Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Kentventure v1.5: The Red Menace

Dr. Strangebike dismounts. Where could we be?

Hmmm... lots of concrete and steel plate.

It's a batting cage in Richboro, PA. But wait, it used to b a Nike missile site - specifically, Nike site PH07A

Here's what it used to look like: the elevator leads to an underground complex. According to Wikipedia, Nikes were SAMs located in a small batteries around cities/ targets to defend against Russian bombers in the 50's and 60's. PH07A was one of several batteries that defended Philadelphia.

It's not obvious why someone chose to put a fence around just a section of each elevator.

The site now sits in the center of a suburban sports complex. You can't fling a dead cat in any direction without biffing a soccer mom, her mini van, or her screeching progeny.


The ride home involved getting stuck in New Hope traffic and an accidental incursion into New Jersey.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The shiny pilgrimage: York

A Suzuki V-Strom looked REALLY out of place in this parking lot... more on that later.

A nice display in the tour/ visitor center following a fender thru the different stages of production: forming/ stamping, trimming, cutting holes, polishing, and about 100 painting steps. By comparison, the Vee's fenders are squirted out of an injection molder... done.

Another cool display showing how the sub-assemblies come together. At each "J-hook" (that's what the tour guy called them), another piece of bike is stuck on.

I don't know... a seemingly random assortment of bike guts...

One of the company's most interesting (to me, anyway) products was sitting in the parking lot when I left. The tank and fenders looked to be unpainted stainless steel. I speak enough Harley to know this is a "V Rod."

As I was gearing up, some of my tour mates were milling around their bikes (HD's), and one felt it very important to tell me that he "was at [some place] and saw the Suzukis LOSE the other day!" I really had no clue what he was talking about, and it must have been obvious because he felt the need to say it again - much louder and slower, emphasizing the "lose." I'm not sure what reaction he was expecting, but he got a shrug and a wave. They rode off... feet down and wobbly, in their protective T-shirts and bandannas. I wonder if the Suzuki lost to a Harley.

As I rode out, my hands were getting hot and glanced down to notice that some doo-ragger had cranked the controls on my newly installed grip heaters. I guess I had it coming, what with not buying a shiny cruiser that weighs double, costs triple, and makes less hp than my rice-burner. I imagine if I screwed with some Harley dude's bike while he was away from it, that he'd be ok with it and laugh it off.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Kentventure, Centralia

A view of what used to be Centralia from the South hill face....

.... where the pavement ends.

On the facing ridge (to the northwest): the Centralia Wind Farm.

Fitzer tours the old Greek Orthodox cemetery.

The marker at 40"48' 00.00N 76"20' 36.00W

... Mr. Adventurepants in quiet contemplation. In the background what looks like a mountain is presumably mining spoil.

Railroad Avenue ends in a blockade, around which a motorcycle can be squeezed. This is as far as the FZ6R could go... silly little street bike. The Strom went a little further up the hill in the background before getting stuck, almost dropped, and turned around...

... to be admired in awe.

Supermoto Boy made it back to the barricade before I could get the camera out to capture a one-week old FZ6R with less than 200 miles on it riding this terrain.

Kent squeezes around barricade; the camera rightly decides the leaf is more interesting.

"Street bike," indeed.

The big Vee gets a photo op from the barricade...

... and is expertly piloted thru the breach in the obstacle.

Mad skills...

Taking motorcycles stupid places works up one's appetite. A random pizza shop in Ashland, PA, where they takes they's Nittany Lions for real-reals.