Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Chrome, leather and too much money!

Okay, it's been a while since my last blog and so much has happened!

Some sort of stomach bug kept me in bed all day Sunday and I missed out on any sort of ride. Felt so bad, couldn't even watch the Superbowl! I wasn't the only one having strange stuff happen to them. KT Did had her blog crash, started another one only to have the original come back alive earlier this week. Is any surprise that Aerosmith's 'Back in the saddle again' plays when her blogs loads? I think not.

The strangeness carried onto today when I saw WalMart selling motorcycle helmets. Maybe its just me, but the thought of buying your helmet in WalMart seems wierd. The line of products goes from dirt riding, to full face and half helmets, all made by Bell. In usual WalMart style, the helmets don't come in a box but in the molded clear plastic that also doubles as a eye to hang them, dome facing out. The half-helmets are selling for $48.97, which not only makes me wonder whether or not this is a good deal but where that wacky WalMart Pricing comes from.

How time flies
As mentioned in an earlier Biker Diaries that I'm quickly approaching my first anniversary of not only having a motorcycle endorsement, but also owning the Deuce! A notification of my motorcycle insurance renewal in the mail and all the advertising Geico has in magazines and on TV made it seem like a good time to try and save some money.

Putting in the same coverage for the same catagories and even including the discount for taking the motorcycle safety course, Geico came back over $500 more expensive. Wow. I guess they have to pay for all that advertising some how.

On a different, but certainly more expensive note, I've been wanting to celebrate my baby's first birthday in some sort of special way and a makeover would certainly be a grand way! I've known the stock pipes needed to be changed out from day one, but getting the motorcycle in the first place was such a costly thing, laying down more money just to sound louder took a backseat. But with a makeover in the cards, the pipes have to be the first thing to get changed! Also, by getting rid of the stock pipes that are positioned a little high on the bike, there'll be more room for some decent size saddlebags.

The only leather bags Harley Davidson designed for the Softail Deuce seem a little small in the pictures and of course the measurements aren't given on the website.

It doesn't help that the lights have to be relocated, with a total of three kits being needed to have the bags attached. There's always temptation wherever you look and this was no different with some custom painted hard saddlebags pictured right next to the leather ones in the online catalog.

Very nice if you don't mind dropping $1100.

Although I'm not sure about going the HD route for the saddlebags, it's about time for an oilchange so while she's in there, get the pipes changed, chrome the master cyclinders, switch boxes and grips. I even saw some mirrors that looked pretty sweet.

Yep, need to get all this done soon...after all Daytona Bike week starts on March 3rd!

So close Virginia, but no new law
The House defeated a recent Bill that would have given riders 21 and older the option not to wear helmets. The sponsor of HB1400, Del. Bill Janis, R-Henrico, made a libertarian argument for the bill. "The law today is a one-size-fits-all rule that doesn't allow adults to decide what's in their best interest when they get on a motorcycle," he said.

But opponents argued that the measure would lead to deaths, severe head injuries, and higher insurance rates and medical costs. Lobbyists representing doctors, insurance companies and the American Automobile Association last week urged defeat of the bill.

A strong arguement was made by Del. Frank D. Hargrove, R-Glen Allen who traded two free cartons of Army cigarettes for his first motorcycle in Japan after World War 2. He said he learned that "motorcycle helmets truly are a tremendous protection" and urged fellow delegates to keep Virginians safe. He held up his own helmet and called the headgear "a particularly dear friend to me because it saved my life at least twice." during a lively House floor debate.

The more dangerous streets
Wearing helmets will also be on the top of the minds as well as the heads of the military returning from their recent tours in Afghanistan since nearly 350 GIs have died on bikes in the same time period that 259 were killed in the war zone.

A big part of the problem, say commanders at bases, comes when soldiers return from war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan with months of tax-free salaries and extra pay for combat and overseas service. They buy high-powered motorcycles and hit the streets to burn off adrenaline, testosterone and boredom. Dying on American roads after months or years of combat abroad seems to survivors like cruel irony.

In one sign of how seriously the Marines view the crash issue, Maj. Gen. Robert C. Dickerson Jr., who oversees most of the Corps' East Coast facilities, has visited area motorcycle dealers to seek their help. He has asked dealers to pass out Corps-funded $100 vouchers for the safety classes to Marine customers.

Read the complete and sad story at the Raleigh News & Observer.


KT Did said...

I am disturbed reading about our guys & girls coming back from duty in worn torn countries just to die here...and on a motorcycle--something we love to do so much. I was a little relieved, however, to read that it is being addressed, and an educational program for our "people" will hopefully save some lives. I hope Harley & other dealers chime in, and chime in fast! I know a few Vets that ride and they do say that it is hard to deal with "war come-down" and sometimes people just do crazy things to cope. I live not too far from Camp Pendleton (1 hour or so) and I have heard of such military riders(and others)out on Ortega Hwy. I have yet to ride this stretch of beautiful road and hope to one day, but unless I am with a larger group, I don't want to risk the screamers that ride by. I hear of at least a couple bikes going down on a weekend. I sure hope education gets out there for our returning military, and after all that our guys and girls have done for America and other countries can ride safe and enjoy their lives on our roads...for a long, long time.

ellopez said...

I see you are as excited about the upcoming motorcycle madness this March in Daytona Beach as I am. do you have any idea of where you will be when, so that some of your fans may actually meet you in person??? I personally am taking Monday, Tuesday and Wednsday off to play. Wed. of course we will be hootin and hollerin at the world famous Cabbage Patch for their annuall Coleslaw wrestlin matches...anyhoo, ridetolovelovetoride...