Day 9

Kewanee, IL to Fort Dodge, IA

When I went to the lobby to get my receipt Tuesday morning, I noticed several relief paintings which were quite cool.
Soon I had loaded my bike and backed it out of its evening cubby hole.
On my way out of Kewanee, I stopped to take a picture of the entrance to Baker Park. A biker with a local plate rode into the park and I wondered if the park was a local favourite ride.
It was. A twisty road led you through the park which housed a golf course...
...and running paths.
The road twisted through woods...
...and also crossed fairways. FORE!
It was a fairly lengthy trail...
...that eventually led you back to the main road, but not before the pretty surroundings made you feel good about the day to come.
The ride towards Le Claire on Hwys 81/82...
... led me through basically flat farmland.
When I crossed the Mississippi River and arrived in Le Claire, Iowa, I turned off Hwy 67 into a shoreline neighbourhood.
The docks and lawns on the east side of the road were nice...
... but the houses were spectacular.
As I admired the water view...
... a good sized boat cruised by.
I wasn't the only one watching the boat. These sunning ducks also took note of the vessel.
Certainly a nice place to light a fire, sit on your bench, and enjoy the view.
A shopping area in Le Claire...
... nearer the north end of town.
I rode past this home overlooking a pond on a previous ride (2004).
Its setting is so tranquil that it's a hard place to forget.
Driving north towards Clinton, you see this beautiful house with a nice red roof.
The ranch/farm buildings are also "dressed" in red.
There's even a red truck parked in front...
... and to complete the look, "red" horses! Seriously, a good looking ranch.
Along the road as I travelled west towards Anamosa...
...lots of lush land...
...and inviting country roads.
You can understand why people why people want to live on this rolling green countryside.
Finally! I'd arrived in Anamosa. Why the stop there?
I thought it would be interesting to visit the National Motorcycle Museum which is located there.
As you enter the building, you run into an old Harley and an old miniature.
The "Flying Hog" was an old Harley dragster.
A 1934 Indian Scout Racer
A 1940 Indian with a skirted fender.
There are HUNDREDS of bikes in the Museum. A few are owned by the Museum but most seem to be "on loan". On the main floor of the Museum, the bikes are arranged in groups. This grouping highlighted the Indian motorcycles.
Are all the knobs on the gas tank some kind of chokes? Back in this bike's day, did you have to mix your fuel as you went (gas & oil)??
Here's Papa Indian and little Papoose.
A 1959 Triumph Thunderbird painted by Von Dutch. Dutch was an innovative artist prominent in motor sports graphics and design. He created the pin striping, flames and all seeing eye which is still prevalent in modern designs.
Here's an original way of attaching luggage to a bike! (Hey Melanie! Do you see the Rat Fink design in the background?)
We're now in the Vincent section.
Some of the innovations on these bikes which date back to the 30s were neat.
Some of these bikes were so cool...
... you wonder how Vincent ever disappeared from the manufacturing scene.
Sturgis 50th Anniversary bike and quilt (background).
There's an Evel Knievel section in the Museum which includes a 1972 bike...
...and various paraphenalia which includes a pinball game... where the heck are quarters when you need them?
There were some really old motorcycles on display. This is a 1909 Hudson. Maybe it (or one like it) was ridden at the opening of the Indianapolis Speedway in that same year!
These Harley Davidsons also date back to 1909. The one on the right was a police vehicle.
More really old Harleys. All the bikes have absorbent pads under them because they obviously leak oil or other fluids.
1916 (left) and 1914 (right)... the antique bikes in the Museum really differ when it comes to the condition they're in.
A 1916 "custom" job.
If I ever own a Harley, I want THIS one!!
More recent Harleys... if you consider 1942 & 1969 more recent.
Detailing on these old bikes somewhat outdoes modern design.
Besides actual motorcycles, scale models, crackerjack type toys, and these bicycles were displayed. I like the horse in this picture...
... the airplane in this one...
... and the motorcycle in this one.
Did you ever ride on a motorcycle in a grocery store? (background)
The mini Indian was PRISTINE and I WANTED it!!!
You've got to love this 1913, 4 cylinder Henderson!
This baby was raced at the Bonneville Salt Flats.<
It has two Yamaha XS650 engines in it that are supercharged. It was run in 1969 and reached a speed of 175 mph. To show how far engines have come, my bike will supposedly go that fast off the showroom floor. I say "supposedly" because I'm not stupid enough to test that out. If you're going to reach speeds that fast, you need to be somewhere where nothing is going to surprise you... i.e. no one is going to pull out in front of you and any other vehicles around you are travelling at a comparible speed. Read: racetrack or drag strip.
In the "celebrity" section, they had the Easy Rider bike (one of two) used by Peter Fonda in the movie.
This was Steve McQueen's personal (and supposedly favourite) bike.
This is the Indian Larry Tribute bike built by his employees and co-workers after he died doing a stunt at a bike show.
This 1906 Curtiss V-twin was in fabulous condition.
There was a row of bikes in the museum which were there strictly for the "bling". The first one was kind of sharp...
... but others were so blinged out it was hard to make out the bike. In case you're confused by this picture, you're looking at a fan attached to a set of handlebars.
This one is obviously just for show because who would be crazy enough to sit on that seat with all the spikes sticking out?
An army bike of German descent...
... Yes, we're finally in the BMW section.
This BMW was awesome.
Note the dual seat with the wooden hand grip for the passenger.
You've got to love this vintage R-12!
Look at the handlebars on this Ner-A-Car, a 1923 concoction.
A 1915 HD with sidecar.
I just took this picture because I liked the paint job and the pipes on it. Don't even remember the make.
I liked the look of this Indian engine.
You've got to love the white tires and the golden handlebars!
Downstairs, a highlight had to be a reproduction of the 1885 wooden Daimler Einspur.
The museum also displayed old bicycles. Too bad the high wheel bicycle was hidden behind so many other things.
If they want more old Hondas, they just need to look out on the street. Many Hondas around this vintage are still running and roadworthy!
By this time, the first few hundred bikes had worn me out. Over-stimulation...
...So I just hunted down oddities like this bike and sidecar.
This set of bikes/sidecars would have to be from opposite sides of the ocean, I think. The bike on our right has its sidecar on its left, basically making the bike a right-hand drive.
The museum wasn't sure what to call this. Perhaps a moto-tractor?
It's only fitting that a cycle shop should have a truck motorized by a motorcycle!
Ducati row... one of the bikes here was almost identical to one I saw at Ducati Island at the Speedway.
A Flying Merkel (gotta love the name... wonder why it didn't last)
The "tire" and sprocket on this 1916 hill climber was awesome!
Finally, I took some pictures of some of the bronze sculptures in the museum.
This old time race sculpture was very cool. It was about 3-4 feet long.
Sidecar racing. Someone recently asked me if people still do this. I was not and am not sure.
This statue was especially notable because it was near life size. I also recognize it from somewhere. Some bike organization or club has used it when advertising.
After leaving Anamosa, I enjoyed more scenery as I headed west...
...but I do not have many pictures for two reasons:

1) Once I hit the Interstate at Cedar Rapids, there was not much opportunity to stop.
2) Since I was travelling directly west and it was later in the day, I was driving directly into the sun.

The second reason actually became quite an issue. I was glad to be on a divided highway because I didn't have to worry about facing traffic. On the other hand, the sun was blinding. With 80 kilometers yet to drive (to Fort Dodge), I finally tucked into the long shadow of a semi so I could see. I stayed there, being extremely careful to monitor all traffic coming up behind me.

        Map of Day 9 to left.

        Next: Day 10
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