Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Freedom Rant

You know, one of the reasons I've always enjoyed the biker lifestyle is the freedom... Never allowing someone else to tell me how to do it. I was going to be a biker, and I was going to do it my way. But more and more I find everyone has their own ideas of what a biker is and what they should or shouldn't do. This really pisses me off. OK, I can understand the Helmet law, I don't necessarily like it, but I understand people not wanting their tax dollars to be spent taking care of someone who could have avoided a debilitating injury by wearing a helmet. I also understand that a helmet will not solve all problems, and I really wish proponents of the law would start being factually accurate when they spout off their reasons for wearing a helmet. They provide some measure of protection against long term brain damage resulting in fewer dollars spent on state care. Other than that they provide a handy carrying case for whatever parts the HIghway dept. scrapes off of the highway. Don't act like they're the end all be all protecting my ass 24/7. A helmet is only needed in case of a motorcycle collision. And even then they are only marginally effective.
Ok, So I understand that one, but lay the fuck off of loud pipes. You don't like them, fine, don't buy them for your bike. No where in the constitution does it say you have a right to not hear loud pipes. My pipes don't cause you physical pain on any lasting level, they don't cost you anything, they don't cause any more lasting effects to the ecology or environment than the average car. Leave them alone. You don't like them, I don't care. If they keep you alert to my being beside you get as pissed as you want, just don't forget I'm there and run over me, after all my government required helmet only helps so much.
When I bought my bike it came with a couple of give-away magazine subscriptions, one to H.O.G. Tales, and one to Harley Enthusiast. Every issue of both mags has had some kind of bullshit argument going in the letter section about loud pipes, but no one acknowledges the freedom of choice aspect. They all seem to feel like if they don't like them they should be outlawed... SO much for living in a "Free" country.
And recently the letters have taken aim at another biker anomaly, Waving. For some reason people are getting mad because fellow bikers (gulp!) wave... Ummm, So when you go into Wal-Mart and the little retired greeter person says "Hello, Welcome to Wal-Mart" do you respond with "FUCK YOU!"? Exactly what is your reason for being hostile towards another person who shares a common interest and is openly offering you pleasantry? Unless they're waving at you with only one finger... Or maybe if they're putting them self or someone else in danger, but I rarely see anyone risk dying to wave at a stranger.
I, for one, Like the acknowledgment of other riders that I'm being seen. It makes me feel a little safer and on some level like I'm part of a bigger world.
Look, I'm not trying to tell people what to believe. Those who know believe, and those who don't won't let you tell them. But at the end of the day, I'm not bitching about how you live your life, leave me to live mine in peace.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sunny Days and Mondays

Finally! Today, the rain cleared out and bright sunny skies settled in. I woke up this morning intent on going to do some training for my career, seeing the sunshine before I left had me thinking about leaving early to get some riding in before dark hit, but that soon became a non issue. Right before I walked out the door I was informed that the furnace repairman was coming. (Yes, I know, that is my line of work, but it's under warranty) So I had to be here to meet him.
Something about that completely threw off my calendar, because when he finally left I took off on my ride. I wanted to got o the dealership where I used to work to check on a few things for Kate. Why I didn't remember that they're closed on Monday? I couldn't tell you. But I did get hungry on the ride. So I went home to my sandwich and started a movie.. I took the bike back out for a while to go get my kids from school... one at a time of course. which works because they're in different schools and get out just far enough apart for me to drop the youngest off and go get the oldest without him walking too far.
Maybe I'll see if I can get back out later... If not, maybe tomorrow. Damn it was pretty...Doesn't the world seem clearer after a few days of rain? Or maybe it just looks better after a bit of a ride.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A correction

Well, That was fast. I've only been actively posting for a few days and I've already made my first error. You see when I worked the Harley shop, I found out that people in that business lie. I don't think it's meant to be malicious or anything, but if they don't know the answer for sure, they'll tell you whatever they think sounds good. It makes them look like more of an authority on Harleys than they really are(when they're right). Actually that's how I chose my mechanic. In the entire time I worked at the shop there was only one wrench that would look at the books to find the answer to any question they didn't know the answer to. She is the only one (besides me) who gets to touch Kate.
Ooops, got off track again.
The reason I'm posting this is that I asked everyone in town about my levers prior to buying them from Ebay... I should have just looked them up on the KuryAkyn website, I told you all they were discontinued because I was told repeatedly that they were. Alas they are on the KuryAkyn website as a current Item. For this misinformation you have my complete apology, I will try very hard to be accurate in my reporting. and every time I find a discrepancy you will get a notice of it, right here in my own hand. I take full responsibility for what I write here.
Thank you

Friday, February 22, 2008

Rainy Again

I'm sorry to report that due to additional rains, there is nothing to report, today. This totally bites! I want to ride. this morning, after breakfast, when getting ready to take my youngest son to school, he asked if I'd take him on Kate. I was half way through saying sure when my wife reminded us both that it was raining cats & dogs (well, kittens & pups, anyway, this IS southern California). The boss has spoken, no riding today. I'll let you know if tomorrow is any better.
Hell, if it's not, I may ride anyway, I'm damn sure not sugar, and I doubt I'm salt... I'll keep you posted...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Woo Hoo!!!

Woo Hoo!!! My new levers finally arrived. I love ebay, but let's face it at the end of the day it's a slow way to shop. But sometimes you have damn little choice. My levers were just such a case.
I used to work the parts counter for a local Harley dealership where I absolutely fell in love with the Silhouette Levers by KuryAkyn. They're in the shape of a nude females silhouette and chromed. I think they're the coolest, but they are also discontinued. So the only way I could get them was either second hand or overstock. Hello Ebay.
Now I did get a great deal on the levers, but as always when buying online, buyer beware. I lucked out. All I lost out on was time waiting for them to arrive. Took a week, but I got them in todays mail. Brand new, still in the package. I can't wait to put them on Kate & see how she looks.
Yes, I named my Harley Kate... After Kate Beckinsale, Kate Hepburn, Katie Heigl, Cate Blanchet, Kate Winslet... get the picture? Most of my crushes throughout my life have been named Kate. In fact, like most couples, my wife and I have agreed to an amicable free pass each. If Steven Tyler ever tries to hit on her she has my permission to take him up on it. In return if Kate Beckinsale ever decides to slum it with a Long Haired Biker and gives me the chance We're on!
Ooops, I got off topic.... Sorry.
Oh, I did get to take a little ride today when the rain took a break. I only went a couple of blocks to pick my son up from school, but we took the long way home to make up for it. All in all I put about five more miles on her, but it did a world of good for my mood. I'm almost human again...
Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Rainy Day Memories...

I looked out the window this morning to find another rainy day upon me. Ugh. I really wanted to ride, today, too.

I spent a little time reminiscing of younger days in the mid-west. A friend and I went to see an Iron Maiden concert. It was August, hot as hell, and the concert was about a 45 minute ride away. We decided to Ride our bikes (I had a ’99 Sportster at the time, He had a ’71 Shovelhead Custom). We met up with a couple of his friends & headed out. The ride there was a blast, as it was late afternoon on a hot sunny day. Upon arriving at the venue (Sandstone Amphitheater) we were directed to the motorcycle parking area, right up front by the gate.

The Bands were wonderful, I had seen Iron Maiden before & loved seeing them both times. The other bands, I think were Fight (With Rob Halford from Judas Priest) and Queensryche... I could be wrong, but what the hell, this isn’t sworn testimony, any way, the other bands were awesome, too. But the reason this particular memory was sparked is that within seconds of Maiden ending their final encore, The sky broke open and dumped a torrential downpour on us. Massive rainfall, high winds, lightning, thunder, the whole works... We were soaked before we even reached our bikes. To make matters even worse, it was around midnight and all I had for eyewear was my sunglasses. I learned real quick that I needed clear lenses if I was going to ride at night... too bad that wasn’t an option that night.

Unfortunately when the situation is upon you, you either Man-up or Shut-up, so we jumped on & hit the highway. Being hindered by the tinted lenses, I rode in the middle so I could follow one bike’s lights and have another block for me from behind. The 45 minute ride home took a little over an hour in the rain and when I finally got back to my apartment I decided that my Sporty could spend one night in the rain without being covered. Hell, I already was in for a chore in cleaning her up.

That was a younger careless version of my current self. It wasn’t until I got my current bike last year that I bought a pair of clear riding glasses. And I now profess quite loudly, I don’t mind riding at night, and I don’t mind riding in the rain, but I don’t ride at night in the rain!

Boy I hope this clears up tomorrow...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Welcome, Let's Kick It Off!

Welcome to my world on wheels. I am building this site to showcase my adventures on my 2007 Harley-Davidson FXSTCI, Softail Custom. While this site was suppose to Kick off with a rundown on the 2007 Heart Ride to benefit the Angela Spence Foundation, Alas, Life gets in the way and I’m a little behind. So, to all those whom I’ve told to expect the site, I apologize. I’m on now and ready to roll.

Eventually this site will grow to include ride stories, interviews, advice (personal, mechanical, and practical) and hopefully feedback from other riders. Hell, I may even include some of my favorite recipes for Biker foods... Along the way if you have any ideas on how I could make it better, feel free to submit them to me by emailing. Click the link on the side.

I’m going to start off by bringing you in to the planning stages of my first major distance ride. I will leave on June 28 From my home in Carlsbad, Ca. on a trip to Kansas City, Mo, where I will putt around with family and friends before making the return trip. I should get home around July12 or 13. I cannot tell you how stoked I am about this trip.

Knowing that this is my first distance ride, and knowing that I’m doing it alone, I want to make sure that it is well planned out and all contingencies are planned for. So my first stop was, of course, the internet. I went to’s ride planner site and started typing in my stops. According to the planner, A wonderful tool if there ever was, the ride there should take right about 24 hours 11 minute, so I decided to break that leg into three days on the road.

Well, as I’m well aware, this is a long ass undertaking. So I wanted to make some stops, other than for gas. What better place to stop than Harley dealerships? So I added one dealership stop in each state along the way. Now, these stops take me a little out of my way, and undoubtedly add a little to my ride time, but this is a pleasure trip, so what the hell.

Now I’m looking at 25 hours 49 minutes plus whatever time I spend at gas stations, Harley shops, restaurants and any site-seeing stops along the way. I figured in the summer time, I should be looking at around 15 hours of day light a day, so I’m splitting the trip up to around 10 to 11 hours a day on the road. This should allow me to be settled in to my hotel for the night before dark falls.

I decided not to ride at night for a few reasons. First and foremost: Safety. I will be on unfamiliar roads and in unfamiliar places. I want to have plenty of visibility so that I can deal with any unexpected events. Also, I really don’t want to miss any of the sights along the way. I’m going to be traveling through some beautiful country; I want to see it all.

As for my overnight stops, has locations of Best Western hotels built in to the ride planner and even allows you to book rooms through the planner at a special rate for H-D riders. To get my timing close to what I want, I’ll stay in Green River, UT. And Hays, Ks.

My last day will consist of about 5 hours on the road, so I should arrive in town with some time to see family and friends and let them know I’m home.

I won’t bore you with the details of what I plan to do during my stay right now, But after the trip I’ll surely give you the highlights.

For the trip home I’m taking the southern route, and I’m going to expand that trip to include northern Arkansas. Beautiful country if there ever was.

From there, I’ll go through Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and home through California. My overnight stops will be in Shamrock, Tx. and Flagstaff, Az.

Of course along the way I have to see some of the natural wonders, such as Pikes Peak, and the Grand Canyon, but I’d rather tell you about those after the trip when I have pictures to show you.

In the mean time, I’ll keep you informed of any changes that my plan goes through and I look forward to any questions, comments or ideas that you may have about the trip or the site.

Until we meet again, keep the shiny side up,