I've started many projects and finished few. My goals for this new venture, or possibly adventure, are few and modest at this time. I recently purchased a Honda CBR250R and I'll try to chronicle what happens as I try to relearn motorcycle riding skills after having not ridden regularly since about 1970. I hope to do a modest amount of traveling or touring, with my first venture planned for the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. I invite you to follow along if you're so inclined.
Also, I'm going to be posting rants, if you will, about religion, politics, so-called complimentary and alternative medicine in addition to anything else that comes along that I find interesting. Please excuse how the format of this blog/website. Though I have many blogs, I'm a neophyte at best in how to properly design them.

Snap of the Blue Ridge Parkway or the Skyline Drive (Virginia), OK, I fess-up, taken on a trip with my Miata.

Another Fifty Miles...and Other Comments...

May 31, 2012
Midnight. Went out earlier today during the midday heat. Yep, just rode around town in the heavy traffic. Came home, took my pup out, took a nap, and headed out about 10PM. Weather much nicer.
Before leaving home decided I wanted a doughnut. Stopped at Krispy Kreme. Two minutes before eleven when I walked in. Yes, closing time eleven. So skipped the doughnut and sat on the curb, sipped my coffee, and smoked a cigarette.
The coffee was $1.76 or so. I rarely just buy coffee so the price is always just part of the total for the meal. Dang, that's a lot of money. Yes, I can remember when coffee was....five cents. Hmmm. Just think, there are I would imagine many people who work for $8.00 an hour. Yes, they'd have to work fifteen minutes to buy a cup of coffee. Well, I should have gone to my favorite McDonald's and gotten a senior coffee for 49 cents or so. But, hey, I wanted a doughnut that I didn't get.
I'm doing a little better with the motorcycle. Haven't missed a shift in quite a while. Most likely a little of my getting better and the motorcycle getting a few miles on it.
Did some miles on the Interstate and with no wind, I guess 65 mph would be OK. However, unless it's late at night I surely don't want to be on Interstates.
Ahh, Verizon. Well, F#%K A Cow below was about my losing my wallet. For years I've been paying my Verizon bill by credit card. Yes, they notified me my card wasn't working (yep, reported it missing). So, I stopped by a new Verizon place just up the street from where I live. Also, needed to cancel my Internet service that's about $45 a month. Well, it's the kind you just plug in the side of your computer. Anyway, haven't used it for over a year and I was wondering what it would cost to get out of my two year contract.
Well, good news and weird news.
Good news. My contract was for a year, so no penalty. Dang, I've been paying for several months that I didn't have to.
Weird news. Remember, I'm in a Verizon place. They can't help me with my home phone and Internet service. Evidently they are a wireless only kind of place with no access to my accounts. Hmmm.
So they got someone on the phone for me. Explained I wanted to give them a new credit card number and to review my account. No dice ( is that a saying?). Need my account number. Yes, I'm sitting in a Verizon place and no one can give me my account number. What was your last payment amount? I have no idea as it's been on a credit card for years.
Don't you have a supervisor or someone who has a special key or something? Nope!
Well, did get it straight when I got home.

Please pay attention to what I'm going to write about next.
For you younger people please do a search. This is important.
June 8, 1972 Nick Ut snapped a photo of Kim Phuc, who was 9 at the time. She became know as the napalm girl. It would seem from the AP article in our local paper, that she is living seemingly a normal life in Canada.
Most of us will never learn how horrible war is. Yes, we'll sit in our living rooms and watch reports on TV and our newspapers will list the latest troops who are killed. But, we'll never know.
The troops learn, the doctors learn, the photographers and journalists learn, and the citizens of the countries we invade learn, The only problem is that those of us who learn are not the ones who start the new wars. And, thankfully, though I was in the service I never went to war.
Sometimes I think our arrogance is such that there is no wonder people all over the world dislike or hate us. Can you imagine a country's leader saying, "Bring it on."  Or, as we're bombing the shit out of a country calling it, "Shock and awe."
(I may redo this or add to it later.)

Don't Vacation in Virginia Beach, Virginia! You've Been Warned! Yes, I Went for a Ride This AM...

May 27, 2012
Well, tonight I went for a ride. Yes, trying to get some miles in; also, tonight I wanted to ride the Interstate to try to get a feel for what I would consider a comfortable speed. Anyway, I left home about 1:00AM or so. I rode down the Interstate toward the Ocean Front, planning to turn around when the Interstate ended. Hmm, I should have.
Instead I rode down Atlantic Avenue, our main drag if you will. Dang, I've never seen so many trashy and thuggy (sp) looking people in one place. There were hundreds and hundreds of them swarming up and down Atlantic Avenue. Yes, it was 1:30AM. Every block had several gangs or groups of 10/15.
Each block had several police officers. I wondered if they are paid some type of combat pay.
Wow. For many many years the only time I've gone to the Ocean Front has been in the winter. I have learned my lesson.
Seriously folks, there has to be a better place to spend your money.
Back to the bike.
I'm comfortable at 55/60, but doubt I'd want to go much faster for an extended period. I have no plans to actually travel on an Interstate. I don't like them when I'm in my car.
So, I ended the night with 25/30 or so Interstate miles and total miles was 55. The temperature was about 60 and other than  regretting going to the Ocean Front, a decent enough ride.

I Need To Get Up Off My Butt and Get Goin'. This Lady Puts Most of Us to Shame.

Well, here I sit, doing nothing to get me on the road. Yes, have been looking at forums and making measurements on my bike. And, that's been about it.
Oh, yeah. Hours looking at motels, maps, and MapQuest.
Well, here's a link to a lady who isn't sitting on her butt.
She's about 63 and I believe an English teacher. Yes, she's Canadian. I think she has at least three trips posted on Adventure Riders. One that I looked at shows her riding in snow and slush, and here I am worried about a little rain.
She rides a Suzuki 600cc and seems to camp most of the time.
I hope she doesn't mind that I snatched this photo from her travelogue...


For the past seven or eight years I’ve spent far-too-much time reading about, researching, and studying so-called complimentary, alternative, and the latest, integrative medicine (it almost pains me to put the word medicine after this stuff).
I joined the CBR250 forum a couple of weeks ago. I realize that on any forum, you have to use a little common sense as you sort through the information.
So, I almost couldn’t believe it when there was a  lengthy post which in essence was saying, if you get cancer don’t go to an oncologist, don’t vaccinate your kids, the pharmaceutical companies are out to get you, and so on (Posted on a motorcycle forum, for cryin' out loud.). Yes, this person not only sipped the Kool-Aid, he plunged into a pool of it. To add to it, there were links to Natural News, a place way high up in the chain of bogus information and quack ideas. So, what to do? I’ll spare you the machinations, if you will, that I went through.
I wrote the moderator and thankfully he promptly moved the post to the Off Topic section and pulled the links.
I won’t waste more time on this one….
PS. This photo…well, makes me look sort of demented. Oh, well.

Saddlebags? What to do?

May 23, 2012
OK, if I'm ever going on my trip I need to get something to carry my junk. At first I was going to buy the Ortleib large saddlebags. They are eight inches wide. Then I dragged out a large Ortlieb dry bag that I've had for several years (long story), stuffed it with clothes, and here's the result. Now, this bag, is huge...and I mean huge. However, I'm now beginning to wonder whether I can strap it securely. I surely don't want to have to stop every ten minutes to check on it.
Another real problem is my getting on the bike once the bag is strapped on. I'm having a little difficulty getting on it now with only my rain suit strapped on. And, yesterday when I strapped on a bag of dog treats they started shifting around. Soooooo, now I'm considering the thin Ortlieb bags that are four inches wide. Hmmm. The Ortlieb bags are appealing because of them being absolutely waterproof without having to put on rain covers.
Just went out to my bike and did some more measuring. Hmm? It's too bad someone doesn't make a small neat rack that would keep the bags straight. Well, no one does and that's that. Of course I am sure there are folks out there using similar bags on similar bikes and having no problems.
I have a small compression bag (if I can find it) which I should be able to put fives day's worth of underwear and socks in. I could then put that bag in a "small" dry bag and strap that on the seat. Or hell, I could ship all the stuff UPS. (As an aside, my step-father always said, There's only two people you can trust, the Marines and UPS.)

F#%K A Cow!

May 22, 2012 5PM
I had mentioned somewhere, that I may write about stuff other than motorcycles. Hmmm, this may be the beginning.
Well, the day started OK. I have yet to decide where I’m going on my so-called mini-trip. At first, I was going to stay at The Peaks of Otter Motel, which is on the Blue Ridge Parkway. However, wow, the rates are over a hundred. And, yes, I’m trying to live on social security while continuing to spend money as though I have it.
So, looked around at other motels, near the parkway. Hmmm.
Then started looking at other cities. Anyway, the weather was delightful though rain forecast later…in fact, as I type this it is storming with lightening and all the rest.
So, my pup was out of treats and I was out of booze. Figured I’d make my first grocery run with the bike. Yep, treats and booze. Also, I needed to fill the tank for the first time. So, off to the store.
Dang, got a cramp in my leg when I was trying to get on the bike. Hmmm. Bought the treats. Strapped them on the back of the bike on top of my rain suit. Will I be able to throw my leg over? Barely.
Filled the tank (68 mpg, nice!) and headed to the booze store. Since picking up my bike last Thursday, I think, I’ve only used my car (actually a Honda Ridgeline) once and I’ve kept my wallet in my tank bag. Yes, maybe you can see where this is going…
Parked at the booze store and opened my tank bag. Yep, you guessed it. No wallet. Immediately back to the station, which is only a few miles from the booze store. Nooooooooooooooooooo wallet! So, that was my day.
There is a lesson here, I’m sure. I’ll think on that later.
Well, at least the pup has her treats. And, yes, I went to the bank (as always, the nice ladies there brightened my day), got cash, and bought booze. So, other than no wallet, driver’s license, credit cards, hundred-dollar bill, and so on…maybe the day will end OK. I shall see.

A Little Information About the Bike I'm Buying

  Here’s a poorly-done snap of my bike languishing in the showroom. I think the color is referred to as tricolor. Yes, red, white, and blue. Also, colors from last year, red and black are still available. I would have preferred black and Henry had a black one but it has ABS, which I didn’t want. So, tricolor, it is.
  Some folks name their cars and motorcycles. Up to this point I haven’t; however, I think the perfect name would be Scout. I had a pup many years ago who I named Scout. She was a perfect pup and companion. Also, there’s Scout from the movie To Kill A Mockingbird. But, for the moment no name.
  A little about the bike. It has a single cylinder, water-cooled engine of less than 30 horsepower. Maximum RPM, I think is 10,500. Weight with fuel and ready-to-go is 357 pounds and according to the owner’s manual, you can haul 366 pounds. There seem to be quite a few folks on the forums who own these bikes and weigh over 200 pounds. Mentioned elsewhere, the mileage should be about 70 miles per gallon on regular fuel. And, I guess that’s about that for the bike.

How this all started?

May 12, 2012,  5:50 AM 
  My sleep continues to be screwed-up. Having worked late-night shift work for almost twenty years, it seems that my sleep can get out of whack without much trouble.
  I seem to be going through the Get on Your Motorcycle and Travel mind-set, for lack of a better term. Yes, this happens from time to time. The last time was a few years ago. Oh, well. May cover that later.
  A few days ago, for reason (s) not exactly known, I went to my local Honda dealer and looked at a CBR250R. For those of you who don’t know, it seems to be an average-size motorcycle; however, its uniqueness, I guess you could say, is that it has less than 30 horsepower, and routinely gets 70 mpg. Yep, by choice it surely wouldn’t be the first pick for many as a stead to use to travel. Running errands around town and commuting, and as a plaything for weekend fun, yes. But, for travel of any distance, surely wouldn’t be a first choice for most folks.
  Ironically, sitting in my garage, and not ridden for over two years is a like-new BMW. Yes, the first choice for many who want to travel. I will most likely write about why I am not going to use that. Not at this time, though.
  Before going any further, I guess I need to say, I’m primarily a dreamer, not a doer. Yep, will sit for hours scouring the Net, buying books, researching and so on, getting ready for a project and then drop it and move on to something else. So, I’ll find out this time if I get beyond the Internet and dreaming stage.
  As of two days ago the dealer only had two bikes, well, two of the 250cc bikes. So, I guess, if I want one anytime soon I’d better get the darn thing and get that out of the way.
  Most dealers do not allow test drives. Yes, good for the dealer, bad for the customer. A simple test drive, even if just down the street, would make the purchase decision far easier. Now, the consumer relies on test drives from magazines and reports in the Internet forums.

May 13, 2012 5:30AM
  Well, sure hope my sleep gets sorted out before too long.
Had planned on sending the gentleman at the dealership an e-mail telling him I want the bike. For some reason haven’t.
   Yes, again for the past several hours have been back to Adventure Travels. Read some well-written nice reports with plenty of snaps. Yep, sounds like something I think I want to do.
   I guess one thing I’d have to get used to, assuming I buy this bike and actually get out there, is not having specific plans about where I’m going to stay.
   Over the past ten twelve years I’ve done a little traveling, well vacations I guess you could say. However, everything was planned. I’ve had over twenty vacations to the mountains of Virginia, yes, staying in the same place for each trip. Have gone to the car races in West Virginia from time to time, and yes, knew exactly where I was staying. So, I guess that’s one thing I’d have to get used to, just stopping off at a motel and going from there.
   Yesterday, a pal, kindly agreed to let me ride his motorcycle. He has a low-mileage Kawasaki 250 Ninja. My thinking was that as the motorcycles are so similar it’d give me a good idea of what to expect with the Honda.
The temperature was most likely mid-to high eighties. Yep, everything was Ok until about a mile away the motorcycle sputtered and quit running. I’ll spare you the events after that. Would like to say two folks stopped and offered help. That was nice. 

May 14, 2012 10:40AM
   Well, just talked to the sales fellow and he is holding a motorcycle for me. So, I guess I could say this is the start of the adventure. I wish myself good luck…

May 15, 2012 5:30AM
   Went by the dealership yesterday and signed an agreement. The bike, well, my bike, should be ready about noon today. However, pretty nasty looking weather report; thunderstorms forecast for most of the day. Though I have some experience riding motorcycles, I haven’t ridden one in two or three years, and prior to that it had been about thirty years. So, as far as I’m concerned, I’m a new rider. Yep, starting from scratch, again. 

  Though I have a rain suit, which I’ve never had to use, I’m surely not going to start my motorcycle adventure in the rain. The traffic here is pretty grim, especially when it rains. So, as of now, the bike will just have to wait until the weather is a little more favorable..

May 17, 2012 1:20PM
  Well, yep, just picked-up my bike. Just a quick few words. Yes, considering myself a new rider, I was apprehensive about how I'd fare in riding it. So far so good.
  I stopped by my pal's place of business and he really likes it. He is the one who has the Ninja 250 and many other motorcycles.
  Got out on the Interstate and cruised along at 60. Felt fine. Of course, you knew it when you hit a bump, but I think most motorcycles would be about the same. Briskly accelerated up to 70 once. Engine sounded pretty cool in the higher RPMs.

  I had initially planned to bring the bike home and go out after midnight when there'd be no traffic; however, things are going so well as far as my being comfortable riding it, that after feeding my pup, I'm heading out again. Weather is about 20% chance of rain.
  Frankly, I truly didn't need another motorcycle. After all, I have a like-new BMW. That said, I am pleased with my choice and I can't think of anything that could happen that would change that. Absolutely no buyer's remorse.

  Will have a few more snaps tonight...but, hey, seen one seen them  all.

May 18, 2012
  Well, yes, did get out for a while today. Had planned on riding at least 100 miles; however, the wind was a steady 20 mph with gusts approaching 30 mph. Would have been a great day except for the wind. Temperature about 70 and clear blue sky.
  After about an hour, just wanted to get off the bike as I was tired of battling the wind. I normally wear long-sleeve shirts. However, as the temperature was about 70 degrees, decided to wear a t-shirt underneath my 3/4 length riding jacket.
  When I walked in McDonalds to get my senior coffee (one of the few perks of being old), with my jacket off, my shirt proclaimed I Survived the Rapture Again. A gentleman in line, behind me, proudly sported a tee that had a huge cross with the name of a church. Wow, for a moment I thought we might have dueling t-shirts.
  Found a few country roads 15 miles or so from home that were great. But, frankly, I was really bashed around with the winds and called it a day after about 60 miles. I had the so-called death grip on the grips and it just was not enjoyable. However, did find a couple of neat roads. I think I'm going to most likely get the lamb skin seat pad. The forecast for the next 6/7 days is calling for high livelihood of rain.
  Only missed a few shifts today. Need to get out and practice stopping quickly. The way I ride is to stay way behind the cars in front of me and just take it easy.
  Though I guess you can always say a little more horsepower would be good, I'll tell you folks, being able to give this bike full throttle without ending up smashed against a wall is a positive aspect of less than 30 horsepower. This seems a perfect bike for someone new to motorcycling, which I consider myself.
  I think the riding position is going to work out well. Actually, since I've only ridden two days for a little over 100 miles and both days were extremely windy, I'll comment later after more miles without the wind. Also, I think the standard shield may well over enough wind protection.

  Lesson: If there is something that I think is noteworthy, well at least me for, as a lesson if you will, or something to remember, I'm going to put it in bold type. Today the lesson is, if the winds are high I will most likely not ride. Or, at least I won't ride where the terrain is such that I'll get a huge blast of wind across an open field or while crossing over a bridge. Hey, this riding is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. Of course, I guess I could also argue, that there is a velocity, or speed if you will, somewhere along the line from no wind to tornado-like wind, where there may be a trade off. You know, there's more fun and enjoyment than there is white-knuckling on the grips. A risk reward evaluation, I guess you could say.
  Now some might argue, Gosh, you need to practice riding in the wind. Hmmm. I guess you could also say, If you ride long enough you may well fall. Does that mean we should practice falling. Yeah, let's go out and lay that baby down to see if we can do it with little injury.
  Nope, I'll get my-riding-in-the-wind practice if I'm ever in a situation where the wind is up and for some reason I must ride.

May 20, 2012 3:30AM
  Well, just got from a 37 mile ride. Had planned on at least 70 or so, which brings me to my next lesson. Dress appropriately. Yes, dress for what the weather is. When I left home the temperature was about 60 degrees or so. I wore my 3/4 length jacket with t-shirt. I thought about zipping in the liner or putting on a sweater; I did neither. Anyway, had planned on some Interstate miles. Well, frankly, it was a little chilly or nippy. So, got off the Interstate, and yes, it was still a little chilly. The problem could have easily been solved by having put on a sweater. So 37 miles instead of 70.

  Noticed some numbness in my hands. Especially in the left one. Not sure how much of it, if any, was caused by gripping too tightly. Will try to remember on the next ride to pay more attention.
  Also, after about an hour, my butt was getting a little sore. Think I'm going to buy a sheep-skin cover.
  Ahh, a little humor?
  I have my rain suit strapped to my seat. Had looked around for my pair of Totes and couldn't find them. Backing up for a minute, when I got dressed the day I picked-up my bike, I looked on a shoe rack that I have on the inside of a closet door. You know the type, they have those hook things so you can line your shoes up. Hmmm. Didn't explain that well.
  Anyway, noticed a pair of boot-like shoes that covered my ankles. And, that's what I've been wearing and they fit nicely and are comfortable. OK, here's the funny? part. When I was putting them on this morning I noticed the following embossed on the shoe's tongue, "Guaranteed Waterproof." And, so it goes.

Outside the dealership....

Outside the dealership....
Yes, taking delivery of my new bike, May 17, 2012. The Marsee tank bag fits nicely. It's the strap-on type and you can get to the gas filler by unsnapping two of the straps. It is not in the way; however, it does expand upwards. My rainsuit is strapped to the seat.

OK, I promise to keep snaps of me to a minimum.

OK, I promise to keep snaps of me to a minimum.
Yeah, I know. I look pretty old. Actually, I'm only 25, the years have been tough and they've taken their toll.

Ortlieb Large Dry Bag (Rack-Pack)

Ortlieb Large Dry Bag (Rack-Pack)

I was on the verge of placing an order with Aerostich for Ortlieb saddlebags and decided to see how this bag would work. It’s the large Ortlieb dry bag. It cavernous and holds a whopping 2990 cubic inches. And, no it’s not filled to capacity, I just stuffed it with some clothes. The bungees I happened to have, though if I decide to use this as shown, I’m going to order six ROC straps. The only things that I can think of that I’ll be packing that are damageable or breakable are my netbook and two small cameras. The cameras I can put in the tank bag and the netbook I can wrap in clothes. I know one thing, if I do decide to use this bag I’m going to have to do some stretching exercises, as I will surely not be able to throw my leg over this. Yes, definitely a step-through situation.