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Monday, May 31, 2010

Free subscription to Motorcyclist magazine

This is a nice offer from the folks at Roadgear
Dear Riding Enthusiasts

We've got another free offer. We have teamed up with the good folks at Motorcyclist to give out 8,500 issues of one of the best Moto-Magazines. To take advantage of this offer, you must rush. Last time we made a similar offer, the sign-up rate exceeded all expectations. The subscriptions were all taken in less than 60 hours. Thanks readers! Talk about
catastrophic success!

The first 8,500 respondents qualify for the Motorcyclist magazine offer! You—as well as your riding buddies—are eligible for this freebie. Just get the word out—and go to: Free One-Year subscription to Motorcyclist and follow the sign-up instructions.

Are we crazy to offer such amazing, no-strings attached giveaways? Not really. It is part of our strategic initiatives. Hey, we have been in a recession, and such endeavors build goodwill with our readers which ultimately does lead to increased revenue and profits—the name of the game.

ROADGEAR is committed to being your one-stop shopping experience. Please check out ROADGEAR’s continually updated website and Staff Favs. So have fun, order a lot and keep us busy. Summer’s here and you need to gear up. Please get the word out to your riding buddies, too.
Having joined the social media revolution, we invite you to fan us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Check out the limited time Special Offer we have posted there. Feel free to share your motorcycling experiences, photos and videos with us on Facebook. You can email us too at
Now let's go out and ride! 
Evans Brasfield
Managing Editor

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Harley Davidson - The New TV Ad

Herman sent this in:

This is just too good to pass up! This one's for Erik Buell!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

War and Soldiers

On the way home from visiting my sister I was listening to NPR. They were airing one of a series called Boots on the Ground that really brought home the human cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The episode I heard was "Coming Home". It recounted the ways that many soldiers felt isolated and rejected after coming home from their tour of duty. When they said that the worst part of their assignment was coming home I knew that something was wrong. Again.

We. the citizens of the USA, have never done a good job of supporting our troops after they've returned. The worst was during and after the Vietnam war. Then, soldiers were identified with the war itself and treated as outcasts and criminals by much of society. As if the soldiers were the ones who created the war rather than just the ones who carried out the missions handed to them. They were as much the victims as any in that horrible disaster.

Now, it seems we are ready to do it again. People seem more concerned about "reality" shows than the reality of the real world. Our politicians are to blame for trying to hide the hard choices we should be making about our engagement in the Middle East. One of the remarks that was repeated in the interviews was that "they [the people in the US] just don't get it".

Whether you support or oppose the wars in the Middle East, NEVER forget the soldiers who are fighting there. Write your Senator and Congressman to tell them what you believe. But also tell them that you want the very best for the people we send there both while they are there, and when they return.

Fight for the end and so we can bring our men and women home quickly! In the mean time support them in every way you can.

I urge you to listen to the podcasts below. They won't be comfortable but I guarantee you will feel better if you do.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rev'it Sale coming up in Brooklyn

From Tex:


I know it seems like we have a sample sale every time the wind blows, but we still
have lots of stuff to get rid of and our storage space is just too small!

As always, there will be a wide assortment of men's and ladies motorcycle apparel -
gloves, jackets, pants, leather and accessories at greatly reduced prices! 
Most of the gear will be in samples sizes (medium/large), but there will be plenty
of lightly used, tested or flawed smaller/larger stuff as well.  Cash is highly
preferred (expedites the process and keeps the lines small), but credit cards are

Also, please spread the word. I do my best, but there always seems to be lots of
folks left out.

Saturday, June 5th, 10am-4pm.

REV’IT! Sport USA Showroom
275 Conover Street, Suite 5-P
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Check out their catalog here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Not Quite Ready For Prime Time

After a very long flight across country sitting next to a pair of chatty and gossipy old ladies I'm now in San Francisco. As an experiment I left my laptop at home to see if I could exist solely on my Droid smart phone. To cut right to the conclusion, let me state that I'm writing this on a friend's desktop computer.

The phone is both amazing in what it does, and disappointing in what it doesn't. On all three of my accounts email is a breeze. Messaging is good with the proviso that I have yet to train my thumbs to deal with the tiny keyboard effectively. It has a touch screen keyboard with predictive word selection that is handy.

As a phone it is the clearest, with the best reception, of any of the half dozn phones I've owned so far. The speaker phone function is great and even works in the car while I'm driving.

The web browser is what disappoints. This is partly the fault of the Droid and mostly the fault of the websites that have not learned how to make the user experience productive. It's a trade off between trying to fit too many things on the tiny screen while leaving enough space so that you click on what you want rather than the one next to it. Fingers make a poor mouse. The screen is so sensitive that I'm always touching the wrong thing and sending it off to the wrong place. The go-back button gets used a lot!

One feature I use over and over is the built in gps. Select someone your contact list or type in an address and it will give you turn by turn instructions to the destination. I wish I could switch the voice to something less mechanical but it's a free function from Google so who am I to complain?

A special feature is the way the browser is linked to the gps. If I need to find an atm I can use the browser to query my bank for the nearest location. Then I just use my finger to click on the address and it automatically switches to the gps and starts giving me directions on how to get there. I even get to select whether I want to go by car, bicycle, public transportation, or walking! Finally, a good use for all this technology.

Should a call come in while it's directing me I can decide to take the call and the gps continues to keep track of where I am. It will override the call to tell me to turn at the next corner when necessary.

Things I'd like to see improved:
  • Be able to browse two pages at once and cut & paste between them.
  • Be able to put a call on hold and look up something in my memos or contact list.
  • Clean up some of the menus for better navigation. It seems that more than one team was working on this because sometimes I only need one stop to complete a chore and other times I need three to do the samt thing.
  • Make the App Market more user friendly
  • Make a way to link the Droid to my home computer so that I could use the big screen and keyboard to enter data and sync between the two.
Still, this is the best phone I've ever owned. And it's on the Verizon network which is by far the best in the US. Maybe what I should do is write apps to address the problems above and become a millionaire. Then I could spend more time riding around the world.

Note: Tomorrow is another travel day and then I'll be riding a dirt bike with the Trans Sierra Motorcycle Club for a couple of days. I'll take pictures and post them as soon as I can.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New England Transalp Rally Reminder

We are only a few weeks away from this event so I'll post this reminder.

  • Date: 25-27 June 2010
  • Location: New Jersey Pine Barrens
  • Rally Master: Milt Rudy
  • Weather: Cloudy with meatballs
 Ed and his wife are cooking up a BBQ Saturday night for the gang. More Info Here.

Contact Milt here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

LSR Update

We're in!

I sent the application for our number and position in on Saturday. Q&D* Racing is on the move.

We will be running the Moriwaki in the 100cc Modified Gas class. To be honest I can't imagine setting a record this year. It will be predominantly a learning experience to see what we need to do to get there.

We'll make our runs like we mean it but just getting there with whatever we need to run will be challenge enough this year.

Wish us luck!

*Quick & Dirty

Saturday, May 15, 2010

BS Racing

In this case I mean Belt Sanders.

The New England Belt Sander Racing Association, is holding their 2010 Spring National Competition today in Sommerville MA at the Arts at the Armory.

Their motto is Goin' Nowhere ... FAST!

The stories from the Boston Globe are here and here. I won't make it because I'll be in New Haven buying another motorcycle but it sure looks like fun!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Save the Date, Aug 14 Vintage Ride In Upstate NY

This just in from Jack - More details as the date approaches:

 Save the Date, Aug 14 Vintage Ride

Covered bridge vintage ride, 150 miles going over 7 covered bridges in the beautiful Catskills of Up State NY. Start and end in Walton NY.

No size limit, but bikes must be at least 30 years old. I hope DGY will bring the Vincent. Small bikes will leave about 30 minutes before the big ones.

Due to insurance (lack of), this is a "self guided" tour. route sheets will be handed out but the route may not be arrowed.

Friday night indoor camping available in my wife's church parish hall.

Plenty of trailer parking close to the stop/start line.

I will need to have an idea of how many to expect so I can plan the food for the Sat PM BBQ.

I will try to put a copy of the flier in the photos or file section in next couple days.

Please forgive me if this is a repeat of an earlier post.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Road Food - Coffee & Donuts

It used to be that when I wanted to take a break along a day's ride I would look for the next Dunkin Donut shop. NO MORE!

Remember Fred the "Time to make the donuts" guy? He's been gone a long time now. Where each DD shop used to make their own donuts now they're made in a factory somewhere and trucked to the shop in a semi-trailer. Just like the boxed donuts you could buy in Stop and Shop. It seems like many of the "shops" are now little more than a rack of stale donuts in the back of a gas station quick mart. Sad.

There is one DD shop that still makes their own donuts. The shop at 755 Main St (Rt 18) South Weymouth, MA 02190 (781-335-9346) still has their own donut maker on site and they are made fresh all day long. Here's the story from the Boston Globe. They sell twice the national average and have two drive through lanes to handle the rush hours. Apparently DD would rather have more stores and less satisfied customers using the factory method in the other shops. Hey, it's all about profits, not happy customers!

Another donut shop that takes their customers seriously is Baker's Dozen on Rt 66 in Brooklyn, CT. There's a DD shop across the road but nobody stops there except travelers who don't know any better.
Still with me? Let's try out the new DD latte. Or "dishwater in a cup" as a friend remarked. Most of the people at DD have no clue how to make one properly. So is Starbucks the only alternative? While my latte friends all agree that it's the best the new latte of choice is none other than a McCafe at Mickey D's. 90% as good as Starbucks at 50% of the price with 0% of the attitude. I'm a cup-a-java, hot & black, kind of guy but my friends report that every latte has been properly made and tasted great. Who would have guessed? Plus, I have a weakness for those baked apple pies.

You can't beat a counter seat at a chrome and Formica diner when you're out riding. But failing that, it will be McCafe in my future. DD, that's all in the rear view mirror unless I'm in Weymouth. I've gone out of my way for that one!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fitness and riding

Went for a ride yesterday and came home with the usual soreness in my right neck and shoulder muscles. The ones that get tight because they stay tense holding the throttle grip. It's my own fault. Not because I don't have a cruise control but because I haven't been doing the simple exercises that would build up the muscles. I'm talking really simple, like shrugging my shoulders 20 times while I'm sitting here at the computer. Lifting them up 20 times, rotating them in forward circles 20 times, and rotating them in backward circles 20 times. How tough is that? How lazy to avoid doing it?

Here's a very good article on exercise and motorcycle riding. Here's another one that concentrates on exercises for track days. And one more for sport riders.

For racers it's especially important to be in top shape. What's the point of getting the hole shot and setting the pace for the first few laps if you are exhausted and get passed at the end? Strength and endurance are key to top performance. I used to run until a friend pointed out that running has little to do with riding other than making me sweat. Bicycling tuned up all the senses and muscles that I needed for top motorcycle riding. Nothing like pedaling a hilly 20 miles once week to make you ready for a fast 20 laps at the track.

Don't complain that you don't have the time. Skip Survivor and become one!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Packing for a trip

With the approach of traveling season upon us. I found this article in the New York Times to be pretty interesting. Packing a carry-on bag is little different than packing the side cases of my RS, about the same size and amount of stuff. I knew about putting pants on the bottom and then folding them over the top but I didn't know that rolling clothes would take up less room. It would probably make it easier to find things too. As opposed to pawing through everything which is my normal technique. The slide show is here.

I am smart enough to take a plastic bag for the clothes that get dirty. Makes it easy to do the laundry if the trip is long. Got a tip of your own? Post it as a comment below.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Hug your motorcycle Mother today!
 Go for a ride with her today. Beats the hell out another dumb brunch!

I think of all the times and ways my Mom put up with me and my first motorcycle. All the times she forgot to mention yet another indiscretion to my dad that would have landed me in big trouble. My Mom was loving and patient beyond all understanding. She used to ride a Honda step through long ago. I wish I had a picture of that. These pictures are of other people's Moms.

I'm going to see her in a couple of weeks but her motorcycle days are all in the past. We'll sit together and remember things from long ago. Go enjoy your Mom while you can.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Think you're the only one having a bad day?

From Bruce:
Try picking up a Yamaha Venture-861 lbs. It can be done easily if you know how, learned from a 115 lb girl at Wing Ding some time ago. 1 1/2 years ago I backed out of the garage and went to leave for work, turned a little too sharp and she started to go. I tried to jump off but my cuff caught on the foot peg and I heard my leg break. I yelled for my son and he had it off in a flash. adrenaline works really well. He asked if I was OK and I said my leg's broken. He asked if it wasn't just a sprain? Uh no, I heard it break. I hobbled into the house and told him to get his mom who was just getting out of the shower. She comes out and I told her I needed a ride to the hospital. She says "do I have time to dry my hair?"

Sure dear, go right ahead, its only broken.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Let's go camping

Herman sent this link.

It certainly makes backing up a lot easier but I have my doubts about the towing capacity of the VW. Still, it should be enough for a person and a Giro bike.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

MotoGiro Pictures

The MotoGiro pictures are here. All 1384 of them! In order to get them out as quickly as possible I have not edited them or deleted any. Download and print all you want for free. Pictures from last year's Giro are there too.
If you would like the full sized files (~9 meg each) let me know. $10 each or 3 for $25 seems fair for standing in the sun all day.
I'm working on a panorama print of the group shot. 5 feet wide! I'll post a message when it's done in case anyone wants one.
I had a great time. Too bad the last leg was canceled. See you in the fall if not before.

Monday, May 3, 2010

MotoGiro Picture

No reports this weekend because I had the only motel in the world without WiFi. Before I run off to work here's the group photo we took on Sunday afternoon. I'll post more pictures and a complete report tonight.