Monday, January 11, 2010

Motorcycle Vlogging - Premier

Yes, I have now entered the wonderful world of motorcycle vlogging. Borrowing AtlasRider's method for taking videos while riding, this was an interesting experience. Placing my camera inside my helmet, just in front of my nose, almost no peripheral vision was compromised.

And so, with no further delay, my premier motorcycle vlog post.

Song is "Nina Straight" by Stasola; used here under A Creative Commons license. A better, larger format version can be downloaded here: If it is not there, well... There is only so much space available on my hosting account.

There are a few modifications that need to be made before much more video is shot. First and foremost, my helmet needs to be adjusted to allow for my camera. There is a small piece of plastic near my chin on my helmet that needs to be removed. It is only there to support the poofy soft padding, is not structural and is not necessary for the integrity of the helmet design.

Additionaly, the small piece of plastic causes the camera to look down slightly.

AND, I have a habbit. When a small battery goes bad, I do not throw it away. It is tossed in a saddle bag or drawer or pocket. Well, about 1/3 of the way to work my camera batteries give out. I pull over, get two batteries from my saddle bag, start the camera and take off. About 2/3 of the way to work, the same thing happened again!

The batteries just put in the camera must have been nearly dead in the first place! After a bit more digging, Fresh Duracells were locate and put in the camera. That's the stuff!

Another reason to ride, as if I NEED another one; to make videos. Wonder if this is something I could mention on a first date...

"I ride motorcycles, read science fiction, enjoy camping, love watching thunderstorms, oh..." voice lowered to a whisper, "I also vlog."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Christmas Ride, 2009.

For one reason or another, I did not post a word, a peep or a picture from my 2009 Christmas ride. My daughter and her boyfriend went to Sedona to be with his parents for the holidays. So, with the cookies and treats all baked and delivered, no Christmas meal to prepare, no hustle to make the place presentable to guests.

What should I do??? Hmmm... Free day, $10 for gas. I am going for a ride.

Pardon the quality of this video. I may be a computer professional and all, but this is the first time attempting to create a video while riding. Be sure to turn the audio down before watching. The wind noise can be a bit too much.

The video was taken while approaching the little "B" place marker below.

View Larger Map

My initial idea was to ride to the Hoover dam, snap a few pictures, check out the new bridge being built and ride into Arizona for a bit. NO luck. After passing through Boulder City, cars and trucks on their way over the dam were bumper to bumper. And, I was there as well, putting along. The heat from the engine after about 30 minutes of this clutch slipping headache told me it was time to stop, let my bike cool off and turn around.

Which I did.

The day was beautiful. There was no way a beautiful riding day like this should be wasted, so I turned south and rode through a tiny little mining town called Nelson, past several abandoned mines, past the infamous Techatticup Mine, on to the Colorado River.

Pictures coming up. Must sleep...

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

October, 2008

October, 2008. Colorado, interstate 36 eastbound, ten miles or so from the Kansas state line.

It was quiet. The air was clean, with a slight breeze from the West. Red winged blackbirds flitted and played in the light skies, pausing only a few moments to land in a fence row or on the ground.

Hundreds of miles of solitude on two wheels. There are times and places where the road and life become one. I'm good with that.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Breaking the Habit

The amount of time and attention spent on simple, online social interaction was a true surprise. Rather than the typical 45 minutes of work and 15 minutes of checking e-mail and Face Book and news groups and forums, these multiple 15 minute breaks were consolidated into one 30 minute lunchtime escape.

And, that is not all. Yesterday evening was spent making a slow barbecue chicken dish, brownies, spending time with my daughter and reading. There was no running upstairs to check e-mail or Face Book. It was quiet and productive and relaxing.

Regardless of the relaxing nature of last night, frustration did peek it's head into the living room. Money is at a negative level; this is honestly an interesting experimental week in thriftiness and minimalism. There is money for gas, and that's about it.

Then there is the desire to be out in the garage, wrenching on Vixen. It is chilly outside, dark when I get home after work and for me, that environment is simply not conducive to wrenching.

Perhaps that is a good thing; lessons in patience are always welcome. It will be warm in the evenings soon enough.

Then there is the post sinus drip, the nausea, the difficulty sleeping, the restlessness, the scratchy throat. But, this is a good thing. Details later.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Dr. Oz Wants Me to Have More Sex

That's right. In a recent article by Dr. Mehmet Oz, M.D., there are three suggested New Years resolutions for 2010. These are, in no particular order: get more sleep; never let yourself feel hungry; and have more sex.

Item number one? Check. For the past several months, effort has been extended to get seven to eight hours of pillow time. Honestly, I feel SO much better getting more sleep.

Item number two has never been an issue. MY issue is in the method of not feeling hungry. Instead of grabbing a bag of corn chips or licorice out of the vending machine at work, I need to keep fresh fruits and vegetables available. And, not the crappy ones, but the ones I like.

Now the tough one... more sex. According to the good doctor, "Sex is an indicator of many things, and if you aren't having it at least once (and ideally more) a week for 30 minutes, it could mean something is dangerously wrong."

Once a week, eh? If I factor in arrears, that's... well... I am at least 250 sessions behind. Ideally more? I am so screwed.

OOoo.... Please pardon the pun. Read the whole Dr. Oz article here.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Why One Needs GOOD Tools

Today was a wrenching day. The clutch has been dragging on my Harley Sportster, so out comes the manual and tools.
First things first. I prop my sporty up so that she is leaning slightly to the right and pop out the kickstand just in case she tips toward me. Once 500 pounds start coming down, a kickstand will stop it; my arm will not.

Following the service manual, I loosen the clutch cable adjustment.
And then start to remove the "derby cover" with a Torx socket. It happens. This socket has been used about six times to remove and torque this cover. Apparently today was the day to fail. Before complete malfunction, I was able to torque the bolt, so the cover is still secure.
It may not be terribly obvious here, but the Torx socket is quite chewed up and quite completely useless at this point.

After this little failure, readjusting the clutch cable, I see this.
Great, a nice little 3mm finish crater in the left front of the tank, likely due to a rock.

So, what do I do? continue wrenching on my VX800 project!

Friday, January 01, 2010

25,000 Miles in 2010

In the spirit of my 25,000 mile goal for 2010, here are my odometer readings. My first year of riding in 2008 netted a total of about 16,000 miles. 2009 came in at about 19,000. 25,000 miles in 2010 shouldn't be too tough.
26,969 on Vixen, my Suzuki VX800. Hopefully she will be running and operational by the end of 2010.

17,225 miles, all mine, on my Honda Rebel.
And, last, but certainly not least, 67,929 miles on Athena, my Harley Davidson XL1200C Sportster.