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Friday, December 29, 2006

One Ride in December….

I’m feeling the itch….need…to….ride….

It is not going to happen. I had one ride in December…a short jaunt out to Manitou with a friend of mine. Dodging the ice patches on the road and avoiding sand…it was almost not fun…almost.

There is still entirely too much snow and ice on the ground and with yesterday’s reinforcement snow, I see the handwriting on the wall—riding season of ’06 will be closing with no more riding. Too bad. For the folks in the south part of town—kudos to them for being able to get their motorcycles out on the road! There were a good many out on Christmas Day, I hear.

Here in the north part of town—riding is still a fantasy. There is so much snow and ice on the ground that I have forgotten what the pavement in my neighborhood looks like!! Sigh…

Well, our annual New Year’s Day ride is probably going to get cancelled since it is not looking pretty at the moment.

I’m sure Kathy is out scooting around and I’m hoping that she’ll get out and scoot a couple of miles for me. It’s just too icy. Until we thaw out, my motorcycle is staying put.

Have a good pre-New Year’s Holiday…as always….

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas Eve!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas. Remember that there are many people that cannot be with their families for this holiday season--please honor them.

We still have a large amount of ice and snow on the ground at the moment and there is more snow forecasted for today. Not like we had in the last week, but just something else to shovel. No riding, that is for sure. Even if it were clear, I'm not sure I'd be out in it on the bike. The thermometer registers 24 degrees at the moment...and waaayyy too cold!!

At any rate, hope that all of you have a wonderful Christmas--with lots of chrome and motorcycle accessories! Heck, maybe a few of you out there will find a motorcycle under the tree.

If anyone has an extra Road King Custom, I would be happy to park it under my tree!!

Merry Christmas!! Enjoy your time with loved ones and enjoy the celebration!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Santa Came Early...

Great for the kids...not so great for motorcycling! Wednesday I awoke to howling winds and sideways snow and bloody cold temperatures. Not that I spent much time out of doors or even thinking of being out of doors--rather, I was stuck behind this computer!

It's been a long and hard task, but I can say that I have written and submitted my final paper!! Whooohooo!! That means that I am officially done with school. Well, almost--the only thing left to do is graduate!!!

If I had a trip of any length, my handy dandy laptop came along--for the sake of posting here and on my other blog and doing homework! I've been MIA for the last few months because of the pace of work involved with school has increased dramatically and I was buried under the huge mountain of papers I had to write. Not to mention the severe cases of burnout that I faced on numerous occasions. It was a tough road. So much that I no longer found writing for pleasure--a pleasure.

However, it is officially over...and I plan to be back writing on a regular basis on one of my favorite topics.

Merry Christmas, everyone!!!

Keep the shiny side up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sunday's Ride...

Sunday was a rare riding day for me...I think this is the first time I have cranked my bike in several weeks. Yikes! Winter is indeed here *sob*...

One of my girlfriends gives me a call and says she's headed out to Canon City...did I want to go?

Heck yes!

I have two problems:

1. I blew the fuse on my heated hand grips so I had to get down in the fuse box. On the Fatboy, it is under the seat and the passenger strap thingy is attached to my saddlebag. In other words, I had to take the saddlebag off. I did, no problems...ten minutes later, my grips are back heated.

2. I attempted to blow my knee out skiing Saturday. That's attempted. I'm alright, my knee is just sprained. Can I manage hopping on and off the bike with a owie leg? I wrapped it up good and tested...yes..I can do this.

I just have to remember to put the left foot down first--which is what I do anyway.

The temps for the day are the low 50's so I bundled up. Yes, I look like the Michelin Man in black. Not only that, I have a peg leg too!

I met up with my girlfriend and no, we ended up not going to Canon City--I'm thinking it was going to be too cold as flashbacks to my last trip up there resulted in a frozen Wahine. Not my idea of fun.

Instead, we headed up to Manitou. Manitou is a really cool artsy town that has a lot of shops to wander in and out of. Whooohoooo!!! Motorcycling, eating and shopping!! This girl is in heaven.

Around 3:30 we started to lose daylight and more importantly--heat. The roads were fairly clear, but there were some wet spots on the road and I didn't want to get caught when the water spots turned to ice. After all, I crashed Saturday on my skis and remembered it was not a pleasant experience.

My riding is about done for the year. I have my little boy this year for Christmas and New Year's so those weekends will be spent with him.

Well, no motorcycling adventures...but we are planning on riding those pesky skis again after Christmas!!

~Keep the Shiny Side Up~

~The Rainbow Wahine

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Mountain Shadow Riders @ Christmas

Hi all! Gosh, time flies when I'm a paper writing fool. Sigh. Good news is that I now have nine more days of school and I'll be done! It's been a long haul!

At any rate, the Mountain Shadow Riders has taken on another pet project--to become Santa to disadvantaged families. Elementary school kids.

This topic was presented at the November Chapter meeting and voted upon. Guess what....we adopted the entire elementary school! It is a small school in a very small town.

We finally got the information a couple of days ago--it was very short notice! However, the members of the Mountain Shadow Riders stepped up to the plate and all the kids and families we have adopted have been adopted!!

I'm so proud to be associated with such a wonderful group of riders.....the members and support members of the MSR indeed rock! Whooohoooo!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Monday, November 27, 2006

Where Did November Go?

Well, it's not been very busy in Motorcycle Land this month.

I did manage to put my new pipes on...and well, it is an ongoing job. I'm still not happy with the install I did and will have to spend more time wrenching. It is all good...what else can I break, eh??

My friends and I managed to get out for a ride last weekend--the weather was mild enough to justify a scoot so we headed out--west and in the mountains. We had a bit of ice to skirt on some parts and it was a nice enough day......until we ran out of daylight (ahem). Pulling in at 6:15 pm, it was very cold. As much as I love to ride, I'm finding that I am getting less tolerant about the temps.

There will be very few other opportunities to ride--this week I think the temps will be in the 20's, 30's and 40's. YIKES!! Even too cold for me to work in my garage!!!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I spent the day with wonderful friends and had a wonderful meal. Only thing was I forgot the leftovers....LOL. Oh well!!

I'm envious of you all that can ride now....but then again, I won't complain too terribly much about our temps in the dog days of summer!!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Riding Etiquette—Aren’t We All Biker Friendly??

Gosh, has it been half a month since I've posted??

Here's a doozy of a story for you!!

Sunday was a beautiful day and the snow and ice was more or less a memory—how can I resist the call of two wheels? Not me!!!

Around noon, I met some friends to ride—some I’ve never ridden with. What an experience it was. A few of my friends I’ve ridden with—the others—I had no clue. While I’m open to riding with new folks—I am not open to bad experiences.

I get down to the meet site and my friends and I get reacquainted and I introduce myself to the riders I have never met. We all have a jovial talk and just goof off. We talk about the destination and the expected route. After everyone is on the same page—we all mount up and fire up the motorcycles.

One of my girlfriends had left her ignition on which resulted in a dead battery. No worries, I hopped off my bike to help push start her bike. The other four riders sat on their bikes and stared. One even had the audacity to retort “solve your bike problems—get a Harley”!

Granted, one rider was unable to push even if she wanted to—she had an injury that disallowed running. However, the other three were quite able bodied and watch me push an 800 pound motorcycle and the rider.

I was pretty mad. After all, there is nothing more frustrating than to go to crank your bike and it doesn’t start. Fortunately for my friend, it was a dead battery—an easily solved problem…as long as there a hill to roll the bike down or someone to help push.

Did a bit of venting—a lot of good it did except make me feel better. I’m thinking if I ever see any of those so-called new friends on the side of the road, I’d pass them with a wave.

Of course, that’s not true—one of the unhelpful riders pulled over later due to a bug problem (no windshield) and we pulled over to make sure it wasn’t a serious problem. Thankfully, it wasn’t.

I guess you find out who the real bikers are and who are the rubs. I may not leave anyone behind, but I will think twice about riding with those thoughtless folks. Its one thing to good naturedly poke fun about another’s bike, but quite another to do it during mechanical issues. Of course, his shouldn’t have mechanical issues—his bike is only two months old!!

Keep the shiny side up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Monday, October 16, 2006

Scavenger Hunting..How Not To Ride Your Motorcycle

The plan for Sunday was to get out a bit and do some Scavenger Hunting. The deadline is quickly approaching….being October 31st. My fellow MSR friends and I agreed: if the weather held, we’d get out and ride around town.

I awoke to gorgeous weather…so the day’s plans were set. There were three of us and the plan of attack was drawn up. We would head north up to Monument Hill for the cellular trees, then work our way south to the Colorado Springs city limits sign, the Statue of Liberty, The Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, Garden of the Gods, Dakota Wall, then up to Old Colorado City for an art gallery, to Manitou for a fortune teller’s place, the locomotive. We would continue south for the World Arena, the limousine, hospital and finally, Culver’s for ice cream.

I know, I already have the Culver’s shot and don’t really need it….but the need for frozen custard was calling. Besides, I needed a shot with food for the fast food restaurant. Works for me.

I knew I should not have been riding yesterday; I just had a bad feeling of ju-ju when I climbed on the bike. First of all, it took me forever to find all my gear and I was not having my usual Zen moment with my bike. Still, my friends were waiting, so I headed out.

The first stop was out to Monument Hill. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of the cellular trees—they are cell towers disguised as trees. Most people do not pay much attention to the scenery of trees—and do not notice that there are a couple of really strange looking pine trees. Well, for the fact that these “trees” tower over the other trees….I would not have known they were out there.

We decided to take the back way up to Monument—up Highway 83. As we were working our way up, I spotted another weird looking tree and pointed it out to my partner. She agreed that it was a cellular tree and we decided to pull off there instead of figuring out how to make the pull over on I-25 shoulder interstate traffic. My other friend had an unpleasant on the side of the road shoulder incident. His bike was totaled out when a truck hit it. Thank goodness he and his friends were off the bike!!

However, that’s another story for another day.

As we are driving around looking for the tower, I got separated from my group. Somewhere along the line, I needed to make a U-turn in the middle of the street and proceeded to do so. I’ve made many slow U-turns with no problem. I guess that yesterday was my number. As I am in the middle of the turn, I notice that there is a lot of sand down. I automatically think slow down—no hand brake. So here I am—in the middle of a U-turn, looking at the ground (yikes!) and on my foot brake.

True to what I’ve been taught and my experience—the bike goes where you look. I didn’t have enough momentum to make the turn and over I went. I’m in the middle of the road with a downed bike and my friends are up the road a bit. I lay on the horn and wait. Finally, they turn around, see me, and run to help me.

I’m actually still on the bike because I refuse to lay it down. My saving grace is that I ride with my passenger pegs down. I don’t have my crash bar on my bike and when I’m highway riding, I’ll rest my foot on my rear peg. That rear peg was what the bike was resting on. So I’m holding the rest of the bike up to keep it going all the way over. I kill the motor and am thinking…………….grrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaatttttttt……

Saturday, one of my chapter friends dropped her bike. She was talking to another member and wasn’t paying attention to what she was doing and forgot to put her kickstand down. Of course, when she went to get off her bike…over it went. Her new road name is Kickstand. She wasn’t hurt, thank goodness. Well, except her ego, I suppose.

I’m thinking that if I keep having these incidents with sand, someone is going to come up with a new road name for me. Knowing the insanity of my friends…it won’t be pretty—LOL…

At any rate, I suffer no damage as well, thankfully for my rear peg. I often talk about taking them off since I don’t ride two up, but it looks like they will stay. My girlfriend looks at me and says “well, you need to ride with your passenger pegs down all the time”!!

It is all good. No damage with a drop, I had my friends to help me and we ended up with quite a few Scavenger Hunt pics. I’m still so far behind the leader, but it’s all good. It has been a fun experience and another day of stories to add as well as lessons learned. The rest of the day was uneventful...well, I had another near drop from having my bike where it wasn't supposed to be...but the shot was terrific!!! Pics to follow...

Yes, I do consciously look check to see if my stand is down…before I set the bike down.

Lessons learned..

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Woe is Me…or Whoa~-It’s Me!!

I think I spoke a bit too soon about getting my newest project up to speed. I think the congratulatory congrats were out a bit too quickly.

I get out to look at the bike and at this point, I start putting things back together. I slide the bolt that holds the gas tank on and start tightening it down. I over torqued the bolt and snapped it clean off. YIKES!! KT, did you hear my curses?? LOL!!

I knew a trip to HD was in order…and this time HD being Home Depot. They have the bolts and they are less expensive. It’s all good..

At least it was a $2.00 rather than a $200 (or more) fix. The rest of the putting back together was uneventful…everything went back fine, I broke the fuse cartridge for my iPod adapter so I’ll have to replace that….still, all minor issues.

Wiring up the system to my bike was very simple. Cut the headlight wires, splice the transmitter in and use the connector thingys to complete the circuit. A bit of electrical tape. Putting the receiver on the garage door opener was a breeze too. I had to hard wire it on the garage door opener—it was two screws and two wires. Easy, easy, easy. If you can plug in a lamp, you can do this.

Of course, the test was to see if I could get the gizmo to work…and once the transmitter “bonded” with the receiver…I flipped the high beams on and held my breath…

The thing worked!!! Whooooohoooooo!!! No more lost house keys, no more lost remote controls. If you ride a motorcycle in Colorado, you understand how much gear you have to take for a scoot. Raingear, cold weather gear (yes, in the summer even cold weather gear), three pairs of gloves (at least), tools, water bottle, cell phone, iPod….I have my priorities…

Oh, Kathy, the HD item number is 91558-01A. And my thanks to Matt at PPHD for his exceptional help. He rescued me when I needed rescuing and kept my little project on track.

Overall, a learning experience…yeah….that’s what I’m calling it. It’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!

Next project on deck is the ol’ pipe switcherooni….seems that big box of header pipes showed up the week of my birthday from one of my dear blog friends….hugs, Greg!! Now, I’m hunting down the last bit of parts I need….and it should be on deck in a few weeks.

My friend Sandy wants to sit in on this one….Girls Garage 101…is open for business…LOL

Keep the Shiny Side Up!!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Flash-2-Pass Ordeal…Electrical Woes

I’m tired of losing garage door openers and having to hassle with getting in and out of my garage when I ride…and of course, coveting Jeanne’s Flash-2-Pass garage door opener…

I have talked about this gadget before. No more lost garage remotes (yes, I lose stuff at an incredible rate of speed). Just a flash of my brights and the garage door closes. Flash again, the gizmo opens the door.

I couldn’t stand it anymore…and ordered the darn thing. I was able to get the “official” HD kit for around $100 including shipping. Versus identical pricing on the generic thingy…so HD was the route I went. If only to ensure that I got enough parts for my non-standardized need 42 bolts Fatboy. I had no desire to run to the local autoparts store to get all the extra stuff that wasn’t included in the other kit.

Good thing I did, because my fuse box has one auxillary accessory port and it is occupied by my heated hand grips so I needed to wire an empty port. Okay, so that meant one extra trip to the HD store….

Well, I can shop for other stuff while I’m there and flirt with the part counter guys. They always treat me very well and today was no exception.

I bought no other stuff. I resisted…LOL…

Wiring the bike for an additional auxillary port was no issue. I knew the hard part would be to get the wiring harness up the frame (under the tank) up to the headlight wires. No worries, I’ve done it before…..

Well, I got all the electrical issues taken care of, installed the wiring harness, pulled the wire to the front of the bike…all I needed to do was to wire it all together. I decided to put the bike back together before I attempted the last bit. I (smartly) tested the electrical components and everything worked so I put the bike together.

Then I realized the wires were on the wrong side of the frame and I needed to pull it and do a reroute. Everything was disassembled and I did the reroute. I was mildly annoyed at myself for not thinking through this clearly (but it is not specified in the handy dandy instruction booklet, so I’m blaming that).

Reroute done, I put everything back together…only to discover that my starter, trip meter, and odometer does not work. Great. Now what in the blue blazes have I done? Sigh. For the third time I pull the seat off (okay, I know I should have tested it before I put the seat back on, but I figured it was fine)…..and am getting seriously frustrated at the thought of having to put my beloved Fatboy back in the shop for something I dorked up.

Checking fuses and making sure I didn’t pinch off wires…I’m getting no where. My son, reminding me that he needs to be fed, forced me to put my project on hold. I cooked dinner, got him fed, and regrouped.

As I was doing a walk around the bike, I realized that I had loosened one of the bolts that holds the wire harnesses down…and also serves as a ground point. I tightened it back and flipped the ignition on. I had odometer and trip meter. I flipped the kill switch on pressed the starter and the Fatboy fired right up.

It was all about grounding the circuits. Interesting………..

Well, I’ll have the rest to do tomorrow…the temps have been falling and it’ll be too cold to work in the garage….

Life is once again good in motorcycle land. Besides, my friends would have never let me hear the end of having to put my bike in the shop…especially after dorking it up…

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Monday, October 09, 2006

Exceeding Expectations: The Breast Cancer Awareness Ride

Whew…that day blew by!!

I finished with my last minute items at 2:30 am on Friday (errrrr….Saturday morning) and crashed for a few hours….until 5:30 am. I was up and out the door getting my last minute things down to one of the vehicles that was hauling gear then back at the house at 6:30 am to ride out.

The morning was cool, but watching the sun come up not only warmed me but my heart as well—our prayers were answered—the weather is going to be cooperative!! I rode down with a group of four members—all who had volunteered to help get set up to face the unknown number of registrants.

Registration Table

The Mountain Shadow Riders have a few new ideas on deck—a ride t-shirt, ride pins, and auction items—so a good turnout weighed heavy on our minds. Still, we managed to have humor and joke with each other while setting up. It was early in the morning, but the adrenalin driven excitement was palpable throughout the group! I think the four jumbo sized cups of coffee might have had something to do with my excitement as well!

Hanging Posters--I'm the girl in all pink.....

The auction prizes

Ms. BS, Sweetcheeks and The Rainbow Wahine funnin'

By 9:00 am, the parking lot of Western Omelet was full of bikers and motorcycles and everyone was busy. Everything appeared to be going smoothly and without incident so our group needed to head out and do the ride—to get down to Thunder and Buttons for the post-ride events.

The ride committee did an excellent job! The ride was local and included some roads in the city that I had never ridden. I was treated to some beautiful views of Colorado Springs. The ride was a memory ride—I had to pay attention to the surroundings and answer questions on the designated stops. Sigh. Did I remember the name of the church that was across the street of Western Omelet? Not on your life!! Just my karma, I never pay attention to the right things!

My thanks to the ride committee as well as the leader of our little group for doing an excellent job!

Down at Thunder and Buttons, the activity level was high—chance drawing tickets were being drawn as well as the ever important filling of human’s fuel tanks—stomachs!! The Mountain Shadow Riders members were busy doing various activities: from scoring the ride contest sheets, selling T-shirts, and working on stage drawing tickets and doing the auctions.

What a day it was! I believe the new implementations were a success—our auctions brought in over $1,000 alone!! The sellout of pins and the success of t-shirt sales also boosted our bottom line contribution. While the finally tally of dollars won’t be known until our Chapter meeting on Saturday, the word that we met and exceeded our goal of a $5,000 contribution is rumored from the Chapter executives. Whooooohooooooo!!

I know that the success of our ride couldn’t have been done without the hard work of our members. The ride, donation, promotions, and registration committees did wonderful jobs. Every member that participated in getting prizes, hanging flyers, getting the word out or doing whatever was necessary deserves high praise and has my thanks.

I also want to thank the various people that were outside our group that helped support us by promoting our event. They were the people that are in other organizations who supported us by inviting their members to join our cause. The help aided the turnout. My thanks to all of them as well!

We also received a number of suggestions for improvement of the ride for next year. Thank you for caring enough to want to improve our event!

Saturday night was quickly upon us—I pulled my Fatboy in the garage around 7:30 pm. It was a long day.

Sunday’s weather awoke to rain and cold temps. Thank goodness the weather held. It seems that we are forecasted to have snow this week. Brrrrrrrrr…

Again, thanks for all the members, the participants who turned out to support our event, and all the folks who contributed to helping make our Breast Cancer Awareness Ride a success. Without those who participated, our event could not have happened.

Finally, our cause. One in eight women will be stricken with breast cancer in her lifetime. That is one woman every three minutes. We are determined to make a difference in the statistics. The entire amount of proceeds raised Saturday goes towards the fund to educate, screen and treat patients in our community stricken with this disease as well as supporting national research to find a cure!

I will say….thank you for supporting our breasts!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

OH….and my ride basket was the Road and Rail Ride. My son’s love of trains was the inspiration for my basket!!

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Ride Auction….Bid To Win!

Our big event is upon us—-The Breast Cancer Awareness Ride for 2007.

The members all have been working on various projects. Mine is the Mystery Ride Auction.

Based on the “Picnic Basket Auctions” of western tradition, six members have generously put together a ride, an activity and lunch or dinner in a basket to auction off. The ride is for two members—the winner and his or her date or the MSR member that has put together the basket. This auction is called a "Mystery" because the MSR Member that is escorting the ride will remain a secret until all the baskets have been auctioned.

Yes, I have a basket in the lineup! NO, it is not red and shiny!!

While I can not tell you which rider goes what basket, I can tell you about the baskets:

Basket #1:

A Day in The Saddle

Ride out to Front Range Barbeque in Old Colorado City. After lunch, the riders will head over for a horseback ride out in the Garden of The Gods. What fun! The Garden of The Gods is a beautiful park that offers spectacular views. Riding on horseback through the park will give an up-close view of what the park has to offer.

Basket #2:

The Relax & Renew Ride

Ride out for a flavorful breakfast at Coyote’s Coffee Den in Canon City, then cruise the breathtaking route along the Arkansas River. A stop at Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn and Spa for a therapeutic soak in Colorado’s purest, geo-thermal, gravity-fed mineral hot springs. After the soak, dinner at Buena Vista’s The Missing Spoon. The basket also includes two full tanks of gasoline, and snacks for the ride. Ahhhhhhhhhhh…………

Basket #3:

Mile High Ride

A hosted day ride to Independence Pass and includes a picnic lunch at the summit. The basket also has some great goodies such as: a $25 gift certificate to Thunder and Buttons, $20 gift certificate to Patsy’s Candies and included candy (yum!), bottle of wine and glasses, certificate for a case of beer, movie tickets and a memory frame for picture up at summit.

I’ve ridden Independence Pass and it is spectacular!!

Basket #4:

Castlewood Canyon Ride

This ride is to a little known state park in our beautiful state. Ride includes the escorted ride to beautiful Castlewood Canyon, entry into the park, and a barbeque lunch (yes, the MSR Member is going to actually cook!!!).

Basket #5:

Wine, Ride, & Dine Basket

A 180-mile ride that winds through Woodland Park, Deckers, Bailey up to Evergreen for lunch at Creekside Cellars Italian Deli and Winery. The return trip is through Morrison, Turkey and Deer Creek Canyons, Monument before ending in Colorado Springs. Items in the basket are 2 bottles of wine, 2 insulated tumblers, corkscrew, neoprene bottle carrier and $40 gift certificate for lunch.

Basket #6:

The Road and Rail Ride:

Approximately 170-mile ride that departs after lunch at the Phantom Canyon. Ride then goes to Canon City for a breathtaking ride on the Royal Gorge Railroad. Ride then continues through Hartsel and stops in Woodland Park for a refreshment stop at Java the Hut.

I’ve ridden all the roads on the various ride baskets and I want to bid on them all!!! Not to mention that all my friends are putting the baskets together and I’d love to ride with each one! Not only that the baskets that each of the riders have put together are really great!!

All proceeds are going to the Colorado Springs affiliate of the Susan G. Komen foundation so your generosity will not only score a great ride, activity and food, but helps support the cause to support breast cancer research.

Come join us for the ride and then participate in the activities afterwards…one of the fun things we are doing is the ride basket auction. You don’t necessarily need to be on a motorcycle—you can do the ride in your vehicle…although it is more fun on a bike!!

Once again, here are the details for the Ride:

All bikes, all riders and all types of transportation are welcome.

All proceeds from registration and sales of chance drawing tickets will go directly to the Colorado Springs affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

DATE: Saturday Oct 7th
Donation: $10.00 per entry
Registration Begins: 9:00am -- Last Bike Out 10:30am
Start Location: Western Omelette – 16 S. Walnut – Colorado Springs
End Location: Thunder & Buttons –2415 W. Colorado Ave. (Old Colorado City)
Last Bike In: 2:30pm

One in eight women will be stricken with breast cancer in her lifetime. That is one woman every three minutes. We are determined to make a difference in the statistics. Join us to help find a cure for this deadly disease. The proceeds from this ride will be able to fund education, screening and treatment programs in our community and support national research to find a cure!

The BCA ride is a “Test your Memory” run; at each stop you will be asked to answer a series of questions regarding items or landmarks you may have seen along the ride route. The ride is approximately 100 miles long. Riders will turn in answer sheets at the ending location and cash prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place – depending on the number of questions answered correctly.

A Chance Drawing for various door prizes will also be held after the last bike is in. Last year we gave out OVER $3,500.00 worth of prizes and gift certificates!! This year should be even better!

Last year we raised $3,000.00 for the local Susan G. Komen affiliate – this year our goal is $5,000.00 – Nothing is impossible and we can achieve this goal with your help!

I hope to see you there…I’ll be there having fun and cutting up…come and join this group of dynamic women and support our cause!!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Toys For Tots Run

Sunday found another gorgeous day: for the first morning HOG meeting and then the Toys For Tots Run. One of my fellow HOG member friends rode up to the house and we departed to make the 9:00 AM meeting. Once in the parking lot, you hear my whooooohoooooo…I’m excited to have found a parking spot!!

The meetings are always fun; I get to see my friends and they get to poke fun at me. Of course, they do manage to embarrass the fire out of me: something to do with my birthday!

The meeting is cut short and we head down to Pike’s Peak Harley Davidson to line up for the run. The run is fairly short and I think I might have gotten up to second gear! It’s always fun: some 800 motorcycles “cruising” the streets of the Springs. We are police escorted and my girlfriend comments “I hate to be the one stuck waiting for the bikes to finish passing”. Well, maybe not, but I guarantee the dude in the taxi wasn’t too terribly happy!!

The ride itself was uneventful; the best part is the “before” and the “after”. Can you believe that someone actually had the nerve to try and pass me off as an auction item? Seriously, I doubt that they would have made much money—and then when the winner figured out how much of a pain in the neck I really am, I would have been promptly returned!!

My friends are really terrific, aren’t they *grins*.

There were some really cool things to see being the trailer below. Thanks to Ed for taking such a great shot!!

One thing about the toy run: we were able to get the character in a pack of 50 or more motorcycles! Santa was at the toy run and I cozied up to Santa to tell him my wish—could he please stand by my bike so I could get a photograph for the Scavenger Hunt?? I did NOT sit on his lap, for the record, I sat on the bench next to him. Of course, Ms. Blondie had a different idea!!


Overall, we had a big toy collection and it was great fun to visit with all the biking community! Not to mention some of the Scavenger Hunt Pics.

The days are getting shorter and the time is getting closer for the Mountain Shadow Riders’ Breast Cancer Awareness Ride. We’ve all been busy and can’t wait until the day arrives. Well, I’m happy except for the 7:00 AM report time…sigh….

Stay tuned for the details….

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Monday, October 02, 2006

Mountain Shadow Riders: Saddle Time

The Mountain Shadow Riders had ride time scheduled: To get some of the less experienced riders out and buddy up with the more experienced riders and do a group ride in various riding conditions.

Saturday opened up to be a spectacular day. Clear with temps in the mid 70s.

We met up at Perkins Restaurant and did the introductions—name, length of time riding, and the vehicle we were on. We then had a chat about where the ride was to take our group, the hand signals used, the mechanics of group riding, and answered questions.

We were quite balanced—we had eight riders and paired up quite nicely. Lining up in our various positions and off we went.

The ride started through town and was actually quite nice. Traffic wasn’t too much of an issue and we were able to get out and about with no issues. It was nice to do a ride around town with the fall colors out in full display.

Out of town, we headed up to Woodland Park. Riding up Highway 24 is one of my favorite rides because of the short stint of twisty road. I settled back and enjoyed the ride. I normally ride on the right hand track so being in the left hand lane felt a bit odd, but I quickly adjusted.

Once we got up to Woodland Park, we had a fuel stop, restroom break and general chit chat about the ride so far. As we were coming out of the convenience store, I spotted a horse in a horse trailer—oh oh oh—a scavenger hunt item! I rolled my bike out, had a brief conversation with the owner and took my photograph! Score!!!

Before we got back on the road, we switched up lanes and positions in the group. This time I was back in the right lane and riding sweep. I just settled back and watched the group roll down the road.

The halfway point was Wilkerson Pass. This time of year is particularly beautiful. The leaves are turning so there are the touches of reds, yellows and oranges mixed in with the pines and the snow up on the peaks. Winter is indeed coming.

We stopped up at the pass and had more questions and answers and general chit chat. We set the lunch spot, talked to some of the other folks and enjoyed the scenery. I had heard that the Smokey the Bear Statue was up on Wilkerson Pass, but was unable to locate it. Sigh.

The ride down was terrific. Our fearless leader decided to test the group by doing a pull out—only to find that everyone pulled off as well! I motioned on to the lead bike—keep going and we did. At our lunch stop, we talked about the procedure of a rider pulling out and what to do. I think next time everyone except the sweep will keep going.

Lunch was a wonderful time….we all visited and even pitched a couple of games of horseshoes. I lost! LOL…oh well! Lunch was a wonderful fellowship and I learned quite a bit about the new members. Talk ranged from condiments to motorcycles and was general fun!

After lunch, we talked about the order of bikes leaving and who was getting out when. Gear on, bikes started and ready to roll….oh wait….one of our riders had a dead battery. Of course, this was an opportunity to have “Push Start 101” class!!

We did get the motorcycle started and off we went. As we got closer to town, we lost riders. At 4:00, I pulled in my garage. It was a gorgeous day, I rode with some old friends and some new ones and I know I had a wonderful time. I hope that everyone had a wonderful time as well.

Next on deck: The Toys For Tots Toy Run and then the preparation for the Breast Cancer Awareness Ride. We are busy…and winding down to the last moments of the ride. I tried my pink vinyls on and yes, they fit….*smile*.

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Who’s Going to Fix It?

I have bent pins in my fork lock on my Fatboy, so I need a new lockset.

What a pain. When I had my motorcycle in for service back in June, I asked them to look at it and yes, they did agree with me—I need a new lockset.

My motorcycle is still under warranty, so the lockset was ordered and the service date was set. Unfortunately (and this is totally my fault), I failed to write down the appointment date and that day blew by. Sigh.

Well, after a few choice words from the Service Department regarding my forgetfulness, I decided that I’d just get pick the darn thing up and put it in myself. I can understand getting fussed at for forgetting—but at the same time, I also know that they have been incredibly busy and probably took someone in on the spot. There’s no reason for the service guy to be rude. There’s really no reason to be rude, period…

I made my way down to the dealership with the intent to pick up my locks. Well, evidently, with warranty work, I have a choice: let them install the lockset and it is all free. Pick up the lockset for a self-install—they’ll charge me for the lockset which, for your information, is right at $125.

Well….that’s a no brainer…they are doing it *smile*.

I understand why it is like that. I was just annoyed for the service rep for being rude.

Since my lockset has been changed, the key I have for my ignition won’t match—which means I will have a different key for my ignition and my fork. Just another key to keep up with...yikes!!

Another day in motorcycle land…

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

How’s Your Aspen??

Great! Sunday opened to a gorgeous but cool day. My Mountain Shadow Rider Sister Sandy and I decided to do this poker run and headed out in the early morning. The ride went up to Victor and back down—we are going up to 10,000 plus feet. This ride was put on by the Harley Owners Group—and I haven’t ridden with them in a number of months and thought it sounded like fun.

I was right.

When I pull in, I see a number of my friends and we start chit-chatting. I talk to the lead group—the folks that do the ride for the last minute road conditions and the folks that run the stops—and Sandy and I decided to ride in with them.

Brrrrrrrrr…it was sooooooo cold!! Of course, if you know anything about our region—the snow is definitely up on Pike’s Peak. That is an indication of the weather that is in store for us. “Up there” is where we are headed. At 10:00 in the morning I know it is going to be cold!!!

The ride up is quite beautiful. While I’m not particularly crazy about the colder temps, the changing of the foliage is spectacular!! The reds, oranges and yellows of the trees in contrast to the green of the pines is gorgeous. I sit back in the saddle, ignore my cold fingertips and enjoy the ride.

Just when I think it can’t get any prettier, it does. The ride up to Cripple Creek is always fun with the twisties. My enthusiasm was tempered by the amount of sand on the ground from the snow. It was, however, far worth the ride. Up at the higher elevations, not only did I get to see the marvelous fall foliage, there was the added dimension of color with the snow on the ground and in the trees. Sigh…it was absolutely beautiful.

Our first stop is Victor. It is a little mining town in the mountains and, yes, it is very COLD! We stop in and the two riders set up to for the stop. I grab a cup of coffee, warm up a bit and we head out. It seems that we need to keep ahead of the riders doing the run.

As we come out of Victor, one of my favorite roads is ahead—a cool twisty road that I love to ride. We head out, and I’m stoked that I get to see this section of pavement once again. As we ride, there is a pair of motorcyclists coming towards us. One of the riders takes the curve with too much speed and steps on the brake much too hard. She doesn’t lock it up, but does manage to lay the bike down the amount of sand on the road. It was unnerving to watch unfold. Her riding partner picked up her bike, she waved us on when we stopped to ask if there was anything we could do. No harm done, thank goodness. She waved us on.

We continue on our way. As we do the various stops, we continue to lose two riders—the ones who volunteer to work the stops. Finally, down to three riders—we are headed down to the end point. By this time, the temps have warmed up and I am very much enjoying the ride. I’m no longer cold! Whoooooohooooooo!!

We get down to the end point of the ride and Sandy and I set up to work the last stop. I enjoyed working the stop—I got to talk to a good many members that I have never had the opportunity to visit with—and we had a really great time doing it!!

I’m glad I did!

All the riders are in; it is time for me to head out. One of my friends is coming back from vacation and I need to head up to the airport to pick her up. I say my goodbyes and ride out.

I’m glad Jeanne is back—it’s been a number of weeks since we have ridden together. We’ll ride the Toy Run next weekend and then do the Breast Cancer Awareness ride. Let’s hope for spectacular weather!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up~

~The Rainbow Wahine

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Man threatens bikers, gets hit with car

I won't say that this guy deserved this....however, I will say that how did this guy let this happen? How do you get run over by your own car (especially if no one was driving)? Some people shouldn't be driving--car or motorcycle...

Man threatens bikers, gets hit with car

An alleged drunken motorist who brandished a pool cue while driving at a group of motorcyclists was hit by his own car after he attempted to approach the bikers on foot, authorities said.

Richard Brooks, 50, of Concord, was pulled to safety by the motorcyclists after his car — which he left in reverse — knocked him into the highway on Thursday, said Officer Scott Yox of the California Highway Patrol.

Brooks, who was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and driving under the influence, told authorities he was offended by skeletons some of the riders wore on their leather Harley-Davidson jackets and what he perceived as their attempts to appear tough.

"It was his impression that they thought they were better than him," Yox said. "They were irritating to him and he felt he needed to do something about it."

Yox said authorities had no evidence the riders instigated the incident. "Instead of mocking him for going after them, they perhaps set their own safety aside to reach over and rescue him from a position of danger," he said.

Brooks, who was treated at a hospital for cuts and scrapes, remained jailed Friday in lieu of $30,000 bail.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

It's the Boobie Run

Well, that's the "unofficial" term for our run.

The time is about here: The Six Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Run

Put on by my Riding Group, The Mountain Shadow Riders...this is our big event--to raise money for breast cancer awareness. All donations raised in this ride/fundraiser will go the our local chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Here are the details (lifted shamelessly from Trouble's 360 Blog):

The Mountain Shadow Riders - Colorado Springs Chapter of Women On Wheels(R) would like to invite you to join us for our 6th Annual Breast Cancer Awaress Charity Motorcycle Ride.

All motorcycles, all riders and all types of transportation are welcome.
All proceeds from registration and sales of chance drawing tickets will go directly to the Colorado Springs affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

DATE: Saturday Oct 7th
Donation: $10.00 per entry
Registration Begins: 9:00am -- Last Bike Out 10:30am
Start Location: Western Omelette – 16 S. Walnut – Colorado Springs
End Location: Thunder & Buttons –2415 W. Colorado Ave. (Old Colorado City)
Last Bike In: 2:30pm

One in eight women will be stricken with breast cancer in her lifetime. That is one woman every three minutes. We are determined to make a difference in the statistics. Join us to help find a cure for this deadly disease. The proceeds from this ride will be able to fund education, screening and treatment programs in our community and support national research to find a cure!

The BCA ride is a “Test your Memory” run; at each stop you will be asked to answer a series of questions regarding items or landmarks you may have seen along the ride route. The ride is approximately 100 miles long. Riders will turn in answer sheets at the ending location and cash prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place – depending on the number of questions answered correctly.

A Chance Drawing for various door prizes will also be held after the last bike is in. Last year we gave out OVER $3,500.00 worth of prizes and gift certificates!! This year should be even better!

Last year we raised $3,000.00 for the local Susan G. Komen affiliate – this year our goal is $5,000.00 – Nothing is impossible and we can achieve this goal with your help!

Additional information and pre-registration forms are available at The Mountain Shadow Riders' Website. Click on the link: BCA Ride on the left hand side (sorry, can't provide the link directly). Come out and ride with us!! I'll be there along with my many other biker chick's a day of fun...and yes, I'll be wearing my pink vinyls!!!!!!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bike Karma: Part Two

It is amazing how things all conveniently “fit” together. All the ribbing I gave my friends from the weekend came back to haunt me yesterday.

My friend Sandy and I got out for an afternoon scoot—and headed up to Woodland Park. I had managed to burn a good bit of the afternoon so the ride was a planned short one.

Short…and cold…..there is snow on the Peak already!

Sandy and I stop in for a cup of hot chocolate and a snack. We decide to split a treat and settle on a humongo cinnamon roll with crème cheese icing…and the topper—warmed. The cashier handed the cinnamon roll to Sandy and she said “yummy…..and it’s sooooo warm!”

Me, in my typical non-thinking way, said “I’d like to take that warm cinnamon roll and rub it on me to warm up”.

The guy that was standing in line before us must have been listening as he turned and said “I’d give anything to be a cinnamon roll right now”.

Well, he was in riding leathers so he must have been cold too (as I deliberately miss the point)!

While we were out, Karla gives me a shout out and asks if we could be down in Old Colorado City before 5:30 PM to pick up a few items for our Breast Cancer Awareness Ride. We have time and head down.

Of course, you know when you have to be somewhere at a certain time, traffic is always uncooperative. Today was no exception. Except the vehicles holding up traffic was two motorcyclists!!

We are all new at one point, we are all new at one point…to hold my patience.

We finally get around them and down to Old Colorado City. Pick up the donations from the local businesses and decide to eat dinner since it was that time of evening.

Somewhere along the line, I lose my keys. I’ll repeat this. I lose my keys. Not only is my bike key on my key ring—my bike is locked and my key is floating around somewhere! This key ring also contains my house key, my mailbox key, my post office box key, and the keys to my van.

Great. I have to go home to get my spare ignition key—but I still have to deal with getting in my house.

I hop on the back of Sandy’s bike…to find that she’s never ridden a full-sized adult on the back. I am a terrible passenger…as I want to help steer!! LOL. Okay, I promise to make good and be very still.

Well, it is a first for me too…I have never ridden on the back with another girl!!

Off we go.

It is sometimes quite interesting to be the rider of a motorcycle—I still get double takes on occasion. However, evidently two females on a motorcycle garners quite a bit of attention—finger pointing with conversation!

I won’t mention the fact that Sandy found it quite amusing and was adding to the fun by yelling “Yeah, she’s my “b”” every time she caught someone staring.

Gotta love it!

Well, I get home to get my key….of course; I have to break into my home to get in since I’ve lost my keys!!! I do get in, but cat burglar I’m not. We laugh about the whole thing.

Back out to the bike—gear up and get ready to head out. Before I leave, I do stop in to the only business that happens to be open at this time of night to ask if someone turned in a set of keys. Turns out that someone did…so I’m back to where I started…only some three hours later!!

Bike Karma….I take back all the ribbing I gave…as I’m not going to live this one down for quite some time. Sandy said she’s gonna get one of those shirts that reads “if you can read this, the ‘B” fell off”….in reference to me on the back of her bike….

Well, it is at least…interesting….LOL…

It’s all good and I was able to

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bike Karma

This story unfolded over the past few days and serves to teach that you just do not give any noise to your friends about their bike!

Friday night held a meeting of friends who wanted to wish me Happy Birthday (yes, Friday was my birthday)…so I rode down to the local hangout and talked trash and even some life stuff. At any rate, one of my friends (friend #1) decided he had to give noise his other friend (friend #2) about the bike he was riding Saturday morning in one of the local bike runs. It was quite funny to watch unfold—all that “guy” machismo talk!

Well, friend #2 took it in stride—and kept on rolling.

Night came to a close…and all is good.

The next morning, I called friend #1 to find out the meet time (I couldn’t remember the time—yeah, it is a bad habit of mine) and we visited for a few moments. Meet time reestablished and I had a few things to get together before getting out the door.

I ride down to meet my friends (friend #1) and we all ride down to the meet point. He thought his bike was acting a bit odd—but chalked it up to his bike being cold—and drove on. We ride down to meet everyone else and voila: his bike dies…..and won’t restart!

Now, friend #2 hasn’t shown up at this point. Friend #1 gets a ride back down to his house to get his other bike (yes, it is quite nice to have a spare handy)—and on the way down calls the bike shop to come and get his non-starting motorcycle. Unfortunately, he could not make the call—his cell phone was quite dead—so he makes the call on friend #3’s cell phone.


The cell phone karma incident would have stayed a secret until friend #3 made the comment—which of course we all jumped on!!

While my friend was getting his other bike, friend #2 shows up and of course, we gleefully fill him in on the morning’s events—because we know that he took a pretty good pounding about his motorcycle.

So when friend #1 shows back up with his other motorcycle and the Harley Davidson truck and trailer following him…it was on!! This is a bunch of people giving back the nonsense that was given the night before!

Too bad one the other female in the group didn’t think to find a “for sale” sign to put on the non-working bike!! It would have been just too funny!

Things calmed down and everyone got ready to pull out to get to the beginning of the run. Of course, I hold a collective breath when friend #2 starts his motorcycle—it would have been just too funny if he started having motorcycle issues at that point. His bike fired up and away we went.

There is a post script to this story….I had another friend who wanted to do the ride but was running late, so I stayed behind. My friends took off…and friend #2’s motorcycle gets out of the parking lot to the intersection…and died. I’m watching this whole scenario unfold—and he is working to get his bike re-started. After a few tries, he gets his iron pony started and down the street they go.

Of course, at the first stop, we meet up and I ask him what the problem was. His wasn’t bike karma….rather he is now the proud owner of the “turn on the gas” sticker…which I thought was quite fitting. That’s all I’m going to say about that!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, September 14, 2006

No More Po-Ta-TO???

I happened upon this article that was published yesterday....interesting...

I'd ride it...that's for darn sure!!!

Sep 13, 2006 (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune Business News via COMTEX)

For decades, Harley-Davidson riders have tinkered with their motorcycles to give them a little deeper, richer, more distinctive sound. The syncopated "potato, potato, potato" rumble helps separate Harley from the rest of the motorcycle pack

Carl Vogel of Long Island, N.Y., says forget the sound. He has modified a Harley-Davidson chassis so that it houses 560 pounds of lead-acid batteries and an electric motor -- capable of reaching 85 mph, but sounding like an electric golf cart.

Vogel, an inventor-entrepreneur with a passion for alternative fuels, said he was afraid that other Harley enthusiasts would snub his bike because it was so odd. It resembles a regular motorcycle, but the lack of a gasoline engine, and the electric solar panel behind the seat, are immediate signs that it's a very different animal.

"They weren't too keen on the fact that there was no familiar sound," Vogel said of the critics. "But they appreciated all of the work that went into the bike."

Vogel has traveled across the United States on his electric Harley, a road trip that started in northern Wisconsin. After several years of sweating the details, he hopes to begin manufacturing electric motorcycles in 2007.

"The real challenge was to get that many batteries in a bike and get all of the systems working together," Vogel said. "And I didn't want a little scooter. I wanted a big bike that had performance and was fun to ride."

The Milwaukee area has dozens of custom motorcycle builders, some of them building one bike at a time in their home garages. But you would be hard pressed to find a builder revving up a battery-powered Harley, said Frank Lisiak, a partner at Jamie's Customs motorcycle shop in Big Bend.

There's more interest in bikes with eight-cylinder car engines.

"It's more of a macho thing" than an electric motorcycle, Lisiak said.

Pursuing a similar dream, Harold Benich has converted a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy chassis so that it sports a diesel engine that runs on vegetable oil. Benich, who teaches auto mechanics at a Pennsylvania prison, is building a small manufacturing plant to produce the bikes in Cranesville, Pa., starting in January.

Benich's diesel motorcycle sounds something like a big garden tractor. The bike is less powerful than a stock Harley, but its fuel mileage is impressive -- up to 115 mpg when ridden conservatively.

"Normally, I get about 80 or 90 miles per gallon," Benich said.

It has been rare for the Milwaukee motorcycle manufacturer to endorse any of them as genuine Harley products.

This month, Harley announced it had signed a deal with Lehman Trikes U.S.A., of Spearfish, S.D., to build three-wheel motorcycles. The bikes will be sold through Harley dealerships, giving them immediate credibility in the cycling world.

Vogel doesn't aspire to sign a contract with Harley, and he hasn't even shown his battery-powered bike to the company.

Rather, he sees electric motorcycles as a natural fit with other interests such as alternative fuels.

"It could become a mass-production bike if there's enough call for it," Vogel said. "I can make them now with about a five-month lead time."

The electric motorcycle can be plugged into an electrical wall outlet and recharged in three hours. It can travel about 60 miles, at 55 mph, on a single charge.

The bike also has a diesel engine, mounted in a sidecar, that can recharge the batteries during driving time. The accessory engine runs on vegetable oil or biodiesel fuel made from soybeans.
The motorcycle's plastic gas tank holds gobs of wires and electronics, not gasoline. Flip a switch and the bike goes into reverse, just like an automobile.

As for the sound?

"I think it's very nice," Vogel said. "You're just gliding along the road, listening to the wind and the sound of the road underneath you."

Benich used an industrial diesel engine for his motorcycle. The same type of power plant is used for landscape tractors and mini-excavators.

"Mitsubishi just came out with a three-cylinder engine that packs a lot of power in a small package. I want to try one of those," Benich said.

A tinkerer by nature, Benich took two years to build his first diesel bike. Now he can build one pretty quickly based on his own chassis design.

"They say a motorcycle frame is an extension of your personality. My frames are made from square tubing, so I guess that makes me kind of square," Benich quipped.

He plans to quit his teaching job in January to pursue full-time manufacturing of diesel motorcycles selling for between $29,000 and $40,000. He travels around the country on his bike to motorcycle and diesel-engine shows. The fact that he uses a 50% blend of soybean oil draws interest from the crowd.

"The bike has never let me down. I have never had to walk home from a ride," he said.
Benich has shown his motorcycle to Harley engineers in Milwaukee and at the company's plant in York, Pa.

"But the market for this isn't big enough for someone like Harley-Davidson," he said.
Benich is building a diesel motorcycle for the 2007 Iron Butt motorcycle rally, which covers 11,000 miles in 11 days.

The idea of building a diesel Harley stemmed from a joke, but now it's serious.

"Just let me know if you have a bike that you want converted to diesel. I can do it," Benich said.

(c) 2006, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Photo Courtesy of

Gear For Girls…

Biker Betty brought a tidbit of information regarding riding gear for girls at our last chapter meeting of the Mountain Shadow Riders. I heard 25 textile colors….whooooohoooooo!!

Evidently Scooter Gurl decided to contact the owner (yes, she’s a fashion conscious girl as well) to get info on this vendor.

Did you hear me when I said TWENTY FIVE COLORS????? I am thinking that I could definitely be the Rainbow Wahine with this source!

I was particularly interested in the note about gloves. I have been on the hunt for red riding gloves and as of today, have batted zero in finding a pair of red gloves. I’d be in heaven if I found a pair of really cool red leather gloves!!

The website is still under construction, but there is a really great picture on the site. I’m thrilled to have another choice in riding gear—black is wonderfully slimming, but it is tough to see a rider in black at night.

The image at the top is a sample of the gear available. I am interested in seeing the full catalog….whoooohoooooo cool safety gear!

Keep your eyes peeled for motogear. Hopefully they’ll have their site up and running soon!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Monday, September 11, 2006

In Tribute to: John Giordano

From 2996...a tribute of victims of September 11.

In remembrance of the fallen heroes of September 11, 2001, I am stopping to pay tribute to John Giordano.

John Giordano was a mere 47 when he was killed at the World Trade Center. He was a resident of Newburg, New York and a firefighter for Engine 37, Haz Mat Battalion 11, 3rd Division of the New York City Fire Department. He gave his life saving others following the attacks on the World Trade Center Towers on September 11. He was laid to rest on November 3, 2001.

I was a half-world away when the attacks happened as I was living in Hawaii at the time. The day was typical as any other—I was on my way to school and as usual—in a hurry to get there. Traffic was worse that uncooperative as all the military bases were on high alert and all the roads were virtually parking lots because of the vehicle searches.

The days and weeks following September 11 were difficult. My favorite Aunt, who lived in Pennsylvania, took the attacks to heart and was devastated. My then husband, who was active duty at the time, was sent to a particularly nasty part of the world to do a job that no one talks about. He came back a different man and it cost all of us dearly—my husband became my ex and my son is now a resident of two single parent households.

Of course, I did not lose anyone close to me on September 11 directly. However, as a result of the attacks my family dynamics changed. I won’t say for the worst, because I, like most Americans, am resilient and worked towards making forward progress. I am in a good place again.

It is our responsibility to move forward and show our adaptability towards any future changes—good or horrific. Although we have to become stronger as individuals and a country, we should never forget those who paid with the ultimate sacrifice—their lives.

Life will never be the same after September 11—that is evident even today.

For this day and this moment, I pay tribute to John Giordano. God bless him and his family.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Saddle Soar 1,000: The Ride Part Two

As we head down to Salina, the sky darkens. It is not looking good.

It never really rains; we do experience a smattering of drops while in Salina. Salina is our other “long” rest stop but we decide to head out—it isn’t raining and we want to stay ahead of it if at all possible. At this point, no one feels the need to rest so we press on—to save our time for a later stop. I feel great and am thinking that this is a piece of cake—as I’ve forgotten my misery of the early morning…

All of us are in the groove of riding and riding very well as a group. We are riding two up—side by side and it is like a choreographed dance in traffic. We ease around the other vehicles in the road like waltzing couples—well aware of the music playing and in tempo of each others rhythm.

The synchronicity doesn’t last as fatigue sets in. Sandy is starting to show signs of fatigue and she admits to the fact. We question her mental and physical status—but no, she says she is still able to go on.

It is her turn to lead and she is hesitant—voicing her fatigue and the fact that she dislikes leading in the dark. After some discussion, she takes the lead as long as she is safely riding. If any she indicates any problem, then another rider will take over.

We have a little more than 200 miles to do.

Off we go. We ride down the highway and things appear to be fine—at least until the darkness settles in. At that point, Del pulls around and takes the lead, pushing Sandy into the third position. Not only is he concerned about Sandy leading, he worries about the deer as well.

In the area in which we live--when the sun goes down, the temperature drops significantly. At our stop in Burlington, Sandy mentions that she is starting to feel the cold and I tell her that she needs to put her remaining gear on—including her rain gear. The rain gear will help block the wind. I already had mine on. We gas up, take a bit of time to warm up with coffee and loosen up with humor. It is time to go.

We have 78 miles to Limon. At this point, we are still on Interstate 70 so the ride on the roadway is fairly straightforward. With Del and Karla leading, Sandy in the middle and me riding sweep, we set out. It is after 10:00 pm.

IT IS COLD!!! Brrrrrrr….

Pulling into Limon, Sandy comments—“I can’t imagine how cold I would be if I didn’t put my raingear on”. I nod my head in agreement. We take a longer break as we are all past cold. I’m in the service station and won’t come out….I don’t wanna go on any more!!!

At this point, I ask Del what the temps are. He looks at his thermometer and says “this can’t be right—it is in the 20’s”. Well, I can’t say it felt like 20…I’m just frozen. Both Karla and Del decide to put their rain gear for another insulating layer. We all look like Michelin Men at this point. I have so much gear on my head that Karla questions if my helmet even fits on my head. I laugh because I know I look ridiculous, but I don’t care. I am more interested in staying warm!!

Sixty miles to go. We pull out and about two miles down the road; I wonder why on earth it never occurred to me to put my full faced helmet on. Well, I brought it in the event of rain, not cold. I’m not too bright at this point!

The ride is slow going. We are off the interstate and on Highway 24—a two lane road that cuts through the plains of Colorado. Not only am I worried about the cold, fatigue and especially concerned about Sandy, I worry about deer. I have two words that are quite descriptive of our journey—this sucks!!

The terrain becomes familiar as we get closer to Falcon. We make the last right turn—and then turn into the Safeway Gas station. I pull in front of the pump and shut my motorcycle off. I’m too cold to get off. I deep breath and I climb off, I grin and then we all start whooping and hollering---jumping up and down, giving high fives and hugging each other. Karla’s mother was there to greet us and witness the end of the ride.

Okay, I’m trying to get warm!


It’s over. I look at my odometer and note that I’ve logged about 1,066 miles. The time is a few minutes before midnight. Twenty one hours.

I’m tired is an understatement.

Not only that, I still have a half hour ride to get home.

Again, we fuel up, note the mileage, get Mom B to sign off my paperwork and we all set off together. This time I put my full-faced lid on and know why I didn’t wear it. I’m drafting way too much wind under my chin. Not fun at all.

As we make our way home, I manage to lose my lunchbox. Del sees it and stops to snag it for me. So that’s the third “incident”—Karla loses a winter glove, Sandy runs out of fuel, and I lose my lunchbox.

I get home, pull into the garage and stagger inside. I call Jeanne and tell her we are home. Answer a few e-mails to the MSR board (okay, I’m a geek), then go upstairs. I want to take a bath, but I’m just too tired. Instead, I crank up the electric blanket, strip my gear off, and climb in bed.

That’s the first (and probably last) Saddle Soar 1,000 I’ll be undertaking. Of course, I know better to never say never—and yes, I was up early enough to do the additional 500 miles for the 1,500 in 36 hours ride. Nahhhh, I’ll let it pass.

And yes, I know that the “official” ride is called the Saddle Sore 1,000…but the four of us rose to the challenge and soared above and beyond our limitations and supported each other to achieve our goals. While I’m going to put my distance riding skills away, I know that I’d be proud to ride with any of my four friends.

My thanks to Karla for putting this entire trip together, Del for coming along and watching over us three ladies, and to Sandy—her longest trip before this IB run was only 200 miles and she did it without a windshield!!

Next on deck is…the Mountain Shadow Riders Breast Cancer Awareness Run. We have a great day planned and I’m looking forward to this ride!! Whoooohoooooo!!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Friday, September 08, 2006

Saddle Soar 1,000: The Ride Part One

We set out down Woodmen Blvd and made the first turn—onto Interstate 25. I take a deep breath and let it out slowly. I think “this is it, we are finally on our way”.

Del is leading and Karla riding wing. I’m third and Sandy is riding sweep. I’m in the lull of riding—the drone of the engine in the background and the music of Aida is filling my ears as we head towards Monument Hill. It’s always cold going over Monument Hill—the elevation is over 7,000 feet. I give brief thought to the cold and then think of the cellular trees that are along the pass—it is a scavenger hunt item. Oh well, I’ll catch it on another day, I think.

The ride up to Denver is uneventful, and I follow along with no issues. We make the merge to I-76 and it’s all about riding. Just four bikes rolling down the interstate. Somewhere along the line, I notice something odd about Karla’s saddlebag—it’s open. I ride up beside her and point to her bag. She reaches down and slams it shut. I hope she hasn’t lost any gear.

Our first stop is Fort Morgan, CO and it’s around 5:00 AM. We’ve been on the road for about two hours. I think the operative word is COLD! Yikes! I am seeping cold air somewhere and can’t figure out why. I check my zip vents and they are all closed—or so I think. I give a small thanks of prayer to switching to my other leather jacket. I’m not sure how well I’d be faring if I had not done the switch.

I get off the bike and I look at Karla…she has a concerned look on her face—of course, I’m visibly shivering. Our scheduled stop is only 10 minutes…I need far more than that. I finally get a bit warmed up and back on the bike. I’m thinking if this is what the rest of the ride entails, I am going to be in trouble. We press on.

The second stop is no better. We get off the bike and I’m again shivering—along with everyone else. We are in Ogallala, NE and Del says we passed were around 35 degrees. I am cold but I’m also aware that I’m hungry due to the tremendous energy I have to expend to stay warm. We laugh at each other because of the sheer insanity of the trip so far. The thought of “we are crazy” is in my mind…but the other thought of quitting is never brought up.

I also decide to take another look at ALL the vents in my jacket. Seems that I didn’t check my sleeve vents and they are wide open. No wonder I’m leaking air! I close them and notice an immediate difference! Sheesh….

Oh, and Karla finds out she has lost one of her winter gloves.

We talk about range on the gas tanks—Sandy is on a Honda 1,100 and so her fuel range is a bit shorter. We agree that the stops have to be modified to accommodate her tank since her range is a bit shorter than everyone else’s bikes. No problem, we’ll stop every 120 miles or so.

We also switch over leading. After each stop the wing takes the lead and we rotate around. Everyone gets the practice of leading and a mental break from being the front bike. I’m riding wing to Karla leading and we are headed east—into the early morning sunrise.

Not only am I still cold, I can’t see where I’m going! I don’t really understand why this is so funny, but it is! I guess I had to hold on to the humor otherwise I’d be crying. Oh, wait, I’m too cold to be crying!! LOL…

The stops meld into brainless stops…pull in for fuel, gas up, note the mileage, grab a cup of coffee or take a potty break and then back on the bikes…I lead, then Sandy…we just keep making our way east.

Somewhere along the line, the sun does get high enough that it isn’t blinding anymore and the air warms up. Thank goodness. Unfortunately, we have another problem…a pounding headwind!! It is so bad that Sandy, making about 120 miles before flipping to reserve, runs flat out of gas with reserve at 90 miles!! Thank goodness the gas station is right around the corner!!! Someone is indeed smiling down on us!

It is our lunch break too, so we stop and have a bite to eat, call everyone to let them know we are still alive and complain about the cold. I put more layers on—I’m still trying to get warm from the morning. At this point, it is around 10:00 AM

Again, we are back on the road, the miles continue rolling and I’m feeling better and actually starting to enjoy the ride. I settle back into listening to Les Miserables and watching the scenery go by. I’m finally one with the motorcycle and the scenery. It is indeed a zen moment.

The stops fly by--it is pull in, gas up, note miles, quick drink and snack, talk a few minutes with each other and the gas station attendants, then back on the road. Wash, rinse, repeat.

At York, NE our journey takes us South on Hwy 81. This portion of the ride really is quite nice; everyone is in the groove and the scenery is really beautiful. We cross the state line into Kansas. It is heartwarming to be crossing this point—as it is the halfway mark of our journey.

We’ve been in the saddle ten hours already.

The next five hundred miles await us.

Until then…..

Keep the Shiny Side Up….

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Saddle Soar 1000: The Preparation

Bike: Inspected…all good.....he’s ready to go…

Rider: Inspected, all good, she thinks..or maybe…not....

Thursday rolls around and I’m really having a tough time with the concept. It’s just so far away! I call my friends and talk to them; they are encouraging but at the same time, I don’t think they have a real good idea of the doubt that is plaguing me.

I start packing—that’s an activity that gives me tangible proof that the IB is right around the corner. Sigh. What to pack? Lots of warm weather gear, rain gear, gloves, snack foods, tools, cash, etc., etc., etc. I decide I’m going to pack my full faced helmet along with my shorty.

Friday morning rolls around. I have the pressure of getting my papers done; it is a distraction from the niggling worries that plague my subconscious. I finish my assignments, am mostly packed…so I decide to have a bit of a distraction and head out to see my friends at the PPHOG meeting.

Of course, when I walk in, I see my friends—and one girlfriend that knows of my upcoming trip starts worrying me about not getting enough sleep. Yeah, I *know* I have to be on the road at 3:00 am—it’s 6:00 in the freaking evening. If I went to bed, I wouldn’t be sleeping so why go to bed??

I have a fun with my friends and some of them worry me about the fatigue factor. Yes, I am aware of it…but at this point, I knew I was committed to going. Not only did I know that I was fully capable of doing this ride, I couldn’t let my friend Karla down.

I had a few errands to run to finish up my packing—got them completed and managed to get to bed at 10:30 pm. I normally don’t sleep with an alarm clock—even when I worked a “normal” job—I always manage to know what time to get up. This time I set the alarm. It was quite useless since I managed to wake up every hour with the fear that I overslept!

So much for the alarm clock, eh??

At 1:30, I had enough of the nonsense so I hauled myself out of bed and piddled around. At 2:30, dressed in my red leathers, I rolled my Fatboy out of the garage and began my trip.

I get a half block and decided that my red leather jacket was not going to be warm enough and turned around and got my black leathers. I would appreciate it some 800 miles later.

I pull up to the start point—the Shell station at Academy and Woodmen. Sandy is already there; we are poking fun at each other at the insanity of this endeavor—of course at 3:00 AM we have to have a sense of something—so it might as well be humor, right?

Karla and Dad B pull in, with Mom B following behind in the pickup truck. She looks at me and says “you guys are insane”.

Yeah, I agree, and grin back at her. I’m psyched now…and ready to roll.

The start point is the first fuel stop and I have to note my mileage and get a gas receipt to mark the ‘official’ start time. LOL…for once in my life I was actually ahead of the game and had a full tank of gas. I managed to squeeze a whole .87 in my tank!

Oh well, I had the official receipt denoting the official time and location…the Saddle Soar 1000 had begun…

Darn, it’s dark…..

Until tomorrow….

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Saddle Soar 1,000….Rising to the Challenge

Ever have an idea that sounds good, make a plan and then in the middle of the plan decide insanity? That is this story….

Earlier in the summer my friend Karla asked me a simple question: “Christine, how about doing an Iron Butt?”

My response was, “YES”.

If anyone does not know what an Iron Butt (IB) ride is, it is a 1,000 mile ride in a 24-hour time frame. It is NOT a race, only a challenge of the distance in the time frame…

This was mid June and the idea was set in motion. Plan the trip, do the trip.

The planning: the route, the date, timing, and the people who might be interested in taking the challenge on.

The route: 1,000 miles east. We knew that riding west was not an option. The weather is too iffy and the passes were just not a good idea. We wanted straight line riding for several reasons: riding the twisties is just too fatiguing, the unpredictability of the weather and the time factor. As much interstate as possible simply because of the speed limits and traffic factor. Being on the interstate is not really a “fun” ride, but I think it is safer simply because of not having to worry about passing on a two lane road with oncoming traffic and the speeds are fairly consistent.

The date: Labor Day Weekend. With it being a holiday, that gave the riders one extra day of recuperation before heading back into the real world. We talked about the traffic on the holiday weekend, but determined that most folks would be traveling on Friday and Monday, so the middle of the weekend should be fairly quiet. So, Saturday, September 2, 2006 was the date chosen.

The timing: Breaking the mileage down, we knew that riding in the dark was not an option. We talked about the best time to leave and debated on different time frames. Ultimately, we decided on leaving early in the morning—at 3:00 AM—just to be back at decent time and not span over two days. So the time was set: to leave at the meet point at 3:00 AM.

Yes, my friends all thought it was crazy.

The riders: Karla and I talked about the riders—who would be interested and who would have the experience to endure the undertaking. Jeanne: certainly could do the riding—but felt that it was beyond her capability so she passed. I totally understood. Chris E.: certainly capable, but had other life issues to deal with. A few others: had something going on or were not interested. Then Sandy: she asked to go.

Sandy has only been riding for a year—and her longest ride was about 200 miles. She just endured a few life changes and was ready to take a challenge on. She asked if she could come along. I felt she could handle it, Karla wasn’t as confident. The three of us debated the issue and then she was given the green light to join us.

So we had three riders: Karla, Sandy and me. At the last moment, Karla’s dad decided to ride in with us. We had our riders.

The weeks ticked down and I was looking forward to the event. Talking to my friends about the upcoming experience was an opportunity for them to warn me: the time in the saddle, the fatigue, the distance….did they think I was not up to the challenge? All the warnings were well meant, however, the week before the event all the well-meant warnings started to erode on my confidence. The demons of “what-if” and “doubt” settled in and started questioning my decision. I had seriously thought of backing out.

Although I knew this was an individual challenge, I also knew that I played a part of the team. We all had to support one another if and when the time required. Besides, Karla said she would kick my butt if I backed out…..

So my mind was made up….I’m going to do the ride.

Heaven help us all..

Next: The preparation………..

Keep the Shiny Side Up…

~The Rainbow Wahine

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What Happened to Summer?

It looks to be coming to a close and wayyyyy too soon! This past weekend held rides on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Friday night was the Mountain Shadow Riders’ Family Dinner Night. This month it was held at the Flying W Ranch. The weather had been cloudy and disagreeable, but not so terribly so that I *couldn’t* ride so I hopped on the bike and set off. After all, it is the dinner gathering of a woman’s riding club, right?? It seems that I was the only one that rode in…everyone one else drove!! LOL….The roads were wet, but it wasn’t pouring down rain on the ride up—so no worries.

We had a great visit; a few new faces among the 20 or so that showed. Then again, I always have a great time getting together with my friends!!

Dinner finished and leave time arrived. I walked out to a bike that had a bit of water on it—no worries, it’s not raining even though the pavement was wet. My friend Sandy volunteered to lead me down in the dark. It was a short and safe ride down to the highway—well, except for the deer on the side of the road!! We got down to the main road and I went around her…she was throwing too much water and I couldn’t see!!

I had an interesting experience when I had to brake for a traffic signal. The light changed to yellow and I was too far back to run the light. Being that it was dark, the roads were wet and it was a busy intersection, I decided to brake. Very cautious of pavement conditions and the awaiting traffic, I started to brake. It was a very deliberate and slow brake—the last thing I wanted to do was skid. I didn’t skid, but I did start to drift so I immediately knew I was hydroplaning. It was a strange feeling to be drifting all over the lane knowing I had no control. Easing off the brake a bit I continued working the speed down until I stopped—a few feet over the white line.

Sandy pulls up next to me and says “gee, that looked scary”.

I looked at her and said, “I guess I still had a few good Karma points left”.

That tempered my desire for riding and I got the bike home and stayed put for the rest of the night. Besides, I was planning on riding up to Mount Evans so I wanted to be rested.

I never made it to Mount Evans. I awoke to pouring down rain. I did get out for a short jaunt—the day cleared by mid afternoon and I rode down to a friend’s house. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t hold and started pouring by early evening. Sigh. I ended up leaving my bike at her place due to the pouring down rain. The Fatboy was safe in her garage…right next to her Dyna. I guess it was a good thing I didn’t wash the goop off from the night before.

Sunday was predicted to be another rainy day. I awoke to a gorgeous day—and I’m thinking my bike is….errrr…at a sleepover at Jeanne’s. She calls me to tell me she’s coming up to get me and while I’m riding down to her place…I’m thinking….lunch…ride….


We get out and ride a bit down to Old Colorado City, have a great lunch at a wonderful bar-be-que joint and shop!! It was a gorgeous day—that should have been the day to ride up to Mount Evans!

The days are cooling off and getting shorter… the fall is upon us. The last great summer weekend is upon us—Labor Day Weekend is this upcoming weekend. On deck is the Rally in the Rockies in Durango, Thunder in the Rockies at Loveland…and the IB…..

Guess which one I’m doing???

I’ll be a heck of a story—I’m hoping it won’t rain….

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Is It Me or Is The Emperor Not Wearing Any Clothes?

One Saturday afternoon I was wandering around the Harley Davidson Dealership checking out the new 2007 motorcycles. It was really great to see the changes that they made on the various models. Sigh…I’m in love yet!!

While I like the look of the new Fatboy—when I sat on the motorcycle….it wasn’t love at first sitting. Harley Davidson changed the seat on the Fatboy and it actually has a higher seat height and I can not flat-foot the bike! Grrrr…..already.

If you know, nothing annoys me more to spend X number of dollars on anything and then spending way more to change stuff I don’t like. Motorcycle accessories aren’t cheap, ya know??

Overall, I like most of the changes and my friend and I were having great fun sitting on all the various models and just drooling over this change and that change.

So after the lusty “there’s new motorcycles” haze faded away, I noticed that I was not liking the majority of the paint colors and combos on a good many of the motorcycles. I have been reading and hearing about Harley Davidson pushing towards marketing to women and I’m finding more colors and combinations that are…..unattractive!

Olive green is NOT a girly color. I’m sitting on a very niiiiiiice blue/white Fatboy and looked over at the Springer parked next to me. Okay, maybe if you are an Army guy or girl, you might like this. But I’m thinking that the majority of Army personnel don’t drive Army Green personal owned vehicles. They’d want to buy an olive green Harley?? As a matter of fact…I can not recall any automobile manufacturer that has an olive green vehicle in their line up.

Not to mention that it is a “custom” color (read…NOT BLACK)…it is going to cost more!!!

Of course, from what I hear the ‘07s are flying off the showroom floor and I guess you can order a black Harley and wait half a lifetime (I have no idea what the wait time is to order a bike) or you can cough up the extra cash…and then spend more money to have it painted…again.

If I *were* to buy a new Harley Davidson, I would probably go with the Road King Custom. Of course, the only colors I’m partial to are the yellow and the new “powder” blue.

Well, if I had unlimited pockets, I REALLY like the look of the CVO Road King. But what is there not to love about this red motorcycle with flames? Now THAT is a girly bike!!! Unfortunately, I hear a couple extra cha-chings too…

I’m really disappointed with the color schemes this year. Is me or is it just awful??

Keep the Shiny Side Up…

~The Rainbow Wahine

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Thank You Mr. Cage Driver

This past weekend was the Salute to Veteran’s Day Celebration up in Cripple Creek. My friends and I had a great time in our usual adventures. After all, how can leather, cool motorcycles with tons of shiny chrome accessories, helicopter flyovers, rally food and lots of shopping be not fun? Well, it was!

I was up all three days—with different friends which equaled to more fun than a person is allowed. Today’s story is a misadventure with a happy ending.

Saturday morning dawned with unfavorable weather—the forecast for the whole weekend was not promising and my friend and I expected to be doing some riding in the rain with the likelihood of hail. We all know to pack appropriately—and do—except I forgot my rain pants—they are hanging on the back of a dining room chair. That’s another story, however.

My friends and I gather together and ride down to Pike’s Peak Harley Davidson to register for the motorcycle parade. Once registered, the plan was to go ahead up to Woodland Park to the staging area to get an up-front spot in the line. Cool, works for me!!

Once registered, we head on up. After we get over Ute Pass, the weather clears quite nicely and I am enjoying the ride. I know that our next stop is gas, and we pull in. You know, the gas station song and dance.

Here’s where it gets interesting. I’m riding wing, I’m the middle bike in a group of three. My friend is leading and she pulls out. I know it is clear…I glanced briefly then turned my attention to the road ahead. My lane is clear.

There has been a great deal of rain and there was a good amount of sand and small gravel on the road and I had to cross . I’m steering veeerrrryyy carefully over and out of the sand; last thing I want is to fall on a turn on Highway 24. I overcompensated my turn and pulled too wide…into the other lane. Not onto oncoming traffic, but there was a vehicle in the lane and fortunately, the driver was paying attention and changed lanes. Otherwise, I would have been involved in a very serious accident.

I pull into position and shook my head to indicate I was alright. A few moments later, we pulled into the staging area and parked. Of course, I got the “what the *^$*^$ were you doing” speech. I told her what happened.

I looked at her and said “I guess I used up all my good karma points this morning”.

So, thank you, Mr. Cage Driver, for watching the road. Pulling in the lane with a full-sized SUV is not a contest I want to try and I am grateful that the driver was paying attention and avoided me without incident. Yes, he could have used as many expletives as necessary; I will take a verbal beating in lieu of the other option.

The rest of the weekend was without incident. I’m glad it was. I’ll get to ride another day.

Again, whether riding or driving, please extend the courtesy of paying attention to all vehicles on the road. I’m grateful that the driver of the SUV was doing what he was supposed to do.

It’s taken me a few days to get my thoughts together regarding this incident. I rarely doubt my riding abilities but this goes to show that we are all capable of errors. I’m just lucky that this story had a happy ending.

As always…

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Friday, August 18, 2006

The POW/MIA Salute to Veteran's Rally

Cripple Creek, Colorado. My girlfriends are saddling up to head out this morning to see the sights and do their shopping before all the craziness of a lot of motorcycles show up tomorrow. This day has opened up to be a gorgeous day—but knowing Colorado weather—we should have rain this afternoon. I plan on heading up later this morning/afternoon, so I’ll get to see my friends and SHOP!!! Whoooohooooo!!!

I look forward to this weekend—I’m riding in the parade for the first time. Last year, I rode in with a small group; this year I’ll be in the insanity of many many motorcycles. As always, it should be fun!!

I’ll have my camera on me, so I hope to get some cool pics!!

Stay safe out there and as always…

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Crashing on Purpose

Well, it's been a week. My girlfriend was in an accident last week--she was thrown from a four-wheeler. She's okay, got banged up for the most part.

I have two friends of mine that were involved in a motorcycle accident last weekend. The rider is an experienced rider and I have no problem riding on the back of his bike. His girlfriend is a rider as well and was on the back of his bike.

They were following a Ryder/U-Haul type truck--and had been following them for six or seven miles when the truck signaled right and started to pull off on the side of the road. Suddenly, the driver of the truck decided to make a U-turn in the middle of the road and didn't look.

My friend had a choice: T-Bone the truck or lay the bike down. He laid the bike down. Let me tell you, doing this at 65 miles an hour (the speed limit) is not a choice to make lightly. He did manage to get some of the speed off before he put the bike down.

He doesn't remember anything else until after the crash. His girlfriend has more memory, but the details were hazy and confused. Both were airlifted to a hospital in Denver.

Both required emergency surgery--he had a compound fracture of the ankle, hers was a compound fracture of the knee. His surgeon made the comment after the surgery to my friend: "I hear you were trying to be a Hollywood stuntman".

Evidently, when he laid the bike down he didn't have an impact with the vehicle. Instead, the bike passed under the truck. Not only was there no impact with a vehicle, they managed to avoid getting run over as well.

Both are extremely lucky; beside brusing, road rash and broken bones, they are intact.

Both were wearing helmets.

I was talking to the both of them and his comment, "there just wasn't any time to do anything".

Certainly, the accident was caused by the driver of the other vehicle. I could go on and rant about the necessity of cage drivers to look--yes, he should have. If it was another car following, it would have been an accident that involved a car. This time it was a motorcyclist.

I'm sure the driver of the truck didn't intend on hitting anyone; certainly not my two friends. I'm not about to turn this into a car vs. motorcycle argument--it solves nothing and creates more hard feelings for both parties.

I will, however, comment on several comments that my two friend's non-riding friends and family members have made--regarding the irresponsiblity of the decision to ride and the self-serving, holier than thou, I told you so attitude that riding is somehow wrong.

"I told you motorcycles were dangerous".

They could have been in their car and the accident could still have occured. People certainly don't see motorcycles, but they don't see cows, culverts, pedestrians, and other cars and trucks on the road either. A cage T-boning a big truck would have been very ugly as well with no guarantees ensuring survival of such an accident.

Basically, there are no guarantees in life. I just want to take this time to remind everyone to be vigilant when riding and driving. Respect all vehicles and understand that each of us has a responsbility to our own safety and to others--respect others, the laws of the road, the laws of gravity, the machine we ride in/on, and the pavement.

I'm glad my friends are still here today; they should be home from the hospital today and in the process of recovering--physically and psychologically.

The rider has the right attitude. Upon seeing him in the hospital bed, he commented--I wanted an '07 anyway--in comment to his brand new, barely made 1,000 miles hard bagger he rides.

Well, his old Heritage is up for sale at the dealership...LOL...

Please, keep the shiny side up.....

~The Rainbow Wahine