Sorry for the Delay
Work got in the Way!
Lets see, where was I? Oh, yeahÔÇª
When we last left our intrepid (or should I say, Inept ?) riderÔÇªhe was heading out Saturday Morning to ride along some nice river valley roads, taking 63 out of Lewisburg, WV down to state route 3 to SR12 and then hooking up with Rt. 19 just shy of Beckley WV, which had been our original destination. My original intention was to visit the coal mining exhibits in town and possibly take the tour down into the old mine, but by the time I got to Beckley it was already 11 AM and I had quite a few miles yet to travel. Quite frankly I was not impressed with Beckley, but I need to qualify that by the fact the Rt. 19 seems to run thru the industrial portion of town, usually not the best section of any town to get a flavor of the downtown or historic districts. So once I arrived I kept going with the plan now to ride up and cross over the New River Gorge Bridge, the longest single-span arch bridge of its kind.
Not the best picture IÔÇÖve taken of it, but it will have to do as I did not want to take the time to ride down to the bottom of the gorge to the old bridge, which has the best view bar far.
Heading up a bit further on 19 I came to Rt 39 and decided to take that heading east again as I had never ridden it this far west. Nice road and like much of it its one mountain crossing after another, Nice!
And of course no mountain road would be complete without plenty of these along the way on the upward side of the roadÔÇª
Rounding a bent on leg of 39 I came across this old homestead, nice location! Right on one of the hairpin turnsÔÇª
So this is where OpieÔÇÖs been hanging out since growing up and leaving the sedate family environment of living with his Dad in Mayberry RFD!
Not surprisingly, there are a lot of small hill towns in West Verginiy, Duh! Here was one I passed thru, yup its pretty hilly alright! Complete with a RE_TAURANT, what town would be complete without at least one, right? Ha Ha!
I think you could pretty well bank on the fact that this is no longer a bankÔÇª(or maybe its just a ghost bank?)
how to stay healthy, just live in a town like thisÔÇª
I love old threatre buildings ÔÇª but talk about a small mallÔÇª.
Often in these small rural towns youÔÇÖll find old advertisements painted on the side of some of the buildings and occasionally will run across a home-spun mural such as this one. Not surprising the theme of this one was coal miningÔÇª
So everything was going along well for the better part of the day, the bike was running fine with just those occasional (about 5 total over the past three days) hiccups mentioned before. I got to Franklin WV around 4 PM, plenty of time to find a place to hole up for the night as I wasnÔÇÖt going to even try to get all the way to home at this point. In Franklin there looked to be an interesting place to stay right on main street. It was an old brick building with balconyÔÇÖs facing the street and what appeared to be a small bar on the first floor, Perfect! I always enjoy a quant main street lodging establishment when I can find one. Sitting out on the front stoop or porch watching a place such as this slowly come to life is always something I thoroughly enjoy. When I pulled up to it I couldnÔÇÖt at first tell if it was still in operation which was odd, because I had just spoken with someone at the gas station about it when I saw a sign for it coming into town proclaiming it as Historical and they indicated it was a decent place to stay. Turns out you have to call the proprietor who lives just down the street who will then come up and let you in, business is so slow with only 10 rooms he doesnÔÇÖt bother keeping the lobby open. Unfortunately he did not answer the phone. Oh, wellÔÇª
Oh, yeah, before I get ahead of myself, I promised a bit more excitement, didnÔÇÖt I? WellÔÇªÔÇª
Just after stopping for a quick break just shy of getting to Franklin as I was crossing over a mountain on the last leg of 39into town, the gen light on the airhead started glowing, dimly, almost imperceptibility, but glowing none the less. Now its never done this before so I was a bit worried as I was still 100 plus miles from home! Every once and a while it would glow brightly for just a second and once or twice the bike would ÔÇ£coughÔÇØ momentarily much like it would when a bit of grit gets sucked up by one of the carbs. NOT GOOD! As I pulled into Franklin it was still doing this and checking the gen light in the shade I could tell it was indeed glowing dimly, what was odd was that between 1500 and 23-24 hundred RPMÔÇÖs it stayed completely dark but would start to glow as the RPMÔÇÖs increased. WasnÔÇÖt sure what to make of this but figured with it getting on to late afternoon IÔÇÖd best find a place to hole up and then go over the bike in the morning. Not having any luck with the Star Hotel in Franklin I punched in ÔÇ£HotelsÔÇØ in the GPS and it said there was an Inn just up the ways in Singers Glen. Kool! IÔÇÖd already fallen in love with that little town, so what could be better, right? So off I headed. As I make my way up 613 toward the town (613 being pretty rural) the light began to glow brighter but still not consistent. A few miles before the town the GPS told me to make the next left, down an even more rural road. This in turn led to another smaller road, now I was on roads without center lines, maybe 1 and half lanes wide. Another mile or so and the pavement ended at an entrance to the place I was headed with a Big No Trespassing sign, Owners Only! Well, damnÔÇª
At this point being close to Harrisburg and I81 I figured best just book it back the way I came and find a Quality Inn or some such before I ran out of battery power! I disconnected the headlight and fairing running lights to save juice and headed into Harrisburg and found a Howard Johnson or some such. After parking and unloading I gave the bike a once over and it still fired up easily so I figured whatever was up couldnÔÇÖt be a total show stopper.
I rang up the better half and had her put a help needed posting on the local club site and within 15 minutes had a call and offer for help if I needed a tow back home the last 100 or so miles. Told the caller IÔÇÖd look the bike over in the morning and if needed IÔÇÖd take him up on the offer, then went in and had a beer (or two) and burger then hit the sack. I also discovered the hotel had an internet computer so checked the local club board and posted an update to my status with a BIG THANK YOU to the group for their quick response and offers for help. WHAT A GREAT CLUB (BMW Bikers of Metro Washington)!! Kudos to them!
Next morning I pulled the front timing cover off the bike and thatÔÇÖs when I discovered what had happened, most likely from that hit I had taken two days ago on the road up to Reddish Knob. All four of the rubber diode board mounts were busted and the board was hanging on by the wires, just dangling inside the cover! Yikes! So most likely it had been shorting out for just a spilt second every so often when I hit a bad bump causing the bike to ÔÇ£coughÔÇØ then catch again. Well there wasnÔÇÖt much I could do other than pull out some twine I had, tie it up the best I could and put some stiff paper between it and the cover, pinching it (the paper that is) between the cover and engine to hold it in place. There is a reason why I carry so many odds and ends in the fairing pockets, with a bike this old, best always to Be Prepared (a valuable lesson learned from my Boy Scott days!)
So with that done and someone on ÔÇ£standbyÔÇØ in case I didnÔÇÖt make it, I posted my intended route home, up Rt. 11 to 66, which would provide lots of safe pull over places should the bike conk out on me, and headed for Home. As it was I made it home but the last 20 miles were on battery power mostly! Close Call, fer sure. As it turns out the diode board was not damaged, the lack of charging, or the slow degrade of same, was due to the board having hung from the DC output hot wire which finally caused the it become almost broken from the spade plug attaching it to the board! I now have the metal mounts and new spade plug and all the connections have been cleaned and I am now getting 14.07 volts output at 2400 and above, yeah!
Quite an adventureÔÇª but then riding a 33 year old bike can be like that! ItsnÔÇÖt that part if its charm?
Finally a few more pics along the route home SundayÔÇª
A nice compact homesteadÔÇª
an old barn along Rt 11
and one more barn, just for good measure.
ThatÔÇÖs it, thanks for coming along for the ride! Now, who wants to join me on my next ÔÇ£adventureÔÇØ? Ha Ha!