Archive for July, 2009

Brighton rec area

Saturday, 11th July 2009; 4:39 pm - Location: , ,

I had an uneventful ride east. I stopped briefly in Saranac, and again in Lansing, but mostly just drove straight through.

The ride thru Lansing itself was pretty bleak: just a bunch of urban decay along Grand River Avenue. There’s an immediate change when it enters EAST Lansing, where suddenly you’re in a fairly vibrant university town with a thriving retail business district. But it wasn’t until well past metro Lansing that the traffic thinned out. I’m going to try riding around it on the way home.

I got a rustic campsite at Brighton Rec Area. I scouted out their other site, which is a little closer to Brighton, but that turned out to be a mistake. It was a long hilly dirt road, and also wet. I had to go slow and keep my feet out in case I slipped. It’d be faster and easier to get back to the rustic campground further out, near the day-use area. The site I got is nice enough, just off Appleton Lake.

Hell and recreation

Friday, 10th July 2009; 8:57 pm - Location: , ,

I’ve checked the Michigan State Parks reservation site, and the campground closest to Hell is full already this weekend. But Brighton State Recreation Area nearby still has openings (even for tonight), so that should work fine. In fact that should be a little better for getting back to the campsite after the Michigan Comics Network thing in Brighton Saturday night.

Kick me

Friday, 3rd July 2009; 5:44 pm - Location:

One of the things I knew I wanted to do before the big scoot was to make sure I could kick-start my scooter. The battery isn’t very powerful and the starter sometimes seems like it’s barely up to the job, and the last thing I want is to find myself alone somewhere with a drained battery and no way to jump-start the bike.

I got a chance to try it when I accidentally left the power “on” with the bike sitting for a couple days. The battery still had enough juice to power the brake light and the fuel gauge, but not enough to run the starter. Time to start kicking.

I tried over and over, for half an hour last night. I know that people often have trouble getting the knack for it, but I’ve also been told it “isn’t that hard”, so I knew I’d get the hang of it eventually. I tried kicking with different legs from different angles, but the best I got was to briefly light up the headlight and speedometer, and the engine maybe sounding like it was thinking of running. Finally, my shirt soaked in sweat, and sore in a few spots where I’d bumped the scooter, I gave up. I couldn’t get it.

Then someone online suggested that I try giving it some extra gas, so this morning I walked outside, put the key in the ignition, turned on the scooter’s power, twisted the throttle just a little to give it more fuel, and kicked the starter once. It ran.

It then stalled, so I kicked it one more time and it ran again, then stalled. I had to ride it several blocks before I could let it idle without threatening to stop. But after a few miles of riding and then a leisurely lunch with a friend, the starter worked like a charm. So check another box on the pre-flight checklist: I can kick-start the scooter.