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.