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Friday, December 09, 2011

It's December and No, I'm NOT Riding!

I'm sure it's been a bazillion years since I've posted...but rest assured, I'm still out here! 

This year has been interesting--I've done more riding than in past years--but not as much as I first did.  Let's face it, I've become a fair-weather rider.  Once in my life (like it's a different century or something), I would have not thought twice about hopping on the bike for a quick scoot as long as the roads were clear.  Now, not so much!

The Iron Butt some years ago was what took my enthusiasm out of the "joy" of the ride--in cold temps.  Something about having to thaw out by taking a shower or bath just doesn't appeal to me.  My 'ol bones don't like it either!  Having to navigate automobiles that really are not aware that there may be a motorcyclist on the road does not appeal to me either.

The last ride of the season was with an old friend for a Sunday afternoon scoot.  The temps were about the mid 50's..not terribly cold but not terribly warm.  Being Colorado, if the sun was shining, it was perfect.  Unfortunately, the clouds rolled in..and yes, it was nippy.  I had my cold weather gear, but it's just not the same.  We got about 75 miles in and my friend, who was leading, asked me where the next stop would be.  My response was "home"!

He laughed and admitted that he was thinking the same thing!

It was nice 75 miles and I'm sure that the bug will bite when the weather warms up.  Until then, the bike is on the tender. 

Of course, I've been looking at the new BMW 1600 and yes, with heated handgrips and seat, I may have to rethink the whole cold weather riding!  That's another story for another day and I have to finish grad school first!

Ya'll keep the shiny side up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, September 29, 2011

As The Leaves Turn

Well, it's now or never for the ride out to see the Colorado fall colors.

So it's now.

This morning, it was a cooooolllll ride up to Cripple Creek.  At 9 am, it was a warm and balmy 50-something degrees.

Did I mention that I haven't done any really cold weather riding since...uhhhh...March??

Today was just a small front, it will be back to "normal" Colorado 80's tomorrow.

However, today's ride was spectacular.  The aspens are changing and the yellows are just brilliant!  It's quite different from the yellows/reds/oranges of the midwest/east, since the contrast are greens and yellow here and moving to gold and then...

Falling off!!!

It was nice to get out and ride, but still too nippy for me!!   However, it was fun to ride the twistys up to Cripple Creek.  However, the weather wasn't nice enough to stop for lunch.  Rather, it was a quick scoot home!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"High On The Hog" by the MeanStreet Riders

The MeanStreet Riders, a group of motorcycling friends that also happens to be a band (or is it a band that also happens to motorcycle?) are releasing their debut CD and I'm one of the lucky ones that get the opportunity to preview their debut album High On The Hog.

The MSR (the band, not the Mountain Shadow Riders), formed back 2008.  This group of songwriters that have a passion for riding realized they had an opportunity to share their stories and experiences through song.  High On The Hog does just that!  All the band members contributed to the lyrics and were able to give their own perspective to the riding experience.

The track 129 is about their experience riding Deal's Gap.  Located on Highway 129, Deal's Gap, or The Dragon, is an 11-mile stretch of highway in Tennessee that has 318 turns.  I've never done Deal's Gap by motorcycle, but I do remember doing the ride in my car many years ago.  I could easily relate to the track!!

The other tracks relate to motorcycling--destinations of "over there", Strugis and other places motorcycle.  The dream of just hopping on and letting the wind blow, enjoying the ride, and momentarily escaping the realities of life.  The reminder that friends, family, and country are important and not to take life too seriously.

High On The Hog is what American Rock is all about.  Harmonic and full of guitar riffs, this is an album that I can hear in my mind's eye while rolling down the highway.

Like any ride, the album came to an end quickly.  My thanks to the members of MeanStreet Riders for sharing their memories in song.  Ahhhh.....I want to go for a ride!!

You can find the MeanStreet Riders on Facebook or at their website.  You can preview their album at their website.  Look for it for general release sometime in June!

Keep The Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Mountain Shadow Rider's Open House #1 and Racing at PPIR

Every spring/summer, the MSR puts on at least one open house to meet and greet with the motorcycle community and raise money for our Breast Cancer Awareness Run.  Our run is held the first Saturday in October and this year it's on October 1st.

This year, we have two open houses scheduled--one was this past Saturday at Rocky Mountain Cycle Plaza.  The folks at RMCP are wonderful for hosting us and we always have fun talking to the customers coming in and out.  Of course, the smell of brats, burgers and dogs cooking are helpful!!!

Our food is all donated by the membership and proceeds are put towards our BCA Run in October.  I'm not sure how much the open house brought it, but it is always fun to get together and just do what we do!!

I didn't do the whole day--instead I headed down to Pike's Peak International Raceway for the MRA Races.  It's always fun to watch the sport bikes race!!  And a beautiful day to boot!!  PPIR is a small track; I'm not sure if the racers like it, but for a spectator, it's great since I can see the entire track!!

Next race day is June 11.  Next MSR open house is still uncertain, but might be in June. 

Keep the Shiny Side Up!!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Monday, May 16, 2011

Colorado Springs Touring Club--El Paso County Search and Rescue

I awoke to a cold and dreary day!  Brrrr.....

The high was supposed to get up to the mid 50's, but I do not think it made it to the day's high.  I was not planning on doing the ride since my son was in tow--we were just going to go down to the end stop and meet everyone.

Instead, we went down and registered and then headed out to run errands.  In the car.

Yeah, I got flak about it, but hey, my days of riding in the rain are about over.  I know I can do it, but if I don't have to.....

Unfortunately, with the weather being so cold (and this is the second time in 20+ years that the weather was uncooperative), attendance was down.  It's unfortunate, because the El Paso County Search and Rescue group is not funded by tax payer dollars.  Probably doesn't mean too much except if you get lost in the mountains, EPCS&R are the folks that get out and bring you in.  Which gets to be mighty important if it's you or a loved one that has gotten lost or fallen off a cliff.

Nonetheless, it was a fun day and the CSTC did raise some funds for the EPCS&R.  We won door prizes too!!  Not to mention having a good time laughing and carrying on with my friends. 

Next weekend is a race weekend.  Boyfriend Joe is racing at Pikes Peak International Raceway.  The weather is iffy for rain, but hey that's what he has raingear for!!!

The Mountain Shadow Riders are also having their Family Dinner Night on Thursday and and open house.  The MSR usually has two open houses--one in early spring and the other one in late spring.  If you guys are in the Colorado Springs, come out and check out the ladies of the Mountain Shadow Riders.  We'll be at Rocky Mountain Sports Plaza starting around 10 AM. 

That's all the motorcycle news for the day.  Didn't ride....well, not on two wheels anyway!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dang It's Cold Out There!!

Saturday morning was the local HOG Easter Egg Fun Run.  It was certainly Easter and it was fun.  But it was COLD!

We set out for breakfast at 8:30.  Skies were overcast.  Not too windy.  Temps...colder than I liked.  Looking up at Pikes Peak...snowing.  Oh boy.  As I ride down I-25, I am wondering if any of the stops are up in Woodland Park.  I roll into the restaurant and head in.  I find my group of friends and as the spot me, they burst out laughing.  Something about the expression on my face.  I talk to one of the HOG members and ask if the route was going up the mountain. 

Of course!  We talk about the snow and my friend declares that we may just have to skip the stop.

After breakfast we head out to the dealership.  I commented to dear BF that those wonderful crashbar covers I received for Christmas would be most excellent to have today.  Except I don't have them because they didn't fit and he took them back.  The dealership didn't have the correct ones, so I have just done without.  Not a big deal since I don't do much riding.  However, today would have been a good day!

However, BF is wonderful and checked the dealership inventory.  They had some that work so now have engine guard wind deflectors!

There were two stops up the mountain and we made the executive decision not to go up the hill.  Note:  snow is not fun and dangerous to ride in unless you are on a Ural or trike.  I have neither!

The other stops were parks around the surrounding area.  I know that the idea is that it's an Easter Egg run and that involves Eggs and Parks.  Unfortunately, the weather wasn't being cooperative so there wasn't an opportunity to warm up. 

The end stop was at Frankie's Too in Fountain.  I was soooo happy to be there!!  Finally, something warm to drink and food.

A note about cold weather riding.  If you are going to do it, make sure you have sufficient fuel in the tank.  Yes, the motorcycle, but also the stomach.  It's important because the body will need the fuel to stay warm.  It's also important to make sure your bladder is empty because it take additional energy to keep urine warm--I know I want the heat to keep me warm, not my pee!

One of the prizes was a "golden easter egg"  Since the stop up the mountain had the egg and there was no brave soul ventured that way (except the HOG members that were running the stop), the egg hunt ended up at the restaurant.  I spotted the egg and won!  Yay me!!  Got a few Harley bucks to spend at the dealership.

It was cold riding home and my solution to warm up was a nice bath.  As I was running the water, the sun came out.  Gee, talk about Murphy's Law, eh??

Well, it was good to get out and see a good ride overall.  And a reminder of how much I do not like to ride in the cold.  Of course, why am I living in Colorado then??

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ride Like the Wind?

I can definitely tell that it's springtime in the Rockies!  My son Alex and I rode down to the April Mountain Shadow Riders meeting.  Wow, a lot of new people!  Which is great!  And it's always wonderful to catch up with my friends.

The ride after the meeting was to Pueblo.  I wasn't feeling it since the wind has been bothersome so some of us decided to break off and head north to Franktown.  My son had another activity scheduled, so I got to ride without him.  Truthfully, I would not have gone riding if I had him--anything out of town has him complaining that his legs hurt.

While it was only 45 or so miles, wow.  The wind was beating up on everyone.  I had the fabulous task of leading--although I don't understand why since I'm the one that is directionally challenged.  Fortunately, I knew where the Stagecoach was, so all I had to do was lead five other motorcyclists.

Unbeknownst to me, one of the riders was new.  Well, I knew that he had a new motorcycle--a new to him Harley Davidson V-Rod.  He hadn't ridden in a number of years, but that doesn't mean anything--I had taken a riding hiatus for twenty-something years.   I started riding again on a Yamaha V-Star 1100, which is still a large motorcycle then moved to my Harley.  So, in my book, anyone riding a V-Rod should know what they are doing.

I was wrong.

The wind was beating us up pretty badly.  I have a windshield, but Mr. V-Rod did not and while he had a full-faced helmet on, I know how exhausting it can be trying to ride in 40+ MPH wind gusts.  I did lecture him before we headed out that I expect all riders to ride their own ride and be comfortable.  However, I did not anticipate that he would do 5 miles under the speed limit. 

That creates another type of hazard.  I typically ride 5 miles over the speed limit and will ratchet it down some if necessary but I like to stay over the speed limit.  I do this because most cars aren't doing the speed limit and I don't want to create a dangerous situation where cars are trying to pass motorcycles on twisty Colorado roads because they get impatient.  There were several occasions that I looked back and the group is a quarter mile away!


I know he's struggling, but since we are out, we don't have much of a choice but to press on.  I cut my speed but am conscious of the traffic behind our group and when a few cars build up and the road is passable, I move to the right to let the cars by.

Over all, it's an exhausting ride.  Not just from the wind, but the process of ensuring that riders stay safe and ride within their means. 

Mr. V-Rod ended up dumping his bike later in the day and breaking the shift linkage, but overall, he did very well.  Hey, there were a couple of uh-oh moments when the wind is gusting me around, so my hat's off to him.

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Sunday, April 03, 2011

It's Was 84 Yesterday....and Today......

It snowed :(.

Fortunately, the weather forecast was correct so my friends and I thought it was a good idea to ride on Saturday. 

It was!  I guess those that were invited thought it was a good idea too, since almost 20 people showed up!


It was a little chilly riding out to Starbucks...but after that, it warmed up nicely.  One of those beautiful Colorado days where the sun is shining, the sky is a brilliant blue and I can still see snow up on Pike's Peak. 

The day was made better because my son rode along.

Because of that, the route was planned to stay in the Colorado Springs vicinity.  Even an 8 year old's booty gets sore from sitting on a Fatboy passenger pillion!

First stop was lunch out in Falcon.  I had the chance to visit and catch up with my friends and fill my tummy.  What more can a girl ask for?

Well, more riding!!

After lunch, we rode out to the local putt-putt golf course and had an "activity".  Thank goodness there was a six-stroke limit because there were some holes that were just not pretty!!!  Paul and I were excited that we won--errrr--or had the highest number of strokes.  Yeah, in putt-putt, those are the rules!  In my imagination, at least!

Afterwards, we headed out to Manitou via Old Colorado City.  Waved at the tourists who were out in full force.  It's good to see because it's a sign the economy is picking up.  It wasn't so very long ago when riding through Old Colorado City and looking at the many empty shop windows.

It's always fun to wander around Manitou.  Stop at Patsy's Candy.  They've been in business for over 100 years!  Legend has it that Patsy sold his popcorn/peanut recipe to---you got it---Cracker Jack.  We laughed at the sign taped in the window that said "we close when the temperature is below __ (I can't remember the number)".  How do they know....with wild variable Colorado temps, do they open/close/open/close???  It was funny.

A stop at the Townhouse for a refreshing drink.  Sit out on the patio and people watch.  If you are ever in Manitou, you absolutely should watch the people.  I won't even attempt to describe the variety of people.  It is, however, quite entertaining to watch the throngs of tourists rarin' to ride up the Cog Railroad to the summit of Pike's Peak.  The Cog is known as the world's highest cog railroad and most tourists don't realize that the summit temps of Pike's Peak can be in the below freezing even when the temperature at Manitou is a balmy 80 degrees.

Adventures done and amusement factor refilled, it was time to go home.

My day wasn't done by any means.  I short stop home and then off to meet my wonderful girlfriends to catch the last show of The Vagina Monologues.  It was a wonderful production and my friends and I shared laughter and tears throughout the show.  While the message is important--the money raised through sales benefits the local battered women's shelter and provides funding for programs aimed in protecting women. 

Today, the snow blew in.  It was a reminder that the weather is fickle--just like life.  We all should take those available minutes and get out and ride when we can.

Until next time,

Keep the Shiny Side Up!!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mountain Shadow Riders March Meeting

What a great March meeting!  It was great to see my many friends!  There were lots of new faces as well, so new riding adventures are on the way!!

I did get to ride down--and it was cold!!  Lots of cold weather gear!  It was nice to cruise down the highway, though and let the wind blow over my stocking cap!

The meeting was informative and fun.  One of the things that the chapter is doing is collecting food items for the Silver Key Senior Services.  Silver Key's mission is to "find and implement ways to ensure that the elderly are aging safely with dignity and independence".  Our chapter has been challenged by the Ladies of Harley--the first group to bring in 10,000 food item will be the winner of a brunch that the other group has to provide.  Of course, we want bragging rights, but at the end of the day, the real winner is the senior citizens that get food items from Silver Key. 

We also presented ideas on the 2011 MSR ride contest.  This year, the theme is  "Ride Like an Animal".  My motorcycle with animals, animal signs, etc.  Pretty simple and interesting.  I submitted the Scavenger Hunt, but I was soundly beaten out by Trouble....who went to the trouble of making a really cool presentation with pictures and all.  Kudos to her!!

The ride back was still cold!  Trust me, I did ride all the way home with a huge grin on my face!!  I'm soooo looking forward to the riding season!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Finally! It's Warm Enough!

I did not get out to ride today--too many things going on!  I will, however, get the chance to ride down to the Mountain Shadow Riders' March chapter meeting.  It's all things motorcycle and a great opportunity to just chit-chat and catch up with my friends.

The Mountain Shadow Riders is the largest Women on Wheels(R) chapter in Colorado.  At present count, there are close to 100 members, support and child members.  Our rides are as varied as our personalities--big cruisers, little cruisers, sport bikes and even a couple of scooters!!  What we do have in common is fellowship and the want to share our experiences and have fun in the process!!

In the meantime, I should head out to the garage and do some spring checking--oil, battery, tire pressure, etc.  I know the motorcycle will start because I rode it last week (yay!) and tires and fuel are okay. 

When riding, please be on the lookout for sand or "winter" debris on the roads.  Considering the contact area on a motorcycle tire to the ground is about the size of a playing card--one would want as much rubber on the road.  It's still pretty sandy and gravelly out there.

Most of us have not had the opportunity to do much riding (kudos to those who can) during the winter season, so beware of your skills.  Like anything else, it might get a little rusty for lack of use.  Thank goodness it doesn't take long to come up to speed!!!

Those are my pointers for the day (since I didn't really have a story).

Keep the shiny side up!!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Monday, February 28, 2011

If It's Too Cold To Ride...

What to do, what to do, what to do??

Gather everyone together and have brunch!

Of course, it's always good to get together and kibbitz.  And a good way to sample everyone else's cooking too!! 

Sausage, potato casserole, green chili casserole, croissants, and a lovely egg, mushroom and cheese concoction that was yummylishous!  Add bloody marys, mimosas, coffee....Yummo!!

The best part are the people.  It was a good time to get together and visit, share stories, and laugh. 

Although I can't wait for riding's close!

Keep The Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's Still A Frozen Tundra Out There

I had time for a quick scoot last weekend.  Actually, I was putzing around the house doing chores and the bike was a callin'....Christine....Christine....Christine.

Although it was a little cool in the shade, the sun was shining and most definitely ridable.  So the decision for a quick ride around town was made!!  Yes!

Throw on gear, back the bike out of the garage and down the street I go.  As I pull out of the neighborhood, I look up at Pike's Peak....lo and behold it's pouring down rain!! 

Are you kidding me?!?!?!?

Colorado is known for its micro-weather.  Pouring down rain on one side of town and a mile or two down the road--it's dry as a bone.  Unfortunately for me, Murphy's Law is in play here--as I am out on the motorcycle, that rain cloud is headed directly at me. 

Ride was very short; about five miles.  Got a few rain splashes.

Oh well, I guess I should not complain.  I did get some wind therapy.

Today, it's very cold and there is a crazy ice fog. 

Not to good for ridin'!

Keep the shiny side up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy New Year's & Some Brass Nuts....

Happy New Year, everyone!  I know I'm a few days late--my brain is frozen!!!

I was supposed to ride at the beginning of the month in the annual Brass Nut Run.  Something similar to the Polar Bear Swimming Club except for swimming in a frozen lake, we ride our motorcycles in the freezing cold.

Except it was cancelled since it was icy and snowy....and cold!


It was a good call--once temps get down too low, it's pretty likely that three motorcycles will show up...or zero.  I know I wouldn't be there--I've become such a fair weather rider! 

Not really, I'll ride in the cold, the rain, snow (if I must), if I'm out in the elements.  To do so on purpose.....not so much.  After the Iron Butt ride, I decided that it isn't much fun freezing!

Although I will admit, I'm excited in trying out my new crash-bar wind deflectors Santa brought me!  Well, Santa got the wrong ones, but he's in the process of exchanging them so it will be soon and I can try them out!!!

Right now, there's much snow and ice on the ground!  Icky riding weather!  Heck, icky driving weather!

The ride has been rescheduled to March--it might still be cold enough to use my thingies!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!  Here's to many wonderful riding days for 2011....

Keep the shiny side up!

~The Rainbow Wahine