Archive for July, 2009

21
Jul
09

The long,hot,dusty road to Sturgis…and anywhere else

As I sat at the computer twittering away, I read about every ones pending motorcycle rides and drooled. Especially Sturgis, which starts the day of my “50 something” birthday, August 3rd. I am stuck at home making arrangement to find the right school for my 17 year old grandson, figure out how to help my daughter and granddaughter after a Christmas time fire, keep my head above water in these tough economic times and build a fledgling motorcycle travel website. I was blue (even though I am very blessed). That, however, didn’t stop me from doing what mommys/grandmommys do, and that is worry about every ones well-being on these very hot days in the sunshine. I twittered this tip and twittered that tip. Then I began to ponder the many things that I learned from my years of fun in the sun during sports, enjoying the great outdoors and, yes, riding in the sun. Well, you know where that went! It was time to blog about it. So, here we go….
On my website I have “beat the heat suggestions” and what to do in the event of sunstroke ( http://ow.ly/hPMR )and was planning to put motorcycle specific advice in as well.  There are actually quite a few that don’t always pop into your mind until you’re out there and in trouble. The sun can be a nasty fellow if you’re not careful! Hope these tips help!

1) Always remember to rehydrate! Caffeine drinks are diuretics and you need at least two non- caffeinated drinks to make up for one caffeinated one. Salt helps you absorb and retain water so put a pinch in your water bottle or eat a salty snack. A camelback water backpack ( http://ow.ly/hPPb here at webBike World) is a great way to carry water and sip as you go. If you fill it half full of ice, it lasts a bit longer while being  more soothing when thirsty. If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrating! A headache wont be far behind, so drink up. As gross as it sounds, be aware of the color of your urine! Pale yellow is perfect. Anything darker is a sure sign that you are headed for dehydration. Also, and this one is gunna hurt….lay off the alcohol! 
2) Consider clothing that allows you to sweat and your body to breathe.  My buddies at Motosport ( http://ow.ly/hPQC ) have a great selection of hot weather riding gear but you can even consider some of the better work-out clothing to achieve the same results. Long sleeves keep you from sunburn. I always take any opportunities to drench myself, my clothing and, even the inside of my helmet on very hot days.  Wetting your head is one quick way to cool off after your helmet has trapped the heat in. Also, consider one of the neck bandannas that have the absorbing crystals inside (here’s instructions to make your own called “Cool Ties”. http://ow.ly/hPUG ). “Cool Ties work on the principal of evaporative cooling.  Once the polymer is hydrated, the fabric surface of the Cool Tie draws the moisture from the polymer to the fabric surface, which evaporates resulting in an effective body cooler”.
3) Remember that your air and oil cooled bikes are going to get hot! You may want to ride forever but the bike is going to need breaks to cool off.  Its better on the open road but, pay attention to the bikes temperature just to be safe. Along with the heat comes soft asphalt!  When you park your bike, go for the shade of course but, when you can’t find any, remember to take something along to put under your kick stand. I have seen them get pretty buried in that soft black mess and be plenty tough to wiggle free. Left long enough in asphalt that is soft enough and the asphalt actually wraps around the kickstand like the “blob”! My friends at Whitehorse Gear have these trick little things called “kickstand feet” ( http://ow.ly/hPXe ). They are very reasonable so if you get stuck leaving it, you wont be TOO unhappy although, I have never had to.  If you get in a pinch, crush a soda can and use that. I used to laugh about it every time I would find one in a parking lot, buried in the asphalt.  Its what the motorcycle boot was designed for….drink the soda and crush it with the boot, viola’!
Always remember to carry your medical and emergency information with you. Bring something for a headache and wear a hat, sunscreen, and good sunglasses. Take your time and have fun! 
If there is anything I am forgetting, please let me know. I would love to hear suggestions so that I can include all your fabulous ideas when I update the website.  Experience is the key and passing the good ideas along to our motorcycling brethren is what we do at Motorcycle Travel America ( http://ow.ly/hPZu ). 
I am anxiously awaiting the time that I can travel down to Dallas, Texas and have the guys at Mystery Designs ( http://ow.ly/hQ06 ) build me a “Tiltster”.  Then I will be back on the road again and gone………

Lady Godiva on wheels wishing everyone good, safe and healthy summer riding!!  You know where to keep that shiny side, my friends. 
P.S. Will say a prayer so that everyone gets a little motorcycle angel ridin with them…….

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13
Jul
09

I may have found my “leaning trike”!

I have had to adjust my thinking about riding a motorcycle. As I stated in the previous blog…” I realize that there is too much hinging on me to fall down and hurt my aging body. I dont bounce like I used to!”. Thanks to that blog, my friend “badhoss” on Twitter gave me the glimmer of hope I was looking for! On June second he sent me this message….”badhossRE: @mtajudy I knew I saw a fully tilting trike http://www.mysterydesigns.c… Hope this helps!” This guy is a rock star and a dear guy to know. He also seems to be an internet super star because I had searched for a leaning trike and came up empty handed. And, thanks solely to him, my journey begins.
After viewing the website, I made a phone call to the Mystery Design company and had a brief but, informative conversation with one of their people. As it would happen, they are making some adjustments on their design. Lucky for me!
According to what they told me, the multiple sensor design that controls the “lean” is being updated to a single sensor. This will limit the possibility of the need to recalibrate the sensors. Made perfect sense to me. They are launching the new design at Sturgis……and I wont be there….and will make the new design available there after. Enter another friend from Twitter!
My dear friend @mrken777 on Twitter and, a resident of the beautiful town of Sturgis, South Dakota, is going to do recon for me. He has a lovely and informative site that caters to the Sturgis experience at http://bit.ly/lsEaN…do take a look! He is a wonderful and helpful fellow and I feel blessed to be his friend. He is going to ask the questions, take pictures and video. I am thrilled and thankful and cant wait.
The company has promised to send me informtion about the kit, prices and who does the work on the bikes in my lovely hometown. My Road King is getting as ansy as I am! And, with all the work Im doing on the new website, http://motorcycletravelamerica.com/, she hasnt gotten much attention lately. We are both feeling a little cheated.
With this new information, I feel as though I may get a reprieve from the traditional trike and get involved in a whole new concept of motorcycles. This concept has actually been around for a long time and was developed by Lawayne Matthies. As their website tells us about the “Tiltster” developer, “Matthies re-joined the Trike industry after extensive experience in motorcycle modifications, such as the Captain American bikes sponsored by Peter Fonda, as well as models designed after the bikes in the 1969 movie Easy Rider. Lawayne developed the panhead rockerbox covers sold by Xzotic cycle products (his former company), which were featured in numerous 1998/99 European publications, and his work has been featured in multiple magazines including (but by no means limited to) Hot Bike Magazine, Easy Rider Magazine, American Iron magazine, and Freeway magazine. Matthies’ parts and equipment have experienced large distribution through Chrome Specialties and Biker’s Choice, and he has made made many appearances on the Speed Channel. He also designed the Tiltster tilting trike. (http://users.hunterlink.net.au/~ddped/tiltster.htm)”. I cant deny the fact that some real experience is involved in the development of this concept. That brought great comfort to me! (Also, read a review at http://www.aimag.com/pdfs/MysteryDesignsTiltsterReview.pdf). There is more information on the web when you bring up the Mystery Designs president and Tilter designers name, Lawayne Matthies. (Patent information is available at http://ow.ly/h9Jo)
So, I am hopeful that this is the kit that will give me the stability this old girl wants and the thrill this girl needs in one package. If not, and I refuse to go there, I will be putting the challenge out there again to see if I get the dream of having it all!
Much thanks to all my Twitter friends…they are such a blessing. If you havent tried Twitter, take a moment to check it out as a resource for all kinds of things. http://twitter.com/ If you are a motorcycler, look for my friends there! You can see who I follow and check them out. Its quite a community of bikers of all kinds….although, there are some Harley Davidson purists who will give you a hard time if you even utter the name of another bike. I have had occasion to slip and use curse words, such as “Honda”, and have been lovingly repremanded!

A hopeful Lady Godiva on wheels that might just lean.




@makingmaps