Posts Tagged ‘motorcycle touring’

Going for a spin!

A few weekends ago the wife and I took a motorcycle ride to Shenandoah Speedway racetrack.  A friend of mine was participating in a “drift” event.  For the few of you out there that might not know about drifting it is the sport of sliding your car sideways through a turn as fast as you can.  Quite exciting to watch a lot harder to do, unless you have plenty of practice and a car set up to do it properly.  My buddy has both the skills and the car.

The ride to the racetrack was great.  Bright blue skies with a few big puffy white clouds. The temp was not too hot or too cool making the ride with “ATGATT” comfortable. We left Front Royal going south on SR 340 in the spring green Shenandoah Valley.  With little traffic it was no time at all before we passed Luray Caverns. The Caverns are a very popular tourist destination and today their parking lot was full of hundreds of cars and lots of buses.

Just a short distance past Luray Caverns is “Cooter’s”!  For those of us of a certain age that remember the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard, Cooter’s is a museum of sorts celebrating the show.  The man who played Cooter, Ben Jones, is from the area and had collected a lot of memorabilia from the show which is on display including some of the cars with a General Lee replica out front.  By the way Cooter is also multi-term US Congressman.

My wife had never been to Cooter’s, so we pulled into its packed parking lot.  This day they had a Blue Grass and Folk music band playing, something they do on a regular basis.  We wondered around the facility for a bit with Rocky Top and Country Roads dancing in our ears.  The stop was a nice diversion back to our teen years.

Back on our steady stead we continued south on SR 340 until we reached the racetrack.  I knew we were close when I could see the plumes of white smoke and the smell of burning rubber in the air, drifting is very hard on tires.

It was not long before my wife was buckled in the race car and out on the track.  She was only able to get two laps in before they blew up the right rear tire.  Yet, those few laps were enough to give her an ear-to-ear smile.  She talked about it for many days later.

As the day got longer it was time to head to the house.  A 100+ mile motorcycle ride and a new experience for my wife made this a great day.


Ride on, Ride safe

Be aware that this motorcycle recall list is for the United States for the last 30 days, there is no way I could cover the entire world. But in the world of global manufacturing, if a motorcycle is being recalled in one country there is a good chance it is under recall in others.

Also, this should not be considered a definitive list, check for yourself if you have any questions.

If you are US based use the NHTSA website http://www.safercar.gov. Enter your VIN number to see if your motorcycle is affected by the recall.

If you are based outside the USA, use the appropriate website to locate recalls that may impact you.

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NHTSA Campaign Number: 22V325000

Manufacturer Beta USA

Components SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC

Summary Beta USA (Beta) is recalling certain 2022 350 RR-S, 390 RR-S, 430 RR-S, and 500 RR-S motorcycles. An incorrect front brake hose was installed during production.

Remedy Beta will replace the front brake hose, free of charge. Owner notification letters were mailed May 24 2022. Owners may contact Beta customer service at 1-805-226-4035. Beta’s number for this recall is R-2022-1.

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NHTSA Campaign Number: 22T006000

Manufacturer Continental Tire the Americas, LLC

Components TIRES

Summary Continental Tire the Americas, LLC. (Continental Tire) is recalling certain TKC80, ContiGo!, K62, and LB Continental Motorcycle tires. Please refer to the recall report for specific tire information. Cracks longer than 3/16 inch may develop in the tread grooves. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 119, “New Pneumatic Tires-Other Than Passenger Cars.”

Remedy Continental Tire will notify owners and replace the affected tires, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed June 6, 2022. Owners may contact Continental customer service at 1-888-799-2168.

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NHTSA Campaign Number: 22E036000

Manufacturer Performance Machine, Inc.

Components EQUIPMENT

Summary Performance Machine, Inc. (Performance Machine) is recalling certain Burly Brand Dominator and Jail Bar motorcycle handlebars in 10inch, 12inch, and 14inch heights. Please see the recall report for the full list of affected part numbers. The handlebars may be improperly welded, which can cause them to crack and separate from the motorcycle.

Remedy No remedy has been established at this time. The manufacturer has not yet provided a schedule for recall notification. Owners may contact Performance Machine customer service at 1-714-523-3000.

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On May 7th, 2022, women across the world will be riding their motorcycles for the 16th annual International Female Ride Day!  For 16 years the IFRD has “shined a spotlight on women riders and females in the motorsports arena!”

Nearly 20% of riders are women and that number has been growing over the years and I do not expect that growth to end anytime soon. Coming out of the pandemic more people and especially women are feeling empowered to do the things that they really want.

The goals of the event are:

  • Highlight the number of women who ride.
  • Encourage other women to take up the activity
  • Raise awareness about women’s equality in motorsports
  • Celebrate women’s advancement in motorsports and powersports
  • Ride for accelerated gender parity.

Are you going to participate?  If so, submit your photos to the IFRD photo gallery for a chance to participate in the photo challenge sweepstakes.  And while there are no prizes here, you could post to the comments section to show us what you were doing!


Ride on, Ride safe

We were able to sneak out for about 2-hour motorcycle ride this past weekend.  Still a lot going on in life/work, so I am just happy to get out on the motorcycle.

Motorcycling around Front Royal, VA and the surrounding area is a lot of fun.  More than a few nice places as destinations and more than a few good country roads to ride.

We even got up on Skyline Drive for a short ride. The leaves have not yet reappeared on the trees, so the views were spectacular!

The curiosity of the day was the “Audi” Can Am Spyder.  The reality was the guy was not happy with the big, black, empty area on the front of his trike and put the Audi badge there.  It was a neat conversation starter.
Ride on, Ride safe

My wife mentioned that this is Women’s History month and that I should post something, just not photos of her. LOL

I went back into my vintage photo folder to look for those “old school photos of women and motorcycles. Women have been riding motorcycles from the start and these photos prove that women JustWant2ride.

Ride On, Ride Safe

What has happened to Easyriders magazine?

In the lead up to Christmas 2021 when, at a local bookstore, I noticed the latest issue of Easyriders magazine.  But that magazine did not look at all correct, it did not have a hot bike and girl on the cover.

In fact, glancing through it at the newsstand, it did not have “really” have any hot bikes and no nude or scantly clothed women.

The new Easyriders magazine looked more like coffee table style magazine then anything else.  All this raised my curiosity to find out just what happed to the old school motorcycle magazine.

Death of Easyriders Magazine

The original Easyriders magazine was a champion of the counterculture, on the road biker symbolized in movies like “Easyrider”.  But, as we all know, the printed word is in decline due to the evolution of digital media.  From my point of view, magazines have been the hardest hit with many, to many, motorcycle magazines failing to survive the transition. 

Easyriders magazine started in the early 1970s and always showcased the best motorcycles from across America along with the aforementioned scantily clad women.  Later Easyriders would host and run events, rallies (or as they called them rodeos), and motorcycle shows.

From what I can gather, that Easyrider magazine closed its doors and auctioned off what was left in 2018.

So, What Happened Next?

It appears that a Canadian clothing company called StrongHold now owns the name and trademark of the old company.  If you go to the new Easyriders website you can purchase $16 shaving kits, $30 t-shirts, $25 boxers, and $60 hoodies.

The magazine, as noted above, is now more “up-scale” targeted to a very different audience then the original Easyriders. On their website they state that this is an “Elevation of an Iconic Brand”, that it is more then a magazine it is a lifestyle.

I purchased the second issue and I enjoyed it quite a bit.  Short stories and great pictures laid out in a modern format; the magazine looks nothing like the classic version.

Rodeos and events

Easyriders did support three events 2021 but the long running, over 30 years, rodeo in Chillicothe, OH will not be back in 2022 but not due to the pandemic.

The town, fairgrounds and county will not allow the Easyriders event to return because, during the 2021 event, there was, very nearly, a “gang” battle. 

According to reports an undercover cop stopped the unnamed biker gangs from starting a shootout when he spotted “his” gang putting guns together and getting ready to move against their rivals. The gangs were not identified.

Easyriders is dead, long live Easyriders.

I am sure many purest will not like the new Easyriders but, at least it is still around.  I don’t have any issue with the new direction while at the same time, I am kind of missing the old magazine. Things change and in this new age, at least we still have a motorcycle magazine on the news stand.

Ride On, Ride Safe

(If I did not get anything right, please let me know!)

I though I would try my hand at video recording my travels.  This ride I wanted to “shoot the gap”, the southern gap of Skyline Drive.

There are two places along Skyline Drive where you can ride your motorcycle under the parkway, after going up a twisty mountain road and of course back down the other side.  I had never ridden the southern gap so now was the time.

As you can see in the video it was a wonderful day to ride a motorcycle.  Setting out from my home in Front Royal with a clear, bright, blue sky and a cool but comfortable temperature just made for a perfect journey.  Low traffic in the Shenandoah Valley provided little impedance, except for the deer and her three fawns.  I had to stop and let them cross, woe is me riding in the country. 

So why 150 in 9?  This was a 3-hour ride, but my batteries died after 2 ½ hours.  NO ONE wants to watch a 150-minute ride with no commentary, I have not figured that one out yet, so I set it to fast forward and got the whole thing down to 9 minutes.

Hope you enjoy.

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Ride on, Ride Safe

Not a long motorcycle ride, about 120 miles, takes us from Front Royal, VA to Lost River State Park, WV and back home.  As we pull from the driveway it is an unusually cool summer morning but bright and sunny. The weather app stated that there was zero chance of rain with highs in the upper 70s, a great day for taking the motorcycle out.

By LOST I mean we rode through Lost, WV, along the Lost River and visited the Lost River State Park. So, we had a LOST motorcycle ride!

Similar to the ride I made a few post back “Motorcycle Ride to No Where In Particular” we headed out Route 55 towards Strasburg.  This time we stated on Route 55 with the motorcycle pointed to the West Virginia boarder. Soon we were out of Strasburg and the Shenandoah Valley and climbing into the mountains.  I love riding my motorcycles on mountain roads!

Route 55 took us through the small town of Wardensville, WV.  On an earlier motorcycle ride we rode through Wardensville, years ago.  I remember stopping at the Kac-Ka-Pon restaurant for what I recall was a good “down home” meal.  We did not stop this time as it was only about 10AM and we had breakfast before leaving the home.

Just a bit past Wardensville we stopped the sign for Lost River State Park.  Turns out neither Debbie nor I had been to this park, so a left turn onto State Route 259 gets the motorcycle pointed in the correct direction.

Route 259 runs in a small valley between two ridge lines. Wonderful views and a smooth road made this for a nice ride.  It is moments like this where I just can’t grasp why more people do not ride motorcycles!  The clean air, wonderful weather wow.

The Park itself was very clean and beautiful. Lost River State Park is nearly 4000 acres for those looking for a secluded get away and hiking. After a quick snack and getting a new scented candle, it was time to mount up.

Quick Note….. The Park is mostly hillside, make sure you park your motorcycle in a way that will allow for an easy get away. I did not and it was a bit of struggle to get it off the kickstand and underway (no I did not drop the bike LOL).

The return trip was just as much fun as getting to the park.  We rode the motorcycle along Wolf Gap Road, Stoney Creek Road and Fort Valley Road among others. This loop had plenty of opportunities to get lost, but we made it home.

All in all, it was a wonderful day for a lost motorcycle ride.

Ride on, Ride safe

White Sands New Mexico

Five years ago, I didn’t own, ride, or predict seeing my future self on a motorcycle.  Not that I didn’t like motorcycles, they were just not on my life’s blipping radar.  I was a cruise agent with six grandkids, a brick-and-mortar home and, well, I did have a nice little convertible.  Transport yourself to the future ‘now’ and you see me riding 5-6 hours a day, many days in a row…and on a sidecar no less.  I rode it on the Tail of the Dragon, Twisted Sisters, Talimena Scenic Drive and so many other ‘famous’ road.  I’m full timing it in an RV working and riding.  Icing on the cake – I’m making a living at it.  How the heck did I get here!

  • Step one:  Your spouse suggests you guys buy a bike and take motorcycle lessons.
  • Step two:  Two-upping isn’t enough, you get your own ride.
  • Step three:  Life sneaks up and kicks your ass – you decide how to respond.

I didn’t take naturally to riding a motorcycle.  I failed my first class.  I went out and bought a bike anyway and practiced in a parking lot for months before I could get up the nerve to take the class again.  I passed with a perfect score.  About a year into riding, I was in a motorcycle accident (mechanical failure), the bike totaled.  Broke my kneecap and nose and was in physical therapy for 9 months.  What did I do while I was laid up?  I bought a new bike and helmet. 

On a cross-country road trip, I dropped my bike at a corner with my weak knee.  It took me an hour to feel like I could get back on the bike, but I found I had messed up the gear shifts.  My spouse and I two-upped it the rest of the trip.  On this trip I decided two things – riding a motorcycle wasn’t for me, not riding wasn’t an option either.

Mounting up for another day of riding!

Idea!  How about a sidecar.  A new journey of resistance, not on my part but for every inch I tried to step forward, something or someone was shoving me a foot back.  The first sidecar builder I found botched the job – the wheel fell off at 60mph going down the interstate.  The wheel well kept it from flying off and I was able to pull over.  At least 10 other things went wrong in this journey until I found the sidecar builder who helped me change my life (to him I will forever be in debt). Thanks Texas Sidecar Company!

I have put over 20,000 miles on my sidecar in less than two years.  And like this whole path, I continued to forge forward following my new passion.  My spouse and I started RVing so we could ride new places.  I had written a couple of articles for Ride Texas Magazine.  The editor found out and mentioned it might make a good story.  Like everything else, I took it to the next level.  I now write a series called Direction Wide Open on our RVing and motorcycling experiences for Ride Texas Magazine which will culminate in the first ever RV-Motorcycle Rally in the U.S end of September 2022 – hosted by ‘Me’.

I looked for new ways to share my excitement about riding and RVing and found several more magazines who would have me.  I submitted a short motorcycle story to Continue the Ride which is a series of rider stories that showcase the diversity and shared passions in motorcycling.  My story was in the first round picked up and the only one with the unique combination of RVing and motorcycling full-time around the United States.  A few months later Progressive reached out to me to present my experiences at the national Progressive IMS Motorcycle Shows across the U.S.  As an introvert, I now find myself center stage at six major cities presenting on RVing and motorcycling five times per weekend.

RV’ing at Iron Mountain

How did I get here?  Well, I don’t think I was planning on a shift from being a work from home cruise agent grandma to a RVing, sidecar toting, riding, grandma writer and speaker.  But here I am.  This has been the best ride ever!

We have been moving from our former home in Leesburg to a new “temporary” home in Front Royal, VA.  The reason, I thought we were at the top of a sellers’ market and wanted to cash in before it faded.

So now being in Front Royal it is time to get out and discover new roads on my motorcycle.  We live about 3 miles from the northern terminus of Skyline Drive Parkway but that was not my destination this time.  I wanted to try something new.

Leaving my new neighborhood on a cool, for a dramatic change, morning I turned west and headed to Strasburg on State Route 55. The morning light dappled through the tree cover creating a crazy show of shadows and light. It was a quite and very uneventful ride to Strasburg.

The road into Strasburg proper is a mess right now, I don’t know what they are trying to do but watch yourself on the uneven and rough road up to the traffic light at the intersection of 55 and 11.

Strasburg seems to be a pretty cool town with a brewery, antiques and art boutiques mixed in with the normal main street business. Murals seem to adorn, what was, every blank wall giving the town a renaissance feel. I had hoped to find a diner for some breakfast, but I did not, which given everything else on Main Street seemed odd.

Taking State Route 11 out of town I was now headed down the Shenandoah Valley.  Passing though the small towns of Toms’ Brook, Maurertown, Woodstock (not that Woodstock), and Edinburg.  I admired the views from the valley, mountains rising from both the left and right framed the valley and the small towns in a way you can’t get from inside a car.

When I reached Mount Jackson I decided to turn around and head back the way I had come.  There were other ways to make it back to Front Royal but there were places I wanted to stop and take photos.  For my first motorcycle foray into Shenandoah region, I was quite happy.  I look forward to more local trips in and round Front Royal.

An older Skyline Drive motorcycle ride post – 2015