The Short Rider Spreadsheet is back

by on January 27, 2007
in Beginning Riders

I created this spreadsheet of potential cruisers last fall for beginning shorter riders. Of course, it generated a lot of emails and comments, especially along the lines of “why didn’t you include…” or “why did you include…” Hey, I don’t pretend to be objective *or* all-inclusive… I just thought it would be helpful if SOMEONE gathered the specs on some of the best cruisers so shorter beginning riders could see it’s not impossible to walk into a dealership and buy a bike without a lot of modification. So – take a look! Download the “short rider spreadsheet” here!

I REALLY Heart Site Visitors! Traffic is growing…

by on January 22, 2007
in Site News

janet in boot hill parking logWell this is what I get for not checking in here more often… I totally missed the fact that Biker Chick News had an incredible traffic spike in the month of November – over 8,300 visitors!! In addition to my concerted efforts to improve search engine rankings, and the popularity of my Sturgis photo galleries, it looks like the site was picked up by a service called Stumbleupon – as in, I haven’t quite figured out how that site works yet, but it looks like a fun tool for casual web surfing so I’m going to check it out. Anyway, here’s a lesson for all of you who maintain websites: I should be providing fresh content every week so my regular visitors and those folks who do “stumble upon” this site will notice a reason to come back. Although I missed the opportunity to impress those stumbleupon visitors with my “freshness,” I would like to tell them THANKS for checking out Biker Chick News! And I’d like to note that a more normal month of traffic for this site is now up to nearly 6,000 visits a month – I think that’s INCREDIBLE, and I thank you for visiting, reading, and looking at pictures!

Is It Spring Yet?

by on January 21, 2007
in Commentary

Wow, it feels like just a week or so ago that we were counting down to Christmas, and now January’s two-thirds gone! I’m thrilled to see you all keep coming back… and I’m sorry I haven’t done a good job of keeping things fresh around here. My last couple of months have been very home-focused… I did a lot of hand-painted Christmas gifts this year, so I spent most of November and December working on those. With the new year came a resolution to start eating dinner at home more often (we’d been eating out in restaurants nearly every night for over a year – you can imagine what that did to our finances) so in January I got somewhat addicted to the Food Channel and the Food Network website (does anyone else wish Rachael Ray was their sister?)… anyway, we seem to have hit a new rhythm now with better food so I’m not spending quite as much time digging through recipes as I was a couple weeks ago.And wouldn’t you know it… at just the moment where I was ready to start thinking BIKES again… along comes my next-door neighbor to tell me she just bought a bike! And not just any bike… the very bike I was going to try to trade mine in for, a beautiful deep cobalt Sportster 1200 Low. Anyway, I’m thrilled for her – I can always pick another color, right? – and now she’s going nuts with this awesome bike sitting in her garage and 8 inches of snow on the ground! And, I’ve got a new riding buddy ready and waiting for warmer weather, as well as a fun neighbor!

Something else pretty cool happened back in December. A couple weeks before Christmas, I’d volunteered to help staff the fund-raising gift-wrap table for our HOG chapter. I was talking to one of the gals who had worked the previous shift and as we were talking she suddenly stopped me and said, “Hey wait a minute, aren’t you the gal with the Biker Chick website?” So I said, “You mean Biker Chick News?” And she said, “That’s it! Oh gosh I LOVE your site…” Well this was no small stroke to my ego, let me tell you – the first time I’ve ever been recognized as a celebrity! (Of course, it hasn’t happened again SINCE then, but that’s okay. If it’s happens too often my head’ll get too big and I won’t fit through the doorway.)

Anyhoo, I’m starting to think about what the 2007 bike season might bring – and if you’re in a “winter clime” I hope you are doing the same and following my anti-winter advice. If you’re NOT in a winter climate, well, lucky you – ride safe!

Start Small – or ‘Go Ultimate’?

by on January 11, 2007
in Commentary

by Janet Green, Editor, Biker Chick News
copyright 2007

If you’re thinking about learning to ride, you’re probably wondering if you should start out riding a small bike or just “go ultimate” and buy your dream bike right from the beginning. I’ll admit I’m a firm believer in the “start small” strategy, probably because that’s how I began my riding life. But, I know several people who started riding on bigger bikes and had no problems, so I know there are advantages to that strategy too. For what they’re worth, I’ve tried to outline the positives of each approach here.

Advantages of Starting Small

1. Virtually all beginners’ motorcycle safety classes use small bikes (125-250 cc) for students. It will be much easier for the new rider to make a transition to their own bike, once they get their license, if they start with a similar-sized, or only slightly larger, bike. The weight and handling of a large-cc bike would be completely different from the class experience, which might cause problems for riders who did not take to motorcycling with ease.

2. Starting small helps you build confidence. A smaller bike will feel more manageable and therefore, less intimidating. You may find that you quickly outgrow it, but you won’t be overwhelmed with a bike that’s too big, feels too heavy to control, or goes too fast too soon.

3. If you start with a small, used bike, you won’t have as much cash outlay at the beginning of your journey. It will be easy to sell the smaller used bike to the next beginner, and you won’t be “upside down” in an installment plan with a big, new bike, only to discover you don’t really care for motorcycling. You’ll also be less worried about “dropping” the smaller used bike, because it will likely have a few dings already – rather than being your brand-new pristine baby.

Advantages of ‘Going Ultimate’

1. You won’t have to go through the hassle of selling one or more bikes you’ve outgrown, possibly in a short period of time.

2. You’ll learn everything on the bike you plan to ride, so you won’t have an adjustment period getting used to new bikes as you move up.

3. This could be a less expensive option for you in the long run if you are “inheriting” a bike from someone else in the family who’s getting a new bike, or b). are buying a brand new bike and plan to keep it long enough to spread out the “hit” you’ll take in resale value.

If you’re the type of person who does well by grabbing a new challenge by the horns, and if you have no reservations about being able to handle the size and weight of a larger bike, by all means “go ultimate” and buy your dream bike. If you learn best by building confidence in graduated steps, or if you tend to refer to larger bikes as “beasts,” then starting small is probably your best option. Whichever you choose, ride safe! And – if you have something to add to this list, please send me an email!.