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Riding to Ritidian in the Rain – or – Dangerboy Earns his Name Once Again.

August 22, 2011

Yesterday was just too good to be true – the road to myself, a good performing scoot and pristine views at every turn.  This meant I HAD to repeat the effort on Sunday, right?

The day dawned okay – but I’d slept in.  By the time everything was ready to go, it was raining.  Rather than sit around doing nothing, I cleaned the scoot.

It’s a cute little spud – even if it doesn’t have a gearbox.    Unfortunately, this was as nice as the day was to be.  Make careful note of the condition of the bike for comparison later.

Damn the torpedoes – full speed ahead!  The scoot was fueled and a last minute decision was made to head north to Ritidian, as the sky was bluest up that way.  Along the way, the carburetor slide kept sticking at 10% throttle – made keeping up with traffic a pain.  Had to pull over, remove the seat, remove the CV carb cap and free up the slide.

This should have been an omen, but noo…I’m gonna git to gittn, dammit!

Ritidian is a wildlive preserve at the north west corner of the island.  No one goes there unless they have a reason, as the consumption of Bud Light is not allowed.  This puts a damper on interest, as most island activities involve Bud Light.

Along the way, I’d spotted a small memorial I needed to stop at – after fixing the throttle slide twice.

A curious little thing, this – a marker on the side of the road for no apparent reason.  Closer inspection revealed:

We were always taught WWII ended with the bombing of Nagasaki, but here’s a plaque which says otherwise.  Dunno the capacity of 143 B-29’s, but I’m guessing it’s damned close to the ordinance carried by Enola Gay.  No one remembers this save for a small SS plaque near the middle of nowhere.

Interesting.

The road to Ritidian is not maintained – and it has some rough spots.  Locals are absolutely terrified of potholes and it takes them a half an hour to get down a few miles of road.

They go so far as to leave the road to avoid a pothole – no, I’m not exaggerating.

After making down the switchback road, I was at the entrance to Ritidian.

My intended destination was at the far southern end of the beach along a dirt road several miles long. I was looking forward to some time off pavement.

If you didn’t know any better – this looks like the State Campground Road in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, just outside of Curtis.  That road’s been renamed, by the way – it’s now Sherman Road.  We move away, and folks name a road after us – go figure.

Right after this pic was taken, things started to go from marginal to bad.  It began to rain, and the exhaust mount loosened up from dirt road pounding.  I stopped – and the scoot (not intended for off-road use) looked a tad worse for wear.

It has a nasty exhaust leak I have to address – and the throttle slide stuck again.

So – with a loud, muddy, backfiring scooter that would do a whopping 18 MPH, caution was thrown to the wind and I pressed on.

Argh!  Private property!

On the way, though – I did see my first wild boar.  Bigger than a dog but smaller than a deer, he was black as a moonless night, sauntering off into the jungle before I could pull out a camera.

Enough of this – I’m going home.

On the way back, the throttle stuck 2 more times while the heavens flat opened up.  Fortunately, soaking wet isn’t that bad when everything is 84 degrees – you’re just wet as opposed to cold and wet.  I’m but a few hundred years from home looking to get dry when I make a slooow right hand turn on dog snot slick coral asphalt.  Thinking I have this licked, I lean a bit into the turn, and…

The scoot goes down.

Damage?  A couple of scratches on the bike, a quarter sized scrape on my knee and a small cut on the top of my foot.  No big deal.  My shorts took the hardest hit protecting my cell phone…

Then again – the shirt didn’t much care for the adventure, either.

It’s supposed to be jet black, if you were wondering.

The good news?

I get to work on the bike all week long to get it ready for next weekend!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 22, 2011 1:43 pm

    I’m gloating. My Bonneville runs better than yours. Which led me to drop it at 45 instead of 18 with consequent damage. Oh well i’ve had two years to get over it. Maybe the ATGATT bores will read this and learn that falling off isn’t inevitable death or paralysis. Not likely.
    Yu have raised the bar and fresh adventures are expected each Sunday. With crashes.

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      August 22, 2011 3:40 pm

      I was going all of about 2 MPH when it went over; luckily I was wearing the finest Beer Can Shorts money can buy from Stingray Steve’s over on Lazy Way Lane. That – and I had a very sturdy baseball cap on.

      I do think I’m going to add one of those alloy nubs sport bike riders use to protect their plastic, though – touching up bodywork will become a bore.

      More adventures virtually guaranteed. I’m considering going to Tinian over Labor Day Weekend. Tinian was home to two airfields used in bombing Japan during WWII and the final loading point of the Enola Gay. At its peak there were 40,000 people living there – now less than 4,000. A living ghost.

      My plan is to rent a scooter and capture images of this.

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