It’s kind of snuck up on me – particularly since I’ve been working a lot the past two weeks – but a week from today I’ll be on my way to NH. So here’s an update.
My new jacket arrived, and it’s awesome, exactly what I need for riding in warmer weather. I wasn’t sure the mesh parts were going to be in the right places to keep me cool, but once I started riding the bike while wearing it I realized that they were perfect. As a bonus, it also zips onto my pants, both being made by First Gear. I’m not sure which jacket I’ll take with me. Possibly both – the new mesh one for the ride up and back, and the textile one – plus liner – for the ride up the mountain.
My TinyTrak3+ is on its way back to me, having been diagnosed with no hardware problems, but some configuration issues that might have prevented it from transmitting. I’m not entirely sure the problems are fixed, but I should get it back this week, and I’ll test it before the weekend. I’d really like to have it working for my NH trip. If it does, I’ll post a link to where you can follow along with real time position mapping.
I’ve had no luck finding a replacement latch for my trunk, but my cargo net fits over the whole thing to keep it shut as a short term solution. After a bit of measuring, shopping, and pondering, I’ve just ordered a larger trunk rather than continue to look for parts for my antique one. This one is much larger than stock, the idea being that I’ll be able to fit my laptop case into it, which will enable me to use the motorcycle for commuting. The way the stock saddlebags are contoured, it’s impossible for me to fit my laptop case into them, and as an IT consultant I need to bring my laptop with me when I work. This trunk should fix that problem, and, more than the lost latch itself, is why I decided to replace the stock trunk. Mounting should be very easy, since my bike is already set up to have a trunk bolt to it. I may or may not even need the included mounting hardware, which is designed to clamp to a standard luggage rack. I already have brackets to bolt a trunk on, so I’ll mount it as similarly to the stock one as possible. I may have to move my antenna, but since I’m not limited to one and only one mounting position, I can work with that. I may even be able to bolt the backrest from my old trunk to the new one for when my girlfriend rides with me. I will probably not have this in time for the NH trip, since it’s being shipped from California, but I can keep using the stock trunk until the new one arrives, and I’ll certainly have it installed for the Vermont trip. I’m also considering adding an LED light strip to the back of it as a supplemental brake light (or more, depending on how much I want to spend). But one step at a time.
Finally, I can add one more mountaintop ride to my completed list – Mt. Wachusett. It’s fairly close to me, and with an unexpected half day of work Friday and a washout predicted for the weekend, I decided to go right then. There were no crowds, being a weekday, and no one was collecting the $2 parking fee. The road has fresh pavement from bottom to top, which is why it’s been closed for the past year until just recently. It was a fun short ride, but the views weren’t nearly as good as I remember from my childhood, when I rode my bicycle up the mountain a few times. Trees grow, and they’ve obscured most of the views from the summit. They’re building a new fire tower, and the ranger who chatted with me for a while (she must’ve been bored) told me that once it’s open, a platform 20 feet higher than the summit will be open to the public, which should provide the views like I remember.