Tuesday, September 11, 2007

All Good Things...Are Good Things!

Well, since I'm back to the daily grind after nine days off from work, I figured that it was time to start poking away at the keyboard to get my blog world current. So, lets recap...
The vacation itself was a "fly by the seat of my pants" time, and I like it that way. I dinked around the house, and spent time with the kids and my bride. I also burrowed into the shop and got reacquainted with my bikes and the tools to keep them up and running. And in the case of my Sportster, it seemed like I always had to wrench on something.
The above photo was taken at the Hurricane Ridge parking lot in the late afternoon. The temp was around 75 degrees where I stood to click the picture. But I had to ride in a chilling fog for 13 miles before busting out into the clear blue sunny skys at around 4800 foot elevation. This was a huge bonus to the sweatshirt wearing day that I was enjoying at home.
I tried to pick a different destination each day to putt to and usually ended up in either the National Park or at a County Park by the water. No matter where the destination was, it was fun to ride and spend a little time checking out the surroundings.
The Sporty chose to keep me on my toes by throwing off parts that it no longer wanted. Like the fork stem bolt and washer. How in the world does this 5/8" x 1", 18 thread bolt just fly out of the hole? I had polished the top of the triple clamp just the day before, and it was intact. Maybe a road gremlin with a 15/16ths socket and wrench found me while at a company picnic Sunday afternoon. A stop at the local industrial hardware house got me fixed up. I first had to convince the dude at the motorcycle shop that it would be cool to call his supplier and ask what the bolt spec's were since the Harley's info was vague. They only list part numbers, and don't indicate within the part # what the size is, the way that some of the Japanese bike manufacturers do. Anyway, I got it done and got back to riding.
One thing that I do, and have always done while riding Harley's, it to pretty much dress like Marlon Brando from the "Wild One." Engineer boots, leather jacket with a denim "cut," that has a 25 year old Harley "Bar and Shield" patch sewn on the back, and a '60's era helmet complete with goggles strapped on. I get more comments about dressing "old school," but the truth is, that I've chosen this uniform since building my old '75 Ironhead Sportster almost 20 years ago. It's part of the deal I guess.
I put in equal time on the Big Ruckus, visiting Altaire Campground on the Elwha River one morning just to enjoy the smells of coffee and bacon and eggs being cooked over an open campfire. Having gotten my fix, I blasted home on Black Diamond Road with almost no traffic to contend with. Twists, turns, hills and beautiful views of the first changing colors of the Fall season, and literally three cars on the road. Sweeeeet!
All of this was just what the proctologist ordered, and I was able to roll into work with a fresher outlook and fully charged mental batteries. Work, meetings and classes...oh crap!
Have fun,


Blogger American Scooterist Blog said...

An AMF bike... those don't need no stinkin' gremlins? They ARE gremlins. Lovable, cranky, two wheel tractor type gremlins. I'm glad you were able to enjoy your time off.

Bless you Bill


6:25 PM  
Blogger Sarch said...

Now THAT'S a vacation. Wisely spent my friend!

The road gremlin throwing your bolt out of the hole just begs a question...Sir, do you or do you NOT own a ride bell on that Harley?

I had an excellent ride up to Maggie Valley, North Carolina over the Labor Day weekend. Rode with my dad, my best buddy (friends for nearly 25 years) and a new buddy of mine from work. The weather was perfect, the food was excellent and the company was out of this world. 950 miles in three wonderful days...I love this hobby Bill.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

Boy, you got that right. The spirit of AMF lives on in the old oil dripper.

I wonder if old Minneapolis Moline parts are interchangeable?

Man, I've got 2 "Spirit Bells" on the old dog!

The vacation was cool compared to the last one in that there was no agenda to follow. This might be the way of the future for my vacations.

Sounds like your trip with your crew was awesome. Wish I was with you cats.

Have fun,

4:52 PM  
Blogger Sarch said...

Bill I think you better consider trading those bells in for new ones! :)

I just posted a write-up and some pics on my Maggie Valley ride. If you get a few spare minutes pop over and give it a read.

1:17 PM  

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