Sunday, November 20, 2022

Speedo Needle Gone and a Less Hazy Day's Views of Mount Evans

 Things have warmed up nicely here on the Colorado Front Range, today's high is projected to be 51°F.  Positively balmy weather.

Back during Friday's riding, the needle on Scarlett's speedometer had come off the center pivot point.  I figured it had just loosened from a repair I'd done about 5 years ago during a different ride.

However, yesterday after closer examination, it wasn't the needle that was broken again but the stem on which it rides and rotates under the influence of the speedometer cable's rotation.  Dammit.

I didn't want to replace the speedometer, given the limited amount of riding I do these days; that and being a cheap bastich.  (See movie "Johnny Dangerously")

After some searching, I found the Ram X-Mount for mobile phones, and the Ram extension to couple said mount to Scarlett's handlebar.

Why upside down, the mount, you wonder.  The mount rotates slight to the right when underway, so by mounting it as shown above it'll end up straight up/down to satisfy my OCD ways.

A speedometer app later, I had a speedometer again.  The OEM unit will continue functioning as an odometer and tripmeter.  A test drive showed it secure and steady, but the mount comes with an elastic square suitable for further securing the phone if needed.

Today, Sunday, the weather having warmed up as it did, it was time for further test riding with the phone mount in place.  I drove over to the RV storage yard and after clearing the small amount of snow off the roof; set up the 100W solar panel to keep the house battery charged up while in storage.  The small 1.5W panel I'd been using before proved worthless.

That chore complete, I went over to Cabelas to pick up an online order and do some further testing of the phone mount by using Google Maps to get to the store.  No issues, very visible and Google Maps shows one's speed alongside the posted speed limit, so it's very handy.

Pickup done, I wandered back to the Rocking Horse neighborhood for views of Mount Evans as it was a much clearer day today than Friday.

These peaks are not part of Mt Evans

I actually had to remove a layer since it got some warm!  The grip covers let me riding initially with summer gloves; then without gloves for the return trip home.

I'm quite satisfied with the performance of the X-Mount from Ram so far, we'll see how it does in the long run.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Out in the Snow for Broccoli

 Starting yesterday afternoon, it snowed on us again in the cesspool that is the Metro Denver area.  I would say we got 2-3" of the white stuff by this morning.

I finished clearing up the snow where Martha had started moving snow out of the driveway in order to get her car out without compacting snow onto the driveway with her car's tires.

Then, chores almost done, it was time to ride over to the library to pick up some books.  The library wasn't open yet, so instead I went over to the area near the Blackstone Country Club neighborhoods to see what the usual spots offered.

That area got perhaps 3-4" of snow but the roads had been traversed already by this time so no pristine stuff to speak of.  Still, even hazy as it was, the views weren't terrible:

You see what I mean by hazy...usually you'd see Mount Evans in the distance, but not this morning.  The temperatures had been in the high single digits when I left home but had soared into the low 20s by the time the riding finished.

I returned towards the library using Smoky Hill Road.  The road is slightly sloping heading towards the turn one takes to go to the library, had a momentary "moment of concern" when the rig slid a bit started slowing down prior to turning.  Smoky Hill Road was thinly snow covered at this point you see, but no issues arose even though I overshot the turn point by a few feet.

Still, the library wasn't open!  So, retraced my steps to the nearby grocery store to fetch the broccoli Martha had tasked me with for dinner.  By the time I got out of the store, it was almost time for the library to open and I got there in time to see the doors open for the small crowd outside that had been waiting.

Books retrieved, made my way back home via neighborhood roads.  All chores now done, time to relax and read a book!

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

A Perk for U.S. Military Veterans

I just found out about a new pass now available from the USGS:

Excerpt from the USGS website page:

The Interagency Military Pass has been part of the America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series since 2012. On December 27, 2021, President Biden signed into law S. 1605 “The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022” (NDAA). Section 641 of the NDAA makes Gold Star families and veterans eligible for lifetime passes to federal recreational lands. The Interagency Military-Lifetime Pass can be issued to Gold Star families and U.S. military veterans.

Here's a link to the specific page on the USGS website for this particular pass:  LINK

The pass Covers entrance fees at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service sites and covers Standard Amenity Fees at Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation sites, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sites.

Admits the pass owner and any accompanying passengers in a private, non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas, or the pass owner and up to additional 3 adults (16 and over) at sites that charge per person.

The above is a pretty good benefit for Veterans, it will cost you $10 (processing and verification fees) at the USGS site but if you use it, should save you quite a few dollars...especially at the National Parks!

I went ahead and applied for the card even though I have the Disability Access version of the America the Beautiful Passes:

I believe, given my read of the USGS webpage, that my existing card is fine for all access granted by the Veteran version but given that we're talking multiple Federal agencies....I figured one or the other would cover things.

The additional benefit of the Disability version pass is 1/2 off the camping fees at BLM, COE, National Parks and USFS campgrounds.  So, if you are a disabled Veteran, get this earned it.

Update: November 16: Received my pass in the mail today.