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Old 06-13-2014, 01:57 PM   #121
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115 in Vermont alone. List courtesy of the BMW motorcycle owners of Vermont club. They have several RAT (road anomaly tour) rides laid out. If you get a pic of your bike at each location they send you a "got it done" pin.

I am really enjoying following along on your travels. Even though I have been at, by, over, under, a majority of the places you have shown it is kind of cool seeing them through someone else's eyes.

I am a little curious about riding on the RR right of ways. Because of a misspent youth I can tell you pretty confidently that RR police, especially P&W, don't take kindly to smaller displacement dirtbikes on their ROW.
Nice to hear from you and hope we meet in the future and/or we get to see some of your pics. As for RR tracks, we stay off those that are main line or used regularly, the exception being one where a guy in the yard said go ahead . Spurs, especially those leading to old buildings or factories, are another matter.

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popscycle screwed with this post 06-13-2014 at 04:50 PM
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Old 06-14-2014, 03:54 PM   #122
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What Kind Of Idiot . . .?

What kind of idiot drives across/into three states to get a couple small bricks of cheese? Well, it is the kind that (a) spent a rainy week in the office, (b) has a dream bike that he likes to ride, (c) has the afternoon free and (d) needs some good, aged cheddar. Perhaps pictures of passing through a once-famous insane asylum on the way would be fitting.



This is to suggest I popped out of the office this afternoon, took some back roads up into NH, passing by some fancy houses, and went across to Brattleboro VT



The destination was the Grafton Village Cheese Company on Rt 30 just north of Brattleboro.



It is a good size place, complete with barn and farm animals for the kids to see.



Inside, you can buy stuff and watch cheese being made (up the stairs in the background). I was particularly interested in 2, 3, 4 and 5 year aged cheddar. Be aware that they have a good variety and quantity of cheeses to taste, which is what people are doing around the counter.



Several pieces of the haul.



Tomorrow, we're off early in the morning to the Wings & Wheels Open House at the Collings Foundation and will have good cheese for our crackers when we get back. Life is good.
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:59 AM   #123
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The Wings & Wheels Trip: Part 1 - The Planes

Sunday was an absolutely gorgeous day for a ride, with temps starting out in the low 60s and going into the mid 70s. I got up around 4AM to get some office work done, charged the SENA, put ice and water in the Hydrapak and met up with Rider Two at a favorite breakfast haunt just as they were opening up for the morning.



After some sausage, eggs, home frys and toast; we pointed the bikes towards Stow and arrived at their farm just as the open house was opening. We were directed to park the bikes by the barn. Note the high-tech side stand pad.



Once everything was buttoned up, a fellow came out of the barn telling us not to park there but to put the bikes over near the (man cave) hanger. Their hanger has a nice "round barn" facade.



Inside is a vary large, multi-story area for keeping planes, cars, tanks, motorcycles, artillery and other collectibles.



A quick peek over the hanger floor from the balcony give you an idea of the size of the place and what's down there.



There are an awful lot of their planes that are not here, including a B-17, B-24, B-25, P-51, F-4U, ME-262, FW-190, A-36, F-100, F-4 and more. The one that caught my eye was the TBM Avenger in the center of the hanger.



You may recall that President GHW Bush was shot down over Chichi Jima in 1943 while flying an Avenger. I suspect more don't know that actor Paul Newman was an Avenger rear gunner.



Another plane that caught our attention was the Fiesler Storch, which has excellent short takeoff and landing characteristics.



The Storch, like most of Collings' planes, are flown at various venues around the country. Below is a video of this Storch being flown as part of a reenactment taken place at an earlier Collings event at their farm in Stow.



WWII history buffs may recall that it was a Fiesler Storch that landed on a boulder-strewn mountain top in Italy to retrieve deposed Benito Mussolini, who had been rescued from his captors by the infamous Otto Skorzeny on Hitler's orders.



Another interesting warbird is the Grumman FM-2 Wildcat, shown below. As a result of Grumman's having trouble keeping up with the production of both the Avenger and Wildcat while tooling up for the F6F Hellcat, production of the Wildcat was handed over to GM, which produced the FM-2 (Grumman designed) variant of the F4F.



Another plane on the floor was the Cessna UC-78, known as the "Bamboo Bomber". Shown below, it was used during the war to train bomber pilots and saw civilion and commercial use after the war. Some of us more senior folk will remember the UC-78 as the plane Sky King was most often seen in.



Here is another view of the Cessna:



Below is a little perspective on an AT-6, which was a WWII trainer of note.



Outside the hanger, they were giving rides in the PT-17, a plane we had both flown in (Rider Two at an earlier open house and I as a child with my father at the controls).



More to follow - a lot more.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:20 PM   #124
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About a month ago a few of us rode up to VT's Wilgus State Park for the weekend. A stop in Grafton on the way home was required.
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Old 06-16-2014, 02:14 PM   #125
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Idiot I am.



About a month ago a few of us rode up to VT's Wilgus State Park for the weekend. A stop in Grafton on the way home was required.
Very nice spread! It is not that I needed any motivation to head up that way again; however, you have done me a great service in providing even more impetus to do it sooner.
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:33 PM   #126
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Damn, I miss New England!! Stationed at Sub Base Groton for 6 years, rode all over up there on a mixed bag of old Beemers. Loved all the old mills, railroads, bridges, history. Your posts here are truly a blessing!
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:42 PM   #127
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Damn, I miss New England!! Stationed at Sub Base Groton for 6 years, rode all over up there on a mixed bag of old Beemers. Loved all the old mills, railroads, bridges, history. Your posts here are truly a blessing!
We will work hard to keep them coming for you and I am thinking we should make a trek to Groton and get some pics there. Also, thank you for your service!
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:08 PM   #128
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Damn, I miss New England!! Stationed at Sub Base Groton for 6 years, rode all over up there on a mixed bag of old Beemers. Loved all the old mills, railroads, bridges, history. Your posts here are truly a blessing!
Rider Three (PopsCycle) is right to thank you for your service and I echo his sentiments. Speaking of Rider Three, and mills, here's a picture including both. Not sure which is the older -- the mill or PopsCycle. Happy to report however that both are in good working order. This mill is located in Sherborn MA. I'm pretty sure PopsCycle will post more/better pix of this pretty cool facility.
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:23 PM   #129
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Idiot I am.



About a month ago a few of us rode up to VT's Wilgus State Park for the weekend. A stop in Grafton on the way home was required.
How was the ride there and back? Was Wilgus as good as the cheese?
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:09 PM   #130
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popscycle and kmichael, many humble thanks for your kind words! When I get back up there to ride, we shall have beer and I shall buy the first round!
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:56 AM   #131
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The Wings & Wheels Trip: Part 2 - Things With Wheels

This is the second of two posts about our day trip to the Collings Foundation Open House on Father's Day. Aside from the planes, the Collings Foundation has a good number of things with wheels and I am led to believe most are operable/driveable. A good number of war-related items were tucked away on the hanger floor of the man cave.



Among these was a 1930s BMW R75.



Perhaps some tank buffs would know what model this is.



Just outside was this little tank. At first I thought it was some variation on Renault's WWI tank; however, I really have no clue what it is.



The odd duck of the collection was the Peerless steam tractor inside the hanger. I remember these from my youth when there was an annual Thresherman's Reunion in the town I grew up in.



The upper balcony floor of the hanger contains a collection or race cars, shown below.





It is a short walk from the front of the hanger to the barn where the other cars are stored. We didn't photograph all the cars, just ones that grabbed our attention.



One of the first cars you see when you enter the barn is a 1908 Cadillac Runabout. As I recall, Cadillac was born out of Leland's resurrection of one of Henry Ford's failed companies.



Down the line a bit is this brassy 1904 Franklin Roadster.



One of the cars across the aisle that caught my attention was this 1913 Mercer Speedster. Enthusiasm dampened a bit when I learned it was a replica.



To the right a bit was a nice 1906 Stanley Steamer.



The 1916 Baby Grand was made by Chevrolet by W.C. Durant (founder of GM) who had bought out Louis Chevrolet's interest in the company two years earlier. It was built to compete with Ford's Model T.



Below is one of our all-time favorite automobiles - the (1936) Auburn Boat-Tail Speedster.



Another favorite is this 1930 Cord Coupe, shown below. I believe this was the first American front-wheel drive car to be sold to the public.



Across from the Cord were of number of classic and classy cars. These follow.









All in all, the open house was worth the price of admission ($15), we got to ride around on grass and gravel a bit and still had time to head to the western part of the state to explore some back roads.
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:45 AM   #132
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Again, Very Cool

I don't know what this little tank is either, but I've seen one of similar size out here in my neck of the woods. The day I saw it originally a couple years ago, I didn't take a picture and I would go back later to do so. When I went back a few months later...it wasn't there. Darn the luck.

Fast forward to last year. Saw the same tank, but at a different persons house a few miles fron the first time I saw it. Ditto again, I'll go back to snap a photo with the TW. Yep, you guessed it, not there anymore. Still looking though!


Thanks for sharing your picture's. They are so cool.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:58 PM   #133
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popscycle and kmichael, it may interest you to know that the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Co. is currently owned by a man named Doug Pray, who inherited it from his father Glenn Pray. It is in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma about 25 minutes from my house. It is a very busy shop and Doug is a real straight-up good man.
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:42 PM   #134
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popscycle and kmichael, it may interest you to know that the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Co. is currently owned by a man named Doug Pray, who inherited it from his father Glenn Pray. It is in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma about 25 minutes from my house. It is a very busy shop and Doug is a real straight-up good man.
If it wasn't so far, I'd be on the bike in the morning heading your way to buy you a cold beer and see this place. Cords and Duesenbergs go good with beer, IMHO. As it is, we'll try to hunt it down on the internet and look for good information. Thanks for the lead!

John
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:31 PM   #135
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Getting Out and Up

I am fortunate (i.e. blessed) to both (1) have a great bike that I love riding and (2) be able to get out most days for some greater or lesser amount of time to ride it. On days when time is short, I often ride up to and/or around Mt Wachusett since it is not that far away. Those of you who are not from this area should know that Wachusett offers a very pleasant, non-scary and relaxing ride to the summit. Should you get out this way, the road to the top is at coordinates 42.492407, -71.880043 and offers some pleasant views, such as the one below early on in the ride up.



Closet to the top is a view area where you can pull of and get out.



You often find bikers and other interesting people pulled off here to enjoy the view. Some set up lawn chairs and picnic in the area or on the bluffs above. The most unusual thing I saw was two people trying to fly kites. Now that in itself isn't unusual; however, they had a man's picture affixed to the kites and said they were honoring the first anniversary of his death by flying these at the mountain. The deceased was the husband of the older woman and it seemed to be a happy event for both of them.. Their picture (with permission) is below.



The summit, shown below is just up the road.



There are some nice roads to ride in the area; however, you may want to stay off the one just across from the entrance (i.e., Pine Hill road). When I was on it Monday, there were piles of loose gravel and major league potholes on the downhill section - not the stuff heavy bikes like.

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