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Sunday, December 30, 2007

The BUG Run

This past summer, a small group of the Mountain Shadow Riders (and friends of the MSR) participated in the Pike's Peak Harley Davidson's annual 5-in-1 ride. This is an annual ride put on by the HOG group and consists of five mountain passes that are over 10,000 feet.

The ride is fun, but we decided to throw in a "contest within a contest" and have a bug run.

You know one of the badges is the number of bugs accumulated on a windshield--or for you tough riders out there--in your teeth. So the contest was developed. Each rider that participated was to put an index card anywhere on their motorcycle (line of sight was not recommended). The person that accumulated the largest number of bug splats...won.

I knew I wasn't going to win...as Murphy's Law dictates that no matter where I put my card...it would not get many bugs.

I was right.

I didn't feel so badly since I at least had some bugs...there were some in our group that had just a couple of bug splats!

At the end of our ride, we pulled off our cards.

LOL..the winner of the contest took home a big bucket of cleaning supplies....

With a big bug attached to the bucket!!

Until the next adventure,

Keep the shiny side up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Riding to Roswelll, NM

I had the opportunity to ride down to Roswell, NM back in the summer. The company I work for has a manufacturing facility there and circumstances prompted that I visit. A co-worker was also going and we looked at one another and said....

MOTORCYCLE TRIP!

The ride down was uneventful. We had beautiful weather and it was fun to be on the road instead of the office. I've never ridden in that part of New Mexico, so it was a nice trip of wide open spaces.

Coming back, however, was another story.

Heading out of Roswell, the trip, again, was unevenful. Our first gas stop at Vaughn, New Mexico, was the first indication that the trip "might" head south was when my friend stated, "we have to get around that cloud--there's a front rolling in".

No problem, out stop was short and off we go.

As we ride north, the skies grows more and more grey. Can we make it to Las Vegas? We do, and the skies seem to lighten a bit, thank goodness. We take another fuel stop and decide to press on. Next fuel stop planned is Raton.

Leaving Las Vegas (ha ha, pardon my pun), we head north on Interstate 25. The clouds again grow dark and I feel the temps drop. I know it is going to rain. Being a big believer in donning rain gear before the rain sets in, I signal to my friend to question whether she was ready to do so. No, she signals back, let's go a few more miles.

A few miles later, it starts raining. Any rain while riding on the interstate is no fun. I'm thinking when we should stop--when my partner in crime rides up and tells me that we need to don gear at the next exit.

No worries, can do. By that time, it is really really coming down. And the off ramp is about a mile down the road. At the exit, we discover that we can't pull off--the ramp is closed due to construction. GREAT! Traffic is also due to one lane since the state is regrading the right lane. DOUBLE GREAT!

At that point, I decide to stop under the next bridge and put my gear on. At least then I'll be able to not get any wetter. Unfortunately, the construction is still in place and I'm having to navigate the uneven asphalt, the grading of the right lane.....on the interstate with traffic and the pouring down rain. Getting to the shoulder was quite the challenge.

I do get pulled over and out of the rain. As I don my rain gear, I'm wondering how long the rain will last and if we can wait out the storm. My friend and I discuss the option and she seems to think that this is an all-day storm and we would be sitting for quite a while. So the decision is to press on. I have ridden in the rain; I survived.

Back on the road (and in the rain).....we ride on the shoulder. For safety--for trying to enter back onto interstate traffic with the torn up lane was very dangerous. Besides, who wants to ride on the interstate in the pouring down rain??

We finally do get back into the traffic and fortunately, the rain lets up to practically nothing. At this point, we are between Springer and Maxwell. With the rain stopped to an occasional spatter, we are just that much closer to home.

Unfortunately, the next problem arises--lightning.

I am, deathly afraid of lightning and being on the bike. I watch the lightning that is 10 or so miles away....silently wishing that it stays "that far away". Unfortunately, it doesn't. When the bolt of lightning flashes in the sky directly over head, I'm done. Pull over time.

However, being where we were in New Mexico created a problem. Not only are we in the middle of no where--there was no where to take shelter! No where to run, no where to hide, nothing to do but press on. Geez, was this day get any worse?

We finally make it to Raton. Fortunately, we were on the other side of the storm, so the rain stopped, the lightning was behind us, and it looked like the rest of the trip would be uneventful. So the decision to press on was made.

Just over the Colorado border, we stop for fuel. At that point, the rain gear comes off and my friend and I just laugh about the experience. Well, we were relatively unscathed except for being a bit damp and having the beejebers scared out of me, so the only thing left was to find the humor.

Okay, we press on. Unfortunately, when we got north of Trinidad, the encountered another front. Another storm? Well, it was pretty far off and we were riding in the sunshine. Maybe we'll miss this one.

Continuing north on I-25, we encounter wind. No worries, the stretch of highway here is typically windy. Except it's a 50 mile an hour cross wind with gusts. So, here we are, after rain, construction and lightning.....now its the 45 degree right hand lean. Greeeeeeaaaaaaaaaatttttttttt.

I'm annoyed by the wind, but am also greatful. After all, we are still in the sunshine. There are rain clouds around us, but somehow we are magically riding in a small corridor of sunshine and blue sky. So I deal with the wind and don't mentally gripe--too much.

Except something strange then happens...it starts to rain--in the sunshine!

I immediately pull over in the rain--no bridge needed. Put my rain gear on and mentally curse...it's deja vu three hours ago!!! I grit my teeth and get back on my motorcycle. I am bound and determined to get home one way or another!!

Fortunately, the rain wasn't so bad as it was before, but the wind never let up. I didn't even bother to stop to take off my raingear after the rain stopped. I figured if I stopped to take it off, it would start to rain again.

We had 50+ mph winds all the way home. I was never so happy to see the Woodmen Exit in the Springs. My friend and I parted ways and I rode the short way to my house.

The next day, we rehashed the trip with the rest of my office co-horts. While not fun, it was a funny story--especially since we survived the whole escapade unharmed.

Close another motorcycle story. Hey, as long as no one crashed, everyone was safe, and we got to our destination, it was a good ride....LOL...

Until the next adventure....

Keep the shiny side up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Goodbye My Cranky

Ahhhhh.....where does the time go?? Somewhere, evidently! With less than a week of 2007 left, I realized there has been some time since I've posted.

Motorcycle adventures? What motorcycle adventures?

There have been a few stories--some worth noting, some not worth mentioning.

There have been two "worthy" notes in the past few months. Cranky, my beloved V-Star 1100, finally has a home worthy of the machine. Sigh. This wonderful machine had a whole 2,500 miles on him in the two plus years I've owned him.

The decision to sell him was difficult--my first wholly owned motorcycle and a wonderful machine at that. I had procrastinated working on the motorcycle just to have the excuse not to put the bike up on the market. However, the opportunity presented itself to one of my fellow rider friends that her boyfriend was looking for a Yamaha motorcycle, and I knew I had to do something.

Fortunately, the relationship was a good fit, and the deal done. Cranky will be ridden and appreciated by his new owner and I have space in my garage for the mom-mobile.

Well, not yet, anyway! With all the ice, snow and cold weather, the motorcycle is still spending time in my garage. Hopefully in the next few weeks after the holidays and thawing out, I'll get the Star out to his new owner.

It was sad, but honestly, I wasn't a good owner because I just didn't ride it enough.

Here's to many wonderful miles between the V-Star 1100 and his new owner!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Community Service

Not much riding to be found….I’m being pulled in a million different directions and most don’t have much to do with motorcycling.

Sigh….work sure does take up a lot of time, eh??

I did get to ride a spot on Saturday. From the dealership to home—which was about a half hour on the motorcycle. It was maintenance and the perfect opportunity of being out of town and unable to ride that prompted the shop time. Not very far, but I was happy to at least be on the motorcycle a bit.

Saturday night was a luau evening. One of the causes the Mountain Shadow Riders supports is a nursing home facility in our town and the barbeque with the luau theme was the activity for the night.

I didn’t ride to the dinner—I had my son in tow so we went by four wheels. We were one of the first to arrive so hauling our supplies in and getting set up was the task for the moment. The employees of the nursing home facility were finishing up the last minute decorations.

My son, as a five year old, decided to be shy. I think he was a bit unnerved about the older population and didn’t understand what a nursing home was. He was given the task to hand out the leis to the residents as they were being seated out on the back patio where out luau was held.

As the residents were being seated, the members of the Mountain Shadow Riders arrived. The members on their motorcycles parked their bikes around the concrete pad. More fanfare—the members mingled and talked with the residents and I think everyone had a good time. A few members manned the grill; some others put the burgers and dogs together as ordered.

We all ate and visited and then it was time to serve up dessert. Root beer floats! What a great finish to a nice meal.

Finally, the talk turned to motorcycling and a few kidding remarks to giving rides. A few residents wanted to ride and yes, we wanted to accommodate them. One of our riders had her trike and generously offered to give all who wanted a ride a turn around the parking lot.

What a hoot! We had several that took up the offer and those faces finished their rides with big grins on their faces. I had walked up to catch the conversation of two elderly gentlemen that had been on a ride earlier, “with that motorcycle, I bet we could pick up some girls”.

Ha! After many decades under their belts, it is still the same ol’ thing…..

It was a great night and wonderful time. I hope that we have the opportunity to once again support one of our causes because I had such a terrific time.

Until I get a chance to write (and ride) again,

Keep the shiny side up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Monday, May 28, 2007

RFTW: The Mission

Today is Memorial Day. Take a moment of to give thanks to the many service members and their families for their sacrefices.

The Mission Statement from the official RFTW.org website:

Mission Statement: To promote healing among all veterans and their families and friends, to call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW/MIA), and to honor the memory of those Killed in Action (KIA) from all wars.


As I ride the twisties up to Raton from Angel Fire, I don’t have much time to think. I am busy concentrating on riding—staying in formation, not running into the rider in front of me or the rider beside me. I get an occasional glance among the rocks and scenery, though.

The highway does straighten out and I have the opportunity to process the ride. Exactly why am I out here doing this? Before the ride, I wanted to have the experience. After all, riding across the country is no small feat! The mission of the RFTW is also one that I support as well.

Getting to the outskirts of Raton, I get my first feeling of why the mission is so important. As we pass underpasses, service members and their families stand on the overpasses with flags and salute the riders. When we get to Raton, there are a great many people that have turned out to see the bikes pass by—many holding signs of thanks and waving flags.

As I ride by and watch, I am deeply touched. While I never served, I am service connected. My father was retired Air Force with time served in Korea and my son’s father is retired Army with time served in both Iraqi wars as well as missions around the world.

With my ex and his time served overseas, my family paid the price. Upon his last return, he was so very changed and as a result, our marriage ended. No, it wasn’t a loss of life or limb, but it was a death—of our family. While I don’t blame the breakdown entirely on the stress of war, had he not gone, the odds of survival for our family would have been much higher.

However, what happened happened. Today, my ex has more or less reverted back to his “regular” self and remains a large force in my son’s life. For our marriage, it is broken and unmendable. I hold no bitterness; it simply is what is was and understand that placing blame does no good nor does it change what happened.

As I pull into town, the overwhelming support of everyone just blows me away. It makes me realize that there are many citizens of this great country that give thanks to the cost of those who pay in blood, sweat and tears. I am deeply humbled by the outpouring of thanks, love and support.

In Raton, a new experience unfolds. Fuel. How on earth are 400 motorcycles fueled in 20 minutes? Quickly and efficiently, that’s how!

But that’s another story.

Until then,

Keep The Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Saturday, May 26, 2007

RFTW—Leaving Angel Fire, NM

The alarm clock goes off at 5:00 am. Time to get up. My friend that did the ride with me was up bright and early too—she didn’t sleep very well. Seems that she was a bit worried about the ride.

The ride? Group riding is one thing, but riding in the tight formation that the run asks is tasking. Two up in two second intervals. Not only did I have to worry about not crashing into the person in front of me, I also had a rider—normally someone I don’t know riding beside me.

My girlfriend doesn’t have as much riding time or experience, so she was really concerned. That people would be a hazard to her and she would be a hazard to someone else.

Well, I don’t know what she was worried about, I think she did a great job!

At any rate, we get down to the meet site around 6:00 am or so. Meander around and talk to people. There is the 50/50 going on, people just visiting and being, well, bikers. At 7:15 (or maybe it was 7:30—I can’t remember), it’s time for the riding meeting and there we receive our instructions. Disclaimer, hand signals, formation riding, prayer, and so on and so forth.

After the meeting, we saddle up, fire the bikes up….and off we go. As we pull out, we are broken up into groups and platoon leaders are inserted. Instead of having one long chain of motorcycles down the highway, we are smaller groups. It’s still pretty cool as I glance behind me and see all the headlights!!

I’m concerned since the ride to Raton, NM is on a curvy road. Not to worry, the formation of riding staggered is called. Not that I’m terribly worried about my riding—I’m really more worried about the guy beside me. It’s okay if he (or she) is skilled…..I’m dreading a new rider. Of course, I’m thinking that my FNG button might be scaring the beejeebers out of someone else!!! LOL…..

The ride is pleasant and not too difficult. I couldn’t enjoy much of the scenery; there was just too much to concentrate on. However, the ride isn’t about fun; it’s a mission.

Tomorrow: the experience of “The Mission”.

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Friday, May 25, 2007

FNG—RFTW

That was me this year—my first ‘official’ ride in with Run For The Wall. Last Friday, I decided to ride down to Angel Fire to meet RFTW. The ride down I-25 was typical of interstate riding. Once off the highway, it was a treat!

My girlfriend and I pulled into Angel Fire around 4ish or so; we just pulled in ahead of the riders. We decided to ride up to the Memorial and take a look-see. The Angel Fire Memorial is a site that was built by Dr. Westhall—whose son was killed in Vietnam. In 2004 the State of New Mexico recognized the site as a State Park.

The experience at the Memorial was incredible. There was a feeling of sadness and that feeling grew as the riders—many of whom were service connected—passed through the doors of the Memorial. Intermixed with the sadness was a feeling of healing and support. Fellow riders reached out and embraced the sadness and gave back hope, thanks and understanding; somehow easing the heaviness of the emotions.

Leaving the Memorial, we rode down to the RFTW site. Finding the registration booth, I filled out my paperwork and received my packet and the official FNG button. I was a part of the Run. Oh boy.

We had dinner and then it was time to call it a night. I roomed with my neighbors—they joined the run at Gallup, NM. We spent the evening watching the hundreds of photos they’d already shot on the ride. We talked about their experiences in previous years and what to expect on this ride—all the more getting nervous about the next day’s adventure.

Yeah, FNG noobie, that’s me. Worried and thrilled.

Wake up time: 5:00 am. Time to call it a night.

Till next time,

Keep the shiny side up.

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Days Like This—NO Riding Should Be Allowed—errr maybe….

This past Saturday I was tapped to run the Mountain Shadow Riders meeting. Our esteemed Chapter Director is doing The Run For The Wall and left early in the morning. No worries, I was ready and hopped on the bike to ride down.

Just the start of a typical 2nd Saturday of the month.

Riding down was nice—and I was early for a change. I wanted to get the meeting over and done since it’s getting to be riding time and there was a great deal of riding activities on deck—so no one wants to sit and talk about riding—we all want to be out riding!

My choice for riding was out west: through Deckers and Pine and a stop at the famous (or infamous) Bucksnort Saloon. I was there last year and it’s a neat place with lots of history. And terrific burgers too!

I meet my friends and we head out. About two or three miles on the road, my front end starts having a terrible rattle. Stopping at a traffic signal, I am looking at my forks—and there is fluid everywhere. On the forks, the frame, motor and rider. I look at my friends and tell them I’ll have to pull out.

One of the great things about riding with this group of folks is that they take such good care of me. They pulled over and got off their bikes to inspect mine. Debating what the issue could be—yes, it was my forks and yes, it was ride able to the dealership—they all rode down with me to make sure I got to the dealership in once piece.

I was not happy, of course. I just had 20k service and one of the things included was the change of the fork oil. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…..

I pointed that out to them too.

Leaving my precious Harley down at the shop, my friends offered for me to continue to ride—either on the back or I could borrow. Going to get the extra bike would delay us longer—so I opted to ride on the back.

I don’t normally ride on the back and the last time I did any amount of distance was during bike week at Myrtle Beach and Rolling Thunder in DC. Funny, about this time last year! Although I protest in mock annoyance, I do enjoy the occasional ride on the back. It’s a time that I can really look around and watch the scenery, wave at the kids, and just have a general good time being a passenger. Saturday was no exception.

While I would have preferred to be on the back of my own bike, this was the second best choice. After all, had I not taken door number 2, I’d be not riding at all!

The ride turned out to be quite interesting—another rider had engine problems and pulled out. We had another delay when the traffic on the highway was halted—to allow for flight for life to land. Apparently there was a rider crash—a female fixated on an automobile in the oncoming lane and hit the car. She suffered a broken leg. I didn’t get any of the other details, but when the authorities let the traffic resume, we did ride by the accident sight. The bike was still on the road and it was mangled up pretty badly. If the rider got out with only a broken leg, I think she was lucky.

The remainder of the trip was pretty quiet after that. The threat of sprinkles rolled in but that’s typical of Colorado weather this time of year.

Late after noon we pulled in—another road adventure put to bed.

I picked up the bike on Tuesday—all fixed and ready to roll. I hope so!! I won’t get to Rolling Thunder this year, but I will do a segment of Run For the Wall this weekend. I’m looking forward to it!!

Until then,

Keep the shiny side up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Don’t Call Me Again!

LOL…well, it looks like tomorrow is going to be prime riding for me! Finally! The weather is gorgeous and predicting to be in the 80’s. And my bike is where?? In the shop getting service.

20K service, new rear tire….and I’m done or so I thought. The phone rings. The dealership “notices” that I have Vance and Hines pipes on and I should need the remainder of the stage I upgrade—air filter and rejet. Yes, I know it needs to be done and is on my to do list. Just not right now since I have other things to tend to.

However, it’s in and they have it, so why not? After a quote I didn’t die from, I gave the go ahead. Not only that, I’ll have my Fatboy back this afternoon. I also told the dealership to please NOT CALL ME AGAIN!!!

LOL

At any rate--yay me!!

Well, I deliberately put my bike in the shop this weekend since I wanted to work on my V-Star…..my incentive to finish wrenching it so I would have something to ride tomorrow.

So much for that theory! Oh well!!

I’ll at least have a riding adventure to write about tomorrow!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Women on Wheels

Friday night Pike’s Peak Harley Davidson held a Women’s Motorcycling “Garage Party” event to familiarize women—from ladies thinking about motorcycling to experienced riders—with the sport of motorcycling. The Mountain Shadow Riders became involved was because the title of the event was called “Women on Wheels”—which then became an infringement upon our Women on Wheels® trademark.

To solve the problem, we were invited to be representatives of the function—which many of our members stepped up and volunteered so the Mountain Shadow Riders could have a presence.

It was an interesting and informative night. I am a HOG member and hold a membership to the Ladies Of Harley (LOH) as well, so I’m familiar with the folks at the dealership. It was good to see my fellow femme riders and those just vaguely interested in motorcycling.

There were about 50 or so in attendance Saturday night….ranging from seasoned veterans to wanna be noobies….one lady asked where the motor was in a motorcycle. It was a funny question, when I heard it, but also reminded me that we still have quite a ways to go in spreading the word regarding our passion.

We had short seminars in each department and interestingly enough, parts, sales and service were quite informative—as the service department held a short “oops I dropped it” class. However, motor clothes won the prize for being most informative. The ladies in motor clothes did an excellent job of presenting the various pros and cons of their product. Yes, they were proud of the Harley Davidson line and quite rightly so. However, the pitch was low keyed and more importantly, stressed safety and function over brand name. It was a much different approach from the other departments and worked much better for me.

All and all, it was a nice night and I’m glad I attended. It was good to see so many of the Mountain Shadow Riders in attendance. I thank the ladies of our group that jumped in and enthusiastically and proudly showed off our “colors”.

That was the motorcycling event of the weekend. We had snow and fog the whole weekend, so no riding for me. Is winter ever going to end??

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Brass Nut Run

One word.....BRRRRRRRR.

Okay, not really a word, but it was a cold ride! Normally scheduled on New Year's Day by Outpost Harley Davidson of Pueblo, Colorado, The Brass Nut Run is a fairly big t0-do. What a way to kick off the New Year, right?

Except it snowed.

So it was rescheduled.

Then it snowed on that date.

Then rescheduled for March 4th. Ideally, it could still snow...as a matter of fact, March is "supposedly" the month for the most snow. I hope that is wrong since we have had an incredible amount of snow. Then again, any snow is too much, LOL!!

Although I had promised myself that I wasn't going to ride in the cold and freeze, I somehow was convinced that it wouldn't be too terribly cold (except for very early in the morning), and the day would warm up to be a nice one.

I can say that it was freezing cold and the day did not warm up to be a nice one. Or maybe it did, but my brain (and the rest of me) was too cold to notice!!

However, I did get out for a scoot and the short amount of "fairly" warm weather I did get to recognize and ride it...was nice.

I've gotten to be a fair-weather rider--I think from the Iron Butt my friends and I did in September. I was so cold for so long that I just don't tolerate it very well anymore.

Or maybe it's just old age.......

Nahhhhhhhhhhhhh....I'm not getting old...

I did get my brass nut, however!!

Keep The Shiny Side Up!!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Friday, March 02, 2007

March Already

I've had two days of motorcycling for 2007 *sob*. I'm getting tired of waiting.

This weekend is the rescheduled and re-rescheduled Brass Nuts Run. Put on by Outpost Harley Davidson of Pueblo, the run will head out to Canon City. However, the only two trips made for '07 were out that way...and here's the third.

Well, if the weather holds, anyway. Forecast says 54 degrees for Sunday. Of course, the forecast says snow tonight and the temp is currently at 18 degrees.

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.......

I know, I live in Colorado. Is winter over yet?

So for "alternative" activities....Ghost Rider was one outing. This weekend Wild Hogs is on the agenda. Both had gotten rotten reviews...so we'll see.

Other than that, it's pretty much quiet in the motorcycling world. Spring hurry up!!!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Wind Therapy

It is about time I could ride! First ride of 2007 and it's already February!

As one of my friends "politely" reminds me--"Christine, this IS Colorado, remember?"

Oh yeahhhhhhhhhhh...

Saturday was the February meeting of the Mountain Shadow Riders and no matter the temps, I was riding my motorcycle. As long as I had a clear road, I was getting out on two wheels.

Lucky me!

Saturday dawned as a cold morning--there is still snow on the ground in my yard and patches here and there, but I did have a clear path--so bundling up and cranking my Harley was the plan of the day. Thank goodness that I only had a 20 minute ride, LOL!!!

The morning started cold, but the afternoon warmed up nicely, so another short scoot was on deck: to the showing of motorcycle training videos. It was MSR movie day and training videos was the plan. What a better way to start the riding season of 2007? Training videos!

Sunday was another nice day and I did get a chance to get out for a scoot with my friends. We managed a putt out to Canon City, lunch at a local pizza shop and then back home. The ride scratched the itch quite nicely--however, typical with all addictions--the need was only filled temporarily!

LOL..

Well, at least I can't complain about not have ridden yet....and I do appreciate the fact that I don't live in New York!!

It's warming up, folks, and lots of stuff planned for this year! Can't wait to ride or write about them!

Keep The Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hated Heated Harley Handgrips

My heated grips don’t work. They keep blowing fuses. In the electronic/electrical world, it means one of three things: a short, a bad ground, or broken component. The hunt is on.

Of course, the first thing I looked at was the grounding…upon inspection and change out of the grommet end for the wire…the ground looked fine. Tightened the grommet end on the frame and put in a new fuse. It held, until I turned on the ignition. Pop! There goes a fuse.

Next was the wiring…that means tracing the wiring back under the tank and looking for a pinch or bad kink. Looking at the wiring…it looked fine. The only wiring I have not looked at right now is the internal wiring in the handlebars or the connections to the grips themselves. I have, however, decided that the issue is going to be there simply because there is no where else for any issue to be.

Soooooo it looks like the grips will come off (and while I’m at it, I’ll be replacing the clutch-side control bracket that I broke last year. I’m not looking forward to this job as the task of getting the grip off the throttle side is a pita. Yes, that flatbread, you know??

At any rate, after looking at the various options I have available, I’m finding the most cost-efficient way is not to get the Harley Shop to do the diagnostics and buy replacement parts. Only “working parts” are the grips themselves, and the wiring, right?? Wiring is okay, so it must be the grips. Or perhaps the wiring in the grips. For the shop to chase down the problem, order me the parts is going to be more costly than just buying a new set of grips and doing the reinstall. Sounds like a reasonable thing to understand….except the reputation of Hardley Davidson Heated Handgrips have a high failure rate. Do I want to deal with this again in a year, and then the next year?? NO!

Instead, my friend sends me a link to the Dual-Star Mylar Heaters. The heating element is on a mylar pad that the installer sticks to the handlebar and then puts the grip of choice on. Had some good reviews, bad reviews and middle of the line reviews so I decided to keep looking.

Paydirt! I found a source of hand grip heaters for ATV’s and snowmobiles…..and the little module goes inside the bar and I can use whatever grip I want!!! Enter Polly Heaters. Polly Heaters are heating modules that go inside the bar. Held on by little clips, this little gem heats the metal of the bar, then the grip. I’m intrigued!

I’ve learned that some wrenches put insulation on the end of the heating module to contain the heat at the grip--not the entire bar. The installation would be straightforward—like my installation of my Harley Davidson Hated Heated Grips. I do lose the six levels of temperature settings…but who am I fooling….when I rode my grips were either off, 6 (for wide open heat) or 3 (for medium heat)….The Polly Heaters have 3 temperature settings: off, low, high.

Here’s the kicker (really there are two). The first being that the Polly Heaters only cost $31.00. Secondly, I can put ANY grip on my bike…and the one I want are the ISO grips!

For about $100 can get this on my bike….versus the $250 for the Hardley (yes, I'm aware of the typo) Grips that might last one season. I love them, but they are sooooooo unreliable, I’m going elsewhere….

So, that’s my workaround and I hope to have all the parts in and ordered within the next few weeks. If we have a garage party install….everyone interested is welcome to join us….

That’s my hated heated grip story….don’t buy them ‘cause the are worth flipping anything. And with a 90 day warranty….it’s doubly not worth it!!!

That’s my rant for the day…..

Keep The Shiny Side Up!!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

It's A Wrenching Story

Most of the snow is gone...just in time for more snow this weekend.

The forecast swings from snow/no snow on an hourly basis, so I am going to quit paying attention to the forecast.

Instead, it was warm enough to tackle some bike projects...so I did.

First off was to strip the old Harley Davidson saddlebags. To make "room" for the new ones!!! Whoooohooooo!!! That is an easy enough task...but the story is quite young!

Then, on to the electrical. I needed to take a look at my grips, my lovely Harley Davidson not worth 12 cents heated hand grips. I'm still blowing fuses. Looking for pinched wires...nope. Looking for some fluke of an improper ground...nope. Looking on the internet for suggestions. Well, the consensus is to not buy Harley Davidson heated handgrips. Too late.

A call down to the local HD shop reveals that any approach to the problem is going to cost me more dollars than I want to pay. More money to figure out what is wrong than just buying all new grips. Do I want to shell out another $180+ dollars? No!! I put everything back together and go on to the next issue....

My 12 volt outlet that I broke a few months ago. That was an easy fix and the plan was to put the new outlet in my saddlebag so interchanging the various electrical equipment would be easy. and not require a seat pull.

Easy enough and done!

Now, getting the saddlebag brackets back on was a challenge. Seems that the bolts are now too long because my bolt-on saddlebags are off. Back to the old bracket bolts and some old fashioned elbow grease allows for the installation of the saddlebags. Don't let me fool you, those brackets took some time to get back on....as the bike gods did not want to cooperate!

However, it was done and the new bags are on! I like them very much!!

The remaining "pending" item was the floorboard. Seems I lost my bent nail somewhere. Thankfully, Joe was helping me and he got the bolt in and put on! I guess he had the magic touch whereas I did not!!

At this point, the bike is back together and ready for riding. I just need decent weather to ride in. Looks like it is not going to happen *sob*.

Until then, I am searching for an alternative for my over-priced, short-lived Harley Davidson heated hand grips. I've got a work around and I'm doing the research. The full story will be posted tomorrow...

Work accomplished and out of the way...I got a set of genuine Harley Davidson saddlebags to sell....

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Monday, February 05, 2007

Parts, Parts, Parts: Going Broke Saving Money

I found out recently the Amazon.com has moved into the automotive parts business. Good news is that there are discounted motorcycle parts and stuff to be found!!! Whoohooo!! Going broke saving money, LOL!! If you were not aware of Amazon's new foray into this industry, you do now.

You can also go broke saving money!!!

Regarding motorcycle parts, I'm not sure how extensive Amazon's inventory is, however, I did find the K&N air filter kit that I was looking for--discounted almost 20%. However, be careful...some of the OEM Harley Davidson items were more expensive at Amazon.com than at the Harley Davidson site!!

Now, if I could only find my Wiley sunglasses that are somewhere lost in my house.......

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Superbowl and Motorcycling

What happened to January? Somehow managed to fly by even with ZERO ride time!! Groundhog Day (and Phil did not see his shadow) and the Superbowl.

Yay for the Colts and the wonderful time I had watching the game. It wasn't the Saints, but there is always next year, right?

Somewhere along the line, I did squeeze a motorcycle ride in. Unfortunately, it was not my motorcycle(s) nor was I the rider. Yes, I was on the back!

Yesterday I did get a chance to get out and ride on the back of one of my friend's bike. It was nice to be out--even with borrowed riding gear, high-heeled boots, and no ear protection. It was a very short scoot--just down the road a bit. It was, honestly, still too cold. I had the offer to ride my friend's bike on my own, but with too many potholes, no riding gear and too much sand down, I wasn't going to risk a potential drop. One thing to drop my own bike--quite another to do that with someone elses.......

As of yesterday, I still have much ice on my circle. Today, with high temp of 57, it will melt, however, there is snow forecasted this upcoming weekend. Will it ever end?????

It will, unfortunately, not soon enough! I was looking forward to riding down to the MSR Chapter meeting, but it looks like it won't happen at this point. Well, I'm going to say that I don't plan on riding, and if the weather is clear, I'll get a "happy". Better than anticipating the ride and then being disappointed, right?? LOL...

I know someone out there is riding...please ride a few miles for me, willya??

Keep The Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Monday, January 29, 2007

The 29th Annual Colorado Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet

With three inches of ice on my pavement, bloody cold temperatures, and real snow falling out of the sky, motorcycling is definitely out of the question. However, there is one event in January that is motorcycle related but does not require riding: The Colorado Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet.

Held on the weekend of January 27th and 28th, this is one very large event and some bargains are to be had if a person is willing to wade through the packed venue of motorcycles, parts, and people.

I think anything motorcycle related could be found—with the exception of T-Bags. Or maybe our group just missed them. With over five hundred booths, the odds were that some little corner was missed!!

My list was very short—only two items: saddlebags and gloves. One of my girlfriends has really terrific and inexpensive saddlebags and I wanted to get a set of similar ones. Mainly because my official Harley Davidson teeny tiny Fatboy bags are full after I put my raingear and tool kit in and I have to have more space for the remaining gear I carry! My gloves were a special item—100 gram thermolite red leather gauntlets with fringe. A dealer found a pair for me and they were waiting for me at the show. I only had to locate this dealer among some five hundred plus vendors!!

While the task was daunting and with the help of wonderful friends, I was able to locate both saddlebags and gloves! Mix in the many custom bikes on display, made for a wonderful time! Unfortunately, the Wahine forgot her camera and has zero images to post up.

Oh well, there will be other motorcycle shows to see during the year—the next one on the calendar being the Colorado Springs Motorcycle Show and Swap meet on February 17th and 18th. Until then, I’ll hopefully have my new saddlebags installed on my bike. I’m hoping that the weather warms up significantly enough to not use my red leather gloves, but if it doesn’t, I will at least be prepared!

On another note, the city newspaper, The Gazette, reported that the city has repaired several thousand potholes from the ice and snow storms. One reason not to be out riding because I’ve had the luxury of dealing with several large ones in the mom-mobile and don’t wish to have to have an intimate moment with any of those road hazards while on my motorcycle. Maybe it is not a bad idea that I can’t get out and ride after all.

Well, if I can’t ride…I’m glad that I can at least shop!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Friday, January 19, 2007

No Riding Today…But Check This Out


The snow and ice is still on pavement and it looks like it is not going anywhere for quite some time…..sigh…..

We did have a clear and dazzling day….and warm enough to melt some of the ice and prompt me to clean my garage and start my motorcycle. I’m so in withdrawals just like the majority or motorcyclists here in Colorado Springs.

While I am cleaning out my garage and piddling around, my son decides to get out and play a bit. He gets his lawn mower out and decides to “cut” some snow, then moves on to his snow ball making gadget, then on to running and playing—like all four year olds do.

Clearing out and organizing with half an ear turned to my son making noises is generally how I operate and I hear him making noises so I knowing he’s fine. Then, suddenly, I hear the sound of tires skidding. I stop what I am doing, with a frown on my face—I did not hear a vehicle enter my cul-de-sac so I am momentarily confused.

Unbeknownst to me, my son had managed to push his bike out of the garage and is out riding it—on three inches of ice and mounds of snow like it is no big deal. Not only is he out riding around like it is no big deal, he’s skidding and sliding—all under control and like it is second nature.

I am sooo in trouble, I’m thinking. After all, he’s four and on a bicycle…what happens when he gets on a two-wheeled vehicle and it is motorized??

Well, my reaction was to run in and get my camera…and take a few pics. As soon as I remember where I put my camera—I’ll post a few pics up….

It was pretty cool, actually…except it is my kid…

I swear, I won’t live to be an old lady because my boy is gonna kill me…

Keep the Shiny Side Up~~

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Need for New Pipes

I’ve been on the hunt to change out my pipes. Not because I want to change something that is perfectly functional, but rather because I want the pipes out of the way so I can put on larger saddlebags! It is all about carrying all my gear!

Greg sent me a set of stock Harley Heritage Softail pipes for my birthday and I was ready to put them on…until…

I came across a set of Vance and Hines short shots at a very very very good price..

So that is what is on my bike at the moment.

I’m thinking that taking the stock Fatboy pipes off was a relatively easy job and one afternoon instead of writing papers, I decided to dive in. Well, it was not that difficult and I did manage to get everything off with no major headache.

My neighbor decided he needed to visit and see what I was doing. While he was over, he tried to offer his assistance, but for the most part, it was more of a bother than not! I had everything under control and my two hands were plenty—and his two hands was too many chefs in the kitchen! He got the hint, only to start poking around my motorcycle. Grrrrrrr….

To deal with that, I just decided to unfrustrate myself and stop for the day….

One day turned into two, three and then a week….

My bike was still not all together. And we have a clear weekend and a nice day. My friends want to go for a ride. Do I want to go?

Of course, but I have one problem…I need an hour to get my bike together. Or so I think.

To make a long story short, I do get everything together. But I need to get the pins aligned on my floorboard and I can’t make it fit….I have one in and the other won’t work…..I need to go NOW!

LOL…well, the bolt won’t fit, but a nail bent through the hole solves that problem quite nicely. Start up the bike, let it get warmed up and I go clean up.

I pull in with time to spare and off we go.

That was November/December. That nail is still in. Of course, my excuse is that is has been too cold to work in the garage. Or homework.

I’ll fix the issue this weekend. I need to. The guys at the Harley shop will be laughing their tails off if they see that!! LOL…..

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Monday, January 08, 2007

Happy New Year!! A New Year of Motorcycle Tales

2007 is upon us! I trust that everyone survived 2006 and is chomping at the bit for the many rides of 2007! I know I am! Especially now with the pressure of school off me—I graduated this past Saturday from college! I am now officially edu-ma-cated and more importantly, have no more papers to write.

Unfortunately, the weather has been quite uncooperative. I still have ice upon pavement and when the ice melts….I’m sure that there will be great many potholes to deal with! I have been surprised with quite a few in my van and can’t imagine having to deal with them on my motorcycle, so in a way, I’m glad that it is too cold, too sandy and too icy to be out!!

At least that is what I’m telling myself. Whether or not it is working, I’m not really sure.

At any rate, on deck for this month is the Super Show and Swap Meet in Denver. I’m hoping to find a set of bigger saddlebags! Good luck to me, since I’ve been looking for over a year now!! Cheap meets shabby chic meets motorcycling (especially Harley Davidson) just doesn’t seem to work very well!

The ice races have also been going on and a group of my friends and I had planned to get up and see them. It was just too cold and windy this past weekend so it was a no-go. I’d like to see the motorcycles race on ice. This concept is past my comprehension and frankly, I think the people that do it are insane. I am, however, curious to see ice racing in action.

The Mountain Shadow Riders has their events planning meeting at the end of the month as well and there are a great many new ideas and suggestions that have been presented, and I look forward to the activities in that group. I was elected Assistant Director for ‘07, so I’ll be busy with that as well. I still want to try bike camping….at least after I get those new shabby chic (read cheap) saddlebags on my motorcycle!!

Still have a bit of wrenching to do as I installed new pipes on my bike a few months ago. Not happy with the installation, but it is too cold to get out and fix it now so it is an afternoon project that I have to deal with eventually. I’d like to get it done before my next service interval—I think the guys at the Harley shop would find it pretty amusing that my right side floorboard is partly held on by a bent nail....

That’s the story for tomorrow…

Until then—

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine