Sunday, April 09, 2006

Darlington, Wisconsin

It was 30 degrees in the morning. The high for the day was supposed to be 58 in Chicago. I rode out to North Chicago, in the northern suburbs to the Full Moon Café where I met up with some friends. We rode out toward Lake Geneva and hit some rustic twisty roads. Then my friends went back to Chicago to watch the GP races.

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One of Lake Geneva's rustic roads

I continued with the left over group from the Full Moon since they were heading towards Lake Geneva, and I was heading to the West side of Wisconsin, but after running one twisty road I decided to split from them and continue West on 50 stopping in Delavan Lake for gas an green tea with honey. I was determined to get at least 400 miles today so that I could finally bring the Ducati in for a valve check service. To not waste any time, I took boring 11 West to sweeper heaven 81 West. Wisconsin remained a bit chilly and the wispy clouds didn’t seem to allow any of the sun’s warm rays to penetrate the chilled air. The electric vest and heated grips stayed on for a while but at about 1PM I decided to rough it and turned them off.

By 2PM I was really cold and sitting at the Darlington McDonalds on 23 sipping hot coffee and eating a bad lunch. What was amazing, out of all the cute little places to eat in town, there were like 6 bikers eating at this McDonalds. It was actually too hot inside the restaurant so I finished my coffee outside and then for the first time today, put on my balaclava, then turned on my heated grips and heated vest and took off back the way I came down 81.

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The sun was shining now, and what a difference that made, the temperature rose by 6-8 degrees easily. Before the town of Argyle I turned North on “N” made a left on “F” and entered the Yellowstone Lake State Park. I parked it by the lake to relax in the sunshine at a picnic table. The park was all empty except for three boats fishing on the lake. I could have set here all afternoon, it was so peaceful and so pretty.

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Finally I got up and left, the speed limit around the park was about 25-35mph and there was a few curves in the road and one big hill, from where you can overlook the whole area. At this point I was actually warm.

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Yellowstone Lake State Park

I took the same way home, enjoying the sweepers on 81 more now with the sun shining and warmer temps. By the time I got to 11 east I was already looking forward to another stop but I pushed on as the sun got closer to the horizon. I always hope that I make it home before it gets dark but it never happens.

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81 West of Argyle, WI

I rode though Janesville, Belvedere finally stopping in Genoa for a break. I had a Red Bull with me that I didn’t drink in the morning and I decided to drink it now, I needed the energy for sure. It was getting dark, so I took my clear helmet visor out with the intention of swapping it for the tinted, but I couldn’t remove the tinted one. The tabs that are supposed to be pushed to release the visor looked liker they broke. I dropped my helmet yesterday and it landed on the visor. I couldn’t change out the visor so I had to ride in the dark with the darkest tinted visor not very pleasant while going though some corn fields where there are no lights what so ever.

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I got home at 9:30PM, the temps were cool again and I was pretty tired riding about 460 miles today.

3 comments:

Jerry James said...

great stuff. cool pictures. I should have my write up from the Texas Hill Country up this evening. Have a wonderful day and ride safe!

Becca said...

You and that Red Bull!!!

Nice pics - looks like you got out for a good ride.

Rick said...

Has your service indicator come on yet? Mine started flashing at 6215.