Saturday, November 15, 2014

T'was Like Riding in a Windy Freezer Today!

I went for a ride today, as is my usual routine for a Saturday, but boy, it was like riding in a freezer with a wind machine turned to high just for good measure.  

Here in South Carolina, it doesn't get below freezing very often, and this is awfully early to have it.

I suspected it was pretty cold, so I peeked out the back door at the thermometer, and sure enough, it was chilly.  Frosty.  Wintry.  Cold.  Frigid.  Glacial.  Arctic.  Gelid.  Hyperboreal.  Siberian. 

Look at the thermometer for yourself: 

25 degrees!  There has not been any rain, so there shouldn't be any ice spots.  Just have to watch for slippery leaves.   So, what to do? 


What else? 

I bundled up as I usually do when it is cold, and went up to Table Rock State Park and on some surrounding roads.  Was I cold?  After all, this is about the coldest I have ever ventured out on the bike, and the wind was quite gusty. 

My insulated gear along with my Respro Foggy helmet insert to keep my shield and glasses from fogging, my heated grips, and my handlebar muffs all served me well.  Just my neck got a little chilly, and after about the 40th mile, my toes were beginning to get cold as well.  

The leaves are about all turned brown now, but there is a little color left and the sky was crystal clear. 
View of Table Rock from the Lake Oolenoy parking lot. 

View of Table Rock from the lodge. 
That is a 1973 Volkswagen bus.

Table Rock.

I saw two sport touring guys and one little scooter out, too.  All of them waved, including the scooter guy, which is unusual.  We had a certain unity, being intrepid riders out on the coldest day yet this season.

I only rode about 65 miles, but it was good to get out, even if it was a cold day.  

How cold is too cold for you to get out?  

  • Dressing for Cold Weather Riding, Take One
  • Dressing for Cold Weather Riding, Take Two
  • Dressing for Cold Weather Riding, Take Three

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thank A Veteran Today


Don't forget to go out of your way to thank a veteran today for having put his life on the line for our freedom. 


Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Election is Over -- Now What To Do?


You have seen this logo for BMW, right?

Yes, they make fine machinery, some of which has two wheels.

Well, I have a tee shirt that plays on the logo, but carries a different message.  See?:

I think that is apt for the election just tallied, that turned out better than almost anyone predicted.  

Republicans were elected because almost every one of us has been hurt by the liberal governance we have had for the last six years. 

This guy…

…is in denial, but he himself said that it is his policies that were being voted on. 

Well, we did that, and he lost big time.   You can be sure that he won't give up trying to damage our country and take away our freedoms, but the House of Representatives and the Senate can now present legislation that will correct many of the problems we are facing, caused by failed liberal policies. 

Our work has just begun, however.  Conservatives must now let their elected officials at all levels know what we want them to do. 

Like this basic list:
  • Cut taxes
  • Cut regulations
  • Eliminate Obamacare
  • Cut spending
  • Close the borders
  • Reduce the size of government
  • Go after terrorists with a vengeance
  • Stop political control of the IRS, the EPA, the CDC, and other agencies. 

I would also go so far as to have the Senate and House members conduct a public opinion poll and hold a news conference as each bill is presented to the president, explaining what it contains, what the poll results are, why it is a good thing for the American people, and how it will help get us out of the big-government morass we are in right now. 

When the president vetoes a bill -- as he surely will if it is beneficial to the country -- then hold another news conference to explain why what he did is bad for the American people.

Make the president very publicly accountable for every single bill he stops from becoming law with his vetoes. 


So, how do you find your elected officials so you can tell them what you want them to do?  Go to this website to find out who your legislators are.  

Then, tell them what you want them to do!


Other reading:


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Don't Miss this Critical Issue to Act on NOW

This November 4 is a critical time in the history of our nation.  It is voting day across these United States, and you have a chance to do something significant about the following: 

  • The economy is not robust.  This is because of excessive rules, regulations, taxes, and the uncertainty of what government is going to meddle with next.
  • Social programs such as welfare and other transfers of wealth from working people to others amount to 3 trillion dollars every year -- that is 3,000,000,000,000 dollars, or about 10,000 for every American.  It is about $16,000 for each working-age person.
  • Real unemployment is about 12.6%, so the cost of social services is more like $18,000 for every employed person. 
  • Our health care system has been turned upside down and everyone will end up paying more for less treatment.  Not only that, but Obamacare mandates that everyone buy something they may not want or need. 
  • Our electrical generation system is in jeopardy because of supposedly "green" concerns about carbon dioxide buildup, despite the fact that carbon dioxide is harmless and is vital to plants for survival. 
  • Plentiful oil in Canada and the northern United States must be transported by more dangerous railroads rather than by a pipeline that has been repeatedly held up for "environmental" reasons. 
  • Gasoline prices have about doubled in the last six years.  Food prices are not far behind.  But the official government figures do not include these in its calculation of inflation. 
  • Global Warming -- restated now as Climate Change -- has sapped trillions from the economy but it is now obvious that it was based on junk science, that the climate changes naturally, and is little affected by man. 
  • Our young people are getting the worst public education ever at the highest cost ever due to federal government meddling, lack of local accountability, and due to teacher unions putting profits ahead of educating our children. 
  • Abortionists have killed 56,000,000 babies since 1973 and it is labeled "choice."  It is murder, plain and simple.
  • The IRS is corrupt.  Taxes on nearly everything have gone up, and many new taxes are to piggyback on Obamacare, on proposed immigration legislation, and on environmental regulations. 
  • We are in danger of disease from illegal immigrants who are being allowed into our country, and from Ebola that has been invited in.  Even the Center for Disease Control is now politically controlled. 
  • Immigrants get free health care, free education, and many other things at the working man's expense. 
  • The Middle East is completely out of control because our president pulled out of Iraq after the blood of our fighting men pushed back Islamists there, and where the civilian population was beginning to have the possibility of living in something other than a combat zone.  
  • Our president tells us repeatedly that there is no terrorist threat, yet beheadings are occurring right now, including here on United States soil.  Islamists in our own military have slaughtered other fighting men and the president calls it workplace violence. 
  • We are in grave danger of terrorist attacks and are largely unprotected as a result of liberal policies. 
These -- and many more -- are the legacy of the liberals, mostly in the Democrat Party.  The fact is that the Democrats wish to control more and more of us and spend more and more money -- with them in control.

I want your money

your freedom

Now, a simple choice:
  1. If you want more of this, then vote Democratic. 
  2. If you are tired of it, vote Republican or Tea Party -- even if you don't agree with everything a particular candidate says.  He is by far the better choice for the future and prosperity of our nation. 
Make it a point to go to the poles, whether raining, or snowing, or whether there are lines clear around the block. 

Let's get started toward fixing this mess. 

Vote right! 

Other reading:


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Serious Business of Liberty

This guy,

is putting us in grave danger.  He is out there ignoring explicit threats to our freedom on our own soil.  He tells us we are safe. 

We are not. 

There are MANY people out to get us.  They are both here in America and in other places in the world.  A significant number of them have U.S. passports or passports from other nations that have free access to the United States. 

Beheadings are not just a Middle East happening, they have reached to our own soil now. 

They are the radical Islamists and their stated goal is to fly their black flag over our White House.

They are actively recruiting people in our country to destroy our way of life here.  

...and what does our leader do?  Golfs.  Vacations.  Fund raises.  Ignores the reality of U.S. citizens already being killed.  Tells us that he has conquered terrorism. 

What is he waiting for?  This? 

Vote Republican and Tea Party in November.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Puzzled at a Harley Dealer

I recently traveled to western New York and visited Buffalo Harley-Davidson.  I know, I'm getting a reputation for being a Harley watcher.  What's my obsession, you ask?  I'll tell you that in a few seconds. 

Anyway, the Harley folks in Buffalo have a very nice building with tread plate and hardwood floors, and other attractive masculine decoration.  They have lots of bikes in stock, both new and used.
Overall view of showroom.

They also have a small display of twenty or so vintage bikes on display, mostly Harley, but some others as well.  That is the real reason why I went there.  I came in the front door, and headed for the old bikes.  Here is a smattering of what was there:
Old one with itty-bitty engine.

Topper scooter.

1970 Police Special.

That one toward the rear has a 0 cc engine.  It's a bicycle. 

1971 XLH.  Last of the 900 cc Sport.

Not much use for these in South Carolina, but Buffalo, yes.

1917 J Model.
A print.

I noticed that a salesman was helping someone else amongst the new motorcycles for the first twenty minutes or so I was there.  I snapped quite a few pictures of the old iron, then walked into the main part of the showroom. 

They had bikes ranging from around $5000 to the upper $20,000s.  I looked at several, examined the price tags, and generally loitered amongst the wares.  By that time, the salesman had retreated to an office and was talking with another employee. 

As I happened by the office door, he yelled out, asking me whether I needed any help.  I replied that I was just browsing.  Still, I was surprised because he didn't get up out of his chair or give me another look, absorbed in his conversation with the other fellow.

Now, people have said that I look like I might be the kind of guy who would ride a Harley, if anything.  How did this salesman know that I didn't have a wad of cash or a nice-size checking account? ...the wherewithal to leave the place riding one of his bikes? 

Wouldn't it be, at the least, expedient for him to have struck up a short conversation with me?  Perhaps he could ask if I ride.  That would be an easy ice breaker.  Or how about asking if I had considered riding a Harley, and whether he could help sort out the various models of bikes that were on the floor?  Maybe even step way out and ask whether he could get a piece of literature or some technical specs for me to take home to study and dream over. 

He did none of these things.  It wasn't as though the showroom was busy.  I was the only one there. 

How can the dealership stay open without some level of interest of its salesmen in making a sale? 

I have noticed this near home in South Carolina as well. Neither Power Sports of Greenville nor Foothills Motorsports in Piedmont have salesmen who get up from their chairs when a potential customer comes by.  Any time I have been interested in a bike, I have had to ask for their help.

Harley surely didn't make a sale in Buffalo that day.  Not to me, anyway.  They didn't even try.  I wonder how often they do -- and I wonder how often they could


Having left there puzzled, I ran across another Harley dealer not too many miles away.  This one had only one bike on display, and it wasn't for sale.

You can sit on it, but you can't buy it.

The store was in Niagara Falls Ontario, and sells only Harley-related merchandise like tee shirts, jackets, and souvenirs. 

Harley-Davidson, Niagara Falls Ontario.
Yet again, I went in to browse.  You never know what you might find.  The lone visible employee, a girl at the sales counter, stayed by the register, and didn't offer to help me find anything either.  That is probably more understandable than at the Buffalo store, this being more of a self-service-type place, and considering that it is off season at the Falls. 

I didn't buy anything there either. 


Or, maybe salesmen are not expected to sell these days.  If not, what good are they? 

What do you think?  Have you been on the verge of buying but couldn't get a salesman to give you a little help and take your money? 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Gloves Gone, but Not Forgotten...and a Replacement Pair

I noticed a couple of weeks ago that my favorite riding gloves were starting to go to pieces.  The perforated sections were tearing between the perforations.  Not good. 

So soon?  They still seem like they are my "new" gloves. 

The tears mean that they are probably not as protective as they ought to be in case of a fall. 

I bought that pair of Shift Carbine Motorcycle Gloves in 2008, based on a review by WebBikeWorld, that said they were a good value for gloves that were almost of race quality.  I paid about $88 for them, mail order. 
Fingers are not supposed to stick through.

They are comfortable and have given me good service over the years.  The loop half of the Velcro had become worn out a couple of years ago to the point where they would not stay closed, so I had some new Velcro sewn on by a local seamstress for about $20. 

It seems that Velcro does not last as long as it should.  Maybe it is counterfeit Velcro in the case of these gloves. 

I searched and searched for glove recommendations when I started looking for replacements of my old-faithful pair.  I ran across a sale at CycleGear online for the 2011 version of Alpinestars GP Plus Gloves.  Their original price was $189, but, because they are a few years old in style, they were advertised for $139.95 + local tax, and free shipping.  (I just looked, and they are now out of stock.  Sorry.  The newest version is likely just as good or better, but higher priced.) 

I carefully examined their sizing chart to make sure I sent for the right size.  You measure straight across your palm beneath the knuckles where your fingers meet your palm.  I settled on a size medium, and pressed the payment button.  (I thoroughly enjoy the research process up to that point, by the way, but not beyond.) 

After a few days waiting, the gloves arrived and I tried them on. 

They fit snugly across the hand and around the fingers, but since they are leather, they will break in and stretch a bit with use.  It does take a few extra seconds to get them on, being so tight.  They are quite comfortable, however.  The gauntlets cover my riding suit sleeves adequately, and there is a narrow strap with Velcro to secure the glove around your wrist to prevent its coming off.  Even though it has been hot, the gloves are comfortable and not oppressive. 

3rd and 4th fingers attached to one another

Alpinestars says there is dual density knuckle protection and finger sliders that offer superior impact and abrasion resistance.  The 3rd and 4th fingers are attached to one another to prevent the little finger from rolling (and breaking) if you are sliding on the outside of your hand.  They also say there is KEVLAR® in the lining.  The palms have little bumps that are supposed to allow for the palm to slide on the pavement instead of sticking.  Sticking instead of sliding can cause tumbling, and tumbling increases the probability of fractures.  There are stretch panels and perforations in the wrist area.  As might be expected, the fingers are pre-curved so you don't have to fight the gloves to grip the bars. 

So far, I like 'em. 

We'll see how long they last, and whether they remain comfortable over their life. 

Anybody have these gloves?  What do you think of them?