Monthly Archives: February 2019

Groundhog Day Again.

As is becoming more normal, it’s been a little bit. No real reason why; just the doldrums of winter (or something). It’s not like there hasn’t been a load of stuff going on; there has. Adventure, shopping, wrenching, injuries – it’s always something. So, just the highlights.

There was hiking, because of course there was. The first hike was a death march in the freezing cold from the bottom of Lookout Mountain at Reflection Riding, all the way to the top at Sunset Rock, followed by miles along the bluff, across the state line to Covenant College, down the mountain to Skyuka Spring, and back. 13.25 miles, and more than 1400′ in elevation. Really, really hard. Seriously, if you’ve been to Sunset Rock, think about what you see in the valley below, then imagine climbing all the way up. Compound that with ice all over the rocky ledges, a little sleet, and roaring mountain winds. Stupidly dangerous. But awesome.

Lookout Mountain - Kiddie Trail to Sunset Rock

Click for larger, or check out the complete interactive Movescount map.

There’s one more significant trail I intend to conquer on that side of the mountain, and I’m also planning a hike up one side which will culminate in a ride back down on the Incline Railway. I’ve never been on the Incline. Never wanted to. But with my newfound “laughing in the face of death” attitude, why not? What’s the worst that could happen?

Next, on to the Rock Creek Gorge. This was the last major segment of the Three Gorges Segment of the Cumberland Trail that I needed to conquer, and I did (at great expense to my knee). This time, 14.15 miles in a really, really rugged gorge – but the scenery was totally worth it, and the weather was awesome.

Rock Creek Gorge Map

Click for larger, or see the interactive Movescount map.

Along the trail, I encountered a local (henceforth known as “Fat Ron Weasley”; I suspect in the woods because NASCAR wasn’t on) who warned of a pair of bears that frequent the area. Swell. Like Bones said, “I choose the danger – hell of a time to ask.” Reminder for next time – bring the bear repellant.

And yeah, I wrecked my knee. Badly. But snaps to The Science Channel for showing how knee replacement surgery is done on How It’s Made while I was flat on my back icing the thing. Um, no thanks – I really don’t want my bones sawed off and replaced with plastic. Although I may not have a choice. A week later, and I’m ready for someone to take me out behind the barn and shoot me.

Karma Controller Mounted on BMW MotorcycleThere was shopping, as well. Too much shopping. My iPhone 6 has been flaky lately, so I upgraded to an iPhone 8 Plus. Been wanting to make the swap because of the dramatically better camera, but couldn’t really justify $900+ American dollars just for the camera. That said, I need to be able to depend on the thing while in the woods (because bears) or in the boat (also, probably bears) or on the motorcycle (bears, but a different kind) or whatever. So, here we are. And speaking of better cameras, a new GoPro Hero7 Black; the newest, fanciest GoPro. I had been wanting this for the onboard image stabilization; should make better videos on the motorbike(s). Speaking of the motorbike and GoPros, I got all the pieces and parts to mount my GoPro Karma drone controller on the handlebars, so I can use the drone’s “follow me” functions. Should make some awesome videos, and the way I designed the bracket, I can also mount it on my mountain bike, kayak, other motorbike or whatever. This should make for some great aerial footage, once Mother Nature decides to stop being a b*tch.

And you know why she’s doing it? Because I fixed my other motorbike. I’m not positive exactly what happened to it, but my hypothesis is that I had a power surge in the barn, which went through the Battery Tender and fried the battery. Not positive, but a new battery fixed it, and while I was at it, I re-did all the connectors for the dashcams, glow lights and other electronics I’ve added. It’s gratifying to turn a wrench and solve a problem. And yeah, I’ve installed surge suppression on the circuit in the barn.

Honda Shadow Phantom VT750C2B

Now that riding season is almost here, there’s still two things I intend to do on the bike: add a Cobra Fuel Management System, and a Cobra PowerFlo Intake. The PowerFlo intake is basically like a hood scoop you see on a race car – it pushes much more air into the engine, resulting in more power, especially off the line (See that oval thing on the side of the bike? That’s the factory intake, but it’s a closed system, so it doesn’t allow much air straight into the engine; just enough to make it run properly.). And the fuel management system works in conjunction with the PowerFlo to optimize the air/fuel mix, again, improving power, acceleration and MPG. So, another $500ish, and I think I may finally have the bike exactly where I want it. Until I come up with something else.

BMW G650GS

In the short term, though, it’s gonna be the BMW. The big bike is ready to go, but it’s flippin’ cold to be out cruising along at 50 or 60 MPH on the open road. It’s still cold on the Bimmer, especially in the whole 1″ of snow we’ve gotten this year, but, y’know, it has heated grips, so there’s that.

Oh, and in the spirit of getting caught up, I finally got around to updating the Motorcycle page, which is of no interest to anyone but me – and just barely that. Now, no more shopping. Well, until I see something I like. Or want. Whatever.

Links:
Lookout Mountain Hike Photo Album on Facebook
Rock Creek Hike Photo Album on Facebook