Friday, July 17, 2009

Crossville and on North to Kentucky

After a restful night at my Dad's place in Crossville, we woke up and had some breakfast at a local restaurant. Had some good food and planned my route for the day, including a stop in Jamestown, TN, where I lived until 5 yrs old. My destination is the Honda AMA Superbike Race at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. It just so happens, that is where Tracy grew up, so it's also a chance to meet her there and visit with family.

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As Dad and I wrapped up breakfast, he came back from a phone call to tell me I had an interview at the local paper, the Chrossville Chronicle. So I packed up the bike and headed over. I spent a little more than an hour telling my story about traveling across the US to see the space shuttle launch and all the neat things I've seen. Not sure if it'll make the paper, but I hope it does. The pic below is me in front of the paper, with Missy, who interviewed me.


And me all packed up, ready to head out.


The sky was stormy as I left East TN headed north. On the south side of Jamestown, the sky turned black and the wind started blowing. I pulled over to put on my rain gear. About 30 seconds after I got back on the bike, the clouds opened up and it poured. Wasn't so bad, my gear protected me. But my shield was fogging up in the humidity and it was hard to see thru the rain. Then things got worse....the bike started acting funny, misfiring and stumbling. After a mile or so of confusion, it stalled out...right in the center of town. I struggled to push the heavy bike up an incline to get it off the road and onto the sidewalk, under an awning. Cars honked at me as the rain came down. I could tell at the end it was only running on one cylinder. The bike is dead, the trip is over. I pulled out the cell, to start calling friends and signal. Got out the backup signal on that network either. Dammit. The business I pulled over in front of...closed. No available phone within sight. I was thinking about how I wouldn't get to see Tracy or make it to the race. I couldn't imagine what was wrong. My heart sank.

But then I collected my thoughts and put my brain to work. After some process of elimination, I deduced it was an ECU issue. The F800 has a feedback loop on the ECU that constantly re-evaluates the fuel map to get better fuel economy. I figured that it may have gotten confused with the rapid change in the environment. So I completely shut off the bike, let it cool. Then fired it up and slowly revved it across the entire RPM range. It seemed to clear up. I am still not sure if it was a slightly fouled plug or just a confused ECU...last time the bike stalled on me was in the high humidity of a rainy night in Baja. So, I jumped back on and continued.

I drove past the old house where I lived as a child. With all the rain, I didn't stop to make pictures, I felt it was best to leave all the electronics sealed up. It was the same as I remembered it. Continuing on, the rain eventually let up and the sun came out to dry me up. After crossing the KY line, I came across a cool steel truss bridge over the dam that creates Lake Cumberland. Looked fun down there.


I continued up SR68 the rest of the day. It's a beautiful road with horse farms and hay fields all around.


Stopping for gas, I ran into a fellow biker named James. He was on a Ducati monster, similar to my old one. he exchanged info, he took a few pics of my getup and then we rode together for a few miles thru Kentucky. A cool guy. I tried a few over-the-shoulder shots but they didn't really turn out...the dang camera bag blew *right* in front of him. D-oh. But I did catch a fuzzy shot of him in my mirror.


I passed thru a little town with some really cool structures that had been 'preserved'. At least they looked kinda preserved.


The moss growing on the side of that building was really neat.

Took a few shots of the road...I seem to have a different definition of level while on the bike.


I ended the day on the Kentucky/Ohio border. It's Maysville, KY to the south and then you cross a beautiful suspension bridge and it's Aberdeen, OH.


I actually went a few miles north on 41 into Ohio but saw deer everywhere and decided to turn around. Stayed in Aberdeen at a motel on the side of the road. Part of it had burned down so I was staying in the part next door. Got a weird vibe from a Harley dude about the safety issue so I parked the bike sideways right up in front of my window. "Hell I'd pull it in my room if it was me." Hehe. Had a 10" pizza at a local joint down the street, it was good.

Tomorrow, into Ohio!


Blogger jR said...

Glad to see you are still having a good trip! Nice mirror pic! - James in KY

August 3, 2009 11:18 PM  

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