Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Cold, But Very Pretty Day To Ride

Sure it was cold outside, but that didn't matter one bit. This was one pretty day here in my old town, and I didn't want to miss the chance to get out and ride.

In the above photo, my Big Ruckus is taking a rest at the boat haven in Port Angeles harbor. We had been pretty much all over town, and I stopped to have a look around on my way home. Thankfully, this pretty view is part of my regular route, and I never take the view for granted. I like where I live, and am happy to share my enthusiasm as a hometown boy.

I actually started riding in the frostier part of the day on my Vespa, then after a lunch stop at home, I suited up and jumped on the BR. Without any real destination in mind, I ended up at JayBee's upscale penthouse digs. Here I hung out for a bit sipping on coffee and getting the lowdown on the ride that he and Mod Kevin had taken last evening.

It was dark yesterday in the late afternoon when JayBee and Mod Kevin swung into the parking lot at work. They had popped in to say "Hey" on their way out to WalMart to score on a camo balaclava for Kevin. JayBee and I wear these fleece head wraps when its as cold as it has been, and dang if they don't do great keeping your melon warm. JayBee came out with a pair of snowboarders gloves for eight bucks, and they really do the trick too.

I was envious when I heard that they continued on into downtown for the annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, joining the hundreds of folks that come out to welcome the season with Santa Claus. After that it was onto Dairy Queen for burgers, then Starbucks for a warm-up cup of java. Naturally, they chose the table under the picture of a vintage Vespa. Meanwhile, I'm closing at work, then tooling home totally burned out. I missed a great time with some cool fellas for darn sure.

The latest word is that Mod Kevin is closing in on a sweet deal on a Lambretta in Idaho. I don't have the solid details on year or model, but I've seen a picture, and it is toothache sweet. He has been in contact with the seller, and it looks like the deal might be done in mid-December. I really hope that Mod Kev scores, because he would be perfect on this scooter. More details soon I'm sure.

Now we just need to get JayBee fired up on the re-birth of the Allstate project. There seems to have been some rattling in the shop lately at JayBee's digs, so maybe we'll have some follow-up details soon on this project as well.

All of a sudden we are seeing the makings of a vintage scooter movement to a small degree. Maybe this small seed will grow into something big and fruitfull. Maybe the increase in old scoots, and scooters in general will raise awareness toward motorbikes and scooters a little more in this pretty old town that I'm so fond of. This would really make this "hometown boy" proud.

Have fun, Bill

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My "Happy Thanksgiving" Message

Here's the deal. If I don't find a chance to post tomorrow, then may all of you out there in our friendly blog neighborhood have a very nice Thanksgiving. Take a moment to really give thanks for all of the blessings that you receive, and for the freedom and joy that we are able to share and enjoy.

Eat healthy, eat hearty, and eat well. Wrap an arm around the shoulder of a loved one and share the warmth of your spirit. Then if so inclined, loosen your belt a notch, or pop a button and savor that piece of pie that you have "just enough room for."

If the opportunity arises, take your two-wheeler out for a spin, and breathe the crisp air of the season. Stop, look around, and take in the beauty of your surroundings. Thanksgiving is a day set aside from our busy schedules to stop and truly GIVE THANKS. Enjoy.

Have fun,

Saturday, November 17, 2007

"Hey, I've Got This Idea"

I just got home from a week of twelve hour working days, and I think that I am officially pooped. No more gas in my tank, no more lead in my pencil. All I want to do right now is find a spot on the sofa, and sink into it. I won't though, because if my kids find me sound asleep with my chin on my chest and drool running down my chin, they'll giggle and laugh until I wake up anyway, and the cat-nap will be over. So I'll find something to keep me busy, like entering this post.

This is the first week in a very long time that I didn't ride at all. It's been four days since I've seen my scooter. I will have to make up for it some way tomorrow without a doubt. Even if the cold wet weather is still happily making it's home right here I'll ride. If I don't, I'll start to feel like I'm cheating my scooters out of opportunities to get wet and dirty.

I spoke with the local director of the Chamber of Commerce at a function that our company hosted on Thursday evening about the potiential of bringing a scooter rally to Port Angeles with the help of the Chamber. There had been a motorcycle rally scheduled back in September that had to fold due to the inability to secure the proper insurance to cover the event. The rally was to have been modeled after Sturgis, and all of the details and sponsorship work had been done. Russ, (the Chamber Director) had poured a great deal of time and effort into making the rally happen, but came up short. Now, along comes old Billy Boy with this scooter rally idea, and Russ is interested in talking with me. I will absolutely follow up on this.

The original idea had been sparked by Orin O'Neill awhile back, and we had traded some e-mail information. I would have guidance from some members of the Vespa Club of Seattle in the planning of the event, and am thankful that Orin brought up the idea. He is right on the mark that Port Angeles would make a great rally destination due to our proximity to Victoria and Vancouver B.C. Canada, and the pro-scooter cities of Seattle and Bellingham here in Washington State. If done right, we might become a blip on the radar of the northwest scooter scene. I think I'd like that.

I'll be doing my homework by compiling rally information, reaching out to Orin and his group, and getting some of my crew together to help out. I will call to set up a meeting with Russ, and show up on my Vespa with my plan in hand, and hope to get something rolling. I have some solid local resources to call on, and will put a strong proposal together for the Chamber of Commerce. If I'm good at anything, its selling. Now I get the chance to peddle an idea that I really want to sell.

All of a sudden I don't feel so tired anymore!

Have fun,

Monday, November 12, 2007

What A Way To Start The Week

Well, today became a bit memorable in a real hurry. If Mother Nature was bowling, our area was the ten-pin, and she got an "X" on her score sheet.

Even though the storm that hit like a kick in the junk was centered to the north of us in central Vancouver Island, we took a pretty strong hit in the way of very strong winds, and street flooding rains. The forecast was for the system to come ashore at around 4:00 a.m. but we lost power hours before that. In all, we were without power for a total of about 8 hours. Depending on which forecast you listen to, we still aren't through with this blast till later on this evening. I was hesitant to sit down and post this entry with the potential of losing power again still looming. But I can't go outside and play, so here I sit.

Right now the winds have shifted from the southeast, and are coming from the west. Even though this might be the tail of the system bringing up the rear of a cold front, the west winds are the ones that pack the most punch for this area. Closer to the mouth of the Strait of Juan De Fuca, Clallam Bay clocked winds at 92 mph. This was during the initial push into the area, now with the westerly winds joining the party, Clallam Bay may get a right cross after receiving this mornings left hook. And we're just down the pike a short way. I suppose we'll just wait and see whats next.

This week might as well start out funky, since aside from a seminar to attend on Wednesday, and a dress up catered affair at work on Thursday, now I have to appear for Superior Court jury duty at 8:30 tomorrow morning. As the reminder notice that came in the mail states, "Failure to appear when summoned is a misdemeanor," I think that it is in my best interest to show up. Up until last night I just needed to call and listen to a recording as to what my instructions were, but the message said that my group number was called in, and a trial is set. Who knows, I might learn something.

But all in all, it appears that the rug of any chance of riding has been pulled from under my feet. With all the going here and there, and getting dressed up in something nicer than work clothes, and the freaky hardcore weather, my trusty workhorse scooter will be tucked in and dry in the shop for a few days. I guess that even the most reliable horses would rather be in the barn than out in the rain. Sounds good to me.

Have fun,

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Can't See Riding When I Can't See...

Just like the local airport, I was grounded by fog. One look outside this morning and I abandoned all hopes to ride to work. This was some real thick, heavy wet junk that laid in over town all day long, and not only could I not see across the street, I couldn't see taking a risk in traffic either. Some folks don't seem to recognize anything but the speed limit signs, and the mentality seems to be, "Who cares if the conditions are bad, the sign says that I can go too fast." Well, I don't want to be in their way on a scooter.

It was good to see that my riding co-workers made the same choice to drive as well. With the extended outlook calling for typical November weather for the next week that is basically rain, followed by rain, we may see a slight downturn in the amount of scooters parked at work.

I try to stay true to my mission of riding to work every day that I possibly can, but have come to realize that there will be times that it just won't work out. When our store was at the old location before our move in June, I could pick a different route for each day of the week with no big traffic concerns. Now I get lumped in with the eastbound rush, and find myself running well over the speed limit most mornings just to stay ahead of some jackwipe that is in more of a hurry than me. When the icy days ahead arrive, or when the first snows fall, I don't want to be hanging it out there with these bozo's on a scooter. I'll need some Detroit steel around me. This isn't to say that I favor driving over riding, I don't, I just don't want to put reward before risk.

On another note altogether, we find that our pal Cody has hung up his hat as a motoblogger, but will continue down the line as a writer for his friends martial arts blogsite. I wish this cat well, as I seem to have found a friend in Cody. Through our posts and comments, we have closed the gap between the East Coast and the West Coast, and have found a mutual apprieciation for each other, our beliefs, and our views on life. I understand that when you put time and effort into your site by writing creatively, offering photos, and working to find your place amongst your peers, when there seems to be no return in your investment of effort, that your work is all for naught. I've felt that a bunch of times, but decided to keep throwing wood on the fire till folks either return to get warm, or a new bunch comes by to see what's up. I count myself as blessed that I have a readership, and am inspired to keep pecking away to not only keep a journal of my thoughts, but to inspire, entertain, and motivate people about the funky cool world of simply riding a motorbike. Except on a day like know, with the fog and everything.

Have fun,

Friday, November 02, 2007


I was just thinking about how the end of daylight-saving time was going to affect my daily commute, and realized that no matter what, I'm going to be riding to work in the dark. Oh yeah...and the cold.

We've been blessed with some really nice weather for this time of year, but each day begins with frost on the ground, and temps at around 30 degrees. I've taken to wearing a full-face helmet finally, and have been really happy with the one I bought. After shopping at the local motorcycle shops, I was beginning to wonder if I would find a good helmet that would fit both my melon, and my budget. Then I went shopping at that nice little store that Sam Walton built.

Yes people, I bought myself a Bell Helmet at Walmart for half of what I would have paid at the local shops. Seventy-nine bucks and change, and out the door I went. I'm so stinkin' happy with this thing, that I wish I would have bought one last year. It fits right, vents well, and doesn't fog as bad as my old retired Arai from a few years ago. My only beef is that I can't wear my eyeglasses with this helmet, so I put them in a case and jam them into my pocket.

I had shopped around for a modular helmet, but couldn't quite pull the trigger on paying the price, and knew in the back of my mind that I could make do without the flip-up, so I went with the full-face. At the time of purchase, we were scraping scratch together to pay our property taxes, so being frugal was necessary. I got a cool helmet, saved some bucks, and stayed on my wife's good side. It's all good.

It just seems like the whole cold riding thing has come up so fast. Man, Halloween is gone, and now were talking turkey-time. People are talking about Christmas already, and I still haven't quite pulled my head out of the hole of wondering if we will ever have summer. It's all just gone by so quickly. But on the bright side, I'm still riding every day, my pals are still riding every day, and it really doesn't matter if the clock moves back an hour, it'll still be dark and cold, and thats the way it is. Thats just fine by me.

Have fun,

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