Sunday, January 31, 2010

Getting Ready for the Riding Season.

I’m looking forward to my annual trek to Boston for the bike show on February 13th. There is always something that makes the trip into this city worthwhile. Before that happens I will spend an evening with the NER for our annual holiday part February 6th. Yes, I know the holiday season is past, which is exactly why we have it late. The late date ensures we are all back from our travels and visits with family and friends and can focus on our riding buddies.

With the itch to get Blaze back out on the road, I found myself searching for events in New Hampshire. I enjoy opportunities to immerse myself in all things motorcycle, especially during the cold winter months. First up on February 6th is a free event for HOG members only. The Mt. Washington Valley HOG Chili Cook Off will be held on February 6, 2010 at the White Mountain Harley Davidson in North Conway, New Hampshire 12:00 until 2pm.

On March 4, 2010 join an event at the Harley Davidson Shop in Rochester that is for women only. The Women’s Garage Party starts at 5:00 pm and runs until 7:00 pm. It’s an opportunity for women to learn more about motorcycles and riding. The event is free so what do you have to lose if you’ve been considering motorcycle riding.

If you are indeed thinking about riding and have not yet taken that giant step, the State of New Hampshire will begin taking registration for the Motorcycle Rider Training Course on March 1st . The basic course, as well as the Intermediate and Experienced courses, is based on the curriculum developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Use the link above for more information.

Thank you to Motorcycle Monster for these current updates. Use the list below that I’ve borrowed from their web site for more NH events once the season is in full swing. Check them out for a list of events in your own state.

New Hampshire Motorcycle Events!

Jun 12: Peter Makris Memorial Run, Laconia NH

Jun 12 - Jun 20: Laconia Motorcycle Week, Laconia NH

Jun 12 - Jun 20: Inn to Inn Poker Run for Charity, N Conway NH

Jun 23 - Jun 24: Vermont and New Hampshire State HOG Rally,
Meredith NH

Jul 11: Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce 3rd Annual Poker Run,
Jaffrey NH

Jul 22 - Jul 24: New England District Rally, Gorham NH

Jul 23 - Jul 25:  911 Legacy Veterans Benefit Poker Run,
Jaffrey NH

Jul 24: NH DAV Motorcycle Ride, Exeter NH


Unrelated Note:

While I have been faithfully blogging at least twice weekly for nearly the past three years, my schedule has taken on more demands as of late. It’s all good, but with more activity comes a crunch in my favorite hobby; writing about all things motorcycle. Don’t be alarmed if the posting drop off a bit for a while. Once I get my second wind, I’m sure there will be a renewed posting fever. Thanks for your continued visits.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Side Car Mania

My brother Steven, knowing my love of anything motorcycle related, sends me little tidbits from time to time. This week he sent a power point presentation loaded with great side car pictures. Although many were attached to bicycles, there were many interesting, hilarious and indigenous ones attached to motorcycles. I’ve picked the power point apart so that I can share some of the ones that gave me pause. Take a look below at some of my favorites.

Now these folks must be rolling in dough! Mister still loves to get out on the bike, but the little woman needs to carry the walker. (Note the handicap parking tag in the window.) He’s come up with a solution. She travels in style befitting their station in life, and he still gets the wind in his hair. That is, if he still has any.

Then there were the photos of side cars that speak to the individuals themselves.

How about his one; this guy is clearly making a statement to bad biker dudes “go ahead, I dare you to make a comment!”

This guy likes power in his bike and in his drinks too.

What do you do when you can’t make up your mind to ride or fish?

Here’s another way to take the family along and still get your motorcycle time in.
Classy little number too.

Hey, this one is red. What can I say?
Personally, I like the leather seating inside the car. Looks comfortable and I can still enjoy the breeze.

I like the classic look here.
Wasn’t my first bike a classic?
Hmm…my first bike seemed to have similar color tones too.

Is this guy a firefighter? Note the emblems, ladder and air horns.
He takes pride in his career path.

I wonder if this is a dual duty model.
Maybe the passenger doesn’t like road grime.
At the end of the day, you just add water and wash off.

My good friend Jon the Apple Farmer comes to mind when I see this one.
He has a love of John Deere equipment that only other farmers can understand.

Last but not least my all time favorite.
My little grandson L-O-V-E-S Thomas the Tank Engine.
I can see Aiden’s smiling little face sitting in this side car.
I bet he would even try to overcome his fear of loud noises to go for a ride with Memere or Papo in this one!

The truth in all of these photos is evident to me.
If you love motorcycling you'll do just about anything to keep yourself in the saddle.
So if the little lady complains you are never home, or says "we gotta do things as a family" you don't have to give up riding. You just need a little imagination.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

“Ugly” is Just too Nice a Word

First; have you seen this?

Second; this has to be the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen!

Unveiled this week at the Detroit Auto Show, is something called the Tango EV. According to claims by the company that manufactures this ugly duckling is that it can accelerate to 60 miles an hour in less than four seconds, corners like a Porche 911 (please don’t equate this with a Porche!) and has a market potential of 150 million units.

Another claim for this tandem two-seater is that you can lane split during heavy commuter traffic since its width is less than a Honda Gold Wing. Unless you live in California, the only state where lane splitting is legal, that will carry very little weight in your reason to purchase one if the $150,000 price tag doesn’t faze you first.

Here’s some advice for you. Buy the Gold Wing instead of that sardine can. (Sorry George Clooney.)

This 2010 model with airbag starts at $27,999. Save yourself  $122,000. You’ll have more enjoyment, and I guarantee, more comfort and more storage space too. With the savings you can go on one hell of a great vacation!

Detroit....really?  You're going to have to do better than this.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Motorcycle Cancer

Of all the worse case scenarios lovingly pointed out to me by Dad when I took up motorcycle riding, cancer was not one of them. So it was shocking to read that Randall Dale Chipkar of Canada was granted a patent by the UK for his innovative ‘electromagnetic shielding motorcycle seat’.

In his book The Motorcycle Cancer Book, Chipkar tells us that electromagnetic field (ELF and EMF) radiation, undetected for so many years, is the real danger right between our legs. Motorcycles generate potentially carcinogenic EFL and EMFs directly into the rider’s groin, flooding the entire torso. Low level frequency electromagnetic fields have been linked to various types of cancer such as lymphomas, leukemia, cancers of the prostate, testicle, colon, bladder, kidney, liver, pancreas and stomach, not to mention a host of other health disorders.

Motorcycles, with their oscillating current electrical systems can generate anywhere from 10,000 to 70,000 volts of electricity during operation. Many of the motorcycles today have excessive ELF EMF levels produced beneath the rider’s seat. Chipkar is trying to get the word out to men that prostate health should be of major concern to them. But for both sexes, the colon and other neighboring organs are at risk of compromise.

In his book, Chipkar also points out that melatonin is the body’s natural hormone for fighting cancer growth, and the gastrointestinal tract is responsible for synthesizing vast amounts of melatonin. For motorcycle riders, one of the main sources of the body’s cancer growth inhibiting hormone is getting showered with electromagnetic field radiation.

Am I being alarmist is writing about this potential hazard? That is not my intention. It is to inform only and for you to draw your own conclusion. After all, we have all been warned about the used of cell phones and their potential to cause brain cancer. I haven’t noticed a decline in their use. We all have to make decisions for ourselves after all. If you want to know more about this topic, you can visit Chipkar’s web site If convinced there is a true health hazard let your voice be heard by signing his petition to the World Health Organization calling for consumer product safety standards.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Overcoming Fears

I am not unlike so many who hesitate, reject or discount opportunities as perceived deceptions because our fears have such a grip on us. Often, too, I pat myself of the back as challenging my fears when I write or ride. In truth, however, they are but stage props giving me the illusion of mastering my own world.

With writing, it is often the fear of ridicule that keeps me from expressing what is in the heart and soul. The exposure is too perilous, like exposing my underbelly to barbs or shards of glass. I recoil from writing about what truly moves me, to just a hint and suggestion of the fire that burns inside.

With motorcycling, it would be a lie to say that I do not experience those “holy crap” moments, where fear sends the adrenaline coursing, causing my legs to jump unbidden with such a quaking as to knock my knees against the tank. Yet I persist, take a breath and move on, remembering that about motorcycling which gives me the purest pleasure.

While I have learned to share what I write, knowing criticism may follow, or admit that times on the bike can scare like hell, and feel smug that I challenge and overcome my fears, the reality is that the deepest of them stay safely hidden below the surface. I take great measure to circle around, avoid, and even deny they exist. Yet, not thinking about a thing doesn’t make it not so, and sooner or later, we all must face the ultimate truth.

What are my deepest fears? I have buried them for so many years that I may not even recognize them until they surface; and all fears do in time. If I were to point a stick at any circumstance, I could easily find some fear great or small that keeps me where I am. From fear of unemployment, rejection, crowds, germs, what have you, they are there. I have even heard comments from others saying to me “this is who I am” accepting their circumstance as inevitable. My question to them (and to myself) is this; is it serving your purpose?

With these thoughts rolling around my head as I said goodbye to one year and hello to the next, I used one of my fears as a symbol of all that keeps me from serving my purpose. I climbed aboard a hot air balloon and took a tethered ride; because fears should be overcome in baby steps. As the balloon ascended and I looked over the side, my stomach lurched, and the vertigo began. My hand clenched the side in a vice like grip. I dragged my eyes back into the basket, looked at the other faces around me, gazed up at the flame, and marveled at the size of the balloon, and it was good.

My symbolic challenge to overcome my fears was an excellend way to begin the New Year, and while one day may look much like the next, in my heart and soul, I know it is not. A new and yet unchallenged side of life is awaiting me, with new adventures, people to meet, experiences to be had, and yes a boat load of fears to dispel and overcome. Give me your best shot 2010! I’m restless for you to take shape.