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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Bruce Rossmeyer's - a legend in Daytona

Ormand Beach, Florida at moonrise

Things have been a little hectic at Casa de Wilson.  Susan wants to keep things as normal as possible and I can understand why.

I've not gone riding in over a week, week and a half maybe.  The last long trip I took I knew I was low on air, and filled it up before the trip.  Then I rode to work and felt what could only be called a "wobble."  It may have been my imagination but no riding till I had the chance to look at it.  That finally came this weekend.  I was three pounds in pressure under the recommended air pressure.  I rode a bit afterward and guess wobble.  So it may have been my imagination but I still feel a new front tire is in my near future.

It's not that tacky.
Susan saw something about a Hawaiian shirt with Motorcycles on it.   I have a weakness for Hawaiian shirts, it's sort of "my brand" and started as a inside joke when I first moved to Florida.  I was told they were part of the dress code here and the rest they say is history.

So when the opportunity came to visit some of her family who had just moved into the Daytona Beach area, off we went.  Our destination was the famed Bruce Rossmeyer's Harley Davidson Dealership.

Frankly neither of us realized exactly how big this place really was.  It's a two story building with new and used bikes for sale.  Clothing and biker accessories, a tattoo parlor, a hotel, two restaurants and a cafe in the service bay.  I'm not forgetting the ice cream parlor, leather store, bike insurance kiosk, etc. In other words, if you're coming for Daytona Bike Week this is the destination.

The marketer in me has to admire their marketing strategy, and even though we did not pick up a Hawaiian shirt for myself (the cheapest was $60 and I'm a cheap bastard).  Harley does make some lovely bikes and I was impressed by more than a few.  I finally saw the 750 up close and I have to admit it's not that bad looking of a bike.

However I'm not wanting a bike because of the name.  If I did I would have bought the the BMW scooters when they first came out.   No, the next bike I buy will be well thought out and it maybe another Kymco honestly.

Harley is an American icon however, and Rossmeyer's is full of art, classic models and the history of bikes.  I actually wish I had a little more time, I would have loved to spent some more time wondering about and seeing what I could see.

Of course, by the end of that day I would have talked myself into something.  But we got away with a cute little shirt for my niece at a fair price.  I'm happy with that.

Yep, cows.  

Some of the Harley Davidson art work on Display

Only 14,513 miles on the Odometer, while it is a 51 Harley after all.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

in the blink of an eye

I'm not sure who said it, although it sounds like Douglas Adams.  "We are a small insignificant species living on a small insignificant rock orbiting a small insignificant sun in the back water of the universe."

There is also an old adage about living in the moment.  About living each day as if it was your last, About taking time to smell the roses, etc.

In the past week or so I've ridden Kimmy exactly once.  Part of this has been do to weather, part of it do to the fact that I wanted to check the pressure in the front tire since the last time I rode her their was a weird "wobble",  for lack of a better term, which seemed to affect the bike.  I made it home fine but concerned.  Due to some crazy things that have happened in my life, I've not done that.

"No riding," I promised the lovely Susan, "till I get that looked at."

In the past, Susan's had some health issues. Which, sadly, came to the forefront again.  This time however it feels different than her other health concerns.   She and I are talking about what the future holds, how to prepare for the worst possible news.  It's not a journey I've enjoyed or wanted to take.  At least not yet.

While there is hope at the end of the tunnel, it's going to be an uphill battle.  We both understand that.

The one year anniversary of my new position came and went without any celebration.  I've been part of three different projects during that year, and was just given the opportunity to be part of a fourth, an opportunity I had to turn down because I was unsure of what the future held.

All this reminded me of how old I was becoming.   How quickly things can the blink of an eye.

Riding home tonight I looked into the sunset, amazed at the blues and the greys.  A shade of pink so light it reminded me of a blush on a young girls cheek.  I thought about how we affect the lives of the people we love and cherish.  How each encounter can teach us something....change something. the blink of an eye.

For now at least this blog is going on hiatus.  Till we get a little more answers, a little more information.  Or, more likely than not, I get a bug up my ass to write again.  For now though...

Thank you for your understanding.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Growing popularity is not a good thing at times.

Nearly everyone I know that rides does so safely.  Helmets, gloves, jackets, boots, etc.  It just seems to go hand in hand.  Of course nearly everyone I know that rides has been doing so for years, and with that experience I'm sure they have gone down, scraped skin and broken a few bones.  You learn some things doing that.   Mostly it hurts and doing it again is stupid.

Scooters are popular here in Tampa, I see them everywhere in the city.  Now that one of the top pop acts in the world - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (whose video "Downtown" appears above) - is singing about the joys of scooter ownership.  I'm sure we are going to see a uptick in the machines around town.   

Which brings me to today's topic.   I had to deal with an accident yesterday.   I was not directly involved but I saw it happen.   I know why it happened.  Luckily the guy riding the Jonway scooter was not hurt nor was his little 50cc banged up badly.  I hate to say it...but in a way I was glad it happened, he was being an asshole.

He was riding in the bike lane avoiding traffic and that was fine.  Traffic was stop and go and at the time and he was zipping past everyone in the bike lane.   Then the bike lane ended.  No look over his shoulder, no turn signal, just over he came.  Traffic stopped, he continued to move forward on his little 50 cc.   I don't think he ever looked backed or used a signal.   Then he went to make a right turn.

The loose gravel on the side of the road bit him and I watched the rear tire slide out from under him in slow motion   He had no helmet, no jacket and was wearing shorts.   Luckily the car behind him stopped or it could have been worse.   Being a trained first responder, I pulled over and insisted on checking him out.  He was banged up and bruised, but otherwise fine.   I was tempted to admonish him for his riding and tell him to at least buy a helmet (which is not required in Florida).

I've seen stunting on the highways.  I've seen people cut in and out of traffic with out doing a shoulder check or use turn signals.  I've seen scooters with out working brake or head lights on them.  
If someone has read my blog for a bit they know how I feel about ATTGATT, how I feel about the little 50cc scooters that seem to be growing more in popularity.  Riding a scooter is a great thing of that there is no doubt.  

Lets be realistic however.  It's a deadly little thing if you don't take care, obey the laws and be smart about things.  It's a battle the rider is never going to win and frankly I've been wondering what I can do to promote safety and common sense.  I can join something like the American Motorcycle Association  but honestly there are stands they take that I disagree with (such as helmet laws - which I feel should be mandatory - and lane splitting).   

I've been guilty of that myself
Law enforcement could do a better job of enforcing the motor cycle and traffic laws that already exist but I know those guys are often overworked and stretched thin enough as it is.  I've toyed with the idea of taking a few more classes myself and  become an instructor. Following in the footsteps of  Princess Scooterpie.  However I ride a scooter, not a motorcycle and although the advanced riders classes would not hurt me in any way, I'm not ready or experienced enough to be a instructor.  Besides the classes only work if you attend the classes.  How many riders are being trained by a neighbor or a friend?

So I'm going to call out those I see behaving badly, give a friendly warning where I can.  I used to wonder why bikers always told horror stories of accidents and such.  I get it now, we are just trying to tell each other "Don't be stupid and do what I did."  

I think that's good stuff to pass on to the new riders.