OTRA Day-4: R80 G/S & R65LS 40th Anniversary Rally

Today is day 4 of the ride.  Often on day 3 or day 4 of my long trips, I get challenged, either physically, mentally or emotionally.  My wife, who has ridden with me on almost all of my long distance rides, and I, have come to refer to days that are a bit trying of our patience as “day 3” of our ride.

Since I started out, my new Garmin Zumo 396 LMT has been flashing a number of annoying announcements. The most common has been an alert that it can’t provide fuel mileage estimates if the unit is not in the motorcycle cradle (but of course it is in the cradle) and every now and then, it flashes a message that it has detected that I removed it from the cradle and it will power off in 15 seconds, but, it’s still in the cradle.

After I stopped yesterday in Nobelville, IN, (a suburb of Indianapolis), I opened up the headlight shell to check the new wiring I installed to power the Zumo. I crimped the female spade connectors a bit to ensure they would be tight on the spade terminals, reseated the fuse, and went off to eat dinner and write my blog for the day.

I parked Gonzo in front of my room. Sometimes he wants to sleep with a night light on when he’s in a strange place.

Gonzo Sleeping With The Night Light On

Gonzo Sleeping With The Night Light On

This morning, I woke up about 6:20 am. I had set the alarm for 7:30 anticipating leaving by 8:30 am.  But, I was wide awake and at 7:00 I rolled out of bed, got dressed and went down to see how Gonzo was. He was fine, but shivering as he was covered in dew. I forgot how a typical summer morning in the mid-west starts with water all over your bike from the high humidity.

Can You Say Humid?

Can You Say Humid?

Can You Say Humid?

Can You Say Humid?

The good news is all the bug goo and guts come right off on the wash cloth without having to use the hydrogen peroxide to dissolve the bug gunk.

As is my usual drill, I checked the tires and the oil. The tires needed a pound or two and the oil was fine. Then, I installed the Zumo in the cradle and … Nothing. Nada. Zip. I tried the ON/OFF button multiple times, but no happiness. Ok. I must have F’ed something up when I crimped the terminals yesterday. So, off with the headlight cover, remove the headlight and check my work. Well, everything is perfect. WTF? Okay, I can plug the Zumo into my laptop USB port to give it power, so let’s see what that does. So, I go back up to the 4th floor into my room and I plug it into the laptop. Repeat performance of plugging it into the power cradle on Gonzo … Zilch, Nada, Zip.

Okay, lets just get breakfast and think things over. By the end of breakfast, no new ideas occur. So, I pull out my iPhone, and figure I can use it for any navigation I need should I get confused. The route today is as simple as 1, 2, 3: (1) Find US-36 East of Nobleville and follow it to Ulrichville, OH; (2) Get on US-250 and follow it to Wheeling, WV; (3) get on I-70 East and get off at the Triadelphia exit where I know I can see the hotel.

So, I put Gonzo back together, get everything packed up and loaded on the bike, and now it’s almost 9:00 am. So much for getting an early start. Ah, yes, this must be “the third day”, even though it’s really the fourth. 🙂

That said, thankfully it was 65 F this morning instead of being in the 80’s at 9:00 am as has been the case on the last three days. And, it stayed below 80 all day, except for the last couple hours when it got up to 82 F. I felt much less tired, sore and weary at the end of the day today. Heat and humidity really sucks a lot of energy out of you even when you stay hydrated.

Although I got turned around getting off I-69 one exit too soon, and then after getting back on and taking the correct exit for Pendleton, IN, again getting turned around by missing the clearly marked turn for I-36 E, I finally get my poop in group with the assistance of Google maps and my iPhone. But, putting the phone in the map pocket of my tank bag makes it almost impossible to see it. I need to find a cell phone mount so I can attach it to my RAM mount on the handlebar. Ok, keep my eyes open for a motorcycle shop as I wander my way through Ohio.

I see a Harley dealership and stop in. But, the cell phone mount they have doesn’t use a RAM ball, so no cigar.  Another 100 miles or so and I see a UJM shop, Mid-Ohio Power Sports in Mt. Vernon. They show the corporate logos for Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki. Bingo, they have a mount that will work. So, I now have iPhone GPS via Google maps. Except, every 15th or 20th bump and the screen decides to rotate 90 degrees due to the orientation sensor getting confused. Then, it gets over the trauma and rotates back to the proper orientation. I now am very practiced at figuring out turns even if the map is rotated 90 degrees to my direction of travel 🙂

And, then Ohio DOT decides to cancel US-36. Yeap, “Road Closed”.

US-36 Is Closed :-(

US-36 Is Closed 🙁

But, that turns out to be fortuitous. The detour onto a state road, OH-715, is a fantastic motorcycle road. But, this adds more time to my schedule. On the other hand, what else was I planning to do today, but ride Gonzo in Ohio 🙂

I rejoin US-36 and proceed until I get to Ulrichsville, OH, where US-36 unceremoniously ends becoming US-250. And, as was the case in 2017 when I rode on US-250 down to Wheeling, WV, it’s a roller coaster ride with all the corners and sharp turns you would expect in the Colorado mountains. What a HOOT!!! 🙂

I cross into West Virginia at the end of US-250 and pick up I-70 for a few miles until I get to my hotel in Triadelphia.

Entering West Virginia

Entering West Virginia

I get checked in, unpacked, take a shower and call Rochelle to tell her I’ve arrived. Then I hang up the laundry to dry.

Light Weight Packing Requires Making A Clothes Line Every Day :-)

Light Weight Packing Requires Making A Clothes Line Every Day 🙂

BTW, did you know you can travel for weeks on end with only two shirts, two briefs, two pair of riding socks, two pair of pants and a credit card? I have acquired light weight, fast drying versions of these. I just wash out the pair I wore that day in the bath tub or shower and hang them up to dry. Usually they are dry by morning, even in high humidity climates like the east coast, but it’s nice to rotate through the pairs and pretend they are fresh out of the dyer. 🙂

After I finish my traditional motorcycle touring, end-of-day Gin & Tonic, I decide to fix the Garmin Zumo the “old fashioned” way … I slam it face down on the top of the desk in my hotel room. I plug it into the USB port of my laptop, and bingo, IT’S ALIVE!!!!

WHAM, BAM, ZAZAM - So, Finally It Starts Working Again ..... GRRRRRR!!!

WHAM, BAM, SHAZAM – So, Finally It Starts Working Again ….. GRRRRRR!!!

Sometimes the old ways work best. 🙂

I’ll give it a try tomorrow and see if all the gremlins have decided to go bother somebody else. If not, I can mount the iPhone and use it.

After I come back from dinner, I see Gonzo is making nice to a slinky, sexy Swedish blonde cousin who just parked beside him. For those who didn’t know, BMW bought Husqvarna in 2007 and then sold it in 2013. Maybe he won’t need a night light tonight after all?

Gonzo Making Nice to a Blonde Cousin, Born in Sweden, He Didn't Know He Had :-)

Gonzo Making Nice to a Blonde Cousin, Born in Sweden, He Didn’t Know He Had 🙂

7 thoughts on “OTRA Day-4: R80 G/S & R65LS 40th Anniversary Rally

  1. Brook, Years ago a magazine called “Psychology Today” had an article on a condition know as “Third Day Out Downs”! It is a real thing! So you are perfectly normal!!:-) Check it out! 😉

    • Hi Don,

      Well, to conclude I’m “… perfectly normal” seems a bit of a stretch, even if the science supports the third day is a downer trend. 🙂


  2. Remember not to stay too long in Ohio. I was there 5 years and I found my virginity again. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get rid of it after that? 😉

    • Hi John,

      That’s interesting. The Zumo is encased in a hard plastic case with tiny screws, so I’m not going to try and find the battery while I’m on the road. The iPhone is working better now that I found out how to lock it in portrait mode so the screen can’t flip around.


  3. Interesting that you stumbled in to Mid Ohio Powersports – that’s where I limped in to in 2014 on my way home from the Hopkins reunion – GS was stumbling badly, it was pouring down rain. I was greeted warmly and provided with a place to sit and coffee and a place to plug in my phone while I decided what to do. Long story short I ended up abandoning the ride, leaving my bike there (indoors) for several days until the shipping company could pick it up, and flying home from Cleveland. All this for no charge – it sure would be nice if car dealers operated this way. Glad you made it through Ohio – it seems to be something of a stumbling block ( did I mention that I had to get towed to the BMW shop in Columbus on my way to the reunion? They couldn’t find the problem and the bike restarted – in hindsight I should have known better than to continue the ride to CT but then when have I ever exhibited common sense?). Fair winds and following seas to you my friend.


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