Friday, March 6, 2015

Motorcycle First Thursday–March 2015

Empty Parking Lot at Dulonos

Last night was Motorcycle First Thursday in Minneapolis. It was the first one I have been able to attend this year. January was on the 1st, and the business was closed. In February, I was on the beach in Mexico. It was also the first time I chose to drive rather than ride to this event.

I believe I am strong enough to ride the Ural now, but I didn’t want to. I was coming from work and then going to a play afterwards; I didn’t want to deal with the winter layers of motorcycle gear. Two days ago it was –16F; in two days they predict 50F. I need to get moving to get the two-wheelers ready for this phenomenon they call “spring”.

I had a nice time last night despite not riding. No one else rode either. I met up with my friend Paul and we chatted for a while. The lift I traded him is working out well in his shop.

As we usual, the talk centered around bikes that we wanted to buy, maintenance that needed to be done, trips to take, places to ride, etc. It was fun conversation.

There is a DL650 sidecar on craigslist that we discussed; I am tempted to buy it. I feel it might be time to sell the Ural and try a different sidecar for a while. I’m also half curious about getting a slightly better touring bike; perhaps something with some wind protection. Maybe something like a Goldwing, but that doesn’t weigh so much.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Motorcycle Garage Organization

Harbor Freight Motorcycle Dolly

Over the last year, I have been working to reduce the amount of stuff I have. One of the ways I do that is to look at things I have not been using. This sounds easy, but seems hard for some reason. It feels easy to ignore things. The old “out of sight out of mind” line seems appropriate. I have five bikes in the garage and now two cars. Moving vehicles around can be a bit tricky!

The motorcycle high jack shown below is one of those things I bought and thought I would get a lot of use out of. I’ve had it for a couple years now, and I think I only managed to use it twice. I’ve been moving it out of the way for entirely too long now, so it was time to get rid of it.

Harbor Freight High Motorcycle Jack

While talking with my friend Paul, he told me about some motorcycle dollies he just bought from harbor freight that didn’t work in his workshop. I proposed a trade and he agreed: he got my lift and I got two of the dollies. I’ve been wanting one of these since I saw one in use at Troubadour’s house.

Harbor Freight Motorcycle Dolly

I put one under the WR250R right away and it was much easier to get it moved around the garage. It also let me put two bikes very close together. Why didn’t I buy one of these sooner? I need to assemble the other one then I can put it into use right away. I’m very happy with the trade. We both got something useful. Thanks!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Video: Sunrise in Playa del Carmen Mexico

Here is a quick time-lapse video of one of the sunrises I enjoyed while I was in Mexico. I rode a motorcycle while I was there too, so hopefully I will get that content processed and posted soon as well. Enjoy!

Video: Time-lapse Sunrise: Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Monday, February 2, 2015

Motorcycle Parking and Tabs

Parking

I switched jobs a few months ago, so my motorcycle parking has been up in the air. It wasn’t an issue since I have only been able to drive to work. It seems things are finally working themselves out for the best!

I am hopefully to be able to ride to work soon, and the parking people finally found a place for me to park at my new ramp. It’s enclosed (no rain, wind, or snow) which is a major plus. It looks to be a double-wide parking stall in the back of the ramp. It took them a few months to get back to me because they forgot they had this spot. Apparently, no one had asked for motorcycle-only parking. The rest of the (very few) riders also are able to park their cars here, so I will likely have the space to myself. It will be interesting to see throughout the year.

I park my car about 1/2 mile away (0.8km) which is an enjoyable walk twice a day, but I think a bit too far to walk in full riding gear. I’m very happy to have this space.

I also picked up my new license tabs for the 2015 riding season this week. All of my motorcycles now have their parking stickers and license stickers for 2015. I’m excited to start using them (and the bikes!).

Monday, January 19, 2015

Winter Motorcycle Ride on My SV650

SV650 in the Snow

This winter has been a strange one. First it’s cold around –15F then 35F then back down to –10F and back up to 40F again. I’m not complaining. The warmer temps and lighter snow have been very pleasant. Last year’s winter was brutal compared to this year’s winter.

I took the SV650 out for a short ride since the temps were around 40F. I tried to get near some of the frozen lakes, but the parking lots near them were full of thick ice and hard pack snow. I don’t like riding on either of those two surfaces, so I found one that was only marginally covered.

I rode for about an hour. When I started, it was 40F, and by the time I finished it was only 32F. The temperature dropped in a hurry. I’m not sure when I’ll get to ride the SV again, so this was a nice treat.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve Ride on SV650

Riding SV650

This week has been unseasonably warm. Today, it was 37F! I was lucky enough to be able to take the SV650 out for a ride. It felt amazing to be back on two wheels. The visceral feeling as I rolled on the throttle. The exhilaration! It felt like flying very close to the ground. All my senses were awake and present. Wow, I missed this bike so much!

Riding SV650

I rode around for just over twenty miles. It flew by. I visited all the twisty roads near my house and several of the lakes. I’m amazed how nice it was to ride again. The roads were mostly dry and some of the grass is even starting to get green. I could get used to winters like this!

Riding SV650

I am still healing, so no Ural rides yet. The physical therapy is making progress returning my shoulder and chest back to normal fitness. I’m glad riding two wheels doesn’t require much upper body strength. Driving the car has been rather soul crushing. The SV is a smile machine. There has been a smile stuck on my face for the last several hours. Riding is good. This was just the xmas present I needed. Happy Holidays!

Riding SV650

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

RiderCoach Sign up and a Ural

This last weekend, I signed up in the RiderCoach sign up. All the coaches for the college I teach at meet once a year to pick which classes we are going to teach.

We line up by senority. Even after teaching for four years, I am still at the end. This year, there was finally one new coach behind me. We signed up to teach together next summer.

One of the other coaches also rides a Ural. He rode his to the signup. I snapped the picture above as he was pulling out of the parking lot. As I took it, I thought "so that's what I look like when I ride my ural."