Thursday, May 24, 2012

OSU Visibility Day

I posted in previous years about the OSU Visibility Day and this year is no different... including the rain. The event is to help show the students, faculty and staff that motorcycles are on campus and to make them aware of motorcyclists and answer any questions they may have. It also allows riders to safely park their bikes in the quad all day while they attend class or work knowing their bikes are secure under the watchful eyes of the volunteers.

Bob does ride in the rain!!!

Team Oregon also attends the event every year and as I usually take the day off from work to attend I was available to represent as an instructor this year. We set up the tent and talked to people about rider training, classes, bikes and answer any other questions while encouraging them to sign up.

Aria talking to H2Bill and his wife, a Team Oregon BRT graduate

There were 49 bikes and too many people walking through to and from class to count with several of them stopping to ask what's going on?

And what's a motorcycle event without umbrella girls?

It was another successful event and I look forward to attending again next year, rain or shine.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ace Cafe's Summer Shakedown

I received my June 2012 edition of Motorcycle Consumer News magazine and before I even had a chance Trobairitz was already flipping through it and reading articles out loud to me. Sure there's a Triumph Speed Triple R on the cover and model evaluation inside, but what caught her attention was a small article in MC Bulletins on page 6.

Ace Cafe's Summer Shakedown at the LeMay Museum in Tacoma, Washington August 24th to 26th.

I am sincerely hoping that some of you local moto bloggers who are unable to make the 2012IMBC will be able to make this event and join us for a weekend of rowdy moto-blogging tomfoolery and shenanigans. Of course, as always we welcome anyone else to join us too.  I'm looking for hotel rooms now.

America’s Car Museum and Ace Cafe to Debut ‘Summer Shakedown 2012”
Vintage Motorcycle Festival

Apr 2, 2012
TACOMA, Wash. (April 2, 2012) – Ladies and gentlemen, kick start your engines. “MEET AT THE ACE A Summer Shakedown” will debut August 24-26 at LeMay – America’s Car Museum (ACM) on the Haub Family Field.

The show, co-promoted by the museum and Ace Cafe London, will be one of the signature events to debut at the four-level, 165,000 square-foot Tacoma museum following its June 2 grand opening and will feature an array of vintage motorcycles and scooters including Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Indian, Lambretta, Moto Guzzi, Norton, Royal Enfield, Triumph, Vespa, and others.

“This show will exemplify America’s love affair with the motorcycle just as ACM puts a spotlight on America’s love affair with the automobile,” said David Madeira, ACM president and CEO. “I’ve been a vintage motorcycle aficionado since the ‘70s, so my focus is to create an unrivaled vintage bike show in the Pacific Northwest.”

In addition to judged classes, the event will include motorcycle-related movies, a swap meet, motorcycle demonstrations, live music and a Sunday “Ride to Rainier” overseen by the Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiasts Club (VME). Attendees can also enjoy panel discussions centered on the film “On Any Sunday” and a slideshow retrospective with Ace Cafe London Managing Director Mark Wilsmore.

“Our vision centers on creating a multifaceted event that draws motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the region to memorialize and celebrate motorcycle culture,” said Burt Richmond, vintage motorcycle & scooter collector and member of the ACM board of directors. “The Pacific Northwest has a vibrant motorcycle community, which puts Ace in position to become a staple of ACM for years to come. The Motorcycle Concours is open to all makes manufactured prior to 1980. This is a judged vintage motorcycle & scooter exhibition that will present awards for various classes.”

MEET AT THE ACE A Summer Shakedown is co-sponsored by Ace Cafe, a London-based transport cafe with a prominent motorcycle & scooter following, which re-opened in 1997 after originally operating from 1938 until 1969. The August event will mark the first time Ace Cafe London has produced a vintage motorcycle event in America.

Booth space is also available and can be purchased by contacting LeAna Reising, ACM sales manager (; 253-683-3955 direct).

For more information, visit

ABOUT America’s Car Museum (
State Farm Presents LeMay – America’s Car Museum, set for a June 2012 opening in downtown Tacoma, Wash., explores how the automobile has fulfilled a distinctive role at the core of the American experience and shaped our society. The spacious Museum with rotating exhibits is designed to be the centerpiece for automotive history as well as an educational center and library. The campus, located adjacent to the Tacoma Dome, also contains a 3.5-acre show field, theatre, café, banquet hall and meeting facilities. To become an ACM member, volunteer or make a donation, visit

ABOUT Mark Wilsmore & Ace Cafe London (
Injected at a young age, petrol and motorcycles flow through Mark Wilsmore’s veins in equal measure.  Early influences of revving bikes and rock n’ roll music began a lifelong love affair with the culture, clothes, music and the myths that surround them, making his knowledge and attention to detail legendary.

Time passed, as did the glory days of the British Motorcycle Industry and the rock n’ roll scene, but the dream lived on and in 1994, driven by his passion, he staged an event to mark the Ace Cafe’s closure in 1969.  12,000 people attended this first Ace Cafe Reunion, which has since been held every year, attracting over 150,000 visitors.

It was Mark’s vision that brought the iconic cafe, back from dereliction, to the point where today it is the world’s most famous and charismatic destination and pitstop for the global “petrolhead” community.  Visit

 More Details:

“MEET AT THE ACE – A Summer Shakedown 2012”

August 24, 2012 - August 26, 2012

“MEET AT THE ACE – A Summer Shakedown 2012”
Vintage Motorcycle & Scooter Festival

Event Highlights:

  • Concours Awards
  • People’s Choice Awards
  • Awards Ceremony
  • Swap Meet
  • Motorcycle-themed movies
  • Motorcycle Demonstrations
  • Panel discussions
  • Slideshow retrospective with Ace Café’s Mark Wilsmore
  • Beer garden
  • Food vendors
  • Live music

Dates & Schedule of Activities:
Friday, August 24th Welcome Reception, cash bar – 4-7pm
Saturday, August 25th Concours & Music Festival – 8am-10pm
Sunday, August 26th “Ride to Rainier” motorcycle ride with VME

America’s Car Museum Haub Family Show Field (2702 East D Street, Tacoma, WA 98421)

Produced by: America’s Car Museum and Ace Cafe London

Vintage Motorcycles & Scooters = Open to all makes manufactured before 1980

Expected Marques: Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Indian, Lambretta, Moto Guzzi, Norton, Royal Enfield, Triumph, Vespa


Monday, May 14, 2012

Wow, what a weekend!

Wow, time flies when you're having fun and boy, oh boy, have I been having fun.... and it's only just begun.  It seems I just wrap up one weekend on the "the range" and there's another one right around the corner. For you lady riders, my first intern and last class (4/28 - 4/29) consisted of 8 women and only 3 guys. Way to go ladies!

Me, my mentor Ben and eager students

Being an intern means that I get to teach on my own without a mentor on my shoulder but across the range. Ben was my mentor and we got synced perfectly even though we have never worked together before, as if we'd been teaching together for years....well okay, make that hours. Even with Irondad spying from the range next to us all weekend, I had fun and I met standard.

All by myself...

This weekend (5/12 - 5/13) was a whirlwind. First, I completed my second teaching assignment as an intern. All that hard work is paying off. I am required to 'meet standard' two consecutive times before being signed off as a full instructor, otherwise it is a one step forward two steps back scenario. Team Oregon is such a supportive program, all the instructors and mentors are positive, respectful and helpful so I wasn't worried in the least.  My mentor this weekend just happens to be my neighbor. He is a high energy guy and a lot of fun, we get along great and I was really looking forward to working with him. He came over to the house Sunday evening to deliver the news and congratulate me personally. Not only am I an instructor, but all twelve students passed both the skills evaluation and the knowledge test!!! Congratulations class, you were awesome!!!

It was a crazy busy weekend, I taught Basic Rider Training Saturday morning then Saturday afternoon I jumped from instructor to being a student in the Rider Skills Practice. Team Oregon graciously offered remaining spots available in the class to instructors so I jumped at the opportunity. I not only got to play with motorcycles all day, I got to ride!

First attempt of the circuit ride, cone 2

Initiating a lean

"What happened when you looked down at the cones?"

Swerving (full fork compression)

Second attempt of the circuit ride, cone 2

The RSP a great step up from the BRT, a course I encourage everyone to take every spring to refresh your skills after a long winter. I learned a lot and felt that I improved considerably by the end of the day. Three of us stayed after class and ran the circuit a couple more times and improved even more without the anxiety of being timed by the instructors.

Here is my second run.

To round off the weekend it was back to teaching Sunday morning then today I took the day off work to attend an instructor braking clinic. Learning to stop quickly from 70 mph (113km) on a closed course will certainly wake you up more than any quad shot of espresso coffee will.

This is what it does to your front tire.

I understand there are more photos floating around and hope they become available soon to share.

On Bobskoot's advice, we bought a GoPro Hero2 camera for our summer adventures and I've been playing around with settings, camera angles, tank mounts, helmet mounts and such but I don't really have anything worth sharing yet other than the unedited video above.

I'm learning that it takes hours of video to put together a decent two minute video and I can only imagine how much time and effort Mike dedicates to not only videoing his mountain bike adventures but the countless hours he spends editing. The results are fantastic and I can only hope to produce something as blog worthy. If not, I swear I can time lapse photograph my lawn growing.

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous, THIS is what May should feel like and I pray it stays this nice through October. It has been close to 90° all weekend, wasn't it just a couple posts ago I wrote about snow and how cold, wet and miserable my students were? Now that the weather has arrived what say we slow down just a bit to enjoy it. However, May is Motorcycle Awareness Month so my dance card is full with events, rides and classes. I'll certainly try to keep up on the blog, but in the meantime... get out and ride.


Sunday, May 6, 2012


Knowing when to say when is difficult and I don't mean drinking, although that is important too. Trobairitz and I were to meet Josh and Meg this morning for a 300+ ride north to St. Helens, Astoria, over to Tillamook and down the coast back to home. It was Meg's plan to get photos of the town names of all the county seats in Oregon either by courthouses or city signs and today was going to be our first venture to snag the first few, but alas we didn't make it.

Yamhill County Courthouse in McMinnville (online photo)

We are fine, there wasn't an accident or anything, in fact we gave it the old college try but something was off this morning. We prepped last night, woke early this morning, packed a lunch and headed down the road just before sunrise to meet them. For some reason though, I just wasn't feeling it and that feeling wasn't get any better. We met up at our rendezvous point, said our hellos and started riding north. It was a chilly 38º and I was cold, which is uncommon for me, but it caused me to be tense which made me that much more cold. I could see Trobairitz in my mirror and I knew she was cold, the feeling in my stomach wasn't going away and it was affecting my riding.

In what felt like forever, we passed a sign stating the 5 mile distance to Amity and the 12 miles to our first photo stop of McMinnville. I called Brandy on the radio asking her how she was doing? "Oh I'm fine, it's only 12 miles, I can make it". That's great, but I'm not going to make it and I'm going to call it a day. We arrived in Amity and I tried to signal Josh that I was pulling over but couldn't get his attention. I eventually pulled over and I couldn't go any further. We stopped and waited for them to turn around and come back. I sat on the sidewalk trying to warm up in the early morning sun but I sill couldn't get over the queezy feeling in my stomach and rather than tossing my cookies 100+ miles into the ride I called it. Sorry guys.

Josh and Meg trudged on while Brandy and I limped home like a school kid sent to the nurse's office. My ability to operate a motorcycle safely was suffering and I was impaired.  I was drowsy and I couldn't focus one hundred percent on my riding so I slowed down, increased my following distance and pulled over a couple of times to warm up while checking on Brandy and that she was doing okay. When I knew that we were both safe to ride we would carry on and we made it home safe and sound. It's amazing how far 40 miles can be.

It takes a lot to drop a guy like me, I'm usually up for anything so when I call it quits, it's quits. The important thing is knowing when to say when. If you don't feel well enough to ride just admit it, the group will carry on, not have to worry about you and there will be other days to ride.

Thanks for the text Bobskoot and your concern, you are quite the detective. I warmed up, rested and am feeling a bit better. We just got a text from Meg saying they made it Astoria and are having quite the adventure. I'm glad they continued on and are having fun. We'll get these photo tags soon.

Tillamook County Courthouse (online photo)

In the meantime, ride safe.

Addendum for Toad Mama: