Monarchs and Motorcycle Tires! 2013 BMW MOA Rally at the State Fairgrounds in Salem, Oregon!

Good morning from the 41st Annual BMW MOA International Rally at the State Fairgrounds in Salem, Oregon!

Ha ha! Looks like someone partied a bit too hard last night!

Some bikers from mainland China moved in next to us- they had shipped their bikes all the way from China and were touring the US and Canada for the summer- Respect!

Eventually the little guy woke up and we wandered back to the rally and enjoyed some big breakfast burritos-

There was a children’s pavilion where we met Dee, a retired science teacher from Minnesota who had driven all the way to Oregon with a car full of Monarch Butterflies!

She’s actually rather famous and breeds thousands of Monarchs every year for the University of Minnesota and schools all over the country. While traveling Dee’s Monarchs spend most of their time in wax paper envelopes, but they need to feed twice a day and in captivity their favorite food is watered down honey. Who knew?!

Monarchs aren’t as fragile as I thought- who knew you could store them in envelopes and actually hold them by the wings and not damage them?

How does Dee keep track of her butterflies? Look closely at the picture above and below and you’ll see that Dee has numbered them!

How does a butterfly eat? Kristhawee’s word of the day: PROBOSCIS!

If the monarch is hungry it will eat all by itself, but sometimes you need to take the toothpick and manually unwind their proboscis and dip it in the honey water- then they feed until they are full.

Once full they wind up their proboscis and then Dee puts them in a butterfly tent so they can stretch their wings and chill for a while, before going back into their wax paper envelopes.

Dee taught the kids (and me!) everything we ever wanted to know about the Monarch Butterfly! Their life cycle, how to tell the males from the females, their amazing migration patterns, why they only lay their eggs on Milkweed, etc!

The kids were tested on their knowledge of the life cycle of the Monarch- Kristhawee passed with flying colors

Do you know the difference between a cocoon and a chrysalis? Kristhawee does!

Really impressed by the kids pavillion- Dee and her friend had set up a ton of activities for the kids. Arts and crafts-

I could tell that Kristhawee was in good hands and most of the parents left their kids at the pavillion all day while the parents attended seminars and whatnot, so I wrote down my number just in case of emergency and told Kristhawee I’d be back in a few hours.

First order of business- take advantage of the DIY bike wash station and clean the beast!

Very nice of BMW MOA to supply the sponges, towels and simple green!

I had a number of other things that I needed to get done- first and most pressing were new tires for the Land Yacht- never have I owned a bike that eats front tires the way the K1200LT does!

Usually I average 1 front tire to two rears, but on this bike it’s pretty much the opposite. I guess it’s the extreme weight that wears out the front tires so fast? I asked around amongst the more experienced BMW riders and it seems it’s not unusual on these big heavy bikes to wear out your front tire well before the rear. My front tire was badly cupped and got noisier over time. It was definitely time for a replacement!

Fortunately there were a lot of tire vendors on hand and I spoke with several reps before deciding on some Metzeler ME880 Marathon tires. I was running the OEM Bridgestone Battleax’s and other than the relatively short tire life of the front tire I was happy with them, but these fellows at NoMar recommended the Metzelers, claiming they would perform just as well but last longer.

Categories: Father Son, Motorcycle Product Reviews, Motorcycle Trips and Tours, travelog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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