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Old 06-28-2011, 02:18 PM   #151
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On Monday I rode back to Huntsville. It would be much hotter than the trip here so I left even earlier.



I went back on MS 4 to the Natchez Trace.

There are a number of small towns along 4. I believe this is Ripley.



I like old town squares.

More of route 4.



Crossing the Tn - Tombigbee waterway again.



After getting to the Natchez Trace I went a different route. I took 24 to Decatur. I wanted to see something new but it was not as good of a ride as 72/Alt72. It seemed more industrial and a high percentage of the traffic was trucks.

I got back to Huntsville well before noon and it temps were well into the 90s.

I'm glad I rode the scooter instead of driving. I wanted to see how the scooter, as well as me, would perform on a medium length trip. We both did just fine. With milder temperatures I wouldn't hesitate to jump on the scooter and head for the west coast. Now I just need to find the time and money to do it.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:40 PM   #152
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Nice ride. That sunrise shot was great.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:06 PM   #153
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Time to use the scooter for another commute. Most weekends i commute from Huntsville to Marietta. It's normally a 175-180 mile commute depending on my route. I decided to ride it on my Aprilia this weekend and vary the route a little to try to make the ride a little more interesting. I prefer to ride the less traveled 2 lane roads instead of 4 lanes. I also wanted to see some different scenery and of course there is my never ending quest to find roads with lots of curves.

I got up early Saturday Morning so I could beat some of the heat. Besides, who can sleep when there is riding to do. I started off on my normal route: I 565 to 431 to Guntersville. It's a reasonable scenic ride although mostly foggy on this day. I still took a few pics:



.



.



In Guntersville I turned off my normal route and headed east on 227 which has some nice curves. Then Hustleville rd to 68 to Collinsville. In Collinsville I detoured onto a small road that looked interesting on the map. This had some of the tightest curves I have ridden in Alabama.



It was short but steep with a bunch of tight switchbacks.



It was worth the detour which was a good thing since I ended up taking a wrong turn at the end of this road and going the wrong way.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:21 PM   #154
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I eventually figured out I was on the wrong road. I was on 176 headed to Little River canyon when I wanted to be on 68. I didn't want to backtrack so I took a small county road heading south. It was a pretty nice road and I did see a house with an interesting Rock in the yard.



I got to a tiny town and decided to take another county road heading East rather than continue to 68. This turned out to be one of my best decisions as this was probably the best road of the trip.



.



Eventually I ended up in Georgia. Here's some nice Georgia countryside.



A little later I turned on to a main road and found myself at the tail end of a large herd of "real bikes"



Total mileage for the day was 205 and I probably burned about 2 1/2 gallons of gas. I turned a routine and boring commute into a nice ride and saved a bunch of money on gas.

Then I finished the day by going to a movie featuring a Scooter gang. OK Larry Crowne wasn't just a movie about scooters but it did have Tom hanks and Julia Roberts riding on one.

I'll be riding back to Huntsville tomorrow. I'll try to get some more pics.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:08 PM   #155
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The return ride was uneventfull. I took a slightly more direct route but still managed to ride some new roads. I didn't get any exciting pics. Rural Alabama does have some crappy little towns but this one is proud of it.





By the time I got back to Huntsville it was getting pretty hot with the heat index well over 100 degrees. I stopped a Cycle gear and found a cooling vest on sale for $9.95. I'll have to give it a try. It doesn't look like the heat is going to let up soon with heat indexes of around 115 for the next several days.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:25 PM   #156
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Let us know how the cooling vest works out... $10??
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:05 PM   #157
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:19 PM   #158
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Let us know how the cooling vest works out... $10??
Cancel that request - drove over there at lunch today and got the last of the $10 old stock ones. I'll give it a try in the next few days.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:34 PM   #159
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Let us know how the cooling vest works out... $10??
I finally tried out the vest. I soaked it in the sink for about 5 minutes. Then I ran into my first issue. Water was running off it when I pulled it out of the sink. I didn't want to get water all over my floor and carpet so I put it in a plastic bag and carried it out to the garage. Once I was ready to go I put it on. It felt wet and clammy, but also cool when I put it on. Then I went riding. The temperature was around 90 when I left and I checked again when I returned; 93 with a heat index of 102. I rode for about 40 minutes, then stopped at the local scooter shop, then rode about 20 more minutes. Overall the vest worked pretty well. It was not nearly as effective as a wet T-shirt, but the T-shirt would have been dry in about 10 minutes. I was wearing the vest under a mesh jacket. After an hour of riding it was still wet and was providing some cooling but was not as effective as it had been the first half hour of the ride. It was especially effective when stopped at a light. No baking until I was moving again. On a down side, I didn't get that instant, but short lived relief when taking off after sweating at a light.

I'm not sure how long it would have continued to be effective but there is always the option of wetting it down again. Normally when going on a long ride in hot weather I try to get an early start when it's still cool. Next time I'll soak the vest, put it in a plastic bag, then put it on after it starts to get hot.

Bottom line, it was definitely worth the $10 I paid for it.

If I was going to design on of these vests, I'd put some pockets on them so ice could be put in the pockets. I may try to add some pockets to the one I have.
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:34 PM   #160
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I finally tried out the vest. I soaked it in the sink for about 5 minutes. Then I ran into my first issue. Water was running off it when I pulled it out of the sink. I didn't want to get water all over my floor and carpet so I put it in a plastic bag and carried it out to the garage. Once I was ready to go I put it on. It felt wet and clammy, but also cool when I put it on. Then I went riding. The temperature was around 90 when I left and I checked again when I returned; 93 with a heat index of 102. I rode for about 40 minutes, then stopped at the local scooter shop, then rode about 20 more minutes. Overall the vest worked pretty well. It was not nearly as effective as a wet T-shirt, but the T-shirt would have been dry in about 10 minutes. I was wearing the vest under a mesh jacket. After an hour of riding it was still wet and was providing some cooling but was not as effective as it had been the first half hour of the ride. It was especially effective when stopped at a light. No baking until I was moving again. On a down side, I didn't get that instant, but short lived relief when taking off after sweating at a light.

I'm not sure how long it would have continued to be effective but there is always the option of wetting it down again. Normally when going on a long ride in hot weather I try to get an early start when it's still cool. Next time I'll soak the vest, put it in a plastic bag, then put it on after it starts to get hot.

Bottom line, it was definitely worth the $10 I paid for it.

If I was going to design on of these vests, I'd put some pockets on them so ice could be put in the pockets. I may try to add some pockets to the one I have.
This about mirrors the experience I have with mine. Rather than ice which I dont think will last long enough to make a difference, I am going to try carrying a squeezable water bottle in a tank bag. When the vest starts to lose effectiveness I will recharge it with a squirt from the bottle. Should go right through the mesh jacket.
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:37 AM   #161
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I'll have a chance to test the effectiveness of my cooling vest on a longer ride this weekend. I'm planning on riding the SC250 from Huntsville to Tellico Plains on Saturday. I'll be meeting my wife there and we plan on taking advantage of the higher elevations on the Skyway & surrounding area to beat the heat. We're staying at the cabins near the start of the skyway Sat & Sun night. Then I'll be riding back to Huntsville on Monday. I know roads near Tellico Plains and the Skyway pretty well but if anyone has any suggestions for a route from Huntsville to tellico Plains, I'm all ears.

This will also be the longest trip I have taken on a scooter, it should be interesting.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:13 PM   #162
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[QUOTE=klaviator;16498757 I know roads near Tellico Plains and the Skyway pretty well but if anyone has any suggestions for a route from Huntsville to tellico Plains, I'm all ears.

This will also be the longest trip I have taken on a scooter, it should be interesting.[/QUOTE]

Here's a route I'd take: (not really a direct or fast route; but some great roads)

http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Hu...,4,5,6,7,8&z=9

I don't know north AL all that well. I you go through Stevenson AL, then I'd take AL117/TN56 up to Sewanee. Some interesting road/stuff through there.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:21 PM   #163
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Here's a route I'd take: (not really a direct or fast route; but some great roads)

http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Hu...,4,5,6,7,8&z=9

I don't know north AL all that well. I you go through Stevenson AL, then I'd take AL117/TN56 up to Sewanee. Some interesting road/stuff through there.
tis a good suggestion as well. except I would also cut South as suggested on either TN 156 or 56 or 97. All are good roads that will take you back to 72. TN 121 to Winchester road, no so much so. too much traffic and too little curves.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:59 PM   #164
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Here's a route I'd take: (not really a direct or fast route; but some great roads)

http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Hu...,4,5,6,7,8&z=9

I don't know north AL all that well. I you go through Stevenson AL, then I'd take AL117/TN56 up to Sewanee. Some interesting road/stuff through there.
Looks like an interesting route. I will probably take a more southerly route this time because my wife will be coming up from GA and we may end meeting up somewhere around 64 & 68. I will keep this one in mind for the return trip. Interestingly, this route is only about 35 miles longer than the direct route from Mapquest (from near the Huntsville Airport)



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tis a good suggestion as well. except I would also cut South as suggested on either TN 156 or 56 or 97. All are good roads that will take you back to 72. TN 121 to Winchester road, no so much so. too much traffic and too little curves.
I will probably use the route you suggested on the other thread except I'm thinking of only following 136 for a little bit then heading on a more northerly route and hitting 411 around Cisco.

Another option would be to go over Lookout Mtn but then I'd have to go through Chattanooga. Decisions, decisions.
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:23 PM   #165
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Like most good sized cities, Chattanooga just isn't much fun (well, the Aquarium is nice).

OK, one more map from Cisco to Tellico Plains. 411 is the most direct route and the most boring. A little sidetrack through the Ocoee/Reliance areas is much nicer and not much in added miles.

http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Ci...=11&via=1&z=11


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Looks like an interesting route. I will probably take a more southerly route this time because my wife will be coming up from GA and we may end meeting up somewhere around 64 & 68. I will keep this one in mind for the return trip. Interestingly, this route is only about 35 miles longer than the direct route from Mapquest (from near the Huntsville Airport)





I will probably use the route you suggested on the other thread except I'm thinking of only following 136 for a little bit then heading on a more northerly route and hitting 411 around Cisco.

Another option would be to go over Lookout Mtn but then I'd have to go through Chattanooga. Decisions, decisions.
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