Thursday, May 27, 2010

WWII Weekend

June 4, 5 & 6th will mark the 20th Annual "World War II Weekend" hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum at the Reading, Pennsylvania airport. While not a motorcycle event per se, it's near excellent riding areas and would be a great destination for anyone looking for an excuse to ride if we need much of an excuse! I've attended this event the last 2 years and can't praise it  enough. What an awesome show!  Click over to see pics of some of the weekend's activities and hardware that will be on display (and in some case, being operated). Being an ex-Air Force fighter aircraft crew chief, I'm partial to the ol' warbirds, but just about any other type of WWII military hardware you'd want to see, both Allied and Axis, flying and grounded, will be there. These pics were taken in 2008.  Many WWII motorcycles were present, mostly sidecar rigs, and chiefly BMWs or clones, all more heavily armed than my Kawasaki ZR-7S (oh, to have a machine gun for commuting!). I'm the doofus kneeling by the Zundapp, BTW.  If you go, plan to either arrive early to park closer to the entrance, or plan to hoof it a good distance.  But no fear: shuttle buses are provided, as well as a small motorcycle-only lot (bring a sidestand dish). Water and protection from the sun are well advised as well.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lawn EMS Breakfast Ride-In

Tomorrow begins the 2010 Lawn, Pennsylvania EMS "Third Sunday" breakfast ride-in season.  "Lawn" has become one of my favorite ride-to-eat events, both for the quality of the roads in the area and for the well-organized, tasty event.  It's become known as the "mini-Ephrata". Frankly, the Ephrata "First Sunday" event could take some cues from the Lawn EMS folks (and I say that as a member of the Ephrata event's host American Legion post).  Read my prior posts for specifics on the Lawn event: Lawn EMS Third Sunday Ride-In; Lawn Fire Company Motorcycle Breakfasts for 2008; and Lawn PA Third Sunday Motorcycle Breakfast.  Click on "Ephrata" under Post Topics at right for info on that event.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Scottish Games & Gathering of the Clans

OK, this isn't a motorcycle event per se, but the annual Scottish Games and Gathering of the Clans being held at the Fair Hill, Maryland horse racing facility tomorrow, Saturday May 15th is a unique event that would be an excellent excuse (as if you needed one) to take a ride. I've attended this event a handful of times and have always had a great time.  The caber toss and sheaf toss are incredible!  There will be sheep dog demonstrations, marching band competitions and bagpipes galore, not to mention more red-haired folks in one place than you're likely to see anywhere outside of Scotland itself. There will also be food and Scottish-product vendors, plus plenty of McEwan's strong ale,  so go extra-easy if you're on two wheels OK?  See ya there!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Retreads Mid-Atlantic Rally Kicks Off

Tomorrow I plan to attend Day One of the annual rally hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Retreads International motorcycle club. The rally is HQ'd in Bird-In-Hand, Pennsylvania in the heart of Amish country. If you're not familiar with Retreads, we're an AMA-chartered club that's been around since 1970.  Retreads is a non-profit, socially oriented organization of some 5,000+ members around the world, all of whom share two things:  an age of 40 plus, and a love of motorcycling.  This rally usually brings around 500 attendees, primarily from Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, but was also have regular attendees from as far away as Maine and Canada.  There will be many well-organized group rides, self-guided tours, poker runs, vendors, prizes and food, food, food!  The rally runs from May 13th thru the 15th.  More info on the rally and Mid-Atlantic Retreads is here; clicky here for general Retreads info.  I've been a member for 9 years and would be happy to answer any questions about Retreads -- feel free to contact me thru the email link in my profile.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Why Didn't You Ride to Work Today?

Sure, motorcycle commuting is challenging; that's in part what makes it rewarding.  A few motorcyclists ride to work every day without fail no matter what Nature and life throws at them; some don't even own a car.  They're my heroes.  But as for the rest of us, I think we can all benefit from the sage advice of Andy Goldfine (founder of RiderWearHouse/Aero Design & Mfg. Co.) as to how to deal with some of motorcycle commuting's common hurdles.

Top Eleven Reasons Not to Ride to Work Addressed


Riding to work and for transportation is not as simple as using a car or public transit. Seek experienced commuting or transportation riders for lessons, information and mentoring. You’ll find commute-savvy riders by networking at local motorcycle groups, shops and clubs.


Studies show that net motorcycle commuting times are the same as, or slightly faster than commuting by car. So even with the extra steps of dressing in riding gear, you’ll be ahead. To prove it, motorcycle every day for two weeks. The first week will be practice to establish riding routines. Time each trip during the second week and average them. Then drive for a week and average those times. Compare the two averages.


This is common. Work with your employer or with a nearby property owner to arrange a suitable place. Ideally, it should be secure from theft and tampering, shaded, and convenient to your work area. Offer (or be willing) to pay for a good place. Leave a cover or lock permanently stationed at your spot. A locker or plastic bin can be secured to a fence or wall to contain both items, or store other gear.


Kids, groceries, shopping... you can use packs, courier bags, saddlebags, tank bags, bungees, and racks to carry a surprising amount. Most school age children can be readily transported by bike, but you’ll need to carry their gear (helmet/jacket/gloves) for them. Children of all ages are routine bike and scooter passengers in many countries outside of the USA. If you’ve been buying a month of groceries with your car, change to buying a week’s worth on your bike.


Keep a sport coat, suit, uniform or changes of work-suitable clothing at work. Or pack a change of work clothing along in a courier bag or duffel. Or wear a coverall-type riding suit.


Explain how riding energizes and leaves one more alert. Regular motorcycle commuting improves concentration, risk management skills and overall health. You can also provide documentation from motorcycling advocacy sources like The Daily Rider about the broader societal values, too. Use creative methods like sending a plant with an environmental pro-riding note. Follow up a few weeks later with a box of candies and another note about parking advantages. Send a fruit basket with a third note about health benefits a month later, and so on.


Get a more comfortable motorcycle. Lots of people do daily 100+ mile commutes on touring bikes. Lots of people do one mile commutes on small scooters.


Weatherproof radios, helmet speakers, or ear-speaker systems are all available, as are various functional cup holders and hands-fee phone brackets. Look for these (and more) in motorcycle magazine advertisements and from accessory catalogs or at shops.


Wash your face and hands upon arriving at work. Wear protective clothing when riding. Change clothing as needed.


Damn straight it is. But if you can drive to work for years without an accident, you can learn to do it just as safely on a motorcycle. Ride paranoid and keep your riding skills sharp and you should never have a problem. Without an automobile capsule, you’ll need to be visible and wear protective gear.


Get over it. And get a rain suit.

By Andy Goldfine, ©2004 Aero Design & Mfg. Co. Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Garmin Zumo $100 Rebate!

Thru July 4th buyers of a Garmin Zumo motorcycle GPS qualify for a $100 rebate. Click here for info.