Thursday, October 15, 2009

Buell Is Shut Down

I never like to see a business fold.  It is even more troubling since this involves a motorcycle manufacturer here in the US.  With record job loss this is another chapter in our failing economy.  Harley Davidson reports a profit loss of 84%.  It seems that Buell is a weak link so they have to go. 

To read more, Click Here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

2010 ISDE (International Six Day Enduro).

For those that follow the ISDE every year the 2010 event will be held in Morelia, Mexico.  This is one of the premier events for off road motorcycle races.  The great actor Steve McQueen qualified in 1964 to represent the US that year.  It was first held in 1913 in Carlisle, England and has been going strong since.  Back then they called in "trials" and was later changed to "enduro".  Having been a former enduro racer and our club for many years were one of the qualifying enduros; I have always had an interest in this event.

This years event starts Oct 12 -17 in Figueria da Foz, Portugal.

Steve McQueen, Motorcycles and the ISDE.

Women and Motorcycles

I know what some of you were thinking when you read the title. For some it was an attention getter. This blog is actually geared towards women that ride or are thinking of riding. Let's start off with there is no one bike for a woman. Women do have to think about things like seat height but so do the guys. Not all men are tall and not all women are short. Our experience levels are all different too. A man just starting out riding should be a little picky about his first bike, so should a woman. No one wants to go out a buy a bike that is intimidating. Make sure the bike fits you. The most important thing is can you plant your feet flat on the ground. Do not rush out and get something just because your buddy has one, or your girlfriend says it's the best bike she's ever seen. No one can tell you want is right for you. Being a beginner rider there are concerns not to bite off more than you can chew. I personally would not tell someone to go out and buy a Ducati 1098R Superbike, if they are a beginner.

As for safety, please wear a helmet. Some states do not require it but please make the choice and buy yourself a DOT rated helmet. Think of it as being responsible to yourself and your family. There is nothing more sad and frustrating than sitting in a hospital with a loved one that is hooked up to a machine. The bills, loss of work, rehab, and stress that plagues the family associated with that person being in the hospital. Worse yet, if you die because you didn't wear a helmet leaves a destroyed family in the wake of your death. Do not be one of those, which people say, "If he/she had only been wearing a helmet". I personally think if you have family, spouse and children it is very selfish of you to ride and not wear a helmet.

The most important thing is to have fun.

Happy Riding and Keep the Rubber Side Down.

For Further Reading:
Motorcycles For Women Riders.
Advice For Women Buying Their First Motorcycle.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It used to be a man's world.

I do have to say that when I started riding a motorcycle out in the California desert there weren't many female riders.  When I started racing there were even fewer.  I remember sitting on my bike during a rest stop in an enduro race and looking over there was a guy taking a pee.  I couldn't see much  but wondered doesn't he know there is a 9 year old girl here.  After  a few races the guys kept a lookout for the girl.  I do remeber one time some guy was about to take a leak by a pucker bush and another guy said hey there's a girl here.  For the most part I didn't get much grief for riding a dirt bike but I did here somethings that for a young kid was kind of mind boggling.  One guy said if God had wanted women to ride motorcycles the would have been born with handlebars.  I thought what a jerk and were are his handlebars.  My Grandmother used to ask wouldn't you rather have ballet lessons.  I used to think is she nuts why would I want to do that, it is much more fun riding.  My other Grandmother loved motorcycles and even helped me by a dirt bike later on.  We used to call it our dirt bike.  Too bad I never got to take her for a ride on it she would have enjoyed it.

Times have slowly changed.  By the time I was 16 I had the number one plate for women riders.  I would do this a few more times during my racing days.  I even had one that for sure cheated to try and beat me.  another was suspected of it but never caught red handed.  It was a shame because that year that rider beat me out of first and stopped my streak.  I often wonder if she ever felt guilty.  See, in enduros you went by a roll chart, set up with mileage and speed.  It's hard for me to exclaim but you were on a schedule.  This particular rider didn't know squat about staying on time.  I am now 48 and there is a lot of water under that perverbial bridge.  Many that came after me got a lot of glory.  For me I will never forget the few women I know that raced.  Bonnie is one that always comes to mind and so does Celeste.  Bonnie was racing when I was 8 years old and how long she had been doing it I am not sure.  Celeste was the first female that I know of to try and ride the Greenhorn Enduro which is 2 days long.  I tried but my poor 125 just had an awful time with some of the hills.  I was tired of wrestling the damn thing up and down the hills.

I have not been out to the California desert to ride in about 14 years but there isn't a week that goes by that I do not think about it.  There were great rides, and friends that will in my memory always be with me.

This is dedicated to those that have gone on to the desert in the sky.  And to Bandit the dog that loved to camp and be out in the desert with his friends.