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Sunday, December 07, 2008

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

Arrrrgh!!! December already! I've been away busy with life stuff--school, (still) unpacking, work, my son....so riding has taken a back seat. School has been on Saturday, so I haven't had any opportunity to even do any Mountain Shadow Riders' events.

Back in October, I was supposed to have the Women on Wheels (r) and Mountain Shadow Riders birthday party at my home. However, my school schedule conflicted with the event. So, my friend, Biker Betty, and her husband stepped up and graciously opened their home and hosted the party. I appreciated the step in and in exchange, I agreed to open my home to the Mountain Shadow Riders Holiday Brunch since I knew I would be out of school.

The party is scheduled for next weekend. I've been in the midst of decorating and getting ready, but I still have a large amount of boxes to unpack. I am thinking at this point, I will find a bedroom to shove all my "stuff" in!

It will be good to see my friends again--since I haven't seen them in a few months. Hopefully the weather will be cooperative. I still have snow in my yard at the moment.

With the holiday in full swing and much dismal news in the air, please take a moment to reconnect to those things that are most important--friends and family. The love and friendship to both are most valuable and more importantly, least costly to have. This message is important year around, but I think deserves a reminder for this time of year.

Stay tuned for the festivities update....

Until then

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Run For The Wall--Final Day

Ahhhh...the last day on the road.....has the "great" day of riding come?

We are up at our usual "too darn" early in the morning. Pack up, breakfast, socalizing. Have pre-ride meeting, talk about what the mission is. Have prayer. Oh, I registered and got in line too--remember the previous day was out on my own with friends. I'm looking forward to this day.

The day starts out cold. After all, we are in Eagles Nest, elevation 8203 feet. No worries, it's a clear day and I'll take the cold on its own. I have gear on.

It's time to go. I saddle up and we get out on the road. The ride is beautiful and finally (!) it is the ride that I worked so hard to get to!!! I kick back and enjoy the ride, concentrating on riding and enjoying the challenge of riding in formation.

First stop for the day is Cimmaron, New Mexico. There is a short on highway ceremony. I'm too far back to really see what's going on, but I do enjoy the break. We stay on our bikes and I take the opportunity to "adjust" riding gear.

The ceremony ends and The Ride starts again. Our next destination is Raton. Again, uneventful and I'm enjoying the ride. Whooohoooo!! This is what the ride is all about!!

We cross the town limits of Raton. It is great to see all the folks line up to welcome the riders in! If any of you have the opportunity to ride with The Run and can only do a section, I highly recommend the ride through New Mexico. The support from all the residents is quite amazing and the work done by the state of New Mexico is incredible as well.

Raton is a fuel stop. Again, if you have the opportunity to ride with The Run, the experience is amazing--fuel stop is also included. At this point, there are several hundred motorcycles and they are pushed through for fuel in less than a half hour!!! Thanks to the fuel crew and their organization.

This is a stop as well, so I get the time to visit with the other riders in my group. There are quite a few that are "FNG"s (you'll have to look up the acronym). They welcome me to the group, we exchange names and talk about the ride so far. The reasons of riding are as varied as the motorcycles.

Every one is fueled up. I have a snack in my tummy and an empty bladder so I'm ready for the next stop: Trinidad, Colorado. Again, the ride is uneventful.

We parade through Trinidad. Waving at all the folks that turn out and seeing the support of eveyone is amazing! I ride with a tear in my eye and shivers up my spine as I wave back. Yes, it is a great day on the ride.

I'm thinking that this is the day for the ride--the day that is worth all the trials and tribulations I "suffered" through.

Wishful thinking, that is.

As we leave Trinidad--I meet the monster for the day--the crosswind. If anyone has ever ridden on the plains of Colorado, I know that the word "crosswind" is understood. Not just for Colorado, but any of the plains states. Grrrrrrr...

Unfortunately, we fight the crosswinds all the way through the ride from Trinidad to La Junta. La Junta is the next fuel stop and our lunch stop. I eat my lunch and process the ride so far. I'm feeling the mental and physical work from riding in a permanent "lean" in the winds.

I am less than enthusiastic when the riders saddle up, but I decide to press on. I discover about 20 miles down the road that I should have gotten out. I don't feel too badly about the decision since I know I would have still had to ride home, but I know I'm reaching the end of my rope of formation riding.

The remainder of the segment was a challenge. I can't tell you much about the ride to Limon except for my battle on the bike. The mental and physical fight to stay in formation in the crosswind takes all my energy. Focus, focus, focus.

As well pull into Limon, I find make a decision. I'm done. Limon is about an hour north/east from Colorado Springs and I'm ready to go home. When the bikes pull into the stop I pull out of formation and park my bike in the side lot. I have a twinge of "maybe" but I know that it's the right decision for me.

I walk over to the my group Platoon Leaders and thank them for leading. I wish them well and a safe ride for the remainder of the trip with a goodbye hug. I also walk through the platoon and thank them for riding and wish them a safe ride for the remainder of the trip.

As with any stop, there is a good bit of commotion going on, so take leave of the group and quietly walk away. My heart is sad for the time to leave, but my head knows it is the right decision--I am mentally and physically spent.

My good friend Dozer finds me and we stand together and watch the bikes pull out, waving to all the riders. The next stop is Burlington, only a few short miles down the road. Yes, I know I could have stayed with the grouup. I also knew that I still had the ride home ahead of me. If I was going to do any more riding, I'd rather be riding home than ride to Burlington then have to ride home.

Dozer and I saddle up and we head out. He is out taking photos for the "Going Postal" ride contest that the Mountain Shadow Riders have going on. There are a few post offices between Limon and Colorado Springs, but I don't mind the stops--since it breaks up the sixty or so miles home.

Home. What a great sounding word. We pull into the Springs and I am happy to see home.

This was an "adventure" that was only a few days....there were quite a few POWs that were gone much much longer--and some that are still missing. While my experience doesn't even come close to theirs, it is all that I have. I think I get a small understanding of why the ride is so emotional.

I pull up to my house and am happy to be there. Even with all the trials and tribulations, I'm home safe and sound. The ride is what it is and while not under the most ideal circumstances, it was an adventure worth noting. Most importantly.....

All's well that ends well..........

Until the next time...

Keep the Shiny Side Up!!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Night at Eagle's Nest

Last year, our stop was at Angelfire. To "spread" the rider's money around, it is my understanding that the Run for The Wall tries to select different towns on the route. I think there are other factors as well, but I don't think I'm privvy to them. I'd be guessing that the small towns that the Run stops in might place a burden upon them--especially for the towns that put up dinners and the like. I have no idea how the fund raising is done.

I digress.

Anglefire holds a special place in the Run's heart. I've said time and time before, there is a Memorial in Anglefire--built by a local doctor and his wife that lost their only son to the war in Vietnam. It is an amazing place and quite humbling. There are no words to describe it.

There is a ceremony at the Memorial. While I am not a Veteran, my life is touched by many Vets. My dad was a Korean War Vet and my son's dad is a Vet of Desert Storm and the War on Terrorism. While I'm not a direct casualty of war, my family was square in the target of conflict; the subsequent breakdown of my family was due to post-traumatic stress--and it tore my family apart. I've since recovered, but still, I am one of the many faceless families that never really gets talked about as a casualty. I didn't lose a life--but losing and rebuilding a family was traumatic nonetheless.

Again, I digress. This isn't about me. The ceremony is quiet and humbling. What I know is that this is a special place. It gives me goosebumps everytime I think of what I've seen.

The ceremony ends and the folks gather to head down to the village of Angelfire. The town puts together a dinner and feeds the riders in the run. The dinner was the first time I had to meet the crew of "Flying Thunder, Flight to the Wall 2008". Volunteers of the Wings and Rotors Air Museum worked to get three Hueys to ride with the Run riders. The flight that was to cover 5,000 miles over 16 states with a cost of over $300,000. The trip was to commerate the 40th anniversary of the Tet Offensive. The logistics of the flight were incredible obstacles--fuel range limited flights to 90 minutes and required manditory manitenance after every 20 flying hours. Not to mention the chase vehicles carrying oil and as many spare parts and tools that they could bring.

They did make it out to pay tribute to those lost to war and to keep the importance of accounting for those not brought back front and center...and yes, they made it back. For more information you can check out Flying Thunder. You can also read their stores at the Flying Thunder 2008 Blog.

With the dinner finished and visiting done, it was time to head out. A fuel stop before the half hour ride back to Eagles Nest. My friend Screamer leads, I'm riding wing and the sweep is Screamer's mom and dad. Not too much traffic or anything major (cue the dramatic "something is gonna happen music, please).

As we head down the highway, I see "something" in the middle of the road. What on earth is that, I think. I can't really tell....but mentally click over what it could possibly be...and then it moves. More like bounds off the highway....Oh my goodness, it is deer?

I wish.

Instead, I realize it's a rather large elk. I breathe a sigh of relief and say a small prayer that the very large animal bounded off the highway. I then take a quick peek to the side of the road where it ran and see....many, many, many more elk. Many pairs of green eyes looking back as we pass.

I pull up to ride abreast of the lead and flip my brights on. If there is a chance that there is something in the road, two riders side by side with brights will give us more visibility than riding staggered. I don't remember much of the ride back past that--all I know is that I was saying a very long prayer and promising that I would never do anything wrong ever ever ever...if I could get to the motel without anything happening to any of us.

Finally, we pulled in. Never mind the cold temps...I'll take freezing over playing chicken with an elk. I'd have lost.

We get in and attempt to settle in. My nerves are shot. I spent the next hour or so decompressing. It could have been much worse, I know.....but it's still scary.

Finally, sleep comes. We will have another early start.....so sleep is important. I feel like I've been on the road for more than one day....lol....

The next day is another adventure...

Until then,

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Run For The Wall 2008--To Eagles Nest

Before we leave Espanola, we gas up. We've picked up to additional riders...no probs. We talk about the ride, the roads and get our warning about riding our ride. There are going to be twisties!! Whooohooooo!!! So while I don't get to ride in with the Run, I get to ride twisties. Makes up for it....almost!


The weather is still holding. Of course, it's only been about 20 minutes since our fearless leader pointed it out, so it's too early to expect anything. Talking with the new riders, I quiz them on their preparedness for mountain riding. Have they ever ridden in the mountains and did they have cold weather gear? I told them I was putting mine on--because I know what it's like to ride up at high altitude and we were headed there.


I have my layers on. While it's nice to have them when it's cold...well, it's not cold now!!! So I'm pretty much sweating...and on a hot motorcycle. Not the good kind of "hot" motorcycle either. I know that it will soon change, so off we go.


Not much to think about; I settle in the groove of enjoying the ride. We do start to climb in altitude and get into the twisties. Clouds are there. The music of my iPod gets ignored as I concentrate on riding.


There is a fair amount of traffic on the road. We are in a loose pack, so I'm not in a hurry. The leaders, however, want to ride rather aggressively. So they take off and somehow I end up leading. Not a big deal, by any means. Except I'm leading a bunch of folks that I know very little about and riding down a highway that I've never ridden.


Great. Now the pressure is on. Ah well, just concentrate on the road ahead...

As we climb in elevation, the temperatures drop. I'm glad I have my gear on. That's one distraction that I don't need right now. And of course, with twisties, there are also....bicyclists.

No, I'm not anti-bicyclist. I used to ride one as my main mode of transportation. All I ask is that they share the same respect for the other vehicles on the road. I don't like the ones that assume that I'm watching for them or think they have right of way just because they are on a bicycle. I still watch for them, however.

This time, it wasn't the bicyclist. As I am going around a blind curve, I see the bicyclist coming down the hill in the opposite direction. What I didn't see and obviously didn't see me was the big van that decided to pass said bicyclist in blind curve. And by passing, I mean, ride in my lane. I swerved and managed to get out of the way without getting hit. Boy, I did have the beejeebers scared out of me. I was too startled to really get angry...until I got down the road a bit. Uttering a few choice words and wishing that the idiot was close enough that I could give him an unedited rant of his decision...well, not really a good thing to be distracted with while I'm still riding the mountain pass.

I try to shake the whole thing off since I do not want to miss a turn and end up crashing, I press on. My fun for this ride has certainly come to a low. Miserable weather, missing the group to ride, and now this....grrrrrrrr......

Oh yes, and we never do get rain but it sure does get cold!! Yeah, I'm having fun...NOT!!

Finally, we get to Eagle's Nest. On the way down, we pass the Angle Fire Memorial. If you haven't been to the memorial, I suggest that you do. It's an amazing place to stop. As I pass it, I remember that the memorial was built by a father in rememberance for losing his son in Vietnam and has become a symbol of those lost to war. As much misery as I've felt these past few days, I think that it is insignificant to what those families endured. OK OK OK, attitude adjusted.

My little group disbands. I'm stopping for coffee to warm up. One of the riders in the group mentions my close call with big van. I respond that I wasn't too happy, but in the end, no riders crashed so it was a good ride.

My friend Speedo Jack meetup and we decide to hit one of the local watering holes for dinner and wait for the rest of the Run folks to show up. We get a chance to visit and hash the day out.

It's all good.

My friends pull in and we putz around until the official Run for the Wall Dinner at Angel Fire.

Oh, the ride isn't over yet....wait until you hear this one.....

Keep the Shiny Side Up....

~The Rainbow Wahine

The Day After the Rain....

Oh, errr...sorry about that, folks....the story does continue. I had to move....so I did and now I'm still unpacking...sigh.

I was up bright and early the next morning...and the morning was BEAUTIFUL!!! Yippee!!! I was happy to be greeted with golden sunshine and out of that awful motel. It wasn't a big deal when I checked in...but checking out...go...go...go....

The facility was clean, it was just a "smoking room" being converted to non-smoking. As a non-smoker, I'm not sure if it will ever be up to my standards. Blech....

Okay, back to the story. I get up early and plan on meeting the group at Route 66 Casino. Not a very long ride--maybe 30 minutes tops. Unfortunately for me, I have no idea it is that close, so I'm at the meet site--two hours early. Not too convenient of a location to go shopping and besides, it is too early for anyone except perhaps Wal-Mart to be open. So what to do...what to do...

Well, after all, it's a casino....so I find a card table. Two hours pass rather quickly and while I wish I could say that I won, I broke even and was happy.

I took a peek outside and the Road Guard crew has pulled in. Cool. I should be able to find my friend Screamer fairly easily. After all isn't a six foot tall blonde on a purple Victory is easy to spot? She is and I find her busy directing motorcycles.

Since I missed registration that morning in Gallup, I find that I can't join the group. I'm a bit disappointed...after all, I took an extra day off from work to ride in with everyone, and find that I can't. Rules are rules, I know, and while I'm disappointed, there is really not much I can do. I do find another group of friends from Colorado Springs and they graciously invite me to ride in. Instead of following the main group, they've been riding behind the fuel group. So I'm in with a group of six or so and we are between the fuel crew and the main pack. It's all good.

Time to load up and off we go. Again, I'm disappointed for not being able to ride in with the Run. There is something ethereal about the ride. While it is a challenge to ride in a large group of motorcycles--side by side at highway speeds--and with folks you don't know--I'd say it isn't that--exactly. I think it's more the reasons why the riders are there. The cameraderie and acceptance of the riders who all understand that this is not only a recognition ride, but it is also a mission. The feeling is an amazing one and I think I'm not doing a very good job of explaining it.

Nonetheless, we are out on the road. The weather is gorgeous, I didn't lose all my money at the casino and I'm with friends. What more can I ask for?

Of course, when someone asks that question, it's always a warning of things to come, lol. Like bad weather, perfect weather doesn't last either. However, I'm not complaining--yet.

Get on the bike and ride. Destination: Espanola. It's a fairly straightforward ride and I will say that I was glad for the break. This is what the joy of riding is all about. We pull into Espanola. Our lunch stop is at the Espanola Veteran's Memoral Wall. My thanks to the Sangre De Cristo HOG Chapter and Santa Fe Harley Davidson for feeding us!!

After lunch, there was a short ceremony. It was really wonderful to see the many children of the community attend the ceremony. It was especially touching to see all the youth talking and thanking the many veteran riders for their service to this great nation. I get still get goosebumps remembering the scene.

One of the riders in my group hunts me down and points towards the mountains......

The big ominous black cloud. We have to beat that cloud he says....

This cloud is seriously large and black enough to that we leave before the road guards do. Hmmmm...

Our destination is Eagle's Nest by way of Taos and Angel Fire. I remember saying a small prayer, "Please let the weather hold until we get through Flechado Pass."

And of course, another day for another story. I promise that you won't have to wait three months for it either...

Until tomorrow....

Keep the shiny side up!!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away!!

Sigh, after three (yes, three) servings of Chili, I'm finally warmed up.

It is still raining. Not a torrential downpour, but more than a light spritz.

I do not want to get back on the bike.

I know I have to, so I gear up and head out. I wonder when will I get around the clouds?

Apparently, never. At least on this rotten day. Eventually, the rain does stop....somewhere on the other side of Santa Fe. It is still cloudy. Just a yukky day altogether.

One of my friends has a tag line on her e-mails..."the worst day on the motorcycle is better than any day in the office" or something to that effect. I disagree. I burned a vacation day for this?? Harrumph.

I press on. It is relatively quiet. No major disasters, rain, wind, snow or awful stuff to deal with. Traffic is calm. Or so think as I sit here trying to recall the haze of road miles.

My next battle: fatigue. I'm tired. It's been a day full of challenges and absolutely zero fun of riding. I press on, working my way west trying to get to Gallup, New Mexico. Finally, I see the city limits of Albuquerque. I know I have to stop for fuel. Then the last leg to Gallup.

Of course, stopping for fuel turns out to be an adventure in itself. I stop at a gas station...and it is a mad house! Vehicles everywhere! Come to find out that this particular station is having a $0.20 sale---$0.20 off a gallon of gasoline. It's a mad house! I watch with interest. It is a feeding frenzy. People everywhere, trying to get fuel. Fighting over who goes next.

I patiently wait. I take the moments to just process the day. I'm know I'm tired. The insanity of the events at the pump do not amuse me in my typical manner. Okay, I'm past tired. I'm exhausted.

Finally getting my gas, I gear back up and pull out. There's a little Microtel across the street. I look at my Zumo GPS and see there's over 100 miles to go. I make a flash decision. I pull in and call it a day.

There is a room available. I pay, get my gear off the bike.

Stripping down and take the many layers off, leaving a trail of clothing on the floor. I just do not care. Wash my face and then lay down. I call my friends to let them know I am done for the night. Then I lay down. Sleep is coming. My last thought...

"Please let tomorrow not be a repeat of today."

Sleep comes....

Keep the Shiny Side Up

~The Rainbow Wahine

Friday, May 30, 2008

Run For the Wall 2008--Over Raton Pass

One of the other things that was a minor problem was my glove liners. I was having a problem with a draft up my chin and stuffed one of my glove liners in that space to block the draft. Unfortunately, somewhere on I-25 it became missing.

Oh well, I'll pull out another set of warmer gloves. Except.....I left them at home! LOL.

I did manage to find a cashmere glove stuffed in my pocket (why, I have no idea), so I thought "great, I'll use that as a liner". Well, until I looked at the glove. It was a right glove. My glove liner...was the right glove. Minor problem really--I turned the cashmere glove inside out and voila! Problem fixed.

I put my liners on my hand...one black and right bright red, then put my gloves on and off I went.

Earring lost, glove liner lost..what else??

I pull back on the highway and it is once again windy!! No rain, so I'm not too upset. The ride is pretty uneventful and I kick back, listening to The Phantom of the Opera and cruise on down the highway.

I notice as I get to Raton pass, the temps are noticeably dropping. The sky darkens....looks like rain..yikes!!

Except it is not rain. It's the rain's cousin....snow.

Oh double great! There is snow on the ground and the sky is threatening more.....precipitation.

I catch a few flurries and as I head over the pass, I'm just praying for just that--a few flurries. Well, I am cursing the snow and wishing for end-of-May great temps and riding but praying to get through the pass with minimal snow.

It did just that. As I get over the top of the pass, the sky lightens a bit.

Motorcycle crisis survived.

I continue heading south and get a few sprinkles of rain here and there. Not anything to really amount to much, however, the temps still stay cold.

Those sprinkles never did amount to much and I never did get wet, but with the cold temps and the continuing cold blusters, I decided to pull over on the highway and put my raingear on. One more layer. If you were driving down I-25 on Thursday, May 15 between Wagon Mound and Las Vegas, NM and saw a rider on a red Harley Davidson putting raingear on--well, that was me!

It was a good thing I stopped. The closer I got to Las Vegas the darker the sky got. I finally caught up with the rain. As I ride down the interstate, I was beginning to wonder where the edge of this weather front was.

When I get to Las Vegas, it is outright raining. I decided that I had enough and wanted to stop and warm up and take advantage of the stop to fuel up my bike and my tummy. I'm in search of soup. Gallons and gallons of soup!!

I didn't find anything that looked remotely interesting for a food stop, but I did spot a local Wendy's...and they have chili. I'll take it.

I pull in for my lunch. Wet bike, wet gear, water water everywhere.

Can I wait it out?

Until the next post...

Keep The Shiny Side Up!!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Run For The Wall 2008--To Gallup, NM

It was still overcast and cool when I pulled out of my driveway Thursday morning. As a matter of fact, an inner voice told me that I should just wait until Friday before leaving. However, I had given my word that I would meet my friends this evening, so I decided to head on out.

I tacked my half-shell helmet on my T-Bag. Not because I was wanting to ride without a helmet, but rather I decided that I was going to take my full-faced helmet along--and actually wear it! Those of you that have been reading this blog for some time remember the Iron Butt adventure where I took my full-faced helmet and didn't wear it, lol!!

The weather in the city of Colorado Springs wasn't too bad, so I settled in the groove and started enjoying my ride. That lasted all of 25 miles or so--then the wind really picked up. I was blown and buffeted all over the highway and the wind was COLD!!! I said a small prayer of thanks for putting my full-faced on.

Besides the wind, my adventure was pretty much uneventful. At Walsenburg, I decided that I wanted to warm up a bit and stop for fuel. I pulled off at the usual pit stop at the Walsenburg exit. There, I noticed that there were motorcyclists pulling out and headed north (which should have meant coming from the south, right??). They were wearing rain gear.

Great.

I start my stop by getting fuel. One of the things I dislike about my helmet is yanking it off my head. It makes me want to go and get one of the flip faced helmet so the thing won't yank my ears off. I manage to get the darn thing off my head and gas up. I finish and then pull the bike up to the front of the convenience store.

I go in, grab me a cup of coffee and wander around the store, trying to warm up. As I wander, something tells me to check my ears--to see if my earrings are still in. Nope, one was gone. Not normally a big deal, except this pair are my diamond studs and I'm none to happy to find that it was gone.

I decided to run out to the pump to see if it had been pulled off when I took off my helmet. As I scan the ground, I see a bit of flash. Sigh of relief--I find both the stud and the back. This time I tuck them into my wallet so it won't get lost again. At least on this motorcycle ride.

I finish my coffee and then put my gear back on to continue my journey.

So what does a lost earring story have to do with my Run For the Wall story? Well, the weather, bikers wearing rain gear and lost earring all point to the "maybe I should rethink going on" portion of the story or an indicator of things to come.

I had that fleeting thought and decided to press on. I'll tell you, it doesn't get any better.....

Until tomorrow.....

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It IS Time

And I'm sitting here in front of this box! LOL...

Well, I'm sitting here trying to avoid the really cold and wet morning. In about an hour, I'm supposed to be pulling out on my Fatboy--to start a weekend adventure and ride in with the folks that are doing the Run For The Wall.

Except it's like 30 degrees outside, wet and windy.

Blech....my favorite riding weather--NOT!!

I'll ride with them until Saturday, so it's just two days in with the group. I wish I could do more, but realistically, I'm supposed to close on my house on Tuesday...and I still have a ton of boxes to pack.

Well, just a short update...I'll hopefully get a few posts out while I'm on the road.

Keep The Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Stupid is as Stupid Does...

So I'm riding up Powers on my way home and thinking it's very cold to be riding when I hear the buzz of sportbikes. Now, really, I don't care what anyone rides and I think a pack of any kind of motorcycles is really cool together. I watch then fly by in all their glory and fly by they do...all buzzing and whatnot.

Of course, I have that warm fuzzy feeling and a bit of jealousy of "them" riding (versus me). Then one of the yahoos decides to pull his bike up in a wheelie.

I'm not impressed.

Really people, do what you want to do--I don't care. If a rider is that skilled enough to ride stunts and do it successfully--that's great! However, to do this in the front of a group of motorcycles is downright unintelligent.

Had that rider lost control and crashed, chances are that the dude or dudette behind him would have run him over. I'm not going to debate whether or not he deserves that in light of his bad choice. But really, does he want to subject his fellow rider to the guilt of running over him (or her, since I shouldn't be sexist and assume it was a dude)? Or risking the 20 people behind him the opportunity to crash?

This wasn't a group of motorcyclists on a street with light traffic. Saturday afternoon traffic and damp roads is not a day for "light" traffic. This rider was the third motorcycle in a large group of motorcycles. I wondered how many of his friends would have crashed trying to avoid him, run him over, or run him over and then crashed. Of course, I've left out just avoiding him. Think he'd get lucky enough to have them all avoid him?

Or it might have been a day where no one flipped their bike over and the rider just put his bike down and the ride continued on like it should. That is exactly what happened.

At least for today. If you want to ride dangerously, go for it!! You take your machine, your skin and your life into your hands. Please, however, don't risk someone else's skin. If you still feel the need to do so, I will pull out and it will be my last ride with you. This I know. It's bad enough that I have to watch out for road hazards like sand, gravel, potholes as well as cell phone laden drivers, bad decisions, and the like. I have to watch out for irresponsible riders too.

LOL....call it natural selection or whatever you like. I used to be horrified at that small group of irresponsible riders "making" a bad name for the responsible riders. No more. It's no different from idiot drivers being a sound representation of drivers of the general population. Instead, I just chalk it up to natural selection...and hope that it is not one of my friends that runs your crazy self over.

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

May Flowers?

HA! That's funny...

Today was the monthly Mountain Shadow Riders meeting...and the May meeting brings the usual meeting stuff. I belong to a women's motorcycling group, right?

So I drove my van. I went outside this morning and thought...hmmmm...it's darned cold and I'm not going to ride. Besides, I saw the big bank of dark gray clouds that were floating over the front range. Uhhh..no riding for this wahine.

As I'm riding down to the meeting, I notice a motorcyclist on a blue Ultra Classic. I pull up along side the bike and I know the rider. I shout out a greeting--he's on his way to teach his motorcycle riding class...brrrrrrrr....he laughs and says that the weather will be great in a few hours. I disagree and wave him on his way.

A few hours later...nope. Still wayyyy cold. Springtime in the Rockies. As a matter of fact, it rained a bit and the rain was mixed with a bit of slush. Yeah.................

It never did warm up as a matter of fact, I started a fire this evening to take the chill out of the air.

Tomorrow, it'll be 73 and gorgeous.

Yep, springtime in the rockies. Nothing quite like it.

I'd like to ride sometime and not freeze, thank you very much. Sigh....

Keep the shiny side up--and ride a few miles for me, willya??

~The Rainbow Wahine

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Power of $1.22

Not really a motorcycle related story....except for the writer is a motorcyclist, lol!

My offer on the house I am interested in buying was accepted...yay! Handed my agent my earnest money check, scheduled the home inspection, etc., etc., etc. One of the major things I need to take care of is the down payment--that 20 percent is daunting, since I'm a first-time homebuyer. I appreciate that I have it, though.

To do so, I have to sell shares out of my brokerage account and yes, it was a sad day to press the "enter" button since I know it's going to "somewhat broke" to "almost broke". Okay, scary too!

Knowing that I'd have to have a casheir's check in hand at closing and that it would be more difficult to deal with with my out of town brokerage account, I decided to transfer the money to my local savings account. So transfer I did. I did a rough calculation of what I need to leave behind--checks outstanding and other transactions.

I missed by $1.22. Yup, you got that right...I was short by a mere $1.22. So imagine my surprise that one of my checks was returned as it's been a forever and a day since I actually bounced a check. Hey, I write maybe one check a month and this month I have written three. Not good statistics, IMO. On top of that, this one particular account does not have overdraft protection.

Sigh.

You know, I wonder how I manage to successfully survive in my existance. I took care of the offending check and just put it behind me with a laugh at the irony. Oh! The Irony!

And vow to never complain about that "little bitty dollar". I think $1.22 would be a great price for a gallon of gasoline! Now that you mention it, with the appetite for my Harley "wanting" premium and the last fill up I had to pay over $15.00 for a tank--almost the price of filling up my mom-mobile not too long ago. I suspect the days of $6.00 fill ups are long gone.

Such is life, eh?

Keep The Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Short Putt...and I Gotta Get One of Those!!!

As I am always crunched for time, I took advantage of an opening in my schedule for a very short putt...

I did get an acceptance on the offer I made on the home that I'm interested in buying. So, today was home inspection day. Seeing that I had to run home to get that all important checkbook (who carries that around on a daily basis any more??), I decided to hop on the motorcycle instead of continuing my journey by mom-mobile.

The new home is only a few miles away from me, but I didn't care. Just rolling down the road for a short jaunt is better than no jaunt, right?? Besides, with gasoline pushing upwards towards that unbelievable $4.00 mark....well, any time to conserve fuel (and dollars) is a good idea.

It was nice to get the wind in my hair for a bit and not be cold. Finally, the end of April and I have a day that I'm not all bundled up!! Whooohooooo for me.

Inspection done and homeward bound. I did have to swap out vehicles to go and get my munchkin. Sighhhhhh...(almost) too short to ride.

After obtaining my little one, I scooted home to find my neighbors working on this huge trailer. Seems that they've invested in a covered trailer to haul....motorcycles. Yes, that's right. They have trailer capabilities. Yes, I know that there are huge debates regarding "trailering" motorcycles, and honestly, I do not care if one trailers or rides.....after suffering through miles of 2 mph traffic for hours to get out of Myrtle Beach.....the idea doesn't sound too bad.

But I'm getting away from my story. As my neighbors are installing the wheel chocks and what have you (and imagine two men installing this equipment--without reading instructions, lol). They decided to have the all-important test of loading a motorcycle into the trailer. Good idea, I think and settle in to watch.

My son, who has been fascinated with motorcycles since he was teeny, stopped his bicycle riding to watch. He came up to me and said "mom, do you think I can ride on that?"

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm......the time has started? Maybe? After the successful loading and more importantly, unloading of said shiny Harley Davidson, I asked my neighbor if he would mind giving Alex a little ride on the back. "Little" meaning turning the motorcycle around and pulling back up into the garage. My neighbor agreed and on Alex went.

Compared to my "little" putt machine, my neighbor's motorcycle is the bomb. A fully dressed hard bagger and CVO to boot.....one that a rider and passenger can ride many many many miles comfortably. I can do the same on mine, mind you....I doubt a passenger would survive as long.

So Alex is riding his first "on the back" ride...on a really cool motorcycle. Yes, he's been on the back of my friend's trike, but this is the first on two wheels. As he rides by, I comment to another neighbor...I gotta get one of those!

Yeah....just to haul my little one around. I'd guess that it'd "have" to have all the bells and whistles as that CVO does too *wink*.

He he he....

Keep the shiny side up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Friday, April 25, 2008

It's April????

Well, it's been crazy weather here in Colorado. Or has it been "normal" versus the previous years of superfantastic weather?? I dunno, but pleeeeeeeeaze bring me back superfantastic!!!

I did get out for a bit last weekend. No mountain riding, but rather, just riding the roads in town. I've been out house hunting since I'm having to move. Not from this lovely town, mind you--just having to leave my house. The homeowners are not renewing my lease. Something about a biker and her biker trash....

NO NO NO! Not really. My landlord has been overseas and is finally returning and they want their home back. Can't really blame them...I love it here.

So my weekend has been filled with riding the neighborhoods on the bike--out scouting homes. Not too bad, by any means....I've gotten really good at making U-Turns in neighborhood streets again. It's amazing how quickly I've gotten "rusty" at those skills.

Interestingly, I've discovered that while out on the motorcycle, I pull up to a home for sale, hop off the bike and grab a flyer...and while I stand out front reading the info on the home, the owner comes out and chats about the bike, and then I get an invite to tour their home! No pressure and I get to ask questions like "how are your neighbors, how much is your utility bill" kinda things that an agent really can't answer.

I've got an offer out on the table at the moment and I think it's been accepted...I should find out later this afternoon. If so, I'll be packing. OH wait, I'm packing anyway since I know I have to move. At least after today, I'll know where I'm moving too...I hope.

I should have a riding adventure soon enough...at least hope to.

Until then, I hope that you've gotten out for many putts and adventures...I need to live vicariously through you!!

Keen the shiny side up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lo and Behold...It's STILL SNOWING!

I think there's been three whole rides this year. I should not complain, I know--since the folks in some parts of this great country have been frozen for a long long time.

So not much writing about motorcycle riding. I did, however, get to add a "new" gadget to my stable of gadgets...

"Announcing, the greatest invention for people that can't find their way out of a paper bag....."

The Zumo.

Yes, folks, I finally decided to break down and add one to my motorcycle. For all of you Goldwing riders out there...please don't poke fun at this Fatboy riding chickie...and yes, I know, I somehow have lost respect from my Harley riding (and non Harley riding) friends.

Sigh, no more being on the dark side. I'm truly yuppi-fied!

I've only had one opportunity to put the Zumo to the test while out on the motorcycle, and no, it really wasn't a test since I was just out for a group ride and didn't plot to go anywhere. Rather, it was on and I was just paying attention to the map.

I'll have plenty of time to put the gadget to the test out on the bike...later.

However, out of the box, there are two mounts--one that bolts to my motorcycle and a suction mount that I leave in my car. The suction mount is great--I have the mount on the windshield glass. The assembly comes with two power cords...one that I keep in my van and the other is hardwired to my motorcycle. The only thing I have to move is the Zumo itself.

Just remember in a few states that mounting on a car windshield is a no-no.

I did get the 550 model--so I have the optional upgrades to XM radio and stuff, but what I really wanted was the bluetooth. I have not utilized the bluetooth functionality on the motorcycle, however, in my vehicle...I love it! Hands free speakerphone for my cell while in my car. I've paired my cellphone to my Zumo and it automatically goes to handsfree mode while I'm in the car.

I'll have to wait until it warms up a bit and I get out on the road on my motorcycle to test the other features. However, what I've seen so far has been terrific. I've been a fan of GPS for a number of years...I had an old Garmin system in my van before--so this is an upgrade for me.

I'm just excited that I can now have GPS capability on my motorcycle.

I don't want to hear the noise...oh wait, maybe I am riding a Goldwing ...

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I'll Huff..and I'll Puff...and I'll

Be blown all over the road.

First ride of 2008 was....errrrr....windy!

Well, the ride up wasn't too bad. My friends and I decided that a ride northward to Denver with a lunch spot at my favorite salad bar, Whole Foods, was the plan for the day.

The day started perfect. No wind, a few clouds in the sky. I had a few prep items to take care of--firstly putting my saddlebags back on my motorcycle...since I had removed them to be repaired. Secondly, the TCLOCS check. For those of you that don't know what TCLOCS is....

Tires...front and back, wear, tread, pressure
Controls...throttle, clutch, brakes, horn
Lights....beams (low/high), tail light, brake, signals (front and back)
Oil...and fuel
Chassis..suspension, seating
Sidestand....

Yeah, I know, my front left turn driving lamp is out..the turn signal still works...fuel is full...but I know I need air in my tires. I'm about 10 pounds down in the back, 8 in the front. Fuel or not, I have to stop at the gas station.

Once I'm up to speed, I'm ready to head down to the meet spot. I have no idea who is going to be there as a whole slew of folks were invited.

LOL...well, we have a party of three and one we are picking up along the way. The route was Hwy 83.

The ride up was terrific, we picked up our rider along the way...and managed to have a terrific time at Whole Foods up at Cherry Creek.

Packing up, we all (well, everyone else decided while I was in the ladies room) was fine to head back down to the Springs via I-25.

Needless to say, there was a front blowing in...and yes, we were blown all over the road. I knew it was a pretty heavy wind when I looked down at the fringe on my levers and they were blowing forward instead of the usual backwards!!! Not to mention that the Sunday afternoon traffic around Denver was pretty heavy. Not as heavy as commuter traffic, but certainly did add to the misery of the ride.

As my exit approached, I said a prayer in thanks for finally being home and being able to not ride at interstate speeds and almost out of the wind. A quick peek at my thermometer and I'm seeing 24 degrees.....yikes!

Everyone got home safely...and it was a fun time in spite of all the wind, traffic and, temps. And yes, finally, the first ride of 2008!!! Whew....

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting...

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.

Is winter ever going to end? Is there such a thing as a great riding day?

Sigh.

I did get my garage door fixed, thank goodness.

However, there hasn't been much of an opportunity to get out and ride. Either snow, rain, too much wind, cold...the list goes on. I shouldn't complain. The folks out in Wisconsin have over 100+ inches of snow this season and are expecting six more this Monday. Not only that, it's been so cold that there has been no melt off and well, 100 inches...where do you put the new stuff now??

In the mean time, I did manage to snag myself a Garmin Zumo motorcycle GPS. It's here in town; the folks at UPS have it and so it won't be delivered until Monday. I'm looking forward to getting it installed and my first ride of 2008. Gee, and it's a week until March!

Not much else going on in this motorcycle rider's world (at least related to motorcycling).

Hopefully, I'll have some type of motorcycling adventure to report before the end of the month!

Keep the Shiny Side UP!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Well, THAT Did It....

I guess it is a good thing that the V-Star went home. Tuesday evening, my son and I were coming in from a long day of work/school and as usual, I enter my house through the garage. It is a convenient way to get in and out of the house--since it is still dark at 5:00 pm and I'm too frugal to leave outside lights on all day so I can see where to put the key......

So use the garage.

Well, the door opener has been acting a little strange for the past few weeks--being very uncooperative as far as wanting to stay open or close.

I will say that after Tuesday, it is certainly closed.

As I pressed the button to pull the door down, the familiar noise of....drrrrrrrrrrrrrr....sounds. About three-quarters of the way....SLAM.

Yes, my dear Virginia, there is a Garage-Door Clause.

Now my door won't open at all. I suppose it is a good thing that there is a forecast of snow showers tomorrow...and a high of mid thirties Saturday and Sunday. I won't be wanting to ride. Unfortunately, I'll have to fix my garage door opener....so I can get the darn bike out!!

Sigh...it's always something. At least until I get my door fixed...no riding for the Wahine...

Keeping the Shiny Side Up for certain 'cause I'm not riding...

~The Rainbow Wahine

Monday, January 28, 2008

It Wasn't Sad Until....

It went bye-bye.

Finally, the Yamaha V-Star is gone :-(. The new owner secured a trailer and on a frozen but clear day, came and picked up the Star.

Sigh.

Why was I so sad? After all, I have been "talking" about selling my Yamaha for....ever it seems. Last October I pitched the idea to someone looking for a Star and did the deal in November. Well, the paperwork anyway.

Since the exchange of paper, the timing never seemed to work. Either I was busy or the buyer was busy. Or the weather was rotten. I recall one week of being terribly sick. And so on and so forth.

At the last Mountain Shadow Riders meeting, he apologized for having the bike in the garage. Really, it wasn't an issue. But I suppose that the man wanted his motorcycle. After all, if I purchased a new bike, I'd want it in MY garage...even if the weather was not agreeable to riding.

Sooooooo.....last Saturday, the new owner comes with a trailer and takes away "my" Cranky. Okay, not mine anymore, but takes away the motorcycle.

I was sad--it was my first motorcycle. And suffered terribly from no riding. So I'm not being fair, eh?

And even if the riding is not agreeable and the new owner and his bike spent their first adventure on a trailer, ha ha ha!

Well, goodbye Cranky and well wishes for many many miles for the Star and the New Owner. The V-Star 1100 is a truly wonderful motorcycle and wonderful purchase. I hope that the pair has as many motorcycle adventures that I have.....

Keep The Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Miscellaneous Motorcycle Stuff

Well, it looks like my gang of Iron Butt riders have gotten their certificates...I know one of the other riders got hers. The others? I have yet to find out.

Looks like Cranky is going to his new home. I wonder if "he'll" be rechristened as a "she". Do boys ride a boy motorcycle? This is not making any sense!!

We got snow here today. Not much, but it is bitterly cold. Thermometer says -1F. YIKES!! Even if it were clear and no snow on the ground, I would not be riding! There were quite a few motorcyclists out on the street yesterday--before the snow. However, the temperature was still in the 40's.....too cold for this chickie.

And yes, to the guy that is riding his new Harley Davidson around on the ice. DON'T! I can't drive or walk very well on ice...and unless that HD had studded tires...it is not a good idea...at least in my opinion. I'd be crying from a drop on ice. Paint and chrome just don't take kindly to being rubbed with anything more than cloth. Ice isn't cloth either....

So yes, we know you are proud of your shiny new motorcycle. But please. We'll all ohhhh and ahhhh in the spring....

Reporting from the frozen tundra of the Rocky Mountains....

Keep the shiny side up (and preferably in the garage at the moment)....

~The Rainbow Wahine

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Going Postal 2008

As I was getting ready for work one morning, my mind was wandering upon various ideas for the Mountain Shadow Riders Annual ride contest. Last year it was the "Mountain" "Shadow" "Rider(s)" Elevation contest. That contest was a picture of the MSR member with any item that said mountain, shadow, and/or rider as well as elevation. Points were assigned to the various word combinations as well as the number of points given for elevation in feet.

It was a fun contest--but really are you a little confused?? Not to mention that the various points had to be scored according to the rules. Congrats to Biker Betty on her first place win in the contest--she blew everyone away!!

I am drifting away from my story...the idea for the ride contest for 2008. What would be simple and easy to score and offer opportunity for competitive participants as well as members that just wanted to get the participation patch??

I'm thinking what about post offices? There are plenty around our town and to score them--use the zip code that the post office is in. If I am not mistaken, the zip code is somewhere on the building or should be relatively easy to get. Not to mention that riders have a safe place to stop to obtain a photo. No more stopping on a busy highway for an elevation sign.

I'll propose it as an idea when we have our meeting this weekend. There could be a side contest of ten million zip points...with the zip codes being in the 80000 range--that's approximately 125 post offices that have to be obtained. A do-able challenge!!

Well, that's my thought for the month. I think it is a good idea--lets see if the membership agrees with me. I'd be interested to hear what the other members come up with!!

Our first meeting for 2008 is this upcoming Saturday. With the highs forecasted to be in the mid 40's it's rideable. However, with the recent snow storms dumping major snow--I don't think I'll be open to riding.

We'll see......

Keep the shiny side up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Sunday, January 06, 2008

How Much Is That Harley In The Window

....that one with that sh-i-ny chrome?

In the market to buy a motorcycle? You might have "luck" in finding one that is reasonably priced.

Why? The market.

Finances have been in the news as of late--the meltdown of the subprime lending market leads the way. Simply put, easy financing was great until the piper had to be paid--with new rates when ARMs adjusted.

Unfortunately, the effect is not limited to mortagages. All that so-called easy money allowed consumers to purchase other "non" necessity items--such as gadgets, gizmos and yes, even motorcycles. With folks having to decide to keep a roof over their head or pay for the luxury items....well, what would you choose?

Further compounding the issue is financing. Harley Davidson Motor Financing finances approximately half of the motorcycles that are sold out of a Harley Davidson dealership. So when people can't or won't afford their bike payments any longer...where does the bike go??

Either send them back or consumers attempt to sell them. Either way, the inventory of motorcycles grows.

Look at bank and credit union websites. They are flooded with repo vehicles....mostly trucks that have huge appetites for expensive gasoline....it isn't fun to shell out $100 or more a week on fuel...and that rate goes higher.

So what about those bikes? I know the market is soft...look at the bikes listed on e-Bay. I imagine that the creative financing for Harley Davidsons is about to get more creative. Yes, the incentives are out there...but qualifying for them is more difficult than before.

Of course, one bright note is that the whisper of gasoline prices going to $3.50 or $4.00, riding a motorcycle makes more sense in terms of fuel effiency. Then again, if I were faced to choose between the roof over my head and my "extra" vehicle....I know that I'd be fighting to keep the roof over my head. As much sense as it makes to keep the motorcycle....unfortunately, the cold temps and ice and snow isn't agreeable with riding.

Besides that, my son is still too little to be riding on the back.

I hope that you aren't put in a position to make this choice....however, if you are in the market for a new motorcycle, this may be the opportunity to do so.....

Keep the shiny side up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Saturday, January 05, 2008

It's Not A Hobby...

But a lifestyle?

What an interesting thought. I was having lunch with my fellow Mountain Shadow Riders this afternoon. Talk centered around the happenings and whatnot of our lives...juggling infinite things in a finite time block called a day. It was good to catch up. I did catch heat for not knuckling down and riding....but the roads in my neighborhood still have ice and we had 50 mile per hour wind gusts....so not too favorable.

I did throw out that I was thinking of selling my Harley. I'm just burned out. I am not sure of the hecticness and responsibility of being an officer of the MSR or just all the other distractions of life or what my problem is, but I just don't have the joy of getting out on the open road. Maybe it is winter...who knows.

I do know that I've been kicking around taking up another hobby or finding another activity that I find fun. I've been looking at several options and know that this will be an additional demand on my time.

One of my table mates looked at me and said..."it's not a hobby, but a lifestyle"...but exactly what does that mean? The definition of hobby is: An activity or interest pursued outside one's regular occupation and engaged in primarily for pleasure. The definition of lifestyle is: A way of life or style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person or group. Deciding to ride or not ride doesn't change me or my values or the way I will choose to live my life. Riding is not my life...I work in an industry--as like the majority of the folks that do motorcycle--that has nothing to do with motorcycling. The folks that do work in the motorcycling industry--well, they are the lucky ones--if they are indeed doing what they love.

What does that mean? Is it the spirit of brotherhood? Riding in all kinds of conditions? What? What? What? I've done all of that...I've also taught my fellow riders and encouraged them. Hmmmm...

Motorcycling is a hobby as far as the definition goes. But somewhere I've lost the pleasure of riding for the sheer joy of riding and I know I need to find that joy once again. Maybe that does mean selling my remaining motorcycle and taking a break...after all, if I want to pick it up again, I can always buy a new bike. Maybe it doesn't mean selling the Fatboy, but rather taking a hiatus and exploring other things in my life.

Fundamentally, it doesn't change me. I can still ride in the cold and rain and I'm still the same person no matter what. Just because I can doesn't mean that I will...and like today, I can choose to drive instead of being blasted by sand on the road pelting me at 50 mph.

I dunno. Maybe I've never really emulated that particular lifestyle. Does that make me not a biker but a casual or hobbiest rider?

Yeah, if they had to explain it, I probably wouldn't understand. I'm not sure if that is the case. I *do* understand. Yes, there are new and wonderful roads still out there that need to be explored. I don't need to see the same old rallies with the same old type of parties and merchandise although I am glad to see my friends and catch up on their lives.

I think I feel the need to evolve and grow into something more than what it currently is....

That is the lifestyle I want...

Keep the shiny side up...

~The Rainbow Wahine

P.S.....the color change is for you, Jovi...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Early Bird Gets To....Wait??

If you are a regular reader, you will recall that Labor Day Weekend of 2006 was the SaddleSoar 1,000....or Iron Butt Ride. Quite the adventure, but the story continues even as of today.

I have a habit of procrastinating--and yes, submission of the paperwork to the IBA was no exception. I just never got a "round tuit". My friends, whom I know mean well, took it upon themselves to poke fun at me by constantly asking if I sent my paperwork in.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," I'd reply...."I'm getting it in the mail".

After the newness (and something else to distract them) wore off, the whole incident was forgotten....almost. They submitted their paperwork only to see the checks cashed by the IBA and nothing else. No certificate, no pins, patches or prizes. Oh, the trinkets are really not that important--the acknowledgement of the job being done by an organization that touts a "special" membership that only long distance riders that successfully take on the challenge can become a member of

Quoted from their website: People that succesfully have a SaddleSore or Bun Burner ride certified receive a certificate, an Iron Butt Association pin and a plastic license plate back with our logo "Iron Butt Association - World's Toughest Riders."

Every time I read these guidelines, they seem overly complex. However, they were developed by one of our members involved in record keeping for various sporting events. There is no doubt that the documentation requirements for these certification are tough, but when you hang your certificate on the wall, you can rest easy knowing that we just don't hand these out to anyone. When the ride is over, you have survived not only a very tough ride, but you'll have the documentation to back up your claims. How many riders can say that?


When you read the following guidelines, keep in mind that our goal is to see a well documented ride. If you cannot follow the guidelines exactly, feel free to drop us a line with a proposal. We will be happy to review your plans and possibly accept changes to this format.

Sounds like a challenge? I think so. My friends and I planned and executed this adventure over Labor Day Weekend of 2006.

My friends promptly submitted their paperwork--after all, retaining all recepts, logging mileage, and getting witnesses to certify "I was there" is additional work added to the challenge. Not to mention having to pay a fee to get certified. Me, on the other hand, finally got a "round tuit" some nine months or so after the event and submitted my paperwork. I sent a check, too.

My friends would oft complain about the IBA cashing their checks and sending them....nothing. An e-mail would get a standard canned reply "we apologize, but we are behind". After all, we all jumped through the hoops and did what was requested and what...it's January of 2008???

To add injury to insult, Thanksgiving week found my mailbox full with a thick envelope. I received my IBA certification. It appears that my delay of getting the paperwork to them worked in my favor for timeliness. My friends, however, didn't find much humor in my envelope--after all, they submitted immediately and to this day...are still waiting...AND THEIR CHECKS WERE CASHED!!!

I feel their pain, after all, we all suffered through the adventure and they haven't been acknowledged. It somehow takes away from my reward--we did this as a group and should have been acknowledged at least the same time. Alas, I delayed and somehow I received my certification first. It just doesn't seem right.

The IBA forums talk freely and loudly about the delays. There are many in this same boat, it appears. There is even a thread started, "who has waited the longest". Yes, my friends and I understand that this is an organization that is run by volunteers and the head of the IBA has a full time job on top of this gig. We can understand delays--after all it took me quite a while to mail my paperwork in.

My friend's biggest complaint is that they can't get an answer. They feel abandoned--the check is cashed and no word on when, where, how....and no way to talk to a live person to get a status update. That is just poor customer service no matter how you slice or dice it.

I hope that my friends get their certifications soon. While I think it's quite ironic that the late bird gets the worm, I don't enjoy my certification as much knowing that my friends are still waiting.

Until my next rant,

Keep the shiny side up,

~The Rainbow Wahine

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Brass Nut Run

Well, no way it would be happening for me this year....and I think it wasn't until March or April of last year before there was clear weather..

Brrrr..........

The Brass Nut Run is typically held right around New Year's Day and celebrates...insanity?? Okay, typically celebrates the first run of the year. Here, in Colorado, it's normally cold. Today was no exception. I think the high for the day ended up in the twenties. It was a beautiful day--we had clear skies, sunshine and wind.

It was cold. My son and I did manage to get out for a bit. He rode his bicycle and I rode his Green Machine. Fortunately, the weight limit on the Green Machine is 180 pounds, so I did ride with glee!!!

It wasn't motorcycling, but hey....can't have them all, eh?? My legs will be killing me tomorrow, that's for sure.

However, this weekend the temps should be in the mid to upper 50's so if the ice melts, I might be able t0 join some ride. Or at least get the V-Star delivered to the new owner.

Happy New Year all!! If you get the opportunity to ride this coming weekend to ring in the new year....do it!!

~The Rainbow Wahine