2010  RIDE  JOURNAL

Here are some photos from recent day trips or just riding around.  All of the images are links to larger photos.  Click the image to view the large photo.  The large image will open in a new window on most browsers.  Web sites for destinations that have one may be visited by clicking the link below the photo or in the text of the section.

Many of the sections will show GPS coordinates in the title.  I try and remember to save the coordinates when I arrive at a site, but sometimes I forget to do so.  In those cases I get the coordinates from the GPS software on my computer and show them as "+/-" to denote that they are not exact.

Most of the photos were taken by me, but some were taken by friends and other riders.  ALL PHOTOS ARE COPYRIGHTED AND MAY NOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT THE EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE OWNER

January, 2010
Yeah, January.  The whole stinking month of January ;(  As I write this on January 29 I have a whopping total of 208 miles on a bike this month.  Of course, looking at the bright side, that's 78 miles farther than I rode in December!  This has really been a cold, wet, sloppy winter and riding a motorcycle much has just plain been out of the question.  It snowed about 4" today and the forecast is for another 4" or so overnight.  By Sunday morning the temperatures will be in single digits again.  Note that I said "again".  We have already seen single digits more than once this year, and for several days this month the temperature never got about 20°.  While that might be balmy weather in parts of the country it isn't around here.  So, for me, not much riding since November.

I have gotten out though, just not on my bikes.  I've shot 1,600 photographs this month, a few of which were even pretty decent, so even though my bikes are sitting idle waiting for warmer (or at least drier!) weather my camera has not been idle.  I've spent a lot of time at Centennial Park taking photos of the birds and ducks there, as well as Radnor Lake.  I also visited the Lane Motor Museum here in Nashville and took a number of photos of the snowfall.  As I said, I have been getting around and enjoying myself, just not on a bike.

Centennial Park Photos
Radnor Lake Photos
Lane Motor Museum Photos
Snowfall Photos

At some point this cold, wet winter is going to end and I can get back on a motorcycle.  I've got a lot of miles to make up and a lot of places I want to visit.  For now though I'll leave the bikes on the battery tender and just play with my camera until the weather decides to give us a break.

February, 2010
Yeah, February.  The whole stinking month of February ;(  Much like January this has been a really lousy month for riding.  In fact I didn't even get as many miles in this month as I did in January!  I haven't checked my odometers but I think it's somewhere around 100 miles for the whole month.

The only bright spot the whole month was the weekend of 2/20-2/21, and that's when I got the 100 miles in.  It was a beautiful weekend and the first time we have seen temperatures in the 60's since November, I think.  We got about 6" of snow on January 31 followed by several days of really cold temperatures for this part of the country.  The highs wree around 25 for several days with lows at night in the single digits.  As I write this on February 23 there are still piles of snow in some parking lots left over from that one.

Oh well, March is coming I think.

March 6, 2010 - Old Stone Fort - Manchester, TN
Saturday - March 6, 2010

Finally, a decent weekend is in the making!  This is only the second weekend this year that we've been able to get out and enjoy the weather a little bit.  Mid-50's with clear skies is so much preferable to gray skies and mid 20's.

Last weekend I drove to Old Stone Fort State Park in Manchester, TN to take photographs of Blue Hole Falls.  I didn't realize that there were two relatively decent waterfalls until I got back home so this weekend I rode my VFR back to get photos of the second water fall.  A few of the photos are included below and there are a few more, as well as photos of Blue Hole Falls, on This Page of my site.



Big Falls
Old Stone Fort State Park
Manchester, TN

Big Falls
Old Stone Fort State Park
Manchester, TN

Big Falls
Old Stone Fort State Park
Manchester, TN

Big Falls
Old Stone Fort State Park
Manchester, TN
Sunday - March 7, 2010

I rode my V-Strom down the Natchez Trace Parkway today because, once again, the weather was fantastic!  After the cold and gloom and rain and snow of the past 6 weeks it just felt so great to get out and ride without freezing.

I'd like to point something out though.  To the left is a photograph of a plague mounted on a granite pedestal at the Gordon House along the Natchez Trace Parkway.  I took the photograph in November, 2009 so the plaque had been there for 18 years.
Here's a photograph of the same plaque today.  Obviously something is missing.  I seriously doubt that the brass plaque fell off or got up and walked away or was removed for maintenance.  I suspect that some worthless prick stole it.

It's absolutely amazing what some people will do these days.  Why some idiot would think it's "Cool" to steal a plaque from a historic site is beyond me.  I guess whoever it was felt it was more important for them to have it than for everyone to see it, or perhaps they felt it would be more useful hidden in their house than mounted on the granite pedestal where it belongs.  Some people are just plain worthless.

On the other hand perhaps it will return one of these days.  I'm not going to hold my breath though.

March 27, 2010 - Natchez Trace Parkway

Just too nice not to get out and ride some today.  It started out cold, as in the mid 30's, but warmed up quickly.  When I left home at about 9:30 it was already into the 50's.  I am certainly ready for some nice warm weekends for a change, this has been a very long, cold, and wet winter.

I rode down the Natchez Trace Parkway and since I had my camera with me decided to take a few photos of the 2-wheeled traffic along the road as well as the first Dandelion I've seen this year.  There were far more bicycles than motorcycles but that probably won't last very much longer.



     
April 3 & 4, 2010 - Natchez Trace Parkway

Saturday - April 3, 2010

Last night's heavy rains were still around when I got up this morning.  Leaden skies and moderate rain but the radar image looked hopeful.  The rain stopped about 9:00 and the overcast started to break up about 10:00.  By the time I showered and got everything ready to go there wasn't a cloud left in the sky.  Brilliant blue and 61°!  That's what I've been looking for!

Since it was already about 11:00 I decided I'd just ride down the Natchez Trace Parkway.  I put a new chain and sprockets on my V-Strom this week and I wanted to put some miles on that to get the initial stretch out but at the same time I didn't want to be too far from home if I messed something up ;)  So, I grabbed my camera and headed out.  Just like last weekend there were far more bicycles than motorcycles.



 

This spot is named the "Water Valley Overlook" so presumably that is Water Valley below.  Regardless it is a really pretty spot on the Parkway.

   

On the way back in to town I passed a rider on a MoPed.  I thought those things were long gone but apparently they aren't because behind her there was another one.  And then a few more.  And then a bunch more!  Under the assumption that they probably weren't going to go very far I turned around to see what was going on.  Sure enough they all stopped at the Loveless Cafe near the end of the Natchez Trace Parkway.

I stopped and chatted for a few minutes and they are apparently a national club of some sort.  The person I was talking to said that they had people from all over the country there, some from as far as the west coast.  Naturally I had to take some photos of the gathering, and yes I realize that my V-Strom looks out of place among them.




Some of the bikes really brought back some memories to.  There is a red Honda CB350 in the last row of photographs, for example.  The owner said that it was a 1971 model bike, and in 1971 I rode one identical to it all the way around the island of Oahu while on vacation in Hawaii.


Sunday - April 4, 2010

Today was pretty much a repeat of yesterday except that I rode my VFR.  A beautiful day and for some reason I just didn't feel like going anywhere so I just headed down the Natchez Trace Parkway again.  At least today the motorized 2-wheelers outnumbered the pedal-powered 2-wheelers.




   

The trees are really starting to bud out now.  The Dogwoods are in full bloom and the hardwoods aren't far behind. While I was stopped taking photos this guy landed on the seat of my bike to rest for a minute.  As can be seen he has been busily collecting pollen this morning and I guess he was tired.  He flew away after stretching and resting for a few minutes.
April 10 & 11, 2010 - Out and About

Saturday - April 10, 2010

An absolutely fantastic weekend is forecast for us this weekend.  I didn't ride far but I did get out and ride to Springfield, and then just putter around town for a while.  I stopped at Centennial Park for a few minutes, and I stopped at my office for a little while.  Fantastic riding weather for a change.

After the winter we have had I am certainly glad to see the colors of spring return once again.  During late winter I get so depressed and tired of seeing nothing but gray skies and brown trees and foliage.  Once the colors start to come out again I feel like I can survive once again.  Even a Dandelion is a welcome sight!



Sunday - April 11, 2010

As far as the weather goes today was a repeat of yesterday.  Blue skies, sunshine, mild temperatures.  I rode down the Natchez Trace Parkway again since that is one of my favorite riding areas.  It's quiet, it's relaxing, and I can think about things that are on my mind and just enjoy the ride.  Plus, as can be seen in the following photos and they dozens of others on my web site, it's a very scenic place to ride as well.

 

There were a number of others out on two wheels enjoying the weather as well.




     
 

There are several photographs of bicyclists on the Natchez Trace Parkway on this page.  Scroll up and take a quick look at them, I'll wait.  Notice anything wrong?  Probably not, and apparently several of the people in the photographs don't either so I'll point it out: The Natchez Trace Parkway has published rules for riding bicycles on the Parkway.  Two of those rules are: 1) Keep RIGHT, and 2) Ride SINGLE FILE.  Now scroll up through those photographs again and see how many are right and how many are wrong.  Especially the guys riding THREE wide all the way over to the center line.

Most of the time these people are completely oblivious of traffic coming up behind them.  They will not drop into single-file, they will not move over.  They ARE breaking the law and by doing so they are endangering themselves and the traffic on the Parkway.  Sooner or later someone is going to get badly hurt because of them.  It isn't much fun popping over a hill and finding your lane completely blocked with bicycles going about 10 mph.

April 17 & 18, 2010 - Out and About

Saturday - April 17, 2010

Rain was in the forecast for this morning, and when I got up it was cloudy and gray.  The clouds blew out about mid-morning though and left behind partially blue skies.  I decided that since part of the day was wasted I'd just go ride down the Natchez Trace Parkway, as usual.  I traveled "Light" and just took my Sony DSC-H9 camera in lieu of my Nikon gear.  Naturally when I got there there was a bicycle rally or something going on and there were dozens of bicycles running down the parkway.  A perfect opportunity for some good photographs if I had taken my good camera, but I made do with what I had.

My biggest problem with my Sony camera is the cycle time.  It takes a couple of seconds to save an image whereas my Nikon D90 can do about 4.5 images per second.  When a bunch of bikes came by in a group I usually got the first one and the last one because the camera wouldn't cycle fast enough.  Oh well, I got a few good ones.





I would also have loved to have my Nikon glass with me as well.  There is a girl in yellow in the third photo on the next to last row and a couple of people in the last row that are wearing million-dollar smiles.  I would have loved to get close-ups of those smiles, they were really having a great time.
May 8, 2010 - B, B, B & B
Bikes, Bikes, Birds, and Blooms.  OK, mostly bikes but there are a couple of birds and a couple of blooms.

The past few weeks have been exceptionally difficult for me and I haven't ridden much.  Today I did get out and ride down the Natchez Trace Parkway to clear my head and enjoy the weather and take some photographs.  I hope things are finally getting to the point where I can get out and ride some more, I really need to get out of town for a couple of days.

I would like to mention something here.  I post a lot of photographs of people riding on the Natchez Trace Parkway.  If anyone sees a photograph of themselves that they want removed, send me an EMail and I will remove it immediately.  My intent is not to infringe on someone's privacy or enjoyment of their leisure time, and if they don't want their photo on my web site I will be glad to remove it.

Likewise, if someone sees their photograph on my web site and wants a copy of it all they have to do is ask.  Drop me an EMail and I'll send you a copy.  Most of them are either 10 megapixel or 12 megapixel depending on which camera I use so the images are quite large.  











   

May 29-31, 2010 - Out and About

Saturday - May 29, 2010

There has been quite a bit going on lately, and while I have been out I haven't been riding a lot.  There is an exhibit of Dale Chihuly glass art at the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in Nashville, and I have been there several time Taking Photographs.  I have also been to the Tennessee Renaissance Festival twice Taking Photographs (and I may go one more time tomorrow).  Last weekend I did get out and ride to Ft. Donelson at Dover, TN but I never got around to listing that here.

Which brings us to this weekend, one that has a good chance of rain every day.  I rode to Murfreesboro today to try and get a new National Park Passport Stamp at Stones River National Battlefield but the place was literally packed.  I couldn't even find a place to park a motorcycle so I decided to return later.  I stopped at one of the memorials and took a few photographs and then cut across to Franklin and thence to the Natchez Trace Parkway.  Lots of motorcycles on the Parkway today, they actually outnumbered the bicycles, I think.

A big 100 mile loop on my VFR that really felt good.









     

Monday - May 31, 2010

Monday, Memorial Day, I rode to Lynnville, TN and visited the Lynnville Railroad Museum.  I'm sure it's a cool place if you are into railroads, but I prefer riding so I didn't stick around very long.

One thing that struck me as unusual, since I live in Nashville, is that when I arrived the museum was open but there was not a soul there.  Leave something unlocked in Nashville and it will be empty when you come back.  Leave something unlocked in Lynnville and it's apparently pretty safe.  That says a lot for their town, and I'm envious.



Since it was in the vicinity (Hey! I consider 30 miles away to be in the vicinity!) I cut over to the Natchez Trace Parkway and rode it about 60 miles back into Nashville.  175 miles on the clock finally, and it felt great to be out!
June 5-6, 2010 - Out and About

I got out and rode both days this weekend but didn't go anywhere to speak of.  Summer has blazed into Tennessee with a vengeance.  It has been around 90° for most of the past week and the humidity has been in the 65% range making thoughts of helmets, boots, jackets, and gloves fall way down on the list of things I enjoy.  I get home from riding and sweat is pouring off of me in torrents.  I refuse to ride without my protective gear, but I do have to admit that it takes some of the fun out of riding.  As long as I can keep moving everything is fine, but unfortunately I have to stop for traffic and then it gets hot quickly.

I did get out and ride about 75 miles each day though.  Saturday I had to get some work done on my VFR and when I left the Honda shop I rode around for a while just to get some fresh air.  Sunday morning I got up and tried to beat the heat by leaving early (as in around 7:30).  It helped but not a great deal.  I rode into town and took some photographs of the old Marathon Motor Works facility, and then I rode to Murfreesboro to pick up another National Park Passport Stamp.  All told, maybe 150 miles or so for the weekend but it still felt good just to be out riding.

The Rest Of June, 2010 - Out and About

Half of 2010 is virtually gone and so far it has not been a memorable year on a motorcycle for me.  I haven't really been in the mood to go anywhere for much of the year for personal reasons, and it's just as well.  The first few months were limited by bitter cold and a lot of snow (See Here!) and this month has been unnaturally hot.  Our average temperature in June is in the mid 80's and so far much of the month has been in the mid to upper 90's.  That doesn't bode well for July and August either.  I hope August doesn't turn into another of those months in which it is 100+ virtually every day, but it is headed that way.

I've been trying to beat the heat by getting out and riding early in the morning on the weekends.  That works pretty well but by mid-morning it is suffocatingly hot.  Night time temperatures have been in the low 70's but early in the morning the humidity is over 80% because of the dew.  It heats up faster than the moisture evaporates so by 10:00 the temperatures are usually around 90° and the humidity is still in the 60% range.  By afternoon the humidity has dropped to the 40% range but the temperature has been pushing 100°.  One day last week the heat index one afternoon was 118°, and that same night the heat index was 95° at 9:00 at night!  To make things worse, getting out of the sun into the shade doesn't help much when the humidity is that high.

But I have been riding some.  Normally short 75 mile rides around the area and then back to the air conditioning, but I have been getting out.  I'm ready for a road trip and hope that this fall I can head up into the northeast states for a few days.

Today I got out and rode my normal 75 mile loop, then came home and got my car and went out to take a few R/C aircraft photos.  I didn't stay out long but I did get a few.  They are a bit on the "Soft" side because I took them from a pretty good distance away.  Since I wasn't flying that meant staying outside the fence.


July, 2010 - Out and About

July was an utter waste from a riding standpoint.  I rode a whopping total of 550 miles this month and very few of them actually fell into the "Fun" category, they were more "Just Riding".  Like most of June I got out and rode early in the morning, mostly on the Natchez Trace Parkway, because by midday the heat indexes were horrible.  We have seen afternoon heat index values of 105 to 118 degrees most of the month, and that just takes the fun out of riding for me.  August is not looking any better, and the first few days are forecast to be right at 100° with our accompanying high humidity.

Hopefully the fall will be better, I'm really getting tired of hot weather.  We had a very nice spring but some personal issues kept me from riding much.  I complain about the cold in the dead of winter and I complain about the heat in the dead of summer but I guess that's human nature.  I love to ride in the spring and fall because the weather is comfortable.  I'm ready for fall to get here now.

August 8, 2010 - Downtown

The first week of August has been no better than June and July.  It has been terribly hot with heat indices touching 115° in the afternoon.  The forecast for the coming week is no better, and is in fact slightly worse with forecast temperatures, which have proven to be rather lower than actual recently, of 101° by mid week.

I got my VFR out and rode a little while this morning though.  I rode into downtown Nashville and took a few photos of the "Lower Broad" area and then rode over to Centennial Park for a little while.  Even leaving home at 7:00 didn't help a great deal and by 9:00 it was getting bad so I headed back home.  At least I got a few miles in though!






   
October 30, 2010 - Trees Along The Trace 2010

Not much riding this year.  There have been reasons for it but the bottom line is that it just didn't happen.  I did make my annual trek down the Natchez Trace Parkway to enjoy the trees a couple of times this month, but today was kind of a disappointment.

Here's what it looked like on October 10:




     

 

This past week we had some storms come through, and it has been rather breezy since.  A lot of the leaves are already on the ground while many others have not changed at all yet.  So, this week was a bit of a disappointment.


 

 

Admittedly the photos on the 10th were taken with my Nikon DSLR while those today were taken with my Sony non-DSLR so there is some difference between them.  Both sets are pretty close to what I recall seeing though.  On the 10th the sky was a vivid blue and the trees were gorgeous.  Today the sky was sort of washed-out with some cirrus clouds floating around.

End of Year

The normal interpretation of the word “Memorable” is one that brings to mind times of joy and happiness.  Memories that one allows to surface to enjoy a time or event over and over again in their mind.  In reality “Memorable” simply means something easily remembered.  Admittedly this year has been a "memorable" one for me, in the strictest definition of the word, but most of the memories are not something that I choose to recall and enjoy.  Rather I would prefer to consign them to the back of my mind where they can be forgotten.

I only rode 5,000 miles this year.  That averages to about 96 miles a week but in reality most of them were during the spring months.  I rode very little during the summer, fall, and winter months for various reasons of my own.  The interest was not there, the lure of the road was not there, so much of the time I chose not to ride my bikes.

I did get out on weekends and take some photographs, slightly over 14,000 of them as a matter of fact, but they were all in the local area.  Most of them may be found on This Page of my site.

Hopefully 2011 will be a better year for me.  There are still a lot of miles to roam and many places still calling my name.  I still have my bikes, I still have the urge to get out and ride, and hopefully 2011 will allow me to do that.



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