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Voyages on Two Wheels – 12 and 13 December 2011

Riding in the wet can be fun :D

Seriously, I don’t know why I get so many confused looks when I say this, but it’s true for me.  I like riding when it’s raining or drizzling.  We get so much dry sunshine and clear skies here in Vegas that a wet day is a nice change :wink:

12 December 2011 - The bike had been sitting in a light rain all day

12 December 2011 - The bike had been sitting in a light rain all day

 Coming out to a wet bike after work isn’t too bad, but I would like to look into some way to keep the seat dry.  Of course, I’ll probably just keep a towel or rag in one of the saddle bags if I can remember to put it in there in the first place.  It’s always a bit amusing to see the looks on my co-workers’ faces as they walk out to their cars.  They seem to think there’s something strange or wrong with wanting to be outside in anything but warm sunshine  :wtf2:

12 December 2011 - Time to get some gas and reflect on newly learned lessons

12 December 2011 - Time to get some gas and reflect on newly learned lessons

 12 December wasn’t really rainy in the accepted sense of rain.  It was more like an hours-long continual drizzle.  Now, that’s great for lawns and other green things, but it’s not so great for the road.  You see, oil tends to build up on the roads over time if there’s no rain to wash it off.  It’s not too much of a problem when it’s dry because it pretty much seeps into the ground and leaves the surface with plenty of traction.  The first rain after a long dry spell can be a bit of an issue, though.  The oil floats up to the surface and the next thing you know the road is slicker than a politician at election time and you’re trying to navigate a motor vehicle across an ice rink :shock:  Normally, this is only a problem during the first fifteen minutes to hour of the first rain as the continual rain will wash the oil away.

The continual light rain and drizzle was just enough to float all that oil up without actually washing it away.  I was acquainted with this fact that I hadn’t thought about when I pulled into the left turn lane to get into the driveway of the gas station.  Cars waiting in that left turn lane had dropped plenty of oil on the road and it had all been brought up to the surface for my skating motorcycling pleasure :P  As I straightened up and got back on the brakes (always straighten up before braking :wink: ), the rear tire decided to lock up and the bike started to fishtail…  I ended up saving the possibly bad situation by slowly letting off the rear brake and allowing the back end to come back in line with the rest of the bike.  It wasn’t a high speed situation or difficult to recover from – Just stay calm and DON’T PANIC :)

13 December 2011 - ROK Straps came in handy while shopping at Wal-Mart

13 December 2011 - ROK Straps came in handy while shopping at Wal-Mart

 the next night was cold, but dry and clear.  I’d picked up my set of ROK Straps down at the BMW dealer a couple of days before and this was my first opportunity to put them to work properly.  The poor clerk down at Wal-Mart looked at me with a rather perplexed look as he eyed my purchases and the helmet in my shopping basket and asked, “How in the heck are you going to fit all that on the bike?!”  I told him most was going into the saddle bags and the soda would be strapped down to the passenger seat :pepsi:  It worked fairly well, but could probably use another strap – that ain’t a light load back there and it kinda wanted to shift around a bit :wink:

Well, that’s all for now but keep on havin’ fun and I’ll be back again soon :mrgreen:

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Voyages on Two Wheels – 3 to 6 December 2011

And it looks like I’ve finally caught up to December :D

3 December 2011 - My V-Star with my brother's Accord

3 December 2011 - My V-Star with my brother's Accord

 My brother came up to visit on my birthday and it was nice to see him :)  He was also kind enough to bring up my birthday and Christmas presents.  Birthday presents like the tool kit he gave me and the wind deflectors for my hands on the motorcycle from Mom & Dad :cool:

6 December 2011 - Sunset as seen from work as I left for the day

6 December 2011 - Sunset as seen from work as I left for the day

6 December 2011 - Sunset as seen from work as I left for the day

6 December 2011 - Sunset as seen from work as I left for the day

Once again, it was getting rather dark when I left work, but I thought the sunset was nice enough to warrant a couple of pictures :)  And that palm tree is for you, Kath :wink:

Stay tuned for more soon :mrgreen:

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Voyages on Two Wheels – 19 November 2011 – Exotics in Red Rock Canyon

19 November 2011 - Ferrari 458 Italia at the overlook in Red Rock Canyon

19 November 2011 - Ferrari 458 Italia at the overlook in Red Rock Canyon

19 November 2011 - Ferrari 430 at the overlook in Red Rock Canyon

19 November 2011 - Ferrari 430 at the overlook in Red Rock Canyon

You really never know what you’ll see out in Red Rock Canyon :)

These Ferraris are part of a rental program where people can see what it’s like to drive one without having a mortgage payment for a California mansion.  It looks like fun, but I don’t think I’ll spend $300+ for a few hours in them :wink;

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Voyages on Two Wheels – 15 November 2011

I know it gets hot in the summer here in Vegas.  Believe me, I have a whole new understanding of that situation after this past summer spent on the bike :P  Still, even after sweating gallons of water a day at times and cooking at the traffic lights, I’ve started to look forward to summer’s return.  It may be hot, but at least the days are longer.

15 November 2011 - Winter desert sunset as I left work

15 November 2011 - Winter desert sunset as I left work

 This is what it’s looked like lately when I leave work at 1630 hours.  I remember back in July when the shadows of the mountains in Red Rock Canyon would finally cross the road sometime around 1930 hours and it would be fairly light until around 2030 hours.  I miss those long days even if I did have to was my helmet liner once or twice a week :)

15 November 2011 - 14500 miles already?

15 November 2011 - 14500 miles already?

 Even with the cold weather and the early darkness, I’ve continued to rack up the miles on the bike :thumb:

Have fun and stay safe, everyone :mrgreen:

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Voyages on Two Wheels – 23 October 2011 –

Another afternoon, another trip through Red Rock Canyon’s scenic loop :cool:

The Bureau of Land Management charges $7 per car or $3 per motorcycle/bicycle/pedestrian to access the scenic loop.  They also have a $30 pass for twelve months unlimited access.  Now, I know a few people out there are wondering why someone would pay $30 to drive the same 13 mile loop a whole bunch of times.  In my case it’s really rather simple – The scenic loop has lots and lots of delicious corners :thumb:

23 October 2011 - Another wonderful ride on the scenic loop in Red Rock Canyon

23 October 2011 - Another wonderful ride on the scenic loop in Red Rock Canyon

 Cornering in a car really isn’t a very big deal, but it’s huge on a bike.  Just one example of this would be a small patch of gravel or diesel spill in a corner.  In a car, you’ve got three tires on good pavement if one of them hits this road hazard, but on a bike you’ll only have one if any.  In the car, hitting either hazard would be a non-event while hitting the same hazard on a bike would likely be the beginning of a long saga involving expensive repairs to the bike and possibly to the rider as well  :shock1:

In the car, you just keep driving.  On the bike, you’d have to change the line you’re riding.  Oh yeah, you can’t brake in the corners on a bike either.  There are entire video series and schools dedicated to teaching people how to properly corner on a motorcycle.  The MSF course I took back in April spent quite a bit of time on it as well.  All those books and videos and discussions are great, but you can’t expect competence in cornering from reading or watching – you have to get out there and do it.

The Scenic loop has become my cornering lab and practice field.  Its thirteen miles of twisting road has quite a few advantages over many of the other options out there.  The speed limit is 35 MPH which is a much better speed to be traveling at if you should happen to crash than say 50 MPH or faster if you somewhere else.  The road is wide, well maintained, and the traffic is all going the same direction with very few driveways and no cross traffic.  Sure, I still have to deal with lines of cars backed up behind a doofus who wants to go 15 MPH in a 35 MPH zone, but I’m getting better at passing them :deal:  Along with improving my passing technique, I’ve also managed to improve my cornering by quite a bit.  I’ve gotten more confident, smoother, and by being smoother I’ve also gotten quite a bit quicker :)  Corners that I used to take at 15 MPH are now easily and safely navigated at 25 to 30 MPH :thumb:

23 October 2011 - Brunch out in Red Rock Canyon

23 October 2011 - Brunch out in Red Rock Canyon

 One of my favorite ways to spend a day is by grabbing a Lunchable and heading out to enjoy it as brunch on that scenic loop.  I’m still working on losing weight and still have quite a ways to go until I reach my goal weight.  Lunchables like this one are plenty low in calories, decently nutritious, and I think they taste pretty good as well :)  I usually wait until I’m at the highest overlook on the scenic loop before I park and enjoy the meal and the view :cool:

23 October 2011 - Scooter cars returning from a tour in Red Rock Canyon

23 October 2011 - Scooter cars returning from a tour in Red Rock Canyon

Scoot City Tours operates these little three wheel scooter cars and takes people on tours of Red Rock Canyon here in Vegas and also through Sedona, AZ.  They look like lots of fun and after thinking about operating costs etc. the $125 per person based on double occupancy price doesn’t sound too bad for the 3.5 hours you get in the vehicles.  What you’re getting is the lack of a windshield in front of your face or any substantial structure around you while taking in the scenery :)  I’d much rather be on a motorcycle, but I understand that many people would rather not be on two wheels.

 Now, these scooter cars are pretty cool looking, but the thing I liked best about them on the scenic loop was that they’re narrow.  You see, those cars can only do something like 25 – 30 MPH and it made passing them on the scenic loop much easier :wink:

That’s all for now, but I’ll be back again soon :)  Have a great day, everyone :mrgreen:

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Voyages on Two Wheels – 21 October 2011

21 October 2011 - Panorama - Evening light on the Calico Hills in Red Rock Canyon

21 October 2011 - Panorama - Evening light on the Calico Hills in Red Rock Canyon

I only have one photo from 21 October.  The sun had already set, but the remaining light was being reflected down into Red Rock Canyon by the clouds on the other side of the mountains.  I thought it was pretty :cool:

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Thanksgiving 2011 Trip to Price, UT

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, Cindy and I were talking and the subject of yours truly possibly traveling to Price, UT to spend the holiday with her and her family came up.  As it turned out, with only a few days remaining we made the decision and I was going to head north.

We had to work two hours of mandatory overtime on the day before Thanksgiving, so I went in and worked from 0600 – 1630 and left for Price immediately following work.  I arrived just shy of seven hours later safe and sound :)  I opted to take the car for this journey as forecast low temperatures were somewhere in the low 20′s in Price and I really don’t have the gear to deal with that sort of cold.  I don’t like driving my car anymore, but I dislike hypothermia even more :wink:

Thanksgiving went extremely well and though Cindy had to work the rest of the days I was up there, we still had a good time :cool:  I went out exploring just a bit while she was at work and made sure to bring my camera :cool:

25 November 2011 - Abandoned house near Wellington, UT

25 November 2011 - Abandoned house near Wellington, UT

25 November 2011 - Abandoned house near Wellington, UT

25 November 2011 - Abandoned house near Wellington, UT

25 November 2011 - Long lonely highway near Wellington, UT

25 November 2011 - Long lonely highway near Wellington, UT

25 November 2011 - Semi-frozen creek near Wellington, UT

25 November 2011 - Semi-frozen creek near Wellington, UT

26 November 2011 - Cool lighting near Wellington, UT but the clouds were moving in fast

26 November 2011 - Cool lighting near Wellington, UT but the clouds were moving in fast

25 November 2011 - Semi-frozen creek near Wellington, UT

25 November 2011 - Semi-frozen creek near Wellington, UT

25 November 2011 - Weather moving in from the north near Wellington, UT

25 November 2011 - Weather moving in from the north near Wellington, UT

 I headed out from Price toward Nine Mile Canyon, but I noticed that it was indeed extremely cold out and that clouds were moving in quite quickly.  Up just a little ways past where the creek pictures were taken the road had turned to dirt.  Putting two and two together I figured there was a halfway decent chance that I might be caught on a muddy road in a snow storm.  The HHR just ain’t set up for that, so I headed back toward Price.  Still, I think the trip was worth it if for no other reason than it got some nice pictures :)

26 November 2011 - Looking north from the Wedge Overlook on the San Rafael Swell

26 November 2011 - Looking north from the Wedge Overlook on the San Rafael Swell

26 November 2011 - Panorama - Wedge Overlook on the San Rafael Swell

26 November 2011 - Panorama - Wedge Overlook on the San Rafael Swell

26 November 2011 - Panorama - Wedge Overlook on the San Rafael Swell

26 November 2011 - Panorama - Wedge Overlook on the San Rafael Swell

26 November 2011 - Panorama - Looking out over grazing land on the San Rafael Swell

26 November 2011 - Panorama - Looking out over grazing land on the San Rafael Swell

26 November 2011 - Sunset in Price, UT

26 November 2011 - Sunset in Price, UT

 26 November saw me set out for a nice drive in the countryside south of Price.  I’d been to all the places before, but it’s country that I really like.  Sadly, the dinosaur quarry was closed but that was OK – I had a very nice drive in the middle of nowhere :)  While I think the V-Star could handle the very nicely maintained dirt roads, I’m glad I had the car because it was something like 24° when I left :shock:

I had to head home on 27 November, but I’m growing to like Utah more with every trip :thumb:

Happy belated Thanks giving everyone :mrgreen:

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Voyages on Two Wheels – 19 October 2011

19 October 2011 - Looking down into the Las Vegas valley from Red Rock Canyon

19 October 2011 - Looking down into the Las Vegas valley from Red Rock Canyon

19 October 2011 - Panorama - Red Rock Canyon at sunset

19 October 2011 - Panorama - Red Rock Canyon at sunset

Looking back at these two pictures, it’s funny to see just how much earlier the daylight dies these days.  These pictures were taken at about 1735 hours.  If you went up to Red Rock Canyon this time of year at the same time, it would be night.  I know because I managed to get out to the same place at only about 1715 hours last week and I had to turn on my bike’s high beam to see better.

I’m looking forward to 11 March 2012 when we get to go back on daylight saving time and I once again have plenty of time to go for a nice daylight ride after work.

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Voyages on Two Wheels – 25 December 2011 – Christmas in Red Rock Canyon

Before I get into the main part of this post, I just want to say Merry Christmas to everyone :D

Christmas 2011 found Las Vegas enjoying surprisingly good weather.  Sure, it was cold this morning but it warmed up rather nicely later in the day.   I think we might have even climbed into the fifties!  Having opened my presents earlier in the morning, I wanted to get out and enjoy the decent weather while I could so I jumped on the bike and headed up to Red Rock Canyon :)  This day of wonderful weather had several results including an insane amount of traffic through both the main road and the scenic drive.  I wasn’t about to go through that thirteen mile loop at a speed of fifteen miles per hour, so I went up to the overlook on the main road.

25 December 2011 - A Christmas visitor to us motorcyclists out in Red Rock Canyon

25 December 2011 - A Christmas visitor to us motorcyclists out in Red Rock Canyon

 I’ve found that a rather eclectic group of motorcycle riders can usually be found at this overlook on any nice afternoon.  Most are very friendly and welcoming even to someone as new and inexperienced as me :)  I figured I’d head out there to see if any of them were around.

25 December 2011 - A Christmas visitor to us motorcyclists out in Red Rock Canyon

25 December 2011 - A Christmas visitor to us motorcyclists out in Red Rock Canyon

 Sure enough, there were quite a few of those motorcyclists there for a good time “bench racing” and joking :)  While we chatted, this visitor came by and spent some time watching us from the Joshua tree.  I’m not sure if he was a crow or a raven, but it was nice to see him hanging out and later to see him soaring away on the slope lift of the wind being directed upwards by the hillside :wink:

25 December 2011 - A very nice row of motorcycles :cool:

25 December 2011 - A very nice row of motorcycles :cool:

 None of the people in this picture are motorcyclists – they just happened to end up in the background.  The motorcycles are (from front to back) a Harley Davidson V-Rod, a Yamaha V-Max, a Suzuki M-109, and my V-Star 650.  All but mine are known for being very fast machines.  The riders know it and it’s why they bought them in the first place.  Mine is known for quite the opposite trait – it’s really rather slow in motorcycle terms.  They don’t care about that.  They don’t care about the minor issues with the heat shields on my exhaust pipes or the accumulating dirt on the tank, venders, saddle bags, and windshield.  They’re just good, friendly guys :wink:  As a matter of fact, I’ve yet to meet anyone of the many guys and gals on motorcycles out in Red Rock who isn’t friendly and welcoming :cool:

So, that’s how I spent Christmas this year.  I might not have gotten to go down to Prescott to visit my family, but I still had a good day :)

Have fun, everyone :mrgreen:

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Voyages on Two Wheels – 14 October 2011 – Evening in Red Rock Canyon

OK, so I lied :P

I’ll go out for a ride in just a few minutes, but I figured I could get just one more post published before I head out :)

14 October 2011 - Panorama - Pretty light on a distant mountain

14 October 2011 - Panorama - Pretty light on a distant mountain

14 October 2011 - A closer view of the evening light

14 October 2011 - A closer view of the evening light

14 October 2011 - Panorama - Another stunning desert sunset

14 October 2011 - Panorama - Another stunning desert sunset

I hope y’all aren’t getting tired of the pics from Red Rock because I’ve got quite a few more yet to be posted :wink:

See y’all later this evening :thumb:

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