With fall comes some cooler riding weather even down here in florida, and with the hordes of kiddies busy munching away on their halloween goodies...it's time to ride!!! whether it be to the local bike nite, customer appreciation event, ill planned adventure,or the long planned vacation. be prepared for cooler riding especially after the sun begins to set. pack a sweater, jacket,and some gloves to keep somewhat warm on a chill ride . its always better to go prepared for the worst. like i've always been told, it's better to have and not need than to need and not have! so be safe and enjoy some quality rides this fall. Keep the shiny side up folks!
. and if you need to update some of your well worn gear visit our online store.
Hey everyone - This is Michelle here! As the seasons change, so does our personal riding schedule and based on your local riding terrain - that can mean coming into or coming out of weather conditions that present challenges while traveling on 2 wheels (or three even!) . Here in Florida, we are just coming to the end of "Rainy Season". For us, that means safer riding weather and more motorcycles out and about on the roads here. Vroom Vroom!
Today, I want to talk to you about the importance of knowing (and more importantly) respecting your own personal limitations when riding. We hear all the time, well known motorcycle phrases like "Dress for the Slide...Not the Ride", " Loud Pipes Save Lives" and my all time fav. "It's about the Ride not the Destination". As riders, we're taught (or learn the hard way) to ride defensively - being sure to be mindful of every movement around us and prepare for unexpected lane shifts or quick stops from the cars & trucks nearby.
But rarely have I come across an article or post related to trusting your own self, recognizing limiting riding conditions and slowing down, or dare I say it...Even pulling over and getting off the road for a minute. I know some of you might be thinking at this very moment - I don't have to worry about that - I'm an experienced rider!
I also consider myself a safe and experienced rider, but this is not about experience so much as it is about accepting that no matter how much experience you have, your body just might not be able to handle the riding challenges that are ahead and it just might be time to stop.
So this Happened...
A couple of weeks ago, Dave and I rode to Myrtle Beach's Fall Bike Rally. It was our very first long distance ride and we planned accordingly by mapping out our route, planning to take the scenic route, checking weather forecasts, etc.
We thought we had it all covered and honestly could not have planned for Hurricane Michael's arrival. The storm moved in (and intensified) so quickly that the Florida Pan Handle barely had enough time to prepare. On a side note, my thoughts and prayers are with those folks. Now, we were obviously not traveling through the Panhandle when the storm hit, but we were traveling along Florida's East Coast when it was in the Gulf. We spent all day dodging rain drops and navigating through 47 mph winds, as well as sideways rain that was impossible to see through.
We stopped a lot along the way, making our what would have been an easy breezy 6 hour trip turn into 12 grueling hours. The decision to finally accept our limitations and pull over to stop while the rain bands came through came after I skid into an intersection into oncoming traffic. Fortunately, I was able to stop the bike (while looking into the whites of the oncoming drivers eyes)and did not dump. It shook me up enough however and led me on a 12 hour evaluation of my riding decisions!
I feel lucky for the lesson
So, of course I've been telling everybody that will listen to me, about my experience. Most riders change the subject quickly. Maybe they don't want to think about it. I've had a few make (joking around) comments like "You just gotta ride through that!". When I shared my story with our new mechanic Jeff, he said "Well I used to be like that, but not anymore since my accident".
He then went on to tell a story about a rainy ride with friends. He was riding along the North Carolina Mountains and it began to rain hard. While most of the people who were riding with him, pulled off the road to wait for the storm to stop, he and another rider decided to push through it.
With mountain on one side and a steep drop off on the other, off he went all the while thinking I've got this. Mother Nature had another plan altogether, though. you see the rain had washed away a large mud bank into the road, and as he turned the next blind curve he drove right into it. Taking him and his bike into the mud slide. Eventually his bike caught ground and flipped up over him, breaking his Jaw and causing many other injuries.
It's just not worth it folks...
My 12 hour thinking session, helped me to come up with some tips to use when it comes to knowing our limits, accepting them and doing the right thing for safety
Signs that You May Have Reached Your Riding Limit & What You Can Do About It:
All are Welcome!
This is Dan - and his sweet ride:
So I begin to peek under the tarp and as I'm snooping (yep - ZX600 in there!) Dan comes out and we pull the tarp all the way off - it was the great unveiling! I'm not gonna lie here - the bike was in dire need of more than just a carb rebuild and as Dan is telling me his story....from 3 years ago to now. His not willing to give up on it and his determination to get her back on the road...After hauling it 1500 miles, from yankee-ville (just made that up...it means new England!) to his new home in FL, I decided to help him bring his dream to fruition and made arrangements to come back with a trailer and get started!
(Below are some before pictures from Dan - to help you get a better understanding of my starting point)
- The bike had been put together (by someone other than Dan btw), with a mish mash of odd parts - coming from various different models.
- The Carbs did in fact require rebuilding of....
- Many critical parts were also missing.
- There were some wiring problems (no directionals/tail light)
- The brake fluid looked more like mud than brake fluid.
- It needed a new chain and sprockets.
I was excited to get started!
Finally came the day where I was able to get the bike running! I knew that Dan hadn't heard the bike run (nicely) since he purchased it and even though I was still waiting on some integral parts - I thought it would be apropriate to give him a small teaser for what was to come really soon!
Here is the video footage of the test start up!
I have to say...Dan has a smile on his face for the rest of the day
It wasn't too long after that, when his bike was fully put together and on the road!
Happy riding Dan! It sure was an adventure...
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