Camping was pretty fun, The rally was fun, The ride was beautiful and I met some cool new people.
Friday we left Tucson about 2PM from the GGR Garage.
Went up to the Rally with 4 guys from GGR Scooters, Bald John, Chris, Ian and Ernie in Bald John's Suburban.
We hauled Three Stella's, a Rally 200 and a P200E with us for bikes on a U-Haul trailer and had a trouble free drive from Tucson to Prescott Valley where we grabbed some food and beer before heading up to the Mingus Mountain Camp Site.
I camped for the first time Friday, I brought most of the correct stuff but forgot a couple things like a Lantern which I swear I bought but forgot to pack, and a warm hat to keep my head warm. Also a airbed would have been very welcome as everyone else had one in the GGR Camp I think and I got stuck sleeping on a small exercise mat under my Sleeping bag.
I don't think I slept all that great but apparently I was snoring and between Ernie and my sawing logs it was enough that Ian moved to the Suburban to sleep the rest of the night, Sorry Ian!
We met a bunch of people Friday from various groups, cities and even States. Hi New Mexico people!
Saturday was the Ride down to Flagstaff for the start of the official ride from Flagstaff back to the Mingus Mountain camp site.
The ride was beautiful, We must have had nearly 30 bikes at the Mingus Mountain camp site and we started out as a big pack, As riders proceeded at their own pace we ended up splitting off into little sub groups based on how fast we were riding.
Traffic in Sedona was scary with all of the round abouts, We had several close calls due to them in the pack of mostly GGR People I was with.
I hung with the GGR Guys for a long time but when I lost them I stuck with a pair of really nice scooterists from Phoenix who's names I can not recall :( They both had newer Stella's than mine with some minor tuning so I had no problem running with them.
John's Bike broke down on the ride from the Mingus Mountain camp site to Flagstaff, I dont think he made it to Sedona.
I broke my bike at our destination in Flagstaff, I swapped plugs and while doing so cross-threaded the spark plug.
Met some great people, a new GGR Member Bryant, Got to hang out with GGR Steve who's in the band Eurovox and who I don't see often as He's up in Phoenix, Same with GGR Ryan.
On the way back from Flagstaff John and I rode in the back of the Sag Wagon as they were low on seating, When we started there were two trucks, One had a Lambretta in it and the other had a trailer with a Lambretta and our two Stella's on it. By the time we got to Sedona the trailer was nearly full and I think the truck had two bikes in it.
John and I at that point ended up taking Hank's Truck so that his wife Michelle who had been driving it with her operational scooter in the back could ride her scooter from Sedona to the Mingus Mountain camp site.
Hank's Truck is a Huge Cummings powered Diesel that's quite tall, Driving it we made four stops between Sedona and the Mingus Mountain site to assist broken down scooterists. Three of the broken bikes ended up in the other two vehicles but for the last bike the other trucks were full so we ended up moving it.
Thankfully the last bike was a Small Frame Vespa so it was relatively light for a Scooter And the owner loaded it without us needing to assemble the multi-stage ramps needed to get bikes in and out of Hank's Truck.
GGR Chris made Carne Asada on our grill and we had a good time drinking and hanging out late into the night.
It was cool talking to Hank and his wife Michelle whom I'd met in Tucson briefly once or twice as they are both obviously Scooterists and they have a number of cool scooters,
We stayed up well past Midnight so I guess this means the rest is Sunday here.
My good friend Sean made a surprise visit to our Camp Early Sunday morning (like 1AM maybe), He was driving home from a weekend spent hanging out with a couple friends in Vegas.
Sean was awesome and brought me a Hat and brought the camp some Pancake mix so we could have Pancakes in the morning.
Sadly I never got to try them as Bald John asked that I travel back to Tucson with Sean as it was very late at night and Sean had been on the road for hours just getting to the camp site and we had a 4+ hour trip yet to Tucson so off I went taking my Jacket, Helmet and one of my bags with me back to Tucson with Sean.
We made it home about 5AM with a couple brief stops for Fuel & Drinks, and to check on our non human passenger who Sean was delivering for one of his friends from Vegas.
Pictures up at Picasa, I apologize for not taking more but in a bone-headed move I bought AAA Batteries for my Camera by Mistake when it took AA Batteries and the pair in the camera ran out before I got to take a Single Picture with it so all I had was my iPhone.
I've learned a lot, I think I've decided I enjoy camping and will be doing it again and I look forward to upcoming Scooter Rallies in the next few months.
Thursday night after work Sean calls and lays out the plan.
His friends Tom and Kara are in Town visiting him on their way to Las Vegas for a restaurant opening and Tom is driving his Porche.
Tom want's to drive his Porche up to the top of Mount Lemmon for fun via Catalina Highway as he on a previous trip drove Sean's Audi Coupe up and really enjoyed it.
Sean wants to go with him but the Porche only holds two people so Tom and Kara are riding in it, So Sean decides to ride his Vespa P-200 E up the mountain and he wants me to come with the three of them on my Stella.
So I run home and grab my helmet and winter riding jacket and hop on the Stella.
I made a brief fuel stop at the place I always go right before you turn onto Catalina Highway from Tanque Verde, Sean missed the gas station and He and Tom doubled back to the Chevron further up Tanque Verde to gas up.
We obviously got separated here but thinking they just didnt need Gas I continued up Catalina Highway alone thinking I might catch them at one of the stop signs / stop lights.
Sean calls me and they are well behind me so I wait for them and together we proceed up the mountain.
It was a fun and kinda challenging ride in the dark as the lighting on my Stella is about as bright as a 12 year old's Birthday cake candles output wise.
We learned that my Stella isn't quite a match for Sean's P-200E, He has 33% more engine than I do and he can run away from me in his top gear. Until he hits 4th gear we are fairly matched and my bike has good pickup with its new Pipe and Jetting.
Sean and I swapped who was leading a couple times going up to Windy Point.
Both bikes had some issues bogging down as we got higher and higher in Elevation due to the thinner air affecting our Carburetors. We are jetted for Tucson which is at about 2000 feet altitude wise and Windy Point is at about 7000 feet so we didnt have the optimum fuel to air mixture.
Tom and Kara continued up the mountain to Summerhaven while Sean and I waited for them at Windy Point, When they returned to us we all continued down the mountain with the Porche leading this time so they could have fun with their greater speed capabilities.
The ride down was actually much more challenging as the ride up as it was very dark and due to the steepness of the mountain and the number of curves we had to work to keep our lines and keep the speed down low enough that we could safely navigate.
After we got off the mountain I asked that we take a car for the rest of the evening as I was wore out from riding so we switched to Sean's Camry for a trip down town so Tom could have some uniquely Tucson food.
I got a new battery for my Stella along with some sparkplugs.
I charged and installed the battery.
I installed my new feet for the kickstand.
I installed the new clutch cable barrel up at the headset.
I re-jetted and and put a new carb box seal on the bike
I fixed the left cowl's wiring so now the rear turn signal works.
I changed the fuse so now the battery works to provide power to the bike.
I put a pipe on the bike.
Wow does the bike ride different now, There's power where I didnt have it before. The bike is also louder and now you hear the engine doing things a lot more.
I also rode Seans P200E for the first time today, I was expecting it to feel like my bike but its a world different. His bike feels Firmer, Sturdier, Heavier. It doesnt rattle like mine does and the power band feels very different.
His brakes suck, He's got front and rear drum compared to my front disc rear drum. It's kinda scary stopping his bike in a hurry.
Also his shifts a lot different than mine, The clutch doesnt release until its nearly full open where mine starts close to the grip. His shifting action is very different too. His is a lot more Solid. The bike Clunks into gear more firmly and you know when you have hit a gear vs mine that gets stuck between gears frequently because you cant feel the different positions very well.
Well, That's all for now. Maybe I'll shoot a video of my bike tomorrow.
This weekend was a busy one full of people and things.
Saturday morning I went to the junk yard and got the pieces needed to rebuild the door handle hardware on mom's Volvo 740.
Saturday Afternoon Sean came by and helped me change out the broken turn signals on the Volvo, It turned out to be a much more involved thing than expected.
Then we delivered the car to Mom and she's quite pleased to have a reliable comfortable vehicle.
Next was a Birthday dinner for my friend Tyler, It was nice to see him and his wife along with my old friend Jon and his Wife. It feels like its been years since I've seen Jon.
After the birthday dinner I showed off my Honda Fit for a little bit and then it was a drive out to Cheryl's house to watch Babylon 5 with the Tucson Scifi & Fantasy meetup group. I got there just in time to see War Without End parts 1 and 2. Ahh how everyone loves Zathras.
Today I woke early to return to the junkyard to get more door parts for mom's Volvo. I got the stuff to rebuild the two rear doors. Now all four doors have new hardware and work great. I also got the power windows to work altho the driver can not presently control any windows other than their own, I think its a switch problem.
After leaving my parents I went down to the GGR Garage and hung out with Chris for a bit tinkering on my Stella. The rear brake has been adjusted and the bike rides entirely different now with the brake adjustment + the new shock on the front and other work that we have done to it over the past two weeks.
That's about it for the weekend, Later I may go over to Sean's house and work with him on repairing Bald John's iMac.
Today was another ride with The Sky Island Riders.
Howard called the ride Foodhill Madness 2.
I rode it on my Stella, Sean was there on his Riva 180.
Howard led on his Stella, It was nice riding with another hand-shift bike.
I have to say this was one of the more difficult rides that I've done, There was a lot of technically challenging riding due to the constant changes in elevation and all the curves. The Stella ran like a Champ for it altho at one point in time it started to smell a little funny. Later I learned that Howard had the same problem, We think it was because we were both coasting with the clutch in and may not have been getting enough oil into the engine or were wearing the clutch.
We met up at the El Con Starbucks at Broadway and Randolph Way. We then rode east to Old Spanish trail and followed it out to Vail then came back through Rita Ranch.
This was the first ride on my Stella, What was Awesome is Julie was there with Her Stella and it was also her first ride with her Stella.
This also marks one of the first rides I've been on where I have the same size engine as everyone else, It was nice not being the turtle!
My Stella ran great, I do admit to stalling it out once or twice while we were riding by not giving it enough gas or letting the clutch out quick enough. I think Julie may have stalled hers a couple time too.
Went on a nice ride with The Sky Island Riders up Mt Lemmon, It was really cool as it turned into a Four Club ride with GGR, The Sky Island Riders, The Club in Phoenix and the club in Green Valley showing up.
We met up at Le Buzz Cafe on Tanque Verde and headed up the mountain, I rode my Riva 125.
We had 24 riders show up for the event.
My Riva 125 wasn't running so well, The 4th of july trip I had a problem with fuel filter clogging and the bike had been consuming a little bit of Oil, This trip turned out to be the last for the bike as I suffered ring failure on the way back from the ride. However it was still a great time and it was quite the adventure. At one point going down the mountain Craig from GGR gave me a push to get me some help going up one of the inclines. The bike did make it all the way down to the Hooters on Wilmot. It was crazy, I got cheering when I showed up at the 1/2 way point going up the mountain and again at the top. Despite leaving with everyone else I was a good 10-15 minutes behind them due to the bike loosing compression.
The Riva will run again however! I should have no problem rebuilding it with Seans help.
Yesterday I went with Sean on a 140+ mile Scooter ride along with a number of crazy bastards from one of our scooter groups.
We rode down to Patagonia Arizona to see a parade and a hanging, Saw the parade but the hanging was taking too long so we left part way through.
I rode my 1987 Yamaha Riva 125, We finished re-assembling the bike Thursday night about 10PM and put some miles on it Friday to test but nothing near the mileage we did on the trip.
The bike runs fairly well and is a nice upgrade from my 1997 Honda Elite 80, The extra 45cc allows the bike to do 50-55mph flat, 65 downhill and in the 40's uphills.
I consumed three fuel filters during the trip and about half a quart of oil due to the bad valve stem seals and the rusty tank. Both will be addressed in the near future.
Sadly even with the bigger bike this ride I still had the smallest bike on the ride with the 125cc. There were two 150's, Sean's 180, a couple 200's and 250's, a 400 and a Harley 850. (The only non scooter on the trip).
As one friend remarked I look like a gorilla on a tricycle, But hey its a bigger bike than the Elite 80 so its a little less out of proportion.