Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Trip to Port Aransas

My sister, Kristi, and I went down to the Texas coast a couple weeks ago and I took a few pictures along the way.

We drove through Lockhart Texas and stopped to eat BBQ at Black's BBQ. It was pretty good and you can even buy some online and have it shipped to you. We also walked around town and I took a few photos. It is a cute little square with a bunch of nice shops and a couple museums. The museums were closed (there is a clock museum I would like to see) but Kristi bought something from one of the little shops there.

We got to Port Aransas after dark and pretty much just set up camp. Kristi set up here fancy tent but I decided to be tough and just sleep wrapped up in a ground cloth. It would have been ok except for the gusty wind (up to 29mph) and the cold. I set up my tent in the middle of the night. The next morning I stuck my head out the tent door and took this picture. The Pelicans are neat to watch. They just glide along the beach, sometimes in lines of 10 or fifteen, with hardly any effort.

We went for a walk in a park in Port Aransas. It was nice, a little hot, and flat. Lots of little animals, birds, and this butterfly.

It was pretty hazy and hot while we were there. Still, lots of people came out to the beach. There are giant (60-70 miles long) beaches along the cost. While we were there there was 20 feet or so of seaweed along the water. Still, it was nice and it looked like every one was having a good time.

There was a little market and a sand festival while we were there. I saw this guy with a parachute.

The weekend that we were in Port Aransas was the weekend of the Port Aransas SandFest. It was fun to see all the sand sculptures.

Sunday morning I tried to get some pictures of birds in flight. Some of them came out ok.

I think of Port Aransas as sort of a typical coastal / beach town. Lots of shops selling gifts and beach related things. The larger shops often have something to draw customers.

This guy has a Brazilian monkey out in front of one of the stores and was charging to take pictures with the monkey.

On the way home we stopped at a wind farm near Bayside Texas. I have been wanting to see a big wind farm. I have seen some big wind turbines before but I haven't ever seen a bunch of them together. Well now I have and I would like to see some more. We were maybe about 1000ft from the closes one and it was pretty impressive. It was a little louder than I thought it would be but not nearly as loud as the surf while camping on the beach. It was neat to see them all turning together.

Goliad is the site of a famous battle for Texas independence. It is not only historic but pretty. We got there a little late and did not go in to see the exhibits but the outside is nice. The little church there still hold services.

I was driving and Kristi said "Where those buffalo back there". Well sure enough, there was a couple buffalo and we stopped and took a few pictures.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Making Homemade Foot Pegs for My KLR 650

Making Homemade Foot Pegs for My KLR 650

Not to long ago I fell while riding my motorcycle and while I was not terribly hurt (mostly my pride) the motorcycle did suffer some damage. One of the things that needed attention was one of the foot pegs. The rubber from the stock peg was ripped off. Not wanting to shell out the bucks for new pegs and wanting to start building things for myself I thought this would be a nice project.

So, I went out to take a look at what was on the bike (a KLR 650) and look to see what was available online as well as what other people have built.

The first link I saw was a post on by a guy that milled some pegs out of aluminum. They look pretty sharp and he said something about making some more to sell if there was enough interest in them.
interest thread for klr650 foot pegs
That looked good and I recently got a little CNC machine but I did not have any aluminum around and the CNC I have is small. It uses a dremel tool for the spindle and it might take all year to cut that much aluminum. So, I looked some more.

Next I saw these.
Homemade Steel Foot pegs for the KLR
This is a little more along the lines of what I was thinking. So I went out and started looking for some steel. There is plenty of stuff laying around my parents place but I could not find anything square tubing that was the right size so decided to cut the ends off the stock pegs. I cut up the other bits of steel that I had collected together and got to welding.

Except for the square pieces I found all of it just laying around. I used flat bar for the outside body of the peg and a piece for a middle bar. There is a little piece of angle iron for a cross bar and to attach the square tubing to the rest of the peg. The square piece from the stock peg already had a hole in it and I figured that would make things easer as I would not have to drill holes in the correct spot to fix the bike.

The older gentleman in the picture is my father. There is an arc welder in the shop but the acetylene torch was pretty easy. He started welding a few years back in Flores ville High School at the ag shop building things for farmers down there. I got in on the welding also. It wasn't to hard, in fact it was sort of fun.

Some of my welds were not really pretty but I think they will hold. It might even give them a little character. Things need to be really hot to start emitting light.

Don't want to much character. I also wanted to cut notches on the top of the pegs to help my shoes stay on the pegs. So, I got out the grinder and got to grinding.

After the pieces were stuck together I cleaned them up some and sprayed some paint on them and put them on the bike. They fit, mostly. They don't fold back like they should so I will do a little more grinding (and a little more painting). They are a little rough but seem to work fine. So, now I have built something for the motorcycle and am looking forward to doing more. There is still a matter of a broken taillight and the fall also ripped some of the plastic off the bike and I suppose state safety inspection (Texas) needs to be done. It will be nice to get back on the road.