Saturday, December 6, 2008

New Helmets Rock

Before I left Seattle I ordered a new full face helmet for my son. He only had a half-helmet and was getting quite chilly on his rides to work and on weekend rides.
This helmet was found at Riders Discount's selection of Shoei Helmets. The prices were excellent and shipping was prompt, and free! The helmet I got him was the Shoei RF-1000.
Here is a review of some of its features:

Clean classic lines,very low key
Looks good on a lot of different bikes
Cool vents on back that are easy to open and close
Really nice sturdy opening mechanism for the visor
Very light, easy on the neck and back
Foam extremely comfortable
Fogs up a little bit at stops
Visibility is good in all directions
Nifty bag and extra pieces for nose and neck

He is very pleased with the helmet, and as his mother I think he is much safer with the full-face helmet. The road noise is also cut down considerably.

I would recommend checking out Riders Discount for a large selection of jackets, helmets, boots, and other gear at discount prices. They carry all the major brands and have a good selection of street and off-road gear.

I would definately go back to this website when I'm looking for more motorcycle gear, and can you ever have too much?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Landed in Santa Cruz

We had a great car ride down to Santa Cruz coming from Seattle. We took two days and spent the night in Weed, CA. At the College of the Siskiyous was a Disc Golf course that my son had always wanted to play. So we went out early, found the course and ran through the woods playing disc golf in the 36 degree morning air.

We arrived in Santa Cruz safely and I have not been able to connect to internet so far. Will blog more when I do.

It has been lovely weather so far, with a warm sunny day for Thanksgiving and too much turkey.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Last Days in Seattle

Saturday the sun broke out and the rain quit for a few days. We had to get out for one last weekend ride. We got a call from our friend in West Seattle and decided to make that our destination for the day.
It had rained for a couple of weeks straight, and not just that misty Seattle rain. It had been a downpour every day and dark and dreary on top of that. Saturday was dry, warm and sunny.

We took the interstate over to West Seattle, which is a completely seperate town from Seattle. It is a lovely place with a small town feel, awesome views back towards the City and also views across the water to several islands.

Once we arrived at our friend's, we decided to stretch and take a nice walk down the hill to a wooded park with nice pathways and views through the trees. This park eventually ends at the Vashon Ferry dock.

We all had a nice walk, which did us all good to get outdoors and move around. We tend to be lazy sometimes and don't get enough healthy exercise.

We rode back home just before dark, which nowadays is close to 4:30pm. It was great to be out again on the road, even though it was getting chilly by the time we got home.

Today I had some last minute errands to run and the sun was out again. The rain is threatening to come back tomorrow and not end anytime soon. It was my last time to ride in the Seattle area before I leave for California.

I got the bike out and took off for the Post Office, a snack, and then just to ride. The sun felt warm and the wind lovely on my face. I thoroughly savored every moment of my ride, knowing it would be the last for quite a while. I had so much work to do at home getting ready for my trip that I couldn't stay out as long as I would have liked. I was very happy that I got one last ride in.

As I rode home and parked the Vulcan for the last time, I had a moment of sadness. She will be joining me in California as soon as possible, but not soon enough for me.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I came across this article yesterday in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. It caught my eye and filled me with a sense of fear that it is only a glimpse of things to come.

A long standing Harley-Davidson dealer closed its doors this week because they couldn't make enough profit to pay the rent. That is a sad state of affairs. Because of the economic downturn people consider motorcycles as a luxury item. They are not selling anywhere.

Check out the Santa Cruz Sentinel article. It will give you a wake up call...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Vulcan In For Scheduled Maintenance

Since I am getting ready to move to California, I am beginning to find an urgency to wrap up loose ends before I leave. My time here in Seattle is running out and I am working right up until the week I leave.

Today I decided to take my '07 Vulcan in for it's scheduled 4000 mile maintenance. I have 4300 miles on it so far. The oil needed to be changed and a good overall check. I will be leaving the bike in Seattle for now, so I wanted it to be sweet and ready to ride when it finally moves down to CA. Hopefully I won't be without it for too long.

I can't say enough good things about the Lynnwood Cycle Barn. They have recently downsized their shop and moved into a smaller facility that is shared with the Seattle Harley-Davidson. I guess motorcycle sales have dropped off like all other businesses, so it was a necessary move.
Even so, this is a slow time of year for their service department and they got me right in when I called.

I dropped the bike off around noon, and just got a call that it is ready for me to pick up. It had only been 3 hours since I left it. The problem is that the rains have started and don't look like they will end for a few days. I think I will bite the bullet and put on my rain gear. I would rather pick up the Vulcan and have it sitting safely in my garage than in their shop.

So off I go to pick up my Vulcan. I have become attached to it and will be sad to leave it even for a short while. My husband has promised to ride it often enough to keep her in good shape.

After I move I will be living close to my brother, who has a nice Kawi Ninja. That should be fun to get the occasional ride fix out of my system!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Moving to Santa Cruz, CA

After 5 years of trying to find a job and relocate back to northern California, I finally have landed a job in Santa Cruz. This is a beach community on the north part of the Monterey Bay. I will be making scientific metrology equipment, which is a welcome change from making ultrasonic devices for 20 years. I'm very excited to learn something new.

I grew up in the Silicon Valley and left there several times, only to feel the pull back home eventually. This time I am moving back to be nearer my elderly parents, brother, and many old friends.

I won't be able to take my motorcycle at first, which is going to kill me. But I'll be busy with a new job and staying with a friend in the beginning, until I can find an affordable place to live. Then my husband will bring the bike, and alot of stuff down that I'll need to set up house. He has a stable, good paying job in the Seattle area, so will stay there until the stock market comes back a little and job market is such that he can find something in California.

It will be quite an adjustment for us both, but worth it in the end. I'll miss my bike most of all! (just kidding Dave)

I'll be going from a winter like this.....

To winter skies like this......

I'll move just before Thanksgiving and start the job Dec. 1. I will try to keep up the blogging as long as I have internet connection. There may be a slight lag, but I'll warn you ahead of time.

I'm finally going home to stay this time.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Chance to Win Your Own Customized Harley

Those of you who LOVE the Harleys are going to have a chance of a lifetime to build your own fantasy Harley Davidsen and have a chance to actually win your design!

From Harley Davidsen:

In the "Build It to and Win It" sweepstakes, contestants can customize a Harley-Davidson 2009 model and enter it to win the bike they designed. Using the Genuine Motor Accessories Customizer, anyone can choose a Harley-Davidson model and then select from hundreds of custom options, including Color Shop custom paint sets, Screamin’ Eagle performance components, hand and foot controls, custom front end parts and decorative collections, and place them on a virtual motorcycle. As the bike is created, each new component appears on a picture of the virtual motorcycle, so a customizer can see exactly what the finished custom Harley-Davidson will look like. After customizing, the bikes can then be saved in a personal profile "Garage," along with a convenient, printable list of each component with its part number and price.

A contestant can customize, save and enter up to ten 2009 models between Oct. 15 - Nov. 6 and each will be entered to win. Representatives from the company will randomly select one bike, which will be awarded to the Grand Prize winner after the Nov. 6 deadline.

More details on the contest are available here:

So put your thinking caps on and start dreaming!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

It's Time for Change

Both presidential candidates are for 'change'. The climate is changing. The financial system is changing. Those of us with money tied up in the stock market, whether it be in a 401K or other savings vehicle, are seeing a big change for the worse.

All of this brings to light that the weather is also changing and it 's time to dig out the winter riding gear. I didn't want to think about it yet, as it is only early October. I can't fight it any more.

Our weather in Seattle has cooled off drastically this past 2 weeks. The mornings are around 40 degrees. The days have been lucky to reach 55 degrees. It will only get worse from now on.

This weekend promises to have a day or two of riding weather. I will dig out my winter liner for my leather jacket and zip it in. I will dig out my winter warm gloves and start wearing them, although keeping my lighter one's handy if the day warms up as I ride. And I really dread going back to the full-face helmet. It's been a joy to ride all summer with a half-helmet, but now it is too chilly for that, so back to the full enclosure. I will also need to wear chaps at all times, just for warmth.

It takes me a little mental preparation to get ready for winter riding. Once I get out there and adjust to the proper gear for the cold, I do feel like a rarity on the road. Not many others are out on motorcycles in the winter, but when you do pass another bike there is always a common wave. Not many of us are that devoted, so I do feel a kinship with others I pass on those cold mornings on the way to work.

Does anyone else ride in the winter and have to mentally prepare in the fall?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Love My Rippin-Kitten T-shirt

My newest favorite tee is the new original design by Rippin-Kitten. I ordered through Pay Pal and Liz shipped the shirt out immediately. It arrived two days later, and it even had to travel across the entire U.S. I was pleasantly surprised that the shipment also included a cool sticker as well.

I ordered my normal adult size and the shirt seemed quite large when I tried it on. I washed it and it did shrink the slightest bit, so I am happy that after a couple of washings it should fit just the way I like. The price is very reasonable and also makes a great gift.

Get your own Rippin-Kitten tee-shirt while they last and you, too, can have a cool original shirt.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Made It To Oyster Run '08

Against my better judgement we decided to go to the Oyster Run in Anacortes, WA on Sunday. It is the largest one day gathering of motorcyclists in the Western U.S. This year they expected over 30,000 bikes to attend. I estimate there were more......

We got up early and expected to get going by 9 am. From 7 o'clock on you could hear the drone of motorcycles off in the distance going up I-5. By the time we left home and merged onto I-5 heading North it was a sight to see. What a thrill it was to be on a 3 lane interstate surrounded by hundreds of motorcyclists in every lane, with only an occasional car squeezed in between the crowd. All you could see ahead or in your mirrors were motorcycles. I have never seen anything like it and it was an emotional and exhilerating experience.

We stopped about 30 miles north of home to drop in and see my son, who had a group of many friends who were gathering to go also. The gas stations in his town were filling up with hundreds of bikers meeting up. Nate and his friends were going to breakfast so we headed to the Oyster Run without them and said we would meet up later. We never found them at the event. We did, however, run into the friend who had sold Dave the Victory. What were the chances of that?

We went off of the interstate and headed towards Anacortes on the back roads which were scenic and rural. It was a clear blue day which turned out to be warm and sunny. As we neared the town of Anacortes traffic came to a halt. We crept into town inch by inch. That is when the fun ended for me. By the time we parked my clutch hand had a full cramp.

The event was interesting, with local vendors and bike builders etc. All the biker groups were there wearing their colors, but no incidents as far as I know. Everyone was happy to be there and appreciating looking at the motorcycles. We walked around in shoulder to shoulder crowds and made our way up the entire street and back the other side. There was one group doing a scheduled stunt show but we didn't wait to see it. Otherwise, it was just a large gathering. After I saw about the thousandth bike they all started looking the same.

Here is a lineup of Big Dog bikes.

Not sure what this was but when it was revved it was so loud people were covering their ears!

How's this for a motorcycle cover?

I liked this biker gorilla.

They said this bike was on Biker Build-off. They were giving it away.

As we tried to leave town the traffic was even worse than coming in. There were several directions to go but all were creeping or stopped. We headed east and found a back road with only a few bikers on it. It was a long ride home and I was very tired by the time we arrived. All day we only went a total of 155 miles, but rode for about 6 hours. My left hand turned purple from clutching. I guess I'm not as tough as I think sometimes.

I don't think I would ever attempt to go to the Oyster Run again, because it really had nothing to offer me. Crowds like that aren't my thing. I'm glad for the experience, though, and got my first bike event pin.

LVMS to host seventh annual Femmoto this weekend

Press release:

LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas Motor Speedway will host Femmoto 2008, a weekend of motorcycle riding, demonstrations and motor fashion to celebrate female enthusiasts Friday through Sunday. Femmoto is a women-only event which offers female riders the opportunity to test-ride motorcycles on the LVMS track, peruse the latest gear designed just for women, discuss the lifestyle with manufacturers and meet other women who share their passion for motorsports.

“Being involved with the biking industry for a long time, I began to see an increase in women riders, the bonding that was going on between the women riders, and the need to have an all-female track event,” said Femmoto founder Bonnie Strawser. “I wanted to get more women comfortable on motorcycles and give them a great environment to do that.”

Femmoto is hosting 11 motorcycle brands for demonstrations at the event, including Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Kawasaki, KYMCO and Triumph. Attendees are invited to ride all brands and styles of motorcycles on both the track and street throughout the weekend.

“Diversity is what we’ve been aiming for and I think this year we have really hit our mark,” Strawser said. “As there are many types of female riders out there, there are many types of motorcycles they might be interested in. Having so many brands and so many bike types will make this a really fun event for all our attendees.”

Track rides are reserved for female participants. Pre-registration slots are filling up for the closed- course demos and interested riders are urged to pre-register. The entry fee is $135 per day. Appropriate track gear is required for closed-course demos.

Last year’s event hosted more than 550 female riders and Femmoto organizers predict an increase in participation in the 2008 event.

Femmoto was created in 2001 to introduce ladies to sport bikes in a safe and fun environment. Its growth and support have allowed the event to evolve into a weekend providing women with new and exciting features including workshops, seminars and exposure to a wide variety of specialty products and services.

For more information on the Femmoto 2008, call (419) 340-3977 or visit

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Ride Home--Bandon,OR to Seattle

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While in Bandon we spent one day going to town and visiting our favorite stops. We had lunch at The 2 Loons deli in the downtown area. It is always one of our favorite places to eat, with that local flair that only a small town has. The food was delicious. Our next stop was the Wagon Wheel, where we always buy a T-shirt. When the T-shirt wears out in a couple of years, that signals us that it is time to make another trip to Bandon. The other place you cannot miss is Cranberry Sweets. Bandon is the Cranberry capitol of the world, and we just missed the Annual Cranberry Festival the day before we got to town. Cranberry Sweets is a candy store that puts out plates of little candy samples, so of course you want to buy after you've tasted all the wonderful flavors.

As we headed back to our motel down the little road that goes from town and follows the coastline, we passed Face Rock. It is so cool. Can you see the face?

We left town on Wednesday morning and made a quick stop on the north side of the Coquille River where the historic Coquille Lighthouse stands. It is a landmark for artists and photographers to appreciate. It is from the 1890s and not in operation any more from what I understand.

The view looking back towards Bandon.

Once we got on the road we headed back up the coast with the intention of heading inland towards McMinnville for the next nights stay. This morning was the coldest and most miserable of any on our trip. The further north we went we rode through mist, fog, and very cold temps. I had on 4 layers on top, my jeans and chaps, and my Buff around my neck. I had only brought my regular gloves. By the time we rode a couple of hours, my fingers were numb, I had pulled the Buff up over my nose like a bandit, and my legs were cold through my chaps. I could feel that my teeth were cold, even though I kept my mouth shut (no comments from the peanut gallery). We stopped in Waldport for a hot cup of coffee at another DQ.

After we thawed out, we continued on north until Lincoln City. Then we headed inland towards McMinnville. Once we were away from the ocean, the sky opened up, the sun was out, and we started warming up. We passed through the most lovely countryside and followed a river. Soon we saw amber fields of grain, vineyards, Italian prune orchards and wide open spaces. This was one of my favorite roads on the trip, probably because it was 30 degrees warmer than along the coast. We stopped in McMinnville, which is a cute little town where McMinnamin's Brewery started. It's a Northwest favorite. We found the Hotel Oregon, that houses McMinnamin's. We considered staying there, but they only had on the street parking. We weren't comfortable with leaving our bikes out on the main street all night. So we had a beer and thought about it......

There was a Native American casino and hotel that we had passed about 20 miles back. We decided to go back, get a room, eat a nice buffet dinner, and gamble. We got a really good rate on the room which was luxurious and big. It was so good to be warm, and to walk around for a change. We were able to watch our bikes from the 5th floor room we had. We had a wonderful time, lost our shirts (not literally) and were ready to ride home on Thursday. By the end of the day we had ridden 6 hours and about 250 miles, for a total of 729 miles so far.

We left Thursday morning for the home stretch. I was ready to get home and see my cats. I miss them when I am away, they are such a part of my life. We were about 90 miles from Portland, so once we hit Interstate 5 it was freeway all the way home. I led and had to go 80 most of the way through Oregon to keep up with traffic. It was windy, cold, and raining off and on the last day. Once we got through Seattle I felt a great relief that we had made it all this way with no motorcycle problems or events. The only thing that happened was Dave's zipper pull breaking on his motorcycle jacket while we were in Bandon. He was able to use the inner zipper for his liner to keep it together so he could make it home. We got home around 4pm Thursday all in one piece and happy to be sleeping in our own bed that night.

The second day was about 250 miles and 6 hours of mostly freeway riding. The total trip was 987 miles. I would do it all over again, now that I've rested up. I can't wait to plan our next trip.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Destination Bandon: The Second Day--Pacific City to Bandon, OR

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On the second day of our ride from Seattle to Bandon, OR we woke up with our bikes soaking wet with morning fog.

We wiped them down, packed up and off we went south towards Bandon. We expected it to take about 6 hours of riding. Before we left Pacific City we went back towards Cape Kiwanda to snap a few photos. It was around 10 am.

Once we got on the road it was comfortable riding and the sun was coming out. The road is narrow and twisty so we took our time as well as followed lots of logging trucks and large RVs which kept us at a slow pace. The scenery was lovely so it allowed us a glimpse of the ocean every once in a while. We finally stopped at Cape Fowlweather for a break. According to the sign, Captain Cook discovered and named this Cape. We were there on a nice day. Winds can be over 100 mph here with no visibility.

There was alot of fog to ride through from this point south.

Cape Foulweather did not have a public restroom (?!) and I take advantage anytime we are stopping. I had already had a couple cups of coffee earlier in the morning. We headed south again down 101 and, lo and behold, we ran into road contruction. This was a Monday morning and they had the road down to one lane on a major through way. I tried to stay calm and not think about it as we sat with our engines turned off for 40 minutes as nobody moved. The fog was surrounding us so we couldn't really see the scenery either. We finally got going and so did the miles of cars and logging trucks behind us. The first town we came to I stopped. What a relief!

As we rode on further the temps got cooler and the fog was covering the ocean view. We stopped often for hot coffee and food. That day DQ became our fast food friend. Almost every small town in Oregon has a Dairy Queen with clean restrooms and hot strong coffee. They would prove to be our rest stop of choice for the days to come.

We finally arrived in Bandon around 4 pm after riding 6 hours and about 180 miles that day. So far we had gone 479 miles on our trip. It felt much easier than the first day, although challenging terrain. The road is narrow and passes inland through deep dark forests, and then moves out right along the rocky cliffs next to the Pacific Ocean. Again, my mind registered so many images I was having trouble processing it all. We would be staying at this little motel for 2 nights. It is called the Windermere and was originally built for artists who would take little cabins and park their Model A's in between. It has been updated but still keeps the quaint woodwork and charm of a beach motel. It had a little kitchen area fully supplied with necessities. There is a sliding glass door which looks right out to the ocean. I could have lived there. Some mornings the fog would cover the whole beach, but if you waited for the window of opportunity there were a couple of hours a day you could actually see out to the horizon. Our other window looked out to the bikes so we could keep a good eye on them. It was perfect and 1/2 mile down the road from my aunt.

Again the fog and moisture took over our bikes as the sun went down. The motel was great about giving us alot of rags to wipe them down in the mornings. They were also very interested in the Victory and the motel owner was seen checking it out many times in our 2 days there. Everyone we met along the way was interested in the bikes. These were all Seniors travelling along the coastline like we were. We talked to people from Utah, the Netherlands, and other motorcycling travellers.

In Oregon you are not allowed to pump your own gas. Can you believe it? They don't want the public breathing gas fumes, but it is OK for the guy working the pumps. With motorcycles it is a different story. They have to slide your card into the 'pay-at-the-pump' slot, and then hand you the nozzle. I always fill my own and Dave does too. I think bikers are more particular with their gas drips, so they always had a paper ready for me to catch them with.

As we wound down for the day, we looked out at this lovely view. Now we could relax, visit with my aunt, and rest up for our ride home on Wednesday.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Destination Bandon: The First Day--Seattle To Pacific City, OR

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We rode down to Bandon, Oregon to visit my aunt. It was the first long trip for both of us. We had luggage on Dave's Victory that strapped to the back rest. It worked very well and held everything we needed that wouldn't fit in the saddlebags.

We finally left on Sunday around 10am. The weather promised to be sunny and clear, with temps around 70. We headed down interstate 5 as far as Olympia, the state capitol. It was pretty quiet on a Sunday around noon.

At Olympia we cut over towards the coast. Now these were lovely wooded highways with almost no traffic. There were smooth, fast and slightly curvy roads that I really enjoyed. They followed along small inlets and bays where oysters are raised. This area claims to produce the most oysters in the world. The aromas you smell as you ride along are amazing. The ocean air is cool but clears your head.

We finally arrived at the Astoria Bridge, which crosses the mouth of the Columbia River. This large expanse of fresh water flows right out into the ocean. This bridge has always scared me when I crossed it in a car. It is extremely long and on the Oregon end there is a tall part that you climb up, up, up so that ships can go under it. It freaks me out. So I was not looking forward to crossing this bridge on a motorcycle. It turned out to be a lovely experience and quite enjoyable. The sensation was entirely different than I expected and I only wish I could have stopped and taken pictures.

We stopped for a break at Cannon Beach. This area is famous for its Haystack Rock and others scattered along the coastline. It is an artists mecca and, of course, a tourist trap. You can see why.......

Finally after riding for 7 hours, with a few short breaks in between, we arrived in Pacific City, Oregon. An old friend and her husband had driven a fully restored 1963 Austin Healey 3000 convertible on a British Car Rally and ended up in Pacific City that night. We met up and had a great time visiting, eating and drinking at the Pelican Pub and Brewery. Good beer and atmosphere, good food but just a little overpriced.

We got a room at a little motel in town called the Inn at Pacific City. It was inexpensive, clean, and quiet. It was perfect for a night of much needed rest and a welcome hot shower. In the morning we walked up a block and found the tiniest cafe with bang-up breakfasts. The biscuits and gravy were the perfect thing to get me ready for the road.

On the first day we rode for 7 hours, and 296 miles. Once you are in Oregon, the roads are narrow and very rough in some places. There are passing lanes once in a while, so you can get around the guy you've been following at 25 mph. for 10 winding miles. For me, it was physically challenging to ride so long, but it was worth it. I already felt like I had accomplished something riding so far and as fast as we could go to keep up with traffic. So many images had already been recorded in my memory that I will think back on and reflect fondly for the rest of my life.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ride to Bandon, Oregon

Sunday my husband and I are taking off on a ride to Bandon, Oregon. The town is on the southern Oregon coast not far from California. My elderly aunt lives there and we like to go down every few years and check up on her. It is also a lovely little fishing town with not much to do except enjoy looking at the beautiful rock formations in the ocean and walk the beach.

We decided to go suddenly when the weather looked like it was going to stay dry and warm for yet another week. Here in the Northwest it is always a gamble whether we will have rain or not as summer ends. Once it comes, you can kiss summer goodbye.

We'll be going on the Vulcan and the Victory with only what items we can stuff into our saddlebags. My husband also borrowed a T-bag from a friend so we should have plenty of room. We'll take two days to get to Bandon, stay a day or so, and then two days to come back. We plan to be back home on Thursday evening.

Our route will go across on the Edmonds ferry to the Olympic peninsula. We'll take back roads all the way down to Astoria, Oregon. From there we will follow the coastal highway all the way to Bandon. If there aren't too many RVs on the road to slow us down, we should have a fun ride. The coastal highway is a winding two-lane road so there are not many places to pass. My friend and her husband are also heading down the coast on a British car rally, so we'll probably see alot of sports cars along the way.

I will be taking photos as we go so stay tuned for a fun virtual trip.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Close Call on the Vulcan

I had to run out to mail a package today at lunchtime. I was on the bike, so took off from my business park and headed down the road. It was a nice sunny day today, so I was enjoying being out on the bike.

I was tooling along about 25 or 30 mph when the BMW I was following decided to stop short. He saw some ladies approaching a crosswalk (mind you, they weren't there yet!) and decided to bow up in the road. I don't think I was following too closely, but in a split second I was skidding to a stop. My brakes locked up and I slid, but I didn't want to hit the car. As I finally came to a stop my front tire was turned a little to the right and the bike started tipping over. I couldn't stop it so I flew off on the right side and the bike rested on its engine guard. They've saved the Vulcan twice now from tipping all the way over.

I was fine, other than a little stiffness as the day continues on. The bike was fine but we noticed a little fluid on the ground from underneath. I think it was gas or coolant. One of the ladies ran over and said, "I'm a biker, and I'll help you get it upright." What are the chances of that happening? We both couldn't get it up, as it is quite heavy. So the guy jumped out of his car and stood there not knowing what to do. I think he was more shook up than I was. Between the three of us we stood the bike up, having to tell the guy to put down the kickstand so we could all let go of it. He obviously doesn't ride.

They made sure my bike and I was OK and then we all went our merry way. My adrenaline was pumping for a few hours later. By the time I rode home from work I was stiff, tired, and felt like I'd been through the wringer. I was surprised how such an event can take so much out of you. I'm still hearing the screech of my brakes in my head as I slid along towards the back bumper of the BMW. I will probably have nice dreams tonight.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Montana Motorcyclist Dies In 239 mph Crash

I found this in the Seattle Times today. The man had a life-long goal:

A 47-year-old record-setting motorcycle racer from Montana has died when he lost control and crashed while traveling at 239 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

A 47-year-old record-setting motorcycle racer from Montana has died when he lost control and crashed while traveling at 239 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Investigators weren't sure what caused Cliff Gullett, of Bozeman, Mont., to lose control of the motorcycle Wednesday during a time trial.

The American Motorcyclist Association said on its Web site that Gullett was competing in the 500cc Streamliner class at the Salt Flats, where drivers go for speed records every summer on the flat, open space just east of the Nevada state line.

Gullett owned Team Bozeman Motorsports, a motorcycle and snowmobile dealership. He had set a handful of world land-speed records and wanted to eventually become the first to reach 400 mph on a two-wheeled Streamliner, according to an interview last week with The Billings Gazette.

Curt Lance, Team Bozeman's general manager, said "Cliff always told me that if anything happened on the Salt, he wanted it to be quick and not lingering. He died doing the thing he loved to do most - racing at Bonneville."

American Motorcyclist Association:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oyster Run '08 -- Anacortes, WA

People in the Seattle area are starting to talk about the upcoming Oyster Run in Anacortes, WA. It has traditionally been held the 4th Sunday in September each year since 1980. This year it falls on Sunday, September 28th in the small town of Anacortes.

Anacortes has had some famous residents. Burl Ives lived there. Graham Kerr lives near there. The town's population is usually around 11,000. The Oyster Run expects 20,000 bikers to take over town on that one day. There are lots of vendors, including my local Cycle Barn. It is the largest gathering of motorcycles in the state of Washington.

To find out more about the event, including information on where to stay if you decide to make it a weekend get-away go to the Oyster Run website.

I know people who've gone to the event and they recommend hitting town early, because after 10 or 11am you will have a hard time even finding a place to park your motorcycle. I've been told it's like a mini Sturgis. I can only imagine!

On Sunday the 28th of September, All Roads Lead To Anacortes.

Last year I remember riding over near the Mukilteo ferry dock on Oyster Run Day. Each time a ferry would dock and begin to unload, there would be a steady stream of motorcycles coming off of the ferry for 5 minutes or more. The Ferry System lets motorcycles on first and off first during unloading. Alot of the riders take the Whidbey Island route back south and you must take a ferry from there back to the mainland in Mukilteo. It was a pretty cool sight to see.

People ride from all states to the Oyster Run, so if you're looking for a beautiful destination to see the best part of the Northwest consider Anacortes, WA. in September. I promise it won't be raining that day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Has It Been A Year Already?

I had looked forward to the date when Biker Chickz Blog was 1 year old. Somehow life and time got away from me and whooooooosh I missed my 1 year anniversary.

August 12, 2007 I felt that I was ready to start something new. I had always wanted to write, thinking that someday I would write a book about my life. It had been tragic and interesting, to say the least. Now I'm conviced that no one wants to hear about my past life. When I took up motorcycling I found a passion that I haven't had for too many things in my life. A chain of events led up to my making contact with a friend from 30 years ago through the internet, and finding out that she was an internet entrepreneur. I was amazed and wanted to know how I, too, could make a living without working for 'the man'. Her first suggestion was to start a website or blog.

One thing led to another and Biker Chickz Blog was born. It has not provided me with any substantial income. What it has given me is something that I feel proud ownership of, and a responsibility to my readers to provide content that might be interesting. Sometimes I don't feel like it, or have nothing to say. If I bother to write anything, I am rewarded with immediate response and comments and a new face every now and then. I feel like I've found friends, even though nobody really knows me.

Writing my thoughts down for all the world to see has been a great experience. I love it when I can provide photos, which I think makes a more quality experience. Thanks to all my regular readers for sticking with me. I hope everyone has enjoyed the blog so far, as it will always be evolving. Next year I plan to be living in the Bay Area, so there will be new roads to travel and write about. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Harley-Davidson Launches 'WE RIDE'

With its attempt to sell motorcycles to more and more women, Harley-Davidson has recently launched its Guide for Women, We Ride. It’s a PDF brochure that you can download or read online. I took a look. It seems to have a lot of information for beginners about riding classes, modifying your bike to fit you, clothing and gear, and of course Harley motorcycles. It looks mostly like a motivating force to bring more women into the Harley-Davidson owner lifestyle.

From Harley-Davidson:

We Ride serves as an inspirational and educational brochure for non-riders and newly licensed female riders alike. The guide features women riders sharing their passion, apparel designed specifically for women and information beginner riders need to know before they hit the road, along with many other topics specific to women riders.

You can download the free PDF file located at the Harley-Davidson women riders site or click here to go directly:

If it helps another woman decide to 'ride in front' then I am all for it. I think a Harley is every riders secret dream bike whether they admit it or not. Just hearing the sound of Harley approaching makes me weak in the knees, if you know what I mean.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Too Hot To Ride

Today was the 3rd day in a row the Seattle area has broken records for the heat. The summer is normally in the 70s and 80s with a couple of freak days that might hit 90 degrees. This week we had those days and went past the record, which was made in the ‘60s from what I remember hearing.

I rode to meet my son right around noon and I thought I would die. I will not ride any distance without my jacket for protection. I had on my vented, lightweight and waterproof jacket. By the time I got to my destination I was dripping wet and had to yank it off as fast as I could. My son, on the other hand, had a T-shirt on, but he did wear chaps. I scolded him for not wearing protection since he had ridden up the interstate. He claimed it was too hot for a jacket. It was!

I can’t bring myself to compromise protection even though I don’t think I will need it. I just have an inner need to keep my skin. I don’t know how all of you who live in the South and the Southwest ride this time of year. I know everyone goes without sleeves out there where it’s really hot. But the heat of the direct sun beaming down on me while I’m stopped at a red light almost is unbearable. I’m fair skinned…

Do I sound like a wimpy Northwesterner? What do y’all wear to ride in the heat?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Riding Questions To Ponder

There are a few things about riding a motorcycle that I wonder if more experienced riders do differently or have suggestions that might help some of the newer riders. Here are a couple of questions that I’ve been thinking about lately. Pipe up with your comments.

  • You are at a stop sign. You want to make a sharp left and it is a narrow road. You need to head up a steep hill, and there is a blind corner just up the hill. How do you maneuver that?

  • When braking, do you mostly use both brakes simultaneously except in special conditions?

  • Do all true bikers have biker nicknames?

  • When you park your motorcycle, do you leave it in neutral, or in gear?

  • Wherever you stop, do you leave all your gear out on the bike, lock your gear up safely, or take it with you?

  • What is the largest thing you’ve ever carried on a motorcycle, and how did you attach it?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Motorcycle As Main Transportation?

I’ve been riding a lot lately. I am turning more and more to my motorcycle for my mode of transportation to work, going for errands, visiting friends, etc. The weather has been perfect for riding for several weeks now, so there has been no excuse not to ride.

I find my mind shifting as I ride more often. Now I am beginning to think of my bike as my main vehicle, and only drive the 4-wheeled variety when I need to shop for groceries for the week, or will need to carry other people for some reason.

Daily, I get ready for work with the thought of what motorcycle boots I’ll wear. As I’m fixing my hair in the morning there is always an elastic band to pull my hair into a ponytail for riding purposes. Pulling the bike out of the garage has become a morning ritual that gets my motor running. Once it’s out, I can’t wait to get going. I always make a lunch and put it in a bag that will fit into my saddlebags.

Riding daily has become something to look forward to. I am not happy in my current job, so work is not something I am looking forward to each morning. Riding makes it a little more bearable. Soon I will be living where there are more riding months out of the year. When the cold and rainy seasons come back here, I’m not sure if I will be motivated to brave them.

I’ve noticed my riding attitude changing lately. I feel calmer while riding, as it has become commonplace. I used to feel aggressive while I rode. Each shift of the gears was done with a little rage behind it. Each day I take a different route to work, depending on how many ‘metal plates in the road’ or other road construction that I feel like encountering. I get angry when I see people talking on the cell phone in their cars, but have been trying to get over that. There are a lot of idiots out on the road during commute times, and if I can just be the sane one, calmly making my way through the mobs of bad drivers on my bike, then I have won.

I’ve been riding a lot on the weekends too. I haven’t been taking too many photos, but just riding. There haven’t been any exciting destinations, but many lovely roads have been covered.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Eagle Leather - It's Worth The Ride

One recent weekend we decided to take the long interstate ride south to a place called Eagle Leather. As you can imagine, it is a place to buy leather items. And they have it right!
When I began riding I knew the first thing I had to have was a real leather motorcycle jacket. I had always wanted one. Someone told me about Eagle Leather in Tacoma, which at that time was in north Tacoma. It was an easy drive from north of Seattle where we are. I bought the jacket that I use today and probably will have forever. It fits perfectly with perfect length sleeves and has a thick zip out winter lining. I am never cold in the winter riding with temps down to 40 degrees, and only too hot in the summer when its over 85 degrees. The price was right at $199.00.
On the recent trip I finally broke down and thought I would get a pair of chaps. I've ridden all this time without them, partly because I didn't want the whole 'uniform' leather look. I decided that I really need them for long interstate rides and protection.

Dave thought he would look for a pair of leather 'over pants' that he could wear for protection over his jeans. He wasn't buying the chaps idea; he still identifies them with the Village People...

We took off on a nice sunny and clear day with perfect temperatures in the 70s. It was go straight towards the interstate 5 and head south. It is always a little slow going through Seattle itself, but once we passed that bottleneck it was a pleasant highway cruise all the way towards Tacoma, all the Tacoma exits (many) until Lakewood. There, standing proudly on the corner of a busy intersection was the prettiest sight I'd seen in a long time. Eagle Leather, Motorcycle Gear and Accessories.

We parked and stepped inside the entrance. Immediately I was taken into a state of Nirvana when the earthy aroma of leather instantly permeated my nostrils. I stood there in the center of the store where I had just entered. To my right, as far as I could see, was leather. Towards the windows were mens boots as far as I could see. These were Harley and other name brands of motorcycle boots. To my left, as far as I could see, was more leather. And there were motorcycles here and there in every department just in case you needed to sit on one to try out your chaps or boots or other gear. The whole front of the store on my left was womens boots and shoes. Only good biker brands, and not too much fashion. I had to tear myself away from the boot area because that is where I would spend all my money. I have 2 good pair and that's enough.

I was able to try out and purchase a nice pair of chaps with a little braid decoration down the side. Dave also found a great pair of leather pants that zip up the sides and fit right over his clothes for another protective layer. After purchasing a hair glove, bungee net, and decorative wristband, we left and stopped nearby for a bite of fast food. It was mediocre. The Lakewood area looked like kind of a pit from what I could see.

We headed back out to the interstate and went back the same way we'd come. It was a rugged 75 mph ride on bumpy pavement most of the way until we were nearer Seattle. By the time we arrived home we'd ridden 117 miles round trip. It took us 1 hour and 15 minutes riding each way. It was all worth it for the experience of being surrounded by leather items of every kind. They have gloves, hair wraps and other handy items, as well as a little bit of luggage. I think they excel in the leather goods and should stick with that, and boots. Their prices can't be beat.
If you live anywhere between Portland, Oregon and British Columbia, Canada it is worth the ride to Eagle Leather, Lakewood, WA. You won't be disappointed even if you end up not buying anything. It will be worth the experience.