Canadian Guide Dog Motorcycle Ride 11 September 2016

This sounds fun, but watch out before you drop the kickstand.

The Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind are hosting the Canadian Guide Dog Motorcycle Ride on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016 from the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, 4120 Rideau Valley Drive North, Manotick, ON K4M 1B2, Canada to Iroquois, Ontario (that’s Canada, eh?)

The 28th annual event is organized in conjunction with the Ottawa River Riders and the Canadian Motorcycle Cruisers.

If you’re riding up that way, why not stop by for a spell? You could always tie it in with a Battlefield Biker ride to the War of 1812’s Crysler’s Farm Battlefield just up Highway 2.

Image Credit: By Benson Lossing (The Pictorial Field Book of the War of 1812) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Nez Perce Trail in One Ride from Reno – Crazy?

I have always wanted to travel the Nez Perce Trail by motorcycle. I have set aside ten (10) days to do this trip in September 2016. When I plotted it, I gulped hard. 3,140 miles with plenty of gravel and dirt roads thrown in for good measure.

Averaging 314 miles a day. Is this crazy?

The map above is a rough example of the ride minus the trip from Reno to Joseph, OR and the return from Chinook, MT.

Photo Credit: By Lencer [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Combat Veteran’s Motorcycle Association Conducts Civil War Ride

Combat Veteran’s Motorcycle Association Chapter 27-3 conducted a ride around the Petersburg, Virginia area on 19-20 August 2016. It was organized by a member who works as National Park Service Ranger, Chris Castle, who is a also a combat veteran. Castle conducted historical briefs at several stops. From the article,

The stop locations included, the Battle of the Crater, and Fort Fisher. The ride ended with lunch at a local restaurant. Everyone left with an understanding of the events that occurred during the 292 day campaign, that led to the retreat and eventual surrender of Lee’s army at Appomattox.

However, the article erroneously states,

This weekend also marked the 150th anniversary to the end of the civil war.

The USA Civil War concluded in the spring of 1865… 151 years ago from 2016. General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia on 9 April 1865. President Andrew Johnson issued a Proclamation of the end of the war on 9 May 1865 and the last major Confederate forces west of the Mississippi River surrendered on 2 June 1865.

I bet this was a great ride. Good people gathering to learn their nation’s history and a good ride to boot. If you attended, please let me know how it went.

Image Credit: Timothy H. O’Sullivan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Trail of Tears Memorial Motorcycle Ride in Chattanooga on 17 September 2016

From Eventful: Chattanooga

Trail of Tears Memorial Motorcycle Ride in Chattanooga on 17 September 2016

The ride is dedicated to Native Americans forced off their land in the early 1800s by the United States. Thousands of Native Americans died in the trek across the country. The ride starts in downtown Chattanooga and will end in Florence, Alabama. Founded by Bill Cason, this is the world’s largest organized ride with as many as 20,000+ participants.

Personally, I’d love the ride, but with 20,000+ riders, it would be a nightmare for me. If you are like me, maybe you could go to the rally and get the details, then ride it another time alone or with a smaller group.

Event Details
Admission: Free
Phone: (229) 563-2227
Location: Ross’s Landing – Chattanooga Pier
Address: 100 Riverfront Parkway • Chattanooga, TN 37402Event Schedule
9/17/2016 08:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Image Credit: By User:Nikater [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

American Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg (Part 3) 13 December 1862

On the morning of 13 December 1862, the preparations were done and the day of reckoning was at hand. Burnside had decided on taking the nearest hills, but had sent ill-defined orders to his left which resulted in a weak effort to roll up Lee’s right flank.

As the morning progressed, A federal bombardment of the Rebel positions on Prospect Hill preceded the push from Union General Meade. Meade was delayed by the “gallant Pelham,” for a critical half hour. Finally, the main assault was underway and repulsed once, but Meade was determined and found a way to defeat Confederate A.P. Hill through a marshy area. Once Meade was through, he found that the promised left flank movement was far too weak to support his breakthrough. Seeing Meade exposed, Stonewall Jackson threw Jubal Early’s division into counter-attack and drove Meade out. A Union opportunity of great importance had been lost.

Over on Marye’s Heights, it was a turkey shoot as the Confederate’s repelled wave after wave of Union assault. Burnside had been criticized for not being aggressive enough previous to Fredericksburg, so he decided that this would not be the case here. He renewed his attack on Marye’s Heights and on Lee’s right flank. This turned a defeat into a bloodbath. The day was lost to Burnside due to weak orders and dithering in his preparation, not his lack of aggressiveness.

For a motorcycle ride that also takes in the Spotsylvania
battlefield, head west out of Fredericksburg on VA State Route 3, then
head southwest on Virginia State Route 20 at Wilderness and follow VA SR 20 for approximately 50 miles to Charlottesville.

Image Credit – By Kurz & Allison, Art Publishers, Chicago, U.S. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Chain Knowledge

Here is a good primer on chain wear for those of us with chain driven bikes. I’ve not always been good at this, but have vowed to be better at all forms of PMCS in my older age.
I had a Scott Oiler on my old KTM and that always served me well.

Image credit – https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/machineguarding/animations/chain.html

1 August 1914 – The German Empire Declares War on the Russian Empire Setting Off WWI

On 1 August 1914 for reasons still debated today, the German Empire declared war on the Russian Empire to set off World War I. I’ve written about some of the battles between the Germans and Russians early in WWI here.

Map credit above: By historicair (French original)Fluteflute & User:Bibi Saint-Pol (English translation) [CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Second / Winter Battle of the Masurian Lakes 7-22 February 1915

With the war on the Western Front stalemating, Paul von Hindenburg, Commander-in-Chief of the German armies in the East, and his Chief of Staff, Erich Ludendorff, came up with a plan. The idea was to decisively defeat the Russians in East Prussia, so that overwhelming power could then be transferred to the Western Front. The battle that ensued was called the Second / Winter Battle of the Masurian Lakes.

On 7 February 1915, Hindenburg attacked attacked in the south lakes in a blizzard. He quickly pushed the Russians back by 70 miles and out of most of east Prussia. Two days later he attacked in the north lakes and had the Russians on the run. However, one corps of the Russians fell back into the primeval forests around Augustow (present day Poland) and held on for another 10 days before surrendering. This delay allowed three other corps to escape the German encirclement. Shortly thereafter, the Russians counter-attacked and ended the German initiative. The Russians took a horrendous number of casualties and captured, but their willingness to take great pain had stopped a total rout.

Hindenburg was a viewed as the savior of East Prussia to a weary German nation, but his grand plan of delivering a crushing blow that would remove the need for heavy forces in the east had not been completed. In the south, near the Carpathian mountains, the offensive had stalled early. The Germans had to continue on two fronts for most of the remainder of the war. Hindenburg’s great rival, Falkenhayn, the German Chief of Staff, was against the plan, but had to concede under a withering attack on his reputation by Hindenburg himself. Eventually, Hindenburg would ascend to take Falkenhayn’s place, with Ludendorff becoming the Quartermaster General.

Motorcycle Ride Recommendation

I have had a great ride in this area, but I was loster than Cooter Brown somewhere west-northwest of Suwalki, near the Russian border, in the area that Hindenburg’s northern prong would have attacked through on 9 February 1915. A buddy and I spent 3 hours riding through some beautiful country on a Sunday morning, but I can’t tell you where exactly. However, when we did find ourselves again, we travelled through the Augustow area, then west through the middle of the Masurian Lakes on the way to Olsztyn and can highly recommend it as well. Here’s a map of where I think we traveled. As they say, that was when the road-trip ended and the adventure began.

Map credit above: By historicair (French original)Fluteflute & User:Bibi Saint-Pol (English translation) [CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Helmet Replacement After 5 years?

This is possibly the most pragmatic and logical of any discussion about when to replace your helmet I have ever read.
Time to make up your own mind with an article that treats you like an adult. Don’t want no dain bramage.

Battle of Killiecrankie – 27 July 1689

The Battle of Killiecrankie of the English Revolution of 1689 was fought on 27 July 1689. James II’s Scottish Jacobites under Viscount Dundee defeated William III’s forces led by General Hugh MacKay along a steep defile along the River Garry in east-central Scotland. Although a victory for the Jacobites, Dundee was killed and the Jacobites failed to follow up the victory. The remainder were scattered at the Battle of Dunkeld a month later. The few Irish that came were poorly equipped and ragged. This proved to many that their was little foreign support coming from France or Ireland, so many Scots decided discretion was the better part of valor.

The A9 road northwest of Pitlochry passes right through the battlefield. There is a visitor’s center at Pitlochry that is near the Williamite retreat route.

Don’t miss the Blair Athol Distillery nearby. If you left the fishing rod at home, you buy a new one at the House of Bruar.

Image: By James Grant [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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