Archive for November, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving (humorous?)

Posted: November 26, 2015 in Editorial, My Life

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 4.13.18 PM.pngThanksgiving is a US holiday that makes little sense.  I think it celebrates the Pilgrims being able to survive in the New World with the help of Native Americans.  It’s just that a few generations later the “Pilgrims” were trying to kill off the Native American in nothing short of genocide.   It gets even more interesting when you consider the government herded Japanese Americans into internment camps during WWII and we are appalled at that now.  But, Native Americans remain on “reservations” today and we all just go oh well.  I could go on and on but that’s a different rant.

Here’s what I’m thankful for given the spirit of the holiday.

  • I’m thankful I have a new boss who isn’t crazy.  The old one was crazy and I’m getting him a gift certificate for psychiatric care this Christmas.  The gift that keeps giving.
  • I’m thankful my ex married a loser with a job.  She needs all the money she can get and since she’s too old to strip, well, every little bit is less I need to give her.
  • I’m thankful I know the warning sign of being bi-polar and have a New Years resolution pending that I will no longer date bi-polar women.  I know, it’s a big limiting factor but Unicorns might exist. (like dragons)
  • I’m thankful certain people have left my life voluntarily.  They needed to exit one way or another and sticking them in a box and mailing them to Syria is expensive.  Yes, I would cut air holes into the box, I’m not crazy.
  • I’m NOT thankful for Diet Coke, light beer, low fat ice cream, and gluten free anything because that stuff sucks and if it tasted as good as they claimed AND was good for you I’d weigh like 100 pounds, and I don’t.  Come on science, a man on the moon and I’m still overweight?  Where are my education tax dollars going????

That’s the list for 2015.  My apologies if you take Thanksgiving seriously, I don’t but I respect your right to be enraged at my attitude.

I’m THAT guy

Posted: November 20, 2015 in Editorial, Motorcycle, My Life

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Christmas is coming.  My childhood memories are of shopping in a small town, downtown, snow flying, bells ringing, people smiling.  Christmas Eve we opened one gift, had a great meal, and I always heard reindeer feet on the roof that night.  Christmas morning was gift opening, breakfast, and church.  Don’t get me wrong, we were pretty poor, I just didn’t FEEL poor.

I don’t like where many of us are heading today.  I’ve already gotten “Black Friday” sale notices, a week early!  And the name, “Black”, how about “Our CEO needs a new summer home Day”.  God forbid we don’t spend enough, heads will roll!  January layoffs to “tighten our corporate belts.”  The CEO is seldom laid off with only unemployment.  Folks, it’s not about the gifts.

You know what it’s supposed to be about, even if you aren’t Christian, you can celebrate if you want.  If I happen to wish you a Merry Christmas it’s because I wish you well.  Wish me whatever you want in return, my head won’t explode.  I’ll just say thank you and take it in the spirit it was intended.

I will be buying gifts this year.  They will be to show appreciation to the people I love for their care and attention they showed me this year.  I will try to give each gift a lot of thought, I will buy from a small business whenever possible.

I hope you feel some holiday joy this year.  Turn off the TV, call a friend for lunch, and remember what happy was.

Withdrawal symptoms

Posted: November 20, 2015 in Editorial, Motorcycle, My Life

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I taught my last MSF class of the year last month.  They were breaking in a new guy this month so I sat the class out.  That means no teaching until February.  I really like teaching, we had some challenging classes this year but most passed and are hopefully riding now and tomorrow.

It’s also getting cold and wet.  I draw the line at 45 degrees, below that I’m afraid the tires won’t hook up.  So, it looks like the season is coming to an end.  I never store my bike, I usually get a passable day every couple weeks.

Here’s hoping your season is just starting!

edbb84fd9cd6cc6906b08c17cb5730e5The daughter of a good friend recently had a crash.  She’s a relatively new rider, 5 years experience maybe, rides a lot, and is very into the sport.  She was out on her almost-new Yamaha FJ-09 or something and a car changed lanes without warning and clipped her bike.  I’m guessing she was doing maybe 50mph.  Fortunately, she a ATGATT girl and was wearing good and expensive protection.  The damage was a badly bruised hip, shoulder injury, and a concussion.  Yes, even with a Shoei full face helmet a concussion.  I mention this because I ran across a picture of a fairly famous young builder “surfing” on a bike, on a public road and I added a comment that he must have forgotten Indian Larry.  Another reader wrote in and said if Larry would have been wearing a helmet he’d be alive.  Folks, a helmet CAN save your life but it’s no guarantee it WILL save your life.  Some crashes are so forceful the helmet can’t save you.  I wear one and recommend everyone wear one.  BUT don’t be an idiot and say, “the helmet will save me.”

As for my friends daughter, she’s recovering.  I find head injuries very scary, her memory is still effected and they hope its due to the pain killers and how recent the injury was.  My last crash involved a period of unconsciousness and memory loss.  My helmet saved my life, it did the best it could, an Arai.  Unfortunately, for me an evaluation is impossible because I was never right in the head and there’s no reliable baseline! ha ha.  Plus, any scars are an improvement as I’m pretty ugly too.

Kids, wear your gear but don’t expect miracles.  Without it you are for sure dead, with it you have a chance, but not a guarantee!

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“Men Ride Out” is a riding event exclusively for men. The event is held annually at the “Dragon”, during October.  The event celebrates the “energy” men feel when riding together and they share the brotherhood of the road.

It was no surprise this year’s event drew only a small number of males riders.  According to the Motorcycle Industry Council 94.5% of Harley 883’s bought in the last 6 weeks were bought by women or a household that contained a woman.  Women riders are the fastest growing segment of motorcyclists easily beating out Pacific Islanders and Native Americans for the coveted spot.  Projections show that women will make up 100% of the riding population by 2085 with the last male rider expected to roll his last wheel in 2084.  Male riders are rapidly declining as a percent of the riding population.

“Men have a rich history in motorcycling but manufactures fail to market to males.” said Ed Ellsworth a pastry chef from Paducah, KY.  It’s true the shrinking seat heights and bright colors are unappealing to men.  “Bobby over there is 6’6” and it looks like he’s riding a big wheel.  I looked for months to find a black riding jacket and the best I could do was a women’s XXXXL in maroon, with fringe.”

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A man in his proper place!

The rise in women riders can be attributed to a backlash to the 1928 “Women’s Safety Act” banning women from owning or riding motorcycles.  Repealed in 1973, many women still found it difficult buy motorcycles and many dealers in the South refused to sell them to them stating “safety” reasons.  It’s wasn’t until the mid-1980’s when a female business owner started importing scooters that women were able to take to two wheels.  Since then women have taken to the sport in record numbers dominating the once male activity.

The bright spot for the male bikers came when a Handivan arrived containing some of the last living males bikers from the boom period.  “If it weren’t for these guy to fire up their wheel chairs and jump in the van from Harrisburg we’d have no roles models here at all.”  Most of the men have been unable to get training as all MSF classes are “Women Only” now with men strictly ban.  The Ol’ Timers shared tip with the youngster and it was heartwarming to see many realize their bikes had electric start and not have to bump start them.  “We just want to be accepted as riders and not just men, sure there are guys with turbo charged Busa’s carving canyons but that’s not us.  We just want to enjoy the ride.”  Even the name of the famous road they were riding is changing.  “The Dragon” will soon be officially known as “The Pony”, a more gender neutral name that is less offensive to women.  “I’ve heard men helped build this road and many have ridden it in the past, its History not Hate” said one of the men.  The ride was originally held on the Blue Ridge Parkway but when the name changed to the Pink Ridge Parkway they migrated to the Dragon.  Both time and space are running out for the men.

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Men’s attempt at “fitting in”

Unfortunately, the riding weekend ended on a sour note as a group of female riders arrived to taunt the men.  “Get a Corvette” and “I’ll bet your wife is proud” were just some of the sexists slurs hurled at the men.  The women left in a smoky burnout before trouble could break out.  Many were driven to their knees as the thick black cloud enveloped the group.

But even as the sun seems to be setting on the male biker there are rumors of a male Russian riding around the world going “pole to pole”.  It’s unclear if he’s in Poland to going North Pole to South Pole, either way the men hope he’ll be an inspiration to other men that such trips are possible.  Only time will tell.


The Gear Hick