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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