Figured I’d better provide an explanation for the lack of new posts the last few days… I been travlin’! Left my tin shack by the Everglades friday morn, given an easy four days to cover 1800 miles a do a bit o’ pokin’ around, and keep the speed to 65 in deference to my trailer’s Chinese tires. And before I forget, a big thanks to Roger from Naples for all his help with the wheel bearing repair- in 1800 miles the axle I though I was gonna have to replace barely got warm.

First off, kudos to Micky D’s for the free WiFi- they’ve got it to the point where it worked in every single store I stopped in. McDonalds has pulled a coup here- in one store, over half the customers were online ! And ’twas a good thing Micky D’s WiFi worked so well, because Motel 6 blew it big time… Heck, they couldn’t even get the TVs to work right.

Now for decades Motel 6 provided us road warriors with cheap but largely competent accommodations. For the bargain prices, we didn’t really care if the TV didn’t have hundreds of channels and the furnishings were rather spartan. First night out I tried to get some rest at Motel 6’s tired Columbus, Georgia dive… Now for going on $50 one would expect some soundproofing and free WiFi. Heck, Micky D’s will give me free WiFi for the price of a senior coffee, yet Motel 6 expects me to cough up $3 after already paying $50 for a room. And a wrenched room it was, daylight showing under the front door and what could have just as well have been cardboard walls delivering the full cacophony of audio activity outside- not just trucks but cars passing on the street a hundred yards away, rednecks argueing over stupid redneck stuff, maybe the local hookers and dealers, etc.. Motel 6 can get away with this shabbiness because just up the road is a military base and the families than come to visit their soldiers don’t have a whole lot of other options… Our soldiers and their families deserve better!

Next night in the suburbs of Memphis Motel 6 proved they can do better, when the market forces them to. For the same fifty bucks Motel 6 provided a comfy bed, quiet, and free WiFi. But the last night Motel 6 blew it again- for darn near $50 in small town Saint Jo, Missouri the free WiFi was missing again, and the TV was nothing less than a “piece of work”, despite being brand new. Now the TV has potential- nice big meter width Samsung, with computer, video, and audio inputs and outputs galore. Obviously designed to be fed by satellite or internet through a dedicated server, with DVR capabilities to boot. But Motel 6, in their infernal wisdom, just had to cripple the poor TV- They’d rendered the volume adjustments inoperable with the audio cranked to the point where not just the decibel level but the distortion from the TV’s tiny built in speakers made it painful to listen too. I attempted some hacks to turn down the din with only moderate success… Woulda pried the remote open and uncovered the contacts for the audio up/down switches, but the stupid thing was potted. About the only benefit was that after I complained about the runaway volume, seemed like they left the rooms next to me empty so I had a quiet nights sleep. That was probably my last night ever in a Motel 6, may as well set up my tent or sleep in my car and save $50 a night!

Other than the brake pad idiot light coming on, the TDI was a true torque monster trailer tower. Set the cruise for 65 in top gear and it climbs every hill at 65, despite 600 pounds and a dozen or so square feet of frontal area behind. MPG dropped to the high 30s, no biggies. The last 50 miles included stretches of snow and glare ice with up to 40 MPH crosswinds, and the trailer never stepped outa line. But give the throttle more than a gentle touch and the front wheels spun and a slow drift to the downwind side began. The stability is no doubt due to the Golf’s short overhang, suggesting that if your looking to tow, a Golf may be preferable to a Jetta… Hafta remember that as I start shopping for a replacement for the Golf TDI. Visually inspected the brakes and confirmed the presence of linings, but I suppose after 119 K miles on the originals I oughta replace them.

In deference to the worn brakes I kept to freeways a bit more than planned, but still made a stop that made up for all the hassles…

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Ah, what’s not to like at the Barber Motorsports Museum? Beautiful grounds, classical music in the background,  working restoration shop, and every motorcycle imaginable, including these early Buells. There’s a fourth one behind the pillar, and they’ve got the last Harley powered Buell ever built there as well as the latest EBR (Erik Buell Racing) 1190RS darn near 200 HP homoligation special, and a bunch of Buells in between.

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‘Tween the wars Czech “mass transit”, note the advanced cast aluminum wheels and big tube frame… No wonder the Soviet Union dragged Czechoslovakia into their sphere of influence!  ‘Sides that, the Barber has what looked to be at least a half dozen classic BMW clones, a platoon of Pentons, and enough military bikes to start a war with. Makes up for all of Motel 6’s BS!

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