Thanks To All Road Captains

Dear Steve L,

You may not know me but we have met a few times; I am Jay Green’s motorcycle. I wanted to write you personally to extend my appreciation for having the Southbound Lunch Ride on Sunday April 28th. Jay has not taken me out for months! I have been held captive locked in a small dark room since November! Is that even legal? I was starting to think I might not feel the wind in my handlebars until June!

I thank you from the bottom of my five gallon gas tank for taking the time out of your busy schedule to lead us on an easy breezy fun tour of southern Delaware. I enjoyed the rest stops at Rudy’s Diner and Nathan’s Ice Cream even if my load (Jay) seemed to get heavier after each stop.

It must not be easy being a Road Captain and it is probably a thankless job, especially since it is a volunteer position! Well I hope this letter makes it clear that us motorcycles appreciate your sacrifice and dedication. I’m sure you had to juggle your personal time, family obligations and household chores to take us on a run.

I hear from some of the Ultra Classics that sometimes you Road Captains have to go on pre rides to make sure the ride will be a good one. That must take up a lot of time and fuel. I’m not sure if all the people in your HOG Chapter appreciate your efforts but I know us two wheeled members sure do!

Please keep up the great work and pass on my thanks to the guy on the super quiet bumble bee bike who always sweeps for you. While you’re at it please pass on my “Thanks” to all Road Captains for taking the time to organize and lead these fantastic tours of our country’s finest paved roads. Without you guys, us scooters may be locked up in a small dark room all year!

Jay Green’s Motorcycle

Arlen Ness – An Unexpected Bonus

Outside Arlen Ness

When Diana and I vacationed in California in early April it was a very well thought out trip. Diana had been planning it for five years. We had day trips scheduled Monday thru Friday and things went according to plan. Even our lunch with motorcycle bloggers FLHX Dave and BB. But there was one special unexpected bonus trip!

Inside Arlen Ness

My uncle had mentioned that there were a few motorcylce dealerships in the area if we wanted to visit them. Diana and I have seen our fair share of Harley dealerships and shops and weren’t too excited about the idea. We don’t collect dealership t-shirts from every single place we go like some people do. Just some of them.

My uncle is not a motorcyclist and mentioned a shop called Arlen Ness. We were like “The Arlen Ness?!” And he was like “is there only one?”

So of course we had to take a side trip to see the Arlen Ness shop in Dublin, CA. It was big! The first floor was like a really cool Victory dealership featuring of course Arlen Ness edition motorcycles. There was also an area on the first floor dedicated to Arlen Ness parts and accesories. The second floor had one big room that was like a storage room for all Arlen’s extra customs. It’s not like they were on display each with their own spot. No these one of kind Arlen Ness creations were crammed handlebar to handlebar in this one room that had lots of trophys, articles, signs and other cool stuff around the walls. It was strange seeing Top Bannana, a motorcycle that we saw built on television, among this crowded room of motorcycles with no special fan fare. The showroom was like a time capsule or shine to Arlen’s work. Check out these way cool pictures dude! Gnarly huh!

Arlen ness 1

arlen ness 2

arlen ness 3

arlenness 5

arlen ness 6

arlen ness 6

arlen ness 9

top bananna

arlen ness chopper

arlen ness 11

arlen ness 12

arlen ness green bike

Talk about time capsule, check out this picture from 2005 of Diana with Arlen Ness, Matt Hotch and Eddy Trotta.

Diana and her famous friends

Spring Activity

After a long winter break from motorcycling there is finally some activity in the Green’s garage. We put our motorcycle lives and a lot of other things on hold while looking forward to and saving up for our spring break vacation to San Francisco. Now that we’re back, and received our tax refund, it is time to do some maintenance.

Fix My Hog Banner 4

Diana’s Super Glide ended last season with a dead battery and a well worn rear tire. She wanted to start the season by changing the fluids, putting in a new battery and getting a new tire before going on any rides. She did 90% of the battery and fluid change on her own. She even went to the dealership and picked up all the supplies on her own.

We dropped her motorcycle off at Rt 301 Cycle in Middletown, DE a few minutes ago for the tire. That was our first ride of the season. I got to use my CB radio and on the ride back we used the passenger to rider intercom system. Everything seems to work, except a few aches in my shoulders.

Old Friends Meet For First Time

East meets West

Diana and I went to California for our spring break vacation the first week in April. We played the part of caged tourists in San Francisco for a full week and had many adventures. One of our adventures was a day trip to Salinas to meet old friends for the first time!

We started this blog in 2008. At the same time Dave Mickelson started his biker blog: Road Grits Cafe. And John Ciampa started My Harley Mystique. Together, the three of us explored this great creative outlet and picked up more and more blogging friends along the way. Our women even got in on the online action! My wife Diana started contributing to Road Captain USA as Mrs Road Captain. And Dave met Rebekah who started BB’s Road Trip.

There were hundreds if not thousands of miles separating us from Massachusetts to Delaware to California. Dave, who goes by FLHX Dave or VD, has the most magnetism. His blog post rants draw the most comments, the most followers and even the most real life visits. If you follow his blog you know that he has met up with several online personalities… some even made out of paper like Flat Willy! Well Diana and I had to join the esteemed biker bloggers who have actually met the Viking and BB!

What is it like to meet people you have been freinds with online through blogging for five years but have never met? It was just like meeting up with old friends you have met before! After the first greetings were exchanged we all felt like we knew each other forever and this was a normal lunch with close freinds. Except for the part where Dave poked me with his finger to see if I was real. Besides the finger poking it felt very natural and we all got along great. We had a fantastic lunch together. We could have chatted all afternoon about motorcycles, blogging and normal stuff too. It was a little hard to say good bye knowing this might be the only time or one of very few times that we would be able to hang out together in the same real space but none of us wanted to show it… after all that would be silly seeing how we are practically strangers. We said our good byes and drove back to my uncle’s house in Pleasanton repeating over and over again all the way back “they were so cool!”

We hope to see them again in person on another vacation, hopefully one that involves motorcycles.

Motor Oil Tastes Great!

Today I rode my motorcycle for about 200 miles, noticed one side of my motorcycle was covered in oil halfway through the ride and finished the day by digesting a fair amount of motor oil!

This was the first weekend that I can remember in long time where I had a full weekend open for riding. It was a fantastic day, no rain, no clouds but a little gusty. I picked up an old project and planned a ride route that would take me up and over Philly from Delaware without any Interstates. Diana and I had a good time riding but the route wasn’t my favorite after we got north of West Chester, PA. It was slow going and I pulled into an Exxon station to discuss turning around so that we could be home by a decent hour. Diana wanted to continue on to our destination of Frenchtown, NJ before turning around. I agreed and started to gear up.

As I got ready to ride I started noticing oil on the left side of my Harley. First on the primary case, then on my air horn and then on the front and underside of the gas tank. I saw some pooling at the end of a fuel line and thought for a moment it was gasoline! Diana took a finger swipe of it and said it didn’t smell like gas. It was oil. It was all over my engine guard. I was starting to wonder if I was behind a truck with a leak that was spraying me; but that was unlikely. Then I saw it, the left leg of the fork was all covered in oil. A blown fork seal was the culprit!

I wrapped a white bandana around the fork to soak up the oil so it wouldn’t drip down the fork leg to the front disk brake. Then we turned around and headed for home. Shortly after, I became concerned the bandana wasn’t catching all the oil. We stopped at a Wawa parking lot. I took a few sheets of my directions that were printed on copy paper and formed a paper tube around the fork slider and used a strap to tie it in place. Amazingly this actually contained most of the oil for the remainder of the ride home.

When we got back to Newark, DE we stopped at Woodside Farm Creamery for ice cream. All good rides end with ice cream or beer! When looking through the flavors there was one that jumped out at me and was the clear choice for the day: Motor Oil!

Two scoops of Motor Oil in a sugar cone was definitely sweet and I licked up every last bit of it. But I’m bummed about not being able to ride tomorrow. Sweet sorrow.

Stick A Nail In Your Tire!

We were on a road trip last weekend and had just gotten out of our car at the Cracker Barrel in Winchester, VA when I heard it! We were starving for dinner and the hiss of air rushing out of the front passenger tire was not the most welcome sound in the universe. At first I wondered out loud to Diana “what’s that sound?”. It was much louder than most tire punctures because most tire punctures have the protrusion, such as a nail, stuck in the hole. This hole did not and all the air was rushing out of the tire with a vicious hiss! As much as I wanted to go inside for dinner I knew if we didn’t act fast the tire would be flat in no time flat and it would be dark soon and my car would be stuck at the Cracker Barrel. I wondered if I should hop in it and drive across the parking lot to our hotel so the tire could deflate there. Then I wondered if I should call AAA. Instead I directed Diana to go to my Home Depot tool bucket in the backseat of the car and fish out a nail from the bottom of the bucket! She was like “What?!”. And I was like “get a nail out of the bucket!” while I held my thumb over the hole like the little dutch boy. 

Earlier that day I had gathered up enough tools to do some chores at my mother’s house. Unfortunately we got into a little argument and I didn’t get to hang the pictures she wanted me to hang. The good news is I had plenty of nails! Now why would having nails be a good thing in a case like this? Well I stuck that nail right into the hole! The hissing stopped! We ate dinner and then drove to Pep Boys.

Unfortunately Pep Boys had closed a half an hour before we got there. Darn! So close! I didn’t think the nail and the air would last enough to drive back to the hotel and I didn’t want to walk back. I wasn’t sure if there was a sidewalk and it was dark. So I dug out the jack and doughnut spare. I got the car jacked up and all the lug nuts off… but the wheel would not come off! I tugged and hammered and it just stuck to the hub like it was welded on. A nice young guy (about my age) with a southern accent stopped in his Hummer to ask if we needed help. I swallowed my pride and said “yes” and explained I didn’t know why the wheel wouldn’t come off. The good samariton was a carpenter and he got to hammering on the wheel with no luck either. Then I told him it would probably be less hassle for all of us if we just left the car at Pep Boys and he drop us off at our hotel which was just five minutes away. It was very nice of that guy to stop and help us and I feel bad about all those thoughts and assumptions I made about southern guys and people who own Hummers.

The next morning I walked to Pep Boys and it turns out there is a sidewalk and it took me less than 15 minutes to walk it. My car was still there and the nail was still holding because the tire looked about the same as I left it. I was the first customer in and the first one out. I was back on the road with a brand new Futura tire by 10:00am. I get punctures so often I refuse to replace all tires at once anymore. Not even in pairs! I replace them as they get flats. This is the third Futura leaving only one of the original Goodyears on the 2007 Toyota. Between our 3 cages and 2 bikes I feel like I replace tires every other month! This one had barely any tread left and needed to be replaced.

I drove back to the hotel and woke Diana up. We checked out of the Travel Lodge. This is the same Travel Lodge we stayed at after riding Skyline Drive on July 6th. It was sweltering the morning we left in July on our motorcycles but it was pleasant on this breezy September morning. We drove over to Katie and Allen’s new home. You might remember we had to load our motorcycles into a 16′ U-Haul back in April at Katie and Allen’s house in order to finish the last leg of our Spring Break Outer Banks trip. Well now we got to unload everything Katie and Allen own from a 24′ U-Haul and carry it into their new home just a few miles from the head of Skyline Drive. Nice! Stay tuned for more adventures to the Blue Ridge Mountains!

So again we were not on our motorcycles but we still had us an adventure on the road and you can imagine stuff like this happening on motorcycles. You know it does! So you know what else?! I’m gonna keep a nail in the glove compartment of each of our cars and maybe even in our saddlebags!