Three More Sleeps

Black Hills South Dakota

It happens every year in the month leading up to Sturgis. I go back and forth about whether I’m going, the highs and low’s of planning and then it all comes together and a date gets penciled in. Or does it? This year it does.

I’m actually getting my gear together and making a list of those items I will forget. It never fails, you can put it all in a pile and you end up taking those things you really will never need and leave behind the necessities. Of course you can pick up anything you need along the way, but that isn’t the point. I have it sitting right there on the garage floor.

I’ve sent a few messages to people I know who will be there in hopes of meeting up for a beer. I know I want to head out to the Full Throttle to see the progress in person, and do a couple of rides in the area that I haven’t done in a few years. Man, I wish The Knuckle Saloon still had the amateur MMA fights like they used to. Oh well, I’m sure there will be plenty going on, it’s just a matter of wandering around.

So, the next decision is which direction to ride on the way up. I’ve taken about every road up and back, mixing up the scenery and giving those few crooks the opportunity to skim my card at the gas pump. Yes, this has happened. Like every trip I take, I always have a goal of meeting some locals in hopes they tell me their life story. It will happen, and I’ll be all ears. That’s okay and it never gets old listening to someone tell me a little about themselves or the community in which they live. Good stuff.

As I sit here typing this, I should be in the garage packing some stuff. I did get my cup holder mounted. I struggled with that. Not from mounting it, but rather if I need it. Really? A cup holder? Hey, it’s a long trip.

I guess Friday morning is only a couple of sleeps away, and there will be plenty of time to gather my crap and strap it down. I’m ready to go – at least in my head I am.

Weather Or Not To Ride

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It’s funny, winter comes around about the same time every year. We even have the early warning system derived from trees shedding their leaves. I know it isn’t an alarm or flashing lights but these leaves need to fall a little louder to the ground. They pile up and blow around signaling the coming of winter, but somehow it goes unnoticed to the motorcyclist in me. It’s this time of year when cold, blustery days start creeping in with excited weathermen and women telling us to be prepared. Even the dedicated weather channels start airing episodes depicting blizzards and freezing rain and the cause and effects of temperature change.

Cold temps can be tough enough to ride in, but when you just add water, in the form of rain sleet and snow, it brings us to a parked bike and a closet full of gear.

But the one detail left coming from the lips of said meteorologists is the affect is has on those of us who ride motorcycles. Cold temps can be tough enough to ride in, but when you just add water, in the form of rain sleet and snow, it brings us to a parked bike and a closet full of gear. Not to mention all the hopes and dreams of someday riding again. It just didn’t sound right to say “with the wind blowing through my hair again.”

So how do you break the bad news to a guy like me that the weather will make it dangerous to ride? First and foremost, don’t sound excited that bad weather is coming. This may be your line of work and I know at times it can be boring, but I like boring. Boring lets me get outside to ride. Secondly, be honest. Tell me it’s coming but give me hope. Hope that one day the sun will shine and the temperature will be above 20 degrees. And thirdly, be accurate. There is no honor in telling me lies. I know it’s hard to predict the weather but if we combine the room full of radar and computer programs you have at work with maybe a peak out the window we might get it right. Let’s recap – contain your excitement, be honest with me and be accurate.

One more thing, let’s get our local meteorologists interested in motorcycling. Maybe this will take the sting out of the cold weather forecast. At least then I would know we were in this together.

Motorcycle House – Geared to Serve

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If I can say one thing about riding motorcycles is that we are always looking for parts and accessories; not only for our bikes but for us as well. Between jackets and rain suits, helmets and gloves (for both winter and summer), we look for luggage, saddlebags, tires and all those things we need, want and can’t live without.

It really gives you the impression that our motorcycle is actually the least expensive piece to the puzzle and our bike is just the beginning to that long relationship with everything else that goes with it. Do we really want to add up all the money we’ve spent on gear and accessories? Not me.

Considering what we spend, all I know is if I can save a few bucks and still get the quality I expect and deserve, I’ll be happy. Riding bikes makes me happy. So does saving money.

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I was contacted by Motorcycle House to do a few reviews on some products that we enthusiasts use every day. You know the kind; real world, from one biker to another, ride it like you own it kind of stuff. They also carry parts and accessories for UTV’s, ATV’s, dirt bikes and snowmobiles – but it’s motorcycles for me. For those of you who follow my blog, you know I ride year-round out here in the Midwest, and I put a lot of miles on my motorcycle. I also expect a lot from the gear I use and I want to make sure my money goes a long way. I’m looking forward to trying out items that we are all interested in, and Motorcycle House is willing to provide some of them for me. So stay tuned, and in the mean time check them out on social media and give them a follow!

Motorcycle House on Facebook

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The Mechanics of Emotion

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Take a step back. Look. It’s motor in plain site-the oil lines expose and its polished cases reflecting a fun-house image of yourself. The air cleaner is prominent and the cables that run from the hand controls to the power plant are waiting for your every command. The suspension is visible as are the disc brakes-a conflict in horsepower and stopping power, when all it wants to do is go, and go fast. Gears, pistons, bearings and oil. Precision cut with an idea of what is truly possible from internal combustion. Adding to this, a couple of gallons of gasoline sitting between your legs, and you fire it up. The sound, the smell and the vibration of a machine as it runs, brought to life by the push of a button or a kick of a lever.We feel it. Emotion.

We talk of motorcycles as a mechanical object-which they are. but when the inventors of two-wheel motion started assembling the early versions, they were in fact changing how we would feel about transportation that “moves” us. There is a lot of parts and pieces that are required to turn a machine into emotion but it happens with a single spark. It happens every time the motor fires up. A spark can transform peace and quiet-to gears turning, pistons pumping and exhaust throwing out the sound of life. This directly affects our physical and mental state, far beyond what was originally intended by those Harley and Davidson boys. 

The mechanical side of motorcycles is something amazing in itself. But the emotional side can be even more complicated to understand. It moves us in a three-dimensional way; physically, socially and emotionally. For over one hundred years, mechanics have never had to replace the emotional part of a motorcycle.