Google Docs

I’ve been looking for an easy way to keep up with maintenance on the bike. I think I’ve found it. Google Documents. I’m able to update via Google and since I have the doc published it updates within 5 min on my site. You can see the Google App spreadsheet in action by going to the C109RT page.

UPDATE 2/4/2008
More fun with google apps :-). I’ve added the trip stats from my Oct trip to the Oct 2008 Trip Overview.

K.I.T.T Gps

I want this for the simple reason that it has the voice of the guy who did K.I.T.T in the original Knight Rider:

Knight Rider GPS

And not to mention that it calls you by name and can ask you where you want to go…Simply *awesome*!!! Btw..The new Knight Rider is a big steaming pile..Hopefully it’ll be cancelled very soon and put out of it’s misery…

Myrtle Beach No More

Looks like Myrtle is no longer hosting any rallies..Not sure if that such a good decision in this economy:

Dear Visitors,
Myrtle Beach is no longer the location for two long-running motorcycle events. After many years, our residents grew weary of three weeks of noise and traffic congestion each May, and they asked City Council to end the events. As a result, the Harley-Davidson Dealers Association Spring Rally and the Atlantic Beach Memorial Day Bikefest will not be held in Myrtle Beach.

I’ve never been a big fan of huge bike rallies simply because I’m not a fan of large crowds..Throw into that the drunken assholes that tend to flock to these things and that’s a recipe that I avoid. Kinda sucks tho..Rallies are getting harder and harder to find these days for this very reason. This struck me as kind of funny:

Please know that Myrtle Beach is not anti-biker or anti-motorcycle. We want folks to come on the vehicle of their choice and enjoy all of the things Myrtle Beach has to offer. We are ending the motorcycle-related rallies because they grew too big and lasted too long. The huge rallies even kept visitors away from Myrtle Beach, and that’s not good.

Not anti-biker eh? Let’s take a look at some of the new rules shall we:

  1. No loud mufflers. No straight pipes. No revving of engines or excessive noise.
  2. Everyone on a motorcycle must wear a safety helmet and protective eyewear (glasses, goggles, face shield, etc.) at all times while the cycle is moving. (Note that the rest of the state is no helmet
  3. No more than two motorcycles allowed in a public parking space.

Now..To me those sound very anti-motorcycle. And just to clarify, I don’t think the gov’t should be telling people to wear helmets. If someone doesn’t want to wear a helmet they shouldn’t have to. Now I do agree with Florida where if you have a certain type of insurance you don’t have to wear a helmet. Basically the insurance covers your hospital costs if you have an accident. Personally I wear a helmet everytime I ride..In fact I put my helmet and gear on before I get on the bike. ATGATT baby!!

As I said I’m not a fan of rallies but I hate to see another one go down the tubes to the Mayor saying “We’re not against motorcycles, promise!” when it’s so blatantly obvious that they are:

After many years, our residents grew weary of three weeks of noise and traffic congestion each May, and they asked City Council to end the events.

So, everyone is tired of the noise and traffic..Ok..So cut it down to a week..Or a 3-4 day rally. This reeks of the Mayor, city council and select residents finally finding a reason to end the events.

I, for one, will not be heading down to Myrtle Beach anytime soon..I’d hate to get pulled over for “excessive noise” *rolls eyes*

Best.Jacket.Evar!!

Thanks to a wonderfully early B-day gift from my Mom I now have a *true* winter riding coat. I’ve been eying First Gear’s Kilimanjaro jacket and now it’s mine! Here is a pic of it just so you get an idea of what it looks like.

This thing has it all..Water proof, armor in the shoulders, back, and elbows, windproof. Not to mention it has tons of pocket space for all my *cough* essentials ;-).  It also has a pull out liner that can be used a a light jacket. It got put to the test today going to work. It was 31* when I left the house. Thanks to my handy Wind Chill Calculator it was 11.7* while I was riding at 60mph..That’s effing cold in case anyone was wondering. Seriously by the time I got to work my torso was *sweating*.

I’m planning a trip this weekend out to the Outer Banks and I’ll be hitting a couple of ferries for a pretty long stretches (~2.5 hours one way) so it will be interesting to see how this thing holds up to a constant cold wind. I’ve only ridden with this jacket twice but I’m extremely happy with it.

So thanks Mom for the (extremely) early birthday present!! 🙂

Driving Habits

As I was coming home tonight I started thinking about the things I do differently since I started riding again. And also a few things that other people do that pisses me off..Here are a few:

  • Pouring a drink out – I’ve been guilty of this before. Pull up to a stop light or something and just dump the remains of a Burger King drink out. I’ve had this happen numerous times when I was on the bike..The way I position myself is closest to the yellow line so I can see the driver’s mirror. Of course I don’t assume they see me but I like to be able to see them..So with that choice in mind as soon as someone pours something out I usually ride through it and spatter their tasty beverage of choice on my bike and me. Not good. I’ve also put my foot down in left over food, drinks, spit, etc..No more pouring for me..
  • Flicking cigarette butts out the window – I haven’t done this since I don’t smoke. But I’ve had to dodge so many that I’ve lost count..There’s nothing like seeing those glowing, sparking embers bouncing down the road at you..All you smokers please hold onto your butts and don’t throw them out..It’s really gross.
  • Rolling at a stop sign – Been guilty of this one as well. Get to a stop sign and you just have one vehicle coming up so you don’t really stop just kinda cruise until that vehicle goes by and then you continue on. When I see someone at a stop sign I look at their front tire and assume they don’t see me. If that front tire is moving then I’m looking for an escape route in case they pull out in front of me. I know that I’ve gotten more than one funny look because I’ve moved over to a different part of the lane I’m in or a different lane altogether because the car that I was watching didn’t stop completely. When I’m in the Jeep, or any cage, I stop completely every time.
  • Turn signals – I hate it when people don’t turn on their turn signals. Seriously, it’s not that hard to use them and it makes people who ride behind you happy..
  • Trying to talk to someone on a bike at a stop light – Most of the time I have music playing or my earplugs in and I won’t be able to hear you..I’m not going through the effort of muting my music to listen to some inane comment. If you see me stop for gas and take my helmet off then feel free to talk to me. I’ve never tried to talk to someone on a bike at a stop light or even at a gas station but I’m not what you’d call a “social butterfly”. I’m amazed how many people just start talking to me while I’m waiting for the light to change.
  • Constantly rolling in bumper to bumper traffic – It’s easy just to coast when you’re in a vehicle but when you’re on a bike there’s shifting, picking up and putting the feet down. It makes it very tiresome to go through that when the person in front of you goes just slow enough to make you put your feet down constantly. I usually let get a car length between me and the person in front and then I can usually work the clutch and brake enough to keep my feet on the pegs. Along that same vein, don’t pull in front of a bike in traffic if you see a space. That space is probably there so the rider doesn’t have to do as much work..If you must pull over then for godsake see the bullet about turn signals.
  • Throwing a full tobacco spit cup out the window at 55mph – Ahhh..The best saved for last. So this actually happened to me today On the way home from work.  I see a white cup tossed from a truck and as soon as it hits the road I know what it is. I recognize the nasty black liquid mixed with chunks and used napkins it..Yep..A tobacco spit cup. When it hit the road and spattered I was trying to decide how to avoid the nastiness that was coming my way. It bounce a couple of times and the spit when everywhere. I know some of it hit my windshield and when I got home I found some on my helmet as well…As soon as I cleared the rest of it I laid on the horn and hit the high beam. I could see the guy look back and I stood up on the bike and flipped him off for a good 30 seconds. He sped off and made the next left turn into a subdivision…I tried to slow down enough to follow him but the roads were wet and traffic was heavy..I will not forget that truck and I know I’ll see him again along that road..Nasty bastard.

That’s all I can think of right now…I’m sure there are more and they’ll come to me when I’m back on the bike 🙂