Archive for January, 2014

More Motorcycling Odds and Ends

Thursday, January 30th, 2014
Bikes In Sturgis

It's all about motorcycles.

You can tell I’m not getting in a lot of riding because if I was I’d have all sorts of new stories to tell. Almost every ride sparks some idea for a story to tell, but it can get to be slim pickings this time of year. But there’s always little stuff.

For instance, Alan passed along to me awhile ago a thing about a new kind of motorcycle helmet with what they call a heads-up display that shows what is behind you as you look ahead plus a whole lot more. The brand is Skully, and the display also responds to voice commands to play music, take phone calls, guide you with GPS, and maybe something else I’ve forgotten. Potentially very cool. I’d sure like to try one out.

Well, this thing Alan forwarded to me was a link to put your name in the pot to get a chance to demo one. So we both did.

And what do you suppose came of that? Both of us got emails thanking us for asking to demo and telling us that what they really want us to do is go to their Facebook page and like them and then give them as much promotion through social media as we can. Then they’ll look at who has done the best job of promoting them and those will be the folks who get to demo a helmet.

OK. So I’m giving them a little publicity here but I’m not jumping through all those hoops. Guess I won’t be on the demo list. I’d still really like to try one of those things, though. Maybe in a few years all helmets with come with that stuff.

Another thing Alan sent me (Alan sends me a lot of stuff) is about another movie that’s supposed to be coming out soon. By now probably everyone has heard about “Why We Ride,” but now there’s another on the horizon.

Called “Out of Nothing,” this is a film about four guys who live to race on the salt flats. That link goes to a trailer on YouTube and it looks pretty interesting.

I was all set to go out and spend a week on the salt a couple years ago, crewing for Jerry Pokorny, until I discovered the day before he was leaving that the week I thought this was happening was not the actual week. And my wife and I had vacation plans for that week. Big surprise, I chose my wife over Jerry, so I’ve never been to Speed Week. But I get the impression that after watching this movie you’ll have a lot better idea of what it’s like. I know Jerry’s stories are pretty fascinating.

So how come we’re getting motorcycle movies in a bunch all of a sudden? Things come in threes; is there a third one out there we’re going to be hearing about soon.

Finally, it may not be the heart of motorcycling season right now but that doesn’t stop the Motorcycle Travel Network. We’re having our first guests of the year this weekend, Robin and Glenda from Lawrence, Kansas. They’re coming in for the Motorcycle Show and Swap and they’ll be here for two nights. We haven’t hosted MTN people yet who we didn’t enjoy meeting and getting acquainted with. And more importantly, we have had some guests we had a fabulous time with, and we’ve spent nights with members in their homes and had great times, too. If you travel and you like meeting new people who share your passion, the Motorcycle Travel Network is definitely worth checking out.

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
Only a biker knows . . .: Motorcycle Wit and Wisdom, #30

Biker Quote for Today

It’s all about motor bikes, always has been, always will be.

Motorcycling Doesn’t Just Happen

Monday, January 27th, 2014
ABATE meeting

ABATE District 10's first meeting in new quarters.

Sunday was the January meeting of my ABATE District 10, for the first time in our new meeting space–and definitely a step up!

For as long as I’ve been a member we have met at the Frontier Club out on East Colfax, which is kind of a dive bar. It wasn’t bad but apparently some people objected to the idea of a biker organization that promotes riding safety to be meeting in a bar. So we moved to Noonan’s over at the Heather Ridge country club, in a private meeting room. Some members opposed the move and unfortunately, they were noticeable at this meeting in their absence.

So if anyone ever wonders about how motorcycle events come to be held–poker runs, rides–this meeting was a demonstration of the answer. Almost the entire meeting was taken up with two areas of focus. One was the safeguarding of riders’ liberties and the other was planning events.

On the safeguarding liberties front, a guy who goes by Stump was there. He is the ABATE of Colorado legislative liaison and he was there talking about a lot of bills or potential bills in this new session of the Colorado legislature.

One was a proposed bill to prohibit anyone under the age of 8 from being a passenger on a motorcycle. This had the appearance of a solution looking for a problem. The representative behind this thing is Joann Ginal, a Democrat from Fort Collins. According to Stump–and I do acknowledge that Stump could be biased–this thing got started with Ginal was approached by a couple constituents who didn’t think this was safe, and that the legislature should do something to protect kids. Apparently, however, no one–not the Colorado State Patrol, CDOT, or anyone else–thought there was any need for such legislation. Also, it seems one of the people who approached Ginal was the wife in a divorcing couple, and her to-be-ex likes to take their kids for rides–which she does not like. Let’s get the government involved!

Lacking no good statistics on the number of accidents with motorcycles involving kids, it appears the bill will go nowhere. But that’s the kind of thing ABATE tries to look out for. And by the way, ABATE has a new logo, that includes the wording, “Dedicated to Freedom of the Road.”

The events planning portion was total nuts and bolts. Although each event has its own committee, some of the details get hammered out at the district meeting. For instance, we talked about the upcoming (July 12) Iron Azz ride, a 500-miles in 12 hours ride. Would there be T-shirts? Would they be included in the $25 registration fee or do we sell them?

Or the Blessing of the Bikes, in May. Do we continue to sell the little pigs that are the trinket of the event (they cost 97 cents and sell for one dollar) or does everyone just get one? The suggestion was raised that not all traditions are worth continuing, but the response was that the riders always want something as a token of the event. So the decision was to keep the pigs, give them at no extra charge to all participants, but revamp the registration so instead of $10 per rider and $5 for the passenger, everyone just pays $10.

Yeah, it’s pretty mundane, but you can bet these sorts of discussions go on for every event you attend. They don’t just spring into the universe fully formed.

Biker Quote for Today

Adventure begins when your plan falls apart.

Odds and Ends, January Motorcycle Rides

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Oh well, shucks. I just got the newest issue of Rider magazine in the mail today and my Vetter piece is not in it. I had had the impression it would be, but it’s not in my hands. Maybe next issue.

V-Strom at the Stagecoach

I rode down to Franktown Saturday, to the Stagecoach.

I’ve been able to do some riding lately. We get cold and snow–like today–and then we get some warm and clear. If we get enough warm and clear the roads get melted off and I can get out. On Saturday I headed down to Franktown, to the Stagecoach, as you can see in the photo. I saw a lot of guys out on bikes and the closer I got to Franktown the more I saw. There were probably 50 or so parked at the Stagecoach.

Sunday I got out again, not going anywhere in particular but doing some exploring. That can be a really fun thing to do if you pick a good area to go explore. I ended up down in Highlands Ranch and just followed some of the major streets. I fail to comprehend–as I have for years–where all the money comes from for so many people to buy so many huge houses. Yeah, I guess many of them may be owned by bank after the housing crash of a few years ago, but certainly not all of them.

The other thing that really struck me was how out of date that whole area is already. With that sprawling lay-out there is no way you can go anywhere other than to your neighbor’s or to the nearby park without driving. That’s the way they built neighborhoods for decades but times are a changin’. People want to somewhere that they can walk to the cafe or whatever other thing and those are the neighborhoods of the future. You couldn’t give me a house in Highlands Ranch.

So it seems like I never just go out for a ride anymore. I’m always testing some product or other and these rides were no different. I’ve got these high-tech earplugs I’m trying out and more recently I received a back brace that is supposed to prevent back pain on long rides. I’m not ready to report on either of them but I’ve been able to use both a few times now.

The earplugs I’m having trouble with. They’re supposed to block bad noise but let you hear people talking and road noises that you need to hear. I put them in and can hardly tell they’re blocking any sound at all, until I take them out and hear what I was not hearing before. I don’t know what to make of them.

The back brace is supposedly for long rides but because I won’t be doing any of those any time real soon I figured I’d just wear it around the house and to work. It’s not at all uncomfortable but considering that I don’t suffer from back pain it’s hard for me to really tell how good a job it’s doing. But I’ll keep using it and will have a report before too long, I expect.

Biker Quote for Today

You’re a biker wannabe if there are no wrinkled, faded, creased, or scratched areas on your leathers.

Vetter Article Goes Up On Rider

Monday, January 20th, 2014
Vetter Challengers 2012

Vetter challenge participants at Vintage Motorcycle Days in 2012.

I may be working a full-time job lately but that doesn’t mean I’ve given up my freelancing. I’m pleased to be able to tell you that Rider magazine has published my latest article on its website and the piece will presumably be in the next issue. Now you get to read the story behind the story.

The piece is about motorcycle fairing designer Craig Vetter and what he’s up to these days. It started out when I went to Ohio in 2012 for the AMA’s Vintage Motorcycle Days (VMD).

Craig was the grand marshal for that event that year, and one piece of the event was the Craig Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge. I took a lot of pictures and spoke with several participants in that event. I also attended three presentations Craig gave, two about the challenge and one about his many years in motorcycling and design of motorcycle gear. I then wrote about all this for several publications.

After I got home I sent a query to Rider magazine editor Mark Tuttle, Jr., asking if he would be interested in a piece on Vetter and this whole business. Mark replied that sure, he’d be interested to read my submission. That is to say, no guarantees he would accept and publish it, but if I would write the piece he’d be happy to look at and consider it.

Then nothing happened. I got busy with my new job and months passed with me doing nothing to pursue this. About the time I was despairing of ever getting off my butt and doing it I got a fortuitous email. Craig Vetter had seen one of the articles I published elsewhere and sent me a note saying he liked it and thanks.

I knew I needed to jump right on things at that point. I emailed Craig back and thanked him for his note and told him I had gotten the go-ahead from Mark to do a piece. Could we speak? Craig said sure and so we did.

My thoughts initially had been to do something about the previous year’s event (this was the middle of 2013 by now) but at this point we were drawing near to the 2013 event, so it made more sense to make it a forward-looking piece rather than dwelling on something that was past. And Craig was totally focused on what was upcoming. In the interim he had gotten seriously amped up on the idea of electric streamlined motorcycles. As you’ll see if you read the article, Craig had gotten hooked up with Terry Hershner, who was planning–and by the time we spoke, had completed–a cross-country run on his Zero electric motorcycle. Craig’s streamlining had enabled Terry to get double the mileage out of his batteries and helped make the whole thing possible.

At this point Craig was looking forward to the 2013 VMD and expecting Terry to run away with the championship on his electric bike. I wrote the piece and sent it to Mark at Rider with the main pitch being the electric bike angle. Mark replied that he had no recollection of us discussing this piece (it had been nine months) but he liked what I sent him and he wanted to run it. I thought it would be a good piece to use coming up to VMD, setting the stage and then demanding a follow-up, but Mark said he wanted to let the 2013 challenge take place and add a follow-up note at the bottom of the piece.

So that’s what we planned. And then it fell apart. Terry was on his way to VMD and the bike broke down. The extra weight from all the extra battery packs and charging units he had added were finally too much for the stock wheel bearings. Terry would not be competing in the VMD. OK, Mark said let’s wait for the later Vetter event in October.

October came, however, and there was no fuel economy challenge at the annual Vegas to Barstow event because Craig had had surgery and was not feeling sufficiently recovered to take on that load. Push it back even further.

At this point Mark was telling me it didn’t have to be tied to one of the Vetter events, he’d just run it in an issue in summer 2014 when he had space in the magazine. But then I got a note from him not long ago saying he would have space for it sooner. And now, by golly, it’s up there. And I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of the next issue in my mail. Gosh, only 16 months from when I first pitched the idea to Mark to when it ends up in print.

Biker Quote for Today

I’ve done it myself in the past, ground the bike so far all the oil was gone, got up and walked to work without a scratch.

Are You Talking To Me?

Thursday, January 16th, 2014
UCLEAR communicator

Here's the communicator we ended up with.

If you head out on your motorcycle two-up with your significant other it’s inevitable that at some point you will look into helmet-to-helmet communicators. The alternative is to continue to yell and try to be heard over the sound of the engine, and to frequently crack your helmets together in the process. You know, the way you’re doing it now.

A number of years ago my wife, Judy, and I took the plunge and bought a communicator system and I would have to say the results were decidedly so-so. Here’s our story.

The unit we selected was probably a mistake from the start. If all you want to do is communicate with your passenger, a simple wired system is all you need. I made the mistaken assumption that as my riding buddies and I continued to enhance our gear, some of them would also buy communicators and so it was only logical for me to get a wireless system. Of course, they would have to get the same brand product I had, but I figured that I’d set the precedent and they would follow.

A doxen years on and guess what? Not one of my friends has bought a communicator, except for John, who got one to talk with his wife when she’s on back. Oh well, Judy and I can still talk, and that’s the main thing, right?

Well, sort of.

Installing Speakers
Of course, the first thing I had to do when we bought our communicator was to install the hardware and speakers in our helmets. The foam padding in a helmet already has a cavity where your ears are so they’ll be comfortable, but if you’re going to put a speaker there you have to cut away more of the foam to make room. Our came with some glue and Velcro (or hook and loop as the generic term goes) so I then stuck the Velcro on the back of the speaker and attached it to the helmet. No problem. Except that as soon as the weather turned warm the glue melted and the speakers fell out. Jerry-rigging my way along I finally came up with an approach that held them in place, most of the time.

Initially, the system worked pretty well. We could talk and hear each other, although with voice-activation we found it worked best to start any statement with “Ummmm” to kick the voice-activation on. Of course, this was happening over the airwaves and we weren’t always the only ones using this particular frequency. If we rode along under or beside high-voltage power lines we would usually get a loud, unpleasant humming, which we would try to cancel out by loudly singing, “La la la la la la la la la la la la la.”

Other times we would pick up someone else’s cell phone conversation: “. . . Roger’s coming over at 3 then I need to . . .”
OK, fine. Judy and I can still talk, and that’s the main thing, right?

No, We Can’t
And then there came the day when we couldn’t talk. We were suited up to ride, the bike was warming up, and we connected all the wires. We did our usual tests to make sure we could hear each other, and I could hear her but she couldn’t hear me. I adjusted my microphone, we twisted all the knobs and pushed all the buttons, but nothing doing. So we took off and figured we’d mess with it when we got home.

The trouble was, we couldn’t figure out what the problem was. Next time we went for a ride we geared up again and tried the communicator and once again we couldn’t get it to work. Over the next year I fiddled with the thing again and again, all with no success. So we’re back to yelling and cracking helmets together.

Meanwhile I had been reading on motorcycle forums about different helmet-to-helmet systems and what I learned is that if all you want is communication from one helmet to another, seated on the same bike, the simple wired systems actually work quite well. They are not voice-activated; they’re just always on. The unit acts as a small amplifier, connecting the microphones in both headsets to the speakers in both headsets. They work even better if you use earplugs, and that eliminates the hassle of installing the speakers.

In other words, this is the sort of system we would have bought if I hadn’t had that silly notion of my buddies getting communicators, too. So did I got out and buy one of those?

No, I got an email asking if I’d like to try out a bluetooth communicator. Of course I had to have two to actually test them so they sent two. And they work great. That’s what we use now. I won’t rehash what I wrote about them at the time; you can see that here. Suffice it to say that Judy and I never have trouble talking on bike rides any more.

Biker Quote for Today

I went somewhere once and came back. It was kind of fun. I just might do it again.

Communication on the Ride

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Motorcycle Hand Signals

See the link below to view this graphic full size.

We had our piano moved on Saturday and it was a spectacle of coordination and communication. These guys were pros.

They had specific terms for each move in the process and they were constantly checking in with each other. Not once did someone decide to push the piano some direction without first asking, “Can I come your way?” or whatever the move called for. Going downstairs they confirmed with each other step by step and had total control of this large, heavy burden with never any confusion at all. None.

I was fascinated. And I got to thinking how that was so not like so many group motorcycle rides I’ve been on. The worst case I can think of happened in our early days, a story I know I’ve told before.

Bill and John and I were going up over a pass in Utah, with me in the lead, and we were approaching a turn-out on our left with a great view. I decided to pull off but just an instant before I made my move Bill went shooting by me. He apparently was tired with my pokey speed and wanted to bump things up a bit. If I had moved an instant sooner we would both have been on the ground and not in good condition. We learned a lot from that experience.

It’s all about communication. Of course, back in those days there weren’t a lot of people who had communicators and those of us in the OFMC still don’t, except for the rider to passenger communicators Judy and I have and John and Cheryl have. But even back then there were hand signals. You just had to agree on what they meant and then use them. Of course, turn signals are good, too, and if I had used mine on that pass Bill might not have gone shooting by me. But they don’t do a thing for you if you don’t use them.

I know I did a post some years ago where I provided a link to a web page displaying a number of basic motorcycle hand signals. Well, I’m going to do it again here because this graphic includes several more, different signals that strike me as pretty useful.

This latest graphic comes from a blog by a guy name Michael Padway, a motorcycle attorney. You know how it is, these guys want to get your attention so if you have a crash you’ll think of them and give them a call. Sometimes in the process they really do create and offer materials that are worthwhile. I think this is one of those times. And apparently the guy does ride.

Actually I think both of these displays of signals is good because they both have at least a few that the other lacks. So point your riding buddies to both of them and then talk it over before your next ride. The skin you save may be your own.

Biker Quote for Today

You’re a biker wannabe if you’ve had to replace your tires, but because they were too old and not too worn.

Size Matters

Thursday, January 9th, 2014
Honda 50

This was the bike I craved as a kid.

When I was a kid I occasionally had the opportunity to ride motorcycles and they were all pretty small. First you have to understand that what constituted a “big” motorcycle back then was not at all what it is today. Years later, when I got my first bike, my 1980 Honda CB750 Custom, it was a bike that, in its day, had been a big bike. Nobody would call a 750 a big bike today.

But when I was just starting to ride, generally on bikes owned by friends, we were talking small. What I coveted was what we called simply the Honda 50, the step-through bike that I guess was officially the “Cub.” My mother never let me buy that bike but when I rode on friends’ bikes they were bigger than that, generally in the 90cc to 305cc range.

When I rode that 305 Scrambler it seemed like a plenty big bike. Then in college I had a roommate who had a CB350 and that definitely seemed like a big bike. Around that same time the sister of a friend bought a 250cc Suzuki and she let me ride that. That seemed like a big enough bike.

Years later, now living in Denver, my friend Christopher came over one night on the used BMW bike he has just bought. I don’t remember how big it was but it was way bigger than any bike I had ever been on before. He offered to let me take it for a spin and I declined. I was scared of that thing. I was scared if I took off on it I might not live to get back. And the truth is, that was probably a good decision.

A couple years after that, though, my friend John showed up on the 750 Virago he had just bought and I was thrilled to climb on behind. It just took a few rides on behind John to convince me that I had to have my own. There was a used bike shop just a few blocks from my house and John and I paid them a visit.

I immediately started looking at what they had in the 400cc-450cc. John told me no, I really didn’t want to get a bike that small because if I did I’d be looking to trade it in on something bigger in just a few months. Words of wisdom.

He steered me to a group of 750s. They looked huge to me but John was the experienced one and I trusted his judgment. I ended up buying the CB and John rode it home for me because I didn’t have even a learner’s permit. I got one right away and started riding every chance I got, learning how to handle this big thing.

I must have learned because I took my motorcycle license test on the 750 and passed, albeit on my second attempt. I learned later that most people borrow a smaller bike to take the test on. I passed it on my 750. I still think that was quite an accomplishment, especially considering that I was self-taught.

Of course after awhile the 750 didn’t seem too big at all. It was just right. So right, in fact, that it was what I rode for a long, long time afterward. While all my friends were moving up to bigger bikes I stayed with the Honda. I was in love with that bike.

The time did come, though, when I was looking for something more. Not size necessarily, but comfort. We had taken a trip to California and my butt was really hurting by the time we got home. I went out and bought this 1000cc Kawasaki Concours I’d had my eye on and once again it was a big bike.

It took me a year or more of riding until that thing started feeling not huge. But again, I did get used to it. At first I wouldn’t ride without wearing boots with tall heels; now I hop on with just sneakers on and don’t think a thing about it.

I think I will finally draw the line right about here, though. We rented a big Harley while up in Canada a couple years ago and that thing was just too much. Not the height, but the weight. I got in some gravel at one point that was deeper than I thought and it was all in the world I could do to keep it up. Stuck in heavy traffic in Vancouver, inching forward, it was not fun.

No, you know, what I really like these days is my 650cc Suzuki V-Strom. I don’t want to go traveling on it–that’s for the Concours–but for just about anything else, this light, agile bike is a blast. Size really does matter.

Biker Quote for Today

Watch out for everything bigger than you, they have the “right of weight” — Bib

Look at Bikes, See ‘Why We Ride’

Monday, January 6th, 2014
Erico is showing "Why We Ride"

Erico is showing "Why We Ride"

There’s a lot of discussion on the Web lately about “Why We Ride,” a film that is basically explained by the title. Or we can go with the synopsis: Why We Ride is a story about who we are. Individuals with a desire to dream, discover and explore. Seeking a life outside our daily confinements and sharing those moments together. It’s a story about the journey, not the destination. Motorcycles represent the milestones of our lives. From a kid’s dream come true, to a retiree’s return to freedom. From a family riding together on the sand dunes, to hundreds of choppers carving through the canyons – the bond is the same. It’s about the passion of the riders and the soul of their machines. Your senses will heighten as the world rushes in, your heart will beat to the pulse of the engine, your mind will race and set you free. Once you let a motorcycle into your life, it will change you forever.”

Anyway, this film has been getting shown in a lot of places and usually with an admission fee. I figured you might appreciate it if I passed along a note that just came to me, where you can see the film (in Denver) at no charge.

The place to be is Erico Motorsports on January 9 (Thursday) at 6 p.m. I wasn’t aware of this but apparently Erico builds custom bikes and they’re having the unveiling of their latest. As an extra attraction they just happen to be screening “Why We Ride,” and at least from the email they sent there does not seem to be an admission fee.

If you’re interested they would like you to RSVP so they’ll know how many to plan for. RSVP at Plans also include “sharing a few beers and a few laughs.”

This film has been getting a lot of buzz, at least in the motorcycling community, so it’s apparently pretty good. I can’t say personally because I haven’t seen it yet. And unfortunately, making it to downtown Denver at 6 p.m. on a weekday is not very likely in my agenda. But maybe for you it does. Now you know.

Biker Quote for Today

… grease, grit, and mud are runnin’ in my blood.

A First Couple Motorcycle Rides

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
small motorcycle

This would have been about the size of one of those early rides.

I had hoped to ride yesterday but I woke up to snow falling, and though it came and went during the day there was not to be any two-wheeling.

When riding is constrained it makes it tough to tell new stories about riding adventures. So I start thinking about old stories.

Like my very first motorcycle ride, at age 15. Hard as it may be to conceive, way back then, in Nebraska where we lived, you could ride a small motorcycle without a license at 15. And they rented Honda 90s at the local 7-Eleven by the hour. This was back in the days of “You meet the nicest people on a Honda,” when the bad-guy biker image was starting to turn.

My friend John and I went over one day with enough money in our pockets to rent a couple bikes for maybe two hours. It probably cost about $3.50 an hour, so that was big bucks for us. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much at all about that ride, other than that we did it. I do seem to remember we did some riding around on some dirt in a local vacant lot.

The next summer my family moved but I spent that summer working at a camp on an island up in Minnesota. The guy I bunked with had a brand new Honda 305 Scrambler that he rode up from Minneapolis and he offered to let me ride it anytime I wanted. So I did. Oddly, I don’t remember riding it all that much, which seems very odd to me now.

The one thing I do remember is one day I was going to town to get some supplies and as I took the key for the bike he told me he didn’t want me taking the girls who were going with me for rides. I guess he figured that wasn’t necessarily safe. Of course that was exactly what we intended, but we assured him we wouldn’t do that.

And then we proceeded to do exactly that. I took one for a ride in the country and took the other into town to get what we had come for. Must not have been big, whatever it was. This Scrambler was pretty torquey so at times I ended up doing wheelies as I tried to take off. We were getting back on the bike in town and some young guys came along and saw us and started yelling “Look at the girl on the bike!” Yes, she was quite pretty.

It wasn’t my intention but as I took off we wheelied. I’ve always thought that was pretty dang cool, with those guys watching, to wheelie out with this babe on behind me. Back at camp my bunkmate asked if I had taken the girls for rides and I hated to lie so I didn’t. He never let me ride his bike again.

My next opportunity to ride was in Decatur, Illinois, where my family had moved. This was another friend named John, and he and his brother Steve each had little 125s, probably Yamaha. Steve didn’t mind if I rode his so John and I took off.

I had no idea about counter-steering at that time, so as I rolled down their somewhat steep driveway and tried to turn the motorcycle the way I would turn a bicycle things did not go well. I would try to turn right and that made the bike want to go the other way and I crossed the street and ran straight into the curb, sending me flying onto the neighbor’s lawn.

No damage done, though, so I picked it up and we rode off.

Out in traffic it started getting dicey. I still wasn’t getting this steering thing and at one point as we moved into a left-turn lane I watched anxiously as I just barely managed to avoid clipping the median on my left. Clearly there was something going on that I didn’t understand.

Other than those particulars I really don’t remember much about that ride either.

There were other rides on other bikes in later years, but far too much time passed before I finally bought my own. Now when some of the guys I ride with at times tell me they haven’t had the bike out in six months I’m just amazed. I guess I’m trying to make up for lost time.

Biker Quote for Today

I ride not to add days to my life, but to add life to my days.