Sunday, March 18, 2007

Mebane Swap Meet

Saturday I attended the Mebane Swap Meet with my old buddy Craig. I picked up my old buddy Craig and we headed off to the meet to hopefully find some good good deals. I did. I was able to grab a trunk organizer for just $10.00. They sell for about $30.00. My biggest buy was a pair for heated gloves that sell for well over $100.00. I got those for only $25.00. Now I am set for next years cold weather. I was also able to sell my footboards. Now I have the money money to buy Slick some footboards and arm rest for this years riding season.

There were a lot of our chapter members there too. The chapter holding the event feed us and it seemed everyone had a good time just getting together and sharing their motorcycle stories and buying some stuff. Even Craig told me some cool stories that I hadn't heard before. Thanks Craig!

Overall, I had a great time and it was a great way to spend a Saturday even though it was too cold and windy to ride our bikes.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Friday, March 16, 2007

Rode Back Home This Week

Monday I headed off for a road trip to my home town of Lenoir NC. Actually, I had to go there to do some training for the Caldwell County Sheriffs Office and Lenoir Police Department. The weather was great all week and it actually felt more like late spring than late winter. I got the opportunity to put on about 280 miles on my 3 day trip. The cool thing is it only cost me about $14.00 for the gas to go to my training assignment and my company was paying for that. Actually, I made about $100.00 extra off the trip for mileage. If I had taken the truck it would have cost me about $50.00 to fill up the truck. Oh the joy of having a bike and making money too. Life is good.

When I left home on Monday I basically took the back roads. I don’t mind taking I-40. It is faster but to me, it is too boring. I took off and hit B-85 to Mooresville. From there I hit 64 west to I-40. I took I-40 to Statesville and then jumped back on highway 64 west to Lenoir. I like 64 off of I-40 to Lenoir. It is a nice ride even though the speed limit is a max of 55 mph. On the way back I took the same route.

Packing for the trip was different this time too. I had to pack for at least 4 days. That included my work related paperwork, computer, bike cover and extra clothes. So I pulled out the travel bags that I bought for the bike. I had 2 saddlebags and my trunk bag. I actually strapped my computer and trunk bag to my back seat. I was really amazed at how much stuff I could put in the trunk bag. It was the size of a suitcase. Of course, it will not hold squat in the trunk, but it did come in real handy strapped to the back seat. I was able to take all my stuff and still had room to spare. I didn’t even have to take my luggage rack bag.

Throughout the week I was approached by a lot of people asking me about Big Red. A lot of people thought it was new. They were surprised that the bike is a 2004. Some asked about how heavy it was. I can understand that. Goldwing’s are huge bikes and even regular bike riders are amazed at the size of the bike and what it has on it. It was fun talking to people about the bike.

All-in-all the trip was great. I put on some good miles on Big Red. Now I need to clean it up and it needs the oil changed and a tune up before the next big trip to TN next month. That will be fun.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Rode All Day

Saturday Slick and I decided to take a little ride to Conover to do some errands. The trip was only going to be about 2 or 3 hours. But, of course, the weather turned out to be great and we decided to keep riding. We really didn't care where as long as we got to ride. It had actually been about 4 weeks since Slick has got to ride, due the cold weather.

We started out and left the house around 9:30 and the temp was around 54. We put on our winter jackets and headed down 85 and then toward Lexington. From there we hooked up with 64 east and toward interstate 40 and Mocksville. There was a lot of construction on 64 and is always been confussing for me to get through Lexington and 64. I just haven't figured out why and I always blame it on the signs.

Once we got to Mocksville and I-40 we headed west toward Conover. The weather was great and getting warmer. After our errands were done we decided to take I-77 south off of I-40 and find something to eat. I was trying to avoid the Statesville traffic that is usually bad when you get off the interstate. We though lets just take I-77 and see if we can find a place to eat. Well, we did, but we ran into more traffic than we would have if we had taken the Statesville exit. It turned out okay. We didn't have too much trouble finding our way back. We took highway 152 through Mooresville. It was a big town than I expected and once we got out of town we hit some really nice country rodes and eventually got back on I-85 and headed back home.

Once on I-85 we both decided we were not ready to go back home. The temp was near 70 and so we stopped to take the liners out of our jackets because it was getting a little toasty. We took back off on I-85 and then hit highway 62. From there we headed to Burlington. Slick wanted me to checkout some of motorcycle stuff at J & R's. They had a lot of cool stuff if you are a Harley rider. Also they had some very cheap chaps. The more I thought about it, I could not see myself wearing chaps. Of course, I may change my mind later and I could always go back to buy some.

After J&R's we hit I-40 and headed west toward home. We finally got home around 5:30. We really enjoyed our ride and put on over almost 300 miles. They weather was great and so was my company. We look forward to riding again and of course that will be as soon as we can: probably today.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Friday, March 09, 2007

Remembering Safety While Riding

Anyone that knows me, knows I enjoy reading about motorcycle trips and how to become a better rider. Well, I read some great information that I thought I would share. Even though it is common sense, it is amazing how much we all don't remember the basics and how not doing that could cost us and our passenger our lives. Here are a few tips to always remember.

Riding in Blind Spots

One of the most dangerous mistakes motorcyclists make is to linger in other driver’s blind spots. Motorcycles easily disappear in the invisible area between typical car and truck mirror coverage. Few drivers seem to practice head checks to determine if a lane change is safe. A motorcyclist is riding along, and all of a sudden a vehicle is com- ing into their lane. A rule of thumb is to ride through blind spots. Also, avoid changing lanes into a driver’s blind spot and position your motorcycle within your lane to ensure optimum visibility in traffic.

Trying to Keep Up

Group rides can be a lot of fun. But too many times, group rides turn sour as inexperienced or less skilled riders crash trying to keep up with the group. This often happens if a rider is afraid of losing touch with the group, or appears less capable than the others. It’s important for group leaders to have a plan that keeps the group together and to assure slower riders that they won’t be left behind. It’s also important for individuals to recognize when they are being influenced by the need to stay with the group.

Accelerating Through An Intersection

It is tempting to twist the throttle through an intersection to try and beat a red light. It’s a reflex many of us have, and even the smartest riders have been known to do it. The problem is that intersections are the number one location where crashes occur. It’s important to remember that motorcycles have small visual impact and can be lost in surrounding traffic. The small frontal profile not only makes us harder to see, it can also make it more difficult for others to judge our distance and approach speed. Keeping this in mind, you can see why drivers often pull out in front of motorcycles, thinking it is safe to proceed. The lesson here is that increasing your speed through intersections is a “bad idea”.

Stopping Too Close To the Vehicle In Front Of You

Too many riders position themselves poorly for escape when stopping behind vehicles at a stoplight or stop sign. in Give yourself plenty of room to maneuver case a driver approaching from the rear can’t stop in time. This means positioning your motorcycle well away from the vehicle in front and to one side (usually the left portion of your lane). This position allows room to move forward, past the car in front and has the added benefit of keeping your tires off the often slippery center part of the lane. Be sure to keep your eyes on your mirrors to monitor vehicles approaching from the rear. Keep your motorcycle in first gear so you can respond quickly if necessary.

Signaling Too Late

Miscommunication is a major cause of traffic related mishaps. One of the most common examples of this is slowing down or maneuvering before signaling your intent, which forces surrounding traffic to guess what you are up to. Well timed communication ensures that traffic around you is not surprised by your actions. Remember, simply rolling off the throttle may slow your motorcycle enough to require the typical car driver behind you to brake, but he doesn’t know what you are going to do. Signal three to five seconds prior to turning and activate your brake light early to alert drivers of a change in direction or speed.

Leaving Riding Gear At Home

It’s easy to leave your riding jacket, gloves, boots, or helmet on the shelf for a short trip to the local store or restaurant. But many crashes happen close to home, and at relatively low speeds. It doesn’t take much of an accident to render yourself brain dead without some head protection. And road rash is no laughing matter either; a simple low speed fall can do a lot of damage to your epidermis without the benefit of sturdy protection. Wide skin abrasion can easily turn into infection, and the risk of lethal septic shock. Do yourself a favor and make riding gear a habit, no matter how short the trip. Can you see how easy it is to pick up any of these BAD IDEAS? And how little effort it takes to turn them all into GOOD IDEAS!

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Sunday, March 04, 2007

"Wild Hogs" Review

Last night Slick and I went a saw the new movie "Wild Hogs". We liked it and apparently everyone in the theater did too. I read a lot of reviews from some critics and they said the movie was childish and not worth the time and money to go see it. I guess I must still have some child left in me because I liked it and so did Slick.

The movie is not going to win any Academy Awards but it is a good movie. The bottom line is it is a good old buddy movie about 4 middle aged guys that start to wonder if there boring life's are over. So they take out on a week long motorycle trip across country. The movie has a lot of male humor that even Slick liked. There was a lot of out loud laughter from the audience in the theater. Which is something that I haven't heard in a movie in a long time.

There were a lot of bikers, couples and middle-aged people (like me) in the audience enjoying the movie. It was funny and I plan to buy the movie on DVD when it is released. I am sure there will be some bloopers on the DVD. I have seen some of the bloopers already and they are pretty funny too.

If you get a chance, checkout the movie. You might find it funny too. If not, you are probably not old enough to get the humor. That is sad! Below is the official Wild Hogs website:

Until next time and enjoy the ride.


Saturday, March 03, 2007

Uwharrie National Forest Road Trip

This morning I took off on a solo trip toward Uwharrie National Forest. It was a nice day to ride. The only thing was it was pretty windy. Some of the gust had to be as high as 30 mph. I took off from home on I-85 to highway 62. From 62 I branched off onto 22. 22 was a little longer than I thought and was out in the middle of some very nice farm country. It was mostly country roads, which is what I like to ride on most. I actually started second guesses my route and actually pulled over to check the map to make sure that I had not passed my exit off of 24. Like I said, 22 was further than I thought, but it turned out I was right on track.

After getting off of 22, I took 24 west and then headed toward the little town of Troy. I had been there before, but it was nice to go back through that area again. After leaving Troy I headrd further west on 24. Soon I was turning north onto 109. Troy and 109 takes you in the heart of the forest. The national forest is really nothing to look at, but it is a great place to ride. I saw a lot of bikers either entering or exiting the national forest.

Soon I headed back on I-85 toward home. The entire trip took about 3.5 hours. If the wind wasn't so bad it would have been perfect weather. Tomorrow is another story. The high is expected to be only 47 and very windy. That is why I took advantage of the 65 degree weather today.

Oh yeah, Slick and I plan to hit the theater today to see the movie "Wild Hogs". It hasn't gotten great reviews, but that is okay. We don't listen to critics anyway. The trailer still looks funny to us.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Friday, March 02, 2007

Chapter Meeting News

Last night at our chapter meeting in Archdale we had a pretty nice time and the turn out was great. We had a lot of visitors from all over the central part of the state trying to get 2 of the awards that we had. One was the couples award and the other was the central travelers award. Our chapter had both and of course everyone was after it. Below is a photo of the couple that got the couples award last night and our "Couple of the Year", Brian and Donna (they are cool ones in the hats) who presented it to them.

Speaking of hats and awards, Slick and I received an award too. Since this months theme was St. Patrick's Day, people were ask to dress up and be a little silly. So we thought, why not? So we put on our stuff and we won the best dressed. Below are 2 of our cool photos. I actually think we won because of the cool glasses and sexy hair. We dressed up like this and believe it or not we weren't even drinking.

Another award that I presented was for the high mileage award for the month of February. Below is the list of the mileages. The winner this month was Greg and Kathy Permar.

1st Place: Greg and Kathy Permar - 725 miles
2nd Place: Roger and Angie Younce - 549 miles
3rd Place: Anthony Bond - 220 miles
4th Place: Joel and Mary Beth Roach - 210 miles
5th Place: Brian and Donna Vertefeuille - 153 miles
6th Place: Andrew and Vickie Butcher - 69 miles
7th Place: Lennie and Joy Maynor - 24 miles
8th Place: Craig and Melinda Virden - 10 miles

Actually I think Craig got all his miles from going back and forth checking his mail at the end of his driveway.

All in all we had a great time. It was a nice crowd and everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Old Liberty Road Ride

As most people know, I love to ride on the country roads. Most days, I take an hour or so ride in the country after work if I can. The other day my Goldwing mentor Graig, told me about a nice road called "Old Liberty Road" in Liberty NC. He told me it was a nice road with quite a few nice curves. He wasn't kidding. It was nice and curvy. It was just the type of road to practice riding on. So after work yesterday I took one of my favorite routes on interstate 85 to highway 62. Then I hit highway 421 south to Liberty. From there I hooked up with Old Liberty Road. It was a nice trip and only took about 1.5 hours. It was a nice leisurely trip and the weather was really nice. I recommend if any one gets a chance to ride on Old Liberty Road, they should do it. It is not the Tail of the Dragon, but it is still fun.

Also as a side note, I was able to put on about 549 miles for the month of February. That is not too bad when I have to consider I only got to ride about 2 weeks for the month. I expect March to be a good riding month. I have a couple of 200+ miles trips scheduled for the month. I expect to tack on 1000+ miles in March. I need to atleast beat my largest monthly total of 1090 that I had in January.

Until next time and enjoy the ride!