Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Ride To Uncertainty

"The rider is not sure what drives most people.  Too many find comfort in controlling all things that surround them, and they appear most pleased when they can predict the seconds, hours and days ahead.  There is always a plan...it's all about the plan.  Without the plan, and the illusion of control,  they find themselves lost and crippled by uncertainty.  They can't define themselves beyond the plan.  He watches them carefully lay out a blueprint;  oblivious to the static that he has decoded into a clear perspective of what it really is to be alive.

They surround themselves with buffers and virtual airbags, and seem to painstakingly remove every element that has brought them into being.  They control the temperature, the pace, the air, the direction, the wind, the water and the radiation of the sun...all of which has nourished them into existence.  They have forgotten.

Time?  It is the enemy in the eyes of the great plan makers.  Time always a worthy adversary that needs to be defeated in order to move into the next phase of the plan.  Time can never be defeated, and it is that very nemesis that will be the undoing of the controllers...in the end time wins without fail.  They can't clearly see that no matter the outcome of any plan, it is eventually decimated and crushed by time; the ultimate destroyer wielding the sword of decay.

The rider witnessed fantasies and dreams come to reality for himself, as well as to a multitude of others, but he had never seen a single one of them come into view solely as a result of a plan.  There has always been other elements equally important at hand.  Risk, passion and a nod of approval from a lady that has never been seen, yet all acknowledge her hand in all matters.

Risks are to be taken, for without risk there is no reward.  A rider knows risk well, as well as reward.  The rider knows where he is going, even if there is no plan ahead.  He knows where he is, even when lost.  The elements that have brought life to him are embraced at the moment, as well as the next.  Time really doesn't exist when he is defying a plan.  It is simply about now, and now, and now.  He is aware of the wind, the rain, the fire and rather than to try and control those elements, he holds them close with respect.  The rider wants to feel everything because he is keenly aware it may be the last sense he will ever experience.  The rider knows that in the end all things will equal out and that the only difference between himself and the others is the road, the lessons and the scenery along the way.

Regret is not of concern, because he is always at peace with the chaos;  the same chaos that destroys so many.  The riders ability to confront chaos, and suckle it, is what forges confidence and gives him the ability to overcome the obstacles that lye on the asphalt of life.  The rider takes his time for he knows that he can always attain more wealth, more respect, more fame...but that the most precious of things, the now, can never be regained.  It has been spent and never to be earned again;  The rider will never bow to anyone who attempts to waste, or squander away this gift he posseses.  He would rather fade away un-recognized or kick that offender to the curb, rather than have it stripped from his grasp; having an intimate knowledge of this treasure gives him far more compassion, loyalty and respect for others who he would meet on all crossroads.  It is his clear advantage, as well as his hidden Ace.

In the end, the rider controls what he knows he can control and respectfully concedes to those forces he cannot.  In the end, he is thankful he was lost for he gained vast experiences, and insight, that could not be seen from the line walked by so many.  In the end he cherished every hardship as deeply as every victory.

In the end, the rider smirked as he gazed upon the controller, for they were in the exactly the same place, on the same road, at the same dead end. 

The controller had nothing to control any longer and all that he had worked for was gone...and he missed all he had attained...and for what.  All he had to remember was the struggle, and the material bullshit, and could not remember the journey.  Time truly had played him; giving the planner the illusion that he was in control.

The rider simply embraced the now.  He had made time his ally. Whatever came down the road he handled with care and ferocity.  The rider was never really disappointed because he was free to waiver from the walking line and still had everything he had ever loved still with him in vivid recollection...even at the dead end.  He missed nothing, for it was all with him.  He had no regrets, not because he didn't care, but because he lived his way, with the acceptance there was no guarantees.

In the end, the rider was content and balanced; now...isn't that really the whole damned master plan?"

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Downside to Changing Your Own Tires

Comin' at yah' from Mount. V.D.!  I have been trying to get these DynaBeads to screw with me but they just won't.  I have rode them out in 26 degree temps and they still balance the tires perfectly.  My bike has always had a slight shimmy at 1 ton or more, but that's not a problem now.  110 mph and the tires feel solid and there is more vibration coming from the 96 than the tires.  I am pretty damned happy with the D-Beads no doubt.

I think last time I posted, I mentioned a little something to keep you from dumping your bike, in the event you have decided to mount your own rubber.  Here it is.

Tramp has duel rotors on the front end.  I love the stopping power of this bike.  The brakes have always been exceptional, if you know how to use them right.  I have never had a bike that could stop like this StreetGlide can.  As a matter of fact, I was riding home two weeks ago and there was a kid walking up the hill on the right side.  As I passed the kid, his two dogs ran from the left side of the road to greet him...a path that just happened to intersect mine.  I had no time to pitch out of the way and had to do the "panic brake" deal.  The forks bottomed out, the rear slightly chattered, but I stopped just in time.  The kid said he was sorry and thanked me for not taking out his dogs.  Don't know why I told you all that...oh yeah, I know why...PRACTICE YOUR PANIC BRAKING OFTEN FOR CRAP SAKES!  Your brain will revert to whatever you have trained it to do in these situations.  Train it well.

However, there are some panic braking situations that you just might not be ready for...like, loss of fluid...where there are no brakes...and here is where the joke starts.

As I was tellin' you all, I changed my front tire.  It was a tedious task but I managed to get it done.  I developed a C-clamp deal to help me break the bead.  (I'll video the whole thing next time I change a tire.)  In the whole process of getting the tire off the rim, I forgot that I had two rotors.  One on the left and one on the right.   I was taking great care not to bend the rotor I could see.  My ass forgot about the damned rotor on the other side.  After getting done with the tire irons, the cursing and the tedious tapping of the D-Beads into the valve stem, I carefully put the tire back on the forks.  I did everything tits and torqued to the recommended specs.  I checked the brakes and primed the calipers.  Everything was ready to go.  I had to be to work the next day at 6 in the AM.

Now, I live on a very steep mountain.  A dirt road leads up to the 20 foot concrete driveway, then there is another 30 or 40 feet of dirt down lower, and then there is a drop off that is almost 6 feet straight down.  After that its just a steep ride down through the trees and bush crap.  I'm gonna' guess at least 30 degree angle the whole way.  The concrete up into the garage might be slightly steeper.

Everyday, I get on the glide.  I put her is neutral and turn her over.  I check the brake lever and back out down the concrete while I have the front brakes slightly applied.  On wet days the front tire will slip slightly as I back out.  Scary as hell, but never had a real problem.  I have managed to get really good at riding Tramp backwards until I'm able to steer her downhill in the right direction.

5 AM rolled around and I was really excited to ride in the 32 degree frost.  I wanted to see how the DynaBeads and this Metzler 880 was going to do out on the roadway.  It was slightly raining as well.  I hopped on Tramp, did everything I normally do, and started out down the driveway backwards.  I went to gently grab the front brake and got nothing.  My head went strobe light red.  "What the fuck is going on here!"  By this time I'm moving backwards at a decent speed.  I tried again and nothing but a limp dick lever was in my grip.  I realized I was halfway down the slab at this point.  I thought maybe feathering the clutch would slow her down but I had the bike in neutral.  Then it hit me, "Oh sheeeeeaaaat!  That drop off is coming up soon.  Better do something quick.  I hit the dirt road and managed to keep her up.  I had about two seconds to figure out what to do...and going for the rear brake was going to throw everything off balance....screw it...I have to go for the rear or this bike is going to land right on top of me and that will be the end of old V.D..  Just as I had predicted, when I raised my right leg to go for the rear brake pedal, the bike bars turned slightly and that was it...game friggin' over man.

The bike slapped hard on the right side and unceremoniously ejected my ass.  I landed on my back, but managed to tuck just in time so that my melon didn't get slammed into the dirt.  I watched the bike almost flip over...then slowly roll back onto the right side.  "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuccccccckkkk!  Son of a bitch!  What the fuck happened!"  I think neighbors for miles around could hear it.  heh...

Full of adrenaline, I picked the bike back up...and I was furious.  My right side mirror was broken and the bars slightly bent.  The crash bar was bent, along with the mounts, and the right bag was ripped off and road rashed.  After a few minutes of cussing,  tending to a slashed finger and putting the bag back on, I figured it was still road worthy.  The brake took several pulls to seat the calipers in place, but they seemed to be solid.  I figured that I had not seated them fully the night before.  "What a jackass." I thought to myself.

As I headed down the hill, the front brakes failed again.  I used the rear until I reached level ground.  After a few minutes I found the front brakes would work if I pumped them a couple of times.  I rode to work like this, and back home.  (I made it to work on time too, no shit..."I'm the man!")

When I got home, I realized what the problem was.  I had bent the left rotor slightly while I was fighting that tire.  The bent rotor would push the brakes pads apart with each rotation.  As long as I was applying pressure to the brake lever, after priming the calipers a couple of times, it would hold the floating rotors straight.  As soon as I completely let off the lever, and a full rotation had completed, the warped rotor would push the brake calipers apart again.  pffftttttt......

I managed to get the the bag mounts and crash bar mounts corrected, as well as the crash bar bent back into shape with the help of an oxy-torch.  I spent an hour spinning the front tire, and with the help of a rubber hammer, I managed to get the rotor 99% trued again.  That mirror....pffffttttt, gonna' be awhile.

Tramp is running great again however!  She's not as pretty on the outside, but golden on the inside.  I'm going to create a jig to change tires with so that this does not happen again...live and learn, right?

I'll keep ya'll updated on that project as well.  Peace!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dyna Beads Trials

It's been pretty damned cold around here.  A foot of snow fell the other night and I almost froze my ass off riding the 20 miles to work at 5am.  I don't mind the cold so much, but it's the ice on the roadways that give me the real chills.  It's going to be a challenge to get through this winter.  Thankfully I'm in the process of rebuilding a 94 XLT Polaris to keep me happy when I can't ride the glide. 

Enough whining...So,  Doug on "40 Years on Two Wheels" had a post a long time ago regarding these things called "Dyna Beads".  I have been aching to try these things out, but for some reason or other never got around to it until...just now bitches!

Here is the gist of the D-Beads:  Dyna Beads are tiny ceramic beads that are placed into your tires via the valve stem.  They are designed to replace the ugly ass pinch weights used to balance your tire.  As the tire starts to spin, the centrifugal force causes the beads to evenly distribute around the tire.  Heavy spots in the tire, that would cause an in-balance, cause the beads to gravitate to that spot until the tire is perfectly balanced.  Check out this spiff for a visual of my blathering:  "How D-Beads Work"

In my quest to attain 100% wrenching capabilities, I decided that I would save some road dime by changing my tires on my own.  Was it easy...hell no!  Not at first anyway.  Once you figure a few tricks out, it's pretty straight forward.  I'll go through the process in a later post.  (I'll also give you a huge pointer that will help keep you from dumping your bike afterwards....like I did.  heh, that will come in a later post also...but I think you'll get a good chuckle out of it.)

Once I had the tires mounted, and the tire beads seated with the correct tires pressure, I removed the valve stem.  The Dyna Beads are poured from a small bottle that has a vinyl tubing.  You attach the tubing to the valve stem, then pour the beads from the bottle into the tube. This is a time consuming process.  I found that taking a screwdriver handle and tapping the valve stem gently, kinda' in a rapid jerk-off motion, really helped the beads move along.  For my tires they recommended 2 ounces.  It cost me less than ten bucks for the whole setup. 

Now for the results after running a couple of weeks on D-Beads; F'in outstanding!!!  My bike has never rode this smooth.  The ride is glass smooth...I'm not even shitting here.  GLASS SMOOTH.  It is recommended that you fill your tires with nitrogen, but not required.  I guess there is a change of the beads possibly sticking together in freezing weather.  Nitrogen also is suppose to keep constant psi because it will not expand or contract due to altitude and/or temperature changes.  I didn't use the nitrogen and have been riding in 32 degree weather for a week or so.  I have experienced no problems with the dyna beads as of yet.

The D-Beads are ROCK STARS in my book.  Seriously.  I'll never use anything else as far as I can tell at this point.  I can have my tires shipped to my doorstep with some dynabeads and change my rubber my own damned self!  Hell yeah!  Save money.  No ugly ass weights on my sweet ass rims.  Easier cleaning because now I don't have to work around that lead.  I don't have to worry about the weights falling off on a run...like they have so many times before, which equates to downtime and expense in the shop.  The tires will always wear evenly and always will be in perfect balance.

Now...they claim you can get up to 80% better tire wear and mileage?  Oh, someone hand me a smash rag!  Whoooooooooooooooo!  Ok...I'm testing that now.  We will get to the bottom of this one too.  I recorded the mileage on the odometer.  I can squeeze 10k from a rear, and almost 20k from a front stock Dunlop 402.  Let's see if the D-Beads will deliver on this claim....I'll let you know in 10k...possibly much later than that.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Next Chapters - My Word

Wholly shit!  It's been awhile, and I guess I've done the exact thing that pisses me off most about people...I disappeared.

I took down all of my old posts for two reasons.  One reason being that I was so broke ass that I couldn't keep the domain server that had all my snaps and videos on it.  I lost everything...pffftt...whatever.  So a lot of the old posts were no longer any good because the links were all jacked.  The second reason is that I felt I needed to start over for some reason.  I have a new chapter starting in the book of life and want to move on with certain things.  I will probably resurrect old stories from time to time just for the hell of it, or, when I'm too lazy to write anything.

Here is the short version of where I have been;  I left my business in the hands of my partner.  After the 2008 economic downturn, I just could not bring the business back up.  I was getting mighty sore working 16 hour days and not being able to pay myself.  Bec has pretty much kept us afloat for awhile.  Being somewhat a humble, but proud hombre' I held onto it as long as I could, but then came to the realization that it was not fair to Bec to keep it running.  I was looking for a way out.

My mother fell and broke here shoulder in several places and after surgery and rehab bounced back.  Then she fell and broke her neck...something called the "hangman's break".  It's a miracle that she is still alive, let alone a greater gift that she is not paralyzed from the neck down.  On top of it, she just fell again and broke a couple of ribs.  My father is getting up there in years and I have promised both of them that I would never put them in a old folks home.  I promised that I would take care of them.  I needed to find a way back home.

Salinas was kinda' a shit-hole honestly.  I was getting tired of constantly having to deal with dick headed gang members and crazy folks on a daily basis...especially when the laws of CA prohibited me from even being able to defend myself reasonably.  I can't count how many times I had to "lay hands upon" in my Salinas run.  (Besides...getting too old for that shit anymore.)  Kids were getting shot and/or killed weekly.  The educational system in CA was ranked 48 in the nation.  WTF?  I needed to get the kids someplace else...one down, two to go.

Bec and I decided to sell everything that we possibly could.  We basically only took our mattress, a desk and a few other things we could not part with.  The TV, the stereo, the microwave, cd's, movies, furniture....pretty much everything got sold so we could afford to move to Utah. 

No.  I didn't part with the bike...even though I maybe should have, but Bec never asked me to sell it.  I was almost about to put it up for sale but things worked out so I could keep it.  Thank you Bec...you kept your word.

We had a long, expensive legal battle with the step sons father so that we could make the move.  It was the biggest waste of time I have ever experienced in my lifetime.  It's amazing how straight up dumbass some folks can be.  In the end, we were ALLOWED to move just as we expected.  I could have solved this old school with a good sit down convo coupled with common sense...but it appeared that the other party just didn't possess any of that.  What a fucking waste of time and money.  The result was the same.  Should have gone old school and just whooped some ass.   Even though we prevailed, I still feel like I got ass-fucked somehow.

BUT...Now I live is a place that is so awesome I need to kick myself in the ass sometime just to make sure I'm not dreaming.  I live in a cabin up in Wasatch Mountains.  Every night I sit on the deck and watch Deer in the front yard.  Elk, Moose, Cougars, as well as a bunch of other critters are my neighbors.  I can fish in over a dozen lakes...the furthest a 15 minute ride away.  I can target shoot in the back yard without a SWAT teams magically appearing out of nowhere.  I can bow hunt with my brother, or chop down a few dead trees for winter heat.  I'm so happy right now I don't know what to do with myself....AND TO TOP IT ALL OFF!....I live is some of the best motorcycle riding territory in the country.

Bec has already moved up as a manager for a couple of restaurants in Zermatt/Homestead Resorts.  I have a full time job now, that oddly enough, only requires 8 hours of work!  Can you believe that crap?  The real bonus is I can actually cash the checks I get now...pfffttt....still have a drawer full of old checks that I will never be able to cash.  Heh, whatever...that shit is history now.  Any of my brothers and sisters who have already hooked up with me are welcome anytime.  Bec gets a bitchin' discount on rooms.

I hope the business I built stays there and is successful.  I still own my part of it, but I just couldn't stay long enough to see it through.  I feel like I did everything I could, and then some, so there is no regret whatsoever.  I did what I said I was going to do.  I was honorable and honest.  I worked hard and sacrificed.  I kept my promise to everyone.  I fulfilled my obligations...at that is what this life is really about now isn't.  Even though at times, I thought I might be a dumbass for hanging in there, I realize it really wasn't about success...it really was about keeping your word.

I'm keeping my word to my folks now, and that just feels damn right.  I'll be close enough to see them through the tough roads ahead.  I'm keeping my word to my wife to do my best always for her.  I'm keeping my word to myself to find my way back home...no matter how far I may have traveled, or how lost I may have been at times.  I'm keeping my word to my road brothers and sisters by continuing to share my road experiences and by trying to be there for them when they need it.  It may have seemed selfish to some...but I absolutely needed to keep my word to myself here also.  Hope you understand.

I just wanted to humbly thank my soul brother WillyD by saying;  "Thank you brother for always being there.  Thank you for helping me out when I needed it most.  Thank you for taking the time to show me how to fix my ride in a pinch.  Most of all, thank you for being my friend and brother.  I deeply appreciate all you have done for me and the time we spent tearing up black top together.  I do miss you bro.  We are going to do it again soon...you have my word."

Brothers and sisters...keep your word.  It's all you have at the end of the day.  I know this without a doubt...even if it's long overdue, or seems pointless at times,  just keep your word.  That is truly where bad-ass is found.