Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Big Spring Ride: Part Eleven: Upstate NY

Today, Ken and I rode to Ithaca from Troy.

We caught a five minute parade in Cooperstown, then made our way into Ithaca.

It is a beautiful area that reminded me so much of the Wisconscoot rides in southwest Wisconsin.

Waiting to go get a steak dinner at Texas Roadhouse in a few minutes.


Memorial Day Parade in Cooperstown.

Passing one of the parade firetrucks heading to Ithaca.

Beautiful countryside around the area.

Taughannock State Park.

Big Spring Ride: Part Ten: New Friends

We went looking for a place to eat last night.

Our first stop was a wine shop where a nice couple was finishing their wine.

We didn't stay there but headed to the local Oyster House, where the couple arrived just after us.

We talked a lot with them and found out that they were from Miami, but had bought an old estate in Albany.

I told them we would like to drive by and they invited us for a tour.

We rode by today and they were so kind to show us the house and continue the nice discussions we had at the restaurant.

It is a spectacular piece of architecture. Very nice couple too.

Traveling is always made more fun when you can meet new friends.


Elaine and Mike in front of their fine old house.

Of course, we had to have a shot with a scooter.

At the front door.

Beautiful woodwork inside.

Big Spring Ride: Part Nine: Lostboater

With Kylie off to New York and Paris, I needed a pick-me-up.

So I met up with Ken in Troy, NY, where we walked thirty miles ( felt like it but was only one and a half miles) to the local oyster bar.

Had a fine dinner and conversation with an interesting couple from Miami who are restoring an old estate in Albany.

Great oysters too.

My kind of evening.


Dining on Oysters, of course, in Troy, NY.

Big Spring Ride: Part Eight: Departing

Sad day for me.

Five wonderful days riding with Kylie.

Probably the most time I have ever spent with just her.

I loved every minute.

Dropped her off at the Portland Airport this morning.

So sad.


Off she goes to Paris.

Big Spring Ride: Part Seven: Portland

Today, Friday, Kylie and I rode from Thornton, NH, in the middle of the White Mountains, to Portland, ME.

The best part of the ride was on the Kancamagus Highway, 35 miles through the White Mountain National Forest.

It was a great road, but today it was cold and windy. 49 degrees at the pass, 22 mph winds with big gusts. It could have been more comfortable.

The remainder of the ride was uneventful, other than the wind, but we made it to the hotel in Portland at 1:00.

We heeded wbdvt's advice and had lunch at Eventide Oysters.

The server got us two each of six different oysters. They all were perfect.

Then I had the Lobster Stew. It was even better. What a fine restaurant.

We then walked around the old port area and had beer at Gritty's followed by a lobster dinner at Portland Lobster Company.

A very good day.

I am going to be very sad to drop off Kylie at the airport tomorrow.

But meeting up with Ken will help.


Cold along the way

Kylie at a stop.

Eventide Oyster House

Not a good photo in general, but a good one of Kylie.
She liked the oysters too.

Big Spring Ride: Part Six: Vermont

Today, Thursday, wbdvt (Barry) came to visit and ride with Kylie and me for a part of our trip to Thornton, NH.

He came bearing gifts, that Kylie and I are enjoying as we sit in the little cabin motel room while it drizzles outside.

We got an early dinner and am enjoying some quiet time.

We had a good ride today with a late breakfast in a little diner in Woodstock, VT, a town I would come back to visit anytime.

After that, the New Hampshire roads were all rough with very low speed limits, so it drew out the 120 mile ride.

After checking into the little motel, Kylie and I headed for a mountain road and found a good one.

Tivoli Road was freshly paved, no guardrails, signs or electric power lines. Just a smooth road through the forest.

We got to the top and returned back down. Nothing but beautiful.

We had dinner at the Covered Bridge Restaurant down the road, then headed back in the drizzle.

Another fine day.

Me and Kylie leaving Hunter, NY

Kylie and Barry

Following Barry on 11

Selfie of Kylie with no chins this time.

Vermont's finest, a gift from Barry. Thank you!

Big Spring Ride: Part Five: Windiest Day Ever

Everyone had a very windy day on day 7 of the 2014 Cannonball in Eastern Colorado and Western Kansas heading into Ulysses, Kansas, but not as gusty as today. We got pushed around a lot. Not a great first day of riding for Kylie, but she did great. No complaints from her.

I had been concerned about packing ever since I was preparing for the trip.

But this morning, I shifted items, putting the good stuff in my big bag and placing it is the protected area under the seat.

I took my clothes and put most of them in my back pack and secured it in the space in front of the seat,

Kylie had all of her stuff in a back pack that she wore while riding.

We didn't look like the Beverly Hillbillies at all.

It took an hour to ride the 10 miles to get out of New York City, then headed north on the west bank of the Hudson River.

On the Manhattan Bridge we felt the heavy wind, a steady 25+ mph with significant gusts.

This wind followed us all day. It was quite cold too.

But we had fun on our 4+ hour ride to Hunter, NY in the Catskill Mountains.

I had detours on the route, the best one into Piermont where we had lunch at a little cafe/deli/grocery store.

Once in the Catskills, we looked for a place for dinner but almost nothing was open.

We settled on a beer at Ronni MacGregors Pub, then were told that a nice restaurant would be open five miles down the road so we headed there only to find out that they were closed for the week.

We ended up eating at a diner in Windham that served enormous portions. We each ate less than half of our decent dinner and were unexpectedly served cake as a dessert. Not bad.

Nothing else to do so we came back to the empty small hotel so I could post these notes.

I am so lucky that Kylie wanted to do this ride with me. It is simply wonderful.


Kylie at the start of the day. I was relieved that everything we brought could be carried on Max.

A brief stop on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River to take in the skyline.

A quick stop to check out a waterfall as we approached the hotel in Hunter, NY.

Kylie and the waterfall.

Big Spring Ride: Part Four: Scooter in the Big City

Monday found me riding from Hagerstown, MD to Brooklyn on a path that took me through the Holland Tunnel, across Lower Manhattan, then the Manhattan Bridge to Kylie's apartment in Crown Heights.

Needless to say, traffic was heavy, at times standing still through several light changes, but I made it easily.

We took off to find a suitable garage for Max for the night, then rode the subway to have lunch outdoors. It was quite warm but we were in the shade.

Both worn out, we returned to her place and took a quick nap.

After that we took another subway to the Brooklyn waterfront to a couple of parks with views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge, then a beer and later dinner.

It was great to be able to spend time with my wonderful daughter before the adventure begins.


Inside the Holland Tunnel

Walking around Brooklyn after dropping off Max.
I couldn't help but notice this Venetian Palace behind Kylie.

The Brooklyn Bridge with Manhattan beyond.

A framed view of the Manhattan Bridge.

Big Spring Ride: Part Three: Hot Springs

The Saturday ride was to Hot Springs, NC for lunch.

Fuzzy took us through many fun roads heading up.

Then we came back down the famous 209.

The day closed out by having almost everyone dine at Guayabitos, where a few had the largest margaritas I have ever seen.

As usual, it was a fun weekend of great rides with some very fine folks.

I highly recommend joining one if any of you ever gets a chance.


Part of the morning ride. Curves and mountains.

Following Will on his Indian through the woods.

One of the cool turns on the morning part of the ride.

After our ride, I took a solo ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I caught these Harley riders just before heading back to the hotel.

Big Spring Ride: Part Two: BRP

Without Old As Dirt attending, leading the routes was left for Fuzzy on his Kawasaki Versus 300. It was somewhat of a test for him as he is going to Alaska on it in two weeks.

He chose the Blue Ridge Parkway with the access nearby.

These shots are from the morning ride where we encountered fog and a lttle rain later in the day.

7 hours and over 200 miles of beautiful riding.

Max says it is getting 95 mpg on these rides. I will be able to verify on the next fill up. The fueling today had 70 miles of highway, but still got over 80 mpg.


Early morning it was wet from the even earlier morning rains.

Still a mist in the air.

We would round a bend and find thick fog.

Getting dryer as we approached lunchtime. More later.

Big Spring Ride: Part One: The ride to NC

I left as the sun was coming up this morning.

For some reason, I had never felt comfortable with the preparations but it all finally came together.

Part of the discomfort is that there will be five days riding two up with bags for two. One of my bags was sitting where Kylie will be sitting soon, so it still has to get worked out.

I have two sets of ROC straps, so we can come up with something.

Within the first three miles I was confronted with a slow moving train blocking my route, so I turned around, filled the tank and took the highway around to US1.

Then my left elbow started hurting a little, then my neck, then I had to stop to pee a few times.

Nothing was as easy as normal.

Then my neck got sore, then sort of sore all over, but I made the 450 miles in 9 hours. It felt good to unload the bike and lay down.

The smaller than usual crowd then assembled to reacquaint each to the others. It is a nice bunch.

I am looking forward to dinner and a couple of beers.


A rare selfie taken somewhere in Georgia. I thought I would show off my chins.


My talented daughter Kylie is going on a ride with me in a little more than a week.

She happily agreed to ride with me from her home in Brooklyn to the mountains of New England, finishing in Portland, ME.

She is a graphic designer in the city, but she is leaving her current job just before I pick her up, looking for something interesting do when she returns from the ride, followed with trip of ten days in Paris with her mother.

I was talking about her to a friend today and looked at her Instagram page, where I found some of her artwork.

She has massive talent and should easily find something she enjoys.

In the meantime, I can't wait to spend some time with her.


She designed the Cannonball graphics for 2016 and 2018 along with Rocket & Me.

Kylie was drawing a chair a day for 100 days. This day she drew my favorite chair, Vanessa.

Her company sent her to San Francisco for four months last year. Of course, when there, photos of the Golden Gate Bridge are required.

I Changed My Mind

I didn't sell Razzo.

I had seller's remorse before the buyer came to pick up Razzo.

I sent him a message asking if it would be OK if we didn't go ahead with the sale and I keep the beautiful machine.

The thing that prompted the change of heart was that I rode it around the neighborhood today and wondered why I would sell such a perfect machine.

I know that it is much better for me than a Super Cub or a Spade.

When I got back his answer it almost made me cry.


P.S.  I posted about this on Modern Vespa.  My food friend 😉 BD found offense with me backing out of the sale and let me have it.  Totally understandable knowing our sour relationship.  Two more joined in showing their disapproval.  I get it, but it was a different type of sale agreement and I still offered it to Kevin if he really wanted it.  He was fine with the change of heart.

Cub Style Motorcycle

I have a history with the Cub style bike.

Twenty nine years ago I moved to Bermuda, where I worked for three years.

The first week there I bought a Suzuki FB100, Suzuki's version of the Cub.

At 100 cc, it was the maximum engine displacement allowed on the Island.

The purchase price was $800. I sold it three years later for $450, so it was a great value.

I rode it to work every day, only a mile each way.

Golf clubs were carried on it on the weekends (golf has given way to scooting on weekends these days)

This shot is my wife's 88 year old grandmother riding with me during a visit in 1992.

I think I would really like to have a Super Cub.


Me and Freda on my Suzuki FB100

Selling Razzo

Back to scooting: I have been thinking that I might have more scooters than I really need, not that need has much to do with owning these things.

The only GT that has any value to anyone except me is Razzo, the perfect 2005 model.

The paint and details all look new, even at 14 years old and 28,500 miles.

It has a windshield, top case and the controversial floor mat.

I fixed the wobble recently by installing a new front tire so it is truly a good one.

A good friend (and client) asked to borrow it yesterday to ride around the neighborhood to see the houses on the annual Home Tour.

I offered it to him casually a few weeks ago and since riding, I think he likes it.

I would feel much better about selling if Vanessa was working or the Zuma licensed, but even without these I will still have two that run great.

And with the proceeds after selling Razzo and the Lambretta, I could buy something new, leaning towards a Honda Super Cub or Kymco Spade.


My Other Job

 Besides riding scooters whenever I can, I am still working as an architect in Jacksonville.

I design houses.

This month, for the first time in my 45 years of doing this, I had one of my projects published in Southern Living Magazine. Eight pages.

The interior designer and I called it the River House in posting on Facebook while it was under construction, but it is the home of Michael Pajcic, his wife Katy DeBriere and their young daughter Ruth Ann.

It is the fifth big project for the Pajcic family, the first of these began when Michael was around five years old.

They give me great properties to build on. I am forever thankful that they continue to trust me to provide design services for their projects.

The project was among my all time favorites with great owners, the best interior designer I know, my favorite contractor and a fresh approach by the landscape designer.

To see it published is quite fun for me.


The front door and a shot on the porch. There is water on three sides of the house.

The front of the house and the kitchen. This is the first photograph I have seen anyone else take of the front. All of the rest of them are of the back of the house, facing the river.

Two interior shots, the dining area and sitting room. Both looking over the St. Johns River.

The cover of the May 2019 issue of Southern Living. I am a little disappointed that we didn't make the cover.

April Oyster Tour

Lostboater planned another oyster tour for a couple of weekends ago.

We liked the Ed Ball Wakulla Springs Lodge so much that we thought we would try it again. This time would be for canoeing.L

I determined that I would leave home on Sunday afternoon to meet up with Ken, Dave and Larry at the Lodge. I had hoped to go racing in the morning, then leave in the afternoon, but a huge storm was approaching from the west. The Weather Channel had it arriving at Wakulla in the early afternoon, so I skipped the Autocross and headed west at 9:30.

To beat the storm, I took the fastest possible route, that being I-10 the 135 miles to just east of Tallahassee.

Rocket was the chosen steed and it maintained sufficient speed to stay clear of traffic along the way, averaging over 70 mph on that stretch.

I arrived an hour before the rain, so I could have taken my favorite route, but chickened out. I hate riding in the rain.

At dinner it was decided that, after the front came in, the temperatures were to be too low for comfortable canoeing, so we decided to ride to St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge instead. The lighthouse there is cool and the ride to it through the estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico outstanding. Well worth the trip.

That was followed by the worst oysters ever at a terrible restaurant is the tiny town of St. Marks.

Ken and I rode to Cedar Key hoping to keep the oysters down and succeeded. We had a nice ride with timely stops and settled into a hotel on Dock Street.

We had drinks nearby and a light dinner at Tony's before calling it a night early.

In the morning we wanted to have breakfast at our favorite place, The Daily Grind, but had seen the night before that the owners were on vacation.

So we went to Annie's instead. Neither of us knew where it was so we were riding down D Street. I looked at a restaurant to the right then straight ahead to find Ken almost stopped 20 feet in front of me beginning to turn into Annie's. I slammed on the brakes and just missed him. We were lucky.

Breakfast was good and we headed home.

Always fun riding with Lostboater.


Ken riding towards St. Marks Lighthouse

Sunset in Cedar Key

Common Grounds closed.  Disappointment.

But Annie's was just fine.