April 5 – No More Honda
A sniffle and a tear watching the Honda 750 roll out the driveway; sorry to see it go, but… I got what I wanted for it so, as they say, “onward and upward.” Buckhorn bars successfully installed on the Sporty – WOW did that improve the riding position considerably! Trying to install a device to make the clutch easier to pull in, but it’s not fitting exactly right and I may just forego it altogether – Steve lubed the clutch when he was putting on the new bars and now it’s not as bad as it was anyway. Still to come for the Sporty: various chromey bits, shorter kickstand, better saddle bags, better windshield, Kuryakyn ISO Grips… hmmm I think that’s about it.
August 23 – “Bikers in the City”
WOW cool event! A local group that markets events in downtown Des Moines, the Downtown Community Alliance, sponsored a great biker event this past weekend called “Bikers in the City.” I’m not a very good judge of crowds or numbers, but I’d guess there were maybe 800 bikes. They closed off several streets in the downtown restaurant district and the idea was that bikers would “ride in”, park in columns on the streets, and enjoy live music, beer, and the area’s several trendy restaurants. We spent the day Saturday riding with our friends Garry & Shirley, and “rode in” to BITC at the end of our ride. Beautiful day, beautiful evening, LOTS of bikes, great supper at Spaghetti Works, just an awesome biker day!
September 24 – Another Season “First”: Bike Night at Porky’s
Took me all summer to overcome a mental block I had about riding my own over to Bike Night at Porky’s; finally accomplished that last Thursday and – it was kind of anti-climactic. My problem had been that 1). Porky’s is notorious for having HUNDREDS of bikes there on Bike Night – a potentially huge crowd for me to potentially fall down in front of; and 2). They had a really goofy/dangerous entry/exit where cars frequently bottom-out – I was convinced that doing this entry/exit at a slow speed would cause me to fall down if only from trying to avoid hitting someone in the crowd. Learned two important things: the driveway had been fixed (probably long ago and I just wasn’t paying attention) and a bowling alley down the street that started a rival Bike Night on the same night has taken a LOT of Porky’s crowd away. What can I say, I’m an idiot – but I’ve now got “Bike Night attendance” under my belt in addition to all the other “firsts” from this awesome riding season!
September 27 – Leather Jacket Search update
I’ve been looking all year for a good leather riding jacket… wanted something a little unique, but I am so hard to fit. Narrow shoulders, broad in the bust, and no waistline. Typical “apple”-shaped female body, which the Fashionistas usually choose to cover only with loose-fitting styles. Discovered I am really kidding myself – can’t even find the “traditional” biker-jacket styles in a size that fits, let alone something a little different. I knew womens’ leathers usually run small, so normally being a 2x or 3x depending on the style I ordered a 5x in a black-and-purple fringed style from a woman on eBay. Due to shipping problems from her overseas vendor, it ended up taking SEVEN WEEKS for me to receive the coat – only to find out it didn’t even come close to fitting. The refund is in the works, but I’m very disappointed. Going to have to settle for a boring bomber-style if I want to ride this fall.
October 1 – Leather Jacket Search Ends
I finally gave in and went up to Walgreens (yes, the dime store), where for the last several years in the fall they have had a growing selection of fleece pullovers, denim shirts, and other fall clothing… and this year, purchased a leather jacket. The price was right ($59.99), the jacket fits well with a little room for outstretched arms and a sweatshirt underneath, and I finally have some leather. The downside is, it’s very plain. Guess I will have to customize it.
October 12 – What is ABATE?
With the 2004 Toy Run now behind us, it seems a good time to take a moment and consider the organization which sponsored the ride, ABATE of Iowa. Who is ABATE? ABATE is a non-profit organization dedicated to lobbying for “biker’s rights” and advocating biker safety. ABATE’s most “visible” position is probably their stance on helmet laws: they encourage all bikers to wear helmets, but they oppose helmet laws – believing instead that bikers should be permitted to choose for themselves. If you look around over at the ABATE website, you’ll find some good reading on their various legislative activities, safe-rider education efforts, and of course the annual Freedom Rally now to be held each year in Algona, Iowa. Check it out, maybe even become a member!
October 24 – Beautiful Day!
Wow, today was awesome! Bright, clear blue sky, about 75 degrees, light wind, autumn colors at their peak. We got a 70-mile ride in up around Saylorville Lake, Polk City, Sheldahl and Madrid. Then a quick stop at the car wash to hose off the bugs – LOL. It was just a beautiful day, LOTS of bikes out… one of those days where you can take a moment here and there to really appreciate the colors of the season. Beautiful day, great ride!
October 29 – Final ride of season?
Took the day off work today (Friday)… the sky turned blue (first time all week) and the streets dried up some, so I went for a short (30 mile) ride and hit my 1,800 mile mark for the season. Boy it sure was windy… I cut the highway part of the ride short cuz I kept getting pushed over to the left, but it was still a nice ride. Ran out of gas and had to pull over and stop to switch to reserve, but I was close to Casey’s so it was no big deal. Nice ride, glad I got one more shorty in before it gets too cold.
November 6 – Short ‘n Sweet!
Another short 40-miler today, not as windy but cooler. Lots of bikes out, folks just don’t want to give up.
November 21 – Still seein’ bikers out
Been in the 40’s and low 50’s lately, still seeing the hardcore bikers out. I want to ride, but somehow seein’ them only makes me think, “DANG they must be cold!”