The Ninjette Journal for 2010
Monthly Journal Entries
January, 2010 -- The year started with some of the coldest weather in the last 20 years.
Ride Report: January 10, 2010 -- I rode the Ninjette II down local favorite FM 697 to the Wal-Mart in Sherman, Texas in order to procure some automotive supplies for the Pontiac. It had been too wet and/or freezing for several days and any little excuse to ride would do once the mercury inched into the mid 30s. Two other sport bikers were out taking advantage of the "balmy" afternoon and we exchanged unusually enthusiastic waves as we passed on FM 697. Little four wheel traffic was observed. The ride was comfortable and enjoyable because the wind chill, at roughly 15 degrees Fahrenheit, was directly offset by quality winter riding gear.
The following mathematic formula can be derived from the afternoon's experience: SB + TR - T - B = G: where SB = sport bike, TR = twisty road (in this case FM 697), T = traffic, B = bugs, and G = grins.
National Weather Service Wind Chill Chart
Ride Report: January 18, 2010 -- The Ninjette II and I managed to get out and ride several local "motorcycle roads". FM 121, FM 697, FM 898, FM 3297, and FM 898. It was a cool, blustery afternoon and I further confirmed that a 25 MPH crosswind does not enhance one's ability to find a satisfying line while navigating a tight turn.
Ride Report: January 19, 2010 -- I rode the Ninjette II down local favorite back road FM 36 to just south of Caddo Mills, Texas to the monthly officers meeting of the King's Kruizers Christian Motorcyclists Association chapter. The officers met at the home of 2010 King's Kruizers President, Rick Gentry. The trip back was nice until just north of Merit on FM 36 where it began to rain ( I had honestly thought I could beat the rain back home but the meeting ran a bit longer than I anticipated).. The intensity or the precipitation increased steadily until I reached the house. I and machine were soaked and muddy upon arrival back home. As is typical cleanup was the most time consuming aspect of a "rain" ride.
Ride Report: January 26, 2010 -- I took the Ninjette II to the monthly CMA chapter meeting of the King's Kruizers in Greenville, Texas. I took FM 36 to FM 1903 to FM 1570 to Greenville. The newly elected officers allowed the meeting to run a bit too long as the meeting lasted over two hours. The King's Kruizers have been meeting for the past few months at the Phoenix Charter High School at 9315 Jack Finney Boulevard. The return trip consisted of FM 1570 to Texas 66 to FM 3211 to FM 36 to FM 1562 to FM 981to Texas 78 to FM 815 back home.
February, 2010 -- Rain, a record snowfall, and more rain.
Ride Report: February 10, 2010 -- I rode the Ninjette II down FM 36 to Clinton, Texas and then west on FM 3211to Greenville for the monthly officers meeting of the King's Kruizers Christian Motorcyclists Association chapter. The officers met at Iceburg's Hamburgers and Ice Cream. The meeting was productive. The return trip home was via US 69.
Ride Report: February 20, 2010 -- During a brief break in the wet, cold winter of 2009-2010 with yet another winter storm headed our direction I rode the Ninjette II to the McKinney Sam's Wholesale Club to pick up Joleen's prescriptions. I took FM 545 from Blue Ridge, Texas and then FM 2933 to US 380 just east of McKinney. I rode back home via FM 1827 and FM 545 via Blue Ridge. There were a large number of other motorcyclists out on this cloudy afternoon as well.
Ride Report: February 27, 2010 -- The last weekend of February turned out to be very pleasant by providing an oasis of 50 degree temperatures, light winds, and dry conditions surrounded by days of wet and cold. I elected to head north to the Red River Valley and ride many of the local back roads while running some light errands. The Ninjette II and I rode FM 151, FM 697, FM 1417, FM 131, FM 120, FM 898, US 82, TX 121, FM 2815, FM 896, TX 78, and finally FM 815 back home.
A highlight of the jaunt was riding out to Carpenter's Bluff Bridge which spans the Red River at Carpenter's Bluff, Texas. Carpenter's Bluff (pop. 100) dates from about 1860 and is located east of Denison, Texas at the end of FM 120. The Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway constructed the bridge in 1910 to allow trains to cross the river. Pedestrians, horses, and wagons could cross on a "walkway" for a toll. The bridge became joint property of Grayson County, Texas and Bryan County, Oklahoma in 1966., which renovated it for automobile use as a one-lane bridge with the old wooden walkway hugging it on the "eastern" side.
An ancient SD45 on a siding near down town Whitewright, Texas.
Denison Railroad Museum near down town Denison, Texas.
Carpenter's Bluff Bridge at Carpenter's Bluff, Texas.
Carpenters Bluff Bridge Historical Marker
FM 898 just South of Ector, Texas.
March, 2010 -- The rain seemed to be slacking off a bit during the first of March.
Ride Report: March 6, 2010 -- During a busy Saturday, I took the Ninjette II on a brief jaunt to the west because the weather was so nice that day and rain was forecast for Sunday and Monday. I traveled FM 814 and FM 121 through Van Alstyne to Gunter. Once in Gunter, I rode north on Texas 289, intending to travel east toward Howe at FM 902. Unfortunately, FM 902 was loose gravel due to resurfacing. I continued north on Texas 289 to the southern portion of Sherman and then east on Texas 56 to intersect FM 1417. From FM 1417 I returned home via FM 697 and FM 151.
Ride Report: March 13, 2010 -- Another busy Saturday, yet, I managed to ride the Ninjette II on the short "Sherman Loop" comprised of FM 814 and FM 121 to Van Alstyne. Texas 5 took me to Howe. I traveled the US 75 service road to FM 1417 in south Sherman. I returned home to Trenton via FM 697 and FM 151.
Ride Report: March 15, 2010 -- Joleen had an appointment with her new cariologists.and got back to the house earlier than we had expected. On the way home Sam Allison, Northeast Texas Account Manager for Master Audio Visual, called to see if we could meet. As Sam rides with the Longview Reguladores, LEMC I suggested we meet for a late lunch at a location between us. Sam suggested Brewbaker's Restaurant and Pub in downtown Winnsboro, Texas and the lunch run was on.
I took FM 36 to FM 1903 in order to drop a package off south of Greenville, Texas. From there I took FM 1564 to Lone Oak where I took FM 1567 to within a few miles of Winnsboro.
Sam Allison and Jon Tibbits, Service Manager for Master Audio Visual were waiting for me when I arrived at Brewbaker's, I ordered an excellent Reuben sandwich served with German style potato salad. Service was small town friendly.
After lunch and some visiting we rode as a group to Mineola, Texas were we parted company. I returned home through Golden, Emory, Miller Grove, Cumby, Commerce, and Wolfe City via a variety familiar Farm to Market roads.
Brewbaker's Restaurant and Pub
Parked in Downtown Winnsboro
Jon Tibbits and Sam Allison
Early Spring in East Texas just west of Golden on FM 779
Ride Report: March 18, 2010 -- Spring Break was winding down and Saturday's forecast was much cooler temperatures with rain and possible snow. It had been almost two years since I had an opportunity to visit Christian Motorcyclists Association offices during business hours. My intention was to pick up a collared shirt with the CMA logo for chapter meetings and a shirt for Joleen as she had recently qualified to wear CMA colors. The Thursday of spring break looked to be the pick of the week from a weather standpoint. I sent emails and posted to Facebook but could not round up any others who were able to join me for the 400+ mile day.
I worked out and took my time Thursday morning as I had no one to meet and no schedule other than arriving back home by nightfall. Leaving Trenton mid-morning, I took Texas 121 through Bonham, Texas and Texas 78 north to Yuba, Oklahoma. After threading along some local roads including Bryan County Road N3850 between Yuba and Albany, Oklahoma I traveled east and then north on Oklahoma 70E to US 271 at Bennington, Oklahoma. The Ninjette II continued forging east on the almost gun-barrel straight US 70 to connect with US 271 North to Antlers where I stopped for fuel. I followed Oklahoma 2 out of Antlers to Clayton catching US 271 again and continuing through Talihina, Oklahoma to the Talimena Scenic Drive. The skies were clear, the breeze light, and the twisties practically empty. Close to motorcycle perfection. An added bonus was that motorcycles and bicycles outnumbered the few cages out that afternoon. I took my time stopping to photograph and traveled some of the more technical sections of the Scenic Drive twice. Once in Mena, Arkansas I stopped to fuel and check my notes for the remainder of the trip.
I contained south on US 71 to the headquarters of the Christian Motorcyclists Association just north of Hatfield, Arkansas where I selected a shirt for both Joleen and myself. I double checked the location and condition of Arkansas 246 with some locals. Arkansas 246 is a scenic logging road which links Hatfield to Octavia, Oklahoma. Sporting a full tankbag, the Ninjette II and I began what would be the final leg of the trip.
Arkansas 246 transitioned to Le Flore County Road 260 at the state line where the quality of pavement degraded quickly. It would seem that the recent over abundance of precipitation lead to a number of wash outs resulting in all or most of the asphalt being removed from the roadbed. If one was fortunate, the road was patched with gravel, otherwise, one traveled directly on the exposed roadbed. I soon concluded I was not going to pass this way again as precarious road conditions forced me to travel very slowly. Making the best of the situation, I took in the scenery and stopped often to take pictures. The reward was some unusual sights and a bit of wonderful late winter color.
Surviving to the end of Le Flore County Road 260, I then traveled north on US 259 and turned west on Oklahoma 144 at Octavia. Oklahoma 144, also a logging road, runs along the Kiamichi River valley ending as it intersects US 271 just south of Clayton. I turned south on US 271 toward Antlers. Arriving in Antlers with ample fuel for the remainder of the trek, a setting sun bid I continue without stopping. The sun closing in on the horizon bathed the Oklahoma landscape in a stunning gold; virtually commanding more photographs be taken.
Bryan County Road N3850 between Yuba and Albany, Oklahoma
Burned Out Caterpillar Combine on Bryan County Road N3850 between Yuba and Albany, Oklahoma
Bikers are welcome in Talihina, Oklahoma
Sunset Point Vista
A hawk surveying the terrain near the Talimena Drive
Talimena Scenic Drive just north of Mena, Arkansas
Christian Motorcyclists Association just north of Hatfield, Arkansas
View north from Arkansas 246
Rest in Peace? Raymond Owens' coffin as displayed at an Ouachita National Forest Ranger station located on Le Flore County Road 260
Washed out and graveled section of Le Flore County Road 260
Creek bed north of the above washed out and graveled section of Le Flore County Road 260
Vista viewed from Le Flore County Road 260
Abandoned farm on Le Flore County Road 260
Octavia Baptist Church -- Small town, big church
Pasture in late evening on US 70 between Boswell and Bennington, Oklahoma
Farm House in the evening sun south of Oklahoma 70E just west of Albany, Oklahoma
Ride Report: March 27, 2010 -- The King's Kruizers Christian Motorcyclists Association met at the Greenville McDonald's to meet and participate in the Spokes for Hope Sulphur Springs CMA Chapter's 4th annual Fun Run, a fund raiser for the Christian Motorcyclists Association Run for The Son ministry effort. We rode as a group to SS ATV & Cycle World in Sulphur Springs Just north of IH 30 at Rockdale Road. Upon arriving we were greeted warmly by members of the Spokes for Hope and invited to partake of coffee and donuts.
This year's route took us meandering through north Texas Farm to Market roads visiting such towns as Dike, Flora, Weaver, Como, and Brinker. Upon returning to SS ATV & Cycle World ride participants visited with one another and were treated to a live Christian praise and worship group. Lunch consisted of hot dogs, hamburgers, and the usual accompaniment. Still full from Joleen's breakfast of home made scones, I elected to visit with my parents in Commerce, Texas and began my journey back about noon. I took the Farm to Market route to Commerce and on to Trenton as opposed to the more direct route of Texas 11 and then US 69.
Leaving the Greenville McDonalds.
Arriving at SS ATV and Cycle World.
Store at Weaver, Texas located near FM 269 and IH 30
ACME Trading Company
Fellowshiping before lunch at SS ATV and Cycle World
Live praise and worship during at SS ATV and Cycle World
April, 2010 --
Ride Report: April 3, 2010 -- Roughly a year has passed since a negligent motorist took the life of King's Kruizers member, Gary Maddux late one afternoon at the intersection of Texas 78 North and Texas 78 Business just north of Blue Ridge, Texas. It had taken that long to secure permission for the placement of a red cross, denoting a motorcycle fatality, at the accident site. The cross placement ceremony was spear-headed by Northeast Texas ABATE with the assistance of the Patriot Guard Riders.
I rode the Ninjette II down FM 36 and other various back roads to meet with the King's Kruizers CMA chapter at the Valero convenience store next to the Hunt Regional Medical Center at Greenville. After visiting and a pre-ride prayer we rode to the Farmersville VFW Post 7426 to meet other groups and stage the procession under the escort and guidance of Collin County Sheriff Deputies.
Upon arriving at the VFW Post we visited with other motorcyclists and awaited the arrival of the peace officers that were to escort us to the accident site. Pre-ride activities included a commemorative plaque presentation to Larry Maddux (Gray's brother) and Rita Maddux (Gary's widow).
Peace officers blocked traffic from Farmersville to Blue Ridge to assure the safe passage of the 100 motorcycle procession that stretched over a mile and a half. Once at the site we staged our motorcycles at the road side and many took flags provided by the Patriot Guard Riders. The deputies shut down traffic on Texas 78 for the better part of half an hour while the ceremony took place. Prayers were said, tears were shed, and hugs were exchanged.
The Ninjette II and I lead several King's Kruizers members to Leonard, Texas for a late lunch at Luna Azul Mexican Restaurant. After lunch I took FM 896, FM 898, FM 697, FM 121, FM 814, and then FM 815 back home.
Scenes from the parking lot of VFW Post 7426.
Our escort arrives.
Larry Maddux (brother) and Rita Maddux (widow).
The organization and procedure of the ride and route were discussed.
Arriving at the accident site.
Motorcycles line the Texas Highway 78.
Motorcycles and Flags line the highway.
American Flags bearers
Several King's Kruizers hold flags.
Chaplins say prayers at the cross site.
Peggy Way Speaks with Rita Mattux while Mutt Way looks on.
Ride Report: April 11, 2010 -- I managed to catch up with a variety of items between services and had some free time between services. I rode the Ninjette II through Leonard, Celeste, Whitewright, Sherman, and Van Alstyne via several back road including FM 272, FM 1562, FM 981, FM 896, FM 151, FM 697, and FM 121.
Ride Report: April 20, 2010 -- I rode the Ninjette II down FM 36 to just South of Merit, Texas and then east on FM 15691to Greenville for the monthly officers meeting of the King's Kruizers Christian Motorcyclists Association chapter. The officers met at Iceburg's Hamburgers and Ice Cream. While the hamburgers are pretty decent the Chicken Fried Steak "Dinner" consisting of a piece of white toasted white bread cut in half, a small cup of gravy, a fried and breaded processed "soy patty", and a side (onion rings in this case) was quite sub-standard. The meeting was productive. The return trip home was via US 69.
Ride Report: April 26, 2010 -- After a very busy Saturday with Boy Scouts and an area CMA Chapter Leaders meeting I managed to catch up with house and assist the spouse in preparing for the up coming TAKS testing between services. The afternoon was nice but blustery so I decided to go for an extended ride through several local favorites.
As I was passing through Leonard, Texas I happened across Alec Borckus riding past Leonard High School. Alec attends Leonard Public Schools and is a new rider with a Ninja 250R Special Edition. Alec became aquatinted with me via this website. After a brief discussion Alec phone his father, Kevin, to inquire if he wanted to go for a ride. Kevin didn't take much convincing to abandon planned yard work for a quick jaunt in the country. We rode through Leonard, Ector, Whitewright, Sherman, Howe, and Van Alstyne via several back including FM 896, FM 898, FM 697, and FM 121. At Trenton we parted ways with father and son heading back to Leonard and I riding south back to the house.
The ride route from Trenton High School has been compiled in a PDF format for easy download if you would care to travel these roads.
May, 2010 --
Ride Report: May 8, 2010 -- Joleen had a final in a graduate math class the next week. I spent most of Saturday doing house work and balancing the bank account so she would have more time to study. I had gotten caught up by mid afternoon and felt that I could take off a bit and ride the route from taking the time to stop at Sherman Power Sports and a used car lot or two in an attempt to locate a college car for Victoria.
Ride Report: May 15, 2010 -- I rode the Ninjette II to McKinney to participate in the 3rd Annual Good Samaritan Fun Run. Family Power Sports anchored the annual local charity event. At each stop along the route each participant got three washer throws for points. Prizes were offered for high and low score. I planned on aiming for the low score but achieved mediocrity after the first couple of stops.
Issues began to arise when it became evident that the group I was with contained a couple of riders that were clearly riding beyond their skill level as they were having difficulty holding their line and position within the group. I was uncomfortable with the situation and voiced my concerns to the road captain. The road captain and I agreed that it was an issue but also simply part of what Christian Motorcyclists Association members get involved with when we try to serve and not judge others.
The last leg was down the scenic FM 2862 west of Westminster, Texas. The road is mostly smooth moderately tight turns and sweepers. A few miles out of town a rider on a new Victory Vision went wide on a turn and strayed into the path of an octarian riding a Harley Davidson. Both rode into the bar ditch but while the Vision rode out with minimal challenges the Harley collected copious amounts of grass and mud between the front tire and front fender. The resulting sudden and extreme front wheel lock-down caused the Harley cruiser to flip end-over-end. The Harley rider was , as is typical, far more concerned about his bike than any bodily injury. Praise The Lord, the gentleman will make a full recovery.
The Ninjette II and I lead the remainder of the group on the most direct route back to Family Power Sports. The Ninjette II and I had enough traffic and semi-urban driving so we took lightly traveled back roads to avoid any vehicular traffic until we reached home.
Family Power Sports anchored the event.
Visiting in the parking lot.
The Ninjette II at Family Power Sports.
Lined up and ready to roll.
Tossing washers at the SnoBall Express in Van Alstyne.
Big Slick's in Westminster.
Riding beyond one's skill level causes a wreck on FM 2862 just west of Westminster.
June, 2010 -- Lack of time and tires prevented any riding.
July, 2010 --
Ride Report: July 13, 2010 -- I needed to pick up some small items at Lowe's for the house. I elected to venture northwest via FM 151 and FM 697 to the Sherman, Texas location on the Ninjette II in order to "break-in" the new Dunlop GT 501s. For grins I rode over to Texoma Harley Davidson before I went to Lowe's. I had wanted to test ride a Sportster 883 to see what the baby Harley was like. The 883 has the best shot at getting 50 MPG+ and recent models also have fuel injection.
And the Harley Davidson test ride verdict was. . . . . "I just don't get it". The little Sportster had a more natural seating position than most cruisers I have "test sat" over the years and plenty of low end torque. The idle was extremely rough and only smoothed out to an expectable level when well underway. The bike felt very heavy compared to the Ninjette. The handling of this example left much to be desired as there appeared to be excessive frame flex particularly toward the rear possibly involving the swing arm. The engine's fuel cut-off reminded me I didn't have a tachometer and was not on a sport bike on several occasions.
After stopping to pick up a few items for the house at Lowe's. I took FM 697 back home. I grinned all the more as the 833 made the Ninjette II's handling seem positively razor sharp and "flickable" in comparison.
Once back home I parked the Ninjette II as usual in the front wheel stand and went in to the kitchen/dinette to remove my riding gear prior to performing the usual after ride clean-up. I knew it was going to be expensive when I heard it. The combination of new soft compound tires fully warmed by the hot north Texas summer and lightly dusted from the trip down Tiger Lane gave little for the wheel stand to satisfactorily grip. The bike fell toward the left striking the Ninjette and knocked it off its center stand (fortunately the 2005's side stand was down). The Ninjette effectively slowed the Ninjette II's decent enough to keep it from fully rocking over on to its side cowling and tail section. The left side "knee pad" came to rest on the E-Z-GO TXT's charger which also kept the bike from fully laying down. With two individuals in college it will be several weeks before we can afford to repair the Ninjette II. The only major parts that need to be replaced are the upper faring, the dash, the wind screen, and the speedometer drive. It could have been much worse. Praise God!
The 2007 Harley-Davidson XL 883 Sportster I test rode.
August, 2010 -- August proved to be a very ineresting month. The Ninjette II is repaired on August 6th.
Ninjette II stripped for cowling replacement.
Ride Report: August 6, 2010 -- I headed down FM 815 only to discover that it looked like rain up toward the Ida and Sherman area. We needed the rain so I didn't mind heading back to the garage.
August 8, 2010 -- I was contacted by Larry Ward of The 2 Wheel Power Hour which airs on Tuesdays from 6pm to 7pm on 570 WKBN in Youngstown, Ohio. Mr. Ward requested an interview on my preference for small displacement motorcycles and the four Iron Butt Association rides I have done on said small displacement motorcycle.
According to Ward, The 2 Wheel Power Hour is the oldest continuously running show dedicated to all facets of motorcycling. They are in their 12 the year and reach 500,000 people via over the air broadcast, video streaming, and podcasts. At first I thought it was a joke, but after some research I discovered it was legit. Additionally I was going to decline but the opportunity to promote the Christian Motorcyclists Association and safe motorcycling may make the effort worthwhile.
August 17, 2010 -- I was interviewed on The 2 Wheel Power Hour. You may download the full show here (Two_Wheel_Power_Hour_Radio_Show_Tuesday August 17, 2010. -- Larry Ward goes to Texas to interview a legend in distance riding Dr. Evan "Doc" Yeager. His claim to fame is the long distance runs were made on a Ninja 250! Roy and Larry talk about the upcoming Moto GP at the Indianapolis Speedway and great inexpensive places to stay. Roy Dyckman gives us route directions to the Indianapolis Speedway and surrounding events. Larry opens the mic and welcome callers who share their experiences with our listeners.) Be patient as the file is almost 12 MB. The interview begins roughly 1/4 of the way into the show.
After the interview I drove the Honda Civic Hybrid (due to rain and time constraints) to the King's Kruizers officers meeting in Greenville, Texas.
Ride Report: August 28, 2010 -- I headed toward Sherman, Texas via FM 121 with the Ninjette II with the intention of riding back home on FM 697. As I approached Whitewright, Texas via FM 697 I discovered the Texas Highway Department had other plans. For four mile out of Whitewright FM 697 was gravel as the seriously degraded roadbed was finally getting the attention it needed. Other area roads were also being repaired and provided no means of returning to Trenton with fully back tracking. It will be some time before the back road to Sherman is functional again.
September, 2010 -- Discovered a specialty company that build performance parts for the Ninjette IIs: Sportisimoto USA.
Ride Report: September 4, 2010 -- I met classmate and long time friend Daniel Poole at the Waffle House at US 380 and Interstate 35 in Denton. I primarily rode down FM 455 to avoid traffic and enjoy the cool morning. After a filling breakfast and enlightening conversation we set out to explore the Farm to Market roads northwest of Denton. Daniel and I are both very reserved in our riding and and travel well together.
Almost immediately we began to come to areas of road construction. After avoiding a couple of these we found ourselves heading north west on FM 455 toward Forestburg. We took FM 677 from Forestburg to Saint Jo where we stopped by the Biker Roadhouse located on the downtown square. The "joint was jumping" with much of the "north" side of the square covered with Harley-Davidson motorcycles. We went inside the establishment for a bit and then took FM 2382 northeast of town until it met FM 373 a few hundred yards south of the Red River.
Shortly after the FM 2382 intersection is a large wind farm developed by Wolf Ridge Wind LLC., a subsidiary of Florida Power and Light. FM 373 winds its way through the wind farm providing a close view of the mammoth blades. Daniel and I were struck by the shear presence of the wind harvesting machines and pulled off to take in the sight and take pictures.
FM 373 begins to travel a north/south route through Muenster, Texas where it terminates at the intersection with FM 922. We traveled east on FM 922 and parted company at Valley View, Texas after vowing to ride together more often than once a year.
Evan Yeager on the Ninjette II arrives at the Denton Waffle House. (Photo by Daniel Poole)
Waffle House in Denton, Texas.
Daniel Poole and his faithful black and red Yamaha R6 in the Waffle House Parking Lot.
Tribute to a Father. (Photo by Daniel Poole)
Tribute to a Father Tailgate Detail. (Photo by Daniel Poole)
Downtown Saint Jo, Texas. (Photo by Daniel Poole)
van and Daniel on the Downtown Square in Saint Jo, Texas. (Photo by Daniel Poole)
Biker Roadhouse in Saint Jo, Texas.
Motorcycles on the square on downtown Saint Jo, Texas. (Photo by Daniel Poole)
Relaxing in the shade on the square on downtown Saint Jo, Texas. (Photo by Daniel Poole)
Wind Farm on FM 373 North of Muenster, Texas. (Photo by Daniel Poole)
Those wind turbines are really big. (Photos by Daniel Poole)
Texas Trio -- Cattle, Oil, and Wind north of Muenster, Texas on FM 373.
Ride Report: September 18, 2010 -- I rode the Ninjette II to McKinney to participate in the Guardians of Grace CMA Chapter Fun Run. Hugh Mantooth and I met at the house and rode to join several others for breakfast at Bill Smith's Cafe.
Family Power Sports anchored the start of the charity ride. I rode with Syd Grant and Amy Chambers of the Guardians of Grace chapter. At each stop participants throw beanbags at buckets in hope of one landing inside a bucket or 5, 10, or 15 points depending of the distance from the participant. At the first stop we were joined by King's Kruizers members Sonny and Debbie Logan, David Rice, and Lana Duncan. The ride ended at Hank's Texas Grill. Family and community obligations prevented me from visiting at the end.
Bill Smith's Cafe in McKinney Texas.
Saturday morning at Family Power Sports.
Practicing the beanbag toss at Family Power Sports McKinney, Texas.
Thomas Osburn, president of the Guardians of Grace CMA Chapter and his new Silver Yamaha FJR.
Cleaning off bugs and finger prints.
Blue Ridge, Texas has different criteria than most communities for selecting "Yard of the Month" including a requirement to have equipment and old cars displayed in the front yard.
Ride Report: September 18, 2010 -- I rode the Ninjette II to the annual unity meeting of six CMA chapter hosted by the Guardians of Grace (McKinney CMA chapter) at the Princeton ISD Maintenance bus building. Dinner was hosted by the Yeshua Riders (Sherman CMA chapter) aa missions fund raiser. The meeting was an enjoyable of fellowshipping and meeting new people.
Plenty of motorcycles in the parking lot.
Introduction of participating chapter officers
October, 2010 --
Ride Report: October 9, 2010 -- Brian Skinner, a deacon at First Baptist Church, Trenton, Texas, had the idea of taking advantage of the large number of motorcyclist in the membership of First Baptist Church. The initial ride was conceived to both increase fellowship within the church and provide a non-theatening area that could be eventually used for outreach.
The ride was not well attended do to a variety of community events taking place that day but spirits were not dampened. Brian lead the group to Clark's Outpost BBQ via FM 151, FM 697, FM 2729, and FM 902. The weather was fabulous so we elected to lunch on the front porch. While we were waiting for our lunch the arrival of Dallas Lamborghini Club created quite a stir. Roughly $2,000,000 worth of cars including a file crew in 2 Lotus Elises and a stray Audi comprised the entourage. Everyone in the moneyed group was far younger than I. One wonders what thirty-somethings could do legally to amass to kind of money it takes to procure a $200,000+ automobile.
Clark's Outpost BBQ is over priced and sub par when compared with the quality barbeque cuisine found at Llano, Texas and Lockhart, Texas or, for that matter, local favorite, Triple "R" Barbeque in Whitewright, Texas. Clearly Clark's Outpost is resting on the reputation as a premier barbeque restaurant. The trip back was primarily via FM 455 and FM 2862.
Getting ready to ride.
On the road again.
The Dallas Lamborghini Club arrives.
People fall over one another taking pictures of the Lamborghinis. One of the film crew's Lotus Elises (blue in this case - the other was black) is just turning off US 377 in the background.
A Lamborghini Murrcleago Spider parks next to the Ninjette II. Tempting to compare, but motorcycles, sportbikes inparticular, have my "bang for the buck" vote.
Lamborghini Gallardos, Murcielagos, and a Diablo line the front of Clark's Outpost.
These two sportbikers did a double take while traveling south on US 377 and had to circle the block to see the sight. The red classic Ducati, also an Italian rarity, was a treat to see.
Lois, Brian, and Charles after lunch.
Ride Report: October 16, 2010 -- The Ninjette II and I rode to eastern McKinney to participate in a breakfast run sponsored by the Guardians of Grace (McKinney CMA chapter). The group met at the RaceTrac on US 380 just east of McKinney toward Princeton. We took a variety of back roads through Blue Ridge, Leonard, and Randolph on the way to Whitewright. We enjoyed a breakfast at CJ's Grand Street Cafe, in downtown Whitewright, Texas. After breakfast several of the group wanted to ride up to Texoma Harley Davidson in Sherman, Texas for a HOG chapter meeting and a Harley test ride event. The Ninjette II and I enjoyed a spirited ride down FM 697 to Sherman while leading the group to the Harley dealership.
Once at Texoma Harley Davidson I succumbed to an offer to test ride a Harley Fat Boy. The big bike was surprisingly well balanced and the six-speed transmission kept the engine RPMs very low. The upright seating position transferred most of the sharp pavement irregularities through the rear suspension and up my spine. Huge amounts of torque and dangerously weak front breaks were the high and low points of the test ride.
I was near Lake Texoma so I rode toward Pottsborro to visit with my sister and her family at their home located on one of the many peninsulas on the lake. After a visit I rode back home via FM 697.
Getting ready to hit the road.
CJ's Grand Street Cafe, downtown Whitewright, Texas.
Visiting and Dining at CJ's Grand Street Cafe.
Downtown Whitewright, Texas
Sherman Harley Davidson Dealership
A big Harley to test ride.
Relaxing and visiting outside Paul and Kathleen's Lake Texoma Home.
November, 2010 --
Ride Report: November 13, 2010 -- Nathaniel and I were among several King's Kruizers assisting the CMA with out reach efforts at the Dallas International Motorcycle Show. We were assigned to drive traffic toward several computer stations that were setup for the purpose of administering exit surveys. Nathaniel and I spent four hours chatting with a variety of show attendees including a Ninja 250 Riders Club member. The quote of the day would have to be from a grizzled old Harley rider complaining about the number of sport bikes at the show: "If I didn't care about living any more than that I would move to a small town and start chasing married women."
After our time devoted to out reach we walked the floor of the show taking in the variety of displays. We examined the new Honda CBR 250R and the new Ducati Diavel. Nathaniel latched on to the concept of the green 2011 Kawasaki Z1000 as his ideal motorcycle. We enjoyed a Kawasaki sponsored stunt show before leaving to grab some dinner at On The Border in McKinney.
2011 CBR250R in black (photo courtesy of Honda Powersports).
2011 CBR250R in red (photo courtesy of Honda Powersports).
2011 Kawasaki Z1000 in black (photo courtesy of Kawasaki).
2011 Kawasaki Z1000 in lime green and black (photo courtesy of Kawasaki).
The Motorcycle Stunt Show (Photos taken with crumby cell phone camera).
Ride Report: November 27, 2010 -- I met Matt Woodruff of the Ninja 250 Riders Club at the Wal-Mart in Commerce, Texas. Matt was moving to California for work and wanted to touch base with several Texas Ninja 250 Riders rider before heading to the west coast. I swung by the nursing home in Commerce to check on my father before going to the Wal-Mart. From Commerce we took a variety of back-roads to Edom, Texas to have lunch at a The Shed Cafe in Edom, Texas for some over their well known home style cooking. We both ordered lunch specials with their famous pie. Matt had fried chicken and peanut butter pie while I ordered chicken fried steak and coconut cream pie. We enjoyed an leisurely lunch and conversation before he rode south toward College Station and I headed to the north and back home.
December, 2010 -- Zero Gravity Outlet had a an overstock sale on a windscreen that I had been considering purchasing for winter riding for some time. I also had a "coupon" that I could take an additional discount via an eBay purchase so I took the plunge. The Sport Touring windscreen provides the best capsule of the three Zero Gravity windscreens available for the 2008 and later Ninja 250Rs.
Ride Report: December 4, 2010 -- The King's Kruizers has traditionally ridden in the Mesquite Santa Cop Toy Parade in Mesquite, Texas. This year we met at the Chevron south of Caddo Mills, Texas at the Intersection of FM 1903 and Interstate Highway 30. We rode to Mesquite in staggered formation as is typical. The weather turned out to be very mild and there was a very good turnout. Only one other sport bike made an appearance.
I left shortly after reaching the destination and turning in the toy I brought to ride home through Commerce and check on my parents.
The Mesquite Santa Cop Toy Parade is one of the best organized and safest toy runs in Texas. All intersections are controlled, speeds are kept to 35 or 40 MPH, and folks line the streets and wave. If you are going to participate in only one Christmas toy run this is the one.
Staging and visiting before the parade begins.
The Ninjette II sporting its new winter windscreen.
The only other sport bike in antecedence was a Yamaha R6
The parade begins as each line of motorcycles is directed out the gate and onto the route.
Along the parade route.
Arriving at the end.
The destination parking lot fills with motorcycles.
I don't get it. All the disadvantages of a car combined with all the disadvantages of a motorcycle and none of the advantages of either. It's ugly to boot.
Ride Report: December 12, 2010 -- I rode the Ninjette II to Commerce to move my father back home as his stay at the Commerce nursing center had come to an end. He had under gone a three week concerted recovery from his surgery. A strong cold front was moving in to the area so winds were from the north at 15 to 20 MPH and the temperature barely reached into the low 40s. I traveled down several farm road, encountered little traffic, and the only motorcyclist I saw was a local Ninja 250 rider. The newly acquired Sport Touring windscreen underscored its value during this bit of wintry riding as it provided a well defined air capsule keeping the riders upper body directly out of the wind. The winter riding formula can be applied: SB + TR - T - B = G: where SB = sport bike, TR = twisty road, T = traffic, B = bugs, and G = grins.
Ride Report: December 21, 2010 -- Record breaking high temperatures gave me the opportunity (excuse) to take the Ninjette II down local Farm to Market roads to McKinney for some light errand running to Sam's Wholesale Club and Super Target.
Outside the McKinney Super Target sporting the new winter Sport Touring windscreen.
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The Yeager's Kawasaki Ninja 250s
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