My Weekend Ride in Upstate New York

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Chris
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My Weekend Ride in Upstate New York

Postby Chris » Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:43 pm

The three of us met as planned at an all-you-can-eat breakfast hosted by the Mason's Lodge in Montour Falls and left from there with a full belly. We headed north on Rt. 14 which runs for about 30 or 40 miles up the west side of Seneca Lake from Watkins Glen to Geneva. I expected heavy traffic in Watkins Glen since it was a race weekend at the Watkins Glen International Raceway and the Busch race was scheduled for Saturday, but it wasn't bad at all at 8:30 in the morning. It was a beautiful day, mostly sunny and a chilly 50degreesF early but warmed to a perfect 75 or 80 as the ride progressed. I was elected to lead this stretch since Dad's speedo doesn't work on his Dynaglide and his friend didn't wanna run point on his Sportster.

The road is smooth, going up the bottom of the valley between Montour and The Glen and then runs along the side of the hill above the lake. Seneca is my favorite of the Finger Lakes in Central New York. It was named for the Seneca Indian Nation, one of the six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy who used to inhabit the area. At 38 miles (60 km) long, it is the second longest of the Finger Lakes and has the largest volume, estimated at 4.2 trillion US gallons (16 km³) which is half of all the water in all the Finger Lakes. It has a maximum depth of 618 feet (188 m), and a mean depth of 291 feet. It has a surface area of 42,800 acres (67 sq mi). The lake is so large that its icy waters have a pronounced cooling effect on the air around it which makes the area prime for growing grapes to make wine. We were surrounded by beautiful vineyards and cottages with a great view of the lake to our right. There were also lots of crafts/produce stands along the road due to the heavy Amish population. Occasionally we would pass a horse and buggy or some Amish on bicycles, but other than that there wasn't much traffic at all so we could take in the scenery comfortably.

When we got to Geneva, Dad took the lead and we followed some smaller roads through some small towns here and there until we reached Canandaigua and its Pageant of Steam. The Pageant of Steam is a huge display of working farm equipment from the early to mid-1900's. This was some of the coolest and most ingenious stuff I'd seen in a long time. Besides all the steam engines, there were loads of old "hit and miss" engines along with gas and diesel equipment. We spent hours browsing through the flea market area and then finally got to where the equipment display was. I couldn't help but be impressed by how well-built that stuff was. So well built in fact that everything was still running up to 100 years later! I saw ideas that I've never even heard of like a simple radiator where the water was dripped over a screen before settling back into a resevoir. The "hit and miss" engines have great big inertia wheels on them that allow several revolutions from one firing of the cylinder... when the governer slows to a certain speed, it allows the engine to fire again. Some of them were going 30-50 revolutions between firing with a loud 'BANG'. They turned about... I don't know... 60rpm? I've never seen anything like it. They were used to run sawmills, bailers, planes, generators, grain mills by connecting them with a great big belt and to pull plows and stuff if they had a drivetrain and axles. Some of the smaller engines were even used to run washing machines and such. It was all really cool to see for a gearhead like me.

We finally got back on the road at around 4 or 5 in the afternoon. We took a different route back to Rte. 14S, but I can't even begin to try and tell you what roads we took. It was country, that's for sure. When we stopped for gas, I had 100mi. on my trip meter. I put just under 2 gallons in the tank so I figure was getting 50mpg. Not bad at all for a 25 year old bike :) When we rode through Watkins Glen, the race must've just finished because the traffic was terrible with cops directing at the major intersections. Back in Montour Falls we split up and I rode home. All together I put about 170mi. on the bike and she never missed a beat :wink: Next time I'm up that way I'll have to take my camera so I can share pictures with you guys. Didn't think of it this time... sorry. Hope the links are a decent substitute.
1980 CB650c

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kbailey
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hit amd miss engines

Postby kbailey » Mon Aug 14, 2006 12:43 am

My friend has a 1942 john deere tractor with a hit and miss engine. they are indeed interesting to witness. This model even has valves on each of the cylinder heads to release part of the compression for easier starting (by hand cranking that big inertia wheel or by pull starting it with my truck) and easier dying (you shut it off by turning the fuel off, if you don't open those valves its last few revolutions can be violent). I have always wondered how it doesn't waste a ton of fuel at idle with all those missed strokes. I've never put a lot of effort into researching them or anything but I know what your talking about.

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Chris
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Location: New York, USA

Postby Chris » Mon Aug 14, 2006 12:04 pm

Hmm, I didn't stick around to see how they shut any of them off... interesting. There's definately no e-stop on those things so if someone gets caught up, you might as well keep working cause it's too late for them, LOL. I remember thinking that you could prolly cut the fuel and go have lunch and that big 6-foot flywheel would still be turning when you got back. Another thing I noticed was how quiet they ran at idle... just an occasional 'BANG' when they fired. Some of the bigger, louder ones let out a 'WHOOP' sound on the passive revolutions. So you would get a 'WHOOP...WHOOP...WHOOOP...WHOOOOP...BANG' as it slowed and then fired. But there were no squeaks or rattles.

As far as fuel waste goes, I noticed one of the Rumely OilPulls had a fancy funnel-shaped unit on the exhaust with a mason jar at the bottom that I assumed was to catch unspent fuel.

It was all alot to take in as there were so many variations on the theme.
1980 CB650c

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DammitDan
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Postby DammitDan » Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:07 pm

I remember hearing about one of these on NPR. It sounded... interesting..


You can listen to a hit-and-miss engine here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... Id=5458229

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Chris
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Postby Chris » Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:55 pm

Yup, that's a relatively small one compared to what I saw this weekend. Thanks for the link :)
1980 CB650c


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