Monday, September 13, 2010

A ride into the past.....

So Saturday turns into one of those really great days for a ride.  Yes, I hadn't mowed the yard yet but there was still Sunday.

The wife was out with her mom doing the yard-sale thing so I decided to just take off on the scoot.  I sent the wife a quick text to tell her where I was and took out on Stella.  I have to admit I wasn't headed for where I wound up.

For those who ride, you know what I mean by just heading out to ride and test your sense of direction.  AKA, just going to see where you would wind up.  Today, I wound up RIGHT on memory lane.  And I have to admit not all of them were good ones.

I decide to ride on the west side of town.  Mainly due to the fact that that's where I am most familiar with the back roads, and second because hey who needs a second reason.

I head out one road, randomly take a left, randomly take a right, consider where I am, vaguely consider where I want to end up and head in that general direction.  I usually have a pretty good internal compass so I was pretty sure where I was but then I round the corner and I'm on a farm out in the country that my Dad once farmed. 

[ NOTE: For those of you who don't know my father passed away in 2005.  I had the best Dad anyone could ever have, and I'll fight anyone thinks otherwise... ;-) .]

I know that he worked this farm because I too worked this farm.  I think we started working it when I was in the sixth grade.  I remember it being the first time I had ever worked in tobacco and  remember being so short getting I would feel lost in the middle of the patch because I couldn't see over the tobacco (and will admit to being just a little scared about it).

I remember this being the place where my grandfather handed me his shotgun and told me to shoot it at this groundhog in the soybean field.  That was the first time I had held a shotgun and remember being so pumped with adrenaline that I don't think I aimed very well.  I remember my grandfathers smile and chuckle at my boyish exuberance.  I still have that shotgun now even though I no longer hunt.  It reminds me of him and of good times.

I remember when my father thought that the tobacco hands were not getting back from their break quick enough and what he did to speed them up.  It was nothing mean, but it was humorous.

I remember the laughter, I remember the sweat, I remember the dirt in my teeth and hair and clothes.  I remember how good it felt to take that long shower at the end of the day and how GOOD it felt to be clean after that good day's work.

I don't know who farms that land now.  I do know there is a nice looking house there that wasn't before.  The small empty house that we sat in the shade of to eat our lunch is still there, but barely.  The barns that we hung tobacco in is no longer there.   Several of the trees I remember are gone too.  Time does still pass.

It's amazing how memory works.  It amazes me how a memory is not just a picture in your mind, but smells and sounds and feelings.  How no matter the distance you are from them some still sting.  Some make you laugh uncontrollably.  Some make you weep.

I'm sure this won't be the last time I ride into a memory like this.  At least I hope not.  I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The voice-mail.....

So, Saturday my wife and her best friend went shopping in Nashville.  I take the opportunity to take a nice ride out though the country.  The weather was great all was well with the world.

So, I stop to top off the tank and as always I check my phone to see if I have missed any calls.  I had one, the wife had called.  I kind of thought I would, so I checked my messages...

In a VERY sexy voice I hear, "Hi honey, I've got something hot,.. sweet,... and sticky for you." (end of message).

I'm obviously floored.  The wife NEVER leaves me this kind of message, but at the same time a little intrigued.

I head home....

So the wife gets home, she has this BIG GRIN on her face.  She walks in with a few bags.

She pulls one bag out in particular...

And with a big smile says, here is what I got for you.

My wife, she knows how I LOVE doughnuts....   :-)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Scoots and Giggles, Now being read in Bulgaria....

OK, Recently "" has been offering a 'status' page on it's blogs.  Of course being the big attention freak that I am check my 'stats' each day...

Today's shocking find?  I'm being read in Bulgaria.  Yes, war-torn, former communist Bulgaria.  I somehow feel like that guy on CBS morning news that throws the dart, then goes and does a story.

Except, I'm not a journalist.

And, I could never afford to go there.

And of course, it was probably an errant link.

But I can dream right?

And where is Bulgaria again? (Just kidding I know that one.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

I think my truck is jealous...

I'm believing to think that my truck is like those cars with feelings you see in the old Disney movies.  Yes, before you write me off as a cook, hear me out.

You may remember from an earlier post that I've had some major trouble with the truck of late.  We'll this weekend we had another.  Lately I've been having more and more issues with my truck.

After using it to run errands in on Saturday, I come out Sunday morning and I have a flat tire.  Flat tires don't usually bother me.  I used to have a car with so many plugs in one tire that I was surprised it held air.  But that's just the beginning of it.

I get out the air-pump and go to start the truck.  No dice.  I had been having a little bit of an issue of late with it not wanting to start, but really didn't think about it.  Today, it would kind of fire but not catch.  Fuel pump.....

I know it's the fuel pump because I've had this issue before.  Not on this vehicle, but others.  One of which was on a vehicle pulling a U-haul trailer somewhere in the middle of West Virginia.  But I knew what it was immediately.

I will even claim to be somewhat handy with mechanical stuff.  I have no doubt that, having the proper place to do it, I could fix this myself.  Yet I have NO location, and my driveway is sloped so forget that.  Plus now with the flat tire, it's not like I can tow it anywhere.

One small thing here.  Does anyone out there know the brilliant sole who thought it would be a great idea to put the fuel pump in the top of the fuel tank so you have to drain, then remove the fuel-tank from the vehicle before you can fix the fuel pump.  If you do, could you please go up to them and smack them right in the face?  I would really appreciate it.  I've changed out fuel-pumps before.  Most were about a 20 minute job.   But noooo...  Can't keep it simple.  Let's put it right up in the middle of something.  Where it guarantees the owner at least a $300 repair bill.  (Insert a word my mother told me not to say here.)

It may be because it's just a lemon.  I've been pretty lucky in that department over my life, I guess I'm due.  But why does the issue always show up after I've not started the truck for a week because I've been riding one of the Scoots to work?

Jealousy? ? ? ?  Hmmmmm......

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I did it!!

So, last week I told you about getting the new parts to fix the wife's brakes on her Honda Elite.  Well, after being so busy all weekend I couldn't get to it, I decided to at least get half of it down last night.

I was thinking that I could at least get the wheel off and the old brakes out one night, then put the new ones in and put it back together the next.  But once I was able to get into it, I found the job to be less than I thought.  I was ready with my downloaded shop manual.  I KNEW that it wouldn't be the nice, clean, pristine Elite that I saw in the pictures.  But every thing should be in the right place right?

I'm so glad that the repair went smoothly.  I would have HATED to had to somehow get it rolling enough to get it into the truck and get it to a mechanic.  That's my fear. 

I've had that issue with a car.  I've had older model cars (before all the electronics) that I've thought I would do a 30 minute repair, say changing spark-plugs and wires.  The repair would quickly turn into an hour and a half due to my stupidly not paying attention to my firing order and getting the wires out of sequence. 

I've also gotten into the repair only to realize I DO NOT HAVE EVERYTHING I NEED!!  I really hate that.  Either I don't have one thing that I should have gotten to put everything back together, or I don't have a tool I need.

This time, I was in luck.  My only but of "Now what" came when i went to remove the larger nut that was over the end of the axle.  BUT, I remembered another set of old sockets that I had received from my friend Adam.  He had gotten them from a nice older man who he had become friends with. 

You remember your grandfathers toolbox that was under the work-bench.  The one with no two sockets from the same set.  The one with one working and at least one non-working ratchet?  Yeah that's the one.  BUT..

It had the size socket I needed and a long handled 'breaker-bar' (for those who are not tool inclined it's a tool that you can attach to a socket with an extra long handle for leverage).  It was PERFECT for the job I needed to do, how lucky was that? 

I did of course need a little help from Wifey.  Due to the fact I was sitting on my rear-end at the back of the scooter trying to loosen (then tighten about 30 minutes later) the big nut on the axle I had to ask her to come out and hold the back break so the wheel wouldn't turn. 

This morning, I rolled out the newly repaired scoot.  I had driven it around the block to make sure all was well and it seemed to be, but I wanted to take it on a slightly longer trip before I let Wifey take it out.  I would (obviously) not want the wife to have trouble due to something I screwed up or even worse wreck due to it. 

I'm happy to say (as of this writing at least) all seems to be well.  I will probably double check some bolts when I get home (not that I think they are loose but it doesn't hurt). 

I did of course find things that I DO need to add to my toolbox.  One, I need to look into getting a torque wrench.   I have the specs for tightness from the manual.  But I want to make sure I don't screw something up.  Two, a LONGER extension for my socket set.  The little 4-inch one I have wasn't enough.  I have a couple of beat-up knuckles this morning.  And three, either a flexable extension (they make those now) or an adapter with a universal joint in it.  There were a couple of places I couldn't get into due to the angle and how close it was.  Not having these didn't keep me from getting the job done, but it sure would have made my life a lot easier.....

Well, keep checking back.  Further posts in this blog means that the trip home was successful too....  (just kidding)..

Thursday, July 29, 2010

OK, So I wimped out....

It's late Summer.  What does that mean?  Random who-knows-where pop-up thunderstorms.

I hate it.  Every day I look at the 'by-hour' weather report.  Monday and Tuesday, the likelihood that I would get wet was VERY. HIGH. so I didn't ride to work.  But Wednesday, finally a break in the weather.  I could ride.

I did take precautions, I put the rain-gear in under the seat and rode the larger scooter.  I made sure I was ready.  Then, the call came...

Wifey had run up to Bowling Green (about 20 minutes north of here) to run some errands.  As she was headed out of town she texted me saying "WOW, Had to pull over due to the rain!".  Nice, the rain is THAT hard??!  I quickly checked the radar and sure enough, all of these little pop-up storms were everywhere.  EVERYWHERE.  Not the nice little green spots either.  BIG RED spots with just a little green outline. 

My mind starts racing.  Yeah, I don't mind getting a little wet.  I rode to a rally 3 hours in rain (totally drained me, but that's another story).  Wet isn't the issue.  I WAS afraid of being blown off of the bike in a storm with lightning and heavy winds.

I sat there a little longer... 
I checked the radar again...
I thought about it....
I checked the radar again...

BOOOM!!!!!!  (the thunder starts at the plant)


I checked the radar again....



Me (to anyone generally):  OK, I'm going to take a little break and go change vehicles.

Everyone knows I ride.  I have even gotten VERY nice follow-up text messages from folks here asking if I had missed the storm on the way home.  So, people (that heard me) just grinned.  Some said "Yeah, good idea."  It's only maybe 20 minutes round trip so, and I always get here 30 minutes early.  I didn't think anyone would care. (No-one did.)

I race home.  The wife, knowing I was coming, had even left the garage door open so I could just shoot right in.

So I run in, swap keys, kiss the wife thanking her for her thoughtfulness, and head back to work in the truck.

All is good, but....


Yes, more thunder.  But NO RAIN!

I knew it.  Every time I wuss-out and do something that I think was the smart thing to do this happens.

Of course, I play it off again.  (like the flat tire)  I just tell everyone "Hey, I just took the hit for all the other guys who ride to work.  Because you know:  I'm a giver."

To quote Tony Soprano:  "Waddayagonnado..." 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Maintenance... More than an oil change...

Yes, it's come to that time where the break pads on both my Burgman and my wife's Elite must be done.  Mine is just making a weird squealing noise but the Elite is just ugly sounding.

Now, I have ordered parts from my usual on-line source.  Bike Bandit, however I'm sure there are other great sources out there for aftermarket and OEM parts.  I have just been using these folks for a while now and I have had good luck thus far.  For both sets of brakes (and an exhaust gasket for the Elite) it was around $60.  I thought that was a pretty good price.

Now, this weekend (should the parts arrive) will be interesting.  I have both service manuals.  I plan on doing this job all myself.  We will see how well it goes.  I'll keep you posted....

...Will Mitch be able to make all the repairs?....
...Will he get them almost back together only to find he needs one more thing?....
...Will he get his fingers caught between the wrench and a very hard piece of metal?.... (very likely)
...Will his wife just look at him and shake her head....

... We will find out all these things, and more on the next installment of....

As the Scooter Wheel Turns!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Today's story brought to you buy the "Just Scoot!" blog....

I feel the need to post something today.  But being tied up with other things, I decided to share something I found on one of the other blogs I frequent.

This blog is "Just Scoot!" and is written by April who works for Scoot Magazine.

Its' about Embarrassing your children.  But in my opinion these kids KNEW they had the coolest Mom in town.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The "Scooterist/Homeowner" Dichotomy (as I see it)

As Scooterists (or anyone who rides 2-wheels) we can't wait for that time of the year with the temperatures rise to the level that it's REALLY fun to ride.  For me that means not having to ALSO pull out the insulated coveralls, and the thick gloves, and something to protect my neck from the cold, etc.  However with those warmer temperatures come the dreaded RAIN.  Can you ride in the rain?  Yes.  Is it as fun as riding in the Sun, NO.  Is it as safe as riding in the Sun, NO!  So on those days I choose to take the 'other mode of transportation' meaning my little red truck.  I tuck inside of that enclosed box, and look at the clouds on the horizon and think "No, you won't get me today.  ah-HA!!"

As a homeowner with a yard that you want to look it's best.  When summer comes you look at your browning grass and just WISH that a little rain would come.  I won't even get into all of the farmers around here and their need for rain for their lively-hood.  With the way I handle stress, it's probably better I didn't follow my father on that one.  I get stressed enough over a 1/4 acre of grass, if I had several hundred (or thousand) acres of crops that I needed rain in abundance for me to feed my family I would be beyond a basket-case.  But I digress....

I want my yard to look good.  Yes, I could water.  But I do not think that is the best option.  So I do want that rain to come.  And I want it to come often so that my grass (or the above mentioned farmers) have all they need.

But could it come at night??  ( Don't hate...)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

So I guess I won't go home quite yet.....

This post was a little late in coming.  (Been a weird week.)  Last Friday I was all ready to head home to start the nice long 4th of July weekend.  I get my backpack on, head to the parking lot, get on the Stella and....

Flat Tire...

Now, I have to say this is a first for me.  Never had a flat like this.  I have run over something to cause my tire to go flat (A KEY!, Really?  Of all things a KEY??) but never just have one flat when I come out from work.

Just then I think.  Oh yeah, the Stella has a spare!!.  So I take off the cowl and go to grab the spare only to find that the spare was flat too!

Me on cell:  "Hey Honey.."
Wifey:  "Oh, Hey what's up?"...
Me: "Well, funny story.  Could you please grab my air-pump, and get in the truck and come over to the plant?" (I thought, bring the truck in case I have to bring it home that way...)
Wifey:  "Poor Pookie.." (Yes, she calls me pookie ) "..sure, I'll be there in about 15 minutes."

So, as I'm standing there waiting.  I get all of the "Oh, flat tire?" Jokes.  And stories of "Oh, I hate that.. You know one time I had a flat tire...."  I laughed at the jokes, and thought up the comment of "You know, I'm just taking the hit of a flat for everyone else at the plant for the 4th of July weekend."   Yes, that's me.  A giver.

After about 15 minutes or so standing in the parking lot, my dear one shows up.  I think I'll just try and air the tire up first and see if I can get it home.  The tire is holding air.  Good.  The wife gives me the "Go ahead, I'll follow you." signal and we take off.

Long story short, I make it home fine but the next morning the tire is flat.  Again.  Looks like I get to fix a flat.

I take the spare off.  I wonder if this one is just low on air?  I put the air-pump to it and sure enough it airs right up.  And it also holds the pressure for more than two days (I was riding the Burgman until I got this straightened out.).

It's been several years since I've done any type of tire changing.  I mean I've swapped out a flat, but I haven't removed a tire from it's rim and fixed a tube since my 'growing up on the farm' days.  Luckily for me, the Stella comes with the 'bolt-together' rims.  This means I wouldn't have to struggle with prying the tire off of the rim to get to the spare.  I had NO tools for that.

For those of you who have done this.  You are doing one of two things.  You are thinking to the first time you changed a tire on a split rim, and laughing at the finger you mashed.  Or the time you took struggling to pull the rim out of the tire.  OK, I'm in your club now. 

Finally I get the tire off of the rim.  Then I do the "Air the tire up, and run water over it to find the leak" trick my father showed me.  Yup, there it is.  A little hole in the tube.  I don't know why there was this hole.  I didn't see a hole in the tire.  Nor did I see anything fall out of the tire while I was struggling with it that would have caused it.  But there it was.  Just as sure as the nose on my face.

Well, to make a long story short.  This time I've tried the tube patch method instead of buying a new tube.  I may regret it, as that tire is now my spare.  But I'll keep an eye on it.

Oh, and I'll also remember to keep some type of 1/2 inch socket in my kit.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

OK, this is new.....

It's a mild week here in southern KY this week meaning instead of it being already in the 70's when I ride to work, it's moving up out of the 60's.  Now I am fine with the weather, it's really nice after these really hot days lately.  However this has brought about something new that I had yet to experience on my scooters.

Until this season all I had to ride was my Burgman with it's big nice wind shield.  This year I've started driving my Stella more and more to work.  So yesterday I took off to work like I normally do.  And, yes it was a little cold but totally bearable.  I rode all the way to work being cool, but never uncomfortable.

We have all ridden in the cold.  We get to where we are going and we have to rub our hands together, rub our legs, rub our cheeks trying to get them all warm.  But this was the new one.  Have you EVER had the coldest part of your body be YOUR ARM PITS??!?!!?!!

I mean come on, I don't EVER in my life remember my arm pits being the coldest part of my body.  Is it the air-flow on a scoot with no wind shield?  Is it the way I sit on it?  What gives?

Needless to say, I wore the good old 'light-jacket' this morning.....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

You, talking on your phone with one hand and gesturing with the other...

Are you paying attention?  Did you not SEE me?  You were obviously deep in concentration.  BUT NOT ON THE ROAD!!  I'm sure you solved all the worlds problems while you turned right in front of me and I had to slam on my brakes not to go into your passenger door!

AND since I then had to follow you for the next few miles and watch you STILL CONTINUE ON THE SAME CALL and ALMOST HIT SOMEONE ELSE!

That's right YOU, in the small black pickup.  LEARN HOW TO PAY ATTENTION OR GET OFF THE ROAD!!!

Sorry, just had to be said.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

You just gotta smile....

We don't have "Motorcycle Parking" here at work.  However due to the way the parking lot is laid out there are two big areas at the near end of the the parking areas that are used by those of us who ride.

This morning was a new one, I decide to ride the bigger scoot (Burgman 400) to work.  I didn't think that I was taking that long to get to work on my Stella, but the few minutes difference caused me to run into a guy I normally pass on the way in.

Now, I do not know this guy.  I'm sure he is a nice guy.  But he was THE personification of a hard-core biker right down to the leather vest with all the patches on it.  So as I'm tooling into the parking lot, he is just getting off of work and getting on his bike to leave.  I'm trying to drive slow so that I can time my entry into the space as he pulls out.

Now to his credit, he quickens his pace a bit to go ahead and move out of my way. (See above, probably IS a nice guy.)  However right as he has his goggles in place and is ready to pull away and right as he rolls onto the throttle the bike dies.

He isn't looking toward me.  But I see his head drop, then shake, then one more jerk as if yelling 'something' at the stupid Harley for dieing right in front of the Scooter Nerd....  Then after a few tries, he gets it started and almost breaks traction leaving the parking lot because he applied a little too much throttle.

It's the small things that just make ones day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

And until then....

I'm going to have to break in here and talk about this because it's been bothering me for some time now.  I just have to say I'm so very sad this year that I'm unable to go to any rallies.  Even though moving home and the new job is great, the process has drained our finances.  The move, the new house, fees, taxes, blah, blah  has left me with no money to go out of town.  Even for the weekend.

I'm seeing my friends post on Facebook about upcoming rallies and I just have to sigh and say "not for me this year".  I remember those fun weekends of meeting with friends, laughter, long rides with close to (or over) 100 scoots all in a line and again, I sigh.  I think of the great bands, the food, the travel too and from (always an adventure) and again, I sigh.

I know it's not forever.  I know I haven't gone to my last rally.  I know that by the fall and especially next summer things will go back to being more normal and I will have the opportunity again.  It's just going to be a long summer.

I also know that with this new venue comes new adventures, and different rallies with new people to meet and with whom to share my passion of riding Scooters.  But not yet.

So until then my friends Scoot lively.  Scoot with passion.  Scoot with a joy that only we know.  And above all, Scoot safely.  I want you all to be there when I'm able to return and see you again.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Follow up: Well, you're scooting now for sure...

OK, just to pass along for those of you in the Simpson/Allen/Warren county area of Ky. 

Pro Masters Transmission in Scottsville, KY.  A1 place.  Great service, very reasonable price.  They got the truck fixed in one day.  Granted, it's a little early since I've only had it back a few days.  But so-far so-good.

Barring any unforeseen issues, I would tell anyone to use these folks.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Ahh... Scooter People I've missed you....

Great news.  We have found the Scooter People and they are lively!!

We knew that since we moved home there weren't as many Scooter Clubs in the South as in the North East.  I knew that before we moved.  When I got my little Honda Helix in 2004 I searched around for a scooter club in the Nashville area, or any type of group of scooter enthusiasts.  Well, there was one.

There was a group called "The Boys Named Sue" (they are still around by the way).  I thought "great name for a Nashville scooter group".  But as I looked into them, they were a 'vintage only' club.  Not having a vintage I knew I was out so I instead enjoyed my solo scooter adventures through the wonderful TN valley.  Riding the Natchez Trace; back roads to Leapers Fork; Highway 96 between Franklin and Murfreesboro; basically anywhere the wind took me.  It was a great release from work.

When we moved north, I found the Three Mile Island Scooter Club.   These were great people.  No "vintage only" no overt secret ballots to join the club just "Hey you have a scoot? AWESOME!  Come ride with us!"  Now I will say they did ask a few people just to not hang around any more.  One, I disagreed with.  But the others were for good reasons.  Like one weirdo who decided to make some VERY unwanted comments to a female at one of our Rallies.  Not cool.  But other than that it was meet up, someone take the lead, and let's ride.  I went to my first Scooter Rally.  It was cool to see all of those folks who liked something I liked SO MUCH.  Last year I was even able to go to Amerivespa!  (It's like Sturgis for Scooters but smaller and with less gratuitous nudity from a lot of people you really don't want to see nude in the first place.)

There were not 20 or 30 but several hundred scooters from all over the country.  It was great.  One of the best parts for me was that it was in Chattanooga.  My wife and I love that town anyway, but it was nice showing my friends from up north how beautiful the South can be.  Another great thing was a ride we took out around this large reservoir.  The road came down a hill, and across the top of the reservoir, then back up the other side.  I remember as I was about in the middle of the reservoir I looked back over my shoulder.  I was in the middle of the pack so as far as I could see in front and behind me there were scooters.  It was a VERY COOL moment for me.

But I digress.  Like I said when we moved home this would be one thing I would have to look for.  I knew there weren't as many clubs in South, but I knew there were more scooters.  My small town even had a scooter shop now (JC Scooters).  No it's not the big company based shops like you see in bigger towns.  But the owner (Jimmy) is a great guy and just as passionate about scoots as I am.

Soon after I got back into the area, I went down to Nashville to check out a shop that I had been reading about on the web, East Side Scooters.  So I traveled down one day to check out their store and see what the scooter scene had grown into since I left.  I met this great lady there named Josephine (sp?) who ran the shop.  She said that from time to time through the summer they put out the word and people just show up and they ride somewhere.  I told her that both my wife and I rode and that we would definitely be down for one.

Sunday was the first of the season.  It was their third anniversary of being open and a planned ride was announced for Sunday May 30th.  The wife and I geared up and headed out.  Google-Maps said it was right at 45 miles.  No sweat.

We took off down 31-W toward Nashville.  It was a nice uneventful ride with great weather, well at least for the ride down.  I did make a wrong turn, but in the end it made it a little easier to get where we were going.

We got to the Scooter shop and there were already 5 or 6 people there so we parked and started meeting people.  About that time a guy (who seemed to be in charge) started walking our way.  We walked up and I immediately held out my hand and said "Hi, Mitch Herndon".  Then I get the phrase that I had gotten a LOT in Franklin, but not yet anywhere else.

"Mitch Herndon, You know me we practically grew up together!"  Well, yes we had.  James and I had known each other since we were very young.  I somehow missed along the way that it was his shop when I came down the first time.  Needless to say it was great finding out that someone you grew up with also shared your love of scooters.  This is James' vintage Vespa.

Anyway after riding out a small 'natural scooter wash' inside the shop, we took out across downtown Nashville to Percy Warner Park.  This is a very nice park on the west side of Nashville.  I had probably forgotten, but there was a great one-way one-lane road that circled through the park.  We took it up and down, left and right up again, down again...  It was a great ride.  Well, maybe a little fast for me that day since I didn't know the road AT. ALL.  But that was OK.  The group would slow up at places where the road split so no one was lost.  And when I apologized for maybe slowing up the group, all I heard was "Hey, no big deal we are just enjoying the ride!".  I even heard someone say it was better to be a little slow, than have someone crash.  My kind of people.

We stopped for a brief rest up on top of one hill with a great view of downtown Nashville  I took a shot with my camera phone, but it's not the best.  Trust me, the view was outstanding.

After the brief rest we finished up the route through the park and  got our way out.  The group had planned on stopping for coffee but due to our drive ahead of us home we peeled off with a honk and a wave.  We headed back across town toward our northern route home.   As for our first trip to Nashville to ride with the group there.  We both feel it was a great time and will definitely do it again.

And if you are in Nashville and need something for your scoot, Call James and Josephine at East Side Scooters. They are great folks and I'm sure will do their best to help you out.

Now, back to our tale...(no it's not quite over)

Up until now other than a brief shower before the ride we had been pretty lucky not to get caught out in the rain.  But as we were about 4 blocks from the road we were going to turn north on, I saw a down-pour about 3 blocks away.  So I wave the wife into a quick left turn and we find shelter from the rain in the front-alcove of some building that looked like it was in the middle of being rebuilt after the great flood of 2010.  Luckily, due to the nature of the weather in the south this time of year, it was another one of those 'rain enough to get everything really wet and stop' ones.  So after about 20 minutes we decided to make a run for it and head north.  Luckily for us we stayed just ahead of the rain for the rest of the trip.  We had a few sprinkles, but nothing that we were concerned with or got overly wet from.

All in all it was a great day.  We are tired, we are a little saddle-sore since this was our longest ride of the season.  And of course we were scolded by our parents for "taking those scooters all the way to Nashville" (Did I  tell you I was over 40??) but it was well worth it.

OH, I forgot to tell one part of the story.  As we were waiting to ride, we started getting hungry.  James had tried to get a local vendor to come by and serve tacos.  But evidently there was some confusion on the vendor's part so no tacos.

But wait!  What's that next door?  A Gyro Shop??  We LOVE Gyros!!  Plus we hadn't had any in a very long time so since the ride wasn't for another hour and a half we decided to step over for food.  I have to hand it to James, if I had a Gyro shop that close to me I would weigh 400 pounds.  This place wasn't the best to look at.  It was a drive-in only with one picnic table in front.  But for a small price we got two HUGE plates of food.  I had the Gyro, the wife the Falafel.  Both were very good and the guy who ran the place was very friendly.

And....  Who knew Scooter Ninja Pig liked Gyro...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Well, you're scooting now for sure...

Well, for those of you who haven't seen it on Facebook, I'm truly scooting these days.  My scoot(s) are my only means of transportation due to the S-10 taking a dump.  On a good note, my father-in-law who owns a pilot car company got a good recommendation from a colleague of his about someone not far from here.  He had the best quote to rebuild the transmission of about 4-5 he called.  The person my father-in-law was one of his pilot-car buddies.  And maybe I'm crazy but if a man who has vehicles on the road 365 days a year in all types of conditions takes his vehicles to this guy because he does a good job, I'm thinking maybe I can trust him.

Well, so far I like the guy.  He called me straight away when he knew what was wrong with it.  I expected to have the truck down at least a week to get it fixed, but after getting it to him on Thursday, he called as I was headed for lunch on Friday saying he was finished.  AND at the quoted price.  All before he had to leave the shop from 2-4 so he could drive the school bus.  Yes, the SCHOOL BUS!   I am not talking down about the guy.  I just think it's funny.  If the man can hold down a steady business AND take time every day to make sure the kiddies get home safely from school, he really has more going on than I do. 

I will hold final judgment on the guy until after I get it back.  After that I'll pass along what's going on.  Until then..

Stella.. Sasha..  We Ride....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Of Pigs and Pie....

This past Saturday we had the good fortune of a weather report changing in our favor.  We originally were going to head out early to Louisville for some 'anniversary weekend' fun then we decided to change plans and stick around town.  We decided to take out on our scoots for a ride for lunch.  We had gone north to Bowling Green so this time we decided to head south into the rolling hills of northern Tennessee.  

As I'm backing the scoots out of the garage I see this one big ominous cloud.  Instantly reminded of the many times in PA that we were caught out in a down-pour I really didn't want to do it again.  A quick check of the weather report gave me a little more confidence and we took off.

The route was basically take 31W south from home, through Franklin, across the TN line and then find lunch.  The consensus of the day (being 2 of us it's not that hard..) was BBQ.  We hadn't had any in a while, and since we were back in the south we thought that it wouldn't be that hard.

The trip down was uneventful with one exception.  That ominous cloud disappeared.  Not only that, most of the others disappeared too.  The sun came out and it turned into quite a bright sunny beautiful day.

Well, we get down to White House TN and think it's high time for lunch.  Only problem was that we couldn't find the BBQ place, well I guess it was a little harder to find BBQ than I thought.  No problem, a quick call to the big-Sis who works in this town put us quickly on the right path.

Needless to say, this BBQ place was decorated very similar to how several are down here.  Lots of pig paraphernalia.  Scooter Ninja Pig was not pleased but kept quiet through the meal which was very good.    And this place even served a dessert named 'piggy puddin'.  All Scooter Ninja Pig would do was sit motionless on the table and stare at us.

As we are finishing our meal we decide to ask for dessert.  As the very nice lady is giving us the list I hear my favorite. CHOCOLATE. FUDGE. PIE.  I mean, come-on.  (I decided to pass on the piggy puddin' trying to mend fences with our little friend.)

My pie comes. YUM..

Now, I have to say the wife and I have been discussing the need to lose weight.  And although I know she wasn't going in this direction when she said it, as I started my lovely pie I hear...  "OK, so what are we going to do next week to start loosing weight?"  ***clink***crumble***** scoooooottttt.

"NO!!, that's not what I mean.  Please eat your pie." She says laughing....

(Oh yeah, and as I type this she is in the kitchen scooping both of us Ice-Cream.)

Well, I eat most of it, but the joy was mostly gone.  But hey, it was CHOCOLATE FUDGE PIE!...

Well, we pay our tab and gear back up for our continued ride.  Not being that knowledgeable about the back-roads in that part of the area yet we decided to take a pretty direct route back home.  Back out to 31W and North home.

One of the best things of our little rides is stumbling across something (not literally).  This trip on the way south the wife saw a hand written "Furniture for Sale" sign on the side of the road in front of this older business.  Currently it looked like the business was in transition at the moment so we weren't sure what we would see.  But what the heck, we have nothing but time this afternoon.

WOW, we walk in and find that it's someone is selling a LOT of very nice wrought-iron furniture.  Tables, stools, bed-frames, etc.  We will definitely be back once we get a little money set back.

OK, back on the road we head north.  Along the way I get bold.  In PA, I realized the only way to learn my way around was to just make a turn and monitor the compass.  So as we come to a 4-way stop, I ask the wife if she minds a detour.

"Sure!" I hear. (That's my little scooter girl.)  So I take a right on a major road thinking if it has a big 'route' number sign we can at least get somewhere that will connect to somewhere else we want to go.  Sure enough, after about 15-20 minutes there was the next big 'route' marker.  We hang a left and head back toward the North.  Now I do not claim to be big mister trail-blazer.  But I did have a compass and I had a general idea of where we were.  However we weren't getting there in about the time I thought we should.  YEA TECHNOLOGY!

I wave us over and pull out the phone.  I recently found that I had a GPS application that would find where we were.  A quick check gave told me where we were and we quickly got back on the road toward Portland TN.

As we start rolling into town, we start seeing people along the side of the road in lawn chairs.  CRUD, we had talked about this.  This weekend was the Portland Strawberry festival.  I knew this was happening but led us that way anyway.  Luckily we made it out way before the parade started.

One small thing.... People, I know a parade was about to start but THE ROAD WAS STILL OPEN! Please don't take your child in their stroller down the middle of the outside lane.  What if someone hadn't been paying as much attention as we were.  OR if it had been a Semi-truck,  common sense.  That's all I wish for you.

Anyway, we make it through Portland taking the reverse parade route and make it back home.  All in all a great day.  Of course I have a riders tan (like a farmers tan but no dirt in your teeth).  And the sweetie... Let's just say sun makes the cutest freckles come out on her face.  I know everyone isn't the fan of red-heads with freckles, but for me I think it's just the cutest thing ever.

Oh, I just forgot something from earlier.  Did I mention that Scooter Ninja Pig likes pie too??

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Same ride, different view...

So today I finally got to take the Stella to work.  Nothing like the wind in your face to wake you up.  Two things I've learned.
  1. If you wear a button up shirt, be careful of the collar tips.  Man they can sting.
  2. I am really needing to consider the small wind shield.
Other than that it was a beautiful ride.  The things I talked about in my previous post are still true.  But with one great addition.  Honeysuckle. 

Growing up  I knew that summer had finally arrived when I started smelling it everywhere.  The past few days as I would turn out on the main road, I would see a large patch of it in the corner.  MAN does that smell good.

I can remember growing up on the farm, out in the fields on the tractors, and above the smell of all the diesel smoke, dust, and grease once in a while you would get a nose full of honeysuckle.

I'm sure it was in PA.  I vaguely remember it, but I guess being home makes it more robust.  Maybe there is just a slightly different smell to the flower in PA.  One that was not as familiar.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A morning ride...

The morning ride.  The world seems new, the birds are searching for their first meal.  The smells of fresh cut grass, breakfast, flowers, and the air itself seem to lift your spirits and brighten your day.

All is great, then the attempts to ruin the mood. The smells of the garbage truck, diesel smoke, exhaust from non-maintained vehicles (and recently stagnant water from the flooding).

I choose to remember the former, not the latter.  My morning ride puts me in such a great mood for the day.  I smile more that day.  I look forward to the slightly-longer different route home at the end of the day (guilty pleasure).

So when the 'bad stuff' attempts to creep in, I remember that sage phrase on a sticker on the back of my helmet.
"Quitchurbitchin".  I believe that's German for "Have a nice day."

Everyone have a safe, happy day.

Monday, May 3, 2010

(Updated) Well, I could ride but....

this darn crazy weather is still messing with me.  All weekend, we had a plethora of rain in SoKY.  Reports here in Franklin were close to 10 inches.  Thought, well I'll just take a ride out to see where the water is over the road....  Then, due to another issue I had to go out in the car first.  Glad I did, as I had to ford water 4 or 5 times just get out to a main road.

Oh well...


Hey, we got to go out anyway.  We found a way around the water (thanks neighbor-neighborhood).  Went to get paint, lunch, and got some 'pre' work on new plates.  Any day riding is a good day.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Odd man out....

Well, being that it's Friday I decided to join the other folks here in the office for lunch.  As things work out, we had 1 more person than we had 'comfortable seats' in vehicles going to lunch.  Not a slight, it's just math sometimes.  No big deal, I offer to drive myself.  I'm on the Scoot anyway.  I'll just drive myself and get in a ride too.  That's thinkin'.  :-)

Well, after filling my tank yesterday and finding that my mpg had fallen all the way to 56 a good 'blowing out' was in order.  So I geared up and took the I-65 the 4 miles down to the restaurant. 

Nothing like zooming down the interstate.  Sasha (my Burgman) liked it too.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


WOO-HOO!!! We got to get the scoots out tonight. 
Rode across town:

Then to one of our favorite little places to go for dinner..  The Frosty Freeze!! 

Every small town has one.  This one is EXCELLENT.  We sat out on the picnic tables and talked over Baby-Burgers and Waffle-Fries!!

Also during this outing, we saw the ever-present friend of Marsha's Scooter "Sallie", the Ninja-Scooter-Pig!!

A good time was had by all.  Tomorrow, I ride to work.  I believe we will have one FULL DAY OF SUNSHINE!!  Woo-Hoo!!

Monday, April 26, 2010


All I'm going to say here is... I got running scoots and no sun.  WEATHER YOU FICKLE MISTRESS!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Well crap...

Well, I went to ride my Scoot work Thursday.  I was all excited, had all my gear on, helmet, gloves.  Briefcase stowed....

"Rrrrrr-Rrrrrr-Rrrrrr"....CRAP.... "Rrrrr-Rrrrr-Rrrrrr".  No juice.  We had already had nice long rides this year, we had been over 250 miles.  Dead, just dead.  I guess I was lucky, this was the 4th year on this battery (Note: I'm not usually good on batteries.)  I never put them up for the winter.  I don't put them on a trickle charge.  Yes, I pay a premium for my laziness.

Oh well.  Have the new battery, about to charge it and put it in.

On a much nicer note.  I decided to also charge Stella's battery too since I couldn't get her to start either.  Quickly found the problem.  When your battery cable is tight, all is lovely.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I have a new scooter!! 2005 White Genuine Stella. It's really cool, and SO different from the 'Barcalounger'. Not used to not having a windshield. But wow, it's a whole different experience. Riding Marsha's Elite was different, but wow. You are RIGHT OUT THERE! It's awesome.

Well, I guess that's about all for now. I'll post more soon.