Folks, you’ve seen pics of me in my riding gear a couple of times now. I always wear my helmet anytime I ride – even if I’m just going to a different parking place in my apartment complex. Helmets are meant to protect your head from the impact of hitting the ground from the height your head is at when you come off the bike. They’re not made to save you if you manage to hit an obstacle at speed, but they’re much better than nothing in that case as well
There are quite a few styles of helmets out there that meet DOT (Department of Transportation) standards. You can get a half helmet, 3/4 or open face helmet, modular helmet, or a full-face helmet. I choose to ride with a full face helmet for many reasons. It keeps the blast furnace of 100°+ heat from scorching my face at 80+ MPH. Sand and bugs do not become a permanent part of my facial features
There’s another reason I wear a full face helmet – I don’t want facial reconstructive surgery Full face helmets are designed to ensure your face does not undergo modification by asphalt. The photo above was taken by rgiroux who’s a fellow inmate (inmate = member for those of you who don’t know the site ) at Adventure Rider. He posted in a discussion titled Wear a Helmet! in “The perfect line and other riding myths” – the section of the site dedicated to discussion of “The dark arts of motorcycling” and has kindly given me permission to share it here in the interests of education. In that post, he wrote:
Motorcycling is one of the greatest things I’ve ever done. It gets me out of my apartment, engages my mind, and helps clear my mind of anything else that may be bothering me. It’s also exercise – even on a cruiser like my V-Star as you can’t just sit on the bike like you do in a car. Riding is definitely taking a risk every time you throw a leg over the machine and twist the grip, but you have a say in just how much of a risk you take. Some ride in shorts, flip flops, a tank top, and (where legal) only a bandanna on their heads. I’m not going to stop them as they’re adults, but I know the pain of crashing a BMX bike at 45 MPH on asphalt without gear. I’ve also done a “Superman” from a BMX which ended on old asphalt with my hands and chin taking the impact. Concussions, facial road rash, and tearing facial skin which requires nine outer and six inner stitches suck so I’ll stick to wearing a quality full face helmet when I ride
Have fun, ride safely, and please wear a helmet
Small update today I managed to get a halfway decent picture of me on the V-Star for a change yesterday
Jack in the Box was the destination for something to keep my stomach from imploding during my 30 minutes of freedom. It may not be the best eats on the planet, but it isn’t bad and the price is right I noticed my reflection in the window as I pulled up, but waited until I was on my way back to work before snapping this pic.
Actually, the first pic is the same one as the second, only it’s been cropped to focus on yours truly a bit more I like the second one for the way it shows off the mountains, gas station, and all the rest. It seems like it has more context. On the other hand, the cropped version has its good points, too. I think I look pretty good on the bike with all that gear on and the dark smoke shield on the helmet
That’s all for tonight, but here’s hoping you have a fantabulous Friday
I can’t really believe it’s been such a short time since I first got on my V-Star Sometimes it feels like it was yesterday that I first saw my bike, but it was actually 11 May 2011 Other times I can’t remember a time before I had such a feeling of freedom as I do on my bike.
I’ve been told that some people thought I’d buy a bunch of gear, get a bike, and then proceed to let it go to rot in a parking space. They said I’d lose interest or not want to go riding because it would be too hot or because of rain, wind, traffic, etc. Well, I think we’ve seen that all those supposed reasons not to ride are merely a matter of Perception
Yeah, you could say I tend to ride just a bit For those of you keeping score at home, the two pics above represent 2675 miles in the 2.5 months since my bike got out of the shop Its’ gotten to the point that I take the car out once or twice a week for a few miles just to keep the thing working in case I actually need it for something. Other than that, I’m on the bike! Rain? Please Wind? Yeah, that’s fun Heat? Sure, why not It’s kind of funny that we have an excessive heat warning going from Tuesday morning at 1100 hrs until Saturday evening. I didn’t think it was really all that bad out this afternoon – it was only about 108° Maybe my brain’s only half cooked and I was just trying to finish it
All I know for sure is that I never want to stop riding. It’s the closest thing I’ve found to flying that’s affordable enough to do every day. You are a part of the world you travel through, not just a spectator who watches it like a movie on a screen outside the windows of a climate controlled theater. You see more. You feel more. You smell more. Sometimes you can almost taste the world around you. People seem to see you as an actual person rather than a piece of painted steel that’s going down the road. It’s like you’re more alive on the bike. I’ll try to describe it better sometime in the future – I’m just at a bit of a loss for words right now
Folks, I have a recommendation to make. Go look up the local organization that’s affiliated with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. See if they have something like the Introductory Motorcycle Experience that cycleschool.com offers. Find the time and money to get on a motorcycle for the first time and see what you think of it. It may not be something that trips your trigger, but you may never look at a road the same way again and you could end up hopelessly hooked like me
That’s all for now, but I hope you have a great Wednesday! Have fun and ride safe
Well, I was going to try to get this post published last night, but I just flat ran out of steam. I did manage to get something like a reasonable amount of sleep though, so today went fairly well I’ll get back to more about today in another post, so let’s get on with the pics
I think I’ve finally found a way to deal with work when everything is turning into the contents of a septic tank. I hop on my motorcycle and ride over to either Taco Bell or A&W/Long John Silver’s for lunch Now, I only get 30 minutes total for lunch so I’ve got to be fairly quick about it. Still, even if I only get to ride about three miles round trip it seems to do loads for my co-workers’ sanity during the second half of the day
Saturday brought the promise of two whole days off in a row I need a new helmet liner due to a bit of a problem with part of the attachment system that keeps it in the helmet up front, so I headed down to Carter Powersports to see if they had one in stock. They didn’t, but I ordered one along with another accessory and picked up a different cramp buster for the throttle
As much fun as I’m having with my V-Star, I’m actually thinking that I’m going to add another motorcycle to my stable in the next couple of years. Now, I know you’re probably but try not to fall out of your chair The two bikes above are currently at the top of my list. The Versys and V-Strom are similar bikes from different companies, but they’re different enough that it matters. The V-Strom is more dirt oriented, while the Versys is a better street machine. If I were to be in the market for one of them right now, I’d be totally screwed – I wouldn’t be able to decide. If I were going only by looks, the Versys would be the winner. But I don’t only go by looks
Anyone care to tell me how they put down this sort of paint and how long they expect it to last in a place like Las Vegas
It’s really true that you never know what you’ll see out on the road I’ve also found that I actually meet people when I’m out on my bike. It’s been said many times that you’re more approachable when you’re on a motorcycle. I think this comes down to being outside rather than inside a car. Talking to someone who’s in a car kind of feels like violating some sort of personal space.
I wish I could remember the name of the owner of this bike, but I appreciate him allowing me to get these pics Stereotypes exist for so many things and bikers are no exception. The owner of this bike really does get out and ride as you can tell by the odometer! He’s not one for lots of safety gear, but he also knows the risks and accepts them. The only changes I’d make to this Harley would be to change the bars and windshield. Other than that I’d ride the hell out of it, too
I should probably get my lazy, sleepy butt out of bed earlier on occasion and get out to Red Rock when the sun’s coming from the other direction For now I’ll just stick to saying that evening is my favorite time to go play in Red Rock Canyon
There’s really nothing special about this pic, but I do like the way my bike looks at night The front turn signals stay lit like this as marker lights and the triangle is supposed to help cagers notice you more than just having a single headlight. I’m just happy to be able to go ride off into the sunset and beyond
That’s all for this post. Have a great day and stay tuned for more soon
Folks, I know I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’ve been mentally beat the past little while. To say work’s been mentally draining would be a colossal understatement. We’ve had some major problems on the network and the customers have expressed their displeasure. The past three weeks we’ve worked between eight and ten hours of overtime per week. It may not sound like much and in some of my previous jobs it would’ve been no problem. This is a bit different for a lot of reasons. There have been quite a few days where I don’t have the cognitive reserve to do more than ride the couple of miles home, park the bike, and try to unwind before going to sleep
Aside from failing to post very often, I’ve also been seriously remiss in keeping up with my email and responses I’ll try to get back to you, but if you haven’t heard from me, please re-send your messages and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.
I have the pics for the next post uploaded so you can expect something half way decent tomorrow evening
Thanks again for your understanding and patience
So, why am I posting a video made by a guy who goes by the screen name “Captain Crash” that deals with motorcycle safety? Because the guy has some pretty good info and delivers with some great humor
This video goes for cars just as much as motorcycles When it comes down to it, I think there’s one big thing that affects safe riding more than just about anything else. It’s judgement. Sure, there’s quite a bit of Red Rock Canyon I could run at 70 MPH while having serious fun, but it just ain’t worth it. Leaning way over in a corner is great, but what if there’s something bad in the roadway? You know – Something like sand, diesel, or a burro If you’re in a car and you have to brake in a turn, you can usually do it without too much drama. On a bike, you can’t brake too hard in a corner or you have a high probability of crashing. You can straighten up and hit the brakes, but how far can you go before you’re off the road? Remember – what might be a fender bender and minor insurance claim in a car is probably a broken bone and possibly surgery on a bike!
I think my favorite line from the French voice was, “You’re the fallen souffle of manliness!!!” and that had me just about in tears I was laughing so hard Big thanks go out to Captain Crash for a great video
Have fun and stay safe out there on the roads everyone And please remember to watch for motorcycles while you’re at it
I know you’re probably a bit shocked at getting two posts in one day, but I figured I’d finish catching up
Sunday was my day off for the weekend. Yes, I had to work Saturday but at least I only have to ride about 20 minutes to get to the fabulous Las Vegas Strip Now, I say it’s fabulous because of the Welcome Sign and the unique experience of seeing so many different things in one place. It sure ain’t fabulous because of all the taxis and incredible drivers Still, playing in traffic can be good fun sometimes so I figured why not go dance with some city buses and tourists in SUV’s
I’d have to say this is one of my favorite pics from the bike so far There’s the Strip, parts of the bike, and I even managed to get myself in the pic It’s the chaos and challenge of moving obstacles which sets riding on the Strip apart from most other places in my ever so humble opinion. It has to be just about the polar opposite of riding through Red Rock Canyon. Somehow, they both get me into that mental place where there’s very little aside from the current moment’s concentration. Red Rock has scenery and a wide open road. The Strip has unpredictable drivers, interesting technical challenges in parking lots, and a completely unpredictable weirdness of what’s on display for all to see that must be experienced to be believed. I still can’t believe some pedestrians bet their lives playing a dangerous version of Frogger – Jay walking is just too risky for me on the Strip
I know what you’re thinking right now. Why would anyone go to the French bakery at Paris, Las Vegas and order pizza It’s simple really – They know what the heck they’re doing and they use good quality ingredients Just for example, olives at the French bakery actually have quite a strong flavor and are noticeable on their pizza The pizza itself was a bit floppier than I usually like it, but it sure hit the spot
I was getting ready to turn left as I exited Paris, Las Vegas for more miles on the Strip and figured this would make a good pic
I had to stop a short time later to gas up the bike. Again Of course, I’m kidding but it seems like I fill that tank sometimes three times a week Now, just remember the bike’s been getting a bit over 40 MPG lately and it’s about a four gallon tank so you can do the math on how much I’m riding
The reason I say that this is the worst nozzle in Las Vegas is that it will not pump gas unless the collar is compressed. Due to the shape of the inside of my bike’s gas tank guess what’s pretty much impossible I had to pump with my right hand while pulling back on the collar with my left. I got it to work, but I’m not going back to this place.
Y’all didn’t think I’d get completely away from airplanes, did ya ? The gas station just happened to be across the street from McCarran
After topping off my thirsty bike’s fuel tank I figured I’d head back up the Strip Paris sure looked great in the evening Maybe I’ll go to Bellagio…
Yeah, stopping by Bellagio was a pretty easy decision to make I’ve posted pics of their botanical gardens before, but you never know what you’re going to find during any given season as they completely redecorate the place about four times a year. They’ve still got summer going full swing and I could just feel the atmosphere of Independence Day in the air even if it was over a month later
So that was Sunday’s fun and frivolity in traffic I’ve got to cut this short, but I hope you liked the pics
Have a great day everyone
I know I’m catching up again, but in my defense I think I might be coming down with something. I’m really not feeling well at all and I’ve been about three times as tired than I normally am. At least I’m getting the pictures posted within a few days of when they’re taken
I’d had plans for Saturday and was even in a good mood when Friday started. Work had other ideas.
So yeah, I went and did my eight hours of mandatory overtime on Saturday. At least I have a job.
Still, I’d much rather have been riding – especially in the rain
Feeling a bit better after work and with a bit of daylight left, I headed back out to Red Rock Canyon What better to raise your spirits than a nice motorcycle ride along a mildly twisty, medium speed road with nice scenery and burros
I think these pics came out pretty well considering how they were taken About the method used by the photographer… If you think you know how these were taken, you’re probably right All I’m going to say about the matter is that the camera was not mounted to the bike and kids should not try this at home Other than that, ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies
I knew the sunset would turn out to be something like this. Plenty of clouds and good size holes in them toward the horizon will do this with a fair degree of reliability These panoramas were taken from a school parking lot near my apartment
Now, this was a pain in the butt to get. Actually it was rather a pain in the thigh due to the fact that I was dumb enough to stay on the bike with the engine running and the transmission in neutral while I tried to get it right Yes, I ride a rolling space heater At least the pic came out pretty good
That’s it for this post, but I’ll have a bit more shortly Have fun
In my limited experience aboard my motorcycle, I’ve come to learn just how much different it can be than driving a car. Traveling on two wheels is much more physical, more mentally involved, and unbelievably more unforgiving than driving a car. Motorcyclists cannot afford to allow our minds to wander too much while we’re moving, nor can we ever stop learning if we want to continue with our endeavours.
This video was supposed to be part of a series from Great Britain about motorcycle safety, but it never quite worked out. I’m glad it ended up on YouTube as it provides some great information to riders and may very well help to save lives
SMIDSY is actually an acronym which stands for Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You. Cross traffic is something that I’ll never become complacent about, but this video gives me another tool to keep from becoming a hood ornament. I watched this video even before I took my MSF course and got my motorcycle license and I practice the SIAM – SMIDSY Identification and Avoidance Maneuver when the conditions make it a good idea I swear there’s been a few times I could see the light come on in a driver’s head when they noticed me as I performed the SIAM
This concludes our Friday motorcycle education and safety reminder post Have fun, stay safe, and please watch out for motorcycles out there this weekend everyone
Sadly, I don’t have any new pics to post tonight. I figured I should at least post something to kick off Friday so I figured why not one of the coolest motorcycle videos I’ve ever watched If you’ve never heard of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy race, you really should look into it Even if you’re not a motorcycle person or a gear head, the dedication and excellence of the racers should inspire you a bit Many of the people you see racing in this video are not full time professional racers. They save up all they can and use that money to compete in one of the last great races. One other note here – There are no fatalities in this video. The downed riders were injured, but even Conor Cummins (the racer who flies off the hillside) was back racing after a suitable recovery.
Now, there’s no need to worry about me trying to do this myself I’m not about to go out and try to do 200+ MPH on any motorcycle I can, however, relate in a very small way to part of what these riders do. I don’t care if I’m going around a simple 90° corner on a city street or taking a sweeping curve on a 50 MPH road – There’s an immense sense of satisfaction when I get it just right Heck, every time I get on the bike there’s a bit of trepidation before I find my zone where concentration blocks out anything other than riding safely and there’s also a sense of accomplishment every time I reach my destination safely as well
As for the riders in the video, I salute them and wish them Godspeed in their pursuit of speed and excellence
Here’s hoping we all have a great Friday and an awesome weekend as well
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