Monday, December 14, 2009

A New Link

I'm adding a new link for "Ride the Machine."

I'm still working my way through the hundreds of moto images that run from the ridiculous to the sublime.

Images are from "Ride the Machine"

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hatt's San Quentin Toy Run 2009

...Attendance was down at this years San Quentin Toy Run. It seemed to me that there was only about half as many people as last year. I can understand why, the weather was very cold and threatening rain. Maybe that's why Santa is not looking too happy.
...The ride starts at Pete's 881 Club in San Rafael . You will have to admit that Pete's has some pretty impressive art on their walls.

...From Pete's art gallery, ah, bar, the ride goes to San Quentin Village just outside of San Quentin Prison, where we dropped off our toys for the children of those behind the wall. The route was slightly changed from last year, so the next stop was The Silver Peso in Larkspur. It started to rain while I was enjoying a beer at The Peso, most of the people jumped on their bikes and split at the first raindrop. By the time I finished and got ready to go, the rain had stopped.
...It was a dry but cool ride to the Pepper Mill Creek Saloon in Forrest Knolls. This year the ride skipped The Western Saloon in Pt. Reyes, no loss, maybe it was cleaning day at the Western, naw. The ride to The Viking Tavern in Novato was cold, very cold. The hot food and propane heaters by the picnic tables felt good.
...When I left for home it was starting to rain and rained hard on Hwy 101 by the Novato Dumps. Luckily it stopped and I was able to make it home mostly dry.
...There were some really nice bikes at this years event. I really liked this old Enfield with a sidecar filled with toys.
The beauty and style of this Ariel Square Four was a knockout.

And a Hatt's motorcycle run would not be complete without a knuckle head.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My New Helmet

.....I'm sure that there are a lot of motorcyclists that don't remember the older helmets. At anything above 65 miles an hour they had so much lift that the chin strap just about choked you out.
.....The last full coverage helmet I owned was a Shoei Z-100. It had a little chin spoiler that helped to hold the helmet down at higher speeds. I wore it a while ago and my friends laughed at me, I guess they would really yuck it up if I pulled out my old Bell Star. Anyway it is amazing how far helmets have come, they are cooler in summer, lighter and they don't lift at speed.
.....It's winter or just about and I need a little extra protection so I got a ZOX Genessis SVS. I liked the price and the internal visor that flips down eliminating the need to wear sunglasses. I intend to use this helmet mostly when it is really cold.

.....So how does this helmet work? Well I would say that most of the criticisms of the helmet are true. The chin bar is close, it doesn't bother me but it is close. The helmet is noisy on my Electra Glide. I will have to wear earplugs, something I should be doing anyway. It doesn't seem to be so loud on a sport bike. I was riding my friend Greg's Ducati and it was no louder than an Arai, but on the Harley it was loud.
.....So what' the good side? The helmet is inexpensive, it fits very comfortably and the visor systems works very well.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Motorcycle that Inspired a Butter Keeper?

Sometimes the oddest things will start me thinking of motorcycles, I don't need much inspiration to start daydreaming, but I don't think anyone who has seen a Suzuki RE5 Rotary will deny the resemblance to the butter tray in my refrigerator.

There it is, the butter keeper instrument nacelle, sitting right on top on the headlight.

This bike was produced from 1974 to 1976. People who bought this bike liked it, most everyone else on the planet thought it was strange. I knew a guy who had one of these, he didn't think it was strange at all. I remember he must have painted the tank a half dozen times, but he was fine with the instrument nacelle. I personally don't think the bike is that strange (except for the instrument nacelle), but then I like strange bikes.
The bike sold poorly. Suzuki put standard style instruments on the motorcycle but sales did not improve and the bike was discontinued.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

4th Annual Chilly Billy Memorial Run

...The poker run is called the Chilly Billy Memorial Poker Run. It is sponsored by the local chapter of the Rip City Riders, a motorcycle club whose mission to do good deeds. This run was to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
...The weather was a little overcast and cool, but the name of the run has nothing to do with the weather. The ride is in memory of William Walsh also known as "Chilly Billy." Walsh was one of the founders of Rip City Riders.

...The ride started at our local Harley Davidson dealer and went to the town of Windsor. The next leg was a long loop through Callisotga, St. Helena and back through Santa Rosa. The leg ended in the City of Sonoma, on the square at Steiner's Bar.

...The run ended in Penngrove City Park. Where there was a small car and bike show, also food and music. They raffled of a new Dyna, but I had no luck. A lot of people showed up for the run, the Rip City Riders raised a lot of money for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. Everybody had a great time, what's better than that?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Ride Home

When we left Reno on Friday afternoon, we headed south through Carson City. Just south of Carson City and just south of Hwy 50 West, we took Jack's Valley Rd.. Jack's Valley runs right at the edge of the Mountains. It is a great road with the Sierras rising from the roadside.
...The road goes through the little town of Genoa and hits Hwy 207, the Kingsbury Grade at Mottsville. The Kingsbury grade is a great motorcycle road with sweeping curves and beautiful views of the valley. Hwy 207 reconnects with Hwy 50 at Lake Tahoe and we went west on 50 toward Sacramento.
...While we were stopped for a cold beverage and a break, I was checking the map for a way around Sacramento. We were going to be in Sacramento at about 6:00 PM, during the worst of the Friday Commute and Hwy 80 would not only be the usual crappy road, but would be jam packed and hotter that the hinges of hell. A good Samaritan, seeing that I was checking the map, asked if we were lost.
...When I told him that I was looking for a route around Sacramento and Hwy 80, he suggested taking the Prairie City exit and taking Grant Line Rd.. So we skipped Sacramento and Hwy 80 traffic jams and ended up taking Hwy 12 back through Rio Vista.
...We rode into a brilliant red sunset after a great days ride, what could be better.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Street Vibrations

Street Vibrations started September 23 and ran through September 27th. Since I had not been to the event before, I had no idea what to expect. They closed Virginia Street, which is the main street, for about six blocks for vendors, food and music. There is also a convention center on the next block that had more vendors.

Marie has now been riding long enough that she knows where her bike could be improved. We visited the Progressive Suspension booth. A set of shocks and fork springs will probably be in store for her sportster.
...We also visited the Mustang Seat booth. They were very helpful and Marie was able to bring her bike into the booth and try on a solo seat with a back rest.

Unfortunately we had to be back by Saturday, so after checking out of our hotel on Friday we went over to the Reno Harley Dealer. Harley had their test ride program in full swing and there were lots of vendors and food.
...There was a great rat bike parked on the street, and I snapped a photo. The bike had an Illinois plate and we wondered if the guy had really ridden that far, I'll bet he probably did.

On the way out of town we passed hundreds of bikes heading to Reno for Saturday and Sunday. We had a great time and next year we will plan to stay longer.

The Ride to Street Vibrations

...I have never been to Street Vibrations before. So we made reservations and headed to Reno. We took Hwy 88 over Carson Pass, the same route that we took to Laughlin in the Spring. The photos were taken at the same place, but the middle photo, the one with the snow, was taken in the spring on the run to Laughlin.
...Instead of going south over Monitor Pass, we stayed on Hwy 88 to Minden, Nevada and turned north on Hwy 395. We stopped in Carson City briefly, then arrived in Reno about 6:30 PM on Wednesday.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Garage Culture

...I've been enjoying my garage more lately. I really like how the afternoon sun shines in the door and keeps the place warm. I like to work on a project or after I clean up I might just sit and read. My garage is really small, just a two car. I have to pull one of the cars out have any room to work at all. Still there is room for the two cars, two motorcycles, a bunch of tools and a lot of other stuff, if I keep everything fairly well organized.
..The thing I enjoy the most is when friends come by and sit awhile.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Sherri and Gary Leave for Stugis

My friends Sherri and Gary are off to Sturgis. We rode with them over Ebbits Pass to Carson City where they caught Highway 50. The road over Ebbits Pass is Highway 4. Highway 4 is good road from where they close the road for the winter, near Lake Alpine to the turn off for Monitor Pass, but only about a lane and half wide. This means taking the far outside on blind curves, which is not a problem but still makes you jump when a car comes around the corner.
Marie and I took Highway 395 north to Reno then took Highway 80 home.