Thursday, December 9, 2010

Besides being a motorcycle enthusiast, I am also a technology geek.

So, in the Spirit of the Season... Merry Christmas!!



Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thanksgiving Day Prayer


Thank You for...


... a Home that is warmed with love and passion, for one another and for life,

... providing Choices in life for what must be consider luxuries by some,

... Possessions that make living life easier and more enjoyable,

... People in my life with which to share my love and that share their love with me,

... the Understanding that for all the 'things' in my life, people are the most precious.




Amen





Let's Ride, er, I mean eat.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

2010 Farmers Almanac

The Old Farmers Almanac is out with their forecast winter 2010 and the outlook for motorcycle riding in my area is not very favorable.



This global warming stuff is cramping my riding time.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Hair Cut

One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut.

After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, 'I cannot accept money from you , I'm doing community service this week.' The florist was pleased and left the shop.

When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from you , I'm doing community service this week.' The cop was happy and left the shop.

The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Then a Congressman came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The Congressman was very happy and left the shop.

The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen Congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut.


And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the citizens of our country and the politicians who run it.



"Politicians are like diapers; they need to be changed often and for the same reason."
Mark Twain

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What about "Therapy"?





My friend and neighbor, John, picked up a new 2011 Harley-Davidson motorcycle yesterday. It’s an Electra Glide Ultra Limited Edition and it is beautiful with more amenities and features than anything I've ever owned either two wheels or four. I’m happy for him and a little envious. Of course, if money were not object, I’d own a stable of bikes. A cruiser, a dresser, a sport-tourer, whatever I felt like riding at the time.

But since resources are limited and the state lottery did not pick my numbers recently, I will be content with what I have and celebrate with John his new acquisition.

Looking back, I realize that it’s because of John that I am riding now.

I had always wanted to ride and dreamed of owning a motorcycle from a young age. However, my parents in their wisdom deemed a motorcycle too dangerous a device for me – they were probably right – and so the dream faded and reality took its place.

Somewhere around my half century birthday, the desire resurfaced when the bass player in our band bought a Harley-Davidson Sportster with some inheritance money. Andy would regale me with stories of his rides, telling me that riding for a short while after a tough day at work was like ‘therapy’ allowing him to decompress.

I mentioned my dream to my wife and we spoke about it for quite some time. I explained what Andy had told me about it be so enjoyable that he considered it therapy. She was dead set against owning a motorcycle and as I remember, quite emphatic. “They’re too dangerous!”

“But what about it ‘being like therapy’?” I said.

Silence.


Discretion being the better part of valor, I held any further rebuttal for a later date. I wasn’t sure when the right time to bring it up again would present itself, but I would know it when it came. It turned out that the right time was a few months later when John moved in next door.

John owned a Heritage edition Softtail – he has owned four of them over the years – and he would park it on the sidewalk that separates our houses. The exhaust on his Softtail was stereotypical of a Harley-Davidson, a low frequency rumble with a lope that reminds one of a galloping horse. We always got about a 1 minute warning when he was ready to leave on a ride.

I would hear his bike start and imagine myself taking a “therapy ride”.

Once, when he fired his bike up, I looked at my wife and said, “Therapy.” She just shook her head. Nothing more was said. But in the silence a plan started to take shape.

For the next couple of weeks, every time we heard John’s bike startup, I would say, “Therapy.”


At first, she would protest and remind me how dangerous motorcycles were, and how we couldn’t afford one, and how it just wasn’t practical. I let her protests dissipate in the air and went about my business.

Eventually I didn’t need to say anything. We’d hear the bike start up, I’d look at her and she would say, “I know. Therapy.” I would smile.

This went on all spring. Then one summer weekend John caught me staring at all the chrome as he wiped the bike down. We talked a bit. He told stories from the road, and I told of my desire to ride. Teresa saw us talking and I saw something in her I had not seen before. I think, although she won’t admit it, that she began seeing herself riding behind me. Envisioning a result is a powerful force.

Several weeks later, John fired up his bike, and without me saying anything or even looking her direction, Teresa said, “If you want a motorcycle, you can get one.”

It was as if Heaven opened up and angels were singing!

“Will you ride with me?” I asked.

“Nobody else better ride with you! Of course I will.”

So the journey began. And I give John the credit or blame... That and the need for “therapy.”

Therapy is a good thing.



Ride Safe!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dear Curt

Dear Curt,

Today's weather forecast promised great motorcycle riding weather and so I did what every rider does given the opportunity; I fired up my motorcycle and rode to work.

Unfortunately, when I arrived at work and entered the light of our offices (I don't like riding to work in the dark, but oh well), I discovered that I was the victim of a wardrobe failure with my jeans. It probably happened as I got on the bike this morning. I never heard anything tear since I had my iPod playing and earphones in. It does, however, explain why my commute this morning, while quite enjoyable, did seem a little more "breezy" than usual.

My modesty (and fear of arrest) will keep me from participating in today's lunch gathering. To my disappointment, "the breech" is large enough that even my riding chaps won't hide the failure! The ride home this afternoon - in the daylight!!! - should prove... well, interesting.

Please accept my sincere apologies for not being able to attend and let everyone know of my regrets and at the same time my hope that my misfortune has provided the group with a "brief" moment of levity. I know I'll miss seeing all of the old work gang. I won't miss their reaction at seeing too much of me.

Doug

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Riding A Singer




I started hearing the strange sound coming from the front of the motorcycle on some of our early morning rides in West Virginia. It wasn't a constant sound, but was intermittent and made the V-Twin sound more like a sewing machine than a motorcycle. It seemed as if it was RPM related, somewhere around 2800 to 3000 and most of the time it was when the engine was under less torque.


Some of my research indicated one of the cam chain tension springs. Yikes! With over 41,000 miles on her, Lady is not a spring chicken anymore, so it is possible that some parts may be wearing out, even though I didn't want to admit it.

So Friday I rode her to the dealership carefully listening for the intermittent sound. And like any intermittent issue, when the experts at the dealership listened, they heard a well behaved, well tuned 805cc engine, purring smoothly throughout its RPM range.

I had to admit, I didn't hear the sound either. So we returned home, wondering why she wouldn't sound off for the service techs.

The next morning I fired her up and let the engine warm a bit before starting off. Five minutes down the road the sewing machine sound began trumpeting itself. I pulled into a parking lot and kicked Lady into neutral while revving the engine at the specific RPM range that produced the sound.

Leaning forward I listened for the source. Definitely front of the engine, maybe the front cylinder. So I could listened more closely, I put Lady on her kick stand and leaned down toward the right side of the engine, placing my hand on the tank mounted instrument cluster.

The sound ceased. What?!?! I lifted my hand and adjusted the throttle. The sound manifested itself again!

I thought, "You've got to be kidding me!" I sat there a moment lifting my hand from the instrument cluster and then replacing it causing the sewing machine sound to come and go at will.

A week's worth of concern about Lady's engine and the resignation that she needed to see the doctor was for naught. A loose connection somewhere under the cluster housing telegraphed engine vibrations and caused Lady to do her best imitation of a Singer sewing machine.





What a relief. Lady, I'm sorry I question you.




Next time, I won't jump to conclusions.


Ride Safe!
Doug C






Thursday, September 16, 2010

I recently received an email telling me about a new riding site, MotorcycleInsurance.org. I get a few of these every so often and if I find them interesting or they provide useful links or information I pass the link along.

MotorcycleInsurance.org is one such site. They offer original content and provide informative links to other sites on the web. I've noticed several blogs listed that I have frequented before.



This site caught my eye and held my attention for more than a few minutes. Check them out at www.motorcycleinsurance.org.


Ride Safe!


Doug C

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

There has been a whirlwind of activity in my life for the past month. I promised to post some pics and stories about my trip to the UP of Michigan. (I haven't gotten that done yet.)

While I was in Michigan, my first grandson Noah was born 9 weeks early. (I've seen him a couple of times and he's doing so well, he may come home in a week or so.)

Then when I arrived home from Michigan I got a call from my support engineer relating some issues with my company's computer network. I decided to look into it the day of my return and worked on solving the problem for the next 10 days - 7 work days.

Turns out a memory leak in a program nearly brought the system down to its knees. Instead of having +50 users accessing their data, I could only sustain 10 users. For a static system that hadn't changed in a year, this was confusing.

It turns out an automatic update to a software package caused the needle-in-a-haystack problem and disabling the software was a quick and easy fix.

The solution came just in time for me to take off for the Labor Day weekend to eastern West Virginia. Seneca Rocks, WV.

I always thought that Southeastern Ohio had some great riding roads, and they do. For Ohio. But the roads in and around Seneca Rocks are the most incredible riding paths I've ridden to date.

The mountains are gorgeous, the highways are well maintained, and the curves and switchbacks are engineered perfectly.

My advice:

Ride US-250 between Elkins, WV and Monterey, VA
And ride route 72 between Hendricks and Harmon, WV

In fact, ride every paved road in the Monongahela National Forest.

Then turn around and ride it again. Slower this time, and let the bike navigate itself almost. It will be an almost spiritual experience.

Here's a slide show of some of the places we visited.



Saturday, August 21, 2010

Just couldn't wait any longer!!

While some friends and I were riding in northern Michigan visiting both the UP and LP, I got a phone call from Teresa who stayed home this trip.

It seems my first grand baby was anxious to see the new world and decided to strike out on his own... 9 weeks early!

Both Mom and Baby Noah are doing well in spite of his early arrival. He is on a C-PAP machine because he sometimes forgets to breath. Sorta like me, sometimes, I guess.

3 lbs. 8oz. and 17 in. long, he'll stay in the hospital for another 4 weeks or so.
Oh, Michigan was very nice. I'll share a little about that trip in a few days.
Ride Safe!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Riders just can't seem to get a break sometimes.

This sad story from Iowa:

4 motorcyclists killed when truck hits them head-on in interstate construction zone in Iowa

Published August 09, 2010

Associated Press

Authorities say four motorcyclists have been killed in a head-on collision on Interstate-29 in western Iowa.

Iowa Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Courtney Greene says the accident happened Monday evening when a pickup truck crossed the center line in a construction zone and hit four motorcycles.

Greene says the accident happened along a section of I-29 near Little Sioux where lanes were separated by orange cones. Little Sioux sits along the Nebraska, about 40 miles north of Omaha.

The motorcyclists' names have not been released.

Greene says they were traveling together. All four were men in their late 50s and early 60s. Three were from Iowa and one was from Nebraska.

Greene says one was wearing a helmet.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Remodel Progress

Over the past several years, since I've been riding, virtually every free weekend was spent traveling on 2 wheels. While some might consider this an example of being overly passionate about riding, my weekend getaway rides tended to be therapeutic.

This year, the weekends over the past 4 months have be filled with anguish because they were spent indoors with a remodeling project in our home. More than once I would catch myself looking outside at the beautiful weather and listening to more fortunate riders and their steel steeds in route to somewhere.

But, the end of the project is in sight and only a day or two more of labor remain. Here are some photos of the progress...




There was no subfloor and the existing hardwood had more hills and valleys than eastern Tennessee.


A new level subfloor that doesn't creak.

The new solid hardwood flooring for the living room.

...and the dining room.

After the plumbing and logs installed.

Still a work in progress - tile, paint, and stain.

Cost for the project was about $3,000 and by doing the work myself, I figure we saved about the same amount.

The time that it took to complete seemed endless. Working several hours each free night and weekend has taken its toll. Next time I'll take a week or two vacation time and knock it out all at once.

Next weekend... I'm riding.

Ride Safe!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I almost missed this sad story about a motorcycle crash. It wasn't until later in the holiday weekend that I caught up on my newspaper reading.








It seems the driver of a riding lawn mower decided to cross a state highway and was struck by a motorcycle with sidecar. On the bike was dad and his 7 year old daughter. In the sidecar was mom and their 4 year old son.



Dad was killed. Mom and kids were injured but are expected to recover.



The complete story is below.





Updated: Thursday, July 1, 2010 11:49 PM
By Jim Woods


THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH


ZANESVILLE, Ohio— A man died, and his wife and children were injured, in a bizarre crash this afternoon in northern Muskingum County.


A motorcycle with a sidecar struck a riding lawn mower that was being driven on busy Rt. 16 in the small village of Adams Mills, less than a mile southwest of the Coshocton County line, according to the Zanesville post of the State Highway Patrol.


The lawn tractor was traveling north, crossing Rt. 16 from Rt. 481 to Rt. 296, when it was struck by the westbound motorcycle at 2 p.m., Trooper Stephen Williams said.


Russell Hammond, 48, of Coshocton, the motorcycle's driver, was killed.


Audra Hammond, 34, and their 4-year-old son, who were both in the sidecar, were treated at Genesis HealthCare System's Good Samaritan Hospital in Zanesville and released. Their 7-year-old daughter, who was on the motorcycle behind her father, also was treated at the hospital. The patrol would not release the children's names.

George Holland, 73, of Conesville in Coschocton County, was driving the mower. He was taken by helicopter to Grant Medical Center in Columbus, where he was in fair condition tonight.


No charges have been filed in the case.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

This clip has been around for some time but I never tire of watching it. And, since it is just a few days before the Independence Day weekend and all of the parades, cookouts and picnics, it a great time to re-post it.

Below is the text that accompanied the video. I cannot attest to the accuracy of the story, but I can tell you the girls can sing!

This was at a Texas Tech Basketball game, February 9th. The NationalAnthem is sung by five young ladies (ages 6-8).You have never heard it performed better than this! An entire arena remains completely silent throughout the song. You could hear a pin drop. The two young ladies on the right are six years old. The two in the middle are seven and the one on the left is eight. It doesn't get any better than this.


video

Go ride. Ride Safe!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The road construction project that is state route 161 between Granville and New Albany turned its first shovel of dirt in the summer of 2006. For almost 18 months I watched "progress" being made on each side of the highway as properties were purchased, utilities were moved, and 15+ miles of country side were stripped bare.

And then, encroaching slowly, orange barrels popped up on the highway, traffic slowed to 45 MPH, and work zone signs warned drivers of penalties.




Photo: Newark Advocate

It remained in that state of active construction for nearly 30 months while the replacement for our 2 lane state highway, a 4 lane superslab, slowly took shape.


The road construction project for SR 161 completes this week. Soon, all the orange barrels will move on and all the road signs will be green and white. Except the 65 MPH signs, of course.


I'll make my daily commute 15 minutes faster with no traffic lights or dangerous intersections.


The route is beautiful. Our community has wanted this highway improvement for 15 years or more. And my commute is faster, if not shorter.

So why is it, on my homeward bound trip, I find myself exiting the superslab early and riding the old 2 lane road (mostly) home?







The joy is in the journey.




Ride Safe

Monday, June 7, 2010




After a weekend of thunder storms and grey skies, this morning welcomed me with low humidity, temps in the 50s (F) and clear skies.


An awesome commute!
Ride Safe.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

Flooring Project

With my brother-in-law providing tools and expertise, Teresa and I were able to complete the living room flooring project. The final touches like shoe mold and touch up paint will get done today.




Next project: continue the floor into dining room.

Memorial Day


Friday, May 28, 2010

Freedom's Last Stand

Not too long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, "We don't know how lucky we are."



And the Cuban stopped and said, "How lucky you are? I had someplace to escape to." And in that sentence he told us the entire story.



If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.



And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man.



You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I'd like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There's only an up or down—[up] man's old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.



And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.




Spoken by Ronald Reagan on October 27, 1964

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Signs that you might need to go for a stress ride...

Here are some signs that you might need to go for a ride.

Example #1

video

Example #2

video

Example #3

video

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Busted

It was lunch time and I was hungry. So I grabbed my sun glasses and hopped on the bike. The fast food restaurant was just around the corner and I decided to fore go my helmet for the 1/2 mile ride.

At the parking lot I pulled into the only open parking space, right beside a Hilliard Police cruiser - cops gotta eat too - and walked across the parking lot to the entrance. As I passed between cars in line for the drive through window, I heard a female voice say, "Where's your helmet!"

I looked around and at first only saw the police officer passing between the line of cars, too. And then I saw the face of an office co-worker who was in line for the drive through shaking her finger at me.

"You should be wearing your helmet!" she said. Sheepishly, I nodded and said, "Yes, mom. But it's only a half mile here." She frowned and pulled forward. "See ya back at the office."

I turned to enter the building and saw the cop smiling at me and holding the door open.

"I get the same thing from my wife." he said. "Of course, I promised her when I got my bike, I'd always wear my helmet."

I nodded my head understanding completely. "I think I may have made that same promise to my wife." I said.


Yep. Busted.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

50,000 Mile Tire?

It was a modest gathering of riders for our group's monthly bike night at a local eatery last night. But I saw something one of the senior riders had done to his to Vulcan 900 that I'd thought unwise, if not impossible.

Keith is in his 70's and has been riding all of his life. Two weeks ago he installed a car tire on his rear wheel. It's a General Tire 195/60/15 radial. He says he has about 500 miles on the new rubber and so far, is very pleased with the ride he has experienced.

It looks very strange to stand behind the bike and see a motorcycle tire with a straight-line contact patch of nearly 7 inches. Of course, the trade off is the contact patch is greatly reduced when cornering. Especially aggressive cornering.

Keith says that with the type of riding he does, the tire is working really well. He says, there is little or no wobble when on gravel and sand. And he expects to get between 40,000 and 50,000 miles out it. The tire cost him about $75 and will last 4 or 5 times longer.

Part of the increased mileage is due to the hardness of the rubber. The rubber of motorcycle tires is softer and stickier, something every rider appreciates when the road turns wet. But Keith maintains that his wet road riding felt just like the Metzler ME880 he took off.

Knowing Keith's cautious attitude to riding, I am sure his decision was made with careful thought and research. And I know if he feels unsafe the Metzler will go back on faster than it came off.

Has anyone else ever swapped out their standard MC tire with a car tire?




Ride Safe!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

This and That

Spring decides to stay



Spring must have decided to stay awhile in central Ohio. Finally. I can tell because I have made my daily commute via 2 wheels 3 days in a row this week. And my outlook on life has improved because of it.



There is one thing about these early season days that I have a hard time dealing with... and that's the 30º to 40º (F) temperature swings. In the mornings when I leave the house, our rural area has temps in the 30s and 40s. Then the sun comes up and by afternoon the mercury has the upper 70s in it sights. I need all the storage space in the saddle bags for the clothing I've shed.



A small price to pay, I think.





Musical floors?


The flooring project continues. Like so many projects, the scope has increased a bit. I knew because of my desire to do the work myself and pay cash for all materials, that it would take longer than if I had contracted the work out. The prep work is almost complete and the hardwood should arrive next week.


I suspect that I will have to take a few days off work to complete the installation. Spending a couple of hours on the project 2 or 3 nights a week and all day on Saturday is really stretching this out longer than I can tolerate.


For the past 6 weeks, we have been "living" in our dining room while the demo and contruction takes place in the living room. After the living room floor is down, we will move all of the furniture from the dining room back into the living room and then complete the removal and installation for the adjacent dining room.






Time keeps on moving



The calendar tells me that I passed middle age a few years ago. My head shakes and reminds me, "Whoa. Not so fast!" My heart whispers, "Never grow up." Regardless of what voice I listen to, the fact remains that I have more years behind me than before me. That truth seems to be reinforced more frequently of late as I note the passing of older friends and aquaintences.


The drummer for our band lost his dad this week. Bill was a young 69 years old and his passing caused me to pause and reflect upon life, family and friends.


Grandpa Doug?


Did I tell you I'm gonna be a grandpa? "Impossible!" I first thought. "I'm too young to be a grandpa!" But then, of course, I'm not too old. The baby is due around November and I'm really looking forward to excercising my rights to spoiling my first granchild.














Ride Safe!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What?!?

This photo is wrong in so many ways, but I like this.

Gotta start 'em young.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Back in January, at the zenith of cabin fever season, I started ripping up our old downstairs carpeting. It was well past its prime, much like our 80 year old house. But unlike our house, the carpet had no redeeming qualities left in it. I knew the flooring underneath was original oak hardwood strips and I was curious just what conditions I would find.

With nearly all of our living room furniture moved into the dining room and the carpet bundled up and at the curb, the floor was revealed. What I saw was disheartening. And, had I any common sense, I would have covered the up and down, roller coaster flooring with a leveling compound to fill the low spots and lock in the loose strips, and then buried the hardwood under carpeting again for the next 15 years. That's if I had any common sense.

As I sat at the edge of the room contemplating the direction to go, I imagined the floor many years ago in its former prime. It reminded me of the home in which I grew up. Those floors were in much better condition - flat and smooth with tight seams, fine grains and a warm, rich cinnamon color.

In a moment of nostalgic reminiscence, I decided to replace the floor. And that's when the project started to grow:
  • Remove the old strips - no sub-floor underneath
  • Level floor joists
  • Glue and screw new sub-floor
  • Route new electrical outlets
  • Route new warm and cold air ducts
  • Raise fireplace hearth and firebox
  • Plumb for new gas logs
  • Wrap mantel and fireplace surround in wood and tile

The above list is a thumbnail sketch of the expanded project. Needless to say, with the exception of the trip to Daytona Bike Week, this is where most of my free time and money for the past 2 months has been spent. It's been a challenging task and one that I thought would have been on the "Done List" by now. Especially now, since prime riding weather has visited us in central Ohio.


I promise to have more motorcycle related posts as soon as I sweep out the saw dust.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Coldest beginning to March Ever.

As our trip to Florida and the Daytona Bike Week concludes, it has become official: This has been the coldest beginning of March in Florida ever. Orlando set and over-night low temperature record last night of 38 degrees. However, the days have been sunny if not warm. And sunny goes a long way in my book.

During our last full day, several of us remarked about the frost still on the roofs of the homes in the housing edition. It wasn't until about 9:30am that all of it had evaporated. John and I left for Daytona shortly after that.

We saw several required-to-visit "hot spots" including The Cabbage Patch Bar, but everywhere we looked we saw the same vendors, same products and same foods.

Finally, we went arrived at a place that is unique:


For the modest price of $3.00 we rode our bikes along the Atlantic ocean on Daytona Beach. Yes, it might have been more enjoyable if the temps were about 20 degrees warmer. But it certainly could not have been more memorable.


Ride Safe

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Daytona Bike Week 2010

Here are some pictures from the first Sunday of Daytona bike week 2010.


During our travels in the fair city of Key West, a driver parked at the curb opened his pickup truck door as I passed. Timing and size was all that really save me from a serious crash. If I had passed his door just 1 second later, his door would have been fully open and I would have come to a rapid and complete stop. If his truck was not a 1 ton, over-sized wheeled compensation for machismo, then his door would have struck something more weighty and substantial on the bike.
As it was, only my mirror, brake lever, and handle bar weight struck his door. I got the bike stopped about 6 feet past the driver's door without going down. I turned and uttered the first thing that came to mind, which was, "Why did you do that?" which really didn't have an answer.
The driver's response: "I was just getting out of my truck. I'm sorry I didn't see you." I said something like, "You never looked!"
And then he said something he regretted: "Well, you have to own some of the responsibility, here." I looked at him in disbelief. "Oh, you did not say that!" Silence.
Well, I was uninjured, the bike was still upright, and he did say he was sorry. So I shook my head and rode away.

A little whopper-jawed but nothing that can't be straightened.




He was partly right. I did have to take ownership for some of this. As a defensive rider, I need to be preparred for careless actions like his. While many states and some cities have laws and ordinances restricting exiting a vehicle into the street, we all do it and its something all riders need watch.


At least I got an apology.







Ride Safe!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

My friend and neighbor, John, went to the Easy Rider Bike show in Columbus this past weekend and posted several dozen photos to his Facebook profile. Lots of chrome and shiney art and "impossible to ride for more than a few miles" custom bikes. Still, they are something to look at.


Here's an example. John's outstretched arms measure more than 6 feet across.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

It started as big, wet flakes. That was about 24 hours and 12 inches ago. Now the skies are filled with a fine wintry powder and the scene outside my front door is nice to look but I'm glad that no driving is required of me today. That is until this evening and my wife and I will visit her father. Here's to hoping the county snow crews are able to clear our path to his rural home.

My neighbor John, fired up his new snowblower yesterday afternoon and cleared my walks and my other neighbor Danny help to clear my driveway, without a snowblower. But the new snow has left me with another 4 or 5 inches to clear again.

When it comes to neighbors, I really am fortunate. Blessed, even. John is probably one of the most sincere and genuine people I know. A soft spoken man with an affinity for people of all types and a passion for family and riding. John is the one who rode with me to Wyoming last summer, an act that was not lost on Teresa since she feared my demise on a solo adventure.


The 10 days I spent riding with John last year gave me only glimpse of what a truly generous and caring person he is, devoting his time and expertise (mechanic, carpenter, taxi driver) to charities, family and friends, like me.


But, enough reminiscing about warmer (and dryer) times. My snow covered sidewalks are calling my name. That may have been what jerked me off my bike and out of 80º F temps and back to reality. Besides, I'm sure my letter carrier will appreciate less slippery footing, at least on my share of walkway. (12 inches or so ain't so bad compared to 30 inches in Washington DC!!)




Spring really can't come soon enough.





Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Freestyle Riding Show

Some video I took with my Nikon Coolpix of the Ducati Freestyle Team at the Cycleworld Motorcycle Show in Cleveland, Ohio.


video

They make it look soooo easy!

A couple of weeks ago I got a call from the same fellow that coordinated the group trip and ride from California back to Ohio. In the works this time... A week in Florida during the Daytona Bike Week.



The plans are incomplete right now, but here are some of the highlights:


Ship the bikes down via semi
An all guy trip - 12 to 15 so far
Renting a house near Orlando
Day trips to Daytona
Take a couple of days to travel to Key West
Enjoy +70ºF weather for a few days

The only cold ride (crossing fingers) will be the 20 miles from my house to the truck terminal.

More later!


Ride Safe

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cycleworld Motorcycle Show - Cleveland

I had the opportunity to join some friends attending the Cycleworld Motorcycle Show in Cleveland over the weekend. Being my first bike show, I had no reference with which to compare the event. However, my impression is that it was a modest event.

We drove to Cleveland the night before (we wanted to ride but none of the bikes had snow tires mounted! and the temperature was 8º F) and got to the I-X Center as soon as they opened Saturday.

Here are some of the pics...
The T-Rex
Some fancy tank artwork
V-Strom. Very nice.
Everything chromed had been blued, too.
Wheelchair accessible trike custom conversion.
The conversion is done on a BMW. The company's logo covers the BMW logo.



Before we left for the day, we saw this 1949 restored Indian. And it looks like...

...it's ownership might be in question.
Or, maybe there's peace in the family.


You can see the entire photo album here.
Ride Safe!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Although the almanac says that daylight hours have begun to increase, which is always a sign of hope for warmer weather to riders in the mid-west, central Ohio is still in the grip of winter with snow covered roads and temps beginning with 1s, 2s and 3s.

(This week, however, Ohio will see temps above the freezing mark for the first time since New Years Day. Yeah!)

Since riding on the ice and snow is too exciting for me, this pilgrim takes to shopping. I don't necessarily buy anything, but I can look. And educate myself.


I have long had a list of online resources in the side bar of this blog but it has remained fairly static. Static as in stagnant. So while I review the online links for resources, here's a list of some of my more often visited websites. If you have some sites that work for you, share your nuggets with others here.


Biker Hiway An interesting online store that pique my interest (thanks Joshua) recently.


Iron Pony Motor Sports The local K-Mart of motorcycle stuff. Lots of apparel and gear for any type of riding. Plus a local Yamaha dealership and service center (that services almost all makes) is attached.


J & P Cycles The Sears and Roebuck of motorcycle accessories. I love their catalogs! Of course Sears and Roebuck doesn't send out catalogs anymore.


Metric Thunder A west coast accessories store for metric cruisers.


Motorcycle Ohio The Ohio government information site for motorcycle training and endorsement.

Motorcycle Cruiser Magazine The online version of the print edition. Reviews, tips, features and ride reports.

Motorcycle Safety Foundation The organization that provides curricula and certification programs for many state governments.


Motorcyles Safety News by Jeff Cobb A site devoted to promoting motorcycle safety serving up original articles and opinions from Jeff Cobb. He's passionate, talented, and a professional journalist that loves to ride.


Powersports Network Evaluations and reviews from consumers like you and me about everything on 2 wheels. I spent weeks pouring over this site comparing bikes before my purchase.


Riders Discount Another interesting online store for any motorcycle accessories you might want. Dozens of brands and thousands of products. (Thanks for the heads up, Marjorie.)

Team Oregon Oregon's answer to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's training program and also rated the number 1 program in the US by the insurance industry. Online friend Dan Bateman, aka irondad, is an instructor for this organization.

WebBikeWorld The Consumer Reports of the motorcycle world. This site has testers and editors all over Europe and North America. I am sometimes frustrated though, when I read about a great product and find out its only available in the UK. Buggers!

There are, without question, hundreds of other great sites and resources. These are just a few that I use. Do you have any you want to share?

Ride Safe!