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Author Topic: Another nice day for a ride in Iowa  (Read 3040 times)
rjs987
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« on: November 16, 2021, 12:40:43 AM »

At my wife's request, and since she new I wanted to tack on another 100 miles before I do the first (600 mile) oil change service on the AK 550, I went for a ride today down to Pella, IA. It's a Dutch community known for the Jaarsma Bakery where you can get many really yummy Dutch baked goods including some of the best Dutch Letters in the area. Sun was out and very few clouds. Air was crisp and clear. Temps were around the mid 40s F. Ended up getting 4 Dutch Letters, 2 Dutch Almond Sticks, and a Dutch Cinnamon Coffee Cake. Due to the temps I knew the mpg would be less than I like but that's the way it is when the temps go down. The trip down was about 55 miles and the trip back was about 59 miles for a total of 114 miles there and back. That puts the odometer on the AK right at 608 miles. Just in time to do the oil/filter change tomorrow when the temps are supposed to be in the mid 60s F. It's the last time I am expecting such nice temps to work on the bike for the next 4 months so really wanted to get that service done. Next service after this one will be at 3000 miles on the odometer so will likely be doing that sometime around June. The ave mpg display was showing around 65.3 mpg but that is proving to be very optomistic. The gas gauge dropped to 2 bars at around 102 miles. Then it dropped to the last red bar that started flashing at 123 miles. I was already on my way back and just knew that since we don't get the Euro 5 version of the AK over here the tank just had to still be the 15 L (3.9 gal) and so far during the time I've been riding the AK I knew I could go a lot farther even with the last red bar flashing. I finally stopped to get gas with 142.3 miles on this tank and filled up with 3.004 gallons. I had a whole .9 gallons to go to empty. The Euro 5 version shrank the tank to 12.5 L (3.3 gallons) so I still had plenty of gas to go. To be honest I was sort of wondering if that tank really was 3.9 gallon capacity and also really wondering if my AK was going to start sputtering before I got to the gas station. Still getting used to this bike. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. With lower temps dropping the mpg below where I'd prefer I ended up with 47.3 mpg on that tank. And that was also about 90% at 65+ mph. So much for the displayed 65+ mpg. My Burgman would always display LESS than actual mpg on the display. This AK is the opposite showing WAY MORE than actual mpg. As long as it is more consistent... which is something I have yet to determine.

I did try using the Noodoe navigation with different settings coming back than I used going down. Noodoe navigation is proving to just not be up to par as a navigation tool to rely on. It keeps attempting to route me onto roads that should not have anything to do with either getting there faster or on a shorter route. And the really big kicker that showed up today was that the navigation attempted to route me on city streets to get to the highway that ran around the perimeter of the metro area instead of the faster, and also shorter route of taking the beltway through town. The moment I merged onto the beltway the navigation stopped trying to recalculate and redirect me but instead simply gave up and posted a message that it could no longer route me to my destination!!! REALLY! There are dozens of alternate routes that would take me 55+ miles several towns out. County, state and other local roads abound to follow to the destination I had plugged in with no way points in between. But the navigation just gave up and quit. On the way back it still refused to keep me on the shortest and fastest route trying in stead to have me take any of a dozen gravel roads that lead me way far from either being fast or short paths going home. It did finally pickup on the main city street I had to take to get to the beltway again but wanted me to stay off the beltway and navigate on city streets parallel to it. After I entered the beltway anyway it again gave up and quit. I guess that means a Christmas present will be added to my wish list of a bracket from AliExpress for mounting my phone on the top center of the dash. There is one bracket sold by a few places that is specifically made for the AK 550 that mounts using the existing windshield bolt holes. I'll also be adding a Eastern Beaver 3CS 3 position fuse block just like I had on my Burgman and my CTX1300 before that. I like that fuse block and it provides all the fused aux circuits I need.

Oh, almost forgot. I actually took a few pics on this trip!

The Jaarsma Bakery. They bought the store next door with the green front and now have a line that forms going in that door and exiting their original door.


The city center park across from the bakery.


The big wind mill just a block down the street. It is still a working wind mill and the blades were turning today.

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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2021, 07:16:28 AM »

If you get into the software and fiddle with the settings you may get it to working right. It took me quite a while messing to get anything resembling help around town here.
Anyway my Noode navigation is about to request €€€ after the 3year freebie that I don't think it's going to get.
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rjs987
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2021, 05:48:02 PM »

I looked a lot through the settings in the app. Haven't found anything to fix the issues I'm seeing so far. For shorter simple routes it seems to do OK but for any real trip I need something more reliable and complete. I've been very happy with Google Maps Navigation for a few years now, Easier to use than a dedicated Garmin or Tom Tom GPS unit and free.

I did hear an alert from the Noodoe navigation that I wasn't expecting. It told me about a speed camera up ahead on one section of road. But Google Maps Navigation does that as well as showing me exactly where there is a speed trap or (reported) objects in the road or slow traffic due to accidents or... About the only thing it doesn't do is auto-continue after passing a "stop point" midway along a programmed route. If Google will change that then I will consider it to be perfect for my needs.
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2021, 07:09:40 PM »

Nice report and pictures!  Thanks for posting your journey
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rjs987
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2021, 03:05:01 AM »

Went on a twilight ride tonight. 46 miles around the area. About a third of the way along the sun set and the LED lights really started to reveal their power. Did I say I really like LED headlights?
I keep trying out the Noodoe navigation. This time it was better but still not as good as I think it should be. I set a lot of way points for this trip to see if I could get it to route in a more predictable manner. Most of the way around it was working fine. But for the first way point there was a gravel road that cut across from the street I was going down over to the street where the way point was located. The best and fastest route to that way point was NOT taking the gravel road. And especially since once I came to that way point I would have had to do a U-turn to head on along the street in the right direction IF I had followed the Noodoe routing on that gravel road. When I continued on past the gravel road to take the better paved road Noodoe did recalculate... and then once I arrived at the way point Noodoe tried to get me to do a U-turn anyway and then another U-turn to continue in the right direction! After I past the other end of that gravel road Noodoe did recalculate and the rest of the trip was routed as it should be. Thanks to all the way points. I think I figured out that if the way point is placed on the wrong side of the road Noodoe tries to get me to approach it going the direction of that side of the road and then turns me around. If that first way point was on the left side of the road (for USA roads) the routing might have been good all the way around.

In the second small town I came to I took a short detour around a few city blocks on some bumpy brick roads just to feel the suspension at work again and also to go past a time/temp sign to see what that was telling me. Temp did get down to 34 F on the way around. Those bumpy brick roads would cause some jarring and jolts with my Burgman 650 as well as a few other bikes I've taken down those same roads. The AK handled them better than any. I didn't feel any jarring or jolts even though I could tell there were bumps over the uneven bricks. Was a very good test of the suspension on the AK. I think it's the bike with the best suspension I've owned yet even counting my Gold Wing.

While riding at 34 F temps I could tell that I definitely need to put some handlebar muffs on the bike to aid the heated grips. I didn't have the heat turn on more than the second setting but my palms were warm but my finger tips were still frigid, on one hand anyway. I could have turn up the heat one more setting but at 34 F I wasn't anywhere close to how cold I'm used to be able to ride. I need warm hands at zero F or even below. My heated gloves did that for me. I could add the heated gloves system on this AK but I think I'm going for the muffs first to try those and see if they will enable the heated grips to work for me a lot colder than barely freezing temps.

While I was at it I realized I could test out the accuracy of the speedometer on one of the roads... legally. Speed limit was 65 so I slowed to 60 indicated and switched to my clock on the Noodoe display. I noted where the second hand was while passing a mile marker and then when I passed the next mile marker. 60 indicated mph was definitely lower than actual mph. But not by as much as I was expecting. I attempted to do the same while bumping the indicated speed up to 63 but road conditions and traffic made it difficult to hold steady at that speed. But it was close. If my suspicions are right I am thinking this speedometer is not as far off as my Burgman 650 or ST1100 speedos were. Those were about 10% off, optimistically. On those bikes around 66 indicated mph was actual 60 mph. On the AK I still need to verify what I was coming up with but it seems to be about the same offset as both my cars... about 5% or 6% off. It seemed to be real close to 60 mph actual while I was showing around 63 indicated mph. I like to know what my gauges are showing me. I really don't care if they are different than actual as long as I know what they are showing me. I'll be trying that test a few more times. It's easier to determine where I can run at 60 mph since one mile SHOULD be one minute.
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rjs987
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2021, 11:16:31 PM »

Yep, another nice day for a ride... again.
Rode up to my son's house to help hang Christmas lights on his house and set up the inflatable Christmas figures in his yard. Better in his than mine IMO. I'm not into climbing up ladders so much for hanging lights any more. Top of the ladder and leaning way out from the top to reach the gutters to clip on the lights. And with 15 mph steady winds and some gusts on top of that! 

Anyway, the ride was really nice. No need for the heated grips this trip as temps were in upper 40s F all the way around. 44 miles round trip.

While I was riding I was thinking that I could run the cable for my heated gloves controller through the cable hole in the handlebar cover and down and into the right glove box through the hole for the Battery Tender pigtail. I had already installed the SAE connector to the heated gloves cable end so will just plug it in there without the need to flex the glove box door or punch a hole anywhere. I am considering this a temporary solution until after Christmas when I am hoping to try out handlebar muffs that I just might get this Christmas, maybe, with the heated grips to see if that will be all I need for the cold temps I ride in.
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2021, 02:04:34 AM »


Rode up to my son's house to help hang Christmas lights on his house and set up the inflatable Christmas figures in his yard.
You're a week early!!!!  
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rjs987
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2021, 02:07:20 AM »

You're a week early!!!!  



Didn't say he planned to be turning them on yet! (other than to verify they work). It was a good day to do this since the weather was cooperating to be out getting it done... other than the wind. Will be colder later on.
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2021, 01:09:06 PM »

I used handlebar muffs and heated grips on both machines and could ride in any temps. Muffs work wonders for blocking wind and enhancing the performance of the heaters.
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rjs987
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2021, 06:29:18 PM »

Heated gloves connection worked well. It's kind of rough with the cable hanging out in a way I would not ever leave it. So if I do end up installing this solution permanently I would clean it up... a lot.
I went on an early morning ride this morning to participate in the Coldest Ride contest hosted on the ST-Owners forum. Heated gloves PLUS heated grips works really well. Didn't need either system turned up as warm as I would usually have them. The heated gloves kept my finger tips warm, even while setting them on the brake levers, and the heated grips added to the glove heat for my palms. Heated gloves don't have heating elements in the palms since those are on the grips and stay sheltered from wind. Since both sides were being heated I had more heat than needed. The temp was around 24 F for the 22 mile ride that included getting gas and dropping off a package at the P.O..

I had a temp sensor along for the ride since the AK 550 doesn't really have any temp sensor like my last 2 bikes did. I wrapped the remote outdoor probe with duct tape to cushion it from marring the finish of the passenger handle where I zip tied it. I also used that tape to secure one part of the zip tie to the remote probe so it wouldn't slide out. I put the indoor unit in my jacket pocket.


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rjs987
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2021, 12:05:47 AM »

Took off for a little 32 mile ride today after finishing up with getting lights put on 2 Christmas trees and some other holiday stuff.
This ride I was able to verify that the speedo on my AK is right at 5% offset from actual. I rode a stretch of highway that was 65 mph but I held it at 63 mph indicated on my speedo and timed a measured mile between a few mile markers using the analog clock that I displayed on the center phone connected panel of the dash. That showed it took exactly one minute to ride from one mile marker to the next. So 63 mph indicated is 60 mph actual. This is more accurate than other bikes I've had. Only my CTX1300 was dead on accurate with the speedo but all other bikes I've owned were between 9% and 11% offset. It's just good info to know.

Temps were a steady 47 F all the way around. I bought another Aquarium temp sensor since the one I have used in the past on my bikes was reassigned to show outside temps at home by running the little wire through the frame of a window where it opens. Since the AK 550 does not have a temp sensor for ambient air I like to have some indication what the temp is getting to when it's cold during a ride. And it also helps to verify the temp for the coldest ride game on the ST-Owners forum. Bike thermometers don't read below +14 F anyway and I ride much colder than that. This Aquarium/Terrarium thermometer reads from -58 F to +158 F so I'm not likely to see anything that cold for any of my rides.
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rjs987
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2021, 11:30:00 PM »

Take 'em while I can get 'em.
Sunny and around 50+ F today so went for a 55 mile ride out on country roads.
I am now seeing a pattern where I put my feet on the AK 550 vs the Burgman 650. On the Burgman I felt most comfortable with my feet half on the slanted board and half on the level board. I never felt really comfortable with my feet only on the level foot board. My knees seemed to be sticking up too high and my leg/hip angle was too much for very long. It was a good alternate position but not for the long term. Just like the slanted foot board. That was enough of a reach on the Burgman I preferred that for a short term alternative.

But on the AK I'm feeling most comfortable with my feet fully on the level foot boards. In fact I'm finding my feet now just automatically go right to that position with my toes nestled in the notch at the front of the level boards. Moving my feet back or up on the slanted boards is a good alternate location when I feel the need to move around. In fact the slanted foot board is more comfortable than it was on my Burgman. Not as far away.

And have I said how much I like the sound coming out of the stock exhaust on this AK 550. Whether stopped and waiting for the light to turn green or accelerating or keeping a constant speed on the city streets or out on the county highways. I am tempted so often now to skip wearing my ear plugs just to hear the growl of this engine.
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rjs987
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2021, 12:36:57 AM »

Planned on a short little 20 mile ride this afternoon but ended up almost double that. 38.4 miles around the area. Was a crisp 41 F all the way around. Added in a mix of a little bit of city streets, some Interstate highway and mostly country highways/roads.
Nope. Didn't stop for any pics. Nothing particularly interesting to photograph other than my AK 550 and I was too busy riding to stop. Maybe next time.
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rjs987
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« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2021, 01:54:41 AM »

Was a slightly warmer day today than my last ride. Had the time so took off to a location I have not been to for more than 25 years. The roads have been rerouted to make way for a bypass highway around the south and east side of the metro area and the roads I last took to get there no longer exists but since it is an upscale housing development that has been around for over 35 years they built new roads to get there. Temps were steady around 34-35 F all the way around. I did connect my heated gloves but didn't need them turned on since the heated grips were plenty even on the lowest setting. This ride was 37+ miles all the way around. And just because there are some who insist that only a photo will prove I went there here are a few. This is the Dale Maffitt Reservoir just SW of West Des Moines. The other pic is the view from the dam looking north toward West Des Moines. The entire reservoir and dam are rather a high point in the area. In that second photo you can see my Head Demon heated gloves controller hanging on the parking brake lever. I have the cable for it routed through the cable opening in the handlebar cover and down to the right glove box where it plugs into the SAE connector there.
Like I said, I didn't need to turn on the heated gloves this trip.




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« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2021, 04:51:10 AM »

That first pic is almost wallpaper worthy. We were about 8 degrees warmer than you today. My hands still froze because I only wore my summer gloves, but still bearable.
My biggest issue, stopping to take photos, with the AK550 is getting off and back on to take the photo. I finally just resolved to used the sidestand. I turn the switch to the gas stop setting.
I still try to use the center stand if it is convenient enough.
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rjs987
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« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2021, 06:06:10 AM »

That first pic is almost wallpaper worthy. We were about 8 degrees warmer than you today. My hands still froze because I only wore my summer gloves, but still bearable.
My biggest issue, stopping to take photos, with the AK550 is getting off and back on to take the photo. I finally just resolved to used the sidestand. I turn the switch to the gas stop setting.
I still try to use the center stand if it is convenient enough.

I rarely use the center stand. So far only while it's parked in the garage so it takes up a little less side to side space and I can drive the Rav4 in next to it without worrying about scratching the AK 550. I even fill up the tank while on the side stand. With the gas port in the center line of the bike it matters not if it's tilted to one side or straight up level side to side. The level in the tank still ends up averaging the same.

On a "side" note (pun intended)... Since I parked it 2 days ago after my last ride until this ride I did not connect the Battery Tender Plus. I wanted to see how far down the battery drained in a few days. Battery voltage showed at 12.4 v when I turned it on today. Even after leaving it turned on, engine NOT running, to adjust the tire psi. I think it will be fine to not connect it for a few days at a time as long as I remember to plug it in if it looks like I won't get to ride for a week or two. Only due to snow or ice on the roads of course. That's usually the only reason I don't ride every few days through the cold season.

Temps were enough warmer that I had to let a bit of air out to bring the psi back to spec. I've been keeping 36 in the front and 42 in the rear. Though the TPMS display is a few tenths of a psi higher than the tire gauge so I split that difference. I figure both are a little off but close enough. I know the manuals say a little lower but I've always inflated all my tires a little more than the manual says.
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rjs987
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« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2021, 12:07:53 AM »

The ride today was to test Noodoe navigation as well ended up testing range when the "E" starts flashing on the fuel gage. I WAS going to fill up the tank first thing on my way out but the lines at the Costco gas station were 6+ cars deep at every pump so I decided to truck on and see how far I could go. I knew mpg would be lower than normal since the temp on this ride hovered right around 37F the entire way. I wore my Gerbing heated gloves but didn't plug in the heat controller since these are the thickest most insulated gloves I have and the heated grips with these gloves seems to be doing fine just over or under freezing temps without turning on the glove heat. These gloves hold in and distribute the heat from the heated grips better than my other winter gloves.

My trip meter A showed over 90 miles when I started. That's the trip meter I use to track how many miles since last fill up. I plotted a rectangular loop that was 60.2 miles all around. The last white bar dropped off and the red bar on the fuel gage started flashing at 115 miles. Since someone else already sacrificed the stress of going farther than anyone admitted to going on a tank I kept on riding. The red bar dropped off right about 146 miles and the red "E" started flashing. I figured I COULD get back to the Costco gas station which was another 8+ miles but decided to see where I was on gas and filled up at 147.2 miles. I put in 3.155 gallons calculating about 46.6 mpg, using the trip meter miles as I usually do for consistency. Actually a little better than what I was expecting considering the temps right now and also that 30 miles of that tank was used on rides when temps were below 15F!

Since this was a test also of Noodoe navigation I plotted 2 separate routes, one to follow the other, with more waypoints than I would normally set. The first route took me to the gas station that I decided to bypass and then to another place easy to pull off the road to pick the next route. Since I bypassed the gas station and that was the first waypoint set I pulled over right away to eliminate that point since Noodoe kept wanting me to route back to it since I didn't "hit" it. Actually, after removing the gas station waypoint I also had to remove the starting point at home since the way I edited the route I needed to start it over again. I found out a different way to edit the route and it would continue from where I was without restarting. Overall, Noodoe navigation worked great this time other than the need to "hit" every waypoint exactly and having to stop to change a missed waypoint on the phone to prevent being constantly turned back to it. As far as more than one "Journey" to resolve the 8 waypoint limitation I think that will work just the same as I was already doing with Google Maps navigation. Just some tricky differences to get used to. I think the settings I changed (turning off Avoid Highways and setting to Fastest Route) did the trick for me for now. I even forced a recalculate on a detour to get the attached photo during the second Journey route and Noodoe handled it well this time. It's really not a bad thing to stop every hour to pick a different route to continue navigating. That's about right for a drink of water normally anyway. Although I have been known to ride for 2-3 hours straight without stopping for anything on my travels.


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« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2021, 01:38:46 AM »

Oh, and a milestone was reached on today's ride. The odometer ticked past 1000 miles on my AK 550 just a few miles from the end of the ride. The odometer now shows 1003 miles.
And the heated grips have lately been working flawlessly.
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« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2021, 10:26:23 PM »

Jumped on the AK for a trip to the store down the street. Made it a short 9.4 miles. Like I said... short. Once again temps were right around 37F. Used the heated grips going to the store but decided that wasn't needed on the return trip. Was plenty warm without added heat. The nice pretty lady in the white SUV saw me taking the pic so she photo bombed and sat there until I was done.


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« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2021, 11:37:29 PM »

Had to do a little shopping again today. Things my wife wanted to be picked up at the grocery store. Temps were 37F at the start and ended up at 38F. Heated grips all the way around this time. THOUGHT I'd grab and set the Scooter Tag while I was out but SOMEONE beat me to it.

Anyway, Pointed the AK 550 to the grocery store 2 miles away and...
Passed another branch of the same store somewhere about 17 miles along the path I ended up on.
Then I passed yet another branch of the same store at about 20 miles along the ride.
Then I finally passed my home again and continued on to the store I intended to visit in the first place. When I parked the AK in my garage it was 31 miles later.
Just can't seem to get that AK to ride in a direct path to the destination!

Somewhere along this ride...


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« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2021, 01:49:49 AM »




That's a good pic. Love the clock. Has the comfy/small town feel, even tho you from a metropolis.
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« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2021, 07:08:56 AM »

Quote
Just can't seem to get that AK to ride in a direct path to the destination!

Sorry, I didn't warn y'all about that built in feature.
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rjs987
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« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2021, 11:24:47 PM »

Been very nice being able to ride in this weather considering it is December and only a few days before Christmas!
Took off to explore a few local country roads I haven't been on yet. Some were newly paved. I try to avoid gravel roads so when the city or county finally gets around to paving some of those I then have a new road to explore.  :D

Rode 48 miles today. Set the maximum number of waypoints in the Noodoe route even though it wasn't very far to ride. That was to force the routing to stay on the roads I wanted to investigate. Temps were steady around 48F. Stopped by the Iowa Veterans Cemetery entrance for a photo op and found a "friendship rock" laying on one of the boulders. The idea is to take that rock and then leave it somewhere else for someone to find. I decided considering the location and message on the rock I'd leave it there for someone else and just take a picture of it. My Grandkids have painted friendship rocks and left them around places like walking trails, the park, the lake at the shopping mall, etc.



This friendship rock was laying on the boulder on the right of the picture above.


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« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2021, 09:04:25 PM »

Snow expected to start in just a few hours. So decided to get one more ride in before that and before the end of the year. There might be one other chance on Friday depending if it does snow and how much or if there ends up being ice on roads. Big snow storm expected this weekend so no riding on New Years Day.

Only rode 21 miles this time to pick up a tag on another forum. Temps stayed right around 15-16F all the way around. Not the coldest this year, nor the last 2 months, but won't be colder the rest of this year (only 2 more days!).

See pic here: http://maxi-scoots.com/scoot/index.php?topic=106.0;msg=122173
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« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2022, 05:43:25 PM »

OK, so it was a bit nippy this morning...

I finally got out for the first ride of 2022. Only 20 miles but it was a bit nippy out. Temp was right at ZeroF (0.0F) (-17.8C). It was colder earlier this morning, a few degree below zeroF, but I didn't feel like getting up that early so didn't start my ride until about 6:20 am. Besides, we are providing day care for our littlest granddaughter yesterday and today so had to be home for that by just after 7 am so wanted to squeeze a ride in today sometime.

I have the feeling this may have been the coldest morning I'll see for many weeks. Tomorrow is supposed to return to above the normal high temps at 36F (normal is 31F).
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« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2022, 12:33:39 AM »

Still clear roads today. The sun was out. Temps were right at 23F. So I went for a ride. Rode down to the Maffitt Lake reservoir and on a few country roads being certain that they were clear and dry as I went. Rode 39.7 miles this time.

The lake was actually frozen over, but really thin ice over most of it. Just off the far shore to the left of my bike you can just make out 2 people walking on the ice to where they had ice fishing set up. They were dragging something, maybe a sled with supplies.





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« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2022, 11:20:59 PM »

Getting out while I can.
Just an easy ride on country roads and a little bit in town as well. Rode 44.4 miles today. Temp started out at 44F and was up to 47F when I returned home. Lots of melting run-off happening in some places. Not so much on the county highways but in town there was. Found a few city side streets where the plows forgot to go at the last snowfall but even those streets were mostly cleared, but obvious nothing was sprayed or sprinkled to melt anything there. Lots of water on those streets. Did have to weave around some of the remaining ice/snow packs. I normally would have avoided those streets but was on a mission to find some places there.
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« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2022, 12:22:47 AM »

Expecting 6" of the white stuff on Friday and lots of ice from the refreeze on Thursday so went out again today while the roads were still clear.

Temps ranged up to 52F today... a heat wave! Rode a few miles for errands first. All together I rode 66 miles today. Picked a road I had not been on since last summer so grabbed a few pics along the way. Usually I prefer to just keep riding and don't want to stop for pictures. Usually the really good road pictures are just when I get to a section where if I were to stop it would ruin the enjoyment of the run through that section. I could run through and turn around and go back for a picture but I prefer to just keep on going. Anyway, here are a few from today. One shows the slight hills and sweeping curves that are common on that section of road. Another is a photo at the tree farm where we have bought Christmas trees from in the past. And of course where I had my errand at the very end of the ride. 60 miles to get to the store 3 miles from home!






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« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2022, 08:29:35 PM »

Not such a nice day for a ride...

Only down to around 13F when I went outside this morning and up to 19F now. This is why I didn't ride today...
When I first opened the garage door.


After I worked at it for a few hours with the 2 stage snow thrower. I live on a corner lot so there is a long side sidewalk as well as from the right of the driveway to the side street on the left just off the first photo above (the fire hydrant on the left above is about 35ft from the corner). Same length for both sidewalks.


And this is a close up of that yard stick you see in the photo above stuck in where the level seemed about average depth.


The official report for West Des Moines is 11.5 inches. It looked like if I were to go out to the middle of the lawn I would likely see a few inches more than this shows.
Once again my north facing driveway is a bad idea. That driveway across the street is facing south and already is starting to clear off so much more than mine just due to the sun.
In the bigger city just east of my home the official total is 14.3 inches and areas just north of us received up to 12.9 inches.

Oh, and BTW, I do know that areas just east of any of the great lakes will very likely have double what we got here. Called "Lake effect snow" which is something WE don't have so we don't get the extra boost of snow depth they do. We get this all without any extra "Lake effect" help.
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« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2022, 11:54:02 PM »

A warmer day than we've had in a long time. All the way up to 53F. But just below that when I was riding. Rode 52 miles today. Left the handlebar muffs on but definitely no need for heated grips at these temps. I really wish one of the roads I regularly ride on to get to other better roads would be resurfaced. It's concrete and every section is slightly offset from every other section. The edges line up but it's still like riding on a wavy road and at certain speeds the scooter gets into a harmonic bounce. Would have to go real slow to avoid it. I did stop for one pic on the way on one of the nicer roads. That lake is all ice even though the temp is up. Will take a week of 50F to make that go away.


* PXL_20220215_183458648.jpg (4532.48 KB, 3024x4032 - viewed 5 times.)
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