Road Trip 2016, Day 1

small bird on motorcycle handlebar

A fledgling finds a handy perch

The first couple of days of a long ride are always a “spooling up” exercise.  Today was no exception.  Many of the things you think you have all worked out in the garage or on short rides around town end up not working as predicted after several hours on the road.  Today I was working out some kinks with my electronics.  More on that later.

Anyway, today’s ride was all interstate highway from Portland to Coeur d’Alene, ID.  I’m sitting in a lovely Ramada Inn just off the freeway composing this.  I got out at a reasonable hour this morning – I knew I’d never make 7:00 am, but after finishing packing up, I did press the start button on the bike at 8:05.  The day was completely uneventful and other than the fact that I’m a little sore this afternoon (I haven’t done this in a while), all is well.

The day was gorgeous all the way.  I don’t think it ever got above 65 today, and by the time I pulled in for the afternoon, it was cooling off in Northern Idaho – down to the high 50’s.  Sunny an bright all day long with a few clouds near the end of the day.  Forecast is saying I might get a little wet tomorrow depending on how far I go in to Canada.  It’s supposed to be raining around Medicine Hat by Monday, but so far, the satellite and radar all look pretty quiet over the whole region.

The bike is performing wonderfully.  Smooth and predictable, well connected to the road and with more than enough power to spare.  In fact, it has become abundantly clear since I got the bike that I have to be very careful with that right grip, but today just reaffirmed that caution.  This bike wants to settle in right around 90-95 if I don’t keep a close eye on the speed-o-meter.

Boardman_Gas_Stop

Boardman Gas Stop

I’ve been making it a point today to run the bike in the “Econ” mode to see how far I can stretch a tank of gas.  I’m reserving judgement for now until I burn a few more tankfuls.  My initial impression is that I think I got too used to my gas-sipping BMW R-type motors.  With four cylinders and at nearly 1400 cc, this bike isn’t exactly a dainty drinker.  I’m getting a solid 185-190 miles before the low fuel warning comes up, and in theory, the range beyond that warning is a good 40 miles or so.  Still, I got used to a reliable 300 miles a tank on the Beemers.

So back to the little tech challenges.  My TomTom GPS uses Bluetooth exclusively for audio.  I have a small Bluetooth receiver to interface with that so I can mix that audio with another source like the iPod, FM radio, etc.  The Bluetooth receiver has been working great in testing before today, but after about 3 hours this morning, it stopped working.  It looks like it’s simply discharged – meaning I’m not fully charging it when I think I have – but we’ll see what it looks like tomorrow after a full overnight charge from the laptop.

The big set of pics at the top of the post this afternoon is from a rest stop along I-90 about 50 miles out of Spokane.  Not a minute after I’d gotten off the bike, this little fledgling bird decided that my left grip would make a dandy perch.  Mom was around foraging for grub and junior was still clearly learning how to use very young wings – and had obviously not been around long enough to be properly frightened of humans – as evidenced by how close I was able to get with the camera and how calm the little tyke was.

Overall a great first riding day for Road Trip 2016!


Track the Trip  <– This link takes you to my Amateur Radio call sign on aprs.fi.  I’m traveling with an APRS enabled handheld radio which periodically transmits my GPS location, speed and heading.  Standard disclaimer – the system relies on a network of club and privately owned digital Amateur Radio stations.  The overall success of the tracking is dependent on a whole list of factors, including the fact that these stations don’t exist everywhere I’ll be riding and it’s all done on VHF radio frequencies.  When it works it works, when it doesn’t it doesn’t.

3 thoughts on “Road Trip 2016, Day 1

  1. Great pictures of the bird! Good luck with your Bluetooth system. I just purchased another one, let us know how yours works out.

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