Tuesday, December 3, 2013

40,000 Milestone

....News Flash!....

I made motorcycle history a couple of weekends ago.  You won't see it in the papers or elsewhere online.  Only right here on Bucky's Ride Blog, can you find out the whole story.

Here's the scoop: I've ridden the motorcycle 40,000 miles since I bought it.  [Wow, what a story, Bucky.] 

You may recall that back in May of 2011, I wrote about having ridden it 25,000 miles, and before that, in April of 2009, I wrote about another milestone, 10,000 miles, at that time.

This 40,000 mile mark has come sooner than I ever imagined it would.   In fact, there have been times that I wondered whether it would happen at all.  Well, it has, I am pleased to say.  When I got the bug, my friends and family certainly were shocked to know that I was interested in riding, but one fellow at work, Jeff, a former rider, encouraged me.  Then, some others like Ryan helped me further. 

Thank you, sirs, for that assistance and encouragement. 

Remember that this is my first real motorcycle, not counting the old minibike I had when I was a teenager, so I have ridden only this motorcycle all that way.  And there have been very few long-mileage days in there, the longest being a trek into northern Georgia with an accomplished rider, Stretch, on a cool day in February of 2007.  That was all of 259 miles, some of which was at elevations high enough that there was ice on the rock outcroppings beside the road.  

Stretch was kind enough to ask me to tag along with a small group, and was also patient with my slow pace.   He was on an FZ1 at the time, but is riding a dualsport bike now, exploring gravel roads and trails within a few hundred miles of here.  And I hear he toys with the sportbike riders on the twisty roads when he is out riding this bike.  (By the way, he gets his name because he is a very tall guy.  Stretch -- get it?) 

My 25,000 mile mark was passed in a pastoral setting not far from home; one of those old country roads where the trees occasionally meet overhead, forming a canopy. 

Right here:

The 40,000 mile mark occurred at a place that was not so picturesque, I'm afraid.  It happened in front of the local landfill, close to where I had the encounter with Big Bird a while back. 

This present occasion was commemorated with the following pictures. 

The countryside nearby: 

The landfill sign as proof of location:
Beautiful spot, isn't it?  ...Well, the sign is nice, anyway. 

The time in the afternoon of the auspicious event:

I bought my bike in September of 2007, so I have owned it about seventy-four months. That is around 540 miles per month on the average, but during this last year I have logged about 75 miles per month less than the average.  Real life intrudes more into motorcycle life lately, I guess. 

I have never ridden another bike, though I have sat on a few at motorcycle shows and in dealers, and I spent an hour on a dirt bike once.  Some of my friends encourage me to look at a cruiser next, since I am getting so "up in age," according to them.  (Funny, I didn't notice that.)  Maybe, but I seem to have become accustomed to the riding position on this bike, and it would be hard to change.  I think a dualsport might be a nice addition, since it would better handle the gravel roads I have sometimes traveled on the 650R. 

I ride year around, thanks to the mild weather here in South Carolina, and that helps maintain what riding skills I have.  If I had to abandon the bike all winter, I would need to relearn much more every spring, I am sure. 

The bike has performed well over its life in my stable thus far, but I do note that a motorcycle is not an inexpensive thing to own.

Tires are high, even though I get very good mileage from most of them. I have spent $1200 (about $0.03/mile), including mounting with wheels off the bike, for 3 front and 4 rear tires so far.  One rear tire was punctured on my trek on the gravel Musterground Road.  So for the fronts that is a range of 9-12,000 miles for each tire, and for the rears, 12-14,000 miles each.  You more aggressive riders use up tires much faster than I do. Frugal, I am, and not very aggressive in riding. 

Maintenance and repair expenses have not been cheap either, amounting to some $670 ($0.016/mile) over the life of the bike; And, I have performed all of the labor myself.  Farkle and accessories have been $400 ($0.01/mile).

All together, that is about $0.056/mile, not including gas or insurance. 


By the way, while I was out making motorcycle history, my wife was at a church craft fair (didn't they used to call them bazaars?), selling some knitted items she had made.  There were dish cloths, and fuzzy ladies' scarves [fuzzy ladies??], and some of those pillows for the ring bearer at a wedding so he doesn't lose the precious symbols of the union, ...
Lucia Paul Design
...and a couple of Christmas wreaths made from all sorts of stuff bought at the local Hobby Lobby.  She has been working on these things for weeks ahead of time to have enough to sell. 

Here are her display tables:
Quite the artisan, she.

Some views of the other ladies' work, and some shoppers:

I think I'll keep my bride; she's a good 'un. 


Back to the day's ride for a second.  On my way to the record, I rode from home up SC-28 and SC-107 (on a route similar to this ride) to the Wigington Byway going toward Whitewater Falls, and stopped at the overlook on the Byway. 

The view was breathtakingly..................................absent!

The fog was so heavy I could not see a thing.

It usually looks like this over there beyond the concrete:
February 2012
I then rode with four-way flashers on for several miles until I got to a slightly lower elevation again. 

SC-130 from the falls down to SC-11 was an enjoyable series of sweepers, as usual. 

So, lets plan to meet again when I reach, say, 50,000 miles.  At the current rate, that will be on August 30, 2015.  Mark your calendar. 

I'll meet you at the landfill with fly swatter in hand. 

...I still wonder how far I rode that little minibike.


farkle -- accessory; generally accepted to mean a combination of "function" and "sparkle"
bazaar -- a sale in aid of charity, esp. of miscellaneous secondhand or handmade articles


1 comment:

rc5695 said...

congrats on the mileage Bucky. I sold my FZ6 with 40k on it and I put every one of those miles on it. Loved the bike, but now enjoying my FZ1 nearly as much. Just 'cuz some people think we're "getting old" doesn't mean we need to ride a cruiser... Sportbikes forever! ;)