It was a mid morning departure June 28, 2018 for the flight to Lexington and drive to HANNIGAN MOTORSPORTS in Murry, Kentucky. It had been a month since it was shipped from Texas. Really had not seen the Indian other then the brief moment I saw it at the dealership. Looked at the BMW R1200GS and saw the Indian as well. Retuned home and called the dealer buying the Indian. Never have even ridden an
Indian. Always been a BMW rider. I guess in honor of my father, who rode Indians back in the 1920's; thought I'd give one a try.
.Arrived late morning at the HANNIGAN shop. Was told that a mishap had occured and a tool was dropped on the fender requiring to be repainted. Well as they say "Stuff happens." They were kind enough to put me up for the night in a hotel.
Next morning picked the bike up at around 7AM and hit the road for a trip back via the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was the worst week for a road trip due to extreme heat and humidity.
Was I in for a surprise! The photo at left is the morning departure forecast. I was at the 106 degree area.
Wasn't to bad at speed. The wind keep it resonably "comfortable". I headed out to the Kentucky "outback" and take the scenic roads to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
There was no BANG or BOOM - NOTHING! In the middle of the road the bike just stopped! Dead!
Guess you can say it was a monumental WTF moment. Wouldn't start.
I pushed it to the side of the road. At about 8:00 in the morning it was already HOT the HUMIDITY
stiffling! It was to get worse. After trying to assess the problem to no avail. I called Indian Roadside Assistance. The cell phone connection was sketchy; but was able to make contact. Was told they would try to find a tow truck; had to be a roll off since it was a sidecar rig.
There are good people in the world. Just so happened a lady that lived in the area was driving by and was kind to stop when I flagged her. At this point I was already feeling the effects of the heat. Indeed
the beginning stage of Heat Exhautstion was setting in. She turned around and went back to her home
and within several minutes returned with chilled bottles of water and let me sit in her car - air conditioning! I honestly think if it was not for her, I may have had a medical issue due to the exposure to the heat and the humidity. Thank you Deb for your kindness!
I waited for "Indian Roadside Assistance" to get back to me and found out through my own searching for a tow truck that a company named S&S Towing had indeed been contacted BUT Indian was shopping his rate! Leaving me to sweat in the heat! I told S&S that I'd pay for the tow. POLARIS/INDIAN a four billion dollar company and they are shopping to save a couple of bucks! Really?! Hey Polaris - I could have died out there! Five long hours later the tow truck arrived and $350.00 later was dropped at JPM PERORMANCE POWERSPORTS in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. I had called these folks with updated arrival time and they assured me they would stay open to fix the problem. What a great company! Thank you!
Unbelievable the problem that left me stranded in the heat and humidity was due to a known problem
and yet Indian did nothing to elert the owners/dealers of the issue. The part was the Volt Regulator.
As of this writing POLARIS INDIAN has yet to assume responsibility! They are passing the buck to Hannigan. This inexcusable! The FAILURE IS AN INDIAN ISSUE! If they don't step up and do what is right, well guess will have to litigate.
The honorable company is HANNIGAN. In a conversation with Dave Haningan he has taken complete responsibility for the damages suffered while in their shop. It is unfortunate that there were issues, but they are making it right. Life (ride) goes on.
I was so tired and worn out, only got down the road about eight miles from JPM. Checked into a hotel around 6PM. Took a cold shower and crashed. To beat the heat of the next day, left at 2:38 AM CST.
The drive to my jump off point for the Blue Ridge Parkway was Maggie Valley. Bike ran strong and it was a great ride. Got in late afternoon found a great eatery and motel. More on this and the Blue Ridge Parkway in the next post.
See You Down The Road
Most of us started out on three wheels. In motorcyclcing three wheels are best; well in many ways:
1. In snow country you can ride all year.
2. If out adventure riding, you can carry so much gear you will think you drove the pick up
3. You won't drop it
4. You will never have to pick it up if it did fall over, and we all have dropped our bikes.
5. Hot days you can ride in shorts - I mean, not like you will fall over!
So there I was on a business trip to Houston, Texas and stopped by a BMW INDIAN motorcycle dealership. Have been riding BMW's for forty-two years. Was looking to replace my 2005 BMW R1200GS. Yikes, I have either shrunk or the seat height has gotten taller becausse it was difficult to swing my leg over or to get "flat footed" while on the bike.
Wondered around the dealership and saw this beauty above. Darn, it was pretty. Brand new 2017 Indian Vintage Chief and priced to sell. I bought it!
Since I love sidecars, had it shipped to HANNIGAN MOTORSPORTS to have one of their classic sidecars built and painted to match.
Above left, is my first sidecar rig, 1966 BMW R60/2 with a Ural sidecar. Right, my 2005 BMW R1200GS and a custom built sidecar by Claude Stanley at FREEDOM SIDECARS.
Big difference in the riding style of a European bike and an American. Forty-two years of riding BMW's with a more "aggressive" sitting possition and pegs. The Indian, or Harley, is more like sitting back in the saddle of a horse and spending hours upon hours of riding the great American Plains. My R90S and the R100's were guick and nimble. Lean into the turn and zip around. The Indian more like you "drive" into the turn. Sure footed; but at twice the weight of the Beemers, totally diferent ride.
As to the build, experiened some issues. Hopefully both INDIAN and HANNIGAN will step up and make it right. More on the problems later. The next post will speak to the issues and how they were resolved.
1944 in many ways not the best year; but America and the Allies were making strong headways to winnng World War II.
Here now, we have for years given tribute to those men and women that gave to the war effort. There are many Air Shows and re-enators events that bring us a glimpse of those days.
This is one of those air shows. It did start out not to promissing, the first two days of the three days it was unbearably hot and humid. The last days started out with rain and the threat of more rain. Thankfully it was considerably cooler.
This year was the 28th annual World War II Weekend brought to you by the MID-ATLANTIC AIR MUSEUM. These folks do a wonderful job in presenting the aircraft, vehicles and the re-enactors of
the war. Kodos to those re-enactors for all the effort. Truly they do a outstanding job!
B17 Yankee Lady
AICHI D3A "Val" This replica was built for the filming of the movie TORA TORA TORA
Teeth Of The Tiger
Mid Atantic Air Museum is located in Reading, PA. The World War Two Weekend is held the first weekend in June every year. If you are a history buff or an airpalne enthusiast this is a must see.
If you can't get there - Buy a photo:
Above is the B-17 built for the movie "MEMPHIS BELLE" . THE AIR FORCE MUSEUM in Daton, Ohio
about a month ago have put on display the real MEMPHIS BELLE. For those that don't know, it was the first B17 to complete the required twenty-five missions. This was almost an impossible task and the plane and crew were sent back to the "States" and did War Bond tours.
See You Down The Road
Thank you to those that have sacraficed for our freedom in this great Constitutional Republic!
Thank you to those that have servered!
See You Down The Road
Like a kid in the candy store, or perhaps the toy store; I can't wait. As readers of this blog, you know I got cought short on cash in a loss of a roof on my property in San Luis Obispo.
So I had to sell my "rig" Had it built when I realized my knees may be an issue when riding the trails in Southwest Colorado - Silverton and Ouray mostly. Went out every year to ride. But with bad knees, should you brace the bike you could break a leg. Break a leg alone miles on a trail; well you could die. I put a sidecar on it. Not going to fall over! Of course you still could drive off a cliff.
After a little over a year decided I needed to ride. If you ride you know what I mean.
Over the years I have well over 300,000 miles on BMW's. First bike was a new 1976 R90S. Should have kept it.
Bought the new ride. 2017 Indian Vintage Chief. Was on a business trip to Houston, Texas a month ago and visisted a motorcycle dealer. - BMW, INDIAN, AND SLINGSHOT WOODLANDS You know just for fun. Well it cost me. Fell for a totally diferent ride. It just was shipped to have a sidecar put on. Pick it up the end of June. Can't wait! Highly recommend Woodlands Michael and the salesman ,Josh, were a great help with an out of state purchase. If in the market, give them a call - https://www.bmwmcwoodlands.com
First ride on the Indian was certainly different. The sitting position, the peg, or in this case, foot boards, and let us not forget the rear brake "pedal" on the Indian. For those not riders; big diference between the Euorpean bikes and the American bikes. The BMW, Ducatti, KTM, Triumph, etc tend to be for of a "steeple chase" sitting. The big American rides, Indian, Harley tend do be a more "laid back" riding possition. I guess akin to the days of riding a horse. Here in the great expanse of the Amercan plains or indeed now the long days in the saddle; we tend to sit back as in an easy chair and ride. My BMW was quiet. The Indian has a somewhat loud; but pleasent rumble to it. I like it - thumpity thumpity rumble.
Had the Indian shipped to HANNIGAN MOTORSPORTS to marry it to a sidecar. Below is what it will look like. My color is a dark blue and cream.
The preceeding blog post was the "Farwell To California". Following here is the fastest and the longest trip I've done in recent memory. In one week - seven days - I drove from the Mid Atlantic to San Luis Obispo, California to close on my last property there. Then I had to inspect other possible investments in Saint George, Utah and the Star Valley of Wyoming.
Was in the saddle for the eight days with brief stays in hotels. Logged 6,797.3 miles! One day I was driving for eighteen hours straight. Now that is a long day. Oh did I mention it was mostly in rain. And that day was an omen of what was to come! More on that below.
Saw a lot of this:
The route was Highway 40 to Highway 58 in Barstow, California. BAck door to San Luis Obispo via
Highway 46. Plesant drive through the wine country of Paso Robles. Wish I had the time to stop and sip the fine wines of the area. It was late in the afternoon, and you know, I was tired. Had been a long drive. Left Flagstaff in the morning and the day before was a looooong day; started somewhere in eastern Oklahoma. All I remember was my departure at around 4 AM; the night clerk told me the highway going east was closed due to ice. All the flashing red and blue lights made it look like a war zone with the police, ambulances and tow trucks attending to the crashes. Well, I was going West.
By nineish I was in Tucumcari, New Mexico and drove the section of Highway 66
In the hay days of Route 66 this was a thriving little town. Now it is just a shell. But even a shell can hold a pearl! Been here before on many trips. And as a regular reader of this blog, you know I don't miss a meal. One of the best for diner is DEL'S and for breakfast KIX ON ROUTE 66.
Let me tell you, the breakfast burrito above made of eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, cheese, chopped greenchile and smothered in red and green sauce; with the side of spicy homemade sausage was .... well maybe I will go back tomorrow just for breakfast! Don't pass this by!
With a full belly and coffee - lots of coffee; I was off again.
Oh, if you are in Tucumcari in the evening dine at Del's. Founded in 1956.
Still serving a great dinner! Both owned by the family and the excellent meals and service shows why they are worth the stop.
Next stop was the Laguna Indian Reservation for a stop at the San Jose de Laguna Mission. Built between 1699 and 1701. Still an active Catholic parish church serving the spiritual needs of the local Laguna residents. A wonderful and well preserved example of an old Spanish colonial mission. You will find it about 40 miles East of Albuquerque on Highway 40. So, stop in and say a prayer to Saint Christopher for a save journey.
If you have traveled highway 40 in New Mexico or Arizona you have seen them:
BOWLIN TRAVEL CENTERS have been in business for over 100 years. This family owned business began in 1912 when Claude M. Bowlin started a trading post and traded with the Native Americans. Today there are a total of ten "trading posts". So when you see the signs don't pass it by. Great place to find a meal or a gift and fuel up. I remember on one hot long motorcycle trip I stopped for gas and the best ice cream cone ever had!
Arrived in San Luis Obispo and the iconic place to stay is the MADONNA INN
All the rooms at the Inn are unique! Below are but three. The resturant is elegant and very good. The coffee shop is a good bet for breakfast.
Turri Road Windmill
After a quick day in SLO, off for Star Valley, Wyoming As you may have read above, this was not a vacation. There was a timeline to keep to. Over nighted in Saint George to visist a posible property and left in the mid morning. Blased up Interstate 15 through Salt Lake and took Highway 89 to Bear Lake and onto Afton, Wyoming. "89" is a beautiful Fall drive. Below in April, before the trees leaf out it was rather bleek.
When you get to Bear Lake stop and enjoy a Raspberry shake. As you can see it is more of an ice cream
Trully a treat!
I arrived in Afton to check the properties I was interested in; but a family emergency required me to depart the night of arrival. Turned out, thankfully, all was good. The drive back to the Mid Atlantic on the other hand was not so good.
It was a light snow at10PM inAfton, as I assended the mountains driving back to Salt Lake the snow intensity increased. It snowed all day long as I turned East. In fact as I continued on Highway 70 East of Denver - in the snow - it became a blizzard and found out later the "Colorado State trucks I had seen on the side of the highway were closing the highway as I passed by! The snow turned to rain and indeed drove home all the way from Wyoming in snow, blizzards and rain.
As noted 6,797.3 miles in eight days. Mostly in rain and snow. Not interested in doing that again!
See You Down The Road
Born in Hollywood, California - when Black and White TV was relitively rare in homes. Most of the cars on the "new" Hollywood freeway were American made. Moved to Sherman Oaks when a lad of four. Attended Dixie Canyon Elementary. High School was Ulysses S. Grant. School mates were Tom Selleck, Micky Dolenz (The Monkeys) although I did not know them. College, well tried it for a couple of years at LAVC; but as a working photographer it was hard to pass up assignments and attend class. So I dropped out.
Went to war in Vietnam.
After the war, came back to the San Fernado Valley for a year or so and desided to give Alaska a try. Worked in advertising. Ended up a director/producer for the local ABC TV station in Anchorage, KIMO. Returned to California and moved to San Luis Obispo.
All and all, spent most of my life in Southern California. That was then - The best times to be there.
From about the early/mid sixties, the Golden State started to tarnish. Took me awhile; but finally realized the Golden State was turned into a gulag. The progressive liberals have succeeded in taking the once great State and flushing it out the sewer pipes to the sea!
Today the RED STAR makes a lot of sense!
I left. May not ever return.
Last month sold the last property I had in San Luis Obispo. I have my memories when the Central Coast was, for the most part, an unknown gem to be enjoyed by a few. Now today, SLO as it is called, is just another liberal anti-business pustule that was once a great place. It's crowded with drive time traffic problems.
Memories. Lots of wonderful memories.
One of the great excusions is Poso Saloon about an hour north of SLO. Over the years many a ride for lunch. As you can see from the themometer below, best to visit in the Spring , Fall or Winter.
For a great day at the beach go down to Avila Beach. Short fifteen minute drive from SLO. For breakfast, lunch or dinner try the Custom House in Avila!
Did a lot of living while in California. The best place to have spent the early/mid years. Riding the bikes in the mountains and the deserts, sailing the coast and Lake Tahoe, skiing Mammoth and Heavenly, scuba diving off Avila and the Channel Islands, rock climbing and repeling the great local climbs in and arround SLO, kayaking and of of course flying all over the State. Cant tell you how many times would fly over to Harris Ranch for breakfast; or up to Morgan Hill for a good meal. Heck I remember one night talking to a guy that had never been to Tommy's in LA for a burger. So we jumped in the 210T and an hour later rented a car at Van Nuys airport and drove to Tommy's in downtown LA.
That's it, about three hours total back in SLO. The most expensive buger I have ever eaten!
Those were great times to be in LA. Used to go to Sunset Bulivard spend a few hours at WHISKY A GO GO listening to The Doors, or Johnny Rivers. Go down to the Golden Bear for folk music. Spend the summer days on the beach of Malibu or Santa Monica.
Learned to fly at....wait for it - Coffin Air Service. Back then you had to do spins to get your license. We did them over the Glenn View Cemetery! My instructor was Hank Coffin and in his seventies. Great pilot and wonderful instructor. I soloed under eight hours and was fifteen years old.
Below: Sailing Lake Tahoe. Diving of the Channel Islands, Riding th California desserts.
Riding and camping at Alabama Hills, Rock Climbing, Kayaking the coast off Shell Beach.
Above: Skiing Mammoth Mountain and "teaching" my son to fly.
Set aside the nit wit (communist) politians and California is a beautiful State. In my opinion the most diverse in what it offers of all the States. I mean you can really ski in the morning and have dinner at the beach the same day!
Allow me to reminisce . I have had a blessed life living in California.
Spent the last morning waiting for the dawn at Pismo Beach. Left an hour after this photo was taken.
Goodbye Kalifornia - Good Luck!
California - is in my soul. There is beauty. There are to be had great and wonderful memories.
And if you are to live there; you will have high blood pressure and learn to swear like a China Sailor when dealing with the State government and many of the local dictators too - SLO is one!
Go there for the beauty and - - - - the Assembly and Moonbeam!
See You DownThe Road
Those of us that are old, rememember the photo above. To those "youngsters" television was not always on 24/7. It was required to shut down nightly to perform engineering maintence.
If you are new to the blog, please read the archives. And all return in May to continue the
See You Down The Road
In Spanish it is called Montana de Oro. Another great side trip not far from Morro Bay, six miles. From San Luis Obispo, about twelve, A wonderful place to camp for a few nights too. Camp closer to the enterance and lay in your tent or your RV listening to the surf. During the Winter, view the storms for some dramatic sights and photographs. Wind and rain blowing at gayle force somtimes. Waves crashing into the cliffs! The thunder of the crashing, pounding waves can be almost deafening.
Montana de Oro got its name from the golden wild flowers in the park. The only riches here however; are the 8,000 acres of cliffs, sandy beaches and the many hiking trails and equestrian trails.
Islay Creek Campground can accomdate both RV's and the tent camper. Across from Spooners Cove and a short walk from the beach. About fifty camp sites With fire rings, picnic tables and water. This is a popular campground and most Summer weekends are booked well in advance. Open all year, but the
chilly ocean air can be brisk in the Winter.
After a day, or several days, at the beach; as you drive out one of my favorite dinner houses is
JIMMY BUMPS Pasta House located in Los Osos and run by my friend Jimmy Delmore.
Wonderful food. Nice wine selection. The menu is down to earth, traditional Italian. As the name implies, offering up great pasta, but also Chicken Marsala, Eggplant Parmigiana and some of the best Calzones and pizza to be had. You cant go wrong with JIMMY BUMPS!
One of the many great roads to ride - or drive - in San Luis Obispo County is Santa Rosa CreekRoad. Located about a forty minute drive north of San Luis Obispo in beautiful Cambria. However as stated here before don't ride, or drive, straight up. You may want to stop in Morro Bay. I mean you do have all day. Make it memorable!
Take time to explore the many shops. If you are in there in the morning, grab a coffee and a cinnamon roll on the embarcadero. If lunch, I recommend the Hofbrau for a Prime Beef Dip sandwich - Yummy!
Be sure to drive out to the "Rock" and watch thr Sea Otters.
After a break in Morro Bay drive North on 101 to Cambria. Now if you have stopped in Cayucos or
Harmony on the way up and time now for lunch; try the Main Street Grill and have a Tri Tip BBQ Sandwich. Or go drive/ride Santa Rosa Creek Road and come back to Cambria for a gastronmnical treat. Top off with a stop at Linns Bakery for a slice of Olallieberry pie or other fine offering.
Cambria is quaint little town. Stroll around and enjoy the shops. When it is time to hit the road - Santa Rosa Creek Road; you will find it south of town. Just follow Main Street until you see the street sign.
Santa Rosa Road is a great motorcycle run; but a nice drive as well. Takes you up into the hills and ends
at Haighway 46 which you can follow back to Highway 101 or turn left and go into Paso Robles and do some wine tasting. Santa Rosa is just one of the many great rides in San Luis Obispo County. Enjoy!
Oh, and the music bed in the video, dosen't have to be a FANTASY just go do it. And be GHROVIN' ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON!
See You DownThe Road
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