Sunday, December 18, 2005

No Harley was harmed in the typing of this blog

It was nice to have a lot of positive responses to the Toy Run Blog, from 'there was a lot of great detail' to 'You're lucky to have gone on the run, this is what riding is all about'.

Like that little blip before I've found myself doing everything but riding. Typical example, the last few days were taken up preparing for the saturday night party to watch the Fort Lauderdale Holiday Boat Parade (I sent your invitation....didn't you get it in the mail?) and of course as with any successful get together, theres the morning after clean-up. If the weather can stay nice I'll have to get my fix with an evening ride.

Isn't it interesting how the difference between riding in day and night is like night and day? Yep, had to get that one in! Seriously, daytime rides always seem more relaxing, the world is going about its own business at a fairly steady pace. Nightime rides on the other hand the world around you seems like it's hyped up on some caffine high and even at the same speeds as your daytime ride, always feels like much less time to react. Of course the difference is because your situational awareness is vastly reduced at night at depth perception much more limited. A nice side effect though is you feel much more in tune with your bike at night, enjoying the feel of the ride rather than where you're riding.

But the volume goes up to 11, yeah?
Or could be subtitled, 'Why did you really buy your bike?'

I was doing the good boyfriend thing and taking my girlfriend to a restuarant she had been aching to try for months. Brownie points, brownie points, brownie points.

Someone had parked a shiny, chromed out electric blue Fatboy near the entrance of the restaurant. I stopped to look at it, and the valet and I admired the bike briefly. I was audibly admiring it, voicing the customizations that really caught my eye with the valet seeming to take mental note and the girlfriend rolling her eyes as she anxiously waited to move on and put our names in for a table.

Later, I watched the rider go up to the bike and ride off, sans helmet, Jacket etc. When we finished dinner and I gave my ticket to the valet he excitedly told me the owner of the fatboy was saying it was unique, a limited edition because only 3000 were made. I looked back at the valet and said "All motorcycles are limited editions, by the time riders get through messing with them, there are no two alike!"

The valet just smiled, "oh yeah."

I guess personally if someone asked me about my bike, how long I've had it, how many miles I rode, what I personally put on it...all these things would come up in conversation rather than limited editions or price.

But thats just me.

From the ashes...twice
You may remember that a 9/11 tribute motorcycle was built and auctioned off earlier this year by Mid-West Choppers with the proceeds going to America's 9/11 Foundation. After the successful auction the charity commissioned a second motorcycle but when Mid-West Choppers filed bankruptcy taking $30,000 of America's 9/11 Foundations money with them, things were looking dire.

Former Mid-West Choppers employees Bob Miller and Doug Niles formed Speed Street Custom Builds, stepped up to the plate and unveiled the second Sept. 11 tribute bike for America's 9/11 Foundation Thursday. The bike, the first built by the new business, will be raffled Aug. 19, 2006, in conjunction with the foundation's fifth annual "Never Forget" ride. Proceeds from the raffle go to the foundation's education fund and scholarships are provided to children of active police, fire and rescue units across the country.

With the motorcycle costing $30,000 more than it should have the foundations hopes to sell even more tickets in this next raffle. But considering one man bought all $160,000 worth of the last raffle tickets, that may not be such a steep hill to climb.

Read the full story in the Illinois Register Mail.

For more scandalous reading there are stories here, here and here about the arrest of the owner of Mid-West Choppers and his legal woes.

Will we sing Kumbaya?
Having had the chance to participate in a charity run, the story about Crissy Jackman, owner of Crazy Crissy’s Biker T-Shirts rallying for a week nationally set aside for thousands of motorcycle rallies across the country to raise money for charities caught my eye. The rallies would be held in small towns and large cities, held by riding clubs and corporate sponsors, everyone working for the common purpose of raising money for charity.

Visit her website if you'd like to help or just learn more about it. The full press release can be read here.

New kids in town
Thunder Cycles, Orange County, and the new Speed Street Custom Builds. How many custom bike builders can the market support? Well Michigan's TBA's Career Tech Center is about to find out.

The students on the Schoolyard Motorworks build team are building their very own custom bike to be, what else, but auctioned off to raise money for the Father Fred Foundation. Aside from enjoying mini stardom and local attention, the group are also facing the tougher side of custom bike building, the ever-looming deadline.

Read about their project at the Grand Traverse Herald.

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