Oshkosh Trip: Day 5

Day 5 — Omaha, NE to Cedar Rapids, IA — 312 Miles


[ Click to go interactive ]


Today was all about getting the 6K service done on my bike, and since the dealer didn’t open until 0900, that made for a nice relaxing morning to “sleep in”.

Got into the bimmer shop about 5 till 9 and Richard, the Operations Manager, was a bit more proactive and got the paper work going after a few minutes milling about. Talked to the service tech and explained the problem of it dying a couple of times on the trip and my suspicion of a venting problem.

The 6K service amounts to a glorified oil change and the tech has little chat with the bike’s computer to see if it thinks anything is wrong. 1.5 hours later, the he was done.

Problem #1 — the rear tire pressure monitor sensor has been slow to respond and the computer has 40+ fault codes registering this problem. I had seen this in the past, and forgot to mention it when I handed the keys over. His response: “take it to your dealer and have *them* upgrade the SW on the bike.” WTF!?! It’s under warranty, why didn’t *you* take care of it? What were you doing for the last hour?

Problem #2 — why is the bike dying? His response: “I don’t know. There’s no faults registered in the computer.” Well, gee, really?!? Maybe because it doesn’t have a frick’n sensor for fuel starvation? I asked if he’d checked to see if the fuel tank venting recall had been done and he didn’t know.

Problem #3 — I’d removed the tank bag so it wouldn’t be in his way if he needed to remove the faux tank cover panel. After getting the bike back, I find that he’s conveniently trapped one of the snap buckles inside the panel when he reinstalled it. So, 8 torx screws later, I recover the strap and buckle and put the panel back on.

Problem #4 — I later discovered that he’d forced the seat past my luggage rack and ripped a 3/4″ tear in the back of the seat while doing so.

So, all in all, $192 for an oil change and a torn seat. I left feedback on their website and got a note back from the owner. He apologized for my experience and offered to talk if I felt the need.

Since I don’t have anything nice to say, … I’ll stop at that. You be the judge if you care to give BMW of Omaha your business.

Wait’n around at Omaha BMW — Gett’n the 6K service done on my bike.

NIKON D70, ISO 400, ƒ/3.5, 1/1000sec, 18mm focal L. ~16mi from prev photo, map

This was one of the locals. They have a travel log if you are so inclined (it’s a bit annoying as the pages aren’t linked together). I didn’t figure out who the owner of the bike was while waiting on the service; probably an interesting chap to talk to. I’m not so sure I could do quite that much adventuring with my wife on the back — she’d want her own bike :)

Just a few miles traveled

iPhone

Finally, about 1100 we were on the road and heading east again. The plan was to get off the super slab and pickup US-30 outside of Omaha.

Buh bye Nebraska — Bridge over the Missouri River heading into Iowa.

NIKON D70, ISO 400, ƒ/4.5, 1/1600sec, 50mm focal L. @64 MPH, map

2 state-line signs in a row!

Welcome to Iowa — It’s not out of focus, it’s just all the ethanol vapors.

NIKON D70, ISO 400, ƒ/4.5, 1/1600sec, 18mm focal L. @67 MPH ~0.8mi from prev photo, map

I find it very interesting what one state’s g’ment thinks is important compared to other state’s. Does it really serve any purpose to state the minimum speed? I don’t believe the farmers are really trying to drive tractors on the freeway…

Speed bounds

NIKON D70, ISO 400, ƒ/4.5, 1/1600sec, 18mm focal L. @67 MPH ~653ft from prev photo, map

I sometimes play a rail fan when I’m not a motorcycle geek, or airplane freak.

Electro Motive SD70MUnion Pacific 5086

NIKON D70, ISO 400, ƒ/4.5, 1/1600sec, 70mm focal L. @63 MPH ~55mi from prev photo, map

Your’s truly — Me taking pictures of Dad.

Canon PowerShot SD870 IS, ISO 400, ƒ/8.0, 1/500sec, 4.6 mm focal L. @62 MPH ~4mi from prev photo, map

Compare and contrast: finely woven blend of natural and synthetic fibers producing reinforced street clothes vs armored moto gear. My dad grew up riding motorcycles (literally before he was legal to do so) and they just didn’t wear helmets, much less have any laws requiring them. Ignoring the safety of a full-face helmet, I take it off and observe the smattering of bugs and I couldn’t imagine cleaning all those guts off my face every time we stopped to get a bite to eat. I feel naked wearing street clothes on the bike. Alas, I can’t get my dad to wear a seat belt in the car — no sense in trying to convince him to put on moto gear. I’m just happy he wears the little shell in states that don’t require it.

Funny thing is, he was the one that got hot all the time.

Dad taking pictures of me — He’s just putting the camera in his pocket. Note the ethanol plant in the background.

NIKON D70, ISO 400, ƒ/4.5, 1/1600sec, 18mm focal L. @59 MPH, map

Dad spied this soda shop while searching for a place to eat on his GPS near Denison, IA — and a find it was. They food was good (not great), but, the atmosphere more than made up for any minor shortcomings elsewhere.

Reiney’s Soda Fountain — Doesn’t get any more authentic than this.

NIKON D70, ISO 400, ƒ/3.5, 1/20sec, 18mm focal L. ~1.9mi from prev photo, map

Denison was the home of Dona Reed. They have a beautiful theater dedicated to her and adorned with memorabilia. Reiney’s shares the building with the theater and proudly displays some of her posters.

(huh, we just had a small earthquake as I typed that last sentence. ~4.0 centered in Hollister, CA — rather unsettling)

Reiney’s Soda Fountain

NIKON D70, ISO 400, ƒ/4.5, 1/15sec, 46mm focal L., map

I *knew* they grow allot of corn here. But, the concept of planting only one crop year after year on the same ground is foreign to me. We always rotated through various crops to keep the soil balanced and healthy. I just wasn’t mentally prepared for the endless miles of nothing but corn fields.

Look! A corn field — Who’d have thunk they have these in Iowa?!?

NIKON D70, ISO 400, ƒ/4.5, 1/1600sec, 70mm focal L. @63 MPH ~19mi from prev photo, map

Another corn field! — Missed the shot of the house, but, with that barn, it made the perfect farm house you’d see in the movies.

NIKON D70, ISO 400, ƒ/4.5, 1/1250sec, 60mm focal L. @63 MPH ~26mi from prev photo, map

Also, I sense that Iowa is very proud of their ethanol. I reckon it’s been a boon for the state; using up all that perfectly good food to make fuel, driving up the price of corn. Say what you want about our dependence on foreign oil, but, ethanol is not the answer as it costs far to much energy to produce. Seams like every other granary has been converted to an ethanol plant; you can hardly buy fuel without it in the state.

Not converted to an ethanol plant — … yet

NIKON D70, ISO 400, ƒ/4.5, 1/2000sec, 70mm focal L. @61 MPH ~2.9mi from prev photo, map

OK, it’s not *ALL* corn fields out here.

NIKON D70, ISO 400, ƒ/4.5, 1/1250sec, 70mm focal L. @68 MPH ~12mi from prev photo, map

It’d been so nice not seeing any rabid Raiders fan driving down the freeway with multiple 10 foot flags attached to their car or truck. You can literally watch the cheepo material getting tattered and shredded by the wind. It’s all a little bit silly in my book.

Raiders Fan — Don’t think you’ll see him in the Black Hole.

NIKON D70, ISO 400, ƒ/4.5, 1/1250sec, 70mm focal L. @62 MPH ~2.9mi from prev photo, map

And, just to keep the testing “honest”, the third sign from the left is labeled “Competitor”.

Test plots — AKA free advertising for seed growers.

NIKON D70, ISO 400, ƒ/4.5, 1/1600sec, 55mm focal L. @64 MPH ~8.0mi from prev photo, map

Coal train heading to the power plant — gotta keep those ethanol plants powered.

NIKON D70, ISO 400, ƒ/4.5, 1/1600sec, 55mm focal L. @66 MPH ~11mi from prev photo, map

I laughed out loud when I saw this ski hill; you make do with what you got, I reckon. Back home, we’d call that the bunny hill.

Bunny hill

NIKON D70, ISO 400, ƒ/4.5, 1/800sec, 70mm focal L. @69 MPH ~15mi from prev photo, map

I suggested my dad should do this conversion to his Goldwing and I was met with a brief chuckle and a cold, “Yeah, right” stare.

Whatever floats your boat — trifecta of trikes

NIKON D70, ISO 400, ƒ/4.5, 1/500sec, 38mm focal L. ~19mi from prev photo, map

*yawn* more corn

NIKON D70, ISO 400, ƒ/4.5, 1/1250sec, 27mm focal L. @56 MPH ~106mi from prev photo, map

We checked into the Motel 8 in Cedar Rapids. We wanted to find a place to eat so we called the front desk to get the wifi password and the guy rattles off the following 26 character password “e2ca18a55d118405bb855a2ab5″. I’m not making this up!

Because, you know, size *does* matter! (ok yes, it does for the bit length of the KEY — a different thing entirely than the password). The funny thing is, they were using WEP encryption, which is widely known to be 100% crackable. Morons.

Tomorrow: We finally see a few airplanes!

2 comments to Oshkosh Trip: Day 5

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