Monday, May 18, 2009

Whitehorse Press Open House

Saturday, five of us converged with hundreds of other motorcyclists in Center Conway, New Hampshire for the annual Whitehorse Press Open House. We had our shopping lists of course to take advantage of the 10% discount on all items for the day, but the real draw for me is the camaraderie. OK, so the donuts and coffee in the morning and the giant BBQ at lunch were a bonus too.

We meet our friends at the rest area just north of the Hooksett tolls on route 93 and head for the mountains. We drop off 93 at Meredith to loop around and up to Whitehorse Press. We stop for another break about 25 miles from our destination, where the guys take to one-upmanship banter. We girls find ourselves slinking into the background and giggling like schoolgirls when the talk about pistons turns a bit ambiguous.

Whitehorse Press treats their customers like royalty. We are met by the Whitehorse team who slip kickstand plates under each of our stands as we park our bikes. After my coffee and donut I make my way first to the discount bin. You never know what gem might have been overlooked if you dig deep enough. Deb taps my shoulder and asks if I’ve signed up for the raffle. I do so, and then head back into the warehouse. I have a few items on my list I want to check out.

It can sometimes be difficult to concentrate on the list because I keep bumping into folks I know, and of course I love to talk as much as I love to shop! Walking past the door, I notice the lunch line is beginning to snake down the drive, so I step out to get in line. I’m not there more than a minute when I hear my name called. It seems I’ve won something in the raffle! I walk away with a great magnetic tank bag. Wow, this is my lucky day.

I enjoy the BBQ and chat with a few more folk, then make my way back inside the warehouse. I need a new tool bag for Blaze. I like mine up on the windshield where I have easy access to my favorite tools. That would be a comb, lip balm, sunscreen and shades, in case you were curious. I find two that may be suitable. I’m unsure which, and one of the employees says “take it outside to see which you like.” No one takes my name, credit card or any security ID you might think of. Off I go outside and down the drive with two items I haven’t paid for and being trusted to come back and pay for the one I want. Only in NH!

The guys have started work on my horn to replace the relay switch as we have planned. Dave B. is testing out a RAM mount he thinks might work for him and his tools are laid out on the pavement beneath his feet. Here again, Whitehorse has let another customer try it out without batting an eyelash. Is this place great or what? We all make comments about which bag will work best for me and I head back and make my purchase.

We take our leave around 2:30 and head up and over the Kancamagus Highway. There are a few rough sections but Blaze handles all the twists and turns and even the hairpin without a problem. Back on 93 we head south and here is where I discover the real power in Blaze. With one car traveling in the left staggered behind another in the right, the first two bikers zip around them without a problem. I watch the two cars trying to judge the distance. I realize after a time that I am thinking with my 650 brain. I pull into the right lane roll gently on the throttle, and without the slightest hesitation Blaze pulls away from the left lane dawdler, and I’m around in an instant! This bike is a keeper! Add to that, flower sniffing, peg scrapping, wind therapy and camaraderie, and a day just doesn’t get any better!


Baron's Life said...

Excellent post and video about pistons, eh? was the engine running?

Bob said...

I hope you're getting used to Blaze's power. When I went from the Suzuki Savage to the Virago, i was thrilled to be able to keep up with the other bikes. Having the bike top out at 75 is no fun, not to mention unsafe when you're trying to pass.
Blaze is certainly a beauty, and I'm glad you feel she's a keeper, too.
Happy riding!