Have you ever been stuck at a light on your motorcycle? You are the only one there at the light. There are no cars just you. The light doesn’t change and you wait and wait. So you have a choice: You can sit, potentially for hours, waiting until a “real” motorist pulls up behind you to trigger it, or you can just throw caution to the wind and run the light. You’ll wait the first few times it happens… and it will happen… even though you have the patience of a saint, you’re eventually going to run a lot of lights.
Most red lights work one of two ways: They’re timed or they’re triggered. The triggered lights usually work on an induction loop. Inductive loops work by detecting a change of inductance. A traffic light sensor uses the loop in that same way. It constantly tests the inductance of the loop in the road, and when the inductance rises, it knows there is a car waiting! If you look you can see these inductive loops in the pavement. They are usually rectangular and sometimes circular but they are there and can be seen.
There are products sold for motorcycles that claim they will trigger inductive loop sensor traffic lights. They may work… I don’t really know. I haven’t tried any of them but here is a trick I’ve learned that seems to work just fine. When I have done this, I have never got stuck at a traffic light triggered by an induction loop sensor.
The trick is to stop over one of the edges of the inductive loop. I always look for the loop when stopping and do this. So far it has never failed. Give it a try…
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I hope I see you down the road somewhere… Ride safe…
In Central Texas we don’t get the fall foliage displays like they have in some places. Most of our trees are evergreen. Live Oak and Cedar trees are the most prevalent. There are pockets of deciduoustrees throughout the area.” Lost Maples State Park” is the best known for its fall colors. The fall foliage displays here can be hit or miss depending on the weather during the year. The drier and colder the weather the better it will be.
On our ride we saw some good colors but not as bright as in the past. The trees with leaves were still green or have not completely turned. The weather has not been cold enough for some of the trees. The Red Oaks and the Lacy Oaks were starting to change some. The ride along the Medina, Guadalupe and the Sabinal Rivers, had beautiful golden brown Sycamores, and copper-colored Cypress trees.
This was a spur of the moment ride. The weather the day before was perfect riding weather with clear sunny skies with temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s. I thought we had better take advantage of our good weather and ride while we can. As it turned out today was overcast. I assumed the clouds would burn off as it did the day before… but I was wrong. There were short burst of sunshine earlier in the day but it remained overcast for most of the day. Being overcast made it a bit chilly riding.
Stonehenge II in Ingram
Our ride took us from Georgetown to Llano via Hwy 29. We then headed south on Hwy 16 to FM 965 past Enchanted Rock to Fredericksburg. From there we picked up Hwy 16 again heading south to Kerrville. We stopped for gas and got a hot cup of coffee to warm up a bit. From there we headed west on Hwy 27 to Ingram. In Ingram we stopped to see the new home of Stonehenge II. Stonehenge II was moved from its original home just outside Hunt to Ingram. The land of its original site was sold and the buyers did not want Stonehenge II. We were glad that it was saved and preserved here in Ingram.
Picnic Area on Guadalupe River off Hwy 39 outside Hunt
From Ingram we picked up Hwy 39 to a picnic area on the Guadalupe River. The picnic area is just outside Hunt. Because of a special diet we are on we packed a lunch. The picnic area is a beautiful spot with the river, waterfalls and cypress trees that had turned to a beautiful copper brown.
Guadalupe River off Hwy 39
Lunch at Picnic Area
After lunch we continued down Hwy 39 to Hwy 187. We always enjoy the ride down Hwy 39. It is always scenic as it follows and criss-crosses the Guadalupe River. The fall colors were good all along the way. Hwy 187 takes us past “Lost Maples State Park”. 187 had nice views of the hill country and the changing colors of the trees. Just past “Lost Maples” we turned east onto RR 337 to Medina. RR 337 is one of the “Three Sisters” or “Twisted Sisters” (RR 335, 336 & 337) as some refer to them. At Medina we turned onto Hwy 16 again and headed north back to Kerrville and Fredericksburg. In Fredericksburg we picked up Hwy 290 east to Johnson City (named for President Johnson). At Johnson City we turned north onto Hwy 183 to Burnet. In Burnet we headed east on Hwy 29 to home.
Hwy 39 Outside Hunt
It was a good ride except it was a bit cool. We should have worn an extra layer to help with the cold. Normally we carry extra clothing just for such things, but I misjudged the weather. I won’t do that again.
We hope to see you down the road somewhere. Ride safe…
I was returning from New Mexico and I was about 500 miles from home. I pulled into the picnic area to have lunch. I ran over something that made a loud pop. I looked on the road to see if something was there but I didn’t find anything. I checked my rear tire to see if I had damaged the tire but I didn’t find anything. So after lunch I packed up everything again and headed down the highway. As I pulled on to the highway I could hear a clicking sound that increased in frequency as I sped up. Then I knew I had picked up something in my tire. I stopped on the shoulder and checked the tire more closely, rolling the bike forward until I found a very large screw sticking in the center of the tire.
Rest stop with town in the distance…
Because the size of the screw was very large, I was afraid that the plug wouldn’t do the job. The tire wasn’t leaking air so I opted to ride to the next town which is about 6 or 7 miles ahead. I could see the town from the picnic area. The first business I saw when I got to town was a small tire shop. I stopped and the owner was a biker and he plugged the tire. The screw looked even bigger once it was pulled from the tire. I wasn’t sure if the plug would hold. Now I had to decide if I should ride back to Lubbock or ride on to Abilene. It was Monday and bike shops are always closed on Mondays so either way I could not get the tire replaced until the following day. I decided to ride on to Abilene. The tire shop owner told me to call him if I had any problems and he would come get me. Hearing that made me feel good. When I got to Sweetwater I stopped for gas and checked the tire pressure and it was good so I decided to ride on. I stopped a second time about 150 miles further and the tire was still OK. The GPS was estimating my arrival in Georgetown at 7:30 PM so I thought I would try to make it on home. The last time I stopped for gas I called Janet to let her know my ETA. I got home at 7:44. It was good to be home. I missed my riding buddy that I left at home.
If you don’t have a tire repair kit that you carry I hope this story makes you realize that a tire problem can happen to you. Sometimes in places that would put you between a rock and a hard place. There are a lot of tire repair kits out there. Which kit is the best has yet to be determined by me. I have spoken to several people in motorcycle shops and they all have various opinions but they all seemed to be saying they are all good if you have a flat. Some are easier to use than others. It comes down to your preference and space you have available on your bike.
“Slime” air compressor stowed in the Goldwings right saddlebag.
Progressive Suspension tire repair kit stowed in the Goldwing’s left saddlebag.
My tire repair kit is made by Progressive Suspension. It is contained in a small case so it doesn’t take up much room. The kit has 2 CO2 cylinders , 3 tire plugs, insertion tool, cement and small hose to air tire with CO2 cylinders. A friend suggested I get a small air compressor also because if the patch leaks you can add air and it is easier than using the CO2 cylinders. The air compressor is made by Slime the folks who make the tire sealant. It too is very small and stores away easily. The sides of the Goldwing’s saddlebags are not flat and have indentions where I have velcroed the patch kit and air compressor. So they use space that would normally be wasted.
Gryyp tire plug
There is another patch kit I plan to get. It’s the Gryyp tire plug. I have found them as a kit with CO2 cylinders but I want just the plugs and haven’t found where I can buy them separately. I like these because you screw them in and snap of the top part and go. The reason I think this will work well is I know a rancher who patches his 4 wheeler tires with metal screws. The tires have many screws in them. He picks up thorns daily on his ranch. He says he would go broke fixing and buying tires if he didn’t use the screws. So when I saw this product I thought why not… If any of you have experience using this product please share your thoughts in a comment.
The escape from prison for many inmates is reading about life on the outside.
I have a friend Don, who has made some bad life choices and is now serving a 40-year prison sentence. He has been there for 23 years. For the past five years I have written him regularly. He is the reason this blog came to be. I regularly send him letters about our rides and it has become a great escape from his surroundings. On one occasion he wrote about these ride stories in one of his news letters he sends out.
“I received your letter and I really enjoyed my trip. 🙂 Janet’s Aunt’s place is beautiful. I would give anything to live like that! Just looking through the trees at the lake sent me into the world. It also made me think of Bobby – he would have loved it too. I share the trips with others in here who enjoy such things. You have no idea how much difference the pictures, the history and dialogue makes to men who have not been out in decades. I really appreciate you sharing it with me.”
It’s nice to know that I can bring just a little bit of joy to Don and his fellow inmates by journaling my rides. If you know someone serving time I would suggest that you take some time to write them. It would mean so very much to them. Share things like my ride stories, vacations, time at the lake, your high school team or just life in general. You may never know how this will help but I can testify that it does help. I print my ride stories separate so he can pass them around to other inmates. If you know someone who would enjoy our rides, please feel free to print them out and send them to whomever. It will mean a lot to them.
I hope I have planted an idea and you will take the time soon to act upon it. You will be blessed.