The Road Worrier


The Road Worrier

A 68-year-old BMW rider with more than 300,000 BMW miles in my mirrors, I'm a retired Indianapolis newspaperman now living in northeast Arkansas where the only curvy roads are on Crowley's Ridge.
My sport touring bike is a 2003 BMW K1200GT and my daily rider is my wife's 1994 BMW K75S.
I'm an AMA Life Member, and belong to the BMW MOA and the BMW RA. I taught the MSF RiderCourse for 10 years in the 1980s and '90s and was a motorcycle skills test examiner for the State of Indiana from the program's inception until 1989.
I've ridden in 42 of the 48 contiguous states - everywhere but the extreme northeast - and three Canadian provinces. I also rode 14 states in 20 hours over a Memorial Day Weekend.

North America » United States » Arkansas » Jonesboro March 6th 2013

I'm mostly packed and partially loaded having checked the tires and inflated them to 36psi in front and 42psi in back. For the first time in years, I'm lashing my camping stuff onto the luggage rack with a bungee cargo net rather than stuffing it into my yellow and black BMW waterproof bag. That's because my new cold weather Browning sleeping bag is too big for the BMW bag, despite the fact that it has a compression stuff sack. That said, it seems pretty solidly attached, since I strapped the sleeping bag and tent into place before applying the cargo net. The plan is to rendezvous at the Murphy Oil Co. station on Stadium Avenue at 9 a.m. when the Weather Channel website says it will be a sunny 36 degrees, but the 20 mph NNW ... read more

North America » United States » Arkansas » Jonesboro March 4th 2013

I'm doing my blogging here rather than on my site since my wife doesn't want to advertise the fact that she's home alone - albeit with dogs and heavily armed - during my absence. I met with BMW friend Charlie Parsons yesterday afternoon to firm up some plans and we settled on a departure time of 9 a.m. Wednesday from the Murphy Oil Co. station on Stadium Avenue in Jonesboro. Charlie's friend Tom is joining us on his 1993 BMW K75S. Tom has limited experience with long haul touring and camping, so we'll be mentoring him to the extent that he needs/wants mentoring. Charlie needs to be home by next Tuesday evening, so he was loathe to agree to a departure Thursday or Friday when the temperature will be as much as 20 degrees warmer ... read more

North America » United States » Arkansas » Jonesboro September 8th 2011

Having filled my tank before I checked into the motel last night, I was ready to roll at sunup. Except that my route took me straight into the blinding morning sun. I felt completely disoriented as I merged with traffic on eastbound I-44 and fumbled my way to U.S. 65 south to U.S. 60 east. I stopped for a McDonald's breakfast at Mountain Grove, about an hour down the road, and was chagrined to find the Wifi wasn't working. I gassed again at Thayer and rode into my garage about 12:30.... read more

North America » United States » Missouri » Springfield September 7th 2011

I was up and in the shower by 5:15 a.m., packed and availed myself of the free breakfast buffet. I hit the road at 7:20 a.m., gassing at a Conoco convenience store on the way out of town. Although the weather radar showed rain from Garden City to Dodge City and there was a red sky at dawn, I encountered only a few drops of rain and was glad to have the cloud deck to keep the rising sun out of my eyes. I was in road zombie mode all day, stopping only to gas and use a restroom. I gassed at Kingman, Kans., Neodesho, Kans. and finally in Springfield, Mo. before I checked into the nearby HomeStay Inn. It was called the Eagles Lodge when I stayed here two years ago on the Wednesday after ... read more

North America » United States » Kansas » Garden City September 6th 2011

Boy, do I feel stupid. Disregard my rant about the right combination switch. At least until it's warranted. Tiim and I went out to see if the bike would start this morning. I turned the key and hit the starter button and, of course, nothing happened. I turned the key off and on and pushed the button and nothing happened. "Where's your neutral light?" Tim inquired. Doh! It was parked on a slight incline and I'd left it in gear. It won't start with the clutch engaged and the transmission in gear. I put it into neutral, pushed the button and it started. Beware of feebs on bikes. Oddly enough, the expression "FINE-C" popped into my head while I was in the shower about an hour ago. That's the Motorcycle Safety Foundation key to starting a ... read more

North America » United States » Colorado September 5th 2011

ALMA, Colo. - I am thoroughly pissed off this evening. I was all set to make a run up to Frisco for a battery and some Zatarain's jambalaya mix to prepare for dinner this evening when I found my starter button has crapped out again. I had it replaced in July, 2010, for nearly $500. The new right combination switch went wonky on me as I rode home from Las Vegas. The starter button refused to work for about 10 pushes in Steve's garage on a Monday morning, then fired and fired on the first push for the rest of the trip. The turn signal cancelling button stopped working about 4 hours from home a couple of days later. I took the bike up to Grass Roots BMW Motorcycles in Cape Girardeau, Mo., a few weeks ... read more

North America » United States » Colorado September 4th 2011

ALMA, Colo. - I was up first, so I made the first pot of coffee. Breakfast was biscuits and gravy, followed by more coffee and staring at the TV. Tim fired up the chainsaw and log splitter and turned a pile of logs into an even taller pile of firewood. I recorded his efforts on video. I discovered the battery in my Swiss Army knife is dead. It operates the temperature/altimeter feature which, while not essential, is nice to have. I decided to combine a run up to the Frisco Radio Shack for a battery with a chance to shoot some motorcycle video. I was also low on gas, so I planned to hit one of the stations on the north end of Breckenridge. Everything was going well until I got to thinking about my wallet ... read more
Splitting logs

North America » United States » Colorado September 3rd 2011

ALMA, Colo. - Today was a day for resting and acclimating. I got up about 7 a.m. and showered. Tim and I went down to the South Park Saloon for breakfast, then came back and dozed on the couch in front of the TV. We finally got motivated to go out for a drive, hitting a few yard sales, including one where I bought a cheesy leather motorcycle/aviator's helmet for 50 cents. We finished off with coffee drinks at Ice Creams and Coffee Beans in Fairplay before cruising back to Chateau Balough. Webb and Cindy came by shortly after Linda returned from Denver with groceries. We continued our exclusive patronage of the South Park Saloon for dinner. Zero bike miles today.... read more
Tim at work
The Al-Mart magazine rack
High Country Healing

North America » United States » Kansas September 1st 2011

ST. FRANCIS, Kans. - I was on the road by 7 a.m., just minutes after sunrise, with the red rubber ball of the sun in my right mirror. About 15 miles west of Chillicothe, I caught sight of a rainbow off to my right, an artifact of the line of scattered showers I'd seen advancing out of Kansas when I checked the weather radar earlier. By the time I got to St. Joseph, Mo., I had seen three more rainbows and caught a few drops of rain. Counting the rainbow I saw above Jim and Lauri's house yesterday morning this makes 5 so far and the trip is only two days old. It looked like showers were dead ahead, so I pulled into a McDonald's at the east edge of St. Joseph, parking under a gas ... read more
Coffee and Wifi
Room 9, Empire Motel

North America » United States » Missouri August 31st 2011

CHILLICOTHE, Mo. - I left Jim and Lauri's place at 8:15 a.m. - the same time Lauri left for class. I dropped the rent check into the mail at the Crawfordsville post office and headed out of town on I-74, stopping for gas at a Pilot station near Covington. I arrived at the Urbana BMW shop just before 9 a.m. (CDT) and spent the next three hours hanging out and looking at bikes. The shop has a cat, who has his own room with a cat door. I got back on the road a little before noon, catching I-57 south to I-72 southwest, stopping on the southwest edge of Springfield about 2:30 p.m. for a McDonald's lunch and a tank of gas from a Huck's station. I used the McWifi to reserve a room at the ... read more
Waiting for a new rear tire

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