Sunday, March 30, 2008

You Made It....Here's Your Parka!

Now, these are some truly cheezy grins. This photo was taken yesterday afternoon in the cold, wet yard of Geezer JayBee. The smilin' cat on the right is new member "Oilcan Kurt." Notice the cool parka he's wearing?
Every club in the biker, scooter, hot rod, or whatever world, has some kind of ceremony to bring in prospective members to "full patch" status once the membership has agreed upon their meeting the requirements to become a full member. Well, Kurt was brought in yesterday, and as we don't fly colors, we did present him with an M-65 fishtail parka. As far as a uniform goes, the only thing we all wear in common is the traditional Mod parka. The parka really comes in handy on days like this since we just had about a half hour of freezing rain and snow before we all got together and took the photo.
What Oilcan brings to the mix, is a real enthusiasm to make things happen. As I've written before, the dude is a real good wrench, but beyond that, when we talk about future wishes and adventures that we'd like to undertake, he knows how to make these things happen. While talking about an upcoming rally that would be fun to attend, Oilcan offered up his GMC Yukon to pull a trailer big enough to haul all of our scoots. This rig has room for 9 passengers. Surely we can haul ourselves and our gear with mucho room to spare. Before Oilcan was there to offer an option like this, it would have been difficult to realize something like getting ourselves as a group to a rally. Now we can start making plans rather than "wishing in one hand."
So it looks like "full steam ahead" in getting JayBee's P200E, and Oilcan's Simplex Servi-cycle on the road. Even though my lawn is covered in crunchy white stuff right now, it doesn't change the fact that rally season has started. We have got some work to do now!
Have fun,

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Welcoming Spring With Snowy Days

It seems like "Old Man Winter" isn't ready to hang up his mission around here. Even though it is pretty nice as I write this, the weather advisory posted is for a system to come through tonight leaving "a trace, to two inches of snow by early morning." Combined with the blast of snow and rain that whipped through last night, we don't seem to be that far away from Winter, even though the calendar says differently. This hasn't slowed the scootering around here though.

Sunday in particular was great fun. Old JayBee and Mod Kevin and I spent some quality time blasting around in a cold drenching rain. Mod Kevin rode the Lambretta, and I rolled out the Vespa, with JayBee hanging back in the road spray on his Vino. The Modster and I both sported our fishtail parka's, and as this was the first real hardcore test of mine's ability to keep me warm and dry, I will say that I this is the best doggone coat to have in my opinion for the true traditionalist. I stayed warm and dry, even though the shell was soaked. The liner did not allow the rain to get through and ruin my fun. All in all, it was a great time, and it's good to know that we will ride, rain or shine.

Slim Jim from work rode his Helix Tuesday and Wednesday, and man, I have to admire the freak, because these were some cold flipping mornings to ride in at 6:30 a.m. Another hardcore scooter bum.

I'm in hopes that our club can sneak in some riding time this weekend, or maybe some shop time over at Casa del JayBee. I want to get in touch with Oilcan Kurt too, and maybe go have a look at his Simplex project. Since Sunday is class day again for my crew at work, Saturday looks to be the only day to kick up some dust. That is unless we have snow covering the dust!

Have fun,

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Doctor Eric's Indian Story

Well, I just got back from my 2nd visit to the eye doctor. Seems I had some vision issues that the old doc wanted to have another look at, and after an hour of testing, I was given a clean bill of optical health. All that aside from the fact that I needed a new pair of stronger, but much more stylish glasses, I left feeling better that I wasn't moving closer to blindness like Dr. Eric thought. "Whew!" I also left with a really great motorbike story from the doc.

As I was sitting in the chair with my eyes stinging from the drops that had been put in, Dr. Eric asked what year my Vespa is, and how did I come about buying it. After sharing my story, Dr. Eric said "I once had a chance to own an old Indian bike." After belting out, "Why didn't get it?" Dr. Eric told me the story.

Back when Eric was a young man living at home in Canada, his uncle John, who owned a big farm in the country, would come to visit now and again. Eric's dad, who was a doctor, would give old uncle John his annual physical for insurance purposes. Seems that Uncle John would get all wound up and nervous, thus sending his blood pressure soaring whenever he saw anyone other than his own brother for his check-up. During one of the visits, Eric said something about being upset that someone had stolen a motorcycle motor from the back of his pickup. Hearing this, the old uncle said that he had an "old Indian bike" at his farm, and the kid could "have it if he wants it." Well, I don't know about you, but if I had heard an offer like that when I was a kid, I would have peed my shorts in happiness over such an opportunity.

Eric chomped at the bit for weeks bugging his dad to go visit Uncle John so he could collect his prize. Throughout this whole time of waiting, he dreamed of what it would be like to ride the old classic. Finally the day came, and Eric and his dad drove up to the farm in their pickup to have a visit, and finally see the Indian for the first time. The boys spent some time chatting at the kitchen table over lunch before Eric asked if he could go see the bike. It took a bit of reminding for Uncle John to remember that Eric wanted the motorbike, and he finally said, "Oh, so you want the old Indian bike, 'Yeah, its out back in the shed, go have a look at it." Eric beat a path out to the shed, and upon pulling open the door shedding light into the dark, dirt floored out building, he finally saw it sitting there...a Honda Trail 90. "Huh??? this can't be right, where is the Indian bike?" "What do you mean?" Eric heard as his uncle walked up to the shed. "That's the old indian bike I told you about." "An old indian that I know left it with me, and now I'm giving it to you." "Don't you want it?" Before the words were through coming out of Uncle John's mouth, Eric was on his way back to the pickup, his dream completely shattered. He was not going to own the "Indian," and he sure as crap wasn't going to own a Honda 90...he was going home.

I don't know if my eyes were still watering from the solution that had been dripped in earlier, or if they were watering from laughing at the story, but man, this was a classic tale, and I thought that I should share it with you.

Have fun,

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Eye Doctor Day

Well, I went to the eye doctor today since I've taken notice that my vision in my right eye is a bit weaker than it should be. Basically, I can't read squat anymore through my big money progressive tri-focals. So, it was time to drop some coin on another set.

Last time I visited the optometrist, we got popped with a bill in excess of six hundred bucks. My first question was, "Why the hell do I pay for insurance, if a bill like this won't get covered?" I wasn't going to replay that situation again, or deal with scratching up cash like last time, so I followed the advice of some close cronies and went to Walmart. Bottom line...$196.00!! I can handle that.

Full exam, new lenses, cool retro frames, all for a third of what I had to shell out last time. Say what you will about the empire that Sam Walton built, he still made clear vision affordable for me, and that rules.

Not a lot going on in my scooter world these last few days. The cold, steady rainy days have returned, and I have been going to classes anyway, so there isn't much time for getting out to enjoy tooling around side streets. I actually have to attend a half-day class tomorrow with my sales staff. This will pretty much burn up the best riding time of the day, and JayBee is trying to schedule some time to finish the tear down on his P200 Vespa, and I need to bring some parts home to clean up and paint. The weekend is pretty much spent already.

If I can shake this headache that I got when they dialated my eyes, I might take a spin this evening. If I don't, Monday is gonna show up, and I will be bummed that I didn't.

Have fun,

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I Rode The Silver Special

Wow, it's been a few days since I sat down to peck away at the old keyboard. I just got real busy, and hadn't even thought to sit down long enough to post anything. It's not like I'm caught up today, I just needed to slow down a little.

Sunday was a fun day. After starting my day at the Home Building and Remodeling/Energy Expo, where I schmoozed with a bunch of our vendors, I blasted home to get some shop work done. By the time I finished and sat down and promply fell asleep on the couch, the phone rang, and it was JayBee looking to go for a ride. No problem in getting my second wind, I was gonna go scooting.

The reason for the whole falling asleep thing was that I was totally tanked from spending Saturday framing my Dad's new shop. Coupled with losing an hour to Daylight Saving's time change, I had both butt cheeks dragging when I rolled out at dark o'clock. But it still felt good to be plugging away on something instead of wasting time wondering what to do all day.

Anyway, the ride was sweet because I took the Vespa out, and I was quite pleased to find that it would wax both JayBee and Mod Kevins scooters hands down. JayBee figured that since he maxed out while pacing me, I must have been doing just about 50 mph. That is as fast as I've ever had Ol' Blue rolling, and darned if it didn't run better the rest of the day. I was hooting and hollering like a little boy with a new G.I Joe.

After buzzing the west end streets, we three Geezers rolled over to Mod Kevin's to drool over his Lambretta Silver Special. He kicked her over on the 2nd bump, and man did it ever sound like a pissed off chainsaw. Wow! After hearing the polite noise coming from my 125GT, this sound raised the hair on my arms. It's true...vintage scooters can give you wood.

I paced around kicking rocks mumbling stuff about how much I love this Lambretta, and finally Mod Kevin asked if I wanted to take her out. "Hell yeah" I screached as I jammed my helmet back on my head. I flicked the throttle, bumped the choke, hunched my shoulders, and blasted down the alley and onto 16th Street. By the time I passed the fairgrounds, I must have been doing 60 miles per hour. I still had throttle left, but decided to back her down and ride like a citizen since I was coming up on the juvenile detention center, and there always seems to be a cop hanging around. But that didn't stop me from wicking her up on the way back. Yep...wood again. Man I love this Lambretta!

After shutting her down at the Limey's house, we went inside to hang out for awhile and talk about Geezer stuff. I still hadn't come down from the joy ride, and in some ways, I don't think that I have yet. It has been a real long time since I rode something that impressed me the way that the Silver Special did. I'm awful thankful to the Mod Man for letting me take her out.

I don't think that I want to try to compare the Lambretta and my Vespa. There is no "pissed off chainsaw" in my Vespa's soul. My old GT is a sweet little classic that brings me great joy, and I want to enjoy many miles of exploring and adventure seeking upon it. The Mod Kevin scooter is like opening a Playboy after reading an Archie comic. A real eye opener...know what I mean?

Have fun,

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sunday Riding With The Geezers

We met up at noon straight up, and rolled out to Ediz Hook. Geezers JayBee, Mod Kevin and I went for a little ride today, and you know what? It was really nice. From the Hook, we made a run for the west side of town on Edgewood Drive, and stopped at Dry Creek School so JayBee could lay an egg. Youth baseball tryouts were under way in the multi-field complex next to the school, so JayBee made a point of going over and perving some of the mom's hanging out on the sidelines. From here we hit the fogline and headed back toward town in search of lunch, and to talk about the club.

It really is time to get this club up and running since we have added to the roster, but it's hard to do so when nobody ever gets together. This is all beginning to change.

A while back we made some stabs at joining a bigger club, but after further conversation, a few of us decided to hang back and put our efforts into building what we had already started. With the Geezers, we can keep things low-key and roll at our own pace.

There are six members in our club now, and although we are a bit spread out, we are beginning to communicate better and are coming up with some cool ideas for future events and rides. The three of us that rode today tossed some great ideas around over lunch at the SOHO Asian Bistro. Our host Dong knows JayBee, and gave us invitations to a free dinner Tuesday night, and based on the quality of todays lunch, I might just take him up on it. We might even make SOHO our monthly meet-up place.

So far we've discussed a Spring camp-out, a "chicken run" to Forks for the best darn chicken around, and some local bopping around for the scoots that can't roll at highway speeds. It is also our intent to hit the Seattle rallies to get a feel for the culture there.

But aside from all of the planning, it was just really cool to spend time with these guys as a group, and realize that this, right now, is the beginning of the coming together of the Geezers Moto-Scooter Club. This is going to be a good time.

Have fun,

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