Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It is always great to read a positive newspaper article about motorcycling, but it is even better when it is a local paper and it makes the front page.

Read the article here: Gazette Times

I have had the honor of meeting some of the riders of Women in the Wind on New Years Day and had the pleasure of riding with Stacy on a group ride earlier this year.

These women are truly noble ambassadors of the sport.

Congratulations ladies!


Friday, January 23, 2009

magnesium chloride

The start of this week, the thermometer at home read 22ºF, the roads were dry and I felt confident riding to work. Until I got to the first major intersection, the road was wet and the light from oncoming traffic glared off the road like black ice. I knew from the pattern on the road that this liquid was purposely applied as a de-icing substance, but it still gave me that feeling we have all experienced.

I had the green light so I wasn't given the opportunity to stop and test the traction with my foot as I often do at a stop light, which made the upcoming bridge deck more of a leap of faith than I care to take. I hoped the next light would afford me the chance to get a 'feel' of the road, but not this time. Instead I rolled into the right turn then accelerated cautiously, expecting the slip of the rear tire, but again I was thwarted and stupefied. Surely the next light would be red and allow me an answer but the light remained green. Never a green light when you want one, but today I had a ticket to ride.

I had one last light before arriving at my work, a downhill grade and often sanded or treated during the winter months, this time was no exception. I was able to slowly roll to a stop and put my feet to pavement, the liquid solution was unexpectedly sticky, I twisted my boot into the pavement as if snuffing a cigarette and experienced resistance. I was actually thrilled as numerous possible uses for the de-icer flashed through my mind, mainly involving racetrack applications and year round use on sharp turns. Wouldn't it be great to use this on crosswalk markings and those slippery painted intersection arrows?

My wondrous ideas came to a screeching halt when I remembered Oregon rain, of course more testing must be done, scientific data must be collected, lab rats acquired, or I might just wait for the next ride in the rain and try to remember that unnerving leap of faith.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Group Ride

So eight of us on seven bikes went for a ride today to stir the oil, rotate the tires and clear the cobwebs. It was supposed to be sunny and 50º today, it was somewhat overcast with some sunny breaks and I'd hazard a guess of low to mid 40ºs.

Bob was parking his Honda CBRXX Blackbird when I pulled up and Stacy came in after me on her Suzuki SV650. I met Bob through a bike night I set up last year, a great guy and he knows bikes. He described himself today as an engineer type and to listen to his stories and his knowledge I'd agree.
I knew of Stacy through Irondad's site and first met her in person at the Polar Bear Ride and she too joined us for bike night last week.

Eric (in blue) showed up next on his Harley Davidson Nightster, a very nice bike, I'll have to get some better pics. I met Eric last week at bike night.
Elton showed up next on his loud DRZ400, he initiated today's ride. Elton rode with us on a chowdah run last year so this is my second ride with him.

Matt arrived next on his new BMW F800GS, our first introduction was this morning. We were just waiting for one more bike, Troy and Mary I understand rode down from Portland to join us on their Harley Davidson 100th anniversary Ultra Glide.

Less than forty miles into our ride we found some sunshine to bask in and warm up. I think the reflective tanker truck behind us helped.

Everyone was cold but in great spirit so we rode on.

70 miles on the tripmeter took us to The Point Restaurant by Foster Dam for lunch.

Elton bending over to check out someone else's bike, again.

The posse posing.

A few more quick pics.

We couldn't go much further as the sign in the background states traction tires required and vehicles must carry chains. While open for interpretation, and although all but one of us had chains, we couldn't leave Eric and his belt drive behind.

A brisk day and a great ride with some wonderful people.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

vehicle lust...

A Corvette turns heads as the sports car drives by, a restored muscle car era Barracuda or Mustang catches your attention, or a vintage porsche evokes memories of a rebellious youth. The girls seem to like Volkswagen bugs, Jettas or Mini Coopers. Then there is the expensive, impractical BMW 9 Series, Jaguar XKR or Mercedes MLC (mid life crisis), never to see a drop of rain and only driven on Sunday.

To catch my attention, stop me in mid sentence and spin me around to take a second look is a more practical vehicle, an all function, no frosting rig. This utility vehicle is huge, with big tires, heavy duty suspension and a diesel motor with more power than it would ever need. It glides down the street with an unmistakable sound and commands the respect of a wide berth. You can hear this bad boy coming a block away.

I passed one this morning, giving the driver a thumbs up like a bright eyed, grade school kid at a bus stop, it was an awesome sight. You'll know it when you hear it and see one of these behemoths in your neighborhood.

The humble, under appreciated street sweeper made it's rounds today while I was at work. But I rode home on gravel free intersections and along clean fog lines and polished centerlines. This truck holds a special spot in every motorcyclist's heart. Thank you to the city crews out there clearing the roadways and making the streets safer for us all.


70 days until Spring


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Great group of riders

Brandy and I met a great group of riders today at a local Polar Bear Ride.  These are pics from last year and it was a great turnout this year, I look forward to meeting them again on future rides.

It was warm at 50º but the Oregon rain along with the excess of gravel from our last snowfall deterred us from riding beyond the coffee shop but I am sure we'll make up for it throughout the New Year.

I have also added a Ride & Event Calendar to Tools and Calculators on the right sidebar of me blog as I have hopes to scour the internet for local motorcycle rides and events to attend this year.

Thanks all and Happy New Year!!

PS: Polar Bear 09 pics