You know when you haven’t posted on your blog recently when people start sending emails asking if you are “still alive out there?” Sometimes life gets in the way…and sometimes you just forget about doing things like writing, which others seem to enjoy reading. So, how about a little synopsis from the past five weeks or so, to give everybody an update?
After returning from the DC trip, I haven’t been on many long rides. Work keeps getting in the way…plus, this weather! For the past three weeks or so, temperatures have been in the high 90s and even a stretch in the 100s, with periods of heat index over 110. With the screwed up humidity on top of the unbearable temps that Indiana is famous for, riding hasn’t been a focus as of late. I like to think I’m an all-weather rider…I’m out in the winter time as long as the ice isn’t on the roads, and the salt isn’t bad enough to cake the bike in a shade of ghost white by the time I get it back in the garage. I’ve ridden in plenty of thunderstorms, hail, rain, high winds, and other “not-so-fun” environments. But there’s something about the heat that really takes the thrill out of the ride.
Figure 105 degrees outside, sitting on top of an engine that is constantly running over 240 degrees…all while riding (and stopping) on black asphalt that a thermal temperature gauge shows at 135 degrees by itself. It’s like riding in an oven. Sure, there’s wind at 70 or even 30 miles per hour…but it’s convection in performance, and dehydrates you faster than you can put the water or Gatorade into the body. It’s miserable, not fun, and the thoughts aren’t about what is behind the next curve in the road. Thoughts are of how fast can you get the bike back into the garage, so you can get out of your perspired soaked clothing and enjoy some air conditioning.
Everybody will have that “million dollar” idea sometime in their life…some people have them frequently. I talked to a guy in a bar years ago about what the city I lived in needed…a country and western themed nightclub. Sure enough, two years later, he built it and it’s been a money maker. If you follow through with the idea, sometimes it’s a winner, and you’ll be set for life. I’m more than happy to share another idea that would make somebody filthy rich overnight. I’ve even thought about how to make it work, and have my own ideas…but not the drive to see the plan out. Want to get rich? Invent a air conditioner/heater for a motorcycle. Something with a compressor connected to the front of the engine block, with vents that come up over the front of the gas tank, and blows desired air temperature on the rider. You’d make a killing, and if it’s cheap enough, I’d be in line to gladly get one for my Hog as well.
Our local HOG chapter did a “rodeo” at the local casino parking lot several weeks ago. We invited the other local HOG groups to participate, and a lot of people showed up (over 100 riders). Not a BIG turnout, but it was our first year, it was a lot of fun, and we are sure it will grow in attendance next year. Events consisted of slow bike race, a road-kill event (the rider rides the bike, the passenger uses a long fish net to pick up teddy bears off the ground as they move along the route), and a skills course test that gave everybody a even advantage (instead of fastest speed winning with no foot drops, each rider had to guess how long it would take them to finish the course…you can put your feet down as much as you wanted if needed). The skills test was a blast, well designed with lime markers on the parking lot, and a favorite of the attendees. Of course, we got there hours early to set up event tents, clean and lime the parking lot, and put our chairs in shaded areas. The volunteers were exhausted by the time it started, but we had a blast as well.
Our HOG chapter is doing bike nights at the dealership every Thursday. We’ve been to a couple of them since returning from DC, but the last two weeks have been so miserably hot, we sacrificed the time we would have spent with friends to instead sitting at home in the AC in the evenings. Although we aren’t riding, the house is getting some touch-ups of maintenance (it’s around 8 years old, and it’s getting time to do a lot of miscellaneous stuff now); and some of the bigger projects have required assistance from some of our riding friends who have stopped by.
Every year for the past 5 or so, I’ve threatened to go to Sturgis. Every year, something comes up. It’s still in the back of mind as I sit here and write this, but I don’t think this will be the year to go…again. Maybe next year…maybe not. I’d like to go for the roads to ride up there. Perhaps a day in Sturgis to check things out, but I don’t want to spend days there like some people do.
Next year, we are definitely going to the 110th anniversary celebration in Milwaukee for Harley Davidson, just as we did for the 105th. The search continues for a house or cabin to rent for a week during that time frame, so if any readers here knows of a place (3 or 4 bedrooms, for 8 people that are going together), I’d be grateful if you contacted me directly.
Weather this weekend is supposed to be in the high 80s…but rain is predicted. We haven’t had a decent rain here for over 7 weeks. In fact, we are 8″ under our average…and have only received 0.09″ since middle of May. Our water bills has quadrupled as we try to save our grass every evening by sprinkling…but with the upcoming water restrictions, this may be a lost cause soon. Anyways, the plan is to get out on the bike, grab some friends, and head out on the asphalt…if plans work out.
I’ll try to stay motivated to keep writing here. Feel free to drop me an email if you notice I’ve slacked off again, and I’ll give you some random thoughts to read here. Hopefully the weather improves soon, so I can continue writing about some decent rides!