Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tennessee, 2010 - Part 1

I've been in Tennessee since Sunday, busily working through the list of chores my daddy had waiting for me.  So far, I have demolished the old brick and rubble steps (long story) on the front of the house, replaced them with precast concrete steps and stoop, and climbed up a 20-foot ladder to trim broken limbs over the top of the boat shed along with sundry other little chores.
On Friday, the day before I left on the trip, my Corbin seat finally arrived.  I would complain about how closely that came to being late, but I forgot to order it until 3 weeks before I was leaving.  Corbin put a rush on it, and got the seat to me in time to use it on this trip, essentially cutting the normal turnaround time in half.  I was happy about that, too, because the stock Suzuki seat made my back hurt after about 10 miles of riding!

Before leaving, on Saturday, I (of course) had to stop at Kaladi Brothers for coffee.  I sat outside and enjoyed the low humidity, figuring it would be a while before I was that dry, again.

The first 200 or 300 miles of the ride were pretty uneventful.  I rode across the Eastern Plains of Colorado, then into Kansas, and passed into
Central time.  Everything was good;  pretty weather, nice roads, comfortable seat on a more comfortable bike than what I've ridden the past few years.  Then....

Wind.  Scary, 50 to 60 mph wind crossing the Interstate at a 90-degree angle from my right (South) started blowing me around and continued doing so for about 150 miles.  I will tell you that, in 36 years of riding motorcycles, I have never been as scared, for so long, as I was riding in that wind.  At one point, a huge RV in front of me got up on 3 wheels (one front, two in back) and I thought it was going to roll on over.  Fortunately, the driver managed to get the upwind wheels back onto the pavement.

In a couple of intances, I was leaned far enough to the right that the front wheel was trying to turn in, and I was still heading for the left side of the road. The wind finally calmed down a bit as I got into the more wooded area east of Salina, and I was glad of that.

When I got close to KC, I called Noah, from KC Bike Commute, and arranged to meet him and his wife for dinner.  While I waited for them, in front of the Convention Center, I could see this building:

I really want to climb that fire escape, some day. 

Noah told me that it is the Light and Power Building, and we had a bit of discussion about building hacking and urban exploration as we ate dinner at:

Yeah, I thought it was pretty appropriate, too.  Food was good, and the art on the walls was the kind I like.  Plus, they have a stage and open-air concert venue, out back, where the likes of George Thorogood and Levon Helm play.  Cool place.

I never managed to get a picture of me and Noah, so you have to take my word that he was there.  (He took a picture of me and posted here, if you want to look.)

(I just looked at Noah's blog for the first time, since I saw him, and I see that he hit a deer on his bike, and got an ambulance ride to the hospital!  Think good thoughts for him:  Looks like he's pretty okay, but he got some painful sounding roadrash, cuts, etc.)

Then, I spent the night in Blue Springs, and continued on to Tennessee, the next morning.  No rain, little wind, and hot temps accompanied me in.

I'll cut this kind of short, because I don't want to bore you too much, but I want to share a few photos:

This is "Sweetie", the next-door neighbor's dog.  Supposedly, she is shy around people.  A couple of butter cookies and a whole lot of belly rubbing took care of that, though.  She looks like Jack's body with Oswald's skull in it (but, she is about twice the size of Jack).  She has been my buddy, all week.

Kyle and I took the pickups and controls from his broken guitar (it fell over and the headstock snapped off of the neck), and grafted them into this old Electra I had given him a few years ago.  Other than drilling the holes for the extra pots, it was pretty straighforward.  Of course, we got interrupted by the delivery of the new steps, and I had to come back later to finish soldering the connections.  Two hours later, I finally figured out what I had done wrong, after the distraction, and it was all together.

I like how it looks with the cream pickup surrounds and the Gibson-style tophat knobs on the Fender-style body.  Sounds good, too.




At 3:28 PM , Blogger Noah said...

Man, it was so great to finally catch up with you in person. Sounds like you're having a good trip. Much Guitar Envy!

By the way... it's the Kansas City Power & Light Building, but close enough ;)

At 5:46 PM , Blogger Oldfool said...

That wind was the great Odin telling you to back off, find shelter and wait it out.
Getthereitis has killed many a pilot and truck driver.

At 9:39 PM , Blogger Jon said...

Yeah, the reason I know the wind caalmed down at Salina is that's where I was going to stop, if it kept blowing like that. I couldn't have made it much further on the ragged ends of my jangled nerves.

At 10:49 AM , Blogger Apertome said...

Really cool that you connected with Noah.

It's been freakishly hot and humid here; I bet it's even worse down in TN.

I love the distinctive look of the cobbled-together guitar.

Here's a stupid question that's been bugging me. How do you pronounce your last name? Short or long I?

At 10:06 PM , Blogger Jon said...

Apertome: Like a coffee grinder (long i).

It was 100 degrees, here, on Monday with about 90% humidity. It's been a bit less oppressive, mostly, since then. Still, I do kind of look forward to the dry air at home.

At 2:10 AM , Blogger frankenbiker said...

WOW! It sounds like a real Wizard of OZ type windstorm and in Kansas yet,how appropriate.I can't imamgine that was very fun.


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