Quick ride notes, March 2005

by on March 27, 2005
in Ride Reports

March 6 – First Ride of 2005!
What a gift of a day! FINALLY able to ride, we took a ride down to visit friends about 10 miles south… minor incident for Steve trying to get on the interstate.

March 19-20
First rides on the Sportster! Parking lot practice on Saturday (temps in low 40’s, only out half an hour)… and a short road ride on Sunday (temps in high 40’s – only about 10 miles’ worth). Awesome bike, DAMN it’s neat to be a chick on a bike! 

March 27
Took another ten miler Saturday, very short but still pretty cold – only 45 degrees!! Much better on Sunday – in the 50’s, we rode back to our friends’ place just south of here (Carlisle, Iowa) to show off the Sporty and to do a “hole saw mod” on its exhaust. It’s good and loud now, for 3 minutes’ work and NO cost! WOOHOO, my first mod! Need some riding position adjustment as my windshield is cutting my line of sight in half… Clutch cable was lubed so it’s easier to pull in now, but still needs an EZ-Clutch as it’s really hard to hold it in at stoplights. Buckhorn bars have been ordered – more mods to come!

New bike! I bought a 2000 Sportster 883

by on March 19, 2005
in Bikes I've Owned

We brought home my new bike on Friday the 18th – it’s a 2000 Harley Sportster 883! The weather hasn’t been terrific – it was only 40-some degrees all weekend – so it was a cold ride home, and then a cold parking lot practice session, and then a cold ten-mile ride on Sunday just for the heck of it… but what a great bike! I was very concerned that I would not like riding it – the Sportster has a higher center of gravity than what I am used to and I’d heard them called “top heavy” – but this bike has already been lowered and as it turned out the different center of gravity didn’t give me any problems except for a very short “getting used to it” period. 

We brought the bike home on Friday night (Steve rode it home for me in 40-degree post-rain dark!), and on Saturday I took it up to the high school for some even colder parking lot practice. On Sunday it was just a tad warmer (upper 40’s), so I took it out for a 10-mile trial ride which left me absolutely grinning from ear to ear! It’s quick off the start, and at 60 mph it doesn’t feel like it needs a 6th gear, which was a problem with the Honda. A couple of problems we’ll deal with in time: the clutch is very hard to pull in, and it needs different handlebars to bring them back closer to me. These things are easily fixed, and we’ll have them taken care of by the time the riding season sets in for good. For now, it was an awesome preview of a fun summer ahead!

Assholes abound, even on a beautiful Spring Sunday

by on March 7, 2005
in Ride Reports

First ride of the year, March 6! It’s been almost four months to the day since I last rode my bike, and even though it was windy, yesterday was too good to pass up. We took a short ride down to visit friends about 15 miles away, then took a long way home. Very nice ride, very nice to be back on the bike again!

We did have a slight adventure, which leads me to want to rant a little. WHAT IS IT with cars and trucks who will not take their foot off the freakin’ gas pedal for even one second to allow you onto the interstate?? What exactly is that about? Is it so important to be FIRST that you would purposely risk another human being’s life? I was leading as we entered the Interstate. My husband was a few seconds behind me. I had plenty of room to merge, but there was a complete me-first asshole coming up who a). would not change to the left lane or let up off the gas to give Steve room to merge and b). in fact accelerated so hard  behind Steve that you could see smoke billowing out behind the vehicle so he could… what? Force Steve off the road?

I’m curious – if this guy was so angry at the thought that a motorcycle might end up in front of him on the interstate, why didn’t he just change lanes and zoom around us, even flip us off?  And – if he had in fact succeeded in forcing Steve off the road and into the ditch, would he have stopped to help? Or would he have happily continued on, knowing that he had successfully put himself first once again and believing that the guy deserved to die because he was on a motorcycle?

I know I am preaching to the choir here, but I’ll say it anyway: SHARE THE ROAD. If you can safely change lanes to allow another vehicle to merge from the on-ramp into traffic, please do so. If you have to lift your foot off the gas for a second to give the merging vehicle a little breathing room, please do so. And DON’T gas up to prevent another vehicle from merging ahead of you. And, when you’re on your bike, look outfor the jerks who don’t practice common safety and courtesy. In your car or on your bike, it’s more important that everyone make it home alive than it is to always be first.