Monday, September 24, 2012

Last Ride of the Season #2

There was a modest turnout for our 2nd Last Ride of the Season. I have since learned that the "official" name for the this very loose knit riding group is FOG or "Friends Of George". For those not familiar with George Rahn, he used to own the BMW dealership in Fairbanks since forever and now owns the Royal Enfield dealership. He is still the go to guy for problems with airheads and the older K bikes. He rode in on a K75 that he recently picked up from someones garage in town. Once the roads get slippery, he starts using his Royal Enfield with a Cozy side car. I had missed the 1st last ride since I was still recovering from the Equinox last week. And if there is a third one next week, I'll miss that since I will be in Philadelphia for the Internet2 Fall Meeting.

Since the real purpose for any of these rides is to find food somewhere, what better destination is the Hilltop Truck Stop up the Elliot Highway north of town. The Hilltop is known best for it's huge servings of diner fare and a their wonderful pies. I don't get out here very often as this is the road that head north ending up in Deadhorse. As is typical for this "group", once everyone knows the destination, people just start heading out in what ever direction they want with whomever they want to ride with (or not) until all arrive at the destination (or not). This is my preferred style of group riding and seven of the original ten showed up for lunch. The pie selection was dismal for the first time in my memory with only three listed on the white board.

As you may notice in the snapshot, our trees have lost all of their leaves and we are beginning that drab, colorless season that won't feel clean, fresh and bright until snow covers things up. It was unseasonably warm at 68°F  so it looked like we were going to get a reprieve from winter. Last night, colder temperatures blew in and this morning it was 30.3°F and wet so I opted to not ride in this morning. Since the Hilltop wasn't that far out of town, I cruised through Goldstream Valley and the Old Nenana Highway before heading back home.

I had taken this snapshot last week while walking through campus. The leaves haven't all dropped yet and the sunshine felt wonderful. We don't get all the wonderful variety of colors as in other parts of the country. Yellow and maybe a little orange on some shrubs is pretty much it.

George told me to stop by his shop as he thinks he has a used Cozy sidecar that needs cleaning and paint and possibly a DMC subframe that will work on my bike. The sidecar may be a little on the light side but with sufficient ballast it may be what I have been looking for.

18 comments:

  1. Beautiful last photo, Richard.

    I think if I had gone all that way for pie and was not totally delighted I would have been in a dangerously bad mood.

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    1. It wasn't that far and it just means that I'll need to make another trip. There have been times when there are 15 different pies listed on the board of which only a handful are the familiar types....

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  2. Oooo. So like what kinda other pies?????

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    1. Examples: Fat Man, lemon cream, chocolate espresso, peanut butter, strawberry-rhubarb, cherry-amaretto, sour cream-apple, peach-raspberry, pecan chocolate-raspberry, blueberry cream, etc.

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  3. I'm with Martha, what kinda of pies?

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  4. Sidecar....sidecar......sidecar, with training of course on the perils of unanticipated flying of the chair, especially with a light sidecar! Once you go Hack, there's no going back..... :)

    Dom

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    1. Still looking into it. I'm sold on the idea but I'm still trying to decide between adding one to the existing bike or looking for a 2WD Ural (with reverse).

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  5. Did I read sidecar? Cool! That's one nice winter project.

    And I am glad that the pie question is resolved to everybody's satisfaction. Strawberry-Rubarb has my name on it.

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    1. They occasionally have a handful that are labeled as vegan and gluten-free as well. I personally go for one of the berry pies though none is the normal selection. Too much sugar....

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  6. What a contrast between the picture with the naked trees to the one from last week with the bright yellow leaves waiting to drop.

    No fair Sonja - I wanted the strawberry rhubarb. My mom used to make the best strawberry rhubarb pies. And then she'd make a batch of filling and can it in jars so that in the winter we could open it and heat it a bit and pour the filling on vanilla ice cream. Yumm.

    The side car idea sounds cool Richard. It will be fun to follow your thoughts and if you decide to go with the one that needs a little work for your BMW or with a Ural.

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    1. Once the leaves start to go, they go pretty quickly. Now we are in the drab part of the year that'll make you look forward to snow.

      Still trying to decide which path to take...

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  7. You are bold to think of riding through the winter. I look forward to your side car adventures (from inside my warm and cozy living room). But I have not objections to eating pie (I'm with you though, bring on the berries - or pumpkins with Canadian maple syrup.)

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    1. I have heard other words used to describe this line of thinking but I think I like your choice.

      I've never tried maple syrup on a pumpkin pie before, I may have to try that soon. I just baked a pumpkin last night.

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  8. Richard,
    What's with the 2nd to last title? I thought you tough Alaskans rode until you couldn't see over the snow drifts ;-)

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    1. There has been as many as 5 "last rides" in years past so it is sort of a joke around here how many we can actually get in. I think two years ago, the last one was returning through blowing snow and riding in the tracks left by the tractor trailer rigs.

      Most bikes around here have been put away for the season with a few exceptions. A few stud their tires and continue until it's just too cold.

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  9. Maybe not as much color (so you say), but still so beautiful. I love the third photo with the wet roads and the light and shadow coming in from the side. But there is also a stark beauty when the leaves fall too.

    +1 Get a sidecar. I saw one today(I think a Ural, but I wasn't close enough). Uber-Kewl! Perfect for Alaska don'tcha think!

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    1. Even starker when once the snow arrives. I still like living up here partially due to the stark beauty.

      I'm thinking more of going with the sidecar installed on the /7 since it is in really nice shape.

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