Wednesday, April 8, 2009

10,000 Miles Ridden

I passed a milestone today. I have ridden this motorcycle 10,000 miles since I bought it.

Actually, since this is my first real motorcycle not counting the old minibike, I have ridden only this motorcycle 10,000 miles. This momentous occasion occurred about half way though the ride I took today.

I bought the bike in September of 2007, so I have owned it for about nineteen months. That is about 525 miles per month on the average. The average is more like 588 miles per month, taking into account the two months of downtime to recover from my "off-road" experience.

I'll write more about it later, but this historic moment was coincident with my visiting a historic site only about fifty miles away just north of Rosman North Carolina.

The site, called the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute -- PARI for short -- was a satellite and space flight tracking station built in the 1960s. Later, it was used to monitor Soviet satellites and communication.

Since our intelligence folks knew that Soviet satellites photographed the site, they painted a smiley face on one of the radio dishes. That way the Soviets would know that we knew that they were watching.

This is from their website,

"PARI's roots are a direct spin-off of the space age. Here is a copy of the original NASA brochure describing the Rosman Satellite Tracking Station.

"The Rosman Research Station was a NASA facility used during the 1960s and 1970s for tracking manned and unmanned space flights. In 1981, the facility was transferred to the Department of Defense for use as an intelligence gathering facility for U.S. defense and satellite communications.
"In 1995, the Department of Defense closed the facility, and turned the site over to the U.S. Forest Service. In 1999, the site was purchased from the U.S. Forest Service and gifted to PARI for use as an astronomical research and educational facility.

Former antenna array

1 comment:

irondad said...

Congratulations on the milestone. Here's to many more. With no turtle stories, of course!