Just Shak’n The Dust Off

Craftsman motorcycle and ATV jack

For those of you who don’t know, I purposely took a break from riding this winter. I put our motorcycles up on jacks for winter storage in November. I stepped down as the Director of our HOG Chapter at the end of the year (after 3 years service in that position and 2 more years before that in other positions). I made this whole Harley thing into a 2nd job. In many ways I took the fun out of it. So rather than ride through the cold weather once a month due to peer pressure I put away my horse from November through February with the hopes of a refreshed sense of enthusiasm for riding in the spring. Last weekend we sprang the clocks ahead and I took the motorcycles down off their jacks. I pulled mine outside and kicked it over (not in the literal sense). I let her warm up while I checked the tire pressure. The front was only 2 lbs low but the back was way low. I hope I don’t have a problem there, but I probably do. I filled the tires with my air compressor (awesome tool to have, not sure how I lived without it for so long). Then I took her for a spin around the neighborhood for a short bit. It felt good to get out on two. I noted some maintenance that needs to be done and put her away for another day. By the time you read this I will have probably taken her to work a few times and will be getting ready for the first ritual of spring here in New Castle, Delaware: the MAV St Patty’s Day Poker Run.

Motorcycle Infoholic Since Twelve

As mentioned in my previous post I must be a sick individual based on my obsessive and insatiable appetite for information, entertainment and anything related to motorcycles! At the time I was thinking these were adult neuroses. That is not the case. This sickness started when I was very young. It probably dates back to when I was two years old and my mother’s cousin sat me on his Harley-Davidson. That might be a little young to develop an obsession. More realisticly I would have been eleven or twelve years old when I attended junior high school in New Britain, Connecticut. That would have been when I met other boys who either owned dirtbikes and/or followed motorcross as their favorite sport. We read Motorcross Action and Dirtbike Magazine religously every month. We followed the careers of our heros like Bob Hannah as closely as kids these days follow the antics of John Cena of the WWE. Actually I have no idea what todays kids follow… I don’t have any. The point is my motorcycle infoholism began back in the 6th grade! I forgot it started way back then. My obsession currently has me reading Motorcycle Maintenance by Mark Zimmerman. In the book Mark Zimmerman spends an enormous amount of time explaining in detail how the motorcycle engine works, both two stroke and four stroke. It was the first time in my adult life to read this type of stuff, but not the first ever! The reading brought back memories of trips to the downtown library as a kid. I would go to the good old fashioned library and use the Dewey Decimal system to locate anything I could find on motorcycles and how they worked. This all played into the successful but diabolical plot to convince my parents to buy me a new Yamaha YZ 80 when I turned thirteen. So there you have it, I have been warped in this way since I was in the 6th grade and that is when I became a motorcycle obsessed infoholic!

Gator Attacks Biker in Florida

gator Attack

43 year old motorcyclist from Newark, DE was attacked by inanimate alligator in front of Gainesville Harley-Davidson in Gainesville, FL. The victim was not seriously injured in the catastrophic incident. However he is being treated for mild brain damage unrelated to the attack. Details to come.

gainesville HD

Covering 2010 Gettysburg Bike Week

brown event t-shirt

Diana and I had ourselves a great adventure this past weekend. We went to Gettysburg Bike Week to cover the event for Fast Lane Biker Delmarva. I have met Larry Racey, the event chairman, previously at my place of employment so this assignment was a good first assignment for us with FLB. I contacted Larry and he told me to ask for him when we arrived.

Diana planned us a route and researched hotels. Neither are easy tasks, especially last minute on a budget. She located a room for less than $100 at the Super 8 in Thurmont, Maryland about 16 minutes south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

We wanted to be on the road Saturday morning at 7:00am but we woke up to rain. We kept checking the online radar for the next few hours hoping the rain would disappear. Unfortunately the rainstorm was a big green blob heading our way between us and our destination. We would have to go through it if we wanted to arrive in a timely manner. I suggested to Diana several times that we should take the car. That way when we broke through the storm to the good weather we would be dry, wearing summer attire and ready to cover the event. Diana felt we should ride through the rain. I asked “why?”. She said “Because we are motorcyclists. That’s what we do!”

So we put the raingear on and went riding in the rain for two hours. We were gassed up and on the road at 10:00am. Diana’s 3 hour ride route through the country from Delaware, through Maryland and into Gettysburg, PA was awesome. Too bad it was raining. My raingear didn’t cut the mustard this time around. My clothes got pretty wet. When we poked through the storm and arrived in sunny Gettysburg at about 1:00pm I changed into my Sunday jeans and t-shirt in a gas station rest room. Guess I would be wearing those for the next 48 hours.

parade of bikes

flags

We arrived at Gettysburg Bike Week and went to see Nora at the Volunteer and Press Tent as instructed. Nora wasn’t going to let us in because we didn’t have any press credentials but once I mentioned that I knew Larry all systems were go! Larry came and got us in his golf cart and gave us the nickel tour. He dropped us off at the game area where they were announcing the winners of the bike games. We watched the tattoo contests and burnout pit. This was a first rally for me and Diana so the burn out contest was pretty cool to watch for a first time even though there were only two contestants.

burnout

tattoo contest gettysburg 2010

Next we got lunch at the food pavilion. I liked how organized and compartmentalized the layout of the event was. The foodcourt was great. We met a nice couple from Bel Air, MD while we ate lunch. Next we took some pictures where the custom bike show had been. There were only two bikes left in the facility where the contest was held. We got to talk’n with the man who runs the bike show as he owned a 9/11 NYFD tribute bike. Then we talked to the event photographer who I previously worked with at the International Motorcycle Show in NYC.

Diana on 911 NYFD tribute bike

We walked over to the Rally For RAACE Big 6 Wheel where I got to talk to my friend Anthony DiGeorgio from Chesapeake HOG about the upcoming Rally for RAACE fund raiser in August that I usually particpate in. It’s such a good cause and a good event.

rally for raace

Next we checked out the vendor village. Again I liked the compartmentalized layout. Back to the foodcourt for dinner. It was about 6:30pm and there was some time to kill before the AC/DC tribute band would take the stage at 8:00pm. I went back to check on the bikes and unload the merchandise we bought. There was some cool stuff there so we couldn’t help ourselves. Then we headed back. The beer lines started getting long just before the band was going to start and we decided it best to stick with soda so we got some drinks. We set out to find a haybale to sit on but they were all taken. Next we tried the three sets of bleachers and were able to secure a place to watch the show. The people we sat with turned out to be very nice. We had a good time with them watching Back In Black from Springfield, Massachusetts. They rocked! At the end of the show there was a fireworks display! Then the band played one final song. This was a great day!

Ac DC tribute band

fireworks at Gettysburg

We took pictures of the bikes leaving the rally. Then we headed up to the Eisenhower Hotel and checked out the action in the lounge. It was crowded with fun loving bikers. We cleaned up a little in the restrooms and headed to the bikes. Did some minor repair work to a deflated tire. Hooked up my CB which was initially packed due to rain.

We headed South on Rt 15 to find our motel. I don’t like riding on the highway at night but the Super 8 was very conveniently located. Good job Superwoman! I liked being in contact with Diana by CB and it made finding the hotel easier since we could dialogue just like being in a car.

We checked into the motel and made some interesting friends out in the parking lot. There was a biker from Massachustts who had trailored his bike down. Very cool guy. Didn’t get his name. There was also a senior couple from Michigan who were vacationing by car and were visiting Fort Bragg on behalf of their son who was killed while on active duty in Afghanistan. He had a 12 pack of beer and leftover chicken and biscuits from Roy Rogers. He was our new best friend even though he wouldn’t give us bikers too much time to talk bikes before he would start in with a story about his son. It was very touching though to meet these people, bond over two or three beers. It was a very comfortable night out unlike recent nights where the humidity has been killer. The rain had cooled things off and we were in the mountains. I think we hung out in the parking lot til 1:30am before calling it a night.

We woke up Sunday to a scorching hot day. Humidity wasn’t bad. Met some bikers during breakfast and while prepping the bikes in the parking lot. I let Diana take her time getting ready since the previous day was such a full one. She was wiped. We hit the road at 11:00am to head back to Gettysburg for some sight seeing. First we went to Boyd’s Bear Country. Then we toured some of the battlefields. This would have been more fun if it wasn’t so hot!

Boyd’s Bear Country

Diana at Boyd’s

jay at Boyd’s

touring the battlefield 1

touring the battlefield 2

touring the battlefield 3

cannon

diana climbing rocks at devils den

diana on the rocks

Diana’s ride route home was awesome. She has been putting together some incredible rides lately and this one didn’t disappoint. The CB’s were working pretty good and we were able to chat and joke while riding home. I don’t think I will be able to go back to traveling without being able to communicate. I am looking forward to upgrading my radio for next year.

By time we got home I was wiped out. I parked the bikes on the sidewalk in front of the house, headed inside, stripped off shoes-socks-pants. Grabbed cold beer. Went to sleep on couch. Woke up several hours later to find Diana working on the three hundred or so pictures she took. I put my clothes back on and unpacked the bikes, the gear and put the bikes away.

Click here to see all the pictures we took.

I touched base with Walt from Fast Lane Biker about the article I will be writing. I touched base with our Head Road Captain about Diana’s tire that is losing air. Then I processed my mail orders and wrote this blog post. The weekend is over and I can’t believe it went by so fast. Well, that is life in the Fast Lane.

My First Motorcycle Media Press Pass

While researching an article on the Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows I came across the media page and information on media day. Members of the media could apply for a press pass to media day online. I have been writing this blog for two years, I write for East Coast Biker and I write for the Examiner.com so I guess I could be considered “media”. So I applied and was granted a press pass to the New York City International Motorcycle Show and invited to attend the early opening for members of the media!

I scheduled a day off from work and woke up early on Friday, January 22nd to drive 2 hours to New York. Most people recommended I take a train from Trenton, NJ but I drove. It was supposed to snow but it didn’t. I arrived in New York and found a parking garage with no problem. I got to the Jacob Javits Convention Center on time and after signing in, collecting my press pass and checking in my coat I joined the other members of the media for a continental breakfast. Free juice, coffee and danish! This is awesome!

It was exciting to rove around the presentations with all the professional photographers, writers and tv crews. The most exciting event of the day was being present for the unveiling of a new Harley-Davidson! I was in on the latest news issued from the Mo Co and ready to drive home and write about it. I was brimming with excitement when I got home, downloaded my video and pictures to write a ground breaking story on the latest development at HD. Writing this blog is so much fun!!! I’m glad I have a hobby to keep me occupied in the winter.

The best part of my day had nothing to do with motorcycles. Before retrieving my car from the $15 parking garage, I stopped for lunch at the Broadway Deli. I got me a triple decker hot pastrami and corned beef sandwich on rye with spicy brown mustard. The bread was browned in butter on the grill. The sandwich alone was worth the trip! God bless NYC food!

Motorcycle Gear from Riders Discount

Nife-o-maniac

Ultra Lite Harley Davidson pocket knife

Nife-o-maniacs rejoice! What is it about being a man and being addicted to… gizmos?! NO not sex! Show me a cool part that was machined on a CNC machine or the latest electronic gadget and I’ll be fascinated as will other men. It’s not like I ever need to protect myself but weapons have always been the holy grail of gizmoitis. Maybe there is a little Rambo in everyone. Guns, rifles, bazookas, cannons, catapults, ninja stars, swords, axes and tazers are just plain cooool! Pocket knives are a phenominon I just don’t undertstand! I have no need to carry one, hardly ever need to cut anything but I can easily spend an hour checking out the latest catalog from Blue Ridge Knives. I get excited when I hear names like Boker, Kabar, Kershaw and Gerber. Like gold coins, I want to collect them and then have no use for them. Ooooh, this one has a drop point bead blasted blade with “Harley-Davidson”  and the bar and shield logo laser etched on it. This one has a stainless steel removeable pocket clip! This one has CNC precision machined parts! This one has a lightning fast open assisted blade with ambidextrous thumb studs! This one has an aircraft grade T6 aluminum handle with rubber inlays for firm grip. I MUST HAVE IT!

Admit it! If you’re like me you order stuff on the Internet just so you can cut the package open with your pocket knife when it arrives on your doorstep.

Check out our new Harley-Davidson pocket knives from U.S. Cutlery at www.ShopRoadCaptainUSA.com

Click here for the ultimate stocking stabber!