May 2012 East Coast Biker Online

may east coast biker online

The May 2012 East Coast Biker Online is available. Diana has a new article on page 40 called Biker Chick Learns to Wrench. My monthly product review on the Slime Power Sport is on page 50. Click here to check it out!

Ultimate Playboy Magazine Giveaway

win harley-davidson 72

Enter the Ultimate Playboy Giveaway! Enter for a chance to win a trip to party with Playmate of the Year 2012 at the Harley-Davidson Museum for the opening bash of the Worn to be Wild Exhibit! And ride home on a Harley-Davidson Seventy Two motorcycle! There are 250+ bonus prizes including Harley-Davidson leather jackets and one year subscriptions to Playboy Magazine. Click here to enter.

Harley-Davidson 72

autograph pictureof Playboy bunny

Getting Home – OBX Part 6

oops ball bearings popping out

So Diana’s 2008 Dyna Super Glide blew a wheel bearing a few yards from Katie and Alan’s house after we safely navigated over a dozen major bridges with sometimes no railings and crossed the mother of all bridges: the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel (23 miles long). You can see in the above picture the sealed maintenace free ball bearing is no longer sealed and the ball bearings are popping out. I rode Diana’s motorcycle slowly the rest of the way to the driveway while Diana went inside to defrost. Thank God for Alan who restocked the fridge again with ice cold Yuengling for us! We needed it! I also thank God for making sure Diana got safely across the bridges before her wheel bearings decided to all pop out the right side.

Alan served up an awesome dinner as usual! Tilapia seasoned with fresh rosemary accompanied by wild rice. We discussed some of our options on what to do about the broktified Harley-Davidson Super Glide. Diana took a hot shower and we went to sleep. I weighed our options in my mind and decided I would like to stay with Alan and Katie two extra days until Alan could trailer us the rest of the way home. We were still 4.5 hours from home.

Unfortunately Diana did not want to wait two days to take action. She had commitments back home and papers to grade. A teacher’s work is never done, not even on spring break! Alan’s schedule changed and he would not be able to trailer us on Saturday so I had to review our options again.

I called the Virginia Beach Harley Dealership and was put on hold. Then I was told the service manager would call me back. He did not. I was told that they did not have their own towing service. Although they are the closest dealership it would be back across the 23 mile bridge and tunnel with expensive tolls to go back there. The next dealership north was in our home state 130 miles away and they didn’t have any tow service available either. If either dealership had told me “no problem, we’ll pick you up and fix your motorcycle right away” I would have been all for it. My HOG and Progressive roadside assistance would take me to the closest dealership and I didn’t want to go back across the bridge and tunnel not knowing if the motorcycle would be fixed right away or in several days. To have them tow me 130 miles would be very expensive.

Diana had mentioned looking into U-Haul the night before and it started to sound like a good option. It was the only option that didn’t involve us riding home two up on my motorcycle and we currently had too much luggage on the two motorcycles to get it all home on one. It was the only option that got everything to our house including us, the two motorcycles and all our luggage. It was the only option that gave us full control, kept us on schedule and together. Our only option was a 17′ 48 hour rental for $250 that would get us all the way home and we could have the truck for two days and return it to the gas station in our neighborhood. We could get home, sleep and then drop off the broken motorcycle at the repair facility of our choice.

U-haul tot he rescure witha big pink squid

I called Derek at Turner Tech in Bear, DE at 302-222-7673 and told him what had happened and that we would be renting the U-Haul and dropping off Diana’s bike the following morning. Katie took us to Cape Charles to pick up the U-Haul. They rented the same truck to us that Katie and Alan used to move there three years earlier from Arizona! Crazy coincidence isn’t it!

Two Dyna’s loaded in the U-Haul

jay and the Arizona pink squid u-haul truck

We got the motorcycles into the truck. Alan had three monster industrial size tie downs we used to secure the motorcycles in place. I think we left at 3:00pm, stopped for dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s in Salisbury and were home by 8:00pm. We got one car from the house, drove the truck and car to my work. Unloaded my motorcycle with some help from my coworkers on the nightshift. Unloaded all luggage and gear into the car. Only left Diana’s motorcycle in the truck and locked it and left the U-Haul in the work parking lot overnight. I rode my motorcycle home and Diana drove the car. We went to bed. Home sweet home! Our cat was pissed, but she would have been more pissed if we stayed in Cape Charles for two more days!

The next day Diana drove me to the truck and I drove the truck to Turner Tech. Derek had a hard time getting the bearing out of the wheel but he did it. he put new bearings and new brake pads in but had me order a brake disk rotor, rotor bolts and a spacer. At the time of this writing we are waiting for the stupid spacer to come from Harley-Davidson. Hopefully by the time this is published we will be back to having two motorcycles in the garage.

Considering the “what ifs” I am very happy how this turned out. It was a fantastic vacation and in the overall scheme of things $250 for the truck rental is not bad in comparison to what tow companies charge. I’m glad we didn’t get hurt, we stayed together and had the luxury of deciding what to do at Katie and Alan’s house. It would have really sucked to have the motorcycle towed back across the bridge and tunnel to find out we had to wait a week for a stupid spacer! The cost and headaches that would have resulted in far exceed $250 for a U-Haul rental. So that’s the six part OBX story that has been three years in the making and ends with our first mechanical breakdown on the road. I think this puts us up another notch on the experienced biker scale for having survived mechanical failure on the road and handling it 100% on our own and not having to call friends to come get us.

Click here to see all the vacation pictures.

I think we’ll be returning Alan’s tie downs in person, visiting Karen and possibly saying goodbye to Virginia’s Eastern Shore one final time after Diana’s motorcycle is back on two good wheels. That place is bad luck for us, it’s like the Bermuda Triangle! Hopefully in the fall we’ll be telling you about a road trip to visit Katie and Alan at Skyline Drive aka Shanadoah National Park! Cheers!

Thanks for reading,

Jay Green

PS – it was scarey as crap trying to roll my motorcycle backwards down that skinny U-Haul ramp. I could do it on a bicycle but not an 800 lb motorcycle that is as wide as the ramp with it’s saddlebags on. I had to get 4 guys to spot me.

PSS – I knew from watching Fix My Hog DVD’s that the bolts have to be replaced when you replace a disk brake rotor and I told our mechanic that before he had a chance to tell me. From reading my service manual over the winter months I understood exactly what was broken. Good thing I learned what I did when I did. Don’t ya think?

Fix My Hog Banner 4

Back to Cape Charles – OBX Part 5

Bodie island Lighthouse

We got up late and ate our leftover breakfast snacks on Wednesday morning. It was time to pack up the motorcycles and say goodbye to the OBX beaches and our magnificent view of the ocean. Diana seriously wanted to stay another day. It was cold and windy and not the best day for riding. But it was time to check out and head back north. We stopped at one more lighthouse before leaving OBX. This was the Bodie Island Lighthouse. I insisted on a new route that I thought would be more scenic passing through the Great Dismal Swamp. This route took us over a lot of long bridges. Who thought there would be so many bridges?! On a windy day like this we dreaded the approach of each bridge and had to have crossed at least a dozen significantly sized bridges. Some barely had any railings at all! We were freezing and fighting the wind all day.

diana at the Bodie Island swamp

Bodie island Swamp viewing deck

The Bodie island Swamp View deck with Diana

Diana in front of the Bodie island Lighthouse

Bodie island Lighthouse from swamp

Yeah swamp day!

the other swamp view

We stopped at a McDonald’s to warm up and eat lunch. Diana told me to check her rear tire because it made a pop sound when she made a right turn into the parking lot. It looked fine to me and I thought she must have run over a pebble in such a way that it popped out and made a noise. I checked the tire pressure after we ate and it was fine. We both switched to our winter gloves. Diana’s are battery operated and she turned them on for extra warmth. I plugged my electric jacket liner in to take advantage of the additional heat. Diana put her rain jacket on keep the wind out of her mid-weight jacket she was wearing.

As we got close to Virginia Beach again we stopped in a parking lot to take off our winter gloves and go back to our normal gloves. That way we could handle our controls better on the wild west interstate through Virginia Beach and get onto Rt 13 crossing back across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel. Diana had to take off the rain jacket. The three jackets she was wearing was giving her difficulty moving her helmet from side to side. Her head could move but the helmet wouldn’t and it was causing difficulty in checking from side to side before making lane changes. So she was freezing again. Leaving the parking lot after fixing our gear Diana’s motorcycle made another pop sound but she didn’t tell me. We did battle again on the highway. We got onto the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel again. The wind was challenging across the 23 mile span and Diana felt her motorcycle do a little side to side dance across the bridge.

We got to the end of the bridge and were looking forward to another home cooked meal at Katie and Alan’s house. We got off Rt 13 and entered the Eastern Shore of Virginia’s Wildlife Refuge where Katie and Alan live. We slowed down to about 10 miles per hour and Diana was in front of me. Every once in awhile a noise caught my attention. Diana’s rear disk brake would rub against the pads and then it would stop. I couldn’t tell for sure if it was really happening. We made another turn. Diana’s bike went a little wide. As Katie and Alan’s house came into view Diana’s rear wheel gave out and started to wobble. I called up to her on the CB and told her to stop because something was definitely wrong with her motorcycle!

Diana poses in front of the Bodie Island Lighthouse in North Carolina

Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke Island OBX Part 4

sunrise on cape hatteras with a beach branch

Tuesday was the fun day! There was no real traveling to be done. Just a day of pure biker tourism for a couple of hard working middle aged Americans in need of an escape to a remote beach.

Diana and I have done our share of traveling with groups from our HOG chapter. When you travel with a group you have to adhere to schedules and try to keep evryone in the group happy. This was our vacation and we were finally traveling on our schedule! We like to sleep in late, warm up slowly and eat breakfast when most people are getting ready for lunch. The trip was going great in that regard and it was refreshing to vacation like that.

the sun peeking behind clouds

The sun rise cape hatteras over the ocean

We woke up early to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean. We took pictures for about an hour and then went back to sleep. I woke up later and went to pick up breakfast at the general store. I had OJ and muffins in hand when Diana woke up. After breakfast we saddled up and rode down to the end of the long barrier island. Our next destination was Ocracoke Island and we had never been past this point before either by motorcycle, mini van or other vehicle. As we approached the line of traffic waiting to board the ferry we were waved ahead of everyone. We boarded the ferry with no problem. The ferry ride to Ocracoke was awesome (and free and leaves every hour)!

The Ocracoke ferry

Diana onthe Ocracoke ferry

Packed in like sardines on the ferry

Ocracoke Life Saver

By bye to the mainland

Ocracoke is an isolated island of undisturbed beaches. Again Rt 12 is the only way in and out of the island with one lane in each direction, no shoulder and sand dunes running right up to the edge of the road. The cars took off like a bolt when released from the ferry. We were last off and that was cool because there were no cars behind us and we could cruise down Rt 12 and really enjoy the isolated beach island. There were mammoth sand dunes on our left, sand drifting across the road and island wilderness to the right. We rode all the way as far as we could go on the island before heading to the Ocracoke Lighthouse.

Riding on Ocracoke Island

Jay at Ocracoke Lighthouse

Then we went to Howard’s Pub for lunch. Friends of ours from our HOG chapter told us we had to go there so we did. I am so glad we did! This place is beyond awesome. I had a blackened mahi mahi sandwich that totally rocked! Again each motorcyclist participating in this lunch had one alcoholic beverage (Yuengling) before switching to diet cola. We went up to the sky deck and took some pictures before getting back on our motorcycles. Then we visited the wild Ocracoke ponies and took pictures of the pony pen and the beach across the way.

Howard’s Pub Sign

Inside Haward’s Pub

Maryland Sports Pendants

Diana relaxing on top of Howard’s Pub

Welcome to the wild pony place

Our motorcycles at the Ocracoke Pony Pen

Almost wild protected ponies

Ocracoke pony coming to say Hello

Rt 12 Ocracoke Island

Ocracoke Island beaches

Diana soaking it in

Then we mounted our motorcycles and headed back for the ferry. Again we were waved to the front of the line and had an awesome ferry ride back across the ocean. There is nothing like the ocean air, island views and wild seabirds to create a coastal vacation experience.

waiting for the ferry back

We are back onthe ferry

churning waters of the Ocracoke ferry

Seabirds follow the ferry

Birds!

By bye Ocracoke Island

Ocean tumbleweed

Once we got back on the main island we headed up to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse to take more pictures. Then we went back to our motel and were hungry again. But instead of going to dinner we took a two up sunset ride up the island to take more pictures before dinner. It was romantic to ride two up along Cape Hatteras Island at sunset. 

Diana and Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Jay at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Sunset cruise along Cape hatteras

Along route 12 in Cape hatteras

Beach houses on cape hatteras island

Stop along Rt 12 to look at the ocean

Diana Cape Hatteras Ocean Beach Waving

Jay on a sand dune

Diana in front of OBX bush

Heading back through the island to the motel

Sun setting during our cruise back

Sun setting in cape hatteras on Rt 12

When we got back to the motel we walked to the Diamond Shoals Restaurant where we again ate tons of seafood. I tried the Shock Top Beer and thought it was a pretty good summer beer. After dinner we went back to the motel to enjoy the hot tub again. Then we finished off our two leftover Yuenglings. We had no problem falling asleep!