Monday, October 10, 2011

Light And Dark

I am a simpleton when it comes to pictures and I like sunshine, bright colors and contrast. It's the classic tropical art, strong contrasts, primary colors cheer me up. I like Impressionism and pointillismeAnd then I come face to face with shadows and cloud as a storm blows through the islands.

The good news is, weather comes and goes and sunshine reasserts itself sooner rather than later.

I know it's a gray day when the sepia picture has more color than the color picture.

I never get bored of sunshine.

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Rain And Dog

It didn't start out well...

...but there was the promise of better to come.

From time to time I hear people bitching about the heat in the Keys, and the bitching gets louder the closer we get to winter, because those residents who want cold weather anticipate cold fronts coming soon and they can't wait. I can wait just fine.

I like the heat, and the rain when it's hot is little more than a minor annoyance but this recent series of thunderstorms has been dragging along and pounding us for days leaving Old State Road 939 on Sugarloaf quite wet.

Cheyenne wasn't in the mood for puddles and mud apparently, so she turned back and I had to follow.

The asphalt ends at a large house that has large dogs with large barks during the winter months.

Cold fronts here spell snow and ice Up North and everyone then has to move south to get eaten by mosquitoes.

I like summer.

I do not look forward to cold fronts and all they bring. I'll put up with summer rain from time to time, closed in like a little boy with only his dog for company in exchange for a few more weeks of peace and quiet.

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Flying Lures

Launch your lure through the air and catch a...power line.

It seems to happen a lot to anglers on the old Flagler bridges...

...that have been converted to fishing piers.

Check it out.

It's art.

Or a flying flea market.

Of lures.

And there we see an official flying lure, one of those orange balls placed in the air by the utility company to prevent aircraft hitting the wires. Next to it- a flying lure!

The rest are just acrobatic fishing lures.

And think about this: these pictures took me fifteen minutes to accumulate on one single bridge in the Lower Keys. Flying lures are notan endangered species.

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Riders On The Highway

I was a little taken aback to see riders wearing spandex sausage suits and beaked bicycle helmets pedaling purposefully along the Overseas Highway.

Usually they start appearing in winter when purposeful exercise becomes visible in all neighborhoods as snowbirds walk grotesque-style waving their arms wildly in power walk madness.

Cycling is intended by our benevolent Maker to be a form of gentle diversion, a pleasing way to get from A to B without wrecking the planet's resources. Some people instead have to pretend they are trying out for the Tour de France.

There have been quite a few touring motorcycles too, perhaps all in honor of the man who sailed the ocean blue. Perhaps not, as the Keys are a year round popular destination, not just on holidays.

Pedal hard in 87 degrees or ride an over sized motorcycle towing the kitchen sink.

Your choice.

And notice how invisible the high visibility clothing is behind modern protective windshields. They'd be better off wearing sausage spandex suits. NOT!

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Four Year Bonneville

I bought my Bonneville fournyears ago this week and rode it home four years ago tomorrow. Since then Pure Triumph of Ft Lauderdale has closed and the dealership has moved to Miami.

Since then the bike has lived here, under the house. Since then I have put 54,429 miles on the clock.

The bike has corroded a bit as expected since I bought it. I wash it weekly and hose it off more often to try to keep the salt air at bay but corrosion is inevitable.

It looked quite crisp when new:

I have found the Bonneville to be reliable and easy to ride over the years. I have been annoyed by the valve cover which when removed, for a valve check at 12,000 miles needs a new $50 gasket and washers otherwise the cover develops a slight leak which may be historically appropriate for a Triumph but it is annoying. it's never bad enough to require oil to be added but the seep is irritating.

The Parabellum windshield is brilliant, gives good cover and never squeaks or shifts.

I have scratched a bit falling off in a muddy Pennsylvania parking lot, a minor incident Jack Riepe made endless fun of as he rubbed out the worst of the scratches for me when I dropped by to see him.

I've added $65 Pelican 1430 cases as saddlebags, bolting them to the rails Triumph sells for soft bags. The Pelicans are cheap and tough and completely watertight and they're not too wide or bulky. With those, the $100 Emgo top case and a cargo net on the I have all the luggage capacity I need to take groceries home, take an Iron Butt ride or simply park the bike and leave all my riding gear out of sight and out of the weather.

I never bought the bike as a weekend ride, I wanted something comfortable easy and reliable and I got all that for $8,000. I never intended to worry about resale value or trading "up" as long the bike works. So far so good.

Eventually I will have to spend money painting the exhaust pipes and probably having the engine covers jet coated black to deal with the corrosion but for now....I like the simplicity of carburettors as we move to the complexity of fuel injection to meet pollution standards. The chain drive is very low maintenance as well.

I lubricate it with a total loss Loobman oiler system available from the Aerostich catalogue. For fifty bucks it does great job of keeping the chain happy while flinging oil over the back of the bike...not a good tool for Sunday fair weather riding fusspots.

Yup, here she is again, the daily rider, then commuter, the long distance mile eater.

The everything but a beauty queen roadster. You can't keep me off her. If your ride intimidates you and you find yourself finding excuses not to ride, get a Bonneville. It's too much fun.

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