This Picture Says It All – Check Out Smil’n Bob Grinning Ear to Ear

Old School Bob

I think this picture says it all. Check out my good friend Bob cruising through the backroads of southern Delaware on his tricked out Sportster 1200. He has done alot to this bike, notice the wide forks! Bob is one of two people I ride with that doesn’t wear a helmet; he looks like he is having such a good time I might have to ditch mine.

Steve Williams Scooter Sighting

It’s a relaxing Monday night in the Green household. Diana is reading blogs and I am catching up on my motorcycle magazines. I’m speed reading through the June 2008 issue of Rider. Skipping bike reviews for bikes I would never buy, skipping articles on rides in places I will never visit, skipping reviews for products I would never buy. I’m reading an article about a motorcycle club called the Rounders. These are people who ride all year round and pride themselves on welcoming in all brands of two wheeled transportation. Then it hits me! Low and behold on page 116 there is a picture of a 2006 Vespa GT250ie scooter on a snowy road outside Pine Grove Mills, Pennsylvania…. the picture is by our own Steve Williams of Scooter In The Sticks! Steve’s scooter blog may have gone into hibernation but his spirit is still alive in the motorcycle community!

Steve Williams Sighting!

Top 100 Motorcycle Blogs

Over at Honda Motorcycles Blog someone has posted their personal list of Top 100 Motorcycle Blogs. Seems like they got all my favorites. Good job! Check it out (click here).

Motorcycle: A Rolling IQ Test – What’s Your Intelligence Quotient?

Patrick Swayze - Expert In Conflict Avoidance?

For two years I had a part time job with Strip-O-Grams in New Jersey as a “Driver”. I drove “Exotic Dancers” to bachelor parties every Saturday night. I’m not a big guy, never been in the military or even know matial arts. I’m not a fighter. So how did I work part time as a “Bouncer”? The job required more intelligence than brawn!

Other drivers/bouncers were big, carried a weapon, brought a friend for back up or had a military background. For me it was all about keeping things under control, managing risk, avoiding bad situations by cutting them off before they happen. Just like Patrick Swayze in Road House, I was friendly but authoritative. I used psychology and dressed like a biker. This was how I was able to keep a bunch of rowdy drunk guys from getting out of hand or robbing me. I had two naked chicks to protect and a pocket full of cash. Just like riding a motorcycle, I was putting myself in a dangerous situation with a manageable amount of risk and enjoyed the rush. Every job was a challenge of my intelligence, not brawn.

Many motorcyclists are free spirits. They ride without helmets or wear the novelty helmets. They are living the moment, stress free, loving life! They are “in the flow”! I envy their ablity to go through life care free. These are the same motorcyclists who have a dozen or more horror stories to tell you about the close calls they have had with cagers. The amount of arguments in parking lots or at intersections. They have a dozen verbal confrontations of legend! During these conversations I don’t have much to say. These things don’t seem to happen to me. Guess I’m just lucky.

I’m not the happy go lucky type. I’m always prepared. I’m constantly thinking, calculating and contemplating. I recall last year always imagining horrible crashes with oncoming vehicles as I was cruising down the road. At that time I was uneducated about Street Strategy. This year my thoughts are different. They are constantly assessing the situation. I evaluate the road, measure up the cagers and check my rear view mirrors. I ask myself is that an agressive driver, an inattentive driver, or a professional driver? Is that the car of a responsible person or does it look like it has been in a number of accidents? Is that truck a professional or a rental? The type of vehicle, condition of the vehicle and bumper stickers on that vehicle are all tell tale signs of the type of person driving. At intersections and driveways I slow down, cover the brakes and put a little space cushion between me and the possible car, child or animal that could jet out. They say there are two types of riders: those who have crashed and those you are going to crash. When that unavoidable inevitable crash happens; will you walk away with a broken leg or become a statistic? Every second on a motorcycle is a test of ones intelligence as well as skill.

As I become a more experienced rider I trust that the amount of mental exersize in my head becomes more subconscience and that with time I will be more “in the moment”. I trust that riding will become even more relaxing and enjoyable and in the long run crash avoidance strategies will become second nature. For now, I am a student of the road. I am studying the skills and learning the “psychology of the road” that will keep me out of harms way.

OK, enough deep thoughts. How about a little video fun?

Do It Yourself or Pay The Professionals? – Motorcycle Service

Pliers with wire cutter

I have a question for you guys and gals. It’s time for my 5,000 mile service on my new Dyna which is under warranty. It has been 1 year since Diana’s Sportster has been serviced. I was going to take them in and have them both professionally serviced which will run about $500. A very good friend reccomended we service our own bikes for a fraction of the cost. I am sure we could successfully change the fluids and plugs, but I like the idea of having a pro do it because they may notice other things that need attention. Considering that I blew up my first Harley by installing the battery backwards, my mechanic told Diana to take my tools away, and I hate working on the bikes….  what do you think? What do you do?

Anyone and everyone is welcome to comment on this as usual. An e-mail address is required, a website address is optional. Your e-mail address will be held confidential.

The Wave – a gesture of brotherhood among motorcyclists

Diana Pillion Princess

The very first time I ever hopped on the back of a Harley, I was introduced to the waveAt first I thought it was a wave hello to an acquaintance, but I quickly discovered that it meant much more than that.  The wave was a sign of approbation to another member of arguably the largest fraternity in the world.  And I was welcomed as a part of that brotherhood…simply because I was riding on two wheels. 

The whole motorcycle culture was new to me at that point, and it was fun discovering all of the different ways that people would wave.  (Check out Dave’s post on this topic over at Road Grits Café.)  It was a huge part of what made me fall in love with motorcycling–that sense of camaraderie on the road.  But as I rode, I felt guilty because sometimes I did not reciprocate the waves.  As a novice rider I had so much to concentrate on–shifting, braking, traffic, curves, obstacles in the roadway…  Since I know from personal experience many reasons why one might with no ill intention refrain from waving, I bear no ill will towards others when they do not reciprocate my waves.

There are many alternatives to the traditional wave (sometimes referred to as “the secret Harley wave” by riders of other brands of bike).  You can raise a few fingers without actually letting go of the clutch with your entire hand, or you can offer a simple nod.  Some of these alternatives are not easily visible, particularly if you are concentrating on riding safely instead of stressing over whether or not another rider is waving at you!

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