Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I discovered what seemed to be a flamingo party.

I couldn't tell if these were the first to arrive or the malingerers.
He's certainly decked out for a party.
And she's not only topless but wearing a see through skirt. Hmm...party hardy indeed!
And here is the star of the party.
When I get a chance I'm going to circle back by this place and see if they are still out and about. They hadn't been there before. I suspect they were only there for the party.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Evening Came Early

They said it wasn't going to rain until evening. There were a few spots on the radar, but it was well west. The plan was to ride out Rte.61/67 for an hour and turn around and come back. This would get me home long before the rains were suppose to begin.

I pulled over for gas just as it began to sprinkle. When I got under the canopy the sky opened.
I had pulled in for gas just as it began to rain. Lucky for me I'd brought raingear. And, lucky for me I was stopped when it began to pour. Hmm, I guess today evening came early.

By the time I got to where Rte.61 breaks off of Rte.67 it had stopped raining and my hour was up. I pulled into a filling station, took a break, got some water and cooled off.

The sky seemed to be telling me it was a good idea to put the raingear back on.

Good choice.

I only got a few miles down the road before it began raining again. It rained all the way home. It was a nice hour plus ride in the rain. It was good to know I remembered how to do it. I haven't had much opportunity since early March.

Wet on the outside and dry on the inside...mostly.
Isabelle after her first bath.

After taking off my gear I headed to REI. I'd been thinking it was time to rejuvenate the waterproofing on my pants. Today's ride in the rain confirmed my suspicion.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I Wonder If That Applies

Islam allows a man more than one wife. I'm told there is a catch. Yes, a man can have more than one wife, but he must treat them equally.  Hmmm, I wonder if that applies to motorcycles and scooters as well. If one doesn't treat them both equitably and well will there be a scene? Perhaps something like I witnessed the other evening.

I saw it all. The one in the back pushed the one in the front. It was nearly flamigocide.
I've been riding Billie to work each day. Isabelle has been setting in the garage. Heather was over in Illinois this evening and wouldn't be home until late. It seemed a good opportunity to stretch Isabelle's legs, to keep things in balance.

The evening was warm, but delightful. And, the sky decided to put on a show for us.

It wasn't a very long ride. Even so, we took a little break.

I think Isabelle likes her photo taken.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Isabelle's First Longish Rides

Last Saturday I took Isabelle, my new 2010 Kymco People 250S, out for our first longish ride. It was a getting to know each other ride. I took her out to the Covered Bridge at the end of Old Lemay Ferrry Road. I've been there a couple of times riding Billie, my 100cc Symba. It was a much more enjoyable ride on Isabelle. On Billie I would usually have to pull off the road after some of the hills to let the parade pass. Today there were no lines of cars building up behind me.
You can see how dry it is by how brown the grass is.
At the intersection of Old Lemay Ferry Rd and Old Hwy M in Antonia I saw Steve from the St. Louis Scooter Club out on his trike. I waved, but he didn't know who I was. How would he. He didn't know I had a new bike. I detoured and followed him. Eventually he wondered who the guy following him was and stopped. It is a small world. He oohed and aahed over Isabelle. We chatted briefly and he continued on to his friend's place and I made my way back to the Covered Bridge.
I, also, rode the length of Rte.141 from Lemay Ferry to Marine. Recently the last link in this outer loop was completed. This is a highway I would have avoided if I were riding Billie. It was no problem for Isabelle. Isabelle performed exactly like I'd hoped she would. Can you tell I'm smiling.
I liked the reflections off the water.
Creve Couer Lake is a favorite destination of mine. Isabelle and I made our first visit there. I just had to get a photo of the Bonnie parked in the background. I asked the nice dragon to keep its tongue in its mouth, but it just wouldn't behave. I'd forgotten light dragons had forked tongues. Oh well.

When it was all said and done we traveled a little over one hundred miles. Some impressions. I really love the hook for securing a bag/backpack. Very handy. Actually, the only thing didn't like was the mirrors. I see way to much of me and not enough of the road behind me...and, they are ugly.
Sunday was another day, and another ride. This one of a little over 60 miles.
The sky on Sunday was filled with a cloud show.
One of the major reasons for bringing Isabelle into my life was to be able to ride more safely to St. Peters to visit my son, daughter-in-law, and grand-daughter. Sunday afternoon I headed for St. Peters. She did great. A couple of times when I glanced down at the speedometer it was registering a bit over 70mph. The reviews I've read about the People 250S say the speedometer is surprisingly accurate for a scooter. Most scooters are rather optimistic in their speed readings. Although I don't know how accurate Isabelle's speedometer is, I do know this, I stayed up with traffic just fine, which is all I ask.

Isabelle and I plan to visit often.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Naming.

Back in May I was nearly positive a red and silver Honda CBR250R was going to be my next bike. Click here to learn about the bike. On the Feast of Pentecost, the day Christians celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit and many congregations wear red, as a joke I posted the following comment on a social media site:

Today most Christians celebrated the coming of the Holy Spirit. I had the distinct sense the Holy Spirit wants me to buy a red motorcycle, name it Pentecost, and call it Penny. Of course, I might be mistaken.

The same day on the Jewish Calendar is also a Holiday.  Their celebrations commemorates the giving of Torah. A dear friend and one of the cleverest women I know made this response:

We celebrate the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai, where we all met at the foot of the mountain on our red motorcycles. It's called Shavuot, which is Hebrew for Sturgis. So...I think Keithey mis-heard the Ruach HaKodesh.

As those of you who have been following this blog know, I didn't buy a CBR250R, nor did I buy a Harley and head for Sturgis. I bought a Kymco People 250S. 

The Kymco is plenty red, but she is not a Penny.

After the adventure of taking delivery of the Kymco, I thought about naming her Reluctance, but that didn't seem to be it. Still there was something in the experience that needing to be claimed. The movie Crossing Delancey came to mind. I remember it as a cute little movie. The main character is a thirty-something woman who works at a bookstore in New York. She works with the authors who are scheduled to come to the store to do readings and promote their books. She becomes rather smitten by one particular author, who seems to have an interest in her. At the same time her grandmother hires a matchmaker. The matchmaker matches her with a pickle maker. Of course, there is more to the pickle maker than him merely being a pickle maker. When the main character finds out the author she is taken with was really looking for nothing more than an assistant with benefits, she is afraid she has blown her chances with the surprise man in her life. But there is a happy beginning after all, despite her reluctance. The character's name in the movie is Isabelle. And....

...the name of my new scooter is Isabelle.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Case of the Reluctant Scooter

My new scooter came from Kansas. How did that come about? One day I was out bike shopping and saw a really nice used 2009 People 250S. I was ready to buy it, but decided to call Mike, my tech wizard, and see what he thought of the deal. At one time he worked for Scooter World in Overland KS, which is a Kymco dealer. I figured he'd have an opinion, and I trust him. He told me he thought it was a good deal but not a great deal. I decided to hold off.

Later, Mike called Scooter World and found they had a brand new 2010 People 250S. They offered to sell it to me for what the other dealer wanted for the used People. I gobbled that deal up. And, Mike made me a sweet offer to trailer it from Kansas to St. Louis. Nice. They only catch was I had to wait until he was headed that way. Time passed and I was becoming a kid waiting for Santa. Is it Christmas yet? No, not yet, but soon.

Finally, last Saturday Mike headed for Kansas City. Sunday Heather took me over to his place and I laid eyes on my scooter for the first time.

There was a slight problem. No headlights. Mike assured me it was fine for Heather to leave. He was sure it wasn't anything major, probably a fuse had jiggled loose on the ride across the State. After all, the headlight was working fine when he picked it up. He'd checked.

It wasn't a fuse. It turned out to be a relay. I figured that was a major problem. Nope. Mike will have Scooter World order a new relay. To get me on the road while we wait for a new relay, he rewired some things, bypassed the relay,  and I have headlights. Not a permanent fix, but a good solid temporary fix.

Now, I was going to get to ride my scooter for the first time. My insurance agent assured me I was insured. I had thirty days to register the scooter in Missouri, so while I wasn't technically legal I figured I was close enough. I took it slow through a few alleys. I was pulling out of the last alley unto an actual street when the scoot stalled...and, it wouldn't start.

I called Mike. He said he'd be right there.

When he got there he did a few things and said, "I know what this is," and added, "It's the idle jet." He did some stuff and got it to start. My first experience of riding my new scooter on the street was keeping the idle up and making my way back to Mike's while hoping it wouldn't stall out again. I managed, but I can't say I was enjoying myself very much.

The guys at Scooter World had ridden it the day before. Mike had ridden it the day before. Mike had ridden it that morning and there had been no problem. I ride it through an alley or two and....

We figure it was my slow hand.

Mike proceeded to pull the carburetor. He worked his magic, put the carburetor back in, and three hours plus some minutes after Heather had dropped me off  I was finally on my way.

I didn't go straight home. It would have been the prudent thing to do and those of you who know me know I am generally prudent. Not today. Today I headed for Castlewood State Park and "the hill". Billie does this hill in second gear. The new scooter of course doesn't have gears, but it pulled up that hill without a problem. It even responded to a twist of my wrist and picked up speed mid-hill. I was smiling.

The ride was smooth and what a wonderful experience pulling away from stoplights was. Oh, and the brakes. Billie has drum brakes. The People has dual discs in the front and a nice large disc brake in the rear. I likey.

It was a short ride and I will have more to say as time unwinds and more road passes under the nice 16" tires. I can say this: I am certainly glad this new scooter got over what seemed like reluctance to join my little stable.

By the way, Billie knows she will still be my ride to work bike. And, I think she is relived knowing she will have no need to experience "the hill" ever again.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

It's Not Christmas, Nor Is It My Birthday, But...

A new scooter showed up today.

It has a radiator.

It doesn't run without a carburetor. And, it didn't run so well with the idle jet blocked. But it is all better now.

Yes, Billie has company.

The new kid is a 2010 Kymco People 250S. I am its first owner. There were only 7km on the clock when I picked it up.

Monday, August 6, 2012

One Of Those Days

It rained both Saturday morning and Sunday night. As is most often the case here in the Heartland some of the storms were severe bringing down trees and doing some damage to homes. All that is par for the course. The last time we had storms we had the winds and the damage, but very little rain. This time we had enough rain to matter, even if it wasn't enough to change our drought status. How do I know? A mushroom said so.

And, a bear agreed.

This is the first time in ages the sign hasn't said, "EXTREME".

The deer were out in the mid-afternoon and not hunkered down against the heat.

Love deer as long as they stay off the road.
This one was playing peek-a-boo. Can you see her?

Sunday, I rode in the morning and hiked with Heather in the afternoon.

It was one of those days when being grateful comes easy.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Just Puttering Around

I went flamingo hunting today. I spent a couple of hours just puttering around neighborhoods. It's the kind of thing Miss Billie is wonderful for. 

It was late afternoon and the smell of BBQ was in the air. Since the heat index was 105F/41C, not many folk were out and about. The one exception were at the snow-cone trailers.

Since I was going over familiar ground I really hadn't expected to find anything new.  But as I neared home, there they were.

They were on a street I go down frequently. I do hope this means they are new.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Goodbye July

The headline in the newspaper said it all: It's official this was the hottest July since records have been kept. (Click here to read the article)

Back in the Spring this was a pond. I saw a turtle sunning itself on this log.

The wetlands are drying up.

The lakes and rivers are very low.

This blue heron wasn't complaining.

Nor was this great white.

We did get some rain on the last Sunday of July.

It was wonderful even if it was only just a little.

August is usually hotter here than July, but who can say what this year will bring. We can only wait and see.