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The Over The Hill Gang

The Over The Hill Gang
Let's ride! Riders are Jerry Cole, Billy Niverson, John Nave, Jack McClain, Larry Davis, Larry Burk, Merle Combs, Charles Thomas, Art Adrianson, Larry Miller.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ride to Lunch at Montpelier..

Eight of us rode to Montpelier for lunch.  Larry Davis, Larry Burke, Larry Miller, John Nave, Jack McClain, Jerry Cole, Charles Thomas, and Billy Niverson rode today.

After lunch, Larry Miller, Jack McClain, Charles Thomas, and Larry Burke rode home leaving the rest of us to continue the ride.

The remaining four riders rode east on IN 18 to IN 1 where we turned north on IN 1 until we ran into IN 218.  We rode east on IN 218 to Berne, Indiana:

I took this picture of the clock tower, at Berne, as we had to stop so John could take a bug out of his eye.  We rode on to the McDonald's at Berne where we had an ice cream sundae.  We took US 27 north to Decatur where we turned west on IN 224.  At Markle, we turned south on IN 3 to IN 18 near Roll and then home.

Short ride today and I rode 132 miles.  It was sunny and warm.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Shades State Park..

Well. the day started off with trees flying down the road!  On our way to breakfast, Saturday morning, I look in my mirror see a pickup truck, followed by a bunch of trees, passing the seven of us as we rode to Elwood for breakfast.  Apparently, a tree trimmer was in a hurry and passed us all --he must have been going eighty miles per hour before he got around us.  The bed of the truck was overflowing with tree branches flailing in the wind!  I mean, we were going the speed limit.  I wish I had taken a picture!

Anyway, seven of us ate breakfast at Richards restaurant in Elwood.  Riding today-Larry Burke on his "new to him" 1993 Honda Helix scooter, "Bumble Bee":

Yeah, scooters rule!

Merle Combs, Larry Miller, John Nave, Art Adrainson, Billy Niverson, and myself, Larry Davis.

After breakfast Larry Miller had to go home to do chores so the six of us rode down to Cicero and over to Crawfordsville, where we stopped for coffee.  We took US 231 south out of Crawfordsville down to IN 234 (a great motorcycle road) and west on IN 234 through Shades State Park:

We then road north on US 41 to Attica where we had lunch at McDonald (of course!).  Merle had to leave us at Attica for a quick ride home.

After lunch, the five of us continued north on US 41 to the windmills south of Fowler, Indiana:

We turned east at Fowler and rode back home.

I got home about 4:30 so I rode about nine hours with several stops-287 miles total.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Roanoke for Lunch...

Only five of us today.  Maybe the threat of rain kept the other riders home or maybe other commitments.  Anyway, it was very hot and windy so we decided to ride to Nick's Restaurant at Roanoke and after lunch we all rode home.  It was a nice ride up and back.

I rode over to Gas City early as I wanted to stop at Staples and pick up some printer paper, which I did.  I rode over to Gas City from Staples and stopped to visit with Phil Smith for awhile.  He was mowing the church parking lot across the street from his house.  I left Phil and went over to visit with Merle and his wife Susan.  Merle got ready to ride so we went down to Jackie's to meet with the rest of the guys.  I led the riders on back roads (county roads 400 and 450) over to pick up IN 9 at Morris Chapel and then north to Huntington and Roanoke.

The five riding today were Larry Davis, Merle Combs, Larry Miller, Charley Thomas, and Billy Niverson.

I rode 96 miles today and it was hot (92 degrees).

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ride to Rantoul..

It was a dark and stormy night--actually, it was a dark and foggy morning when I headed out this morning for Jackie's Restaurant in Gas City.  We decided to eat at Jackie's, instead of riding off to breakfast, to allow the fog to burn off.  Six of showed up for today's ride--Billy Niverson, Larry Miller, Merle Combs, John Nave, Charlie Thomas, and myself, Larry Davis.

I've wanted to ride over to Rantoul, Illinois for sometime so I suggested we ride there today.  Since no one said "no", off we went.  Charlie rode with us toward Frankfort, Indiana but broke off and rode home before we got there.  We stopped at Frankfort's McDonald's for a break and coffee.  We rode to Attica where we ate lunch.  The McDonald's there was packed, as usual.  After lunch we rode the last "42 miles" to Rantoul, Illinois.

I was stationed at Rantoul (Chanute AFB) for two years, fifty years ago (1960-61).  To say the place has changed is an understatement.  The Air Force base was decommissioned in 1993 and given to the city of Rantoul.  Here's a link:

I taught missile computer launch control there for the Bomarc missile:

They also taught maintenance on the Atlas

and Minuteman

at Chanute.

Many other technical fields were taught there also, including fire fighting, liquid oxygen production, airframe maintenance, etc.

Very little is left of what was there when I was there, mostly the hangars and administration buildings are still there.  The barracks have been turned into apartments and many buildings are now gone.  My barracks and seven other barracks stood here:

Our chow hall was still there but it used to sit in the middle of eight barracks which are now all gone:

The first place I taught was in one of the hanger annex just behind the grey airplane in the middle of the picture. This display is in the back of the Chanute Museum:

I guess it's true, you can never go home again!  The town of Rantoul has doubled in size, it seems, since I was last there and everything has changed

After a quick visit of the base, we headed back home with a stop in Attica for a break, coffee, and gas.

We were on the road for about ten hours and I got home around five.  The last 10-15 miles I rode in a light rain, sprinkles actually, but didn't get wet at all due to the great weather protection my scooter gives.  I fell in love with my Yamaha Tmax scooter on this trip with 50-60mpg, great weather and wind protection, great ride, great motor, no shifting, good storage, plus easy on and off.  And, I wasn't exhausted after the ride like I always was on my motorcycles.  I'm really happy with it.

I rode 332 miles on a mostly sunny day.  Not too hot and not too windy--just right.  I think we all enjoyed the ride.

P.S.  The "42" miles refers to--if anyone asks me how far away something is, I always say "42 miles".  Because as we all know, "42" is the answer to everything!  Link:

What is remarkable to me, is how many times "42" (or something close) is the correct number.  As we left Attica, Indiana heading west into Illinois, I saw a road sign that said "43 mile to Rantoul".  So in one more mile, "42" was correct!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

We ate at the Muncie airport..

I led the group to Delaware County Airport (Muncie Airport), Wednesday.  There were nine of us today.  The service was a little slow for one table but the food was good.  A little expensive:

 (click on pictures to make larger)

 Bikes parked out side Kacy J restaurant


 Inside Kacy J Restaurant

After eating, seven of us rode to Ohio while Larry Burke when into Muncie to do some shopping and Jack McCain rode home.  Larry Miller left at US36 south of Muncie.
Six of us rode into Ohio to Greenville, Ohio where we turned north on US 127.  I saw, as we rode past,  that Anne Oakley and Frank Butler were buried just north of Greenville but we didn't stop.  Maybe next time.

Click on link:

We had ridden past this large building that's back off the road, several times, and I wondered what it was.  I went home, after the first time we rode past, and looked it up.  It's just south of Celina, Ohio.

  Link here, click on link:

As you can see by the pictures, we rode up to the seminary for a better view.

Next, we road into Celina, Ohio and rode along the lake-Grand Lake-Saint Mary's.  We stopped into the at Pullman Bay Restaurant for pie and coffee.

We noticed no one was out on the lake when we rode up and I remembered my friend had told me that the lake was suffering from "Black Algae" (it's actually blue-green in color).  My friend said you can't swim in the lake or eat fish taken from the lake.

Really sad as it's a beautiful big lake.  All dug my hand and using mule-pulled dredges.  On average, it's only six feet deep.  Part of the problem , I suspect.

Grand Lake St. Mary's

After pie and coffee, Merle was nice enough to lead us out of Celina, (it's tricky) and home.

Riding today-Larry Burke, Larry Miller, Larry Davis, Merle Combs, Jack McClain, Jerry Cole, John Nave, Billy Niverson, and Charlie Thomas.

I rode 212 miles and had a great time.  Warm 85 degrees, little wind, a day to remember this winter!

Click route picture to make large:


A little explanation about the GPS Boo Boo.  After reviewing the GPS track I downloaded off my GPS, I see it was my fault.  In order to make sure we go where we want and not where the GPS wants, I enter "waypoints" in the route before loading the route into the GPS.  I have to be very careful with placing the waypoints as I will be told by the GPS to go to that waypoint.  Which it did.  Which I put on the west side of US36, not the east side.  Me cuppa.  I'll be more careful in the future.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Old Truck

John Nave and Merle Combs rode with me to Warsaw to give my extra keys, to my Honda, to Lake City Honda.  I'd forgotten to take the keys there when I bought my scooter.  On the way north we stopped in at North Manchester McDonald's for a break and coffee.  There was an old truck in the parking lot on a trailer.  John wanted to look at it so we walked over to see it.  It is a 1934 Ford truck.  On the back of the truck are two flat-head Ford motors connected together with a truck rear end, differential and all.  There's a big wooden pulley on the right (far) side that a long flat belt goes on.  The owner of the truck said it was his grandfather's and they used it to thrash grain and in the winter he would remove the motor assembly in the truck bed and plow snow with just the truck.  He also used the truck to haul ice.  Pretty neat unit:

(Click photo to make larger)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ride to Logansport State Mental Hospital..

Well, I didn't lead the group to the insane asylum on purpose but that's where we ended up!

Eight of us left Jackie's Restaurant in Gas City and headed over to The Dutch Cafe across from Grissom Air Force Base near Peru.

Getting off the bikes at The Dutch Cafe and getting ready to "put the feedbag on!".

 (Click Pictures to make larger)

What great food and service they have there!  Jack had the black raspberry pie and Billy had the peanut butter pie.  They both said the pie was delicious!

Jack McClain had to get home so he left after lunch.

After lunch we rode on into Peru and turned west on River Drive (W150S).  We followed the Wabash River west to Logansport.  I like to lead this ride along the river but the road surface is really getting bad.  This is what it looks like:

--Sorry about the shaking video but I was hand-holding the camera.  The bridge we went under goes north to Rochester, Indiana (US 31) and south to Kokomo, Indiana.  Did you see the squirrel that ran in front of me near the end of the video? :)   They always sit still until you get right on top of them and then they run.  You can never tell which way they are going to run.--

I don't have my GPS mounted on my scooter yet so I was navigating by "seat of my pants" when we got to Logansport.  I wanted to find the road that goes along the Wabash river going out of Logansport but couldn't find it.  Merle had taken us down that road before, after I found it by looking at my GPS.  It's tough to find.  Instead, I ended up leading the group to the a fore mentioned insane asylum!  I was afraid to turn in there and ask for directions as I was afraid we wouldn't get out.  So instead, I led the group down IN 25 to Delphi where we stopped for a break and then rode back IN 18 to Converse.  We stopped at The Big Dipper in Converse for ice cream before heading home.

Nice ride, beautiful day, a little windy.  I rode 154 miles.

Riding today was Larry Miller, Merle Combs, Jack McClain, Billy Niverson, Larry Davis, Jerry Cole, John Nave, and Art Adrianson (welcome back Art!).

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Warsaw Ride..

Seven of us met at Jackie's Saturday morning.  Since Art Adrianson was there, we decided to eat with him at Jackie's.  I felt bad that we didn't eat with Phil after he rode his riding mower all the way to Jackie's a couple of weeks ago.  I just didn't think about it until later.  I decided, "Not again!"

Bad luck was rearing it's head when Dave Payne had to fill up with air in his back tire before we could leave.  This was after having a new back tire installed some days ago.

Six of us rode to North Manchester where we stopped for a coffee break.

Riding today was Larry Burke, John Nave, Larry Davis, Dave Payne, Merle Combs, and Billy Niverson.

Since we didn't have a ride planned, I led the group from North Manchester to Lake City Honda near Warsaw on US 30.   Larry Burke received a telephone call while we were at North Manchester McDonalds.  He had a "bite" on selling his Honda Goldwing so he rode home and the rest of us rode north on IN13 to Pierceton, where we turned west on US 30.

I had seen on The Lake City Honda website that they had a used 2009 Yamaha T Max scooter for sale:

While I love my Honda CBR250R, I'm having a little trouble getting my leg over the seat, especially with the luggage bag on the tail.  Age and all that.  Plus, I'm not all that happy to be eating bugs at my age. Nor am I thrilled to be getting stung by bees (one nailed me in Wabash, yesterday).  I like a good windshield!  There's no way to put a windshield on my Honda.

The T Max is a cross between a scooter and a sport bike--easy to get on and off and with a BIG windshield.  It has good performance (500cc) with gas mileage in the 50s and 60s M.P.G.  I just might trade.

We started to leave Honda in Warsaw when someone noticed that Dave's tire was flat again.  They took his bike inside and he told us to go on without him and he'd wait to have his tire repaired.  I led the remaining four riders through Warsaw and back to Wabash on IN 15.  I was going to take us to Wabash McDonald's but the store was packed so we went over to Wabash Gardens.  Wabash Gardens had the opposite problem as no one was there.  The place was empty.  Billy suggested we go to the "hotel restaurant" so I led the group to Ugalde's in the Wabash Inn where we had lunch.  We rode home after lunch.

I rode 127 miles on a warm sunny day.

P.S.  I rode up to Lake City Honda at Warsaw, Tuesday, and bought the TMAX.  While I was there I asked George Tubbs, the store owner, what was wrong with Dave's tire and he told me they replaced the valve stem, which was leaking.  It's always a good idea to replace the stem when you replace the tire, I guess.

Garfield Statues..Thursday August 4th and 5th, 2011

I needed a project so I got on my bike:

and rode around Grant County to take pictures of all the Garfield statues.  First I rode to Van Buren and the first statue, "Wordly Cat", that's in front of the library:

(Click on all the pictures to see larger versions)

I was puzzled at the "Wordly" part until I realized he was standing on books.  Selling "popcorn" around the "world" part is obvious.

I'll bet I'm not the only one that remembers going to Van Buren and watching the "Aces" play basketball in the gym that was there!

Next off to Upland and the "Scream for Ice Cream" Garfield:

I had a little trouble locating this statue as it's inside the Upland Town Hall.  It's easy to get to as it's just inside the front door. 87 N. Main Street..middle of town.  It should be in front of Ivanhoe's but maybe safer where it is.

Update:  The Upland Garfield statute has been moved and is now located beside Ivanhoe's Restaurant.

After Upland, it's just a short ride to Matthews and it's "Along The Lazy River" statue.  However, due to vandalism, the Matthews statue has been removed for repairs.  It was located down by the river in Matthews.  Hopefully, it will be repaired and moved to an uptown, safer, location.  You can see the Matthews statue at the Grant county link for the Garfield Trail here: Garfield Trail
Edit 04/25/2012: I've added the "Fisherman Garfield" today. The statue is now located at the Matthews Community Center:

Next I rode to Fairmount and took a picture of the "Cool Cat" (reference to James Dean, of course) that's in front of the Fairmount Historical Museum:

I rode over to John's Nave's house, who lives in Fairmount, and asked him if he wanted to accompany me on my travels.  He said OK and off we rode to Swayzee and the "Speed King" statue (my favorite) (class of 1957):

The statue stands where the old Swayzee High School building stood (tear in eye).  The score board is from the old, wooden, gym that used to stand about where the black truck is in the background of the picture.  We played dodge ball, basketball, etc. in Phys Ed and I played on the six grade basketball team in that gym.  They built the new gym, now the elementary school gym, when I was in high school.  The score showing on the scoreboard meant life and death for us then! :)  Especially when we played Sweester in basketball! :)

John and I stopped at the Swayzee cafe for pie and coffee before riding on to Sweester.

The Sweester statue, "Rails to Trails" is on the back of the railroad car.  It's to depict a person going off to college with suitcases on the train cart.

Next were the two statues in Marion, the "Fit For Life" statue on 1st Street where Adams Street turns downtown (behind the old Vogel's donut store--tan colored building in the background).  It's located by the beginning of the:  Mississinewa Riverwalk

And last, for the day, was  the "Medical Professional Garfield" in front of Marion General Hospital.

After taking this picture, John and I rode home for the day.

Next day, Friday 5th of August 2011, I rode out to Arbor Trace Golf course to take a picture of the "Love The Links" statue there.  While it isn't one of the "offical" Garfield statues, it sure is nice.  It's made of wood, unlike the others.  It's located just inside the club house:

After Arbor Trace, I rode to Larry Burke's house and while there Billy Niverson rode up in his T-Rex.  

Billy and I rode over to Gas City and the "Big Boom" Garfield statue in front of the Public Library:

Billy rode out to I-69 and I went over to Jonesboro to finish my "picture taking adventure".

"Firefighter" Garfield is in front of the city hall in Jonesboro:

It was a nice way to spend a couple days, visiting with friends and riding around Grant County taking pictures.