Lately, Iíve complained about winter on a couple of forums I frequent; as usual, I got some responses from people who like the season.
Not me. I hate winter. I hate the cold. I hate ice and snow. While I do enjoy putting things out on the back porch so that theyíll freeze quicker than if I put them in the freezer, itís not worth the trade offs.
Whenever I take the bike out, I first have put on all kinds of movement restricting gear. Then, unless I get outside quickly, I start to overheat and begin sweating which is bad once I do get outside. I hate sitting at an intersection and having to twist my entire upper body to see if any traffic is approaching because neck motion is restricted by the gear to keep me from getting frostbite. I hate the fact that if the roads arenít covered by sand and salt, and thereís no ice, my tires are so cold that they stick about as well as a bowling ball. However, even if the tires stuck like glue, there are patches of sand and salt on the roads, especially right on the inside line of every blind corner.
Iíve had friends tell me that I should take up winter sports. I donít enjoy skating. Not just on ice, but even on roller skates. I have no interest in ice fishing. First, Iím allergic to fish and I donít even go fishing in warm weather. Why would I want to push a shack out on a frozen lake and huddle inside while some water breathing chunk of poison decides it should end its life just to make mine a living hell?
Iíve had friends tell me I should take up skiing. The idea of putting slick boards on my feet, then speeding out of control down the side of an ice and snow covered mountain does not look attractive to me. Then theyíve said that if I feel like Iím out of control, just fall down and Iíll stop. I would ask Sonny Bono or Michael Schumacher their opinions, but I donít think Iíd get a favorable reply.
Iím a motorcyclist. All my instincts and skills are aimed at not falling down.
I also get a kick when people tell me how beautiful the winter is. Oh yeah; thereís nothing quite as lovely as naked trees and dead remains of plant life beside the brown fields and frozen puddles of ice. Oh; but the snow is so lovely; yeah, a bleak monochromatic landscape combined with the knowledge that youíre going to be outside in temperatures that would kill you if you werenít so thickly wrapped just so you can get your exercise by shoveling mass quantities of that white shit is almost an experience thatís truly ecstatic. Or somethiní.
And Iím sure that somebody is thinking that Iím a real pussy about winter. Iíve worked in some absolutely miserable conditions over the years. When we were sinking the cooling water shafts for the Seabrook Power Plant, we were drilling and blasting in hard rock. The temperature was -15 F and we would work for 10 hours without any breaks. Water would seep through the rock and rain on us while we were drilling, then instantly freeze. In spite of wearing plentiful warm layers and two sets of rain gear, we would be soaked within minutes of starting our shift. At the end of the shift, we would have to chip the ice off our hard hats to remove the mine lights. It was miserable. There's a lot more I can tell you about working out in the cold, but none of it is what I'd call happy or fun.
And another thing; I ride my motorcycle year round. I don't own a car. Now; am I still a pussy?
I just got off the phone with Don in Buffalo (Oz666 on BadWeB) They got something like eight inches of snow yesterday with another foot or so coming tomorrow night. He told me that he completely agrees with me about winter and heís a life long resident.
Iíve experienced cold weather. I donít like it. I donít like winter. Maybe you like it, or maybe you donít. my opinion is unchanged;
I moved out of Colorado because of the ice and snow. To southern California. Years later I moved to Northern California and don't miss commuting in the snow at all. I like winter and I like the ice and snow, but at my own choosing, not when Mother Nature feels I need a big dump.
The rains we get where I live are better than the snow, but more damaging. At least I can ride most of the year. I only have a cage because my work requires me to be able to take clients to lunch or dinner. Not often and even though I have offered, no one has taken me up on a ride on the back of my Buells.
I was born in SW Ohio but grew up in South Florida. I can deal with the cold. Don't like it but can deal. It's all the other stuff that comes with the cold that I can't handle. Things like snow, slush, freezing rain ect. I've traveled a around a lot since my divorce in 2009 but with one exception have tried to stay in the south. I'm in the Phoenix area now and hope to stay here for the as long as possible. Snow and I don't get a long.
>>>>Yeah, when it comes to real winter, I'm a pus.
Don't feel bad . . . .that's pretty much EXACTLY the reason for the WEF. 25,000 horses arrive in Wellington . . . on or about November 1 every year. We loaded trailers in NJ on October 31 . . . landed the next day just in time for the trailer to be coming down the road with horses and cats. Cars ship the week prior.
I have a major (>$2B) going now and a huge outage of the NE grid commencing 2/28 so my days of running back and forth come to an end when I return in about 10 days.
I can "deal" with the cold . . . but confess that 87F is damned appealing in January.
I did, by the way, test riding and long distance durability stuff on under development models for Buell and did some riding in some REALLY foul and cold conditions . . . old timers here recall some of the stories. During those very cold rides I found things like the first isolator failure on an S2 . . . the failure of the side stand switch and broke a shock (they are still pissed I kept the photos of it) at speed on I-35.
Not only were the NCRs exciting . . . they all occurred in REALLY cold weather . . .
Sorry if I came off as touchy. Its been 60 to 65 here all week, and I no longer have a bike or anything. So maybe I am a little touchy. I'll be better when I get my woods buggy up and going, and get back to the woods full time. Spring is when it all comes together.
Trust me, if had the bike, I'd go to lunch with ya. I've more time than I know what to with these days. I had no idea how hard retirement is
I love my world. My world is in the mountains. I'm only here long enough to take care of a few things. Ann will stay here and help with the baby. I'll stay in the woods and Ann will come up on the weekends. Here I'm dependent on others, and its more than frustrating. At least at the property, I have access our land, and thousands of public acres that don't mind ORVs
At 9:00 this morning, the temperature was 60ļ F (15.5ļ C). Itís supposed to be above 60 until 3:00 AM tomorrow morning, then it will drop all day long until it bottoms out in the 30s tomorrow night. But then, itís going to warm up again until it may break 70ļ next Tuesday. Weíre finally getting some above average temperatures. There have been quite a few days in the past month when the high temp was 20 or 25 degrees below average. It sure is nice to see the change.
With the warmer temperatures comes hope. Spring is coming! There are other signs of the coming nice weather as well. Four weeks from today, Iíll be in Daytona Beach watching the Daytona TT. Thatís the start of the Flat Track racing season. Summerís coming!
Iím starting to get psyched up about this coming Summer. Since Iím not going to be traveling as much as Iíd like, Iím going to hit quite a few races and Iíve got them pretty much spaced out. In March, thereís the TT and maybe Iíll spend a day or two doing Demo rides and such since it is Bike Week. In April, thereís the Atlanta Short Track. At the end of May, thereís the Memorial Day weekend Springfield TT and The Mile. A week later thereís the Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky. That race is only about an hour and a half away; Iíll be home and in my own bet that night. On the 30th of June thereís the Lima 1/2 Mile; another race that will allow me to sleep in my own bed that night. Followed by the Weedsport, NY Short Track a week later. Then, things are quiet until late August, when the Peoria TT happens followed a couple of weeks later by the Labor Day weekend Springfield Short Track and The Mile.
Iíve already bought tickets to most of those races. I havenít bought a Red Mile ticket because they arenít available yet, and I wonít buy a Peoria ticket until I get there. There are no stands at Peoria; itís all General Admission. Last year, I sat on the grass on a hillside. This year, Iím bringing a camp chair to sit on. Iíll be all right.
And Iím flirting with the idea of going to the Meadowlands Mile in New Jersey on October 6. Thatís far enough away that I donít have to make a decision for a while. Iíll just have to see how things pan out.
Last Summer, I didnít get to do a whole lot of traveling, and I ran myself way too far in debt by buying my house and making it livable. This year, Iíll limit my traveling, but still do enough to satisfy the Tramp in me. I think I can do all these races and still pay the credit card down. I sure hope so.
Even if it doesn't happen the way I'm hoping, it should be one hell of a good year!
Your welcome for the weather, I brought it back from Florida with me! I spent a week and a half with friends. Last year my buddy told me not to drive down, just fly and I'll pick you up at the airport and you can pick from five motorcycles! Well, only three are running so I ended up on his 2009 Road Glide. I brought my helmet, gloves and jacket but only needed the jacket on one morning. It was mid 80's from then on! Felt good to ride again, it's been a while. So anyway, I flew back yesterday and brought the heat with me, I'm glad you enjoyed it cause it's going away real soon!
My friend Bill was a diehard Iron Motor enthusiast. Unfortunately, he died without warning from heart failure in his sleep. After he died, his sister gave me his 1978 XLH. He'd owned a '78 that he bought new, but sold somewhere around '84 or '85. He always regretted that, and searched until he got another '78 shortly before his death. I've got it now, and I plan to set it up just like the '78 he used to ride alongside me on my '78 FXE. We did a good bit of traveling together. He'd put a Superglide tank on it so he could cover some distance between fuel stops, and he took off the Chrome Salami 2 into 1 exhaust and put staggered duals on it and he'd added a sissy bar and highway pegs, but the bike was mostly stock.
I've had the bike for a couple of years, but I haven't had the money to fix it up. I think it's time to maybe start. The first order of business will be to get it to start and run. After that, I'll buy a Superglide tank and look for the right sissy bar. I know a really good painter who can do the Brilliant Red paint right. And I have to find the aluminum rim for the front wheel and get it laced up. All it's going to take is a bit of money.
It will be a while before it's up and running, but it will get done, eventually. Here's how it looks today:
Looks like you have a job ahead of you John! I had many friends that road Ironheads back in the day,we big twin owners called them "dirt bikes",as in when ya gonna grow up and get rid of that dirt bike and buy a real motorcycle?
This is a five week month. By that, I mean that there are five weeks between the fourth Wednesday in January and the fourth Wednesday in February. That means that my Social Security has to stretch for an extra week. Itís not a big deal, usually but today was a record setting warm day. It was 80ļ F (26.6 C) at 3:00 this afternoon, and I couldnít really afford to go anywhere. So I decided to put the choke cable on the Roadster.
Now, itís not a big job, and it should have taken me about an hour. However, itís the first time Iíve done it to the Roadster, so I figured maybe a couple of hours. Everything went smooth enough, I pulled the gas tank, loosened the choke cable from the bracket , pulled the carb off the engine and installed the new cable. Everything went well until I tried to start the bike. It would crank, but it wouldnít start. It wouldnít even fire. I pulled the plugs and checked them, thinking that maybe I flooded the engine. The plugs were dry and gave nice fat sparks when I cranked the starter. So it had to be fuel. I was pretty sure it was, since Iíd been working on the carb. No matter what I did, the bike wouldnít start. if I gave it a shot of ether, it would run for a couple of seconds, but thatís it.
I was thinking of all the possibilities that could cause the carb to not work. Maybe there wasnít enough vacuum to open the diaphragm on the petcock long enough. Maybe Iíd disturbed a little piece of crap and it was plugging the low speed jet. I was getting pretty annoyed. Finally, I pulled the float bowl. The bowl was dry. Thatís when light dawned on Marble Head. I looked at the (vacuum) petcock, and Iíd forgotten to put the vacuum line back on it. I put the line on and put enough of the carb mounting hardware on and the bike cranked for about four seconds, then caught and ran like nothing had happened. The choke works like it should and I got to feel like a complete idiot.
I donít know why I didnít think to look at the vacuum line. I guess my diagnostic skills went on vacation for a while. It was so basic, and I just glossed over it.
The end result is that the bike is running like it should and I get to berate myself for not thinking. I guess that isnít too tough to deal with.
In the meantime, itís almost 7:30 and the temp is still in the 70s. Iíve got several windows open letting the house air out. Not bad weather for February 20, that for sure.
Posted on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 01:42 pm:
We've been blessed with high 70 to low 80's yesterday and today, got lucky and BOTH days I'm off!!! YAY!!!!
Went riding for a while yesterday, visited my best buddy at the marina... just unbelievable, record-setting temps. Getting ready to do alderwood-planked salmon this evening, prepped with preserved lemon/lime and dill, with Brussels sprouts, green beans, and potatoes... doing a batch of homemade pickles in about 10 minutes.
"Productive Piddlin" is what I love to do on days like this.
Posted on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 03:18 pm:
Well I received a letter in the mail yesterday that didn't have a return address on it. Inside there were a couple of stickers with a note attached that said "Hope to see you in April". Well I had no idea (well it could only be a handful of people) who would send me something like that until I looked at the city origination stamp and it said Cincinnati.................
Bill was my oldest friend. I first met him sometime before Kindergarten. He lived next door to my aunt and uncle, and when weíd go over to visit, I go play with him. We had several interests in common when we were growing up. One was our love for riding bicycles. We would ride all over Waltham and the surrounding cities and towns.
I remember one time, back in High School when Brother Terrance (our teachers were Christian Brothers) organized a ride out to Walden Pond during Spring Break. By then, most of the other kids had given up on bicycles, and were waiting to get their Driverís Licenses so they could be cool and drive around. It was about 10 miles over hilly and twisty roads. Bill and I ran away from the group who were straining and panting on their 10 speeds while Bill and I were just cruising on out 3 speeds. We got to the Pond, then turned around and rode back to the group who were about a mile behind us. Once we got there with the group, Bill and I rode around the Pond on a trail through the woods.
Bill and I went our separate ways for a while after High School. He went off to college and I went to work. However, during that time, we both discovered motorcycles. I was into British bikes and Bill was into Harleys. However, our friendship rekindled around motorcycles.
I remember one night in particular when Iíd had a very disappointing day while trying to get my í53 Triump up and running. Bill had left his í72 Superglide at my house for a couple of days while he replaced the broken bolt that held the ignition advance in place. He had both his car and the bike at the house and asked me to ride the bike over to his place. That ride was magical for me. It was the first time I felt what he felt riding it. It washed all the disappointment of my day away. I never forgot that ride and years later it influenced me so that I bought a Superglide of my own.
Bill had also had a memorable influence toward his choice in motorcycles. One day, when he was 10 or 12 or so, he was in the family car (a í57 Chevy) with his mother and aunt. His aunt was a miserable old bat to didít like anybody or anything. They were sitting at a traffic light, and a guy on a red Sportster pulled up beside them. Bill looked at the bike and thought it was the coolest thing heíd ever seen. His aunt made the usual negative comments about riffraff, but Bill was enthralled when the light changed and the Sportster pulled away and he promised himself that one day, heíd own a bike like that.
In 1978, Bill finally got a Red XLH. He flat loved that bike. He was working in the family store six days a week, and would spend hours looking at maps and plotting out routes that he could take on Sunday. His highlight ride was a trip he took from Massachusetts out to western Nevada. It wasnít his longest ride, but it was the Ride that really Hit Home for him.
In the meantime, I moved back to Massachusetts and bought a used í78 FXE with low miles. Bill and I started doing a bit of traveling together. He bought a Superglide tank for his bike (the factory offered a kit) and he continued to ride the bike.
Life, however moved on, as it always does, and Bill sold the Sportster. He had gotten his Masters Degree in Geology and went to work in that field and didnít have time to ride any more. It didnít take long before he regretted it. He went through a series of bikes, but wasnít really happy with any of them, but he finally bought an í85 Sportster.
This bike was the antithesis of everything that Bill believe a bike should be. It had way too much chrome, and Ape hangers and it was festooned with every possible variation of Live To Ride - Ride To Live emblems, covers etc. The night Bill bought it, I went with him and I rode the bike to the Shop where Bill had Guido go over it.
About that time, Bill moved out to California. The Sportster was a project, and it was going to take a while to get up and running. In the meantime, Bill bought a couple of other bikes, but he was focused on the Sportster. He would regularly keep me informed on his progress. The Bozo heíd bought it from had done everything half assed. If something was supposed to have three bolts, heíd only used two. Little by little Bill was cleaning up the mess.
One morning, Bill was sitting in a coffee shop and overheard a conversation by a bunch of guys who were sitting behind him. They were talking about the Laughlin run. they were all going to trailer their bikes because they didnít want to get them dirty; and besides, itís 400 miles away. Thatís too far to ride. Thatís when he decided to build a bike that would look better the dirtier it got, and would be comfortable enough for long rides.
He decided that the bike would have no chrome, and it would be painted in Army surplus Olive Drab paint. He put a lot of thought into the bike and eventually, the Desert Rat became a reality. He found a good painter once he had everything sorted and the bike became a reality. His inspiration was a military look of around WW2 and he pulled it off really well.
The Rat became his daily rider And he got a Lot of compliments and even entered it in a show and got 1st place, but he still missed the í78. So he started looking on eBay and finally found one that was pretty close to stock. He was eventually going to convert it to a replica of his old XLH. Bill shipped the í78 to the shop where he was going to have Guido go through it and get it right, mechanically. We also began talking about a cross country trip on Sportsters. Bill wanted to ride the Desert Rat from LA to Boston, then he and I (on the í78) would ride to LA while visiting various places on the trip.
Unfortunately, he died before we could do that. After he passed, his sister gave the í78 to me. Iím hoping that some day Iíll get it rebuilt to look like Billís old í78 as a tribute to an old friend.
Meanwhile, here are a couple of pictures of Bill and the Desert Rat: