The Ninjette Journal for 2008
Monthly Journal Entries
January, 2008 -- The 2008 Ninjas began to appear on the coasts and I ordered Signal Dynamics headlight modulator and LED conversions and JT Sprockets 38 tooth rear sprocket for the 2008 Kawasaki Ninja 250.
Ride Report: January 5-6, 2008 -- After almost a month I got the chance to ride a bit locally. The weather for the first few days of January was quite frigid with lows in the teens and a biting wind. I was able to tool about Fannin and Hunt county. On Saturday I had an hour and rode to Celeste, Bailey, and Randolph. Sunday between church services I toured the perimeter of Fannin County. I took FM 151 to Whitewright and then FM 898 to FM 1752 through Savoy. FM 1753 was traversed east to Ravenna and then north and east on FM 274, briefly south on Texas 78. I turned east on FM 1396 and then north on FM 273 through Ivanhoe. Telephone, and Monkstown. From Monkstown I rode FM 100 to Honey Grove caught Texas 34 through Bug Tussle and Ladonia to Wolfe City. From Wolf City it was FM 816 to FM 272 and on through Leonard via Texas 78 and FM 815 on home. Strong 25 to 35 MPH southerly winds made traveling south at the 70 MPH speed limit a challenge in top gear and strong gusts made rounding curves less than eloquent.
Ride Report: January 11, 2008 -- My family and I along with both our parents have season tickets to the Greenville Entertainment Series. Tonight was the Fiesta Folklorico, a Latin Song and Dance troop, concert. As the day progressed everything pretty much went south. Victoria had basketball game and Nathaniel got sick at the last minute. We tried to get a last minute sitter but to no avail. Nathaniel wanted "mommy" so I ended up going to meet our parents for dinner and the concert alone. Well it is indeed hard to turn down a shot to ride a 70 MPG motorcycle on the back roads to Greenville. The ride to and from Greenville was enjoyable and the concert was wonderful.
February, 2008 -- No 2008 Ninja 250s have hit the Red River as of the first week of February. All accessories are in hand.
Ride Report: February 4, 2008 -- I took a quick trip out to meet Tyler Bowman, Chris Hollahan, and Brian Parker returning from the First Baptist Church Men's Retreat at Pine Cove Christian Camp between Sunday services. I took the back roads through Merit, Texas. I caught up with the group a few miles south of Greenville, Texas. We returned to Trenton via the same route.
Activity Report: February 8-9, 2008 -- The regional Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA) Seasons of Refreshing was held at Word of Victory Outreach Center in Canton, Texas. Wing and a Prayer played three sets of for Seasons of Refreshing.
Ride Report: February 16, 2008 -- It was an awful, cold, wet Saturday but several of the King's Kruizers Christian Motorcyclists Association chapter had committed to a long overdue fellowship, so the dinner ride was on. Nathaniel and I met wit the rest of the chapter at Crossroads Assembly of God, Greenville, Texas at 4:00 PM and drove (yes, drove, not a real biker in the bunch it seems) to the Oasis Mexican Restaurant in Quinlan, Texas for some good Mexican food and great fellowship.
Dinner and fellowship at the Oasis Mexican Restaurant.
Dinner and fellowship at the Oasis Mexican Restaurant.
Dinner and fellowship at the Oasis Mexican Restaurant.
Happy Birthday Nate Smith! Nate, son of Charley and Beth Smith got a free sopaipilla with whipped cream for getting older -- now there's a deal.
Ride Report: February 24, 2008 -- After the morning worship service Nathaniel went with the church youth group and Joleen and Victoria went shopping. Left alone I took a quick trip out on the Ninjette. I traveled FM 151 through downtown Whitewright where I saw Tyler Bowman and other church members standing outside a local Mexican restaurant visiting after lunch. Tyler mentioned he was going to ride later when he got back to Trenton. I went on to FM 697, Texas 5, and then FM 121 back to Trenton. When I got back to town I went by Tyler's home to see if want to come outside and play for a bit. We went to Blue Ridge and caught FM 545 to Melissa and then Texas 121 back to Trenton where I arrived in time to pickup Nathaniel from the church youth trip.
March, 2008 -- No Black 2008 Ninja 250R as of the first week of March.
Ride Report: March 2, 2008 -- After the morning worship service I was left alone again so I took a quick trip down FM 151 to FM 697 and back home.
Ride Report: March 8, 2008 -- Nathaniel went on a campout at Coffeemill Lake a little north of Honey Grove. Previous to his departure we searched for the twin sized air mattresses to no avail. After Nathaniel was dropped off at the Trenton First Methodist Church where the Boy Scout Troop was departing I discovered that Tyler Bowman still had the air mattresses. I called troop leader Allen Lambright and determined that Nathaniel did need an air mattress. Sounded like an excuse for a motorcycle ride on a Saturday afternoon.
The Ninjette donned the Tail Trunk Saddle and I headed to Coffeemill Lake and to Bonham for a quick Wal-Mart run. I took FM 151 north out of Trenton to FM 898 at Whitewright. FM 898 through Ector to just north of Bonham and caught Texas 121 north to Texas 78 north. I headed east on FM 1396. At the intersection of FM 1396 and north/south FM 273 the remained of 1396 was under construction. Not wanting to travel down 5 miles of gravel road I turned north on 273 and headed toward Telephone, Texas. As I traveled on FM 273 I had the opportunity to marvel at the amount of snow still on the ground in shaded north facing areas and the stupidity of the local drivers. Once in Telephone I turned south on FM 2029 and then east on FM 409 to Coffeemill Lake. At the lake I visited a bit and headed on to Bonham. To avoid the construction I continued east on FM 409 and south on FM 100 to Honey Grove. At Honey Grove I took US 82 west to Texas 121 at Bonham. After visiting the Bonham Wal-Mart I continued on Texas 121 south to Trenton.
Ride Report: March 14, 2008 -- Thomas Osburn of McKinney, Texas initiated a breakfast run to Bonham, Texas in order to build some fellowship and camaraderie in to the group attempting to form a Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA) chapter. G. E. and Janis Vaughn joined me as representatives of the King's Kruizers Christian Motorcyclists Association chapter of Greenville. Tam Pho (aerox of the Ninja 250 Riders Club), Hugh Mantooth of Trenton and Jeff Johnston of Princeton attended as well making the group 15 riders strong. We rendezvoused at the Chevron on the northeast corner of US 380 and US 75 in McKinney. We traveled north on US 75 to Texas 121at Melissa and then east via FM 545 to Blue Ridge where we continued east on FM 981 and then Texas 78 in to Bonham. We traveled east of the square on Texas 56 a bit to the Riverbend Cafe, a solid purveyor of down home cooking, where a innocent request for a pancake resulted in two flapjacks that literally almost covered the full-sized dinner plate they were served on. During Breakfast G. E. and Janis in particular did a fine job of meeting all those attending as well as some of the local patrons.
After breakfast the group headed south on Texas 121 to Bailey so the Leonard hills on FM 896 could be ridden. From Leonard Texas 87 lead the group back to Blue Ridge while I broke off at FM 815 and headed north back to Trenton. Once at Tiger Lane I decided that I was not ready to go home yet so I continued to FM 151 and then FM 697 to Sherman for the purpose of harassing the folks at Sherman Power Sports to see if they had any word on the arrival of the Ninjette II. As it turned out Robert Rambo was trying to call me while I was on the ride to let me know the black 2008 was in.
Event Report: March 15, 2008 -- Wing and a Prayer played during the Palm Sunday morning service at First Christian Church in Lone Oak, Texas. This was the fourth time we had been asked to play for Palm Sunday service at the church. After service we fellowshipped over Bar-B-Qued brisket in their fellowship hall.
Leonard Schilling and G. E. Vaughn chat during set up.
The Do-Whops, Alice Finney, Beth Smith, Leatha Smith.
Motorcycles fill the front parking lot.
Motorcycles fill the front parking lot.
Serving up some good brisket.
Visiting and fellowship.
More visiting and fellowship.
You just can't let some folks out in public.
March 19, 2008 -- Took delivery of the black 2008 Ninja 250R and installed various lighting modules.
March 20, 2008 -- Installed a front gravel guard and RAM mounts on the 2008.
Ride Report: March 21, 2008 -- Took the maiden voyage on the 2008, began the break-in procedure, and changed the oil.
Ride Report: March 22-23, 2008 -- Continued the break-in procedure on the 2008 Ninja 250R. Adjusted the chain slack and performed two more oil changes (2008 Kawasaki Ninja 250R Maintenance Log).
Event Report: March 29, 2008 -- The King's Kruizers Christian Motorcyclists Association chapter held their Run for the Son Fund Run. The run headquarters was the Mitsubishi dealership in Greenville, Texas. Jolene and I manned the Merit Tradin' Post in Merit, Texas. The weather was misty, cool, and cloudy. Not horribly conducive to an enjoyable ride in the country so Jolene and I took the Escort on the short, but fun, drive to Merit. We arrived at the Tradin' Post early to sample their down home breakfast and once again thanks them for volunteering to be a stop on the ride. Breakfast was good and the service friendly. It became apparent that this was the place to meet, greet, and eat in this blink-n-you'll-miss-it Hunt County community. We were delighted with a particularly precocious youngster that arrived with her grand pa and had something to say to everyone that came in.
The "game" Joleen and I were running at this stop was a domino draw. Each player (motorcyclist" that came to this stop drew a domino from a bag and received the number of points on their score sheet equal to the "value" of the domino they selected. They were then off to their next stop. All seemed to have fun. In spite of the weather the ride had a good turn out with 86 motorcyclists registering including another 2005 Ninja 250 owner.
The Merit Tradin' Post.
Charlie Smith leads the first group in the run.
Headed down a wet FM 36 in Merit.
Drawing "Double 15" dominoes.
Joleen counts the points on the dominoes drawn.
I hope I get a good one.
Was it a good one.
Plenty of bikes.
The Merit Post Office is next to the Merit Tradin' Post
Doc with fellow 250 rider Josh Yotter. (photo by Brian Buchanan)
Event Report: March 30, 2008 -- Wing and a Prayer played for a Sunday evening biker service at The Church of God of Prophecy in Mount Pleasant, Texas. Nathaniel and I took the Escort on the trip due to the amount equipment I use when the bass is on the road.
G. E. Vaughn sets the sound levels for Wing and a Prayer. (photo by Nathaniel Yeager)
A session of pre-service chatting out in the parking lot. (photo by Nathaniel Yeager)
A row of bikes. (photo by Nathaniel Yeager)
Filing into the sanctuary. (photo by Nathaniel Yeager)
After service fellowship. (photo by Nathaniel Yeager)
April, 2008 -- No big news.
Ride Report: April 5, 2008 -- The King's Kruizers Christian Motorcyclists Association met at the Exxon near Greenville Wal-Mart to ride to Terrell, Texas and participate in a fund raising ride for the family of a downed rider nick-named "Road Dog". Several regional Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA) chapters participated and together we raised over $5000.
Many of the group rode to Ennis, Texas to pick up the 2008 Grand Ride Bible to be signed by the North Texas Chapters and pass it on to the next group of CMA chapters. The idea of the "Grand Ride Bible" is to have a representative group from every Texas CMA chapter sign it before it is passed on as a thanks to an individual that has made a significant contribution to the Christian Motorcyclists Association. This Bible will go to Curtis and Carole Clements, CMA National/International Lead Evangelist.
At the end of the day several of us went to dinner at Fat Catz Louisiana Kitchen in Terrell, Texas. Having eaten a wide variety of Cajun cuisine while Joleen's folks were pastoring a church in Groves, Texas I found the fare to be rather mediocre.
Lining up for the bug run.
Visiting over snacks.
Arriving in Ennis Texas.
A good turnout.
Meeting with other CMA chapters at the Wal-Mart in Ennis Texas.
Glen Strutton, CMA Area Representative, with the 2008 Grand Ride Bible.
Prayer for local ministries, CMA, and the Grand Ride Bible progress around Texas.
Fat Catz Louisiana Kitchen in Terrell, Texas.
Ride Report: April 6, 2008 -- I and the Ninjette II pretty much piddled around Fannin, Hunt, Grayson, and Collin counties. The Ninjette II and I rode FM 697, FM 121, and FM 898 to Bonham. It was a gorgeous day and there many motorcyclists out and taking advantage of the afternoon. Plenty of waves and other friendly gestures indicated that most were in a good mood. I was, however, flipped off by a biker for the first time, an under geared Harley rider with a bad attitude (Yes Virginia, there are some bikers that do not subscribe to the philosophy that all motorcyclists are brethren).
At the Bonham, Texas Wal-Mart I stopped to pickup some shampoo and tooth past for Victoria (my weak excuse to get out on pretty Sunday afternoon) the black 2008 garnered several comments.
I was able to connect up with Hugh Mantooth and Jeff Johnston on FM 898 for my later travels. We tooled about several Collin county back roads including FM 545 and FM 1827. One of the more unique place names ridden through was Climax, Texas located on FM 2756 at FM 1377. Collin County roads are nicely paved (quite unlike Fannin County roads) and we did quite bit of site seeing down these pleasant stretches.
Ride Report: April 12, 2008 -- I took the Ninjette II to Commerce, Texas via the Farm to Market back roads to spend some time with my parents. I continue to be amazed by the attention the little bike gets. I get complements and thumbs up riding down the road and fueling up. Every fuel stop I have made where there were I was not alone have resulted in positive verbal comments from other customers. My mother thought the headlight shape and the "eye brow" above made it look angry however. I haven't really considered it but the "angry look" could be part of what gives the 2008 its more business like appearance.
Ride Report: April 13, 2008 -- Between church services Joleen needed a couple of items for sore throat. So a trip to Wal-Mart was in order. Before hand, I wrote my annual gift to the federal government and got the paper work in order for mailing the morning of the 15th. By the time I finished all that and dropped by a couple of friend's everyone already out. The Ninjette II and I rode FM 121 and Texas 5 to Sherman, Texas and took FM 697 and FM151 back to Trenton.
Ride Report: April 19, 2008 -- The King's Kruizers Christian Motorcyclists Association met at the Valero next to the Presbyterian Hospital of Greenville to participate in the Sulphur Springs CMA Chapter Run for the Son Fund Run. Before departing we had three bike blessings including the Ninnjette II.
John Sieffert (Skitch) decided his Harley Davidson and Norita's (his wife) Harley Davidson dragon trike was on the dirty side. The only handy method was to ride the bikes in to the automated car wash and let'er rip. An interesting concept that appeared at least partially successful in cleaning the bikes and fully successful in eliciting raised eyebrows and chuckles from the assembled group.
We rode as a group to the Shady Lake RV Park located approximately two miles south of the intersection of Texas Highway 19 and Interstate 30. There were venders and some interesting bikes that showed up including the Christian Motorcyclists Association Run for The Son Honda Goldwing and the locally famous Harley Davidson based Dragon Trike. Surprisingly the Ninjette II attacked some interest on its own.
While at the RV Park I was introduced to Craig Bryant, aka "Tanker", from the Paris, Texas chapter of the CMA. Tanker had recently purchased a low mileage 2006 Ninja 250 for what his "2008 Concours 14 had depreciated". He has owned a succession of truly great motorcycles including a first generation Concours, a Hyabusa, a ZX-14, and the aforementioned Concours 14, which he still possessed. He purchased the Ninjette because it was a deal too good to pass up and with fuel prices what they are he decided to take the minimalist plunge. Craig brought the Ninjette fully laden with tank bag, tail bag and saddle bags to see what it could do in a touring situation. He claims the 2006 Ninja 250 is a blast to ride.
The route took us meandering about north Texas visiting towns such as Miller Grove, Birthright, South Sulphur, Dike, and Como. I rode with Tanker and some other sport bike and sport tourer riders for most of the day route. Our topic of conversation was a tongue-in-cheek exploration of why cruisers can't maintain the speed limit around curves.
On the road between Como, Texas and Sulphur Springs I hit a false "top" gear in fifth or did I imagine it or misinterpret something because I am not used to this bike? It did not act up from on the way home from Sulphur Springs. We shall see as time marches on (as it turned out the IC Igniter was an issue on some 2008 Ninja 250Rs).
Upon returning to Shady Lake RV Park we were entertained with live Christian Blues and lunched on some good Bar-B-Qued pork. It was the night of the Trenton High School Junior Senior Prom so I had to leave in the early afternoon to allow Joleen and I time to get ready for and travel to the Prom. I took the Farm to Market route back to Trenton as opposed to the more direct route down Texas 11 and US 69.
Fillups for the Ninjette II were 64.2 MPG and 59.2 MPG.
Meeting at the Valero next to the Presbyterian Hospital of Greenville.
Meeting at the Valero next to the Presbyterian Hospital of Greenville.
Meeting at the Valero next to the Presbyterian Hospital of Greenville.
Performing a Bike Blessing.
Performing a second Bike Blessing.
Skitch prepares to wash his Harley Davidson and his Wife's Harley Davidson Dragon Chopper Trike.
Spray from the car wash.
Getting ready to leave for Sulphur Springs.
Gathering at Sandy Lake RV Park.
Arriving at the Dike Store at Dike Texas.
The Dike Store at Dike, Texas.
The Dike Feed Store at Dike, Texas.
Joe Bob's Exxon at Como, Texas was the last stop of the run.
Tanker and Doc (biker nick names, what can I say?)
Chris Boggs of the Sulphur Springs CMA chapter tries on Tanker's Ninjette.
Chatting it up at Joe Bob's Exxon at Como, Texas.
The Ninjette II at Sandy Lake RV Park after the ride.
CMA Run for The Son Goldwing and Trailer.
CMA Run for The Son Goldwing and Trailer.
The Harley Davidson Dragon Chopper Trike.
The result of tailgating? (This contraption is the melding of a Volks Wagon Beetle and an air-cooled 500cc Honda motorcycle.)
Live Blues at Sandy Lake RV Park.
Queuing up for Que.
Bar-B-Que makes for a happy biker.
Ride Report: April 26, 2008 -- The King's Kruizers Christian Motorcyclists Association the annual Run for The Son Garage Sale to raise money for the Run for The Son ministry effort at one of the chapter member's home in Greenville. Nathaniel and I attended to assist where we could. Items literally covered the yard and there was a lot of traffic in and out of the sale. The most important item that changes hands was not the raising of money for Run for The Son but the good will and public exposure for Christian Motorcyclists Association.
Event Report: April 27, 2008 -- Wing and a Prayer played for a Sunday evening biker service at Highland Terrace Baptist Church in Greenville, Texas. The family and I took the Escort on the trip due to the amount equipment I use when I take the bass is on the road. A little over 400 people attended the service. Wing and a Prayer played a few selections followed by Joe Bishop presenting information on Run for The Son and Lucian Highlander bringing the message. The service appeared to be well received.
Wing and a Prayer pray before the service at Highland Terrace. (photo by Victoria Yeager)
Cindi leads the opening song. (photo by Victoria Yeager)
A good turn out at Highland Terrace......
......is evidenced by the "Meet and Greet" time during the service. (photos by Victoria Yeager)
Charlie Smith grinds out some riffs at Highland Terrace. (photo by Victoria Yeager)
Wing and a Prayer at Highland Terrace Baptist. (photo by Victoria Yeager)
Wing and a Prayer at Highland Terrace Baptist. (photo by Victoria Yeager)
Doc and John hold down the beat. (photo by Victoria Yeager)
Joe Bishop tells about CMA. (photo by Victoria Yeager)
Lucian Highlander brings the message. (photo by Victoria Yeager)
Lucian Highlander preaches up a storm. (photo by Victoria Yeager)
Ride Report: April 30, 2008 -- Cody Douglas and I took our bikes to church and rode out and back on FM 697 after prayer service at First Baptist Church, Trenton.
May, 2008 -- No big news.
Ride Report: May 5, 2008 -- The Ninjette II and I took the FM 36 route to meet with the King's Kruizers Christian Motorcyclists Association at the Valero next to the Presbyterian Hospital of Greenville to participate in the annual Run for The Son. Run for The Son is the only fund raising effort of the Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA).
We departed at roughly 8:00 and rode to the Harley Davidson dealership in Paris, Texas to meet the Paris Christian Motorcyclists Association chapter. We left Paris and rode to Broken Bow, Oklahoma via FM 195. At Broken Bow we proceeded north on US 259 to Beavers Bend State Park where we stopped to pray for God's ministry through the Christian Motorcyclists Association and the King's Kruizers a focus of the Run for The Son is taking time to corporately pray for God's guidance and direction during the coming year.
We then headed to the Beavers Bend State Park Restaurant and Country Store for a leisurely lunch and a group photo opportunity. After Lunch the more intrepid of the group were lead by Paris, Texas chapter member ******* on a tour north to Wilburton and then Oklahoma 2 south to Robbers Cave State Park. In route we came upon a young man from Canada that had gone into a corner too hot and dumped his ZX-14. Even though the bike had frame sliders installed the damage was massive. Oklahoma rocks and Kawasaki plastic just don't mix. Craig Bryant, aka "Tanker", from the Paris, Texas chapter of the CMA had some salvaged parts from his wrecked ZX-14 that he offered to the youthful Canadian. They exchanged phone numbers and contact information.
We continued on Oklahoma 2 through Talihina, Clayton, and Antlers where caught US 271 to US 70. I then took US 70 east while the rest of the group returned to Greenville and Paris via US 70 west. I traveled US 70 through Boswell, Oklahoma to Bennington, Oklahoma and on to Albany on Oklahoma 70E, then Yuba, Oklahoma and Bonham, Texas finally arriving back home just south of Trenton, Texas.
Fillups for the Ninjette II were 61.0 MPG, 58.2 MPG and 59.1 MPG.
Taking Run for the Son fund raising packets before the ride.
Gathering before the ride.
Prayer before the ride.
Meeting the Paris and Sulphur Springs Chapters at the Harley Dealer in Paris, Texas.
Stopping to Pray at Beavers Bend State Park.
Bikes in the parking lot and bikers in the Restaurant for lunch.
The Ninjette II waits with its big brothers.
Scenery from the rear balcony of restaurant.
Ordering during a leisurely lunch.
A badly damaged ZX-14.
Fortunately the young rider was in much better shape than his Kawasaki.
Robbers Cave State Park.
On the way back to Paris, Texas.
Ride Report: May 10, 2008 -- I rode the Ninjette II to assist with the "Garage Day" at the Princeton ISD Bus Barn sponsored by the McKinney Forming Chapter of Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA). Tam Pho (aerox of the Ninja 250 Riders Club) trailered his Ninja 250 in so he and I could change the oil and set the valves. Thomas Osburn, fellow CMA member and Princeton ISD elementary school administrator set aside the time to change out his clutch. Several folks attended and the fellowship was good. Time stretched on and I had to leave before we broke for lunch.
Tam Pho and Dr. Evan Yeager adjust the valve clearance on Tam's Ninja 250 during a maintenance day.
Thomas installs the new clutch.
Thomas Osburn on the cell phone getting technical support.
Thomas Osburn's Yamaha clutch and transmission.
Laying down on the job it would seem.
Ride Report: May 16-17, 2008 -- The family and I attended the 2008 Golden Rule Rally Awards Banquet and National Ninja 250 Meet
June, 2008 -- No big news.
Ride Report: June 13, 2008 -- I took a bit of time in the afternoon to ride the Ninjette II to Sherman Powersports to pickup a part I had ordered and check on the tachometer issue.
Event Report: June 14-15, 2008 -- Wing and a Prayer played for a Sunday morning Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA) biker service at the Republic Of Texas Biker Rally in Austin, Texas. I took the Escort in order to transport my musical equipment. The work load at Trenton ISD precluded me from taking any time off and arriving early at the ROT Rally so I drove to Austin from Trenton Saturday afternoon. Most of the band stayed at a Red Roof Inn located in northern Austin. I stayed with Darrel and Dorothy See, one of Joleen's many cousins, in order to cut down on expenses. I spent Saturday evening having dinner and playing dominos with the Sees.
Sunday morning the members of Wing and a Prayer met at a nearby Denny's for breakfast and then caravanned to the location in the covered vender area where CMA was to hold the service. Upon arrival we discovered the stage had prematurely been removed and we would have to setup in the dirt. We were able to gather up several discarded boxes to set our equipment on to minimize the dust and dirt exposure of the equipment.
Kerry Gibson spoke and we had some responses. Musically this was one of the better "performances" Wing and a Prayer has done. The recent addition of Norita Sieffert as keyboardist has been a welcome addition. Sadly, this was Cindi Cunningham's last performance with Wing and a Prayer as she is taking a position in Florida.
On the way back home to Hunt and Fannin a group of us stopped by Schoepf's Old Time Pit BBQ on Central Avenue in Belton, Texas. Very good Bar-B-Que at a reasonable price and some of the best potato salad I have had.
As we progressed north on IH 35 after lunch the increased traffic load from ROT Rally attendees began to take it's toll. We hit a couple of stretches of slow traffic in just a few miles. We pulled over, conferred, and decided to go through Corsicana as opposed to continuing down IH 35.
Practice at the Smith's home the Monday before the ROT Rally. (photos by Beth Smith)
Getting a sound check after setting up for the Sunday Service. (photo by James Finney)
Sunday service attendees. (photos by James Finney)
The opening song. (photo by James Finney)
Cindi's last performance with Wing and a Prayer. (photos by James Finney)
Our keyboardist's public début. (photo by James Finney)
G. E. Vaughn gets help from Wanda Suggs while running the sound board. (photo by James Finney)
Playing at the Republic Of Texas Biker Rally in Austin. (photos by James Finney)
A different perspective on the service. (photo by James Finney)
All that singing made Alice Finney thirsty. (photo by James Finney)
Wing and a Prayer victim at the ROT Rally. So is he asleep or praying? (The ROT crew literally tore the set down around him while he slept)
The 'Scort is loaded and ready to hit the road back to Trenton.
June 29, 2007-July 13, 2008 -- Family Vacation in Tennessee 2008.
July, 2008 -- The IC Igniter Issue continues.
Ride Report: July 25, 2008 -- The King's Kruizers Christian Motorcyclists Association their second 2nd (sometimes annual) “Economical Companionship Night “ (AKA Cheap Date Night) run to Fat Catz in Terrell, Texas followed by a run back to Greenville for ice cream at Braums. KSU was at 6 PM from the Exxon across from Greenville Wal-Mart. Joleen and the kids attended and enjoyed the event.
Ride Report: July 26, 2008 -- I rode the Ninjette II in the Sharon Ragland Memorial Back to School Run. The King's Kruizers CMA met at the Exxon across from Greenville Wal-Mart and rode to Wills Point, Texas as a group. The ride was mostly over straight (and as in this time of year -- hot) Texas and US highways. The event was reasonably well organized but the lack of good riding was a disappointment.
Ride Report: July 26, 2008 -- The McKinney Forming CMA Chapter scheduled a Dinner Run to Babes Chicken in Sanger, Texas. Thomas Osburn needed to borrow the Ninjette as his cruiser was in the shop. Thomas drove his truck to our home near Trenton to pick up the Ninjette. I rode the Ninjette II and we met the rest of the group at the Chevron on the northeast corner of US 75 and US 380 for a 5:00 PM KSU. We rode to Sanger via several Collin County roads and FM 455. I had been double scheduled at a neighbor's home for dinner so as soon as we arrived in Sanger we fueled the Ninjettes and I headed home via FM 455 through Anna to Texas 121. Thomas came by later that evening to drop the Ninjette off and head back home to McKinney.
Ride Report: July 27, 2008 -- Several Trentonites rode our respective bikes to evening worship at First Baptist Church, Trenton. After service we rode several back roads to Princeton and visited a bit with two members of the McKinney Forming CMA Chapter at Bel Airs 'n Burgers.
July 29, 2007-August 2, 2008 -- Family Arkansas Trip 2008.
August, 2008 -- The IC Igniter Issue continues. Terry's Trim Shop in Greenville created a faux black ostrich upholstery set for the Ninjette II.
Ride Report: August 9, 2008 -- The King's Kruizers other area chapters of the Christian Motorcyclists Association were called to Sulphur Springs to perform as a motorcycle honor guard for Larry Cameron a member from the Sulphur Springs CMA chapter. On August 1, 2008, according to Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports, Larry Cameron was riding his 1997 Harley Davidson northbound on the Indian Nation Turnpike when he stopped behind a 2007 Ford Edge, which was stopped at the Antlers, Oklahoma toll booth as the driver paid her toll. A 2004 Freightliner, driven by Richard Sears rear-ended Larry’s motorcycle forcing it into the rear of the Edge and then beneath the tractor trailer rig. The Ford was pushed through the on ramp and into a ditch as the truck continued another 76 feet dragging the motorcycle beneath it. The impact caused the motorcycle's fuel tank to rupture resulting in both the motorcycle and the Freightliner being engulfed in flames. Cameron died at the scene as a result of his injuries. Large over-the-road trucks are a hazard when driven competently, buy when a negligent individual is commanding one they are deadly. Larry Cameron was a good man and will be missed by his family and friends.
I took the Ninjette II and traveled to Greenville the via the FM 36 back route for a relaxing morning ride. South of Texas 78 along FM 981 is the unincorporated community of Pike. During a recent jaunt through Pike Joleen and I noted the some individual with a wry sense of humor mounted a very official looking sign just below the official Texas place name on the city limit signs. The signs simply say "Next 20 Exits" and if one counts every driveway and pasture gate there are 20 "interchanges" between the two city limits signs on FM 981. Hats off to Pike, Texas for not letting those urbanites get the best of them.
The King's Kruizers were scheduled to meet at the McDonald's of Greenville for a 9:15AM KSU. We rode to Davis Street Baptist Church and fell in at the rear of an almost 2 block long and still growing line of motorcycles. CMA members well absolutely step-up and support their bothers and sisters in a time of need. The funeral emphasized the ministry focus and love for family and others exampled by Cameron. Larry had a true gift for showing the love of Christ Davis Street Baptist Church sat about 300 of the close to 400 attendees. The motorcycle honor guard stretched for over one mile.
On the way home I dropped by a small park fellow motorcyclist Hugh Mantooth had told me about just off of FM 36. Parkhill Prairie Preserve is a 436-acre native blackland prairie in eastern Collin County located roughly between Merit and Pike. Over 200 plant species were observed and identified in 2006-2007. Native grasses include Little Bluestem, Big Bluestem, Eastern Gamma Grass and Yellow Indiangrass. Wildflowers on the prairie include Prairie Parsley, Rattlesnake Master, milkweeds, Indian Plantain, coneflowers, Mexican Hat, prairie clovers, Texas Giant Sage, several paintbrushes, and prairie celestials. Parkhill Prairie Preserve is the home of the Park hill Prairie crawfish and numerous bird and insect species. Due to the 100+ degree August mid-afternoon temperatures the Ninjette II and I had the place to ourselves. As it had been an emotional day that had caused me to appreciate the love I had for my own family I took a few shots and headed on home.
The Ninjette II at the city limits of Pike, Texas.
The city limit sign of Pike, Texas.
Davis Street Baptist Church during the Funeral of Larry Cameron.
The end of the motorcycle honor guard for the Larry Cameron Funeral (the front stretches to the house in the distance).
The front of the motorcycle honor guard for the Larry Cameron Funeral.
Motorcycle honor guard at the grave side for Larry Cameron.
The Ninjette II at Parkhill Prairie Preserve.
The prairie at Parkhill Prairie Preserve.Ride Report: August 15, 2008 -- I rode FM 697 to Sherman to run a couple of errands. I dropped by Sherman Power Sports to find they were having their annual "Midnight Madness Sale" event including a live Blues band. I ran my errands at Wal-Mart and Lowes and then dropped back by Sherman Power Sports on the way home. The band was laying down some Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jonathan, the sales manager, sat in on drums during a Van Halen number. I visited for a bit more and then headed back to Trenton.
Ride Report: August 16, 2008 -- The King's Kruizers Christian Motorcyclists Association had a late summer fellowship at the home of James and Alice Finney in Caddo Mills, Texas, A migraine knocked Joleen out at the last minute so the Ninjette II and I rode FM 36 to Caddo Mills. First on the docket was "burning meat with fire as Charley Smith puts it. Hamburgers and hotdogs were served up at about 6:30. After dinner we had a series of bike games from a slow race to tossing a balloon over a cross member. We said goodbye to the Cunninghams as they were scheduled to move to Florida in a couple of days.
Cindi Cunningham and Beth Smith discuss the finer points of texting.
John Cunningham and the look.
Janice attacks the dessert table.
After dinner was dessert and more conversation.
Water Balloon toss and catch.
Tennis balls and cones.
Ride Report: August 17, 2008 -- Nathaniel and I took the Ninjette to Princeton to drop a couple of items off at the Cunninghams before they leave for Florida.
Ride Report: August 23, 2008 -- The King's Kruizers CMA chapter was invited by Jumpy (Chapter President, Paris Gypsy Motorcycle Club) to participate in their Third Annual Birthday Bash and Fun Run at the Eagle Lodge in Paris Texas. This was a fence mending and outreach opportunity as the Paris CMA chapter had been invited several times and not come to any Gypsy events. We met at the Valero next to the Presbyterian Hospital of Greenville with an 8:00 AM KSU. We were joined by Area Representative Joe Bishop.
Several local favorites were part of the run including FM 79, FM 906, and FM 195. Stops included Pat Mayse Lake, Paris Harley Davidson, The store at Novice, Texas and a couple of bars (a new experience for some of us).
Several contacts were made and plenty of good will was echanged. The King's Kruizers will continue to be in contact with and in prayer for the Paris Gypsy Motorcycle Club.
Meeting at the Eagle Lodge, Paris Texas.
Riding into the Pat Mayes Lake Dam Overlook.
Pat Mayes Lake.
Pat Mayes Lake Dam.
The Ninjette II at the Pat Mayes Lake Dam Overlook.
Getting some water and visiting at the Pat Mayes Lake Dam Overlook.
The Novice Store at FM 906 and FM 195 Novice, Texas.
Ride Report: August 30, 2008 -- During the week Tyler Bowman (His Honor the Mayor of Trenton, Texas) was trying to drum up a ride for the Labor Day weekend. Tyler had heard a great deal about the rugged beauty of the area a little west of Fort Worth. You know how much I hate riding so I let him twist my arm and contributed a few ride additional destinations including a stop for lunch in Palo Pinto, Texas. We planned a KSU at 8:00 AM from the Kwik Chek in Trenton. Even though we contacted several other motorcyclist from as far away as Arlington, Texas circumstances allowed only Tyler and I to venture off that cool Saturday morning.
We started off taking FM 455 west and enjoying a somewhat relaxed ride through the twistier parts of FM 455 to Slidell, Texas. As we were running well ahead of schedule at Slidell, I suggested we continue northwest on FM 455 to Forestburg and take FM 677 to Saint Jo. FM 677 is a short, surprisingly scenic road that runs through the "copper breaks" between Forestburg and Saint Jo. There is the additional photo opportunity at FM 677 and FM3206 just south of Saint Jo where the unique outdoor sculpture by the owner of the Running N Ranch is displayed including a quirky German version of the "Cadillac Ranch" just west of Amarillo, Texas on Interstate 40 comprised of five older Volkswagen Beetles painted like lady bugs.
From Saint Jo, we took Texas 59 to Jacksboro where we caught FM 4 to Palo Pinto. FM 4 has been frequently mentioned in Ride Texas Magazine's Reader's Poll as one of Texas' Top 10 roads. The best combination of scenery and twisting undulating pavement practically devoid of automotive traffic is between Jacksboro and Palo Pinto. Dropping off of a small plateau between a few miles south of Jacksboro is a particularly scenic portion of FM 4. West of FM 4 between Jacksboro and Graford Tyler and I noted a wind farm had recently been added. The wind farm had been added since I rode FM 4 in 2007 (see the Ninjette Journal for April 6th 2007).
At Palo Pinto we stopped for lunch at the Palo Pinto Cafe (voted one of the top ten best places to get a chicken fried steak in Texas in the Ride Texas Magazine's 2007 Reader's Poll). The Palo Pinto Cafe is one of those wonderful small Texas town establishments that just oozes character. One knows there are plenty of stories those walls could tell. The wait staff insured a welcoming atmosphere with down-home charm and southern hospitality. The chicken fried steak was indeed top notch and served with cream gravy, "home made" mashed potatoes, green beans (likely canned), fresh salad, and a roll. Tyler and I had the lunch portions and couldn't have been more satisfied with both the serving size and price.
During lunch we checked in with the spouses. Tyler learned that Amber was beside herself with the news that Tyler's younger brother planned to evacuate to Trenton because hurricane Gustav was bearing down on Lake Charles, Louisiana where his bother works for Halliburton. Amber, who is finishing her bachelors and beginning her first year of teaching understandably felt a little overwhelmed. Tyler committed to being home by 6:00 PM so they could get the house cleaned and stock the kitchen with any needed items.
From Palo Pinto we explored the eastern side of Possum Kingdom Lake and it's associated water conservation and flood control Morris Sheppard Dam. The dam is 2,740 feet (835 m) long, 190 feet (58 m) high, and is constructed is with buttressed arched wings on either side of the nine spillway gates. The dam was completed on March 20, 1941 at a cost of $9,000,000 by the Works Progress Administration. The Morris Sheppard dam is a "peaking" hydro electric facility with two 11,250 kilowatt generators that supply electricity during high demand periods. Observation Point near the lake office complex just south of FM 2353 provides an near stunning view of the dam, lake, and surrounding country side.
On the way back home we took FM 1191 to Bryson and got a fairly clear view of the new wind farm after about a half mile of rock road travel. The route back home consisted of US 380 to FM 428 at Denton and then to FM 455 which took us most of the way back to Fannin County and Trenton.
Fill-ups for the Ninjette II were 61.8 MPG, 51.1 MPG, and 48.7 MPG (see the August 30, 2008 entry of the IC Igniter Issue for commentary).
Early morning at the Trenton Kwik Chek.
The Ninjette II and Tyler's Buell at the Running N Ranch south of Saint Jo, Texas on FM 677.
The Montague County Court House.
FM 4 south of Jacksboro.
View from FM 4 south of Jacksboro, Texas.
The exterior of the Palo Pinto Cafe.
The interior of the Palo Pinto Cafe.
Tyler prepares to ride to Possum Kingdom Lake after a tasty lunch at the Palo Pinto Cafe.
The view across the Morris Sheppard Dam at Possum Kingdom Lake from Observation Point.
The Morris Sheppard Dam at Possum Kingdom Lake.
Possum Kingdom Lake from Observation Point.
McAdams Peak, the highest point in Palo Pinto County as seen from Observation Point south of FM 2353.
View of the dam and the Brazos River from Texas 16.
The Brazos River from Texas 16.
Texas Highway 16 bridge over the Brazos River near Possum Kingdom Lake.
Texas Highway 16 north of Possum Kingdom Lake.
Tyler trying to figure out what happened to me on Texas Highway 16 north of Possum Kingdom Lake as I stop to shoot the scenery.
Wind farm south of Bryson, Texas
The Ninjette II and the wind farm south of Bryson, Texas.
View from FM 1191 south of Bryson.
Classic West Texas -- Mesquite, Barbed Wire Fencing and Prickly Pear Cactus.
September, 2008 -- The IC Igniter Issue continues.
Ride Report: September 1, 2008 -- Several men from Trenton that were not able to go with Tyler Bowman on Saturday August 30th wanted to participate in a breakfast run. We planned a KSU at 7:00 AM from the Kwik Chek in Trenton. Tyler Bowman, Brian Parker, Chris Hollahan, Rick Foreman, Zach Zastoupil, and I rode to the Cracker Barrel in Sherman, Texas with Tyler leading via FM 151 and FM 697. We enjoyed relaxed conversation over a filling breakfast. I lead the group back to Trenton via Texas 5, FM 121, and FM 814 (though I some how missed the signs for FM 814 from the short stint on Texas 160). Brian was enjoying the cool of the morning and was not yet ready to return home so he and I made a quick back road loop through Leonard, Wolfe City, Fairly, Celeste, and Pike. Everyone seemed to enjoy the morning's excursion.
Fill-ups for the Ninjette II were 67.7 MPG, and 66.9 MPG (see the September 1, 2008 entry of the IC Igniter Issue for commentary).
A satisfying breakfast with good company......
leads to getting one's tab. (Left to right Chris Hollahan, Rick Foreman, our attentive waitress, Brian Parker, Zach Zastoupil, and Tyler Bowman)
Preparing for the trip back to Trenton after all those pancakes.
Ride Report: September 5, 2008 -- Nathaniel and I took the Ninjette, which needed to be inspected, to Sherman Power Sports. On the way we rode to the Wal-Mart in Bonham, Texas to pick up some prescriptions needed by my spouse, Joleen. We took the most direct route, US 82 (two lane, heavily trafficked, and straight -- yuck), from Bonham to Sherman. Upon arrival at Sherman Power Sports it was discovered that the high beam lamp had failed in route. Not bad as the bulb had over 35,000 miles on it. Changing the high beam will involve removal of the fairing unfortunately. While there Mark, assistant service manager, discussed kidney stones, dishonest customers, dropped poorly maintained sport bikes, and the IC Igniter Issue. Before leaving Sherman Nathaniel and I dined at Cici's Pizza (pizza is a food group to the middle school set) and took FM 697 for a relaxed trip back home.
Ride Report: September 12, 2008 -- The weather was pretty dismal for the weekend as "Tropical Storm" Ike was to move in on our area Saturday. I decided to take the Ninjette II for a run down FM 697 and dropped in on Sherman Power Sports. Mark and I once again touched base on the IC Igniter Issue. From Sherman we traveled south on US 75 to Howe where we took Texas 5 to Van Alstyne and then headed east on FM 121 to FM 814 back to Trenton.
Ride Report: September 20, 2008 -- I took the Ninjette II to McKinney to ride with the Guardians of Grace (McKinney CMA chapter) on their monthly dinner run. My presence was requested in order to be an out reach to sport bikers in the area, however, as it turned out I was the only sport bike among cruisers. We road some nice back roads to Greenville and dined at Ole' Whiskers Catfish Buffet. The establishment was low on ambience but the staff friendly and the food good. After dinner I broke ranks with to head north to Trenton via FM 36 while they headed back to McKinney.
Ride Report: September 23, 2008 -- The King's Kruizers CMA chapter and the Yeshua Riders (Sherman CMA chapter) held a joint meeting graciously hosted by the Guardians of Grace (McKinney CMA chapter) The meeting was held at the Princeton ISD Maintenance building and the event was organized as a fund raiser for international missions. Praying, preaching, eating, fellowshipping, bike blessings, and of course motorcycles -- can't get much better than that.
Motorcycles in the Princeton ISD Maintainence Complex parking lot.
Sharing some really big Subway sandwiches.
Ride Report: September 27, 2008 -- Hurricane Ike turned "Tropical Storm" Ike made a real mess of the Ninja 250 Riders Club's plans in central Texas for September 13th. We rescheduled for the last Saturday in September and the day dawned crisp and bright. The north Texas group met atnear the Addison Airport for breakfast. The food, service and atmosphere were good and one could tell it was a popular local meeting place. We enjoyed visiting over breakfast and at roughly 9:30 AM we began to ready ourselves for the trek south to Waco and took a group shot before we headed south to Waco.
Tam Pho and Spenser **** of our original breakfast group had job or business obligations and bid us farewell. Michael Hickman, Sarah Woo, Matt Woodruff, Baron Rozell, and I traveled down Interstate Highway 35 to Waco, Texas. Sarah Woo made sure that we did not run recent club member Baron into the ground and scheduled a stop mid-way to Waco.
Health Camp, a quintessential burger joint located on Waco’s famous Traffic Circle just east of Interstate 35, has been family owned and operated business since 1949. The building has seen many years of operation which adds to the period charm. Once there we met with the group of riders coming from the Austin area which consisted of Jon Penner, Matt Woodruf, and Mike ****. I ordered a cheese burger and a "Dublin" Dr. Pepper. I rarely order a soft drink but the opportunity to partake of a Dr. Pepper using the original pure cane sugar recipe as opposed to the more prevalent and inferior corn syrup recipe could not be passed. I later found out that what Health Camp is shakes and malts, which is good as the burger was average at best.
John Bell (Jell) in his pickup and Brian **** (iliveforcurves) on his Yamaha FJR joined us at the last minute. We visited and ate, then posed for and took more pictures. After lunch we prepared to depart Waco. Most opted to take the back roads home as the hour was relatively early and the weather pretty.
Jon Penner lead the north Texas and Oklahoma group and headed east. Unfortunately, two of us got caught by a traffic light and fell behind. Sarah Woo and Baron Rozell waited for us but by then we had lost the lead group. Eventually cell phones and GPSs came to the rescue and we rendezvoused with the rest of the group. Once back together, out intrepid group continued exploring back roads. A few miles down the trial and Mike's (rikkijustmike) tail trunk sheared its last mounting bolt and decided to take a trip of its own. We used bungee chords and a shoe string to reattach the wayward trunk to the rear rack.
Some miles later the Austin and North Texas groups needed to part company. Sarah, Matt, Baron, trusted me and the ol' GPS and we used the "follow your nose" theory of back road navigation to get us closer to Dallas. The only time this method became an issue is when a trip down a "north" Farm to Market road looped back to Texas 31 because of Navarro Mills Lake. The loop was scenic so all was not lost. Sarah and Matt broke off as we intersected Interstate Highway 45 while Baron and I continued northeast. Just on the other side of IH 45 I noted we had gone a little over 50 miles since our last fill-up. I asked Baron if he needed a rest and we pulled over at a nearby Fina before continuing. Baron and I made it to Terrell where he headed to home to Wiley and I caught FM 989 North to Poetry, Texas and on to FM 36 and Trenton.
Fuel mileage per fill-up for the Ninjette during the 333 mile escapade was 76.3 MPG, and 75.1 MPG.
Gathering at Cindi's New York Delicatessen.
Spenser **** and Baron Rozell.
Michael Hickman and Tam Pho.
Matt and Sarah Woo.
Taking pictures outside of Cindi's New York Delicatessen. (photo by Michael Hickman)
Group picture in the parking lot of Cindi's New York Delicatessen. (Left to Right: Michael Hickman (hickman71), Spenser **** (SKC), Matt **** (rats4ever), Sarah Woo (swoosie), Baron Rozell (ackthpffth), Tam Pho (aerox), and Guess Who (emdsd). (photo by Michael Hickman)
Heading to Waco on Interstate 35.
Stopping at the rest stop north of Italy, Texas.
Rested and heading out again.
Ninja 250s in the Health Camp parking lot.
Ordering at Health Camp.
Eating and visiting at Health Camp.
Jon Penner and Yours Truly consult a GPS. (photo by Michael Hickman)
Lining up for a group shot.
Group picture in front of the Health Camp Drive-in. (Left to Right: Brian **** (iliveforcurves), Mike **** (rikkijustmike), Matt Woodruff (mattwood1221), John Bell (jbell), Jon Penner (JonP), Sarah Woo (swoosie), Matt **** (rats4ever), Me Again (emdsd), Baron Rozell (ackthpffth), and Michael Hickman (hickman71). (photo by Michael Hickman)
Exploring the back roads east of Waco.
Dodging (with heavy braking and some steering input) a loose tail trunk while holding a camera.
Now where are we and where are we going?
October, 2008 -- The IC Igniter Issue continues.
Ride Report: October 04, 2008 -- I took the Ninjette II on the 2nd Annual "Fall 50" Motorcycle Fun Run. This local charity ride was sponsored by the employees of L-3 in Greenville as a benefit for Toys for Tots and was headquartered at the Hunt County Fairgrounds. Many of the employees involved in this are members of the King's Kruizers CMA chapter. The route featured several local motorcycle oriented businesses and many of the local favorite back roads. At one of the stops, American Iron of Greenville, I ran into one of Joleen and my former Rains High School students, Josh Rabb, currently of Royse City. He was helping his father run a football toss activity at that stop. Josh was accompanied by his son, Gabriel. I had a great time catching up. Once back at the Fairgrounds we were treated to a hotdog lunch and more time to visit and chat.
Fuel mileage for the Ninjette II for the 180.5 mile venture was 63.4 MPG.
Motorcycles lined up at the Hunt County Fair Grounds.
Highway 69 Cycles in Lone Oak , Texas.
Visiting over lunch at the Hunt County Fair Grounds.
Joshua Rabb and his son, Gabriel.
Black Goldwing trike and trailer.
Padded American flag full tank bra.
Ride Report: October 05, 2008 -- Wing and a Prayer to play at a Biker Sunday Morning Service at First Baptist Church, Point, Texas. Brian Buchannon gave his testimony and Pastor ******** presented a compelling message based on the parable of the "Good Samaritan". A hot dog lunch and bike games followed.Ride Report: October 10, 2008 -- Jim Finney, Jerry Suggs, Charlie Smith, John Hunt, and I rode to Mena, Arkansas as the King's Kruizers CMA officers needed to make a personal visit to a hotel and conference center to assure the rooms would be ready by next weekend f6r the CMA Changing of the Colors Rally. Trenton ISD had a "county fair day" on the 10th and I had been too busy this past summer with school, church, and community activities to get the Ninjette II up north in the mountains.
We met at my house near Trenton, Texas for some of Joleen's Famous Cinnamon Rolls and Pigs-in-a-Blanket at 7:00 AM and a slated KSU of about 7:30 AM. From Trenton we took Texas Highway 121 to Bonham, Texas and continued north on Texas 78 to Yuba. From Yuba, Oklahoma we proceeded north to Oklahoma 70E and Bennington, Oklahoma where we caught US 70 east through Boswell, Oklahoma to where it intersects US 271 between Soper and Hugo where US 271 turns due north to Antlers and our first fuel stop at a Valero.
We continued through Talihina, Oklahoma to the Talimena Scenic Drive where we happened upon and visited with a group of Classic BMW riders at the Scenic Drive's Panoramic Vista scenic turnout. Once in Mena, Arkansas we stopped for fuel at the Valero on the corner of Arkansas 88 and US 71. For lunch we traveled a shirt bit south on US 71 to the Chopping Block Steak House. The food was good, the atmosphere pleasant, and the wait staff delightful.
The hotel in question was just a few miles north of Mena. By the looks of things it was not going to be fully ready by the CMA Changing of the Colors Rally to be held next week.
I planned for us to take a different route home than the one taken in the morning. We took Arkansas 8 west to US 259 and planned to continue west on Oklahoma 144 at Octavia. However, I miscalculated and took Oklahoma 63 west instead of travelling south on US 259. We returned to north Texas by dusk.
The morning was cool and the afternoon pleasant. Partly cloudy skies continued through out the day. All in all the weather couldn't have been better. Fuel mileage per fill-up for the Ninjette II was 60.1 MPG, 60.3 MPG, 58.7 MPG, and 60.1 MPG. The Ninjette II is consistent if nothing else..
A new friend along with a Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Harley, and Yamaha at the Antlers Valero.
View from the Panoramic Vista
A group of Classic BMWs at the Panoramic Vista.
The Ninjette II at the Panoramic Vista.
Getting ready to continue down the road.
Jerry Suggs and Jim Finney relax after lunch.
Charlie enlightens the rest of the group.
A hotel under construction near Mena, Arkansas.
Ride Report: October 11, 2008 -- Tyler Bowman, Jerry Suggs, and I participated in 2008 Princeton Lions Club’s Lenses for Learning Motorcycle Fun Run. The event again this year was headquartered at BelAirs ‘n Burgers in Princeton, Texas. Thomas Osburn had asked Tyler, Jerry and I to guide one of the groups going on the longest "Let's Ride" route. We connected up with fellow Ninja 250 Riders Club member ****** and some of his riding buddies.
The activity at the stops this year was target shooting with paint ball guns. While this proved to be great fun it was quite time consuming. Our little group tool took almost four hours to travel the 120 mile route. Jerry had business back home and needed to hasten his route back to Princeton at the stop in Trenton.
On the way back to BelAirs ‘n Burgers in Princeton we passed an old man on an ancient lawnmower with little in the way protective guards at the intersection of FM 75 and FM 1827 mowing the edge of a gravel strewn driveway and road edge at the Altoga Water Supply Corporation. I recognized the situation and slowed to allow him to turn away from the road and gravel. Just as we were riding past he wheeled the mower back into the bar ditch and sent the gravel flying in to the first few bikes. One of our group, riding a pristine Anniversary Edition silver Goldwing, was so angry he wanted to stop, however, the old man was clearly not moneyed and was clearly simply working for someone else so there was little good to be had confronting him. The Ninjette II caught rocks mostly in the upper interior of the right side "shark gill" Hopefully I can hide most of the damage and leave only a few little noticeable "character flaws" This was most irritating as I have been careful to avoid situations such as this for 5,000 miles and until this point the '08 was sustained no "battle damage" what . Grumble, grumble.
After the ride we sat down to a lunch at Airs ‘n Burgers and visited The cheese burger and onion rings I had were good. After dining Tyler and I headed back to Trenton as we both had household obligations.
Fuel mileage for the Ninjette II over the 190+ total miles covered was 60.6 MPG.
Evan and *******
The first stop was at the Kwik Chek in Celeste, Texas.
Jerry, Tyler, and ***** wait their turn.
Taking a shot which breaks the target.
Donald "Mac" Repairing the target.
Taking a shot.
Jerry Suggs takes a shot.
Dr. Bob Darden the owner of the Texas Sidecar Company near Bailey, Texas.
A sidecar mounted to an early Goldwing.
Parking at the Trenton, Texas Kwik Chek.
Lining up at Trenton.
Wow! This one shoots straight.
Lining up at Big Slicks in Westminster, Texas
Tyler takes a shot.
October 23, 2008 -- Installed a Zero Gravity Double Bubble windscreen on the Ninjette II.
Ride Report: October 25, 2008 -- Trenton ISD holds it's annual Fall Festival as a major fund raising opportunity for various school organizations and secondarily as a community public relations outreach. The Trenton Middle School Junior Beta Club decided to do a motorcycle fun run and I volunteered to help as Nathaniel is a member. I was able to enlist the sponsorship of Sherman Power Sports and the Whitewright based chain of Quick Check Convenience Stores. The Kwik Chek Convenience Stores based in Bonham, Texas were considerably less helpful. I spent much of the Friday before organizing items that would be needed during the run and making last minute phone calls.
The morning of the ride Nathaniel and I left the house early to setup the awning, table and other items down town. We meet Junior Beta Club sponsors Carolyn Lambert, Laura Thedford, and Shannon Meyer and setup for the run. King's Kruizers member Thomas Hunt and a friend from church near Merit were the first to arrive. Soon several Trentonites including Brian Parker, Chris Hollahan, Rick Foreman, Zach Zastoupil, David Bradshaw and Brad Connelly came to participate.
I soon received a call from Amber Bowman informing me that His Honor the Mayor Tyler Bowman took ill at the last minute leaving the scheduled sport bike tour unsupported. I requested just arriving Ninja 250 Riders Club members Baron Rozell (ackthpffth) and John Bell (JBell) the favor of helping me with the sport bikes. John graciously consented to riding sweep for the group and we joined locals Cody Douglas, Peyton B. Lambert, Chase McDaniels, and a recent female graduate (name withheld) riding pillion with her beau on a Gixer 600.
The testosterone level was a bit high with some of the younger participants and soon fellow Ninja 250 rider Tam Pho (aerox), who joined us in route, christened our little band the Squid Tour after witnessing our southern bell and finance' ride a wheelie while amongst the group. "Squid" is primarily a North American slang term for a motorcycle rider who, experienced or not, rides outside his abilities and/or sets an irresponsible example by attire, propriety, and general behavior on the motorcycle. The origin of the term squid is ambiguous and commonly attributed to be a contraction of "squirrely" and "kid". Squid is occasionally described as an acronym, my personal favorite is "Stupidly Quick, Underdressed, Ignorant and Dangerous".
The ride ended with the obligatory drawings and some great BBQ from the local Masons chapter. Thanks to all for helping make the 2008 Fun Run a success. The National Beta Club recognizes academic achievement, promotes character, develops leadership skills, encourages service involvement, and provides technological advantages to students in grades 5 - 12. The motorcycle run route was roughly from Trenton to Van Alstyne via FM 121. From Van Alstyne to Sherman Power Sports via Texas 5 and US 75. To Whitewright via FM 697, Bonham via FM 898, and then catch FM 896 back.
The Trenton ISD Fall Festival was just beginning as we wee closing down the Fun Run. Joleen, the kids, and I spent the remainder of the day volunteering at various booths and working with the students. This year the turn out was great and we had a near record attendance at what amount to a city-wide block party.
Fuel mileage for the Ninjette II was 62.3 MPG.
The first motorcyclists arrive.
Setting up and getting organized.
More motorcyclists arrive.
Members of the Hines family and Baron at the check point at the Whitewright Quick Check.
Ninja 250 Riders Club members Tam, Evan, John, and Baron at the Whitewright Quick Check (photo by Brenda Hines)
Mrs. Thedford and Mrs. Lambert running the points totals.
The Fall Festival gets in to full swing.
The petting zoo sponsored by the FFA.
A good Fall Festival turn out.
Ride Report: October 28, 2008 -- The week began with the first freeze of the season so the day dawn cool and clear. That evening I rode the Ninjette II to the King's Kruizers CMA meeting in Greenville, Texas and returned home after dark with temperatures in the low fifties to high forties. On the ride home I marveled at the amount of wind protection the fairing provided the hands with the air capsule slip stream moving past just at the bar ends. Tucking behind the newly installed Double Bubble windscreen yielded a surprisingly warm ride.
Fuel mileage for the Ninjette II was 63.8 MPG.
November, 2008 -- The IC Igniter Issue continues.
Ride Report: November 8, 2008 -- Most of the day was spent grading papers for my wife as she has a major paper due in one of her masters degree courses and she had a deficit of time due to school involvement the Friday evening before. When the opportunity presented itself to run an errand for Joleen and pick something up at Wal-Mart I took the Ninjette II down FM 814 to FM 121 to Sherman and dropped in on the folks at Sherman Power Sports. I rode up US 75 to Wal-Mart and then back home via FM 697 and FM 151. Not at all the most direct route but enjoyable none-the-less.
Fuel mileage for the Ninjette II was 64.3 MPG.
Ride Report: November 9, 2008 -- The weather was pleasantly cool and Joleen and the kids had home work so once the after church chores were done I was left to my own devices. I fired up the Ninjette II and with the usual silly grin on my face to explore northern Fannin and Grayson counties. First I headed north on FM 151 to FM 898 and then via a variety of farm and county roads traveled to Savoy, Texas; Carpenter's Bluff, Texas; Hendrix, Oklahoma; Bells, Texas and finally back to Trenton via FM 697 (Sherman) and FM 121 (Van Alstyne).
Fuel mileage for the Ninjette II was 71.7 MPG.
Ride Report: November 13, 2008 -- I rode the Ninjette II to the Terrell Entertainment Series to see Pavlo, a Mediterranean style guitarist, and his band as the previous night's concert outing was scrapped due to a mechanical failure on the Escort (November 2008 entry). I enjoyed a pleasant ride down Fm 36, FM 1565, and FM 989 to and from Terrell. Motorcycles and music. What could be better?
December, 2008 -- The IC Igniter Issue continues. Very little riding was done over Christmas break as I spent a great deal of time at the house assisting Joleen after her radical Hysterectomy preformed by Fara Behnia, MD on December 11th. Thanks to all that were praying for us.
Ride Report: December 5, 2008 -- The Ninjette II and I participated in the Greenville Christmas Parade with other members of the King's Kruizers CMA. The parade of course was stop and start the entire route. Jim Finney began to amuse himself by using his Suzuki M109 to set off car alarms along the parade route. I returned home after dark with temperatures in the low thirties. Once again I noted that the amount of wind protection the fairing provided the hands. The Double Bubble windscreen causes the air capsule to just break at the shoulders allowing a small amount of air to travel down the chest to the tank and upper thighs when sitting up. On the other hand, a slight tuck causes the air to flow smoothly over the back. It maybe the Sport Touring windscreen provides the best capsule while sitting up.
Kenny Murdock's Trailer.
The Vaughn's VW Trike tows the Parade Trailer.
Jim Finney visits with some members of the Greenville Classic Car Club.
Waiting in line.
Ride Report: December 6, 2008 -- Tyler Bowman, his Honor the Mayor of Trenton, Texas and I participated in a benefit for Amanda Mauppin, a second grade cancer victim at Sam Rayburn ISD. The ride concluded with a good bowl of homemade chili and and a dessert. The turn out was pretty descent considering the day began with below freezing temperatures. I was able to touch base with the organizer of the run and offered to routing and contact information.
Motorcycles lined up on the main parking lot at Sam Rayburn High School after the Amanda Mauppin benefit run.
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