Sunday, December 31, 2006

Our Last Ride for 2006

Slick and I completed our last ride for 2006. We headed off to VA for about a 4 hour trip. The weather was pretty nice. It was about 60 degrees and cloudy. Being cloudy was pretty nice since we didn’t have to battle with the sun in our eyes the whole day. We started off the trip heading on highway 68 which runs into highway 220 toward Martinsville VA. Once we got to Martinsville we had lunch at local Wendy’s. That was a good thing because Slick was a little chilly and we decided to stop so she could thaw out.

After the meal we headed north and further up 220. We started looking for highway 57. After taking a left on highway 57 we soon realized that we were heading off into the past. The short stretch of town looked so old and dead. We felt like we were taken back in town 25 years. After heading west on highway 57 we hit the old town of Bassett VA. That is place where they produce Bassett furniture. That town was also very old. Soon we hit the country scenery of highway 57. It was nice and had some nice curvy roads I could enjoy. Slick and I both felt that part of the ride would be nice in the fall because of the open landscapes, hills and trees.

Not too long into the highway 57 trip, we realized that we were getting a little low of fuel and gas stations were few and far between. We did finalize run into a small and old gas station on “Jeb” Stewart Highway. As you can imagine with a highway named “Jeb” we had to be in the sticks. So we stopped for gas and get this, the gas station was full service station. Some old dude came out to turn on the pumps so I could get gas. I think the only reason he came out was to see the bike. He talked about how he thought the bike was really nice.

Next we headed south on highway 8. We finally hit highway 58 east and rode it for about 25 miles until we were back on highway 220. After hitting highway 220 we headed back home. We finally arrived home just before dark. The total trip took about 5.5 hours.

That trip ended our adventures for 2006. In the end, we looked back on what we had accomplished for the year. We bought Big Red and took our bike course in May and bought the Honda Shadow and sold it after I practiced with it for 2 months. I took some mini trips alone and Slick tagged along starting in later July. Slick and I traveled in many parts of NC and VA. We joined the GWRRA and Chapter-G. We went to Wings over the Smokies. All of these things and more in just 6 months of motorcycle riding! Heck, in this month alone we put on over 1000 miles in the month of December.

All-in-all, we had had a great time in 2006 and are looking forward to 2007. I plan to ride Big Red to the beach in June and to Marysville, Ohio for the Honda Homecoming in July.

It has been a fun year and 2007 looks like a great one too.

Until next and enjoy the ride!


Friday, December 29, 2006

How Slick and I Got Started

Here is an article that I wrote for our Goldwing chapter newsletter. It will be placed in the spotlight section of the January issue. I thought you might find it interesting. Enjoy!

Our motorcycle adventures started with something called “middle age”. You see, Angie and I were talking one day about her sister and her husband who just happened to be motorcycle riders (not Goldwing riders, but we forgave them for that). They would occasionally take what sounded like some fun motorcycle rides on the weekends. Angie I started thinking how much fun that would be if we could do that too. There was a small problem, neither one of us had ever ridden a motorcycle before.

Now let me clarify that first, we have both been on a motorcycle before (many moons ago), but we had never driven one. So, one day my brother-in-law stopped over and asked if Angie wanted to take a ride with him on his bike. Of course, she wasn’t too thrilled about it at first and after some minor begging by everyone there that day, she got on the bike and they took a short ride down the road. Once she got a taste of a motorcycle ride, she was hooked. So we thought, let’s go look at some bikes. Not really thinking we would ever get one. Of course, we were wrong!

First, I started looking on the Internet at all types of bikes. The problem was I had no idea what I wanted or what was the best bike for us. All Angie said was if we got one I had to get something comfortable and she was looking really hard at the back seats of the Goldwings. So she had a good idea of what she wanted from the start. After looking at all types of bikes we started looking at the prices of bikes and we were shocked. Many of the touring bikes were the prices of a good car and that is without the chrome goodies.

Next, came the day to go out and look at some bikes at the local bike shops. We wanted to get up close and personal with the bikes rather than sit at the computer all day dream about the bikes. We really enjoyed looking at all types of bikes. We just didn’t know what was right for us. Then one day I actually sat on a Goldwing at a Honda shop in Greensboro and I was hooked. I loved the way it felt. Angie did too. So the next step was to find a good one for the right price.

After looking for a couple of weeks, we decided to visit the Honda shop in Statesville NC. There we saw Big Red. At first we didn’t care for the color but after our first visit we decided to go back and look at the bikes again. One our second visit, Big Red was still there. That day, we decided to go for it and buy Big Red. But like many parts of this story, there was a problem. I didn’t know how to ride a motorcycle and of course I had no license. So I had to ask the Honda dealer to tow the bike to my home and park it. There the bike sat for 2 months until I had a chance to take the motorcycle course, get my license and practice. That was kind of embarrassing, but hey, what could I do, right?

Soon May 2006 came and Angie and I signed up for our first steps of riding a motorcycle. We signed up for the motorcycle course for dummies at GTCC. As you can imagine, we were a little nervous. We took the course and we did fairly well. At least we didn’t die or kill anyone. After the course, I got the bright idea to have my brother-in-law come over the house so I could take Big Red out for a test ride. He rode the bike to a local parking lot so I could practice on Big Red. I didn’t have my license then, so I wanted to practice after I completed the motorcycle course. Trying to practice on Big Red with 2 days on a motorcycle was not a really a good idea. I almost dropped the bike 3 times and almost wrecked on one occasion. After displaying my amazing lack of motorcycle skills for my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and Angie, I needed a plan “B”.

Plan “B” came from Angie. She noticed how much trouble I was having with controlling Big Red, so she suggested we buy a smaller bike for me to practice with. It was a great suggestion since I definitely did not have the skills or courage to ride Big Red after the motorcycle course. What we decided to do was buy a small Honda Shadow 700. It was the best thing I could have done. It gave me a great chance to practice for 2 months in the GTCC parking lots and venture out on the local roads in town and on the highways.

Soon the day came when I decided to take Big Red out for the second time in almost 2 months. The day was July 1st. After taking Big Red out and with a little practice with the Honda Shadow, I felt much more comfortable handling the bigger bike. I practiced riding alone with Big Red for about 6 weeks in parking lots and gradually took it on some smaller trips. Not too long after that Angie wanted to try to ride with me. She rode with me for a couple of weeks in the parking lots. The great thing was I really couldn’t tell she was on the bike except on stops. She was great co-rider, and still is.

Since May, it has been an interesting time for us on our motorcycles. We have taken some small trips alone and with our great friends from our GWRRA Chapter-G group. We have covered a lot of miles in the central part of the state, some parts of western NC and been on several visits to VA. We have really enjoyed our motorcycle adventures and look forward to sharing the rest of our middle age years (and old age years) together on our Goldwing. It should be a great time and fun ride.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!

Roger and Angie (AKA Pappy and Slick)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Searcy Arkansas Bike Shop Visit

Well, we had a good Christmas visit with Jordan and Delta. We went to Arkansas to visit them (not on the bike). While I was there I bought some nice chrome shark gills for Big Red. It really made a nice change to the plain appearance of the bike. My next few purchases over the next couple of months will be the chrome lower front crowl, chrome rotor cover for the front tire and some fog lights. After that, I should be almost done with the bike except for the lights lights for the luggage and trunk. That will come in time because those assessories aren't cheap.

Jordan and I did get a chance to visit the bike shop in Searcy Arkansas. They do have a nice bike shop there. There were a wide variety of bikes there. It seemed that there wasn't as many bikes there as the last time I was there. I imagine there will be more there when the weather gets better around spring time. I was a little disappointed in the clothing selection there. It seems that you can't find a nice bike shop that has some Goldwing clothing. I guess I will have to order clothing off the web. I can do that around spring time when the weather gets better.

There were some nice trikes in Searcy. I counted 6 nice trikes. They also had a couple of new 2007 wings there too. Those looked nice. I really liked the new look of the tail lights on the 2007. They actually look like car tail lights.

Speaking of 2007, it should be a pretty busy time for riding. Not counting the mini rides that Slick and I plan to do, we have the upcoming trip to the beach in June. Most of the people going will be driving down there. Boring!! I plan to ride Big Red. Also, in July, our Goldwing chapter is planning on a ride to Ohio, for the Honda Homecoming. I am really looking forward to that. Right now, we are just waiting on the dates for that trip.

Until next time and enjoy the ride.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Durham NC Ride

Saturday Slick and I decided to head to Durham NC for a bite to eat. That idea wasn't such a good one. The idea for the ride was to Durham and then get back on I-40 and and hit 86 north to Yancyville NC. Well the Durham part wasn't too great due to all the heavy traffic. The place we were going to eat at was pretty close to the mall in Durham and traffic heading south off of I-40 was pretty heavy. There was a lot of stop and go traffic. Oh yeah, the winter jackets we have worked great too but the they do get pretty hot when you are stuck in traffic and not moving and the temp is around 65.

Anyway, after we headed north the traffic was a lot lighter. We had a great meal (of course, we ate too much) and then we mounted up and started our route back to the house. By this time it was around 3 pm. We hit highway 86 to Yanceyville. Once we got through Yanceyville we headed west on highway 158. The highway 86 and 158 was really nice. It was pretty much all country roads. We could really tell we were in the country by the great smell of county manure. After we got off 158 we hit highway 29 and headed south toward home.

We left home around 11:30 am and got back home around 5:00 pm. The trip was pretty nice except for the traffic in Durham. I recommend you not ride a bike at Christmas time near a mall. That was a dumb idea on my part. The weather was great. We had a great time and look forward to our next trip. Except then next time we will skip the city driving and head toward the country.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Friday, December 15, 2006

Great Day to Ride

Man, did I have a great chance to ride today. Today is December 15th and the weather was great! It was almost 70 degrees. That is great riding weather. I did see a few other riders out today. I figured there would have been more if it wasn't Friday and most people are working.

I had to go the Cycle Center in Asheboro for an oil change. That only took about 3o minutes of my time. I began my ride from home and heading toward Lexington. No, not in Kentucky! We actually have one of those in NC too. Once I got off of business 85 I headed east on 64 to Asheboro. After my oil change I continued east on 64 until I got to 421. From there I headed north toward home.

The whole ride took about 3 hours, including the short stop for the oil change. Tomorrow, Slick and I are heading toward Concord NC. Slick found out there was a Mayflower diner there. We were going to go to the one in Durham, but I think the Concord ride will be nicer. After we eat, who knows where we might take off too.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Monday, December 11, 2006

Rubber Gloves Work Wonders

If you are like me and ride your motorcycle in the winter, you may have noticed that you hands can get pretty cold when you are riding in temperatures drop like a rock. So what can you do? Well, you could buy some expensive battery heated gloves, get some heated grips or wear some bulky winter gloves. Or you can do like I did this past weekend. You can wear some rubber gloves under your regular gloves. The rubber gloves work wonders. I actually tested this little trick this past weekend. The tip came from my old motorcycle buddy Craig. Thanks Craig! So the next time you are out riding your bike and your hands start to get numb from the winter frost and wind, put on some rubber gloves. It really helps.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Chapel Hill NC Trip

Today Slick and I took a short ride to Chapel Hill NC. I decided to take the trip to see the route for next Saturday. There is a nice seafood joint there called "Mayflower Seafood". I have eaten there before and I thought Slick might like it. The route we took was on 421 to 64 east. Once we got to 15/501 we headed north. We actually cruised through a portion of Chapel Hill. It was a nice trip. There was little traffic even though we did decide to head back taking 40. The weather was pretty nice. It was around 55 and not too much wind. The total time on the trip was around 3 hours. Not a bad way to enjoy a Sunday afternoon ride.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Friday, December 08, 2006

Chapter Meeting for December

Well last night I attended our GWRRA chapter meeting. Slick had to attend her Christmas party. We had a lot to cover and look back on from the past year. Some of the events that we have planned for in 2007 is the open house at the Cycle Center in Asheboro. We will be having it again in May. That should be a great time of the year for the event. We are expecting more people in 2007, so that will be cool.

Last night at the meeting we also picked up 2 new members to our chapter. It will be nice to have some new faces and new ideas. On December 17th we will be gathering at Vickie and Andrews home to discuss a variety of topics like the riding schedule for next quarter. We will also be discussing some other charities that we may participate in. One other topic is selecting our 2007 Couple of the Year for our chapter. Normally, chapters have a hard time filling the position of Couple of the Year. It is a big commitment that Slick and I definately don't have time to do. However, we are lucky this year because we have 3 couples that have thrown their names into the hat. So at the meeting will be voting on our new couple. Whoever it turns out to be I am sure they will do a great job.

I need to work on an article for our newsletter. In January, they asked if I could put something together to let others know about us. I plan to post the article in the blog too. I will probably work on that today.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Monday, December 04, 2006

Love My Ski Pants!

This morning I rode Big Red to work and it was kind of crisp (actually 27 degrees). There was a slight wind and there was a little bite in the air. Luckily, Angie reminded me that we had some ski pants, so I wore them. It made a big difference on the old legs. Actually, it was a nice warm ride. It is amazing how warm you can be if you have the right riding gear. I know that many people that see me in the mornings think, “What an idiot!”. Maybe so, be I know I am warm and enjoying the ride. I also have to remind myself that those same people probably have never even ridden a motorcycle. They have no idea what they are missing.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Murdock Center Ride to Butner NC

Yesterday was a fun day for Slick and I. We traveled with our GWRRA chapter group to Butner, NC and visited the Murdock Center. We started the day riding to Burlington NC to meet our group for breakfast. Most of the group met in Archdale and rode in ahead of us. Since Slick and I saw no need to back track we decided to meet them in Burlington. Once we got to Burlington and dismounted Big Red, Slick made the decision we needed to show some holiday spirit and so she slapped a Santa hat on my big bald head. Slick had a hat too and of course she looked cute. Of course, those that know me, know how much I love Christmas. I felt kind of goofy until I saw my OLD buddy Craig looking as goofy as me (actually, I think he looked worse). However, once we arrive at the Murdock center, no one looked goofier than Kenny in this cool elfing magic elf suit. If I was told I had to wear that, I would have put up a fight about that one.

As we head east to Butner NC, were enjoyed the nice crisp morning air. Actually, it was pretty cool. Everyone seemed to have been prepared for the trip and the crisp air (COLD). Once we arrived at Butner, we pulled in to the Murdock community and there we saw dozens of other bikers. Actually, the unofficial count was 61 bikes rode in for the event. Speaking of the event, the GWRRA chapters were all there to drop off presents for the residents of the community and provide a nice Goldwing parade for the residents. Slick and I participated in the parade and the residents seemed to have enjoyed it as much as we did.

After the parade, some of the residents put on a show for us in the school gym. Some sang Christmas songs. It was amazing to see how talented the residents were and how much they enjoyed performing for us. We were also serviced lunch too; which was nice.

After some of the standard ticket drawings were completed, everyone headed out. Slick and I headed back alone. The ride back was pretty nice since the crispness had worn off (it got warmer). All in all we put on a total of 164 miles. We had a great time.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!