As this blog is written, I'm a little tired, slightly sunburnt and at the end of a day where not a lot of things were seemingly done.
But it's also with the biggest grin on my face and just a general glow about my demeanor. Yep, I got to ride the Deuce today! It wasn't a momentous ride, no long distances (140 miles actually) and really with no rhyme or reason. Sometimes those are the best rides of all.
It'd been a while since I took a picture of my bike so took a couple of those before I headed out to meet a friend/customer for lunch and show off the ride.
As you can see by the photos, I kept the windshield on for the ride. When I put it on back in October the idea was to remove it for local rides where the speeds are slower, but have it for the longer trips to help with fatigue and wind noise. Not knowing where the day would take me and also wanting to get more used to having it there, I kept it on.
This decision would come into play later on in the day.
My friend/customer is one of those people that really seems to want a motorcycle but between his reservations, and more importantly his wife's, he's never bought one. It's always interesting to see the intrepidation and excitement when a non-rider sits on a nice bike and you can imagine all of the thoughts as well as fantasies that's going through their minds.
Since I'd taken the day off to work through the City of Fort Lauderdale's necessary paperwork needed for an overnight parking permit, I headed over there having to do the precarious dance of riding through weekday city traffic, watching out for business men driving while on cellphones and find an address all at the same time. Never the safest thing to do.
The paperwork wasn't that complicated, the government employee actually quite nice and helpful and I left with an appointment to pick up the special hologram permit on Monday. A major chore out of the way and a good part of the day to ride. I was one very happy biker!
But as I was riding north on Federal Highway trying to figure out where to go next, I could hear a rattling coming from the front of my motorcycle. A nut and bolt holding the windshield to the mounting bracket had fallen off. This had come pre-assembled and in no way could be contributed to the incompetence of the installer of the windshield (which would be...me), since I had time it was over to Harley Davidson of Fort Lauderdale where the thing was bought.
When the parts guy and I tried to remove the windshield we noticed that one of the mounting pins and fallen out as well. This could be attributed to yours truly. Oops. He was amazingly helpful, not only charging me just for the screw that fell out because of my assembly but had one of the service techs tighten all the other hardware (including the prea-ssembled bits) to do with the removable windshield free of charge.
I can only imagine the pain it would've been if this had all happened out in the middle of nowhere, or at a less convenient time when I couldn't just hang out until it was done. Of course, the whole thing ended up taking about an hour and a half and traffic was so heavy I decided to take my baby back to the garage and coming home.
But what a fun day on the Deuce.
It's amazing who'll you see on a motorcycle
But I'm not only one getting their rides in. From the stately Mayor of Galveston to Nuns on the back of bikes in a motorcycle club, it's been a week of unusual riders.
To be fair Lydia Ann Thomas, the Mayor of Galveston admitted in The Daily News that her do-rag, leather vest and chaps appearance as she sits astride a motorcycle with the city seal on the front which was featured on a huge billboard along the Gulf Freeway south of the Texas City Wye was just an act. The organizers of the 2005 Lone Star Motorcycle Rally asked her to pose for the billboard, which welcomed bikers to town for the recent event. In reality, the honorable mayor doesn't even know 'how to turn the key' on a motorcycle.
Nice of her to play along though.
The Nuns on the other hand know what they're doing and looking forward to doing it!
But it's all for a good cause. The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and the Retreads Motorcycle Club have teamed up to sponsor The Nun Run, a motorcycle ride from Houston to Galveston this coming weekend. The fund-raiser will help buy Christmas presents for 500 children as well as gift certificates for food for their families.
Rosanne Popp, a nun who is a physician and the medical director at Christus Southwest Community Health Center said, "The sisters have really gotten behind the event and in fact, there may be some riding along with the bikers."
You can read the story in The Daily News, again in southwest Texas.
It's one thing to have your name in the paper about getting on a motorcycle and quite another for getting press because you fell off of one. Take poor Mr. Lufto E. Dlamini, a government minister in Swaziland, a country located in Africa. He was invited to attend an event at the Maguga Dam campsite by 200 HOG members and given the opportunity to ride someones motorcycle for ceremonial purposes. Unfortunately he didn't make it into second gear and not far before he crashed the bike.
As much as I want to give you a link to the story it seems the The Swazi Observer has moved onto different news and I can't seem to find the story anywhere on the website.
Finally....something for those rainy days!
How about these pictures for racing action.
If you like the look of them, you may've just found your answer to those cold, miserable days you just can't take the bike out.
Sony Computer Entertainment (SOE) announced the Spring 2006 North American release of TouristTrophy, available exclusively for the PlayStation 2. The game features more than 80 licensed motorcycles including BMW Motorrad, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Triumph to be raced on more than 35 international courses.
You'll even be able to take snapshots of your favorite bike, race gear and your favorite location, as well as freezing frames of an actual race from a replay. If you have a memory card, the pictures can be saved and shared with friends.
I think the wives and girlfriends of bikers are going to be seeing a lot less of their men next spring!