Archive for the ‘Rally’ Category

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Overcast, light rain and thunderstorms, that was day one of the HOG Curves to Cores motorcycle rally. There were no guided rides and with those weather conditions I decided not to do any of the self-guided rides. Instead I did the poker run and apple hunt. I still had a lot of fun!

Day Two of the rally was sunny but not hot, perfect motorcycle ride weather! I had signed up for the “Acting Like a Good Ole Boy” guided ride.

z16This was a 127-mile, well crafted, ride across the Blue Ridge Mountains and down the Shenandoah Valley. Some SPECTATUCLAR scenic views and some cool riding. I was unable to get pictures from the motorcycle as my co-pilot and backseat photographer had to work

The mid-point of the motorcycle ride was a stop at “Cooter’s Garage and Dukes of Hazard Museum”. Those of us of a certain age will remember the Dukes fondly as it was a lot of fun to watch. Today it is “politically incorrect” but then it was fun.z17

When we pulled into Cooter’s Garage, we were only folks there but, before we left there was at least one other group of about 10 motorcycles and then the Can-Am Spyder section of the Women’s Mid-Atlantic Riding Tour pulled in the parking lot.

The last time I saw that many Spyders in one spot, my wife sent me to the store for a can of bug spray! (now that is comedy)

From Cooter’s Garage we rode to lunch and then back to home base in Winchester. The return trip was just as scenic.

Day Three was supposed to be a ride to Summit Point Raceway to ride our big Harley Davidsons on the track. I did not make this ride as I had an offer to test ride the new Zero electric motorcycle. Stand by for a post on that event.z13

Day Four of the rally and the weather, once again, was perfect for riding motorcycles. This day my wife was able to attend and we had chosen the “For Whom the Road Tolls” guided ride.

At 80 miles this ride followed the first toll road in what would become the United States, Snickersville Turnpike. This was another well run ride. I want to praise our road captian Peter for an outstanding job on a ride with lots of intersections and stop signs!z6

This ride was through some of the most rural parts of northern Virginia. Beautiful farms and landscapes abound though out the ride. We passed though multiple small towns founded in the mid-1700s, a lot of pre-United States and Civil War history was ridden through this day.

Day four was also the closing of the rally. Held at Groves Harley Davidson of Winchester they had several event prizes to give away, of course I did not win anything! Bummer.

All in all this was a great event, setup and executed very well. We are going to another HOG rally later this year, it will be hard pressed to outperform the Curves to Cores rally.

Ride On, Ride Safe

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I recently attended the Harley Owners Group (HOG) regional motorcycle rally. This year it was held in Winchester, VA.  Winchester is only an hour from my driveway there was no way I could miss this event.

The “Curves to Core” motorcycle rally organizers which put the event together really did a nice job. Why “Curves to Cores”?  I think the curves is self-explanatory, and the “Cores” is about a defining industry in the area.  This part of the Shenandoah Valley is a big apple growing area, providing a large part of the apples used in products across the North IMG_20190620_062955720America.

The organizers put a lot of work into making this event a success.  40+ motorcycle rides documented turn by turn AND with a memory stick full of GPS directions.  About half of this rides had an option for a guided tour version.  There were also scavenger hunts, poker runs and off bike events open to all attendees.

I chose 3 guided rides to participate in:

“Acting Like a Good Ole Boy”- A 130-mile ride crossing the Blue Ridge Mountains twice with a visit to “Cooter’s Garage and Duke’s of Hazzard Museum”.  If you are of a certain age you will remember the TV show following the daily troubles of Bo and Luke Duke.

“10 Turns of a Big Ole Yeee Haww” – A 90-mile loop ride with a stop at Summit Point Raceway. The highlight of this ride would be getting your Harley Davidson on the race track and letting it loose, so long as you did not run out of talent or floorboards (I have rubbed some of mine off and I had not been on a track).

“For Whom the Road Tolls” – A 80-mile ride on Snickersville Turnpike, the first toll road in America. Luckily it is no longer a toll road but it is a very, very quiet and scenic motorcycle ride though back country Virginia.

Unfortunately I was not able to do the track day ride.  I got an offer to test ride the Zero electric motorcycles.  Watch for a post about the Zeros in a future post.    IMG_20190619_102816460_HDR

I really enjoyed the other two rides and I will write about the rides in another post.

One of the day one activities was a scavenger hunt for large apples.  I called it apple picking.

We are currently scheduled to attend a second regional HOG rally in September, the “Hills and Hollows” rally in Johnstown City, TN.

Ride On, Ride Safe

 

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For those of you in the Washington DC metro  area the Timonium Motorcycle Show is an annual mid-winter event.  With most motorcycle manufactures represented and lots of motorcycle vendors and travel crews Timonium has been one of my favorites.

However there has been some rumbling about the 2019 show when the long time organizer for the event dropped out. But, fear not the event is still on as Jam On Productions jumped in to setup and run the show.  From all appearances the 2019 show will occur and look a lot like the previous years events.

So if you were concerned (or even knew about) the show for 2019 now you know.  I will be there walking around with the wife.  Just hope that it is above freezing while we are in line to get in LOL.

 

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Recently Debbie and I took a 570+ mile round trip to visit the headquarters of motorcycle aftermarket lighting manufacture Custom Dynamics.  If you are a regular to this blog you know that, after buying and installing several of their products, I am a fan of what they produce.

Every now and again I check the Custom Dynamics website to see what new products they are offering.  This time I discovered they have new light for the Harley Davidson Rushmore motorcycles, one that fits into the fairing air vent.  The LED Light Kit for HD Bat Wing Fairing is both a bright running light and turn indicator.

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Debbie talking with Karen

I was just getting to the point of hitting enter on the order button when the “light bulb” (bad pun #1) came on over my head.  I was hoping that I could get a couple blog posts while shining a light (pun #2) on Custom Dynamics.

I contacted Custom Dynamics via their twitter account (Erin) and asked if I could ride down to check out the facility, products and talk to them about the companies’ history and where they are going. After a bit of back and forth we received an invitation to visit.

Arriving at a non-descript building with no signage we were not sure we were in the ijustwant2rideright place at first.  We meet with our point of contact, Karen, who had us ride into warehouse so the technicians could start the work.

While they were working I had an enlightening (pun #3) conversation with both Karen and the techs.  Turns out they have expanded the warehouse, doubling its size, and were now filling the new space. I am not surprised, like I said earlier they make a good product.

Ijustwant2rideTalking with the techs I asked how many installs they do at the different rallies and events that they attend.  This year they have estimate that they have installed over 3000 items and the season is not over yet.

While they were installing the new vent lights they decided to toss in new turn signal lights.  Now I was very pleased with the “Ringz” light I installed a few years ago, but WOW the new “ProBeam” turn signal insert lights seem to be a magnitude brighter. It was at that point Dave, the owner of Custom Dynamics, stopped in.

Talking with Dave I got the impression that he would be a guy I would like to hang out with or have as a neighbor.  We had a good conversation and a good interview about where the company came from, and where it is going…. But you will have to check in for part 2 for the rest of the story.

Click to enlarge but even with that you cannot understand how bright they are!!

Check my post on the Custom Dynamics Tour Pack Flasher kit!

 

This year Debbie and I chose not to ride into the city to partake of the Rolling Thunder main event.  We had went for several years so there was no great interest in doing it again this year.  BUT I did attend a pre-Roling Thunder event and assisted our local HOG (Harley Owners Group) chapter with the marshalling of motorcycles for the police escorted ride from Frederick to the Pentagon. 

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Saturday was the pre-Rolling Thunder event at Washington Harley Davidson.  Not only is it a collection of vendors of all types (t-shirts, food, parts and accessories) it is the site of the official Harley Davidson Owners Group Pin Stop.  Harley Davidson Pin Stops are a half dozen or so events in which Harley Davidson gives out commemorative pins to the HOG members.  Each one is different for each event.  If you follow my FaceBook page each week I post one or two dealer or other pins and several of the pin stop pins are pictured.   

While this is only a SWAG I think there were more motorcycles at this year’s v. last year’s pin stop. The parking lots were mostly full when I arrived and, unlike last year, still full when I left.  The ride to the event was a Frederick Harley Davidson HOG club ride. 

STORM CHASER POWERS ACTIVATE!  About 15 bikes left that morning from

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STORM CHASER!

the dealership under misty, overcast conditions, within 15 minutes the mist turned to full rain and stayed on us for more than half of the ride.  Guess what!  On the ride back we left a partial cloudy site and again got wet, although for a much shorter frame. Some days, when I ride my motorcycle, I just seem to attract bad weather.  

Sunday morning I rolled out of my warm bed, shared by my wife, our dog and myself, and was out the door before 5:30AM.  The HOG chapter was assisting the Frederick Harley Davidson dealership with the staging and marshaling of motorcycle going to Rolling Thunder. 

ijustwant2ride.comThere are two groups of motorcycle riders who participate in Rolling Thunder.  Those that go to the Pentagon (the starting point for the parade) and those that do not go to the Pentagon.  That second group seems to always be nearly identical in size to those that go to the Pentagon.  This group typically rides into the city and then parks along the parade route to watch the motorcycle pass by. 

By ten minutes after 8:00AM all the bikes were out and on their way to the either the Pentagon or somewhere else.  There were just at 300 bikes assembled at the dealership.  Nearly every bike brand was represented, I saw Triumph, BMW, Indian, Victory, Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki, there may have been others but those are the ones I recall. 

It took just a bit over 5 minutes to get all those bikes on the road (see video below).  A short while later we have all the signs, coffee, doughnuts and other stuff gathered and put away.  The parking lot looked like nothing had ever happened.  365 days until the next Rolling Thunder.

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Debbie and I attended the 2017 British & European Classic Motorcycle Day held in Clarksburg, Md.  While this event has occurred for many years it was the first one we have could make. 

We did not make it to the motorcycle affair until mid-afternoon, shortly before the awards were presented.  I was very pleasantly surprised at the number of Harley Davidson in the parking lo many more then I would expected for a European bike show.  But, this is one of those events that if you love motorcycles you should make time to attend. 

I must say from the start that I have never seen so many vintage European motorcycles in one place!  There were bikes of all types on display.  From concours level restorations to choppers made from BSA or Triumph engines and frames.  There were even a few Frankenstein motorcycles like…a Ducati engine in BSA frame with a Honda CB front end.  

ijustwant2rideThere was a couple motorcycle there that I had not seen or heard of before as well. A 1937 single cylinder AJS and an old Douglass (don’t recall the year).  Both are vintage British bikes that I need to learn a little more about. 

We had a good time walking around the event, which was also a swap meet.  It was fun looking at the old motorcycles, pieces and parts.  People were traveling from as far as New York, Ohio and North Carolina to attend, at least by the licenses plates of the bikes in the parking lot and those in the show.  If you are every near this event, you should make the time to check it out.

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As like the previous years, Debbie and I attended the Timonium Motorcycle Show.  As always it was held at the Maryland State Fair grounds.  

We enjoyed walking around the facilities looking at the 2017 motorcycles from all

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Yes, that is a TV, why? Why not?

the big makers.  There was one in particular missing though and that was Victory.  With the news that Polaris was pulling the plug, now 17 months away, guess there is no real reason to be at the motorcycle show. 

But all the other usual suspects were on site.  Harley Davidson of Baltimore had the largest display of all the manufacturers, in terms of footprint it was not even close.  If I had to guess I would think that the Honda display would have been next largest in terms of bikes.  Pete’s Cycles had, what looked like, at least one of every Honda made.   

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Lois Pryce discussing her recent trip to Iran

One of the busiest sections was the motorcycle travel/adventure area of the show.  Lisa and Simone Thomas (2 Ride the World) and Lois Pryce were just a couple of the folks on hand to discuss their global adventures.  Other speakers were on had discussed travel techniques and opportunities guided and otherwise.  

Several regional motorcycle rallies (Ocean City Bike Week, Mountain Fest, and Thunder in the Valley for example) were on site to remind riders that there were many places to ride to that did not require anything more than a long weekend.  

And of course all the custom and vintage motorcycles your heart could desire.  Debbie and I really enjoyed looking at all the great bikes, from stock/restored bikes from the bygone years to mild customs to full blown, over the top motorcycles!   

As for the crowds, my guess is that in the nearly 5 hours we spent at the event the crowd was at least even with 2016.

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As I cruise around on my bike to events and cruise around the inter-webs on my keyboard I come across interesting motorcycle themed posters/prints.  Here are the nine 2016 winners from the 32 motorcycle posters that I “collected”.  Hope you like them as much as I did.

If you see some cool motorcycle posters while you are cruising about, send me a link and they might make next years list!  Not that the winners get any thing other then a mention here but HEY, that is only a little better then nothing.

BTW here is a link to the 2015 winners.

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The view of the show from up high

Debbie and I went to the Washington DC International Motorcycle Show on the 8th of January.  But before I tell you about the show I have to tell you about the adventure we had just getting to the show. 

On a Sunday morning, barring accidents, it can take about 45 minutes to get to the Washington DC convention center from our home by car.  The problem is that parking in DC is very bad on the very best day, so we elected to take the metro/subway instead.  That was a big mistake! 

First and foremost we forgot that system was undergoing major overalls on the rail lines.  Second the trains are less frequent on weekends and third it was 12F and windy.  Sooooo, we quickly learned that we should have just driven in by car.

 The long story short is that we changed trains 5 times had to leave the subway to take a bus for 3 stops and walked several blocks to wait in stations for the next train to arrive.  At one point I think we were within a mile of convention center but at 12F the remaining 30 minute train ride was a better deal.  All in all just over 2 hours after boarding the first train we arrived at the convention center where we then had to walk to blocks, in doors, to get to the exhibit center. 

Well once there we had a great time.  This here the show was a bit smaller than those of the past.  Honda and KTM were not present thus the number of makes were down by at least two.  Last time we were there on a Saturday so I do not know if the crowd was smaller but it felt well attended to me.   

We wondered around the exhibits looking at the new bikes, checked out the JP Cycle motorcycle show contestants (I should enter my Army bike) and talked with the representatives. I had a nice conversation with the CEO of Southeastern Virginia Indian out of Newport News about what he and Indian are doing.   

I also had a good conversation with the marketing director of Royal Enfield USA.  She knew about the DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio show and stated that if any of us got to Milwaukee we had an invitation to ride the new Royal Enfield Himalayan adventure bike.  It is not yet available in the US but of course the HQ of Royal Enfield has a few on hand! 

After about 2 hours we knew we had to pack it in, even if we were not ready because we had a 2 hour train/bus/walking trek ahead of us.  So we packed our swag and headed out. 2 hours later we were in our car warming up and head to the house. 

All in all this year’s IMS Washington DC event was worth the 4 hour travel!

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This year September 11th, in addition to being a national day of tragedy here in the US, it was also the day the 2016 Motorcycle Cannonball Run leg 2 began in York, PA.  York is only about 90 minutes from my home so it was a no brainer to go and check it out. 

For those of you unfamiliar with this the Cannonball Run it is a timed cross county event of 100 year or older vintage motorcycles.  So this year the run is with motorcycles built before 1917. Starting on

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Every motorcycle over 100 years old

the 10th of September The Cannonball Run is going from Atlantic City to San Diego. If you go to their website you can get a lot more detail, in case you are interested in running the next event in 2018.  

Phil, from the DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio show, and I arose early (3AM for him 4AM for me LOL) in order to be there before the motorcycles began departing. BOY am I glad we went to the event.  We got to see vintage bikes that you might only see in a museum, if ever.  For example, I saw two motorcycles that I had not seen in person before a Shaw and a JAP.   

By 10AM all the bikes that were going to make the start were on the road.  Attrition on this ride is high. In talking to some of the participates we learned that about 90 of these vintage motorcycles departed Atlantic City the day before but nearly 30 were unable to make the time hack in York.  That group included one bike that burned to a crisp shortly after the start.   

ijustwant2ride.comYou can also tell by the pictures below that there is a lot of maintenance that occurs.  One of the motorcycle mechanics said that they begin the preparations for the next day as soon as the bikes are cool enough to touch.  He also said that while the vintage motorcycles in the Cannonball Run might be easy to work on, there is not really that much in spare parts and a lot of creativity is required to keep them running.

It was a wonderful morning walking around looking at these 100+ year old vintage motorcycles and seeing what goes into them to keep them running.  I have a new respect for all those folks that participate in this event!