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Friday, June 30, 2006

It's The Colorado Motorcycle Vacation

One week

Crazy people from all over the country


Bit of Sleet

Blazing Heat


Cold to bone temps

Places I’ve never heard of and want to go back to

Places I’ve never heard of and DON’T ever want to go back to

Dirt roads


Hot springs

Bikini top and board shorts

Lots of Pics

One very dirty Fatboy

One crispy Rainbow Wahine

One T-Bag full of dirty clothes

And………1,576.48 miles…

News at 11:00…

Keep The Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

It’s All About the T-Shirt

I’m in the middle of my weeklong Colorado Motorcycle trip….and our group is discussing the ride T-Shirt.  Hmmmm…..

This group I’m riding with has come in from all over the country.  The “core” group is four or five members that have been friends for quite some time.  The rest (me included) are invited in for one reason or another.

The theme of this trip and the official Colorado Group Ride is called “Rolling With the Axe Murderers”.  Yes, there is a story behind it.....

When I get out on a first date, my girlfriends are more or less my pseudo-parents.  They want to know where I’m going, who I’m meeting, what time I have to be there…and I have to call when I am on my way home.  It’s all about someone making sure that I’m safe…which is a great feeling—especially being a single girl.

So when my girlfriends all heard I was “going” on vacation with a bunch of folks I have never met, they thought I was crazy.  I’m riding my motorcycle all over the state of Colorado with a bunch of strangers.  My one girlfriend wants a step-by-step itinerary…and her famous question is “what if they are Axe Murderers”?  


For the record, they are not….and are terrific folks to boot.  I did tell them the Axe Murderers story, and yes, that has been the theme for the entire trip.  Besides, if the trip did head south or our personalities didn’t mesh…I could just ride home.

For the record, it’s been a wonderful time.  I have a ton of pics to post and lots of stories to write….and will have to do it when I get home as I’m usually beat by the end of the night.  Besides, I have to Photoshop my images before I can post them.

So, it’ll have to wait.

And yes, there is an “official” ride T-Shirt…can you believe that??

Until then,

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Friday, June 23, 2006

Monday’s Ride: Leadville to Colorado Springs

Continuing on….

Heading out of Leadville, Betty and I continued cruising northward.  The sky wasn’t too happy looking and I am uneasy with the message the sky is sending.  Especially in light of the motorcyclist that was killed a few days ago by a lightning strike.  

As I’m leading down the road, I notice mile marker 1…..hey….I have mile marker 6 for the Scavenger Hunt, but I know Betty doesn’t…so here we go.  As we pass the markers, I’m counting them and at six we pull over.  I have the image, but I shoot one anyway.  

We mount back up and head on up the road.  I have a mental note to stop at the Continental Divide…it’s on the list as well.  I know it’s the on the road that I’m on and am looking for it.  Little did I know that the marker is in the middle of a mining pit that smells awful!  I decided to putt past it and catch another marker later.  Unfortunately, what I didn’t realize that there were slag piles on the pit and I need those too!!  Sigh.

Rounding the bend, we come up on Copper Mountain Ski resort.  I like skiing Copper.  This time of year there’s no snow, but hey…Ski Resort.  I have an image from A-Basin from Sunday, but I’m liking this shot more!  Besides, I knew Betty needs it as well.

After the image is shot, I pull the handy-dandy map out (yes, although I’m the lost girl I do have a map and use it on occasion).  We decide to head down to Frisco.  Unbeknownst to me, Frisco holds a treasure trove of Scavenger Hunt items!  I should have known, since I rode through it the day before.  Oh well, they do call me the lost girl…for not paying attention!!

Frisco is a really neat mountain resort town.  Again, I find myself wishing for extra time to get out and explore the sights.  Just another place to mark in my book to get out and do at a later time.  All our Scavenger Hunt items are in close proximity of one another; so it was easy.   I took a couple of cool other shots as well…one being in front of the Marina sign.  I couldn’t resist…something about pulling on the sidewalk!!

Across the street from the marina was…..a cemetery!   While I’m waiting for Betty to get organized, I see a great shot in my rearview…Betty and her bike…I think it’s a great memento image!

Once again we are on the road and headed down to Breckenridge.  We had decided to make it a snack stop so I knew we’d be pulling in.  As I’m heading into town, I spot the sign for the Riverwalk.  You guessed it..Scavenger Hunt!  That’s an image I don’t have so I pull in, take the shot.  This is on Betty has so she’s off shooting another treasure find that’s around the corner.  

Our stop involved ice cream and apple pie…Betty has this great Motorcycle Weight Loss diet post on her blog…and here I am circumventing it!  As we sit and chat and eat, the clouds start rolling in.  We decide to get up and going or face a wait out.  I want to get back on the road—it’s getting late and we still have Hoosier Pass to cross.  

We did catch some of the rain!  Naturally it had to do with Murphy’s Law.  I didn’t put my rain gear on.  Had I have put it on, it wouldn’t have rained.  Go figure.  Navigating Hoosier Pass is fun and I’m watching the twisties and the side of the road.  I’ve already passed the Continental Divide twice in the past two days and I don’t want to blow past it again.  Paying attention paid off…I find the marker and get the image.  Hey…there happens to be a log cabin too………..

Our next stop is Fairplay…and South Park City.  South Park City gets its notoriety from the cartoon South Park.  Okay, it’s a very small town, but nevertheless, we find a lot of stuff and have fun riding around looking!

After Fairplay, it is a straight ride in…we have one more stop in Divide…so I can catch my phone messages and Betty gas up.  I’m also happy to be riding Hwy 24 again….riding those stretches of twisties down is a blast and I put the Fatboy around the corners like a mad woman.  Yes, I’m safe, but gosh, it’s so much fun to lean this way and lean that way…….

Back in the Springs, I note the mileage…350 miles and the time….after 9:00 PM.  It was a full day’s ride.  Lots of stops and a lot of fun.  Betty did a great job and I was glad to have ridden with her.  I hope that we’ll have the opportunity to get out again soon.

Well, that was Monday’s trip.  

My friends are pulling into Estes Park tonight!  Whoooohoooooo…the Colorado Motorcycle Vacation is about to begin.  My girlfriend called me last night…and asked….am I ready???  Nope…I suppose I do need to pack *grins*.  It’s all good…I’ll be ready.  

I’m bringing my laptop along since I have homework next week… I’m looking to post on the road.  

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Monday’s Ride: Colorado Springs to Leadville

I was bound and determined to get The North Pole and the Base of Pike’s Peak on our ride. It irks me to no end to pass it on an almost weekly basis and know I don’t have the image! Both stops are close together, so getting one insures that I’d get the other.

The North Pole is interesting. The plans for creating an amusement park began in 1955. Modeled after Santa’s Workshop in Lake Placid, NY, construction was completed and the park opened in 1956. In the center of the village is a Frozen North Pole that stays frozen no matter how warm it gets!! This is a really neat thing to do one afternoon—my son loves the North Pole! If you have the chance, you can send postcards postmarked with a North Pole postmark….

The North Pole

Since the park is located at the base of Pike’s Peak, it only made common sense to get the entrance to The Peak. I asked Betty if she was game to riding The Peak…nooooo….not today! She’s open to doing it and I think she will….just not today!! So the shot of the entrance will do. There is a motorcycle run up Pike’s Peak next month. Count me in to be there—I want to ride it with my friends to the top!! I did it last year and loved it, so it’s penciled in on my calendar this year.

The Entrance to Pike's Peak

Next stop is Wilkerson Pass. Getting to Wilkerson Pass is easy…go west on Highway 24 until you see the sign. I had ridden to Wilkerson Pass on Sunday and it was cold enough to wear a jacket. When Betty and I rode on Monday, I was in a shirt. What a difference one day makes!!

Observation deck at Wilkerson Pass

Wilkerson Pass was named after John Wilkerson’s family in 1870. While he wasn’t an established resident of Colorado, he came to the area to visit an old war friend and used the pass. He decided to name to pass after his family. Hmmm….that’s how stuff gets done in the late 1800’s eh?? This pass (part of the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway—a highway that runs from New York City to San Francisco), was moved to its current location in the early 1900’s and is still drivable today!

Photo op time, get the required Scavenger Hunt items, talk to the folks at the Visitor Center…mount up and back on the road. The plan was to get to Buena Vista and stop for lunch. There were too many roadside opportunities to stop and shoot an image or two…at this rate, we are never going to make lunch at Buena Vista! Well, we didn’t….we ended stopping at a great Mexican restaurant in Johnson Village.

Hwy 24 side of the road stop

Another Hwy 24 side of the road stop

The lunch stop was great! I love discovering the local eateries…especially when the food is delicious. I’ll have to get the image of the stop from Betty and post it up…so you can stop there too!

Stomachs full, we head out in a northerly direction: Leadville. The road up is designated a scenic byway and is called the Top of the Rockies Scenic and History Byway. It is gorgeous!! While I’m riding the highway down in the mountain ranges, I had a thought…”wow, there are a lot of ROCKS everywhere”. Duhhhh…Christine…we are in the ROCKY MOUNTAINS after all! I guess I’m guilty of not really paying close attention. I would have loved to stop and shoot a million images, but it was already on the other side of lunch and we had a way to go!

Lots o' the National Forest Sign!

Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway

I really wanted to get the image of Mt. Elbert—the highest point in the state of Colorado. I never passed the sign that to shoot the image—with the mountain in the background. I think it’s another road on another day image. That spot of highway was one of confusion on my behalf. The clouds blew in and the afternoon storms were on the way. With temps dropping, I knew I wanted to make a run to the fish hatchery and get the image.

Cool..Leadville Fish's the WRONG one!!

We pulled in to shoot the image of the sign. As we were busy with our cameras, a gentleman stopped and told us about Turquoise Lake. I thanked him and we mounted up and headed out to get back on the highway. Ironically, the image of the fish hatchery is incorrect—the list has a fish hatchery…we just got the wrong one! Turquoise Lake, which we rode right by….we decided against going since the weather was deteriorating…WAS on the list. Gee…Mr. Murphy was up to his old tricks, eh??

Betty and I get to Leadville and gas up. I’m still not wearing a jacket. It’s a bit cool, but not too terribly bad. A gentleman pulls up on his Harley and asks me “aren’t you cold”? He’s in full gear—dressed for a blizzard! It was too funny!!

Leadville, at 10,430 feet, is designated as North America’s highest incorporated city. It is a great town—with 310 days of sunshine and temps that rarely get over 80 degrees! Of course, I’m thinking of the low temps in the dead of winter!! Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

The National Mining Museum is located in Leadville, so we followed the signs without mishap to the museum. The museum looked interesting—and if we weren’t time limited I’d have spent more time than a cursory visit. Next time….next time. At this rate, I’ve got so many mental notes to see all these places that I am not sure I’ll get there in this lifetime. I’m going to try, however *smile*.

The National Mining Museum

I look forward to the 5-in-1 next month. The end spot is in Leadville so I’ll make a point to break away from the festivities and check out the museum. I think it will be a lot of fun to visit all the little shops too!!

Well, we have quite a bit of way to go from Leadville, but at this point, this story ends. I really do need to get off this computer, do some homework and get packed for my motorcycle adventure that starts tomorrow!!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Biker Betty and Me—Down Highway 24

I finally had a chance to ride with Betty yesterday and whoooohooooo we burned quite a few miles!!  My trip odometer said 349.7 miles when it was all said and done.  I pulled in after dark!  Leaving at 9:00 AM and pulling in after 9:00 PM—what a great day.

It was good to get out with just one rider….we stopped and putted every few hundred feet—or so it seemed.  We had discussed Scavenger Hunting and decided on a route.  I knew that I wanted to get the North Pole, Cave of the Winds, and the base of Pike’s Peak.  It drives me crazy every time I passed those items and know I don’t have them, so I decided I should quit driving myself crazy!!

Being that those three things are on Highway 24, we just started down that road.  With the time issue and our ever-growing trip, we did manage North Pole and Pike’s Peak, but blew past Cave of the Winds.  It was on the “other” side of the highway and I wanted to be on the road!  

It’s funny—just about every Scavenger Hunt stop we did (except for the side of the road highway ones)…ended up being a big stop as we kept finding stuff to get!!  Of course, I know that we ended up missing more stuff too!  That just means that we’ll have to go back.  Which is good, in my opinion.  Riding Highway 24 is fun.

I’m thinking that I have a big bull’s eye on my motorcycle.  Sunday it was a mini-van in the parking lot—who saw the rider in front of me but not me.  I saw them and stopped as they didn’t see me.   Yesterday it was a car that decided that they needed to pass…and driving head on in my lane to do the pass.  It was fine to do so…except I had a minor problem being in the lane!!

No accident, thank goodness, but really…what’s the hurry?  To get somewhere five minutes early??  LOL.  We let cars pass us and enjoyed our leisurely trip “going that a-way”….

I had ridden Highway 24 on Sunday, but I knew Betty needed the pass, so we stopped.  I had intended to head out to Florissant and then do the Scavenger Hunting there, Cripple Creek and Canon City.  Ha ha ha…we never made it there.  Instead we did Buena Vista, Leadville, Copper, Frisco Bay, Breckenridge, Fairplay, and then back on Highway 24.  

We had sun, clouds and a bit of rain.  No snow, thank goodness!  We rode on pavement and a bit of dirt too.  My clean shiny motorcycle is no longer clean and shiny!!  

The overall trip was fantastic!  Betty does exceptionally well on her V-Star—yes, it is the baby version and I had to help her pull it out of a dirt rut.  No worries…she had to help me push the big honkin’ Harley out of her driveway!!!  LOL…stuck before we even started!!!

I’m sure she’ll be telling her story…as soon as she gets back from her week long camping trip.  It was my fault that she didn’t get a chance to post something up before leaving—I think it was due to someone keeping her out on the road all darn day and half the night!!

Well, that’s my post for the day….I’ll put the trip details in the next coming days.

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Monday, June 19, 2006

Sunday Ride: The CVO 3 in 1

It is always fun to be invited to ride in with a new group. I had no idea that Harley Davidson had a CVO Group. CVO stands for Custom Vehicle Operations and to quote a friend of mine…”it’s a Harley that has upgrades done already so they can charge more than way too much”…..LOL!!

Custom paint, chrome, motor work and other stuff. The CVO program was started in 1999. If you have been to your local Harley Davidson dealer, chances are you have seen a CVO bike or two. My son always points out the really cool purple, rust and metal Fatboy on the floor. Why he loves this bike so, I have no idea.

Photo courtesy of Harley

What a cool Fatboy, eh??

Like mother, like son, I suppose. Let me tell you, my son loves motorcycles.

Oh, uh, okay, I’m off track.

I had no idea that there is a CVO Group. Evidently, this group has a ‘rally’ every year and this year it is being held in Cripple Creek, CO…and is going on in the next few days. My friends are putting this together and invited me to ride in on to test the route. Of course, I’m game!

We have six riders…two on a CVO Electra Glide (cha-ching), one on a CVO Electra Glide 2 (again, cha-ching), one on a 100th Anniversary Heritage, a Deuce rider, and the Rainbow Wahine on her Fatboy.

The route: Three mountain passes….even in June…brrrrr. This ride is the longest of the planned events and is approximately 280 miles. It is going to be a long day in the saddle.

The meeting is between 6:30 and 7:00 am in my cul-de-sac. Yawn. Oh, and it is a nippy morning. Nippy for chaps, leather jacket, gauntlets, neck gaiter, and ear warmers. Yes, it is June!

First stop is Wilkerson Pass on Hwy 24. It’s a beautiful stop! I snag a couple of pics and my pin. Whooohoooo…they have pins! Not only does the visitor center have pins, it is also a Scavenger Hunt item!

Scavenger Hunt Item: Mountain Pass

The Mountain Ranges off the Wilkerson Pass Visitor Center

The other photos are of the mountain ranges at the visitor center. The sky is such an amazing blue color! Now you see why I need cold weather gear…see….SNOW!!!

Mounting back up and back on the road, we get to Hartsel and head up to Fairplay on Hwy 9. As we pass through Fairplay, a thought occurs to me…South Park is on the list…and it is right around the corner. Of course, I have to stop and take the image!!

South Park's a pretty cool place!!

We continue on to Breckenridge…this is our lunch stop. We park and hunt a lunch spot with patio seating. It’s just a gorgeous day….as luck would have it, we did find a place with patio seating and managed to get a waitress who told us stories about her bartending gig at Sturgis!

Oh, and the skyline of Breckenridge…..gorgeous, isn’t it??

The Lunch Stop Shot...courtesy of our waitress

Once lunch is finished…we head back to the bikes. I stop at Bubba Gump’s—I know they have Breckenridge pins, so I get one. I tell the rest of the group I’ll catch up. As I’m running (and in motorcycle boots is no easy feat) to catch up, I pass a “landmark”. Hmmmm…on the Scavenger Hunt List?? I’m told no. I insist. I am told no again. Okay, I bargain with my fellow MSR member….let’s get down and shoot the image. I’d rather be wrong…take the shot and it not be on the list than not take the shot and come back.

Yes, it’s on the list. And I’m not telling what it is either!!!

On our way out of town, we had to make a detour. Wal-Mart detour. I’m thinking to shop at the ski shop while the others do the Wal-Mart run. I need some kind of ski gear, right?? LOL. Turns out I didn’t get any ski gear, but I found these cool goggles that I can wear riding. They work great. Except I look like a bug and it doesn’t help that they are purple with blue lenses. I’ll post up the image one of my friends took while I’m riding and you decide for yourselves!

We have a short jaunt on I-70. Well, it was a long ride on I-70; especially when you are doing 5 MPH. Feet up, feet down, feet up…you get the picture.

We do finally peel off I-70 and head to Evergreen. What a cool little town! Heading south again, we ride through Conifer, through Pine and stop at The Bucksnort (see previous post).

On the road again, we get through Deckers, down through Woodland Park, then to the Springs. I leave my group since I would rather ride through town than up I-25. Run a few errands, fill up for gas and look at my trip odometer.

Some 300+ miles. It is after 8:30 PM.

It was a great ride. The only thing we skipped was Mt. Evans. Two additional hours we didn’t have to give, so we shelved the detour. It will be there tomorrow. I did, however, shoot the image of the you can at least see where I *should* be going!!

I hear the ride up Mt. Evans is well worth it!!

Keep The Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Bucksnort: So What if it IS on Dirt?

Sunday’s ride included The Bucksnort in Sphinx, CO. It’s been on the list of “to do’s” for quite some time. Every time my friends and I would plan this stop on a motorcycle ride, someone would bail…because it’s on dirt.

Yes, it IS on dirt, but it’s hard packed and no more of a challenge to ride than up to my friend’s home in Larkspur. Well, unless you go off the edge of the road. If you do that, trust me, riding on dirt is a minor problem! There are pictures on the walls of The Bucksnort that has cars in the ditches. We also had the wonderful opportunity of seeing a pickup truck being hauled out of a ravine….with a bent up rear-axle. Not good, in my opinion!

The ride down this little road is spectacular! The rock formations and small stream makes for typical gorgeous Rocky Mountain scenery. Yes, it is worth riding down this road to get to this place.

According to the July 2, 2004 article in The Gazette, the Bucksnort is a 100+ year-old cabin that is the last standing building of the old mining town of Sphinx Park. It was an old mercantile and now is a bar/restaurant. Evidently, it’s a pretty hot spot…even being on a dirt road and all!

Of course, being my first time, I had to try their famous burger…and yes, it was quite yummy. Scott, a burger connoisseur, pretty much put the stamp of approval on the whole dining experience…he inhaled his burger!! LOL. Of course, the burger was one highlight…the other being the beautiful scenery out back! It was daylight so there wasn’t a band…but I hear this is a pretty hoppin’ place at night too!

The company was fabulous too and we had a great time talking to everyone—in our riding group and the new faces at the other tables. Well, they had to talk to us—with all our riding gear we managed to take up all the tables! So other patrons HAD to talk to us….to ask if we would move our stuff!! LOL…

I’ve heard from several sources it’s a couple to three miles once you turn off the highway…the Internet says seven. I wasn’t paying attention since I was concentrating on keeping my motorcycle upright and not going off the edge!! At one point the ruts were so bad I was gritting my teeth and thinking “this is a Harley Davidson…NOT a flippin’ dirt bike”!!!

One of our riders wasn’t happy; she did drop her Deuce when she got stuck in sand. She’s alright, the bike has minor damage, but still…..

Oh yeah, I had to be pushed out too.

Still, it was worth it. I hear it now….some of my MSR friends won’t be doing this ride!! I can understand, but at the same time, this is really a cool place!

And no, it’s not on the Scavenger Hunt list. *Yippee* because no way was I going to get the Fatboy by the sign—it was way too much work!! I did get one of my friends to snap a pic, though. A “Christine was here memento”.

Yes, I was at The Bucksnort...see *smiles*

Finally, The Bucksnort. I still have to find Little Bear…which is in Evergreen. Anyone want to ride it with me? Evergreen is a great ride, BTW….I mean some really cool twisties!!

The whole Sunday ride was cool….this was just a stop. I’ll post the details of the full ride tomorrow….

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Saturday’s Ride: Was it A Ride?

I was on the Fatboy, so I *suppose* it was a bona-fide ride!

One of my MSR friends is leaving…well The Teacher and her hubby. So I rode down to her going away party. It was a lot of fun as The Blonde Smoothie, Screamer, Dorothy and The Rainbow Wahine were the MSR representatives. It was a lot of fun and we visited, rehashed road stories and got to her Mr. Teacher’s western motorcycle adventures.

Sigh, I can’t believe they are going and I am going to miss the heck out of both of them. Alas, that is what the military does…

Somewhere along the line The Blonde Smoothie lost part of her electrical—stuff like her speedometer, her turn signals and brake light. Kinda important to have while riding. So my other dear friend stepped up to the plate and took her bike down and traded his so we would be able to do the all important Sunday ride. Gotta love him for being so generous!

The three of us did a local ride….a short hop around town. No, we didn’t stay out late…our ride for Sunday means meeting at my house between 6:30 and 7:30 am…..


So we did the ‘right’ thing and called it an early night. It was a ride…I got to see my friends and ride my motorcycle. What else could it be?

Yes, it was a ride!

Keep The Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Casualties of War

Well, I got my pullbacks on my Harley! I can say that I really like them!

It was a minor project and one that I would have had done last night—except I was missing a particular socket. So this morning I was headed off to the tool store. While I’m there, I’m not looking at anything else…I don’t need to buy anything else!!

Stay focused. Need... tool... to... wrench... Harley.... nothing else..... Don’t need another wrench…but hey…that one looks really cool…..

Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop!

Back home, the disassembly continues. My son notices that something is amiss with the motorcycle and keeps asking me why Mr. Chubbs is broken. He’s too funny sometimes. I tell him that I’m putting pullback risers to move the handlebars closer to me. His response was “okay, just as long as he’s fixed soon, mom”. Gotta love that boy!

I ordered the 5.5” pullback risers from Drag Specialties. My friends over at the Fatboy forum had some great advice on what they had done to move the bars back. One rider had put these same pullbacks on without having to change out the cabling. That’s the project I decided I needed to do. I did not want to change out the cables!

Getting the stock risers off and the new ones on were no problem. After I had the right tools, that is. Putting the top clamp back on was a problem. The screws were too long! I wasn’t interested in getting back in my van and heading down the road. It seems that is always the case—I need some crazy bolt and screw and end up having to get out again.

Solution: Dremel.

I cut the bolts down. Measure once, cut fifty times. Oh, no, that’s wrong. Measure 50 times, cut once. It’s all good. Did it right the first time and they are now short enough.

Got the top clamp on, wrenched it down. Unfortunately, I stripped out the socket, so I have to run out to Sears to swap it out. Seems I did a pretty good job of stripping it too!!!! Don’t ask me how I did it, it doesn’t work. Then again, I could have stripped the bolt head, eh?? Which in my opinion is a much bigger problem than the issue I had!!!

Not only that, the bolt doesn’t have a lifetime warranty. Craftsman tools do!!

The title is plural…so what’s the other casualty?

I broke a nail. Sigh.

Okay, a girl’s got to have some vanity. After all, I have chaps that match the Harley. What can I say *smile*.

All back together and took the Fatboy out for a ride. I should have done it a long time ago! Putting the pullback risers on brought the bars up and back and now I feel like I’m not hunching over to reach them. I could have put new bars on, but that’s more of a pain than I want to tackle. I already had the chore of taking most of the stuff off when I put my heated grips on! It was not a difficult job at all, however, if I could avoid it, I would.

I like the risers; they do what I needed them to do. AND was an inexpensive fix as well.

Alright, so one stripped out socket and one broken nail…I’ll take it!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Mr. Chubbs: In for Surgery

I did get a bit of riding in yesterday….down to the local motorcycle parts shop to pick up my pullback risers.  I ordered them last week…I finally decided that I needed to put them on to move my handle bars back a bit.  This is a project I had been thinking about for a bit, but one I didn’t necessarily want to start because of the issue of only wanting to do it once.  If I didn’t like them, I don’t want to take them off.  So it’s not only one of those can’t try before you buy…it’s a disassembling project I’m pretty much not interested in doing.

It is an easier project than my Dyna riding Harley Diva girlfriend is doing…she’s swapping out her bars…

While I was down at the shop, I noticed that the purple leather lever wraps were gone…hmmm..wondering if Biker Betty…who rides a purple Star….got them??   LOL.

My Fatboy is in the garage at the moment…the surgery has begun.  It’s an easy enough project—so I’m not complaining.  I should have it done this afternoon.  I hope so; I have way too much to do the rest of the week!

As I was riding down the road, I noticed—it’s HOT!!  We have been having 90 degree temps so it’s noticeably warm when I stop.  I was at a red light and feeling the heat come off the motor and I’m wondering….how on earth can people ride with shorts on?   I’m thinking the legs would not appreciate all that heat in direct contact with my skin.  It was not really that comfortable with jeans on!  I think that’s an experiment that I’m not going to do.  The burn mark on my shin from oh so many years ago on my leg coming in direct contact with a hot pipe is just a memory scar…and one I’m not interested in replaying.  

Hey, I’m getting old, I need to preserve as much of this body as I can!!

Other than that, not much is going on in the motorcycle world at the moment.  As much as I would love to get out and ride today…I’m a wrenchin’.  If I don’t to it now, I won’t be riding this weekend!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Monday, June 12, 2006

In Search of Paco Bell

Sunday was a glorious day—especially to fire up the motorcycle and get out on the road.  I awoke some 40 minutes before I was supposed to meet my friends down at Gunther Toody’s….so it was a quick clean up and out the door.  I didn’t put sun block on.

Ouch.  I normally wear at least 50 SPF and put in on before I get dressed.  It just makes it easier to get on and I keep the stuff off my clothes.  At any rate, I decided to get it on after breakfast.  I did manage to slap some on my face and the front of my neck—and only because it is part of my make up routine…thank goodness for that!

The ride today took me up to Florissant, over to Cripple Creek and back down through Manitou and Old Colorado City.  We had a small group; I had five of my other friends ride down and join me for breakfast.  We ate, chatted and then headed out.  

Two of my friends I ride with on a regular basis.  One I’ve met but never ridden with, and the other two I hadn’t ridden with in a while.  So it was good to get together with them and ride out.  We didn’t have any formal plans so when we came together at breakfast, it was an unusual gathering of friends—all good, naturally, just a different dynamic altogether.  I was happy to see them all!!

The HOG poker run was that morning—and we did manage to ride part of the route (in the opposite direction, of course)!  It was great to see a whole lot of my fellow riders out on the road—it was a gorgeous day!!!

Once at Florissant, we parted ways—two of my friends were headed out and were on a tighter time schedule.   I’d like to stop at Florissant one day—I think it may be one of those mom-mobile days so I can take my little one.  I think he’ll like to fossils and other stuff.  Goodness knows he loves those rocks!!

So the four of us continued on to Cripple Creek.  This is the first time I’ve been up to Cripple Creek by motorcycle this year.  Yeah, we’ve been doing other stuff, I suppose!!!

Riding Cripple Creek is fun; coming down off the mountain is always a great ride!  The scenery is beautiful and it’s just fun to ride down.  I know I have to do it again soon—simply for all the scavenger hunt items that are listed that I need to get.  

Even Paco Bell.  Yes, you read that right and no, it’s not a typo.  It’s truly Paco Bell.  A couple of my friends have been giving me grief about it…but there is a Paco Bell in the State of Colorado.  From what I hear, he’s up in the area we rode in…..LOL..

I need to catch up with the Scavenger Hunt anyway. I hear some of my friends have one third of the list complete….and I’m way behind!!!  YIKES!!

I burned off a full tank of gas and pulled in around dinner time.  It was a lot of fun and I wished I could stay out longer, but alas, real life calls.  In other words, homework!!  

On a short note, I received an invite to do a run with another group of friends.  It’s a pre-ride out with a different group of friends and it was cool that I was invited along to help critique the route.  Cool!!

Looks like I’ll be out on the Star next weekend, however, the Fatboy is in the shop for maintenance…..Hey, I’m not complaining!  I can still ride!!!


Oh, and on a last note, I did get sunburned.  Serves me right.  Of course, I’ll take the sunburn over the horribly ugly clouds and bit of hail we had after I get home!!  It is that time of year again!!

Keep The Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Saturday’s Ride: The Full Moon Ride

The Mountain Shadow Riders held their chapter meeting Saturday evening instead of Saturday morning! It was great to get together and ride out as a group!! Typical me, I was late in getting to the meeting (hey, I stopped for gas), so I was told to get in line. Great! I get to ride in the back of our pack!! That’s cool…I’m riding in with the big boys…our Rune and Goldwing are sweeping, so I’m rolling with them. Of course, riding next to the Rune, I’m getting all hot and bothered…it’s a purple motorcycle of all things….AND has a really cool purple custom seat. Think they’d miss it if put it on my bike *wink*?

LOL…it was a fun ride, we got out and headed east to Calhan. It is so much fun riding the twisties that sometimes I forget there are other directions to go other than west. Tonight we headed east.

As a group, we have all different riding skills. The Teacher brought along her little pup, which was cool! Hey, at least he didn’t fuss about being on the back (ha ha ha)!!

Saturday was the first time I had spent any saddle time on the bike in a number of weeks, so it was good to get out. Being in the back was good for me too…hey, I’m schmoozing with a purple Rune. The ride out was too short, but I think I wasn’t happy about it because MY lack of saddle time. Heck, if I had it my way, I’d be still out riding….

Where’s Christine? She’s going east, last I heard.

Okay, I’ll stop. I have enough problems with Rumor Central at the moment.

Besides, what does that have to do with this story? Nothing at all!!!

The ride out was fun, and what was really cool was the fact that we picked up our Asst. Chapter Director and she’s on her new red hot trike……okay, I gotta go for a ride on this bad boy…and yeah, it’d be on the back…but who cares? This is one cool machine!!! I’ll have to ask Ms. Chapter Director if she’ll let me post a pic up for ya’ll to see….it’s just that cool!! Actually, I don’t have to ask permission….you can check it out on Biker Betty’s blog page. Betty is one of my fellow Mountain Shadow Riders and sister V-Star rider.

She pulls in behind us and we ride out to our destination. A yummy Chinese restaurant in Calhan. Don’t ask me the name of it…I have no clue. Take Hwy 24 to Calhan is all I know.

Well, I’m still drooling over the Rune and my lovely friend evidently can’t stand it…so he offers me the keys. Nooooooooooo…I COULDN’T ride it…I would be mortified if I dropped it and would never forgive myself….tempting as it was…I declined the offer. I was flattered that he thought enough of my riding skills to offer up the keys.

Once in the restaurant, we settle in and gab amongst ourselves. It’s always fun to catch up with everyone—and we didn’t have much of a chance last month since the meeting was so short—no gabbing allowed at that meeting (we had a run to ride—no talking we NEED to ride!). I once again found myself chatting with our Rune rider and once again, he asked me if I wanted to ride his bike…again, as much as I wanted to, I declined. A few minutes later, the offer came down the pike…the third offer was the charm…I took the keys. No one really knew what was going on…but I grabbed my eye protection and headed out….Jeanne looked at me and asked “where are you going”? Headed out to ride the Rune. The “oh my goodness, I CAN’T believe you are doing this” look followed by the“are you crazy?” question was met by…yeah, I’m doing it—I couldn’t resist the third offer!!

Of course, I get out to this magnificent motorcycle…all chrome and purpley…and the chant is going on in my head “don’t drop it, don’t drop it, don’t drop it”…..I get on the bike and Sweet Cheeks asks me what I’m doing. All nonchalantly I reply “I’m going to ride this motorcycle” like I’m all calm cool and collected.

Yeah, I’m all cool on the outside, we have “don’t drop it don’t drop it, don’t drop it” at a full roar in between my ears.

Alright, I have the key…let’s ride this badboy….

Except……….hey, where’s the blasted key hole?? I have no idea where to put the key…Ah yes, that cool girl factor is rapidly diminishing…..but no worries, my Rune friend comes out and rescues me. My hero! A brief intro over the bike and insert key, press the button…and I’m running.


Oh, for the record, we are parked on gravel and dirt….and by now, everyone knows…. I’m riding someone else’s bike. Someone else’s very BIG and EXPENSIVE motorcycle.

Have I lost my mind? Have they for letting me ride it??

I need not worry….I get out of the parking lot unscathed and am ready to pull out on the highway. Check for traffic—it’s all clear. One deep breath and I roll the throttle back, let off the clutch and pull on to the highway. Of course, the ones out in the parking lot hear my wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo as I pull off.

Thanks, Scooter Gurl--for the great pic!!!

This was such a great ride…As far as weight and handling, it was really no problem. And yeah, I opened it up on the highway!! I’m thinking…hey, I could get used to this!!! I rode for a dozen miles and I knew I needed to turn back… trip was only half done. Besides, I didn’t want the owner of this machine to get worried…so I turned back around. Good thing that the ride back was as sweet as the ride out!! It was just too cool!!!

Pulling back into the parking lot, I parked and dismounted. I’m just buzzing with excitement…it was a wonderful experience!! I walk into the restaurant and everyone looks at me…and I have three words: OH MY GOODNESS!!! I reluctantly relinquished the key to the rightful owner and thanked him….not only for allowing me to ride a wonderful machine, but for trusting me to do so. That meant more to me than anything. Well, I know the stamp of approval as far as riding went was a team effort…as I had to not only pass mustard with my Rune riding friend…but his wife as well.. To get the green light from both of them since they are both wonderfully experienced riders and great people—really touched my heart. I really am glad I have such wonderful friends!

Meeting was super, we got a lot of input from everyone! Every meeting we have amazes me—we have such a wonderful group of members. It’s amazing how diverse we are, yet can get together and have great fellowship. It’s all about the motorcycle, ya know?? Of course it is!! We got to the end of the meeting, geared up and headed out.

What a great night!!!

I was talking to another riding friend of mine this evening—we rehashed the weekend out and caught up on the latest news of our lives and I sat back and grinned. I’m so happy that I have such wonderful friends! It’s funny….we put on our leathers and do-rags. Mount colorful and shiny rumbly machines…..yeah we look like a bunch of misfits and underneath it all, we are all quite normal people with careers and professions. Heck we even have a couple of engineers and geeky folks in our group *wink*…..

I’m glad I made my way back to this little world and am even happier that the folks there are open and willing to welcome me into their group as they have. They have opened their lives and hearts to me and even trust me to ride their bikes (well, maybe not all of them….HAH!). I hope they know how much that it means to me as well. They are all truly special people and I mean that from the bottom of little piggy toe to the tips of my hair when it stands on end when I go screaming down the highway! Thank you all for being in my world and allowing me into yours.

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Oh, for the record….it was a full moon. We fit right on in with the rest of the crazy folks in the world!!!

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Challenges of Riding

I was having a discussion earlier this week and one of the topics we touched on was the challenges of riding.   Right now, the “tough” ride is the Pike’s Peak Harley Davidson 5-in-1 Ride.   While I would love everyone I know to be able to get out and ride with me, I also know that this ride is not for everyone.  

One of my girlfriends was a little upset when my other girlfriend started talking about the ride—girlfriend #1 was upset that girlfriend #2 was really talking in a way that ‘might’ discourage other riders.  I told girlfriend #1 that I didn’t get that at all….this ride is a challenge:  both physically and mentally.

I gave her my opinion of the subject (well, she did ask)….the ride itself is physically grueling just due to the mileage alone.  Add the factor of group dynamic of 20 to 25 motorcycles increases the challenge.  In addition, there are mountain passes and the fact that everyone’s skill level is not the same.  The last thing anyone wants is to have a rider mentally break down in the middle of the ride!  That makes for a dangerous situation that invites the opportunity for a crash.

I told girlfriend #1 that girlfriend #2 wanted to minimize the potential for accidents.   She was not trying to discourage anyone that had the skill level and could handle the ride….in fact, girlfriend #2 wanted to encourage everyone, but was trying to be very clear on how difficult this ride would be—especially if someone loses it before the first 100 miles are done.  Not only do you have a rider that is mentally done—now the issue of getting that motorcyclist off the mountain becomes a problem.  It’s not like you can cut them out of the group, turn them around and then send them home.  Well, they do that, but I wouldn’t let my friend go back alone—especially if she’s freaked out.  

Of course, our discussion had the intended effect on girlfriend #1—she started doubting her riding abilities.  Grrrrr…….not what I was trying to convey—I know she can handle the ride.  However, I also wanted her to understand the challenges she had ahead of her.

I know that the HOG road captains have two other route rides scheduled and I suggested she think seriously about riding in with them.  It would be a smaller group and she would see what the route was like.  Even if she doesn’t do the entire route, she could at least get a better understanding to what she was facing.

I had a similar conversation with my friend Karla a couple of weeks ago regarding her challenges of riding Run For The Wall.  Her near-breakdown was a bit past the midpoint—it took everything she had to NOT turn her bike around and go home.  She said that she had mentally hit the wall—and she was done.  She was no longer interested in riding…all she wanted was to go home.  Thank goodness for the encouragement of her fellow Road Guard team.  She pushed through it.  We talked at length about our various riding friends and their skill levels and discussed who would be up to the challenge of doing RFTW.

We both agreed that it is an experience that everyone should try if the opportunity presents itself.  However, it is NOT for everyone.  

I’m guilty of “glamorizing” this sport….I often agonize on trivial matters of which chrome thingabob to put on my motorcycle or wonder if my bike makes my tush look too big….  In all seriousness, I understand the inherent risks of riding a motorcycle.  I know the difference in mental energy it takes to ride a motorcycle versus driving a car.  

I have plenty of experience, but I also know I have a heck of a lot to still learn.  I believe that I have the experience to do both the 5-in-1 and could ride the RFTW.  I know a lot of my friends should not be attempting this type of ride…at least not now.  

That’s why the warning went out.  Not to discourage anyone to ride…but rather work on their riding skills to be able to handle the challenge.  We all have seen the results of rider in a situation that is beyond the capacity of their riding skills, underestimate the capability of the machinery they ride and forget to respect the pavement they are on.  More often than not, the end result is tragic.

If you are capable of doing the ride, then please….ride in.  If you are not or are unsure, talk to someone about it and then decide.  If it isn’t for you…now….wait until a bit.  Your motorcycle, body, friends and family will thank you….because we want to see your beautiful face tomorrow and the day after.

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, June 08, 2006

July 15th Ride: Pike’s Peak Harley Davidson 5-in-1 High Altitude Club Run

It was a big topic of discussion at this month’s Ladies of Harley meeting. The 5-in-1 is an annual event put on by Pike's Peak Harley Davidson every year and is a ride that crosses five mountain passes in one day. The event coordinator and road guards came in and talked to us about the event--to get the word out and answer any questions anyone might have. Some of the LOH members are new riders and it was a good idea to have a Q&A session.

Me, I want to know the route and which five passes we are riding over! From what I understand, the route is some 400 miles (300 miles out, 100 miles back). First group of bikes go out at 6 AM. Yes, folks, that is SIX O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING!!! The five passes selected this year are: Cottonwood, Kenosha, Loveland, Tennessee, and Vail.

Each team will have a Road Captain, a wing rider and a sweep. The team size will be approximately 20 bikes.

Whoooohooooo…I love a challenge! What’s cool is that one of my friends asked if I would mind riding wing for him. What do you think my answer was? Heck yah, I will!!

Even at 6 AM I love a challenge. Why would anyone think otherwise? After all, I did want to ride out with the folks for Rolling Thunder at 4:30 in the morning…so what’s a little hour and a half later??

If you are interested and are in the area, come out and do the ride!! The ride is limited to 400 motorcycles…the end point is in Leadville and we are going to have a rowdy good time on the ride (yes, we’ll be safe on the road) and afterwards. This is mountain riding at its finest!!!!

It’ll be a good crazy friends and I are going to be there! I’ll take pics…

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Something Else: Tools, tools, tools…

Well, I figured out what I forgot to list on my “have to have” list….a tool kit…

My girlfriend The Blonde Smoothie says all she needs is her cell phone. Well, that may be true, it is a vital item to carry with you…but in the event that you have a minor issue (such as a loose thingamabob)…you do need a bit more than a nail file.

So I started looking…and looking…and looking.

Alright, I’m a girl, and I do have tools, but I’m not a guy and am a die hard tool collector. If I need something, I’ll go get it. It also means that if I take what I have out of my garage and put it on my motorcycle, I won’t have it in my garage tool box…and well, that gets just too complicated to have to remember where what is.

Now I need more tools. Of course, the wonderful folks at Harley Davidson will be more than happy to sell me an “official” Harley Davidson tool kit for my bike. For way more than I want to pay. That leaves either putting together my own tool kit or buying an aftermarket kit.

There are several aftermarket kits available…

For the same amount of money that Harley Davidson charges (actually more or less depending on the number of tools you “want”), you can look at CruzTOOLS. They also have various cool multitools and other things. I didn’t dig around to find out exactly the brand of tools used, but what I liked about their site was you could actually download a list of tools that are included in their various kits.

If you already have a tool kit started and maybe bring it up to speed, get the list. Also, CruzTOOLS sells the pouches only—including the tear-drop shaped bag that will fit in the tear-drop shaped Softail tool box. Another great resource of information is from the folks over at the IBA. In their Tech House Archives is a tool list from the late Ron Major. His list is extensive and probably overkill for my friend the Blonde Smoothie! Actually, there’s a great wealth of information from the IBA’s Archives—from packing, riding, tools….you name it, it’s there.

Then there’s Sears. I found a motorcycle tool kit that Sears has put together. Unfortunately, there isn’t a list of what’s in the kit…I guess that keeps people from putting a list of Craftsman tools together on your own might be a little tougher!! I think it warrants a look-see, however, so I may gander down to my local Sears store to see what’s up. That and price the tools individually. And then look at a handy-dandy tool bag…LOL! I admit, I’m just way too cheap. There’s an article at Hot Bike Magazine that reviews the Sears Tool Kit—I think it’s a bit outdated, because of the price. However, it is quite informative.

Now, just exactly where am I going to put this soon to be put together tool kit? Hmmm…I’m liking the Corbin Smuggler Trunk…except how much it costs! It’s a bit over kill for the three dollars I’m gonna save in money and the countless hours I’m gonna spend in putting together a )^#&^% tool kit! HA HA HA!!!

Stop the insanity….my brain hurts!!

Keep The Shiny Side UP!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Stuff, stuff and more stuff!

Everyone that owns a motorcycle knows that the purchase price of the bike is just the beginning.  It’s almost as bad as college for your child (if you have had that experience, you know…..and if you don’t then well….good luck to you)!


The 10k maintenance on my Fatboy is here.  Took me roughly six weeks to get here!!  Time passes way too quickly!!!  Either that or I should not ride as much—which is NOT going to happen….

So it’s scheduled.  I have it in before my Colorado ride vacation so I’ll be prepped to go.  At least where the bike is concerned.  Unlike my Myrtle Beach and DC trip, I’ll have the entire T-Bag…LOL!!!  

The other stuff on the list concerns putting pullback risers on my Fatboy.  You know, I know I need to do it, but due to the number of choices out there it is an impossibility to make a quick decision.  Compounded with the fact that there isn’t a good way to “try before you buy” process….well, I want to do it right the first time.  If anything for the protection of my pocketbook!  That and the fact that I don’t necessarily want to disassemble my motorcycle any more than necessary.  

I’ve also been looking at highway pegs as well.  I’m happy not having crash bars on my bike and would be happy to keep them off.   I have the crash bars in my garage and have been in no hurry to put them on.   Kuryakyn has a highway peg set up that mounts to the floorboards.  

Cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching….

The list goes on…luggage rack, lighting, and a whole host of things I refuse to think about because then I’ll want to put them on!!  

Ahhhh well, one thing at a time!  It’s all good!!!

Well, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!

Keep the Shiny Side Up

~The Rainbow Wahine

Monday, June 05, 2006

Officially Summertime: The Blood Run

Finally!  Summertime.  Bar-be-ques.  Fishing.  Softball.  Motorcycling.  

Well, unless you are the Rainbow Wahine; then motorcycling is a year ‘round event!  I have not had much saddle time since I’ve been back from Virginia, but don’t worry—a day doesn’t go by that I’m not thinking or talking about some motorcycle related activity.

I finally got the details for The Mountain Shadow Rider’s Blood Run.  Sounds like something we would do for Halloween, eh??  He he he!!!

Seriously, the warm season is finally upon us, the snow is more or less off the Rocky Mountains and I’ve seen plenty of motorcycles on the road!   Unfortunately, with the increased number of riders, the number of accidents motorcyclists are involved is increases proportionally.  While more riders equals more awareness, it also means more opportunities for accidents.

The accident numbers are sobering.  According to 2004 crash statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 4,008 motorcycle fatalities and 76,000 motorcycle-related injuries.  An increase of eight percent and 14 percent, respectively.  

As motorcycle enthusiasts, we are all aware (or at least we SHOULD be) of the increased risk of injury when riding.  Chances are, if you are involved in an accident, blood loss is involved.  Several Mountain Shadow Rider members brought up the idea for a blood drive that would benefit accident victims.  One problem that was visited was the fact that Colorado doesn’t allow for specific blood banking.  However, the members discussed the idea in detail and determined that blood is a critical product and whether it goes toward a motorcyclist or non-motorcyclist, we are helping our community.

Considering that only five percent of eligible donors eligible to give blood do so.   For Colorado Springs, Memorial Hospital is the designated trauma hospital and (on average) transfuses 750 pints of blood per month.    Memorial Hospital also has the busiest Emergency Department within the state of Colorado.  

Bottom line:  We need an adequate blood supply.

So here are the details:

     Activity:       Women On Wheels® MSR Blood Run
     Date:          August 12, 2006
     Time:           Noon to 4 PM
     Location:     Memorial Hospital Administration Center
               2420 East Pikes Peak
               Between Union and Circle
               In the Cafeteria at the North West entrance
               Click the link for a map
The Blood Run is scheduled after our monthly chapter meeting, so if anyone is interested in attending our meeting (and we have a lot of FUN) and going for a short ride down to the center, come join us at Perkin’s Restaurant at Powers and Constitution.  This ain’t no fluff tea party girly girl riding organization, folks.  We do believe in having fun, but it’s all about educating and supporting all motorcycle activities.  We just happen to be a bunch of women (and a few smart male support members too).

My thanks to Taunya for presenting the idea and a thank you shout out for all the other members who are working hard to make this project a success.  I’d also like to thank the Memorial Hospital IT Department for graciously volunteering their facility to hold the drive.

If you are interested in participating, have questions and/or want to schedule a time slot for the donation, please drop me a line here, e-mail Taunya or the Mountain Shadow Riders.  

If you are in the vicinity, I ask that you join us to participate in this community service.  I hear of motorcycle accidents that involve my friends and friends of friends almost on a daily basis now.  As a motorcycle community, we pride ourselves on our generosity—and the support we show for our causes are evident everywhere.  This is one cause that benefits our group as a whole.  

If you are not in the area, then consider having your own blood run for your community.   Drop us a line if you would like information on starting your own Blood Run.

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Sunday, June 04, 2006

On Being On Back…

This is a continuation of the debate of being on the back!!! Friday night was the local HOG meeting and I decided to get out a bit and decompress from the overwhelming amount of homework I had been working on. Rolling the bike out of the garage, I discovered that the bike still had bug remnants of the Fort Bent ride so I pulled off the windshield.

That’s quite a feat, since I haven’t had my ridden without my windshield for quite some time!! Off it came, and three blocks down the road I’m definitely missing it!!

Down at the HOG meeting, I got a chance to chit-chat with my friends and took some good natured ribbing about my latest motorcycle adventures. No one would fess up to starting the new set of rumors…except the one that got all the blame was the one that wasn’t there. I’ll deal with him soon enough!!!

The time of the meeting where the rah-rahs are given to the new bike owners rolled around. They all line up and announce what they ride. We had a new bike owner at our table and when his time to talk about his new ride all he said was “I ride a ’72 brunette”….we all whipped around and looked at the “ride” and got to see her turn 14 shades of red!! Her response was that she had no problem taking his ride out for a ride and leaving him behind! HA HA HA!!

Of course, Jeanne, my independent as H-E-double hockey sticks Dyna riding cohort had to throw in the ride on back challenge. To which the ’72 brunette rider replied….”never, ever, ever”… Naturally that threw back the floodgates to a whole lot of indignant challenges. Sitting at a table with three strong willed women was just a not too intelligent undertaking. Funny, the four or five other gentlemen sat at the table silently observing the unfolding of events. No way would they even think of taking on The Blonde Smoothie when she gets on a roll…….

Smart men, I’m thinking!!!

Really, Jeanne has no problem riding on back. Provided it is with her hunky man. Heck from the stories, I’ve heard, I’d ride on the back with him too….but I also know it’s unlikely as if anyone was going on the back…it’d be her. Hey, I understand…exactly who is whose property?? LOL….

No, I’m not going to answer that one…you figure it out.

I recounted the number of times I’ve ridden on the back of a motorcycle. I actually did quite a bit of riding on the back in the past year so I do have a fair comparison. I do know that I won’t get on the back of just anyone’s motorcycle. For one it is a huge safety issue. Not only do I put my life in the hands of the skill of another rider, I have found that I’m one of those awful back seat riders!!! Unfortunately, once you start riding on the front, you (should) realize that leaning plays a big part in steering. One of those things that I want to “help” do!! Which is not what a BOB is supposed to do!

My friends that allow me to ride on the back are well aware of this syndrome that I have and compensate for it. Those that don’t normally don’t expect it and honestly I really try to not surprise them with that tidbit of information going around a corner (forewarned is forearmed, eh??). After all, a crash making a turn is no better is just as nasty as any other—ouch ouch ouch!!!

However, being on the back does have its advantages. The biggest is that I don’t have to pay as much attention to the road and enjoy the scenery around me. Don’t forget, scenery also includes the cute guys that we pass going down the road. I can smile, wave, blow kisses, flirt and not worry about crashing!!! I can wave with abandon to the other motorcyclists on the road, the folks sitting on porches and kids in cars. I also have someone to hide behind in a deluge!! And a front rest should I ever decide to take a nap (fat chance, lol)!

Seriously, I do enjoy riding on the back—it has its advantages and disadvantages just like anything else. For the guys who refuse to even consider it should think about this….sitting on the back of a bike allows you to take in the scenery around you…which includes the women that were on the side of the road flashing at the bikes passing by at Rolling Thunder…

What, you missed that?? Serves you right!!

And you might even get lucky enough to ride on the back of a hot girl’s motorcycle!!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Images are up…finally…….

Thank goodness for clearing that hurdle….it’s all good now!!!!

Rolling Thunder: Sunday's Ride

So after baking a bit on the asphalt, it was finally our time to go....some two and half hours later after the start of the parade!!

Just out of the Pentagon parking lot--the view ahead
I reminded my 'driver' I'll call him that for chauffeuring me about that I'm standing on the passenger floorboards and not to take off too quickly. Last thing I need is to flip over and land on my head. I have to give thanks and appreciation for the careful skin was indeed in his hands and I had the biggest interest in keeping it all intact!!!

Turning the corner was so cool...with the roar of pipes we are amongst the massive sea of bikes that have been lined up for what it seemed forever. Crossing the Arlington Memorial Bridge was just way too cool as the Marine Corps JROTC held a line of flags over the bridge...oh this ride was getting better as the inches sped by!!

Line of flags on Arlington Memorial Bridge

The Lincoln Memorial

As we cleared the Hemi Circle, I knew I had to be ready to shoot the image of Marine at attention. Evidently this Marine stood at attention while the entire parade sped by. I can't get confirmation is this was the sole Marine assigned (or volunteered) for this job or if he was a part of a rotation. At any rate, standing at salute for any length of time in the heat of the day was an amazing feat! What's really super is that if you look in the rearview mirror of the image, you can see me taking the shot.

Amazing, isn't it??

Of course, turning the corner onto Constitution Avenue was something. I'm jammed on the back of the bike wedged between the sissy bar, in a half-standing up position gripping my chauffeur with my knees when I know taking the corner means a sharp acceleration! Just as long as the increase in speed is does not whip me about, I'll be able to stay on. Again, thanks again to the skill of my rider friend! He ensured I didn't fall off!!

Of course in reminding him that I was on the back and to be careful...I was reminded of my task at shoot images with Washington DC landmarks! Fair enough, I think this team effort was successful....I didn't fall off and he got some cool shots!!

Can you spot the landmarks??

It truly was an amazing event! Fortunately, the ride was only 20 minutes or so, but I don't think I could have stayed propped up the way I was for much longer! It was especially fun to wave at the parade watchers! Take pics, wave, don't fall off.....this Rainbow Wahine certainly had her hands and feet busy!! LOL!!!

The view from behind

We found a bit of shade to park under and our parade ride ended. There were massive amounts of people milling around the Mall area and the monuments, so it was nice that we got to see it the day before and not have to fight the crowd as large as this. We did do a bit of walking and I even had a dare to go swimming in The Reflecting Pool....

I passed on that one. I was hot, but not hot enough to wander in that water..yuuuukkkkk!

Back on the bike (and I'm seated properly this time), the bike is pointed in a southerly direction as our journey to Virginia begins. What a full day it was!! If you ever have the opportunity to ride Rolling Thunder, please do it! You'll be glad you did!!

I was especially happy for the invite and even though I griped about being on the back, I don't think that it could have worked out any better. For one, it would have been all about riding and there would have been no way except a helmet cam to shoot the images!! Waving to everyone with gleeful abandon and not having to worry about crashing into the bike in front of you works too!

Leaving town, I managed to shoot the Jefferson Memorial on the bike. Not to shabby for being on a moving bike, eh? I think my job as back seat photographer is intact. Or at least I hope so!! It's all good and yes, I would ride BOB again if the opportunity presents itself.

The Jefferson Memorial

I'd still gripe, but then again, that's part of the job isn't it *grins*......

Keep the Shiny Side Up!!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Friday, June 02, 2006

It's All About the Images

Sorry, folks, seems to be that there is a photo upload issue with Blogger at the I can't do the upload. It's been going on for about three days now.

Hopefully there will be a fix soon, but until then, I can't post any images up...

Keep The Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Rolling Thunder: Waiting for The Parade

It’s finally Sunday and I’m up early early early. I hear the motorcycles start up at 4:30 AM headed out to the breakfast. Lucky them!!! Yes, I know it’s early in the morning but if I were on my own bike, I would have been out there with them!! Honestly, it is a crazy time to get up and get out, but the experience of Rolling Thunder—I’m thinking if I was going to do it, I might as well do it right!! LOL…..

No worries, my grumbly non-morning front seat rider wasn’t moving until the last possible moment, so I head downstairs to Starbucks to find coffee and pastries. Only to find them setting up and not opening until 7:00 AM….grrrrrrrrr! I don’t get the Starbucks concept. Not only do they not open early (I mean 7:00 AM in a hotel—business people do get up way early sometimes you know), they don’t stay open late (I think they close at 8:00 PM) and they charge an arm and a leg for coffee………

Corporate American at it’s finest. Now, if I could only find that one product to spin……*grins*…………….

The hotel computer center is free so I wander down and check my e-mail. Respond to the various projects I’m working on, talk to my friends and catch up on the gossip back home. I am without my PC for the weekend, so it’s a little strange not to be connected electronically. However, it is heartwarming to see all the shout outs from my friends!!

Coffee and pastries in hand, e-mail read and answered…time to head back up to the room. My partner in crime is still sleeping so I un-quietly putter around to signal wake-up time—we still have to pack and get geared up. Of course, share my pastries too….

Finally, packed and loaded up…now it is a matter of waiting for the other half of our group to ride in. They are on time and they spend a few moments getting sun block on and chatting about the day’s events. Sun block on and chatting dispensed with—it’s time to get on the road. It’s a bit past 9 AM at this point.

Waiting to get into the Pentagon parking lot

The hotel was a short hop from the Pentagon. You’d think that getting there three hours before the parade start time would avoid most of the insane traffic. NOT!! We get in line with the hundreds—no make that thousands--of bikes who all have the same idea—ride The Rolling Thunder Parade……then we turn the corner and what I see just amazes me.

Hey, that's a lot of bikes.....

Err....LOTS of bikes.....

Thousands upon thousands of motorcycles!!! This is just way too cool!!! We make our way into the parking lot and park. I’m thinking it’s going to be a long three hours until the start of the parade.

View from the hill

Cell phone in hand, I call my friend Karla to locate her. She and her family are parked up on the hill and I finally get to have more than a five minute hit-and-run conversation!! She looks fabulous—especially for someone who just spent the last three weeks on the road with Run For the Wall….and I’m happy to see that she’s intact and doing well. She survived the entire Run with only one mishap—a flat rear tire from a nail she picked up on the road.

Karla and Me!! Whoohooo found her!!

The first words out of her mouth were—“yes, I packed too much”! If you know Karla personally, you’d understand. I love riding with Karla—I could leave on a trip with her with nothing on my bike and she’d be prepared for me. That’s just the way she is!! Over pack is an understatement!!

It’s all good, Karla, you still have my respect…….she was asked to become a Road Guard and was officially named “Screamer”… can ask her that story….if you want to know… I know nothing!!! LOL!!!!

We wandered around looking at the bikes and chatting….catching up on the gossip and stuff. I had broken away from my group so it was girl talk. Girl talk and motorcycle talk equals good!! I also got to meet a good many of the working crew for RFTW. It was nice chatting with them. Somewhere along the line the challenge was put on the table…am I doing the run next year?

Well, if I can work it into my schedule….yes, I will. We’ll see how it goes.

At any rate, our visiting time came to a close and Karla wanted to prep for the parade so we parted ways. I wandered off to find my other friends. All I can say is thank goodness for cell phones otherwise I’d still be wandering around the parking lot at the Pentagon looking for my friends!!!

The noon hour rolls around and the bikes start leaving the parking lot. Karla rings me and says she probably won’t be leaving for another hour. That’s due to where she is located in the pack (and they were up at 4:30). Sigh, we are at the tail end of the parking lot so I’m thinking at least a couple of hours after that.

It’s getting really hot out there on the pavement.

A photgraphic vantage point, perhaps??

And the image from standing on the bike

My friends decide to find a bit of shade to get out of the heat and I stayed behind. I parked my fanny on the bike for a nap—which was a bit warm but I did manage to get a catnap in. I also had the opportunity to talk to the folks parked around me. Nick and his new wife Chrissy. They were up from New Jersey with his new in-laws. They were telling me that this was a test run before a long ride they were going to take….He was on a lovely V-Star. The other folks around me were mostly from the surrounding area. One young lady stopped and asked me if the bike I was sitting on was my own…..heh! I only wish. The beautiful Road King was not mine! Although I could see it in my garage, I somehow doubt the owner would turn it loose! Hey, I totally understand. Somehow I feel the same way about my bikes.

It was fun talking to all the people around me. It’s very interesting to hear their backgrounds and stories; it was such a group of diverse folks all coming together for Memorial Day and motorcycling. I had way too much fun!!

My group hunted me down—I think they thought I might like a bit of shade. Yes, I was getting warmer than I liked so I headed down. They were sharing a bit of shade with two ladies from New York. They had been doing the parade for a number of years so it was really neat to listen to them as well.

Finally, the line of bikes thinned out and it was getting to be our turn to leave. It was after 2:00 PM. Crank the bike….and wait…….

Okay, it’s our turn to go….and off we went……and I’m taking pics the whole time. I was under orders to make sure the get the DC landmarks and the Marine who stands at salute in the middle of the street. Okay, okay, okay!! Let me be in charge of the images!!! Gee….my request to him was to make sure I didn’t fall off the back…ha ha ha!!!

Waiting done and finally on the road…the adventure continues….tomorrow…

Keep the Shiny Side Up!!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Rolling Thunder: Saturday to Thunder Alley

We made our way down to Constitution and 22nd Ave to find the rally. Getting in fairly early and the day before the Rolling Thunder Run was a great idea—since the amount of traffic wasn’t too terribly bad. As a matter of fact, we were able to park the bike less than 10 feet from the opening of Thunder Alley!

Around the corner from Thunder Alley was the Albert Einstein Memorial. Did you know it existed? I did not!!

e=mc....errr..exactly how does that go again??

That’s alright, we still managed to walk some half million miles!!!

Typical vendor stuff was at hand…however, I’m still shopping. I can’t help it! Thank goodness I’m space restricted…and uninterested in having to haul more stuff than necessary….my pocketbook thanks me as well!!!

The main thing is the pin, of course! Gotta have the pin. My partner in crime is hunting the t-shirt and patch as well…

The shopping didn’t take too terribly long…and then the real walking started. To the various memorials—starting with The Wall. The Wall is always a humbling experience. To see it in real life brings the sacrifices of our service personnel in sharp focus. It’s not just some glitzy story of the moment news feed on CNN. Standing in front of The Wall brings the harsh reality up front and center.

While I don’t have an immediate tie to any of the names on the wall, I could not help but be touched by what I saw. I felt the emotions of the people around me who did lose their families and friends. The messages left behind are incredible as well. I have never walked away from the memorial untouched from emotion.

The Wall

In sharp contrast to The Wall is the World War II memorial. Gleaming white marble, the sound of thundering water from the magnificent fountains and the stature of this memorial is a one-hundred-eighty degree departure of the quiet stature of The Wall. While beautiful in its own right, I couldn’t help but noting the obvious difference between the two memorials. While the WWII Memorial is beautiful, I didn’t feel the same emotion as I took from The Wall. The Disneyfication of history, perhaps?? I’m not sure if my feelings are correct as there are many other incredible memorials in Washington that are on as much of a grand scale.

The World War II Memorial

I also got to revisit The Korean War Memorial as well. The last time I was in Washington this memorial was in the process of being put together. My father fought in The Korean War and I heard him speak of the experience only once and it was a brief mention. I’ll never forget the emotion that I wasn’t supposed to see.

Other stops on our tour included the Smithsonian Museum of American History and the Air and Space Museum. The Air and Space Museum was quite a trek, but well worth it. After all, how can anyone not love planes and outer space *grins*?

We did make a venture down to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, but it was closed. Oh well, it will just have to wait until the next trip.

Worn out from the walk, we headed back to the hotel. A quick jump in the pool and dinner made for a quiet evening. I worked out the timetable with my girlfriend Karla. She had an earlier day than I did—as she did the Arlington Laying of The Wreath Ceremony—and was pooped from her activities. That and knowing that her day with Rolling Thunder would start at 4:30 am the next day didn’t allow for our schedules to mesh. No worries….I’d see her at the Pentagon on Sunday…..

Boy, did I ever……stay tuned for the Parade…

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine