Monday, August 22, 2016

Nostalgia and ice cream

I bought my first street bike in River Falls, Wisconsin. Some clever soul had parked a spray painted black, 1982 KZ550 in the lot on Main Street and Division. The three digit number on the for sale sign caught my eye immediately. A thorough inspection found that the seat cover and chrome were in good condition so a deal was made and I was on the road.

The bike would only start if it was parked in the sun. I have great memories of driving to work in North Hudson on sunny afternoons, then returning the next day to pick it up. It ran well enough for long enough to entertain the opposite sex on occasion, which was important. The woman who would later become Mrs. North was known to putt around town on it.

I took out a loan at the local Credit Union, these were very understanding people.

Today, memories drew their own purple lines on the GPS. My trip from St. Paul to Selma's ice cream parlor in Afton passed through River Falls and Prescott with a stop at Kinnickinnic State Park. I haven’t been on M and MM for years, I forgot how good they are. The fields and barns are all still there, only the farm dogs have changed.

Bob Ross was painting today.

The USGS crest gage on the Kinnickinnik River at County Road F. 
River Falls saw 5 inches of rain this weekend. 

Native prairie restoration.

Lake St. Croix, where the St. Croix river joins the Mississippi.

After all that, I did remember to stop at Selma's for a cone. Zanzibar in a sugar cone. I even found a new road out of town. Sometimes I'll take a road because I like its name. Any road named Indian Trail is worth a 180. I knew where it ended up but I didn't know it wound around some hills, wetlands and a small lake.

- Ride North


  1. Sure some pretty scenery around there. And green grass! Our is so brown and parched right now in Oregon.

  2. It's been a wet summer here and not too hot, things are "going gangbusters" as they say up here. That first picture is just the raw image, no enhancements necessary! I was talking to some bikers at one of my last stops and we all agreed that we just didn't want to go home.

  3. The force is strong with this one...blinded by the desire to get in the wind (and a new seat cover). I remember my novice motorcycle purchase; a '65 Honda S90 with an odd little sump and oil plug that had been broken off. In it's place a small galvanized sheet metal patch held on with 4 screws (at least they had metric treads). One quart of 10-40 from the local Standard gas station (within bicycle riding distance), a messy drain job, some cleaning of the spark plug & points and I was "on the road" (trail).
    I would love to revisit those woods and fields again but they are all posted or developed now. I still retrace the local back-road rides I took on my second mechanical horse, but that's another story. They say you can't go home again but you can take a ride back in time. Looks like you know how not to think too hard about it and just enjoy the ride!

    1. I have an old Honda dirt bike you could borrow. Custom paint job.

  4. Ahhh, I know the bike well. Maybe it will be someone else's first ride...maybe li'l ride north, if we're not all on electric bikes by then.
    Funny how these first bikes scratch the itch despite their flaws.