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Day 194 – 20th June 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on June 20, 2009

Saturday – Etna, Ohio

Hi everyone, I need to clear up some confusion, so I will do it here and now.

Sorry for the long introduction, but this will stay here for at least a week, so if you have read it once, scroll down for the days update, which starts with the non bold text 🙂

I am receiving a lot of offers of help, chat, food, rides, beer etc and not in that particular order either 🙂 I appreciate all of the offers and I apologise to those who I have missed or gone past without dropping in to say G’day. I always acknowledge and answer all messages, whether they are emails, comments here, PMs from forums or whatever. The only issue seems to be, I sometimes get them after I have been and gone in certain areas. So, to make things a lot easier I will outline a few facts on where I am, where I could be heading and an explanation on what you see here.

For a start I am always going to be behind in the blog, usually two days, maybe more if I do not have net access. So what it says as the date, place etc at the top of the page is out of date, ignore it, it is correct for the time I was there, but I am not there now 🙂 For example, I am writing this in South Bend, Sunday the 21st June, the first day of summer in the US.

There are two ways to know where I am and which way I am going. Look to the left and down a bit, there is a small map, it tells you my current general location. Whenever I get internet access I update this, it takes 30 seconds and is as actual as it can be. If I do not do a blog update, I will always update this map anyway.

The second way and most accurate is to look to the right, there is a link called

Here I Am
SPOT tracks of Where I Am

Click on that link, it will open a new page in your web browser, if I am actually physically riding at the moment, it will be updated every 30 minutes or so, the higher the number flag is the latest position locator. I always turn this off about 5 minutes from where I intend staying, but I am in that general area.

I hope the confusion does not stop the offers of meeting fellow riders from coming in, but now I may get the messages before I actually blow through town. After Rapid City, I will be slowing down a lot more, so I will have more chances anyway.

As I had a basic plan today, it was easy to get sorted out, so after posting a blog entry I packed up the bike. This is a major chore when you stay in these type of Inns. I much prefer to use motels, so that the bike is in front of the door, because I usually have to make about 5 trips to get packed with everything in its place. Back and forth through two fire doors and airlocks, then maybe up some stairs, you end up getting hot and sweaty before you start. This is all that was around this area, so I had no choice.

Anyway, off on the road, it was a pretty fast and easy start, head north a bit, I was only 25 miles from Indianapolis, then head east again, all on the slab. I stopped at the first rest area after about an hour, just for a quick snack but also to check on the oil from my chain oiler, hmm, it has still not arrived at the outlet, I will give it one more go before I chase up if there is a problem. So I continue on, slab at 70mph+, nothing remarkable, trucks, cars everyone flying past like a bat out of hell. Sometimes all the trucks want to pass other people and you get a small traffic jam, all at 70+, so just sit back and wait for it to clear and leave myself some clear air, but usually the space in front of me gets filled by wankers who pass me because they think they can go somewhere!

About an hour and a half after leaving I get to the border and I stop at the visitors centre on the other side, just to check my chain oiler again.

Hmm, still no oil so I look a bit closer around the area, from a few different angles and I notice the oil hose that comes from the dispenser has become caught between the side cover and the frame and was pinched, not good, so after a bit of fiddling around I get that re-routed to the correct spot and start the engine, excellent, I see oil flow starting, so that should be good to go now I hope 🙂 We shall see, on I go once again navigating around Columbus and finding the correct exit for Pataskala around half one.

It was easy to find Arts place so we met up and got the bike sorted out for an oil change, this was after meeting his family of course 🙂 I also checked the chain oiler again, beauty, working like a charm and I now have a wet chain again, I can throw that leaky old can of spray stuff in the bin. Ian mentioned about a ride through some twisty roads, and did I want to do that before doing the oil. So, I said why not, we could do the oil later and off we headed for a ride, this is the green bit that looks like a figure 8 on the map, it was a round trip of just over 100 miles.

First up was fuel, this is where I saw a HD rider polishing his bike at the servo, what dedication, he also had more clothes on than is normal, still no helmet though!

But, we were accosted next which explained the situation, a nice blond girl was flogging off some exotic waterless cleaning stuff and was giving out free demonstrations. Both Art and myself declined, in fact I explained that I had ridden from Los Angeles to here and have never washed the bike, that is what rain is for, which got a smile at least 🙂 Anyway, onwards, the first bit of the ride was over some pretty horrible tar snake roads, not good on corners eh! But it soon turned into lots of whoops through the rolling countryside.

Art was setting a brisk pace, but he told me he has ridden these roads since a youngun, so he would wait at intersections, which is fine by me, as I don’t want to hold anyone up 🙂 After about 30 minutes we started into the windy bits, so Ohio does have twistys, which was the whole point of this ride 🙂

They also have Sunday traffic!

But not for long, at one stage my phone went off and I thought maybe I had missed a turn somewhere as I was concentrating on the road, some of it was a bit off camber and there was a fair bit of gravel in corners, I had a few squidgy moments.

I stopped as I thought Art had called but there was no one there. Art was waiting a bit up the road and we stopped at a rest area, this is where I found the phone call was in fact the alarm I had set up to remind myself to call dad back home. Because it was Saturday arvo here, it is Sunday morning back home and is Fathers Day apparently, I had thought it was in September, but all the advertising over here says it is today, OK. At this point we headed back via some different paths, but also past the same old prison we had passed on the way out.

I tried a few arty farty shots on the highway section we needed to use.

Then back through the squidgy road section, where I kept on seeing these green lids on all the properties, I have a feeling they are water meters or maybe sewage dump points, I am sure Art knows, hint hint, as I forgot to ask when I was there 🙂

We got back around 5.30pm so I did the oil change, Art had a spare filter which I bought off him, he had a supply of full synth oil, but I preferred mineral at this stage, so we had bought some from a local shop. I also had his son and father as on lookers 🙂

Now, I mentioned Art knew these roads like the back of his hands, well he is also a serious peg scraper in the corners and uses all the edges of his tyres. This is the sensor under the right peg, the brown spot at the top is it, it is worn away to nothing, also look lower at the bottom of the frame, serious scrape marks there as well, this happens after the foot peg folds up in corners 🙂 I personally will stick to having chicken strips on my tyres, I have too far to travel yet 🙂

This is the Goldwing that his dad rides, he rode that to Alaska via some dirt roads, very impressive, while Art rode an ST1100 🙂 Check out the fashion statement Croc wellies on young Ian 🙂

I wanted to call my dad for Fathers Day, but Ian’s place did not have a landline, nor VOIP, and of course my mobile bans me from doing that so Ian drove me around to his sisters and I phoned home from there, thank you very much. Hmm, what a surprise, it is not Father’s Day at home, it is in September, silly me, oh well, if I had not called I would have felt bad. Dad would like this place I think, it is a housing estate surrounded by a golf course, or a golf course with houses on it? I think this is the 9th fairway, just over the back fence. It had a huge range of water birds on it and we also saw a beaver running across it later that evening 🙂

And you need to wear a crash helmet around here I reckon, this is a collection of mishit balls from the yard.

So, we had a great dinner, I caused a bit of a stir when they asked what I do not eat, I said mushrooms and asparagus, hmm, apparently mushrooms are their favourite food, so OK more for them and well, they saved the asparagus for later 😉 It worked out all right in the end, an excellent Fillet Mignon, medium rare, just right 🙂 Mind you, Ian was a chef for a long time.

Ian had been reading my blog and very kindly laid on some Labatt Blue for me, thanks a lot, but I did try the Stroh’s beer he was drinking.

I did not like this, it reminded me a little of something as it had an aftertaste. After a bit of discussion, I have a feeling the beer is contaminated, because they do not seal the aluminium cans on the inside with plastic like we do back home. I reckon I may have to try it again from a stubby and see if there is a difference. Now I think on it, when I drank that Icehouse a long time ago, it also had a slightly bitter aftertaste, so maybe it was the same procedure. Anyway, after this we were joined by their friend Jerimiah for a short period, but we stayed up quite late repairing the worlds ills 🙂 Ian and myself also stayed up a bit later looking through some photos of his and his dads trip to Alaska, it made me want to go up that way all the more, I cannot wait 🙂 They did invited me to stay another day, but I declined as I wanted to head north and west, but thanks anyway Ian and Lesley, it was terrific day and very relaxing, just what I needed.

Day – 325 miles and 523 km
Trip – 19,801 miles and 31,867 km


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One Response to “Day 194 – 20th June 09”

  1. Art Wallace said

    G’day Rich! Thanks for the kind words & excellent photos! I think those green lids in front of those houses have to do with the septic system. We’re on the city’s sewer line here so I don’t know for certain. The tar snakes suck for sure! I forgot to ask if they use them in Oz as well.

    BTW, Ian is so grounded if he was driving my truck & drinking Stroh’s… Pretty rowdy stuff for a 3 year old-LOL! He’s taking a shine to learning stuff about Australia now and really likes your “accident” (accent).

    Safe travels!

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