have been checked. New tires, new air filter, new oil, trailer hitch installed (but not taking the new trailer along for this trip)

I have started packing, I have checked the forecast hourly for the last 3 days.

Yeah, I think you could say that I am obsessing! :)