Mid October; such a beautiful time of the year especially up in the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. However, with this view means the coming of cooler weather which usually results in the bike getting parked for the winter. However there has been a new addition to the bike closet this week, the Kilimanjaro by First Gear. More details to come later, but I have a feeling my riding season has just been extended by a good month or two now thanks to this jacket.
So just to give a few updates as I have not been keeping up with this too well this year:
Once I got back from the West Virginia ride managed I managed to sneak in a few other day rides around the area before I replaced the Avon Storms which I had put on back in April. I had the tires on the bike for a total of 125 days and put roughly 7000 miles on them! I was extremely pleased with the performance of these tires; however I do wish that their life was a bit longer. With that being said I would not turn anyone away from these tires, I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a longer life “performance” tire. They did very well in the corners and did not give me a single problem in the wet. They warmed up extremely quick and held the heat pretty good as well.
Just before I went back to school I went ahead and put a new set of rubber on, but this time I went the dual compound route. I decided to put on a set of Michelin Pilot Road 2’s. I have heard nothing but good things about this tire especially when it comes to their life expectancy. Once again my goal for a rear tire is 10,000 miles and from what I hear, these should do the trick.
The weekend before school started up I got a little more riding in which included a RTE breakfast in Spartanburg, SC for the start of the Iron Butt Rally. Mike Brown gave me a call earlier in the week asking if I would like to attend and with out thinking about where Spartanburg was, and the fact that this was a breakfast event, I said yes. Then he told me to meet him at the local McDonalds in Harrisburg at 5:30 am… sigh. Yes, I did make it on time and was functioning enough to ride. Thankfully I was still in my sleep pattern from work, so waking up at 4:45 wasn’t too much of a stretch.
I have never felt like such a wimp in all my life! When we arrived at the hotel where the riders for the IBR were staying I was in shock at the number of bikes and gadgets aboard them. Most, if not all the “competitive” bikes were set up with multiple GPS’s, auxiliary fuel tanks (totaling 11.5 gallons of fuel on the bike) radar detectors, intercoms, cameras, hydration systems, etc. I mean seriously, it felt like I was at an Inspector Gadget convention. However it was reassuring to see the number of sport tourer’s running PR2’s on their bikes. If they work for those highway bandits than they should more than suffice for me! There were several people from the WVSR there taking part in the breakfast and snapping pictures, so I made my way trough the group bench racing and talking gadgets with most the riders and “groupies.” Once again, the more I talked to the riders involved in the ride, the more I felt like a pansy… Put it this way, these riders were about to take off on a ride that would last a week an a half and in that time they were going to put more miles on their bikes that I am lucky to get in a year! (~10,000 miles) Imagine a cross country scavenger hunt, in essence that is what this ride is about.
We left Spartanburg around 11 am and I followed Mike and Kevin back up 85 till Hwy 321 when I pulled out and went north to Boone, NC. While at the Rally I was texting Alicia and decided to ride up that way for lunch. And yes, Boone is on the way to Charlotte from Spartanburg…
As I stated earlier, school has started back up and is in full swing. I am now in my senior year with plans to graduate in May. (We hope) One of my major classes this semester as well as the following is Senior Design. For this class each student has the option to come up with their own project or join a team and work on a project as a group for a company in the region. I was a bit tired of doing the team thing for a while and I really wanted to work on something related to motorcycles so I decided to work alone. What I came up with was to design a trailer to be pulled behind my FZ6 that will be able to carry the essentials for a weekend camping trip. This is slowly coming along and is proving to put my knowledge from the past few years to the test. And yes I will be building a prototype and have it completed by the spring. I will have pictures and such posted as they come about.
My riding has slowed down tremendously since this summer; however I have been making trips to Boone, NC on a normal basis now. It is football season and I have been spending every other weekend in Boone to do some tailgating and watch the Mountaineers play. I have been having a lot of fun with this, sometimes too much, but in the process I have reconnected with many people in which I haven’t seen or talked to in years and have made many new ones as well.
Currently I am sitting in Alicia’s apartment watching the rain fall and the leaves fall from the trees. I am on fall break right now and with a series of events going on up here this week I put it together so I could spend my break up here with Alicia. (App State’s Homecoming on Saturday and several concerts within the music department) While Alicia is in class I have been out riding and exploring the surrounding area enjoying the foliage. Friday, I spent the morning/lunch time in Shady Valley, TN playing on The Snake and getting my twisty fix in. Then later that afternoon I picked up Alicia and we went leaf looking up around the parkway and such.
Back to the Kilimanjaro jacket. Last week Dad was able to get a hold of a few Kilimanjaro’s and they have made a nice addition to the motorcycle closet. I brought my jacket up here to Boone in order to test its limits as the weather channel was showing some low temperatures during the first of this week. Yesterday evening I put on my Underarmor, a couple long sleeve shirts and t-shirt. I left the fleece liner in the jacket, zipped up the vents and along with my winter gloves and neck sock I was sweating. I passed a bank sign that had the current temperature to be 53 degrees when I was pulling into Alicia’s for the night. So I am thinking that my limit is now going to be mid 40’s this winter…
I think in a nut shell that is about if for my riding/motorcycle related news. Hopefully the weather will clear up this evening so I can get some riding in tomorrow before I go back to Charlotte tomorrow night. Until next time, ride safe!