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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Next Generation: Day One

The time has been approaching--that my son, Alex, has wanted to get a bit more involved in riding. The past few years he been happy riding on the back of my Harley (yes, he thinks it is cool that mom can pick him up from school on the bike), but recently he has been asking questions on the process of riding.

I think part of it has been due to the fact that we now have a mini-bike in the house. The bike, a Kawasaki KLX110, is a three-speed with an automatic clutch is used as a pit bike to haul parts around. Alex has been chomping at the bit to ride it.

A few weeks ago, Alex was fitted with a new helmet and motorcycle riding gloves. In addition, he has elbow and knee pads. The first class was motorcycle maintenance--he actually had to change the spark plug and oil on the bike and learned how to care for it before he could ride it.


After the oil and plug change, the lessons started. Before getting on the bike and riding, he had a lesson on kick starting the motorcycle--and had to be able to successfully start the bike.

Next was the shifting and braking and the concept of riding and the importance of safety gear.

"Okay, Mom" he says, "Can we start now?"

Patience, grasshopper...

Once we got him suited up, he kicked the bike to life and got on. The instruction was to ride around the cul-de-sac in a big sweeping circle.

And avoid the car parked on the curb!

Actually, he did very well! His first lesson was to get him comfortable on the bike--no shifting or maneuvering.

At the end of the lesson, he also learned how pick up a dropped bike.

Overall, a good day....

Of course, more lessons are in store because in less than a week, he's going to be participating at Bandemere Speedway for a youth mini-moto day.

Talk about scaring the Mom!


Until next time,

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Monday, September 24, 2012

The BUFA Ride--Ride For One of Our Own

September 9, 2012 was the day for the fall BUFA Run. For those of you who do not know, BUFA stands for Bikers United For America--a club that brings all clubs together for a common cause. Created after the 9/11 attack, BUFA started raising money for to help those affected by 9/11. Since then, the members of BUFA (basically if you ride, you are a member) help select those in need. All money raised is given directly to the awardees--no money is spent on overhead.

BUFA holds two runs--one in the spring and one in the fall. The fall run commemorates 9/11 and this year, the run was held on September 9. One of the recipients selected for the fall run was MSR member Cheryl. Cheryl had a motorcycle accident in this fall and suffered many injuries--the most severe was crushed vertebrae. The money raised would not begin to touch the medical bills incurred during Cheryl's six week stay in the hospital; we knew she would need money for basic living expenses like paying her mortgage, food and other basic living costs. There was also another biker in the community that was selected--a man who was very sick and the doctor's were unable to determine what was wrong. As the main breadwinner of his family, the illness definitely took a toll on the family.

At this time, Cheryl is an unemployed widow, but attending school. However, all of that has been put on hold to focus on her recovery.

This run would help in the recovery process.

Since BUFA and the membership selected Cheryl as one of the recipients, the MSR got into action and immediately volunteered to select and man a stop. The stop location was The Black Bear Coffee and Tea Lodge on South Academy. Six MSR members worked the stop and it was great fun to have all the riders draw a card for the poker run. I normally do the run, so this was a different experience to actually meet and talk with all the riders that participated.

The BUFA run is a mystery run. Instead of knowing what order the stops were, bikers were free to go in any order to any stop. This alleviates big crowds of bikers rolling into a place at once and overwhelming the business. Riders could go in any order they wanted to and the winner was the best and worst poker hand.

Gates opened at 8:30 am and we eagerly expected droves of bikers!  LOL! After all, this was a coffee shop so we figured everyone was going to get here first! Hahaha on us!

Actually, the first bikers were in around 10:45--after all we were the closest stop to the end, so it made sense for everyone to hit us last. And then it got b-u-s-y!

We were busy until the stop close time of 2:00. Afterwards, we packed up and headed to the end stop where everyone gathered for a BBQ lunch and to hear who the winners were.

At the end of the day, it was a nice sum of proceeds that was raised for Cheryl and Cliff.

Bikers taking care of bikers.

Cheryl still has a long road to recovery. Anyone that is interested in reading her story in more detail can do so at Cheryl's story.

Crashing is never news a biker wants to hear. But it's good to know that the community rallies around us.

Until next time (that would be the BCA '12),

Keep the shiny side up!

~The Rainbow Wahine