Dad's Saying of the Week

Anybody that would eat that, would eat shit and bark at the moon!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Is This the End, My Friends?

Sorry it’s been so long loyal readers (both of you), but you’ll see at least part of the reason why as you read on…

Well, I did indeed ride the Indian in as I said I would. I apparently do have the electrical problem licked. However, on the last leg of the ride the Big Chief began making an ominous clunking noise in the rear tranny area. So the question then becomes, do I push on to work (by far the shortest distance left) or do I turn around and get back on the boat and head home. Work is, as I said, the shortest distance, but I have only what’s in my tool roll to work on it with. Home is everything I need to work on it, but many more miles.

I pushed on, fairly sure that the problem was that I was low on gear oil in the transmission (perhaps I didn’t get the gasket properly sealed when I replaced it last Summer). I had no gear oil at work, but I did manage to con a friend into taking me to fetch some. I then had to scramble around work to find an Allen wrench big enough to take the tranny plug out. I pulled the plug and discovered to my chagrin that there was PLENTY of oil.

Never have I been so disappointed to have done a good job! Well, I put it back together and decided to start it up and see if it was still having problem… Who knows, maybe the bike fairies showed and fixed it?! No luck… and no start. The clunking noise was apparently the starter not fully disengaging, and now it won’t engage no matter how much I attempt to ‘persuade’ it.

Well, once again AAA isn’t going to make any money off me. During the tow home, I came the very difficult decision that I can no longer keep the Chief. Right now, two bikes is all I can reasonably afford to maintain, and the Chief is just a bit too long in the tooth to depend on as an every day commuter. So, once I finally get the ol’ boy starting again, I’ll be selling him to someone who can give him a good home.

He’s still a great bike with tons of life left in him. For anyone who will ride him as most bikes are ridden, when the weather is nice on weekends and the occasional day trip, he’s perfect. It’s just the constant demands of start, ride 25 miles, stop; start again load on the boat & sit; start again and ride 10 miles (in traffic) and do the whole thing in reverse going home. Do that every day, lather, rinse, repeat. It’s a tough life for a bike.

So, the inevitable question right now is, what do I replace him with? The leading contender is this beauty, the Victory Vision Tour. Not sure exactly when, and I’ll probably look for a good low mileage used one. But, this is the leading candidate right now. I was also, briefly considering the Triumph Rocket Tour III, with it’s truly monstrous 2300 cc motor (that’s right boys & girls, a motorcycle with a 2.3 liter engine)! But, I’m really looking for a full dress bike this time around. I want the full Garbage Truck package to give me a bit more protection during the winter commute.

Why not a Goldwing, I hear from the peanut gallery. Well, have you priced them lately? You can get a Harley Ultra Classic for less money. A ‘Wing is still in the running, but way on the outside. If Honda was still making them, I would pull a trigger on new Valkyrie Interstate on the way home tonight! But, sadly, the newest of those I can get are almost as old as the Chief…

I’ll keep everyone posted as I work though the process.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring Riding Update

Wow, one heckuva week! In the past 7 days I’ve had days were I could wear my single layer Spring & Fall gear, to days where I was in full 4 layer Winter gear with the with heat cranked.

So, what you ask is full Winter gear? Thick socks, GorTex lined boots, long johns, heavy jeans, GorTex gaiters, Gerbing UnionStation heated riding pants (with suspenders), long sleeve shirt, sweat shirt, Gerbing heated coat liner, neoprene facemask (with glow-in-the dark vampire jaws), FirstGear lined Katmandu riding coat, FirstGear orange hi-visibility zippered vest & HJC Shorty helmet. If it’s raining hard, I’ll swap the shorty helmet & facemask for an HJC Full Face levered jaw snowmobile helmet. I also wear snowmobile extra heavy-duty gloves and WinterHands over bags for the hand grips.

How long does it take to gear up this far? Surprisingly, I can get from the shower to the bike in 7 minutes. Normally I like to do it a bit more leisurely pace.

The forecast is for a nice Spring-like day tomorrow, so I’m planning on wearing the leathers and riding the Indian. Wish me the best. I think I have the electrical issues licked. But, we know that there are no guarantees with the Chief!

Got some interesting developments coming on some other fronts, but I’m quite at liberty to talk about them yet. Maybe next week.

In the mean-time, I’m making progress toward the new bike slowly but surely. I’m coming around to the idea that I’m probably going to have to sell the Chief to make it happen. It breaks my heart, but what I need now is an everyday commuter not a temperamental beauty queen. I’m still thinking that the Victory Vision Tour is next bike for me. It’ll make a good commuter and give me long trip ability.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Budweiser Cap

Last week, on St. Patrick’s Day, the lovely bride and I visited our favorite watering hole, Romeo’s. While there, we played the Bingo game they had going on. In the third or fourth game, I won two beer glasses and baseball cap.

It’s the cap I want to talk about today. In so many ways, it’s emblematic of the United States. The caps is green with the Budweiser name and a clover-leaf. Think about that for a bit. A piece of swag, celebrating an Irish Holiday, advertising a beer brewed to a Czech recipe; produced by a company founded by German immigrants and owned by a Dutch company. And all of this in a biker bar with an Italian theme!

That is something you will only find in America!

Friday, March 12, 2010

First Post

So, what is this Blog about? I'm starting with a stream of consciousness thing, and we'll see where it goes from there.

I'm home sick today, and being sick in the PNW (Pacific Northwest, for you noobs) is extra special. It's cold rainy and crappy outside and that's a perfect complement for my mood. The animals are sacked out with me in the living room. Tawny in the spare moose chair, Xena in her usual spot on my feet keeping me warm. Chester the cat is laying on my chest making it hard to type. How do animals always know when you need comfort?

We had the new garage door installed yesterday, and I'm as excited as I can be. The installer did a great job installing it, and it has a remote opener. The old door was made of wood, soaked through with water and weighed a couple of tons. Just lifting daily it was an act in hernia avoidance! Now, when I come home from work, I won't even have to climb off the bike!

It's been a few days of riding with the heated gear plugged in. I don't miss that aspect of the ride, but I do yearn for it on days when I don't ride. Even in craptacular weather like this, it's more enjoyable to ride than drive. You just have to know how to gear up.

Speaking of gearing up, for those of you unfamiliar, I use Gerbing heated gear. I'm sure other people make heated riding gear, but these folks are local, guarantee the electrics for life, and make great quality stuff. I resisted getting heated gear for years, but now that I have it, I wonder why. The difference between finishing a ride so cold you're barely functional and finishing a ride warm and comfortable is worth whatever they charge.