Saturday, 11 May 2013

New Seat - Take Two

Well after the longer ride to Mudgee I spent the next day with a bit more back pain than normal. Hmm that cant be good I thought, and I have to admit that on the longer trip things didn't really feel right. It was great being able to put my feet flat on the ground while I'm wheeling the bike around but I didn't ever want to compromise comfort. And that's what happened.

I called the man who had fixed the seat the first time and asked if there was something he could do to make it more comfy again. He told me to bring it over, he also told me some other things but because I don't hear so good, specially over the phone, I missed those bits. I went over to see him and was hoping that he would have some good things to say.

He took me into his little workshop this time ... wow!! There was leather and seats galore in there, it was amazing!! So he had me sit on the seat this time and we talked about how I'd told him the wrong thing last time .. I obviously have no idea where I'm sitting when I'm on the bike. He suggested what he could do to make it more comfortable which involved a bit more shaping of the bottom of the seat (under my bum) and the back of it (to tilt my hips at a better angle). While I was there I had a bit of a drool at some of the work he has done, he showed me some different types of leather and designs. Why did he show me those? Well, he said, he might not be able to get the old leather back off cleanly again, he'd had to glue it down last time. Oh well I said just let me know if you cant take it off and we'll talk again.

I went on with my busy week then gave him a call a couple of days later. He was kinda hedging, he'd obviously had a lot of trouble getting the old leather off, but he said it's not too bad .. 'there might be a couple of lumps under your bum is all' ... oh that doesn't sound good. I told him to change the leather and told him which one I'd picked out. I also said go ahead with the pretty flame stitching he'd shown me .. and some white leather on it somewhere ..'you know what ya doin' .. make it look pretty for me' I said.

And he did. He called me while Terry and I were in Bathurst so I had to wait til we got home to go pick it up .. I was just about bursting with excitement by the time I got there. And so happy with the result. He's had to put some more foam back into it to make it comfy, but he's made it so pretty!!

I cant flat foot when I stop anymore, though I think it's better than it was before all of this, but at least I tried it out. The only other option that I can see if it's still too unstable, is to lower the bike either by changing the suspension or using a lowering kit. I'll try this out for a few months though, cause although I slipped today I am very proud to say I didn't drop my baby this time. I might just have a compromise here with a comfortable ride and just be able to get my feet down enough to move my baby around.

Anyway in the way of pics .. yeah I 've got to show her off don't I .. I'm gonna show you a bunch of pics that I took today for my entry into the SRA forums Autumn Photo Competition.

I also spent all day yesterday changing my baby. I took off the pillion seat, the saddlebags and mounts and the sissy bar/back rest. I moved my indicators back up to where they are supposed to be on the fender rails. To do that bit I had to drill a couple of holes bigger cause I have the new blinkers and the bolts are slightly bigger than the stock ones.

I took a lot of photos and have narrowed them down to just 10 that I really like. I cant decide even on which type of photo I want to enter.

There are all these ones which kind of show the whole bike with an Autumn themed background .. our Weeping Mulberry tree is finally starting to turn golden.

Then there's just a bit of the bike. With Autumn background ...

Then there are a bunch with bits of the bike and reflections of Autumn ..

I'm kinda hoping some of my blogging friends can help me out with a decision .. which is your favourite?

I only have one more thing to take off the bike to complete phase one of her new sleeker look, take off the pillion pegs. Then I just need to look at luggage options, I'm thinking about a fender rack and most likely the Kreiga bags to go on it when we go away. For shorter rides I'm thinking about tank bags .. just got to reassure myself that a tank bag wont scratch my paintwork, I already have a couple of new scratches to see to from the removal of the sissy bar.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Bubble Gum and Cheese .. and all things in between

We finally got to Mudgee to visit the Cheese Factory. It's not called the cheese factory as I always thought though, it's the High Valley Wine & Cheese Co. but it came up with a search for cheese factory so you can understand my confusion. It's not completely my fault that Terry went straight past the place.

But I guess I should start at the start .. two weekends ago (yeah I've been a bit busy lately and it's taken this long to write about it) we decided that we should go for a ride. I was told about a beautiful garden that was open in Oberon and only open for a couple of weeks in spring and autumn. It's something special I've been told and that was the last weekend that they were going to be open. So we got up Saturday morning and kinda talked about going to see Mayfield Garden the next day, then we thought a bit more .. then we had a coffee and sat out the back thinking about it some more. Then we both decided that it was just a bit too far for a leisurely Sunday ride and chose to go to Mudgee instead which is only about an hour and a half away.

Sunday morning and I thought I should check the pressure in my tyres before we headed off. I haven't done it in a while since we haven't been riding a lot lately and I got a shock when I checked them, they were way down. So the priority was to get air first. We stopped at our usual petrol station and I found the air. Pulled up to it and took the hose to the front tire, removed the cap and tried to put the air nozzle onto the valve .. nope. It wouldn't go in there, there were spokes and suspension and brakes in the way. The rear was alright, the valve on that one is bent so that you can get the air hose on there, but the front is straight and pointed towards the centre of the wheel, combine that with an air nozzle that is about 20cm long and straight, it just wasn't going to happen.

We spent about 10 minutes rolling the bike back and forth trying to find a position that would let us get a square peg into a round wheel to no avail, then I remembered a service station that has a simpler nozzle without the long handle to get in the way. We headed across town to that one and met with success.

I learnt a few things that day, the first one being that I need to make sure I check my tyre pressure every time I go out on the bike, the second one is that I need to go find some 90ยบ valves for my tyres. The next thing I learnt as I put away the air hose, flushed with a feeling of achievement from my victory .. and noticed the bubblegum stuck to the knee of my jeans .. eeew.

Then we were on our way!! I was on the new seat and kinda excited to be trying it out on a longer run. I noticed straight away the difference in the handling last time I rode but I also noticed the difference the right pressure in my tyres made today, I think half of the differences I'd felt last time were from the tyres not the seat, and I'd just put it down to the seat as that was the thing I was thinking about at the time. This time it didn't feel as weird to me and the handling was much more to my liking.

I'd remounted the GoPro for this trip, onto my handlebars, and now it was within reach for me to turn on and off at will .. now I just needed to remember when I'd last hit the button to work out whether it was on or off. I found out later that there's a little light that flashes on the back of it when it takes a photo and I could have just looked for that to work it out, but for most of the trip I didn't know so I just kept hitting the button and wondering if it was taking pics or not.

Every time we ride along this highway towards Wellington I'm always amazed and stunned by this view that I get hit with as I come over a rise and then back down this long sweeping bend. It's such an open area and you feel like you can see to the ends of the earth. I've only ever noticed it while on the bike, in the car it just doesn't have the same impact, and I've wanted to photograph it to see if I can catch that feeling. The Gopro caught the scene to some extent but I think I'm going to have to stop there one day and see if I can get a panoramic shot of it. Even this shot just doesn't do it justice.

We were soon on the back road to Mudgee.

I got some great shots, I like the mounting on the handlebars, it's not as great as down low on the highway bar but at least it doesn't shake up there. And it's a much better point of view than on the helmet.

It's a pretty cool road, you go through some forest and past some meadows complete with cows to wave to.

Of course those cows are great at avoiding cameras.

Just before we got to a twistie little bit of road that goes through the forest I lost Terry. He was in front of me and I lost him when a car overtook me and sat between us. When I lost sight of Terry I kinda slowed down. It's an interesting road but not a good road. There's a bunch of tar snakes and some pretty awesome grooves that go straight where the road bends.

I was on my own for about 10km's, that's a first for me on this type of ride and I was kinda freaking out a bit, but once I found Terry again I realised what an accomplishment that was for me and was kinda elated ... just kinda :)

It wasn't too much further to go before we were in Mudgee ... all we had to do was find this place. Now remember I actually thought this place was called the Cheese Factory. I had a good idea where it was and gave Terry some pretty good directions from behind him. But when I finally saw the sign that said something I wasn't expecting it to say and then realised that it was the place we were supposed to be in ... ahh well Terry's better at U-Turns than I am.

We headed in for lunch, and it was a very nice lunch.

Mine was a beef and red wine pie .. made with wine from their vineyard.
Terry had this .. ummm it was chicken and corn kinda layered in this flat bread. We cant remember what it was called but it tasted good. I also need to train Terry to leave the chips alone til after I've done the food shot.
As we waited for our food I took a couple of photos. I'm still getting used to this camera and I had taken a half dozen shots before I looked at my exposure settings .. ah well I'll take some more shots.

We could see the bikes from where we were sitting.
The shop and cafe.
Terry relaxing.
The airport isn't far up the road and we watched this little fella flying quite low over us.
After a relaxing lunch we headed into the shop to check out the cheese, I was pretty proud of myself for remembering to bring a little cooler pack with an ice brick in it, and the ice brick was even still frozen when I packed our goodies into it for the trip home.

First we needed to find a petrol station that didn't have cars lining up to the road. Having achieved that we headed down the main street of Mudgee.

I've shown those trees in another post but it was in spring when they were covered in tiny pink flowers .. now they have their autumn colors on and they look just as lovely.

We turned a corner and this view hit us. The street was pretty, we knew it would be as we'd come into town this way .. but what's with the sun?!?!

It was only about 3pm, maybe 3:30pm. It's way too early for the sun to be hitting us in the face like this. Well that's what I thought. Terry had his sunnies in his backpack but he thought he could get up the road a bit before he really needed them. I had my tinted visor on so it wasn't so bad for me, but Terry hasn't got one for this new helmet yet so he just had his clip on sunnies ... they're a bit daggy but so much better for the bike than trying to get prescription sunnies to work properly.

Leaving Mudgee and this was going to be a familiar sight for the trip home. Lots of sun. At least I got some very pretty photos because of it.

It was reflecting off the road into our faces by now, making the road hard to see but it also picked out the tar snakes and made them easier to see.

That is when you could see anything through the tree shadows.

We got to a little village called Goolma before too long and Terry wanted to stop to see if he could find his sunnies. I agreed as I've always wanted to get a pic of the pub here, it's bright blue and I honestly don't remember there being anything else in this village ..

I spent about ten minutes looking in Terry's backpack for sunnies .. then Terry took it off and spent some more time looking while I went across the road to get pics.

It seems I took longer than Terry as the GoPro proves .. Terry waiting patiently...

While the sun got lower on the horizon .. and brighter. And the sunnies were no where to be found.

We jumped back on the bikes with me leading so that Terry could follow my light at least, and we took it slow.

Not far from Wellington you pass this interesting little construction. Terry researched it when we got home and found out that it is a train line bridge that never got finished. The line was supposed to go from the village of Sandy Hollow to the dip in a road called Maryvale. Both very tiny villages with nothing of interest between them. It was started in the 1930's and they stopped contruction halfway in 1951 when they decided that they didn't really need it. Apparently it was going to be used as a main means for transporting all sorts of things that are now transported by road trains. It was all built by hand. It's fascinating and Terry has a hankering to find out if you can follow it from one end to the other. We might do that one day if we can.

The other side has a line of Poplars that are looking pretty stunning in their Autumn colors.

I was planning to stop here for a photo shoot with the bikes but by this time I was just wanting to get this ride over and done with. My back was starting to hurt a bit and the sun was making life very interesting. I could just see us getting stuck riding in the dark and while that probably would have been better for Terry, with the tinted visor it just makes my life harder.

We pressed on. We made Wellington without any problems and then it was just highway all the way home. We stopped again in Guerie for another look for sunnies which met with no success, at least it gave Terry a break from the sun for a bit. When we got back out of Guerie Terry noticed a bike coming up behind us, I expected it to overtake us pretty early on but he just sat behind us all the way to Dubbo. I guess he was having trouble seeing too.

It was a good trip, it was certainly interesting and tested out some new things for both of us. We have decided that in the cooler months we will be travelling west of home, so that we will have the sun behind us on the trips home. I also worked out that the seat isn't quite right as I ended up with back pain the next day and have already taken it back to my seat man to be fixed up, more on that in the next post.

The next day I made us a lovely lunch with the cheese we bought.