To St. Louis and Back

This weekend Kyle, my dad and myself, headed out to St. Louis. Why? That’s the starting location for this years Iron Butt Rally.

I wanted to run out there, see some bikes and meet some of the folks brave enough to attempt this rally.

We left Cincinnati at 8am Saturday and took a leisure ride out to St. Louis staying off the interstate and mostly on Route 50. We hit a few other squiggly roads when we could find them.

Our complete route was this:

Map01

The day started out really well, it was nice and cool, apropos 60 degrees, which can be chilly but we were ready for that. Somewhere about halfway through Indiana we hit a warm front and temps climbed rapidly. At 11am we were still under 80 degrees, buy noon we were well into the 90’s with a bucket load of humidity.

When we arrived in St. Louis, my bike said 103 degrees, dads said 107. It was hot. Route 50 west of Indiana pretty much blew, it’s flat and straight forever with very little to excitement. Was neat to see some of the country though.

In St. Louis we gawked at all the hardware and bikes equipped for the purpose… Riding 11 days non-stop to places yet unkown. The Aux fuel tanks, hydration systems, GPS gear, with backup gear, and aux lighting was all very impressive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We stopped in and looked around for the folks that I wanted to meet. Unfortunately it was the end of a long hot day. They were getting cleaned up for the nights festivities and weren’t around. The hotel was booked solid (as we expected) so we needed to get rooms elsewhere. We headed up the road a bit and checked in to the luxurious St. Louis Hampton Inn. We showered and headed out to dinner.

After dinner there was a pretty significant storm was moving in so we didn’t head back to the other hotel. We talked about our route home, and cashed in our chips.

Sunday we left around 9am, and stopped at the arch.

 

 

 
From St Louis Aug …

More photos are available in the gallery. We had a similar mixed ride home, about half highway, and half off the beaten path.

All told around 850 miles for the weekend, and it was hot and humid :/

 

A Day at Kil-Kare

A buddy of mine that I’ve known for 30+ years is a die hard motorcycle drag racer. A privateer on a budget, runs what he’s got and gets the job done.

I hadn’t seen him race but one time before and something broke or it rained, I can’t remember but I didn’t get to see him make more than one pass. I talked to him earlier in the week and found out that he no longer races at Edgewater. In fact very few bikes do anymore because the owner is an asshat and doesn’t much care for his customers so they’ve moved to Kil-Kare in Xenia Ohio.

I rode up, on the FJR and planned to take some pics. I got there in time for his second practice run, around 2pm. I was able to snap pics of that run, and his dial-in run before the camera battery died. It would have lasted all day had I charged it the night before but I wasn’t sure I was going to go.

In any event, it was a long, blistering hot day and stupid me wore jeans so I was mostly uncomfortable all day. (I wouldn’t ride in shorts but was too dumb to wear shorts and toss some riding pants on over them just to get there. Man I wasn’t thinking straight today.)

If you haven’t been to Kil-Kare, it’s a good time. There is absolutely no way to get out of the sun though unless you bring an awning or something. Did I mention it was hot?

After his second test run he had to replace his clutch. 2 of the plates shattered into about 2 dozen pieces each. That took about 40 minutes.

Butch was on today, hitting his dial in numbers, making good lights and slaying folks left and right.

He took down quite a few high dollar bikes and made the finals before his clutch came apart again in the final run of the day.

He was hitting 9.69, 9.68, 967 all day long like clockwork. His luck or rather his clutch didn’t hold together in the final run, or I think he would have taken that too. He was spot-on all night.

Photos in the Gallery here.

I’m toying with an idea…

Here’s the scoop… I belong to a motorcycle forum. In fact it’s not only vendor specific, it’s make and model specific. These are not uncommon.

One of the things this forum has put together (or rather someone on the forum) is an ‘Assistance List’. Similar to the phone book of people you get if you join the BMW MOA.

The primary idea behind it is simply this: You break down in the middle of nowhere, you whip out your list (or BMW MOA Book), look for someone willing to help, in the middle of nowhere and you get back on the road. Or you’re riding home from a long trip and get hit with some really nasty weather. (I don’t know, maybe it snows or something), you whip out said list and perhaps you find someone willing to put you up.

While thankfully I have not needed to use my list, some folks have. I’m listed in the list as having a trailer, tent space, able to put up a bed for a night, have tools, etc.

The *problem* is simply this:

Keeping all this information up-to-date is a very manual process. People email one person who keeps this list in Excel or an access database or something. Every so often the list gets pushed out to the subscribers (manually I might add). You might get a copy and see that you dropped off the list, or that something’s wrong. The cycle repeats, but it’s all very manual.

But what if…

What if there was a website/service that managed this stuff. What if you wanted, or were able to be on more than one list? I currently have two bikes, neither of which are a BMW, but if someone needed help and had a BMW (or even a Harley for that matter) I wouldn’t turn them away.

What if all you had to do was sign up for your list one time, then add yourself to other lists as needed? The site/service took care of notifying members based upon their preferences. With each update, or once a month, or what have you?

Will people use this? Would they trust the entity to keep their info private? I’m not thinking about this as a business. I honestly don’t see a business here. This thing would not make money, and it would be work on top of that. But if we leveraged the technology available, it would be far less work on the long run than maintaining one list manually.

I’ve mocked up the site somewhat, here’s an example of the personal preferences:

MotoList

I would join the list of FJR brethren, and if there is a group of ZX/11 riders I’d probably put myself on that list too.

This could be used for multiple purposes. But before I put any blood/sweat or tears into it I’d want to know if it makes any sense. Currently being on the list I’m on doesn’t cause me much pain, other than I have to make sure I keep the latest copy around. If I were heading out on a trip I’d really like to be able to log in to a site and get the absolute latest list. But maybe that’s just me.

Thoughts?