Lunch in Lowell

Friday, 10th May 2013; 5:51 pm

Lowell is bicycling distance from my house. At least it was back when I was bicycling regularly. Yesterday I took a day off from work (mostly just because) and the weather was nice, so I rode the scooter out to Lowell, on Grand River Drive. I’m about a month away from the first extended ride of the year, so I figured it was a good time to at least do a day trip.

The scooter performed excellently. I brought it into the shop at the end of the winter for the most extensive service since I bought him. New rear tire (3rd so far), new transmission belt and rollers (first time), gear-old change, new fuel filter and spark plug, front brake line replaced (it’d worn a hole in it from rubbing against the wheel), and assorted minor bits. And it’s running as good as new, literally. I’m getting a little over 40mph on level groud, and my last fill-up was nearly 90mpg. I’m about 500 miles from hitting 20,000 miles, and as far as I can tell, it’ll make it to 40,000. The muffler’s looking a bit corroded, and I swear it’s gotten louder than it used to be, but that’ll be just another maintenance part to replace.

I’ve been to and through Lowell many times, but I don’t usually have lunch there, so I used an app on the phone to show me what was available. Even this close to Grand Rapids, I was already down to a 1G data connection. Before I switched from AT&T to T-Mobile to save money, I didn’t know that such service was still online; I’d always gotten at least EDGE (aka “2G”), but T-Mobile apparently still has some towers running the data service offered before that. It shows up as a little circle in the signal indicator. I knew T-Mobile had lousy rural service when I switched, so I figure I’ll get AT&T pre-paid service on a temporary number for the times I’ll be on the road. Coverage is still spotty in the western UP, but should be about as good as the service I had on my first UP ride in 2009.

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