Tuesday, August 30, 2005

All over the world and still no chance to ride...

Before I write anything, understand that I'm very happy that South Florida had as little damage as we did from Hurricane Katrina. Also, my heart also goes out to all of those along the Gulf Coast and on up into the continental United States as the storm ravages it's way into history.

Now all that's said........

The roads have finally been cleaned up. Most of the traffic lights are are fixed. I can even hear some of our fellow riders zipping along Federal Highway past by window at work.

But can I get on my bike?

As of this Saturday I'm in England for two weeks and fly to Atlanta for business the day after I get back, so squeezing a ride in during the next fews days is becoming more tantalizing and further out of my reach as each day goes by.

It doesn't help that nature is toying with me. It looked like it was going to pour down with rain when I left work so no bike ride, and with having to see friends on Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday is going to be the golden time. Wish me luck.

Before I review all the motorcycle news to know, it was interesting to walk past someones new toy on Sunday. A gleeming red Triumph Rocket 3, brand new from the showroom floor. What an amazing bike. The color is officially called Cardinal Red and what impressed me most was the little finishing touches Triumph added to the bike and little embelishments placed all around the bodywork. Looks much more than the list price of $16,000 and according to the website, it comes with a 24 month unlimited mileage warranty.


The news.

Yes we CAN get along!
So you think you're going to an event to support your community with about 100 of your closest biker buddies and when you get there it's a Christian Rock concert. Or if we look at it the other way, you're excited about the christian rock concert you bought tickets to and when you turn up there are over a 100 bikers hanging around.

Either way it was a surprise to all parties involved and became apparent when owners of Lucy's Airbrush in Decatur found out that they did not have exclusive rights to the Clinton square for their fund-raiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

A scheduling snafu brought Christian rock music enthusiasts and motorcycle lovers together Saturday on Clinton's downtown square.

Motorcycle riders and festival participants mingled around the square for roasted pork and a look at the motorcycles on display. "It's a divine happening," said Mike Henderson, pastor of New Life Community Church.

Read about the interesting event in the Pantagraph.

You think Harley is saturating the market
Modenas, one of Malaysia's largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters with 870,000 assembled as of August 2005, aims to manufacture its one millionth two-wheeler next year.

"We are confident of reaching our one millionth production before the end of next year," said its group chairman Tan Sri Mohd Saleh Sulong.

Whether that's a lot of bikes or not, the Group Chairman wins the award for longest name plate for a desk.

Staying in that part of the world and on a sad note, it was reported that daredevil Javad Palizbanian died yesterday. Because the website that hosted the story is a little slow, here it is in it's entirety.

An Iranian daredevil died while attempting to break the world record for jumping over buses on a motorcycle, state television reported Saturday.

Javad Palizbanian, 44, was trying to leap over 22 buses parked side-by-side when his motorbike came down on the 13th bus, the report said. He died instantly.

State TV broadcast the start of Palizbanian's attempt in Azadi Sports stadium Friday, but then cut away when the accident occurred.

"The crash scene was too disturbing to show publicly," the newscaster said.

Minutes beforehand, Palizbanian had told an audience of hundreds: "I am going to break the world record and do something for my country to be proud of." Palizbanian was well known in Iran for his motorbike stunts. Last month, he roared his bike over a river more than 50 yards wide.

Being hassled by the man
The thought of having a motorcycle club moving into the neighborhood has rallied the local population in Jacksonville, Oregon.

A petition drive to block the proposed sale of watershed land to a local motorcycle club has garnered signatures from more than half of the towns registered voters.

The fate of the citys heavily forested 1,800-acre watershed has been under debate by two citizen advisory subcommittees for the past two years. One option calls for the city to maintain ownership of the land, turning it into a city forest and recreational park. Another proposes selling two-thirds of the property to the Motorcycle Riders Association. Funds from the estimated $750,000 to $1 million sale would be used to improve the remaining third of the watershed.

Read about the community fighting back against the big bad bikers in the Mail tribune.

Speaking of being hassled
Yesterday I wrote about a news story concerning a certain Mr. Coit who was upset with his nieghbors for running unlicensed businesses from their houses. It just so happens that the business he considers the most egregious involves a home that has a large Quonset-style hut and big garage in its spacious backyard. Parked near the buildings on a recent afternoon were two large trailers and a truck. Coit said the owner is running a motorcycle transport business from the yard. Recently, a number of motorcyclists dropped their bikes off at the house, upsetting Coit with the noise and traffic.

But Mack Barrero said he is not running a business. He said he does transport motorcycles, but only for a small group of friends in an informal motorcycle club. He takes their bikes to four rallies a year, most recently to Sturgis, S.D.

Read about the accusations, denials and involvement of the town's building inspectors in Boston.com.

But will he wear a helmet?
Most of us have to play with our grandfathers train sets or fiddle around with old transistor or even tube radios to have that quality time.

Brian James has grown closer to his grandfather by building one of the world's fastest motorcycle drag racers.

Since December, the 16-year-old Stamford High School student has spent nearly every day working under his grandfather's watchful eye. Vito Sabato, 59, of Darien, is helping Brian build a modified Harley-Davidson Iron Head Sportster motorcycle.

Two weeks ago, Brian completed his first official drag race at Cecil County Dragway in Rising Sun, Md. He put on the same leather pants and jacket his grandfather wore for a race and stepped on the track as the youngest rider there. Though Brian lost in the second round, he clocked an impressive first-round time of 10.3 seconds at 118 mph.

The Advocate has the entire story in all it's warm and fuzzy glow.

Real Life Insight
I've been following all the articles, reports and editorials that've appeared after the release of the NHTSA's study on the increase in motorcycle fatalities in Florida since the repeal of the helmet law.

In response to a recent report in the Herald Tribune, a reader wrote a heartfelt letter.

I am a health-care professional from "Harleyville" (Milwaukee) now living in Florida. Regarding the controversy over the helmet law for motorcycles: I'd like to say that helmets save lives.

What is not discussed very often is the quality of life a helmet saves.

Read this simple but poignant letter at the Herald tribune.

And on that note.

Be safe.

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