Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rips B.A.D Ride

Not a lot of exciting things going on the life and times of fasthair lately. I guess living in Iowa can get kind of boring at times especially this late in the season. Not many if any rallies are planned this time of the year unlike some of you in warmer parts of the country who have them almost all year round.

There was a small little benefit ride for a fund raiser for diabetes on Saturday that I rode to. Rip's B.A.D Ride is a national organization that puts on little fund raisers around the country. It was the first time for this event around here that I know of. There was free food, music and a few vendors in attendance. Harley dealer Zylstra Harley Davidson sponsored the event. Local custom bike builders Radical Cycles co-sponsored the event you might say providing PA and stage accommodations. Plus a big thank you to Ron at the Garage bar for stepping up at the eleventh hour with the beer truck after the permit for beers sales didn't come through as planned. While not a great number of people showed up, I'm guessing maybe 250 bikes, they did manage to raise a fair amount of cash. From what I added up at the thank you announcements for the top people money raisers was at $3,000+ by my unofficial addition.

Fall is starting to show the colors slowly here and in the next couple of weeks things should be in full color. This weekend I went riding out in the country after the event to see what nature had in store but it is just a bit too early for the tress to be in their full majestic beauty. The farmers are out in full force bringing in this years harvest with soybeans being the crop of choice right now. I would guess in two weeks they will switch to the corn harvest. At which time I will again head out with my camera and see if I can show you some of the best mother nature has to offer from around these parts.

Last little note of maybe interest. Team Slut Drag Racing has a new member as of a week ago. Hatter officially drag raced a fellow team member Willy Lump Lump to earn is patch. Now maybe he will shut up for awhile! Kidding Hatter welcome to the fold brother. We'll have to see if his new mill is up to the task of beating yours truly next time out. Best of luck dude :-) And before anyone ask yes we had these shirts made and yes they are trademarked so please don't steal them. It has come to my attention that people would like to purchase these so I'm thinking it over. If anyone thinks they would like them let me know and I will see about getting some made. We've had white and black pocket tees and black sweatshirts made in the past along with stickers too. So let me know what everyone thinks.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Slippin' Along

This rider instructor, Dan Bateman, that I visit posted a blog today about cold weather riding and the like. One of his remarks was about how we all have some part of our skills that are more lacking then others. One of his examples was low traction conditions when it’s cold. This got me to thinking about something that happen to me last summer when you would least expect low traction conditions. So I thought I would relay the story here.

I’ve been riding on the street since I was 18 (29 years) never missing a year. I like to think I’m a pretty damn good rider, along with being a safe rider. Sorry, no I have never taken a riders course and yes I know I could learn something. But you don’t survive in the street this long being a dummy and riding hell bent for leather. I see things far ahead that most people never see. I’ve had more close calls (for most people) that were not close because I seen it unfolding in front of me. Am I perfect? Hell no!

What am I getting at you must be asking. Just this past June while on the interstate I had something happen that I didn’t see coming or had happen before. We left town in a light drizzle and yes I know how that makes roads even slicker then in a heavy down pour. About 60 miles out as I was headed up hill at 70mph all of a sudden my rear tire breaks traction and I spin pitching the bike sideways. In an instant it was over but a level head kept me from over reacting and maybe high siding the bike from chopping the throttle close. Easy does it in cases like that.

But what did I learn? Those tar spots can be even slicker then the road. It wasn’t that big of a spot, maybe 10 feet long and a foot or so wide, but it sure caught me by surprise. My buddy looked at me like WFT was that? I just kind of gave him the dumb look of, I have no idea as I shrugged my shoulders. I’ve got 200K on motorcycles and never give it a thought about what appeared to be a tar spot. To be honest I’m still not sure what it was on the road but I keep an eye pealed now for just such a condition.

So the cold weather is coming, heck it only made it up to 61f here today. With cold temps comes cold tires and slick roads. Traction is not going to be like it was in the mid summer so be extra careful as it gets colder. Dress warmer, a cold body can’t react as fast either. You just may need that split second to make or break a bad situation.

Up next my four day 800 mile Labor day weekend ride and I never left the state.