Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Ride

This morning, it was a chilly 30°F but the cloudless sky promised warmer temperatures by afternoon. The lake shown is along my commute and, as you can see, the ice is almost completely melted. Only another week or so. A small group of us from church rode west towards Nenana to the Monderosa Bar & Grill for lunch. The small size of the group was probably due to it being Mother's Day. My only instruction from home was to be back in time to make dinner for the family. The bike ran fine but when I returned, I noticed a couple of drops of brake fluid below the front master cylinder. There is still plenty of fluid but I guess I need to do some troubleshooting on the system. Afternoon temperatures got up into the low fifties (F) so it was a wonderful ride though a couple of the other riders without windshields were feeling pretty chilled by the time they arrived at the Monderosa. It was a diverse group comprised of a Harley, Goldwing, V-Star and my airhead BMW. I only saw two other bikes out today besides our small group. Since this was basically my first real ride of the year, I opted to ride by myself instead of with the group. I wanted the luxury of having the whole lane especially since I didn't know the condition of the road and prefer not having someone following me. Plus, the rest of the group were much more experienced riders all who preferred a higher average speed than I. They needed to stop for gas on the way out of town so the timing worked out perfectly. We all pulled into the Monderosa parking lot at about the same time. No food shot of my Mondo Jalapeno Burger since I didn't think of it until it was all gone. Now, I need to re-torque the heads and figure out where the brake fluid is leaking from.

Next Sunday, the very loosely organized BMW group in Fairbanks is trying to put together some sort of ride. This is a different group than the Airheads and exists only as an email list. Suggested destinations are all over the map ranging from 30 to 300 miles (this is just for lunch!) but will probably end up being the same destination as todays ride. Fortunately, their burgers are wonderful.


  1. 50F is a magic number here as well. When you temperature hits there the bikes come out. Before that point it is only the few who ride here pretty much year around.

    Glad you got out and that the bike performed well and got you home without incident. Good luck finding your brake gremlin.

  2. You ordered a jalepeno burger on purpose? Guess there's more than one way to warm up!

  3. What!? No Burger shot! (SMH)

    Glad you got out an got a little seat time in after all this waiting. My wife used to kid me an a couple of friends I used to ride a bit with, "Will ride for food", or as she put it, "How can you guys ride four hours and end up at a Waffle House?" I keep trying to explain its the ride not the destination.

    Good luck finding the brake leak. Guessing an o-ring has split.


  4. Nice first ride report... complete with jalapeno burger!

    I agree with Allen, the brake leak is probably an o-ring that just thawed out but forgot its original shape. ;)

  5. Around 30F is my personal limit, I wouldn't trust my skills below this. But nice to hear it warmed up to 50F, yet you wouldn't find many riders around here pulling the covers from their bikes.
    Doesn't it feel great to be back on the road? Be careful out there, and I hope to read a lot more from your trips. And next time: food pictures please ;-)

  6. Nice to see you back on the road. Nice to see a road and not snow! Looks like a great day with blue skies (just a little jealous, but you earned it after all the dark and cold).

    Hope the brake leak turns out to be an easy fix. Ron just fixed some brake thing on his bike. Don't ask me what, I just helped bleed the brake line...and hose down the bike with brake fluid! :D
    Jalapeño burger - yum!

  7. Richard, check the Banjo fittings on your brake didn't reused the washers involved with the fittings did you? DAMHIK. ;)


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  8. Hooray for your first ride of the season. It is nice that you had a sunny day even if the temperatures weren't too awfully warm.

    Hope you have more sunshine and warmer weather coming your way.

  9. Circle blue:
    There are only a few here that ride year 'round and most (but not all!) of them have sidecars.

    Yes, on Saturday there were even reports of snow...

    Their jalapeño burger is my favorite but all of them are great.

    Allen Madding:
    I haven't pulled apart the master cylinder yet to even determine where the leak is coming from. And yes, the destination is secondary.

    When I originally purchased the bike, there were front master cylinder parts in the pile so it must have been a problem for the previous owner. I need to find that box of parts...

    SonjaM & Bluekat:
    It did feel great to be back on the road. Even at 30°F.

    I haven't disassembled anything yet and it doesn't look like its leaking at the banjo fitting. More likely the O-ring between the reservoir and the master cylinder or the piston. I'm guessing corrosion in the cylinder.

    It's always sunny and warm around here...

  10. First ride of the season in May? wow, and it's only 30 degrees? I'm thinking of going to Alaska next year, which would be the warmest month? I'm planning on going all the way up to Deadhorse.

  11. George F:

    Most head up to Deadhorse in June & July but you'll get better information on ADVrider in the Alaska section under Regional. I've only ridden up to the Yukon River but have driven up to Toolik Lake several times. The earliest I've been up the road was in April and it was really wet with lots of snow and ice in Atigun pass (4739 ft). I've also been up as late as early September and we were getting snow flurries north of the Brooks Range. As far as the rest of the trip, May through mid-September no problem. I've driven (not ridden) the trip about 17 times.

  12. Thanks for the info, I'm thinking July next year if I get my new bike :-( I have been reading lots of riding reports on ADV :-)
    If time allows I would like to ride all the way across Canada.
    Alaska is the reason I ordered a Yamaha Tenere.