Deer in the Dark Video

Night riding videos are generally not interesting since you cannot see outside of the headlight. But, that can change when riding in a rural area with a lot of deer. 

In this short clip I am riding an unfamiliar gravel road on a very dark night. I had seen many white tails along the highway earlier in the afternoon. So, in this video I was going slow while scanning the sides of the road.

Suddenly, a large white tail doe casually walked across the road just ahead of me. She was way closer than it appears on the GoPro. I stop the clip on that frame and highlighted her head. Her rump also flashes past in the headlight. 

After this, I watched for other deer out on the right side. I thought I was saw some, but it was really dark and the light could have been playing tricks on me. 

Bottom line here is a reminder to adjust your speed and focus to the riding conditions. Think about what could go wrong and postion yourself to avoid trouble.

Fall Afternoon Ride

A new ride video, from September 22, 2012; showing some fall leaves, and a deer that darted across the road. The camera didn't catch the deer, but trust me, it was there and I was glad that he didn't have any friends with him.

Riding Around the Lake Video

I shot this video over Labor Day this year. It was a perfect day for a ride - enjoy!

Dirty Jobs on the KLR650 - Cleaning the Chain

Everyone agrees the chain needs to be cleaned and lubed, many disagree on the best way to do this. That's generally not a major issue since many of us do not clean our bike's chain as often as we should. It's too easy to forget or postpone until tomorrow, the weekend, or after the next ride.

Confession time - I know all about procrastination. As for my chain, I hated the mess and my cleaner and lube did a very poor job. My degreaser got the chain "cleaner", but not "clean." My chain lube worked fine, but sprayed out like white snot and stuck to everything. Nasty stuff. But, after my last couple of rides, the chain really needed some attention.

Motorex Chain Clean Degreaser and Kawasaki Synthetic Chain Lube.
A dirt bike riding buddy who "is really into chemicals" (yes, it sounds bad, but those were his words) told me to try these two products. He said that he used it after every ride and it worked great. I wanted my chain to be "clean" not just "cleaner" so I took his advice.

Another dirty picture!
I sprayed the Motorex degreaser on my dirty chain and it dripped off like black rain. I was amazed at how much gunk came off from simply spraying the stuff; no scrubbing required. I liked it! I had found my new chain cleaner.

I waited about 10 minutes and hit the chain with compressed air; it looked even better. I sprayed degreaser again, waited, and hit it with the air again. In between shots of air I used up two shop towels wiping off more blackness and gunk. The results were worth the effort, the chain looked brand new again.

I used about half of the can of degreaser on this job. But, my chain was pretty dirty and I sprayed it down three times before I was satisfied that it was clean. Less degreaser and work will be needed next time.  

The Motorex did a good job.
It is always best to lube a warm chain, but I was in a hurry so, I sprayed on the Kawi chain lube. The spray was clear, without the white residue the cheaper lube left on everything. I understand a lot of sport bike riders use this Kawi lube, but it is also safe for the KLR's O-ring chain.

Did not need a lot of the Kawi chain lube 
That chain is clean - not just cleaner

The Motorex degreaser and Kawi chain lube did a great job on my chain. They cost a bit more than similar products at Walmart, but they are worth it. Better to save a couple of bucks somewhere else, than to have a broken chain in the middle of no where ruin your whole day. 

KLR650 Riding A Closed Road

When I found this sign blocking an isolated gravel road through a state forest, I faced an ethical dilemma. Turn back or go on? This would be the end of the road for a car but, a KLR should not have to turn around for a simple "Road Closed" sign! So, I rode on past.

The narrow and largely overgrown road wound through the trees.making a beautiful ride. I wondered why anyone had bothered with posting the sign until the road suddenly ended in the middle of the forest.

Beyond the end of the road, this single track path ran on into the trees. I was having too much fun to turn back now, so I pressed on through the overgrown shrubs and trees.

The narrow path was packed dirt with a couple of sandy spots that the KLR easily plowed through. Avoiding the low tree branches and tangled bushes was an added challenge. A couple of miles later, the single-track ended at a small rocky beach with a great lake side view.

There were deer and raccoon tracks in the wet sand near the water's edge, but it was easy to imagine that I was the first person to 'discover" this lake. I hiked around the area and looked for another path or road, but there was none. It was a great location, but the end of the line.

I sat on a fallen log near the lake and just listened to the sounds of the forest. Aside from the birds, it was completely quiet and peaceful. I loved finding this spot but, soon it was time to start back for the highway. The area deer would get active near sunset and I wanted to avoid meeting them on the bike. 

I followed the same path and road back out of the forest, glad that I had ignored the "Road Closed" sign and trusted the KLR to get me through. Sometimes I go with my gut and let things work themselves out. This adventure was one of those times and it was totally worth it!

KLR650 at Mystical Horizons

I really enjoy discovering weird little road side attractions and Mystical Horizons certainly qualifies. I spotted this sign (below) along the highway and turned to follow the tree lined road up a steep hill.  I was blissfully ignorant of where I was going and half expected "Mystical Horizons" to be an exclusive, gated, housing development where "bikers" were not welcome! I was way off about that...

The site is intended as a 21st century "Stonehenge of the Prairie." It is located on a high bluff with an amazing view of the farmland west of the Turtle Mountains in North Dakota, just south of the Canadian border. I have never visited the actual Stonehenge, but I understand the place has a "mystical" feel to it. Mystical Horizons did not provide any mystical feelings even though I was the only person up there. Could be that I am not "sensitive" to that sort of thing, but I did appreciate the view.

I took several pictures, hoping to capture the view. This (above) shot was the best, but does not begin to do justice to the tremendous sight of the flat prairie stretching out to the horizon.

The stone and cement structures were built to allow visitors to see the summer and winter solstices and the equinox. The central viewing area's front wall slots align with other slotted walls to show these annual celestial events. My visit was in September, so I did not see the place "in action."

These pics were taken in the afternoon, but I returned after dark to try the North Star Polaris Sighting Tube. At first glance the sighting tube resembles a telescope, but it is simply a metal tube. Looking through it, there was the North Star near the 4 o'clock position.

Even in the dark, with no lights in the area, I did not get any "mystical" or other feelings and was a bit disappointed with that. I expected something a little "creepy", similar to what I described during my ghost town visit in an earlier post. Perhaps I was jaded since ancient people did not construct this site for some mysterious, mystical, purpose.

The giant sun dial was interesting. But, with only occasional, weak, sunshine during my visit, I could not see the sun dial working. That was fine since I have a small clock mounted on the KLR if I need to know the time. Still, I was reminded of why humanity stopped making sun dials and invented Timex!  

Mystical Horizons was an odd, but interesting find in the middle of the North Dakota prairie. I rode away thinking that I would like to return during the solstice to see the sun shining through those slotted walls for my self.