Options…..

Since it’s a gorgeous spring day and I’m stuck inside recovering from a sinus infection with a side of the the flu, I figured I’d start looking at options for our yearly vacation.

Normally, we take a couple weeks each year and ride to the gulf coast to visit our youngest son and his family where he’s at home-port with the Navy. This year he says they’re coming here to visit so that opens some options.

First things first. Gear check. All my our gear (my wife and I) is good to go, with one exception, a full face helmet for myself. I won’t kid anyone and say that I’m an ATGATT rider. Living in a state where we still have the freedom to choose, a lot of the time I exercise my freedom of choice and enjoy the wind. Then there are times when we head into a large metro area and I’ll have my Bell 3/4 helmet on. However, when we head out on a long multi-state run, the lid is on for the duration. Not just for safety, but to be compliant in helmet mandatory states. One thing I’ve learned on our long runs, a 3/4 lid with a face shield just doesn’t cut it in heavy rain, so this year I’m going with a modular full face. I like the modulars because with glasses they’re easy on, easy off, and if I want a little wind I can just flip the chin bar up. I haven’t chosen one yet so I’ll leave that for another post.

Where to go? So many choices… We’ve done a considerable amount of riding south and east, but you can never ride The Dragon, Cherohala Skyway, or Blue Ridge Parkway too much. I also enjoy visiting and old Army buddy of mine in Kentucky and my wife has an old friend in Georgia that we like to visit as well.

We’ve also ridden north quite a bit. With family in Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota, we’ve explored a bit there as well. There is quite a bit unexplored as well, Iowa has the National Motorcycle Museum, the HD HQ in Milwaukee, and of course just riding around the Great Lakes.

West….Now going west holds a lot of intrigue for me as I’ve never ridden in the Rockies. I think that exploring at least Colorado would be an adventure of epic proportions. So far that is at the top of our list.

How much time to take? We are undecided on this one. While I do have 3 weeks vacation annually, new responsibilities at work will make it difficult to take that much time off all at once. Right now we are leaning towards possibly 2, one week vacations, one at the beginning of summer and one at the end.

In any event, part of the fun for me is planning, so I’ll spend my recovery Sunday doing just that.

Options…..

Remembered the camera!

Riding weather is here and today I took advantage of it and climbed on the scoot for a full day of wind therapy. No real destination in mind, just a desire for solitude and some long overdue wind therapy. Folks may think Kansas is nothing but long flat roads, they’re absolutely right, but I think that’s one thing I like about living in the middle of nowhere. I can cruise for hours and lose myself in the wind, not worry much about traffic and just crank the tunes and unwind. Some people don’t like music while they’re riding, I’m not one of those people. Music has always been a huge part of my life and having a decent stereo on my Ultra Classic makes the rides that much better. It was a 250 mile day with a stop to see a brother along the way. I couldn’t asked for a better day.

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Remembered the camera!

Finally!

Everything fell into place, the time change hits, I love having an extra hour of daylight in the evening, and beautiful weather! I got the “Couch”, my 07 Ultra Classic, and hit the road for the entire day and into the evening. The 1st ride like that of the year is always the best.

Just gotta remember the camera next time. Doh!

Finally!

Kickin’ back

I’ve got my drink of choice poured, a good stiff 7&7, kickin’ back in my chair at my computer. What a fucking day! I work in a metal shop, been doing it for just over 20 years. Up until a year ago, I’ve spent most of my time on the shop floor, sure as safety director I had a little admin time, but the majority of my time was on the floor. Whether it was fabricating, welding, overseeing daily operations, programming robots, or pushing that special project through, I was in the pits with everyone else.

A year ago I was moved into the office fulltime. We needed a laser programmer and I had just enough on the job training and seniority to get the spot. Today a lot more was added to my work load. Our GM gave his 2 weeks notice and most of what he had to do just got put on my plate. I can’t complain, it just means more hours, more responsibility, and more time staring at a computer. It helps that a nice raise came with it!

Yet with all that’s going on at the shop, the only thing I keep thinking about is getting my scoot out of the garage and riding! Cabin fever has set in full force and I want out on the road. We’ve had enough decent days this winter to a few miles on, but it’s also been something of a tease. Now we’re almost to March, the temp has dropped to almost 20*F and the forecast is for more cold and snow. Fuck.

I think I need another drink….

Kickin’ back

Ah, my new home……

After having spent the last few years blogging elsewhere, it was time for a change. Thankfully I was able to import almost all of my blog here. Things will improve as I learn the ins and outs here. If you decide to read and follow along hopefully you enjoy motorcycles and music, two of my passions. Hopefully you’re not easily offended and can handle some profanity 🙂 Hopefully you enjoy a peek into the life of a blue-collar joe in the middle of nowhere.

Ah, my new home……

Viking Cycle Angel Fire Jacket Review

The first thing I’m going to review is the Viking Cycle Angel Fire leather jacket from Motorcycle House .

With it’s classic biker jacket styling this was a hit for me from the start. The leather, even new, is pretty supple and high quality. After having spent the last 3 weeks with it the leather is starting to break in and become even more comfortable. The heavy duty YKK zippers work very smooth with no hang ups, although I do plan on waxing them, as I do all my gear with metal YKK zippers, to aid in longevity.

  One thing that has always been a pet peeve of mine is the “cigarette” pocket on the front. Over the years, that pocket has gotten smaller and smaller to the point where it is only there for looks. I like functionality, if it’s there, it needs to serve a purpose and that’s exactly what you get with the Angel Fire. While I don’t smoke anymore, the pocket would easily fit a pack of smokes. For me it’s the perfect size for my I-pod Classic or my I-phone. The side pockets, while having a very large opening could stand to be a little deeper.

  The front zipper is another high point for me. On some “other” jackets, when zipped all the way up the zipper will either pull at an odd angle at the top or start unzipping as you’re riding. This one does neither. It zips up to a very comfortable angle and stays put.

  With only a sewn in liner this jacket is more suited to spring and fall riding. With our riding season here heading into fall, this is the perfect jacket for the cooler temps. So far I can say it works very well from 50*f to 70*f. Another gem on the inside is not one, but 2 inside pockets. I tend to use these alot for various items and having 2 is great!

  One thing to keep in mind when ordering this jacket is that the sizes run a little small. Normally, I wear an XL, I ordered this in XXL and the fit is almost perfect, with enough room the wear a sweat shirt if I want. The price point is hard to beat. Coming in at $79.95, it’s my opinion that this jacket is the absolute best “bang for your buck” and I look forward to many years of use.

Stay tuned for a video review coming in the next week or 2!

Viking Cycle Angel Fire Jacket Review

Time Flies!!!!!

Where the hell has this summer gone!?! This entire summer has been a whirlwind, it seems as if just yesterday I was wound and ready for another riding season and now we’re hurtling headlong into fall. Due to lots of family and work commitments I haven’t been able to get near the miles on that I would normally. Not to worry! Fall has some amazing riding as the fall colors start taking shape making way for winter.

Now things are starting to calm down, I might actually get some riding in! I’ve had a complete turn-over in bikes. The Kawasaki Drifter 1500 is gone, she served me well for many miles, but after a good offer was made, she was off to a new home. Her replacement? The scoot my wife and I had wanted for a long time, an ’07 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic. I bought it locally from a retired couple who had taken extremely good care of her, with service records to prove it. With a low 12,000 original miles she was begging for some wind therapy.

With every option you could want, plus Rinehart true duals and more chrome than you can shake a stick at, she is an absolute beast on the road. The 96 cubes with a 6 speed tranny make any situation easy and comfortable. While we haven’t had the opportunity to put a lot of miles on what we have been able to do have been awesome!

I’ve got a couple more projects in the works but more on those later!

Time Flies!!!!!