Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Das Rally - Hamburg, NY

There were 6100 MOA members registered for this year's rally. Early attendees are requested to do volunteer work in advance of the official rally days. I arrived just after 9am on Monday. I had already organized a volunteer assignment helping to make signs. I had no idea there were so many signs required.

Arriving early allowed me to snag a prime campsite in the tree line where there was some shade as opposed to the open field. As you can see, there was a farm right behind the tree line.

Every morning, from 6 to 10, coffee was available. Donations went to a charity.

The campground was not very full at this time, but most of these folks were well-known MOA Ambassadors.

There were a large number of BMW trikes.

I saw a trailer holding a few classic bikes.

An open field would soon fill up.

There was some entertainment every night. This Creole singer conducted a Gumbo cookout with audience members invited to stir the pot. This lady was very entertaining.

The Sherpa tent company rents out these tents as a sort of temporary hotel. You just ride in and there is your tent, cot, and everything else.

You have to expect a little weather. Quite the blow came in at about 1 am and blew down my tent. Luckily, it popped up again with a little encouragement. I had to reset the guy lines and went back to sleep. In the morning, I saw some other damage.

The Beer Tent area suffered no damage.

And, bikes just kept rolling in.

If you waited later than 6 am to get your shower, you had to line up. I tried to shower between 4 and 5 am and never had to wait. In addition to these showers, there were two semi-trailers with 16 stalls each. I preferred to use them.

This was my first rally and I really enjoyed it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Tire Problem

Towards the end of the season, I noticed the rear tire was a bit low in pressure, but the front was ok. I figured there might be a problem, added air and all was well. Over the winter, the pressure fell from 42 to 22. Yes, there must be a problem.

So, today I filled a spray bottle with 20% soap and 80% water. Checked the stem, tire/wheel area on both sides, then the main tire area. Here is a photo of the trouble spot:

Very near the centre of the tire. Very little air escaping, maybe 1 psi per day. That is 1 psi too much.

So, off to the dealer on Tuesday for a new tire. I could plug it, and on a car I would, but not on the bike.

I am a Platinum level member of BMW MOA. That is the highest level - comes with tire insurance. You can claim twice a year and this will be number two since I renewed last July.

There is no hassle when making a claim, or at least there was not on my first claim. If there is a problem, I guess I will post about it here.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

New Tank Bag & Old Stepladder

As the weather was warm enough to work in the garage, and in preparation for the new riding season, I decided to mount The Touratech tank bag received at Christmas. Here are some photos showing the installation:


A velcro flap is installed using two existing bolts that hold the plastic tank trim onto the bike. That white disc is really a velcro disc. Remove the white paper and ...


Stick the disk on to hold the lower part of the tank bag in place.


The flap at the upper left in the photo has velcro that will stick to the item above. Note the smooth and shiny bottom of the tank bag which is mildly sticky and will not slide around on the plastic. Should reduce scratches. I may use some of that sticky rubber mesh for lining shelves between the bag and the plastic. I did this with the old Triumph with good results.

Still, I do wish BMW had retained the old quick release rails and solid tank bag bottom. It was expensive but an elegant solution.


Side view. Also, like the strap at the rear of the tank, there is a triangular pad in front of the gas fill flange. The pad has a strap around the steering head, and another of those white disc things to stick it down. You can just see the quick-release buckle at the front of the tank bag. The bag can either be tipped back or completely detached quite quickly.


The other side. It has been designed to fit the shape of the RT's tank.


Like most bags, there is a zipper that allows the bag to rise in height for more volume. This is a relatively small bag, so the extra room will be welcome at times.

Note there are elastic strings at the rear of the bag, which in this case are being used to secure my gloves. Can't think of what else they might be used for, seem to do that job well. This will be handy at gas stops and prevent me from dropping the gloves on the ground, then banging my helmet on the bike when bending over to retrieve them. Yes, I know... .


The place where most bags have room for a map is likely designed for a cell phone. Mine won't live there as it gets too hot under the plastic.


If I do have need for a map, this extra large detachable map holder will do the job quite well. It will live in one of the side cases or the top box.


Roadcrafter sells a lot of accessories. This pressure gauge is temperature and altitude compensated, and speaks the tire pressure to you. While this sounds like a gimmick, it does allow you to concentrate on seating the fill valve into to gauge mouth so as to lose a minimum of air.

And, here are some photos of the stepladder that I am throwing out and replacing:





An even older stepladder that stil is ok.


And, the replacement stepladder that feels much more stable and is listed for 300 lb. loads.

The structural failure occurred when I was putting some Christmas decorations up on the raised shelf in the garage, and yes, I was on the ladder at the time. Ended up on my back with the ladder on top of me. Fortunately, no  damage aside from a bruise and some scratches just above the left ankle.

It's cold and lightly snowing today, so I am playing inside... .

And, just an update, today is Monday and I had to shovel snow today, maybe more days this week. And it's April already, Riding season supposedly.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Rites of Spring

Today was a nice weather day. Sorted out the garage.

Transferred old gas to the minivan, refilled with Shell high test, no ethanol, started up relatively no problem.

Bike felt heavy as I manhandled it in the garage, but I did it

Found a lot of stuff I had stored last fall, but not all, will look again tomorrow.

Not really in a hurry to ride, but want to be ready.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Wide and Wild and Sunsets

Hey! I did two posts today, this one and an earlier one, so do look at the list of posts so you see it all! Come on, you know you want to!

It's midnight and I need to direct you to my Flickr albums for today. Have a look, you will probably like at least one of the many many shots from today.

Wide and Wild

Sunset Series

OK, a sample or two and off to bed:

Sunset Silouette

And, Rampant Raging Green Sea Turtles:

Raging Attack Turtle

I do like this island!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Did I Delete A Post?

I know I sent some emails out with a link to a sunrise shot. I was sure I make a blog post, but it's sure not here now.

So, here it is, my best sunrise near Mauna Kea. I hope you like it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Suzanne and Jeff had a wedding...

The event is over, and it was a wild success!

The photographer was a Canadian expat, originally from Winnipeg, now renting his house in Chilliwack, who lives and works here in Hawaii.

The official who conducted the wedding is an American who is one of those gentle persons who respects the occasion, takes an interest in the people, and who did a fine job. He conducted the ceremony with respect to Hawaiian rituals. Done on the beach, it was a small group of us who enjoyed that ceremony, its informality, beautiful simplicity, and exquisite sincerity.

I have never enjoyed a wedding so much. I know Suzanne and Jeff had a great time - when you look at the pictures, you will see this, I'm sure.

You will also see the antics of Emma and Becky. They were the models for some sunset photos last week and they are natural models. They know how to have fun. Not for formal posing for us photographers, no, for being young and exuberant, and playing off one another, just went for it. They knew they were being funny, and wanted to make Suzanne and Jeff smile and laugh while the pro did his portraits and while I captured the overall scene to share with all of us, you, whoever wants to celebrate this event with us. They even co-opted Ryan into the fun.

I told Dianne I thought I took about 100 shots. That was an estimate that would have made this shoot the largest, longest, most technical, most equipment intensive I ever attempted. Yes, I made mistakes. But by shooting in RAW mode, and using DxO as an editor, I was able to recover most of the errors. And, the number of deletions of out of focus shots was very small, for the first time ever. The Flickr album has 147 shots; you can see them here: The Wedding Album

And, my favourite photograph is:

There is a saying that it does not matter what camera you have, you will take the same pictures. I was beginning to believe that. It scared me right down to my toes. I felt I had topped out. Where was the fearless and good photographer that my friends relied on to take photos at their weddings back in 1970 and 1980? I did a creditable job with an Olympus Pen D half-frame 35mm camera, a Minolta SRT-100, and a Minolta XD. I have done only a fair to middling job with a set of Nikons, a D80, a D90, and now, finally with my 6 month old Nikon D7200 I have my photographic mojo back and I am delighted it happened in time for my daughter's wedding to Jeff. It's not just the adjustments on the camera, but the adjustments possible in the editor I use, DxO. It takes a while and a lot of mistakes until you start to get it right!

There is a story to how the shot above was taken. I read a  book by the master of fill-flash, Joe McNally. He knows Nikon stuff and photography in general, and leaned it the hard way. At dusk, with a water background, he suggests you setTungsten light White Balance on your camera, as per indoor incandescent lightbulbs (before LEDs), which makes the sky and water nicely much bluer. Alas, it makes skin blue too. You need to use a low-powered flash to light the skin, and that flash has to have a gel filter, a special orange (CTO), to make the skin look right. Sounds simple, it's not, but damn, he is right, it works!

And, if you want to see the rest, go to my Flickr site which is:

The Wedding Albumn

I hope you like the shots from this significant (to our family) event. We all did. And, the filet mignon at Ruth's Chris was quite tasty.