2013-05-30

Found Coolness: British Top Gear

The downtown public library gets the British Top Gear Magazine!!!


Found Here: Vacaville Public Library - Town Square

2013-05-29

Found Coolness: Shoichiro Irimajiri (Father of the CBX)

GANGSTA!!!


"When I was at Tokyo University, I learned that you could use the intake manifold to increase the inertia of the air to the cylinder and supercharge the cylinder by 20-30 percent. Based on this theory, I invented some variable valve timing utilizing hydraulic systems and the variable length of intake pipes - technology that is being used right now.

At that time Honda had the largest analog computer, and I went to them to prove my calculations. I got a lot of information utilizing that theory and designed a 1.5 liter Formula 1 engine for my graduation project. I was motivated to join Honda's racing department in 1963, when there were only 10 engineers. My first assignment was to tune up the RC113' because this 50cc engine was the weakest in the class against the Suzuki, Yamaha and Derbi two-strokes. I changed the ignition, intake and valve timing, manifolds and exhaust pipes - EVERYTHING - and got it to produce 10.8 horsepower at 21,500 rpm. Luigi Taveri won the Japanese GP on the bike that year.

I was then assigned to design the next 50cc racing engine, which eventually became the RC115 that developed 12.8 horsepower at 22,000 or 23,000 rpm. In 1965 that bike won five of seven Grands Prix and the rider and manufacturer championships. I was then asked to design and develop the five cylinder 125cc engine for the RC149 and the crankshaft, gear train and valve mechanics for the six cylinder RC166. Mike Hailwood rode the 166 to consecutive world championships in 1966 and 1967.

~Shoichiro Irimajiri (On his earliest experience with Honda)
Taken from P.84-84 in the June 2013 issue of Cycle World

Photo Found Here: CBX.com

System Ops: 500KV Yard Field Visit


I'll inspect your 500kV power transformers for you.

2013-05-27

With Only A Motorcycle: San Francisco Ride Report



I decided that this weekend that I would ride into San Francisco and do some urban exploring.  I figured that might be a better idea rather than venture out on the “B” roads and sharing them with the holiday weekenders.  My main destination I picked out was Baker Beach, it would give me the opportunity to ride some of the bridges in leading in and out of the city and do a little exploring as well.


Vacaville to Baker Beach

Crossing the Golden Gate was anticlimactic the fog was so thick that aside from seeing the cables on either side of the road it was just another ride on a road.  I couldn’t see anything over 100 yards away.
When I was looking for the entrance to Baker beach I got a little sidetracked and found myself at Battery Godfrey   I had read about the coastal guns at some point so it was cool to see one of them in person.


Temperature-wise it was pretty cool up at Battery Godfrey I was glad I wore the Tourmaster Transition jacket and not the Joe Rocket Reactor mesh jacket.  When unobstructed by the low-lying clouds there is apparently a beautiful view of the Golden Gate Bridge from this location.


Here is a shot of one of the bunkers to the left is where one of the guns was mounted.


You don’t really get a sense of scale here but this mount is around 5 feet in diameter.


The view down the cliff was impressive, check out a short video I shot below.




I eventually made back downhill to the beach, I had brought some shorts to change into in case it was warm enough to chill at the beach for a bit but I was comfortable enough in my riding gear walking around and taking pictures.


I did get a shot of the Golden Gate bridge (sort of) you can see the footings of one of the bridge towers in the background.


After all that cool weather I was ready for a little coffee so I searched on the iPhone for a coffee shop and I was getting a little hungry too. The Blue Bottle Coffee at the Mint Plaza Location had some great ratings so I headed there.



There was motorcycle parking right outside the plaza unfortunately I only had thirty cents in loose change so I had to plug the meter with what I had and run into the shop and get some change.  There was quite a line but the staff said it would be cool if I went up and just grabbed some change from the cashier.  I plugged the meter and got in line.  It took about 10 minutes to wait in line which went out the door and wrapped around the building.  The décor had a theme to it but the café was pretty crowded and people were not filtering out quick enough to afford everyone a spot.  I lucked out and got a seat right away though.  I sampled their Espresso along with a Grilled Cheese Served on Acme Sweet Bread with Beemster Cheese, Ham, and Piquillio Pepper & Grain Mustard.  The Grilled cheese was outstanding and just what the doctor ordered.  The shot of espresso was intense which I liked but it was small.  Normally I like to chill out at a at a Coffee Shop but this one was so busy I packed up and headed out as soon as I was done with lunch.  I decided to take The Bay Bridge out of town and stop off on Treasure Island to take in some of the sights.



Crossing the bay bridge was more gratifying, even though you are covered by the top deck when you are leaving the city the views off to the left and right were pretty breathtaking.  Traffic moved pretty reasonably on the bridge so lane-sharing was not necessary which I had read some interesting threads on the Bay Area Riders Forum or BARF; regarding commuting on this bridge.


Here is a shot of the bay bridge and San Francisco.


A shot of Alcatraz.


A nice panorama including both.


One of me.



One thing that I am still getting used to is the buffeting you take when you are riding along the interstate.  In Wisconsin on the Interstate traffic moves around 70-75mph.  Here the fast lane travels at around 80mph or faster.  Apparently my body isn’t used to that sort of sustained buffeting yet and adding crosswinds to the mix by the time I got home I was pretty beat down.   That was after around 140 combined miles and maybe 2.5 hours of combined riding time.  I’m now thinking that longer interstate rides will need to be built up to.  The 230 miler that was on mostly “B” roads didn’t take nearly as much out of me; it must be the sustained high speeds.

That’s about it for me today I just wanted to share the moto-portion of my Memorial Day weekend with you I hope that you all had a safe and enjoyable weekend as well!

2013-05-24

Juan-stagram: Dramatic Irony...

...an incongruity between what a character in a work of fiction believes to be true and what the audience knows to be true

2013-05-21

With Only A Motorcycle: Things Falling Apart

Hey everyone, sorry I haven't written anything in the last 12 days. Two weekends ago it was just too effing hot to get out for a recreational ride.  In truth; I may have went for on on Sunday but I spent Saturday riding around the Vacaville/Fairfield area looking at 8 different potential neighborhoods/houses/apartments that my wife and I had picked out and that basically burned out all motivation to be on the bike the next day.  That low-speed in-town riding just took it out of me.  Then the next weekend I had a special visitor so I rented a car and spent the weekend wine tasting and at the beach.  It was a nice break though there were a number of times that I would have rather been on a bike; mostly in traffic :-)

In the interest of keeping things fresh here I am going to share a couple of videos I had planned on adding to the end of a more robust post.  I'm not sure what the deal is, but I have had two gear quality issues in side of two weeks of each other.  See the videos and pics below.



A shot of the repair work.


A shot of the repair work.

This coming weekend I have a two day weekend with nothing big planned but the next weekend is a three day weekend and I plan a long slab south to see some college friends I haven't seen in ages and while I am in the LA area I plan on stopping by Chabott Engineering to try and meet Shinya Kimura (a motorcycle hero of mine).  So look forward to that!

Thanks for reading as always!

2013-05-13

Random: Same Sex Marriage/Christian Mingle


Minnesota just became better than Wisconsin at something!

Gotta love that there is a Christian Mingle ad at the top of this page.

BTW... Eff those Christian Mingle commercials. "Find gods match for you." Yes... God has a personals website...

2013-05-12

Found Coolness: 19th Century Diving Suit

19th century diving suit at the Paris Musée de la Marine, Paris.

There is nothing underwater that I would need to see that would get me into that contraption.


Found Here: In The Boat Shed

For some reason it reminds me of the "Mondoshawan" from The Fifth Element: Multiversal Omnipedia

Found Coolness: GANGSTA! Korehira Watanabe Japanese Sword Maker



The only time I use the word "gangsta" is to describe someone who I believe surpasses all measures of what the commonly accepted meaning for the word is.

Having said that; this guy is gangsta!

If you notice in the video he is using his bare hands when he is forging the sword. Also in the article accompanying the interview they say he makes about 1,800,000 Yen for a sword. That's about 18,000/sword. That sounds like a lot until you find out that he only succeeds in making about three a year. The epitome of, "If something is worth doing it's worth doing right."

Gangsta...

Also, here's the link to the article that's an interview with the filmmaker which is how I found the clip: Megadeluxe Korehira Watanabe Japanese Sword Maker

2013-05-09

With Only A Motorcycle: Lets Go to the Park!



Before I even got down the hallway down the one flight of stairs and out of the lobby; the back of my legs were sweating from the knee down.  Basically, for whatever reason whenever my skin makes contact with the material inside those pants my legs sweat and the material inside the pants then clings to my legs.  If I'm wearing full length pants underneath I wouldn't sweat in the same temperature; it's irritating to no end.  Now some have suggested that some light undergarment like warm weather Under Amour would be more comfortable than jeans and take care of the stickiness when I'm out for ride and I agree and will try that for my rides, but the last thing I want to be wearing when I go to the park is a pair of basically spandex leggings.



After I arrive at the park comes the next awkward portion of the endeavor I then have to in public take off my shoes one at a time and transition to the flip flops and then proceed to take off my pants, of course I have shorts on underneath but I can't imagine what it must look like to an onlooker.  It's just not ideal, lets say that.  Once I got changed and was chilling in the middle of the lawn you see in the second picture from the top I was at peace again.  I always knew that being solo-moto would complicate some things so I'm not disheartened but the trip to the park just venting a bit.  Maybe someone who has been solo-moto for a while will be able to share some ideas and strategies for this sort of situation.


In other news, I survived my first two rainy days with little real exposure to the elements; just lucky timing really so I haven't gotten a change to really test my riding gear's waterproofing yet.


I also received my official California driver’s license (complete with M certification)!  Slowly but surely converting to a Californian.

Thanks for checking out the blog today!  Hopefully I'll have another ride report for you after the weekend!

2013-05-05

With Only A Motorcycle: Clear Lake Ride Report (230 Miles Logged)

Click Here to see an active Google map of my route.

Hey everyone!  I went for a ride up north to Clear Lake today and unlike last weekends ride this one was about perfect.


You may notice that the route I wrote up on paper the night before the ride varies from the link I shared at the top of the post.  We'll get to that in a bit.


I woke up at 0615 threw some coffee on, did the normal morning routine stuff and made some breakfast.  I wanted to be on the road by 0700.  I'm not sure if I had mentioned this before but wearing the textile pants without a pair of jeans underneath did not go so well on my first ride.  The inside material gets clingy if you start to sweat and it's just not comfortable; so this time around I decided that I was going to wear jeans underneath and should I get too hot I would take the textile riding pants off and just wear the jeans.  It turns out that I made the right decision, while I was anticipating a hot day it actually stayed cool and I was able to ride with the textile jacked (sans liner) and the textile pants (with the jeans underneath) all day long with no issue.  Actually, there were points on the ride where I had wished that I had the jacket liner!


36.2 miles in on Berryessa Knoxville Rd after turning off of CA 128: I had pulled off the to take a picture and as soon as the tires hit the gravel I remembered that I most likely got the flat from a well placed rock.  I made sure from then on only to pull over where there was a paved shoulder.  I also made sure that I kept an eye out for rocks in the road as well and had a handful of times where I had to adjust my line mid-turn to avoid some rocks.  Though if I was still riding in Wisconsin I'd be dealing with loose gravel in almost every turn at this time of the year so no complaints.



39.3 miles in on Berryessa Knoxville Rd at a turnout, The giants bird's nest on the capacitor bank caught my attention.  It turns out that it's actually set up with a pedestal for a birds nest to be built there.  The view the other way was spectacular!


50.0 miles in on Berryessa Knoxville Rd.  Access denied... The road was blocked off for the Napa Valley Triathlon   They weren't going to let anyone go through until all the bikers (who were just starting to come out of the water) cleared the 7 mile stretch of road that shared my route.  They said that the wait would be an hour and a half.  Luckily I had cell reception and was able to use my iPhone to plot another route which is the one you see at the link at the top of the post.  They had "special event ahead" signs posted and I have run into cycling events on Sundays past in Wisconsin and had to adjust my route accordingly so no big deal.  The park ranger and the policemen were accommodating so nothing to do but find another way.  I do need to invest in a good paper map that has all the smaller roads on it though.  This making a list of turns and hoping that everything goes to plan is going to bite me one of these times.




72.8 miles in on Pope Valley Rd I just though the clouds over the mountains in the distance looked cool.  Snapped a self-pic while I was at it.





123.1 miles in at Library Park in Lakeport, CA off of CA 29. A shot of the FZ, a couple of the lake and one of me with pretzels in my mouth.  At this point of the ride I was feeling pretty chilly; that's what 9 days in the 90's will do to you.  High 60s feel cold already.







168.8 miles in At Bear Creek Vista Point Overlook off of CA 20.  I just so happened to see the sign for the Scenic view and decided to pull off and take a couple of pictures.  This whole area must have had a wildfire go through the area as there were a lot of larger trees that looked scorched.  I really wish that I had a go-pro so I could have caught some footage of the CA 20/26 portion of the ride.  The roads were perfect CA 20 with long high speed sweepers that flowed together with easy transitions and CA 16 running pretty much downhill the whole way through a canyon that was cut out by the Bear Creek.  Just outstanding and the view was breathtaking,


Back at the hotel with 232.1 miles for the day roughly 6 hours of seat time (that's counting stops and a lunch break) not too bad.  I do have a couple of random thoughts that happened after the ride...


...Lucas Oil chain lube has to be the shittiest, runniest, stickiest chain lube ever made; I will never buy it again...


...This guy parked like a moron... That is all.

Hope you enjoyed the write-up should anything come up throughout the week I will make sure and share it here.  Thanks for reading!