Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ride Report: Union Hotel, Port Deposit, Marylandf

Last Sunday I was invited to join three Americade friends to a ride-to-eat event at the Union Hotel and Tavern near the old Susquehanna River town of Port Deposit, Maryland.  The hotel dates to the late 18th century, and has been a weekend favorite of local motorcyclists for years.  I've ridden past the event many times but never stopped because it seemed too "biker" for my tastes.  However, though 98% of the bikes there on Sunday were cruisers, the crowd was mellow and the staff very friendly. The blues band was excellent (though louder than a set of open pipes) and the BBQ was top-notch. Alcohol was sold, but so was a variety of beverages for those of us who need every brain cell when riding. Looks like I've found another RTE to add to the ol' ride calendar; it would also make a nice early afternoon rest stop on the way home from strafing some of my favorite roads in the PA/MD Susquehanna areas.  Brunch is served beginning at noon Saturday and Sundays.

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tomfuelery at the pump.

Remember when diesel fuel pumps were always set apart from the gasoline pumps, and they always had green handles?  Well, those conventions are fading away, and the handles occasionally get switched around (sometimes intentionally, as a "joke") at pumps such as the one pictured above, which means motorcyclists need to pay a bit more attention when refueling.  My ritual is to always sight along the hose I'm intending to use to ensure it goes straight up and not across to the diesel side of the pump. Not that I would ever, ever make such a dumb mistake about 15 years ago with my '90 Yamaha Radian, but if you do, you're in for a very slow ride home and a bit of a hassle to set things right, or so I hear.

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Throw Back Thursday: The flightless bird who traveled around the world

One day in August, 2006 I took place in an around-the-world relay to benefit Riders For Health, involving an ostrich and a Pelican case to which each rider would add local trinkets. Our 3-rider team took the bird on a very hot, humid and occasionally rainy ~200 mile tour of Delaware before sending it off to Maryland. The bird eventually visited all 50 states before heading overseas, where he even survived a kidnapping for ransom in Indonesia. His whereabouts are currently unknown, but there are rumors of a possible second ATW tour. 
Taking the hand-off from the Pennsylvania lead rider.

Meeting a new friend who seems a bit less enthusiastic.

Meeting the Delaware state bird.
Meeting some strange old birds.
Found a lady friend along the way.

Handing-off to the Maryland rider near Chestertown, MD.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Motorcycle Photo

Include me in it!
Photo by "Rodon" from the ST.N forums.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Cool motorcycles: Ephrata ride-in July 2014

July's ride-in event in Ephrata, PA was its typical self: motorcycles of every type, from ADVers to race bikes to rat bikes to vintage to the bizarre.  Here's a tiny sampling of the thousand-odd bikes that grabbed my attention.(Click to enlarge.)

One doesn't often see this treatment applied to sportbikes.
Nice detail.
Keeping with the military theme.
I'm a sucker for any R90S.
Every CB400F I've ever seen was in pristine condition.
10 point penalty for the swastika at an American Legion event, but "interesting" nonetheless.
First Place, Most Tomahawks category.

Great '80s GP theme on a modern bike.
The "79" reference may be obvious to someone hipper than I.
Unidentified Furry Object?
Best scooter I've seen for maybe...ever.
I bet people try to put him down.
I hope the rider wears a long, oiled flight jacket.
There's a rumble in Brighton tonight.

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Monday, July 07, 2014

Ephrata Under Surveillance?

Snapped this pic of a quadcopter (please don't call it a drone; this Air Force vet recoils at this common misnomer; it's an unmanned aerial vehicle or a remotely piloted vehicle) at yesterday's ride-in at the Ephrata, Pennsylvania American Legion post, and today found some video online that it shot.  I can tell it was early in the day because there were 4-5 times as many motorcycles by the time I headed home. There was a RPV at Americade this year, too.  I think we'll soon find this to be very commonplace at large sporting events and other large gatherings. (To watch the video in larger format, click on "vimeo")

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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Product Review: Wolfman Bottle Holster

Below is a slightly edited version of the review I posted on of the Wolfman fuel/water bottle holster.

5 / 5
5 / 5
Adaptable mounting solution; top-notch quality
June 30, 2014
Customer avatar
From Newark
Rider Type:Road Warrior
Bang for the Buck 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Ease of Install 
5 / 5
5 / 5
5 / 5
5 / 5
5 / 5
5 / 5
5 / 5
5 / 5
Typical top-quality, well designed and durable (though pricey) Wolfman product. With a little ingenuity, one can mount this holster to almost any bike or other piece of luggage; it's not limited to mounting to other Wolfman products. For a 9-day trip a few weeks ago, I wanted an easily-accessible water bottle, and I wanted to save space in my side cases, so I mounted the Wolfman holster to my trusty old Ortlieb waterproof duffle bag that was strapped to the pillion seat. I simply looped the holster's upper and lower mounting straps around ROK straps that were securing the duffle bag. The holster carried a 21 oz. vacuum bottle; the typical bottles you find at outfitters like EMS -- be sure you get a loop top for any bottle you want to carry in the Wolfman holster. 
Yes, I recommend this product.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Americade 2014 parade

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Americade holds a parade through town on Saturday, the last day of the rally, each year.  This year's was smaller than others I recall, but it still brought out many unique motorcycles, and motorcyclists for that matter. (Clicking on the photo will start the video; it'll default to low def, so click the Auto button to increase resolution.)

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Americade 2014 report

Finally getting around to posting a few random scenes from Americade. I took a great two-day all-back road route to Lake George, NY, overnighting in Hancock, then spent six days at the rally followed by a (long, hot) one-day, 387 mile ride home (about 1/3 super slab). Except for one rainy evening, the rally was bone dry; the driest Americade in most folks' memories. I stayed at a small strip motel with a couple of dozen great folks, many of whom I've met at prior Americades, who've been gathering together at (pretty much taking over) this same motel for years. I'm a notorious "lone wolf" on the road, but I had some very enjoyable group rides with this bunch, and it made meals and general hanging out a lot more fun as well.
Route 9G over the mountains north of Lake George is always a good idea. 
Lake George from Prospect Mtn.
Americade hosts cruises on two paddlewheelers.
Looks like it IS easy being green.
Some of the diverse gang I hung and rode with.
Quechee Gorge, VT
The main drag in Lake George Village.
Lucky dog.
That'll do pig. That'll do.
Found, and annoyed, a fave vendor of mine at the trade show.
Same here.
As I did in 2011, I had a new faceshield and Pinlock installed by these folks while I waited.  Their shop is only 1.5 hours from home, but it's way more fun riding to Lake George to have it done.
This tire had 500-600 miles on it when this screw embedded itself in the only place that wouldn't be expensive. My luck does not usually run this good; should've bought lottery tickets that day. 
Primo parking space. The motel owner is cool like that; he doesn't ride but he LOVES riders.  Everyone hung lights in front of their rooms. Someone put Harley logo lights in front of mine.  No, they didn't leak oil, but I was worried.
We only had one real rain, but my friends came prepared.
Lake George.

A Paul Smart replica, or a Paul Smart replica replica?
Installing farkles purchased at the trade show was a popular down-time activity.
Downtown evening scene.  Ain't it great to see only bikes?
Free tire inspection by Dunlop engineers.
Ride to eat, eat to ride.
Haven't ID'd this old BMW clone yet. Chinese? Indian? 
The upper Hudson.
Traditional Americade Friday night fireworks; this year launched over the lake.
I always sniff out the railcar diners in my travels, this one in Bolton Landing, NY. My reference sources make it a '46 Worcester.
Morning pre-flight prep.

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