Sunday, April 21, 2013

New Husqvarna

I brought my new Husqvarna home yesterday.  As much as I would like to have one of the new Husky 650's, it is in fact a 54 inch zero turn mower.  Still, it is good to have another Husky in the garage again. I have owned 3 in the past but this is my first Husqvarna mower.

Last Monday, we met at my house and left with the temperature at 68º.  We had a tentative route planned but are always open to whatever looks good as we are riding.  Once out of town, we headed out a windy, narrow two lane asphalt road that woke up both the bikes and the riders.  Soon our asphalt came to an end and we grinned with great anticipation ... we were riding new stuff to us.  To those who don't ride, riding new stuff is kinda like Christmas.  Sometimes you get a iPad, sometimes you get underwear.  Not that new, clean underwear hasn't come in handy before ... especially the way we ride.
Soon we were riding in a gorgeous valley with a good sized creek running parallel with the road for a good mile or longer.  We rode over the tops of some mountains that allowed you to see for what seemed like forever (remember that - it's clear and sunny at this moment).  This went on for the next 20 miles, riding through some back woods, beautiful country with pure shacks that people were living in.  I jokingly told Randall, "if I break down out here, I will walk out.  I'm not walking up on the porch of some of these houses.  I've seen Deliverance".  Randall agreed.  We rode through a picturesque little town complete with a white church and tall steeple on it before climbing back up to scenic highway 71.  We stopped at the overlook for Lake Fort Smith and it was good to see the water level rising after the spring rains we have had.  Next we headed out for our next leg of the ride ... 22 more new miles of forest road to both of us.  It was so thrilling to be riding new (parts of it rough and rugged) scenery, I got so wrapped up in the ride, I forgot to stop to take any photos on the new stuff.  We only got lost twice, so for the first time riding off of someone else's directions, that's not too bad.
Overlook at Lake Fort Smith.
Randall at overlook.
Forest road just past Shores Lake.
Low water bridge on part of the new stuff we rode.
Oark Cafe, some fine dining.
Fog, rain and chilly temps.  By the time we got back home it was 72.  Crazy day.
We worked in a stop at Oark, one of our favorite places to eat and I noticed what I thought was fog on the top of the mountains to our east.  After eating and getting back on the bikes some 40 minutes later, there was a light drizzle falling.  A few miles up the asphalt toward the mountains, it turned to rain and heavy fog.  Hard banked and off camber turns in the mountains on wet asphalt with knobby tires is a little unnerving for me.  I slowed to 35mph through the turns and still didn't feel comfortable.  I sure was glad to see the dirt road we were looking for.  Once on dirt, we topped the mountains and as we dropped off of the back side came back out of the fog and rain.  From there on it was pretty much an uneventful 60 miles back home.  Except for the Arkansas River bridge at Ozark, just a cool old bridge.

Feeling some better now that the temps have warmed up and are somewhat stabilizing.  Had a lot of hand pain after this 215 mile ride.  I used my grip heaters part of the day but I suspect I turned them on too late to help much, my hands were already cold by the time I remembered to turn them on.   Going back to my rheumatologist next week and will talk to him about my pain and see what he feels about switching meds.  I really am feeling better now and hate to jump the gun on the meds.


Anonymous said...

Was an almost warm weekend here in Syracuse. The spring has been a bit rough on me, but I managed a light workout and a bit of fishing. It snowed yesterday morning, but got up in the 50's today and there were lots of people today out fishing just because we can. Back to work tomorrow and 4 weeks to go till the semester ends. The ride sounds awesome. My hands have been tough with the pain and lack of feel for the fine work. I know how rough it can be and always appreciate hearing that you can still get out there.


Terry said...

Phil, I am still struggling more than I would like also. We have been having 70's and 80's then a cold front will come through bringing storms and will be back down in the 30's for a couple of days. Hang in there for the next 4 weeks!

mary said...

I'm scared to ride a bike on wet roads. Can't believe you do it on a motorcycle with knobby tires.

I'm just back from California where the hiking was wonderful. This hasn't been my best year healthwise so the hikes were slow and shorter but I loved every minute of it. Adapt, adapt, adapt. Hope your spring settles in for good soon.

Terry said...

Mary, good to hear from you. I'm not scared of riding wet asphalt but definitely respect it on knobby tires. We had been riding 55-75 mph most of the day so slowing down to 35 mph seemed like you were riding with your grandfather. haha

Slower and shorter may seem like a drag but you were out there enjoying what you love to do. GOOD FOR YOU! I hate to hear of people letting illnesses get the best of them or worse yet just sitting around doing nothing while being perfectly healthy! Hope you can get back on the bike soon.