Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bike Night @ the Vortex

(all photos in this post were shamlessly ripped from Steven Vore).

A long standing tradition in Atlanta is Thursday night Bike Night at The Vortex. The weather is getting just right for it and the bikes were out, the burgers were thick and the tales were tall.

In fact the burgers were really thick. How thick you may ask. Well, seems I found this menu entry labelled the "Double Bypass" a THICK beef patty with TWO fried eggs and cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion sandwiched between two grilled cheese sandwiches. See for yourself...

Really I tried. I couldn't get this big honking thing squashed down enough to eat it whole. So, I ate one grilled cheese, a fried egg, cheese, the lettuce and tomato. Then I attempted to eat the other grilled cheese, fried egg, cheese and beef patty. I got maybe halfway through that and surrendered. It beat me down, but I live to see another day without a heart surgery!

A GREAT time was had by all. There were bike of every kind and size imaginable. I'm almost certain I saw Steve McQueen's old Triumph (even had his racing number on it). Ducati's of every age, BMW's, KTM's, Hondas, Suzukis, Kawaski's, Harley's (stock, custom, stretched and raked, and one with Ape Hangers to the moon). It is worth the trip just to see the hardware that shows up. In my opinion, there was a better selection at the Vortex than at the International Motorcycle show (your mileage may vary).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas Anymore!

As you have already probably learned, a tornado swept thru downtown Atlanta Friday night and played havoc on Centennial Park, the CNN Center, the Georgia Dome, and Cabbagetown. Because we live so far north of that area, we didn't even get a strong breeze from it.

On Saturday, storm clouds began rolling in and rain started around noon. Around 2pm we lost power. Then it began to hail. I don't remember ever seeing hail accumulation like we had during this storm. At the gutter downspouts were piles of hail ankle-deep. Fortunately the size of the hail never got very big so we didn't have dented vehicles, damaged houses, or any broken windows. It did shred the cover on the BBQ grill, but we can deal with that minor casualty. The rain and hail stopped and the sun came out and all was calm. Then, the hail returned a bit more forceful than the first time. Finally the hail subsided and the rain returned. We later learned a tornado touched down a quarter-mile from us. We were grateful that no one in our area was injured or killed by the storm. I was grateful I wasn't out on a bike ride.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Ice, Ice, Baby...

Up and out the door at 6:15am Saturday to head to Columbus to work with Last Chance Ministries. It had just stopped raining as I eased Rosie out of the garage and there were serious looking clouds hanging overhead. As I rolled down GA400, it started to rain. Nice cold and raining. But, the windshield on Rosie is just the right size to deflect the rain to the top of my helmet, so I stayed dry in my leathers and my visor stayed clear. I drove in and out of rain for about an hour until stopping for a cup of coffee at the Waffle House near Pine Mountain where it was snowing. Fortunately the snow wasn't sticking and the roads remained clear. Clear enough that folks were trying to drive 90mph on I-185, and I tried to give em room to do it and get far away from me.

After meeting up with a couple of the other guys from Last Chance, we resumed the trip to Columbus. About 5 miles the windshield on Rosie looked about like the picture above. That really got my attention, I had to sit a little taller in the saddle and tilt my head a bit to see clear of the iced windshield. I also began to consider if the winshield was frozen, bridges could be doing the same. Another 5 miles and the ice on the windshield went away about as fast as it developed. SHEW!

While in Columbus, a couple of us needed to meet up with a guy to discuss some patch design and embroidery work. We caught up with him at Country's BBQ which is a restaraunt in a refurbished Trailways Bus Depot. My helmet is off to them. The food was tasty and the job they've done refurbishing the place and preserving the history of the building is top notch - complete to the bus sitting under the awning as if it is waiting to load passengers. You can actually grab a table in the bus.

After a good time visiting with the folks in Columbus and cooking spaghetti for the large crowd we were serving, it was time for the return trip home. Fortunately the trip was without ice, snow, or rain and was just cold and windy (gusts to 25mph). I was very grateful for my electric gloves on the ride home.