As Garrison Keillor might say, “Well, it’s been a quiet week in Kennesaw Acres, my adopted home out here on the edge of the Piedmont.”
Just not a lot taking place on the motorcycling front beyond the usual stuff. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good week. In some respects it was even a very good week. Just not one that saw us doing anything epic with regard to the big bikes.
Highlights from the week included:
The return-home of our Calfee tandem bicycle’s frame after a warranty repair back in California: yes, we love riding all kinds of two-wheeled machines.
I picked the boxed-frame up from FedEx on Wednesday afternoon, unpacked it Wednesday night and re-installed all of the components on Friday afternoon so it would be ready for a weekend ride… assuming it ever stops raining!
We’re scheduled to drive up to Richmond, Virginia on Thursday night, October 1st, for a three-day tandem cycling rally, so it would be nice to know the tandem’s shifting is dialed-in and the rest of the bike is free of any creaks and squeaks before the first day of the Southern Tandem Rally next Friday.
Thursday evening — once I finally got home from work around 7:30 — saw me out in the garage replacing the back-up camera on the Toyota Tundra. The original one I installed 8 years ago stopping being of any use in daylight hours and I was baffled as to why until I pulled it out of my makeshift mounting position in the tailgate handle assembly: the light sensor was partially blocked which make the camera think it was dark / low-light conditions. Hence, all I’d ever see was a white screen… low-light lens trying to see in bright light conditions.
However, on the bright side, the new camera is color vs. black & white, it has a much larger screen and it has guides superimposed on the screen that help you gauge how close you are to obstacles. With a truck as long as our Toyota and poor rearward visibility, it’s nice to know just how close you are or are not to cars when backing into parking spaces. And, because the truck is so long, I do a lot of back-in parking!
Lunch at the Red Eyed Mule with Miss Debbie on Friday was extra special in that we had a chance to visit with our friends Sabra & Joe, who were in town for a few days. Joe has a corporate gig that forced a relocation up North and, at the same time, they went ahead and found a little place in paradise down South to chill-out, fish and otherwise enjoy life when Joe’s not on the road. Thankfully, they kept “The Mule” instead of selling it and have figured out how to make it work even when they’re not there every day to oversee things. So, we cherish our infrequent little visits with Sabra & Joe as they’re just the most upbeat, enthusiastic people we know. Role models, to be sure! Oh, and the quality of the food at “The Mule” has remained outstanding so even though we don’t get our “Sabra & Joe fix” every other week, we’re still treated to what is simply the best-tasting burger we’ve ever had… and that’s what keeps us coming back.
I’m giving Contact Lens’ a try this week just to see if they won’t offer me a more practical way to deal with vision correction while cycling and motorcycling. I had an eye exam on Friday afternoon and after confirming my prescription hadn’t changed (good thing since I have three pair of glasses), I had a contact lens fitting. Talk about an unnatural act, intentionally sticking your fingers in your eyes has got to be right up there with some other over-55 medical exam procedures that I didn’t know existed. That said, I’ve been ‘cheating since I first started wearing glasses in the mid-9o’s” by just going without while cycling and motorcycling. It’s my distance vision that’s not up to par, noting I was 20/15 for most of my life. So, when I hit my mid-30’s and I vision was reduced to 20/20 I felt the need to get that corrected back to 20/15. My distance vision has gotten a bit worse over time and I’ve got a stigmatism that puts shadows around everything, but so long as there’s bright light outside I can function quite well without my glasses. But, once I get into the shadows or twilight condition, I get in trouble as my depth perception falls off quickly and, well, now I also need a little help with reading at close distance. So, contacts seemed like a possible solution. Just two-days into the experiment I’m on the fence. As the doctor said, glasses make vision correction exact. However, contact lenses — and in particular when you have a need for bifocals and a stigmatism as I do — you go for a best-fit which will only offer pretty good vision correction. So, I’m struggling a bit with that pretty-good vs. excellent vision. And, I’ve also discovered it was pretty convenient to always have sunglasses on, i.e., photo-sensitive lenses in all my prescription glasses. Yesterday I found myself trying to keep track of sunglasses for the first time in a long time as I moved in and out-of-doors. More to follow.
Finally a Friday at Loco Willy’s was an extra-special treat on Friday. In addition to spending time with our partners-in-crime, David & Deb, we ended up visiting with a number of other regulars and didn’t say our goodbyes until 11:30pm. I’m pretty sure that’s a record for us, in terms of the length of a single visit to our beloved cantina. Of course, that’s the appeal of the place which I sum up this way: TGFL – Thank God For Loco’s.
The people who own and work there are simply the best and make each visit a pleasure. Lots of smiling faces, all of them work their tails off but make it look easy and they all seem to enjoy working with each other.
Next is the food and it’s also some of the best you’ll find. While there’s bar food on the menu, the sauces, seasonings and ingredients aren’t your typical SysCo or stock formula. Add to that a variety of fresh seafood specials like Ahi Poke tuna, blackened tuna, Johns River oysters and other specials like Rib Eyes, smoked ribs, salmon or cod cooked to order with amazing sides — none of which are on the menu so always ask “what’s not on the menu” — making the decision on what to order a challenge.
For example, this past Friday night the fajitas just weren’t going to cut it so we asked, “What’s not on the Menu?” We ended up having the blackened tuna steak with red potatoes and jalapeno cole slaw for $15. The tuna steaks were “an opportunity” for Loco’s when their fish guy stopped in. No kidding, the Fish Market would have put those on the menu for $32, easy. We had it rare and the combination of a seared & blackened top and bottom with rare middle was melt-in-your-mouth, out of this world. Because we stayed at Loco’s so long we ended up having a second, off-the-menu tuna special: a tuna BLTA: bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado on egg roll with the same two sides as our earlier dinner. On Saturday night we needed some red meat: smoked ribs with a special asian sauce instead of the typical BBQ sauce with a side of fries and slaw. Yummy. Oh, and for dessert, our dear friend Kevin stopped by and shared a special treat from Gabrielle’s bakery.
Which brings us to the patrons… who, as you’d expect, are people like Kevin who appreciate the same things that we do: great staff, great food and a friendly place where everyone is there to relax and have a good time.
If you just accept the fact that we go out to eat three nights a week; it’s one of our things and when there’s just two of you the cost difference isn’t all that huge vs. trying to make a special, one-off-meal at home for just two. We used to frequent three different places to pull this off — On the Border on Fridays, Olde Towne Grille on Saturdays and the Little River Grill on Sundays — with other local, non-chain places thrown in the mix on a regular basis, e.g., Hemingway’s, Capers, Fish Thyme, JB’s BBQ, Gabriele’s, Wild Wings, etc., but now you’ll find us at Loco’s on most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays when we’re in town and don’t have a conflict. And, no, we’re not missing out on anything special. When we need really special, we just go to Henry’s in Acworth!!
Motorcycles & Motorcycling Notes
The daily commute has returned to normal now that the BMW is all sorted out. While I’m sometimes tempted to take the Harley Dyna, it’s just not as practical as the BMW as the weather begins to feel and act more fall-like than summer. In fact, as we entered Autumn on Monday it was as if someone flipped a switch that sent the temperatures down a notch and signaled for overcast skies and rain towards the mid-part and end of the week.
Speaking of the Dyna, I saw where the local Harley dealers are starting to clear out their 2015 motorcycles as the 2016’s and with new Dyna Wide Glides being offered at $17k by one dealer I figured I’d throw our Dyna back out on Craigslist to see if we could get any nibbles. I like having it around, but it’s definitely an “extra bike” that comes with care and feeding expenses and takes up a fairly big piece of real estate in the garage. So, if we could find a new home for it and get a reasonable return on the sunk cost, that would be a good thing. No, I don’t have my hopes up, just keeping my fingers crossed that there might be at least one person out there who will see the value that was added with the various aftermarket upgrades and practical accessories that come with it. So, if anyone knows someone who might be in the market for a really nice, well-appointed Harley-Davidson cruiser that doesn’t look like every other Dyna Wide Glide on the road, send them our way!
I’m also still mulling-over the purchase of an Extended Service Plan (ESP) for Blue, our beloved Road King, Blue. As a CVO model, she came with a two-year warranty vs. the standard one-year and that expired back on August 7th. On one hand, I’ve only had to have a couple of things fixed under warranty, i.e., the cruise control & sound system. On the other hand, those repairs would have cost about $800 out-of-pocket for parts and labor if they weren’t covered under warranty. My trusted service advisors tell me that an ESP is a must-have for these bikes IF you ride them a lot. Well, having put 17,000 miles on the ODO in just two-years, I’d say it’s pretty clear that we’re at higher risk than the owners of the low-mileage garage and trailer queen bikes. Of course, with two 1,000-mile round-trip road-trips coming up in October, the decision is weighing heavy on my mind. As reliable as Blue has been, under that lovely paint and chrome is a H-D machine and therein lies the challenge as it truly does seem to be when, not if, the next mechanical issue will present itself.