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2008 Motorcycling Diary

Its April 5th and we've finally gotten some warmer weather. Its been in the 40s (at best) up until now. Today I got my new seat put on the V-Star and tomorrow its supposed to be even warmer (forecast is 60F) so I'm going to test out the new seat.
This shows the profile of the factory seat. Here is the profile of the new seat by Hartco.

This shot shows the "pocket" in the seat a little better. I'm anxious to see how this new seat rides. Just sitting on it, I like the "pocket" it has at the back, but the front is built up so that it puts a lot of pressure on the bottom of my thighs when I'm standing still. When I'm riding with my feat up on the floor boards its better, but it still seems like there's enough pressure on the underside of my thighs that it could get painful after a long period. So, I'm anxious to see how this thing rides. The color is a little disappointing.. its not as dark and shiny black like the original seat and the pillion as you can see in the photo above.

April 6th, 2008

I got to ride for two hours on the new seat. When I got off, I wasn't sore at all. Very promising. The appearance of the seat is a bit disappointing though - but I can't see it when I'm sitting on it.

May 12th, 2008

I took the wheels and tires off last night to get the tires changed. I'm supposed to get them back tomorrow AM.

May 16th

I took my bike up to Hales Harley Davidson because the front wheel is out of balance or something. I asked the service manager to ride and see what he thought. He said it was a little out of balance but not out of the ordinary. Well, it is totally out of the ordinary, so I'll be taking it back up next week to be rebalanced.

May 17th, 2008

Rode to Caldwell, OH yesterday to attend the Caldwell Day of Champions at Nobel Correctional Institute. We had a great ride down yesterday evening going down through Mount Vernon, then 546 and 146 through Zanesville. The weather was perfect and the road is in good condition and scenic.

This afternoon we (Steve Wright & I) rode home up I77 to 250 to Rt. 30. We got into some rain twice but were prepared for it and endured it with no trouble. I now fell sort of like a seasoned biker, but it was really nice to have Steve with his experience leading the way. It just added a notch to the confidence level.

There were 5 other guys, besides Steve Wright & I there on bikes. They were a great bunch of guys and I was blessed to meet them and get to know them a little bit. I hope to see them again at another event.

Oh yeah, 3 hours on the seat and I wasn't sore at all. That new seat really makes a difference!

I am so blessed by God to be able to do this and work with Godly brothers like these and to spend the day sharing the love and knowledge of Jesus.

May 18th, 2008

I figured out the problem with the front tire... the bead is not seated (or the tire is defective on the sidewall). This causes the tire to be out of round by about 1/8" at that location. I'll be taking it back to Hale's to get it straightened out I hope. Had I examined it more closely last week, I could have found it, but I was rushed because of my travel out of town (that's my excuse anyway ;-)

May 19th, 2008

Hales remounted the tire and its much better, although still not as smooth as the old tire, I don't think. Or maybe I'm just hypersensitive now.

June 28th, 2008

I finally was home enough to get with Iron Pony and get my front tire replaced. It was indeed defective and the new one runs smooth. Its really nice to have my old smooth riding V-Star back. That is a tremendous relief!

I'm hoping to ride to Pittsburgh tomorrow for work. It supposed to be 40% chance of scattered thunderstorms. I think I'll ride regardless. I just haven't ridden that much this summer and making this trip for work can save me a lot of money. Let's see, if its 180 miles and I save 20 miles to the gallon, that's about $23 for the round trip saved. Not really all that much I guess. Although Connie will also be able to save gas by driving my car rather than the Durango.

June 30th, 2008

I didn't ride to Pittsburgh. Rain and I wanted to stay late to go to church so I didn't leave Mansfield until 7:15 and didn't get to Pittsburgh until 10:15. Went through some rough weather so I was glad I didn't ride, although I sure don't think I've put many miles on this year.

July 14th,

Finally having some cycle weather. Rode to a meeting in Columbus this AM. Have meetings all week in Columbus and the weather forecast is for little or no rain. Looks like I'll be riding all week. Then on Thur, Fri, Sat. I have a Weekend of Champions in Findlay.

July 20th,

I rode every day last week. Mon - Wed, I rode back and forth to Columbus for customer meetings, Thursday I rode to Findlay for a Weekend of Champions, Friday from Findlay to Marion and back and then Saturday from Findlay to Marion to Mansfield. Never any rain! A great week of riding.
Today and tonight, I was working on Alex's bike.

July 21st,

My next trip is to Pittsburgh this week for work and then the weekend after next, I go to Chicago for a Bill Glass Weekend of Champions in Cook Co. Jail. The piece that I'm wrestling with is how to pack everything. Actually, the ride to Pittsburgh is more challenging from that standpoint because I have to have boots and jeans for riding and have dress shoes and slacks for meeting with customers. And I have to take my laptop which takes more room. So there's a lot more to pack this week than on the trip to Chicago.
The challenge for the Chicago trip is whether to plan it for a one day ride or to break it into to two days. Its five hours (probably six on the bike). I've ridden more than six hours in a day, so I guess I should be able to plan

July 26th

Another wreck!. I was riding over to Mid Ohio for the vintage motorcycle meet today and as we took a short cut through a residential neighborhood in Lexington, a dog ran in front of me and I hit dead center and went down. First on my left side, dragging the dog down the street, and then flopping to the right side whereupon I separated and the bike slid down the street without me. I jammed my thumb pretty badly, scuffed up my helmet (proof of how important a helmet is), pulled a muscled in my neck and hurt my leg. My leg didn't hurt at all when I did it, but it started to hurt later as we walked around Mid Ohio. I hope its just a pulled muscle.
The dog had to get some stitches and the vet told the owner to keep observing it (I called them this evening to find out how the dog is).
The bike has big scuffs on both saddle bags and the light bar is bent back with one driving lamp scuffed up. The engine guard on the right side was bent back and has the chrome scuffed up at the bottom corner of it (you have to stand on your head to see it). Its amazing that a bike can slide down the street on both sides and not be more damaged. Its completely operable - I rode it home - only cosmetic damage.
They helmet - very glad I had a helmet on. Imagine what would have happened to my head without it. I remember thinking about that as I heard it scraping on the pavement.
The shirt I was wearing. The chewed up part is on the back and the collar. I was not hurt on my back. My shoulder was chewed up, but the shoulder of the shirt wasn't. Apparently the shirt was pulled around.
The left side saddle tank Right side saddle tank.

July 28th

I'm recovering slowly, but recovering. Maybe the worst part of this is trying to decide whether to keep on riding. Its no fun being stove up. And of course if i was a lot worse and became a burden to my family that would be the worst of all. Connie says God has tried to tell me twice now to get rid of the bike. I asked her how does she know its not Satan trying to keep me from motorcycle prison ministry? But I have to be honest and say that I could do prison ministry just as well on foot I guess.
I thought I'd weigh all the good things that have happened because of riding this motorcycle verses the bad things:
  • Wrecked twice
So, there are many good things that have come from riding, but are they more than out weighed by the accidents and even more so, the risk of very serious injury?

August 29, 2008

Still haven't decided what to do about riding. I haven't ridden since the accident. Connie forbade me to ride until after the wedding. I sure miss it sometimes. If I could find some other hobby that interested me as much, then I could sell the bike.

September 9, 2008

I rode my bike yesterday for a little bit. I have to say it was great. Not all of it, but there were certain times that it really felt great.. that's the only way I can describe it. I was thinking a week or so ago, that some of the most profound spiritual experiences of my life happened on that bike. My trip back from Youngstown WOC, my trip riding home in the rain when I felt God was just teaching me how to ride in the rain. My experience with Nathan. The ride home from Detroit when God protected me from the rain. (I didn't realize the import of what God was doing until much later.) So anyway, those experiences combined with the pure enjoyment of just getting on the bike and going for a ride make it a difficult decision to stop riding.

September 18, 2008 - THE END

I guess I'm done riding motorcycles.. at least for a while.
Alex sold his cycle last weekend. It was nothing short of miraculous in the way that it sold. I listed it on craigslist and in a couple of days a guy came over and bought it. He paid what Alex paid for it two years ago. It wasn't running, although I don't think anything serious is wrong with it. It did look better than when he bought it, and I had certainly made improvements, but Alex had also done some more damage to the body so it was rougher than when he bought it.
Anyway, I had asked him if he would sell his bike if I sold mine. Now that he's sold it, I feel that I have to sell mine.
I'm thinking about getting a sailboat, and I need to do more shooting. I really miss riding.