Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Past bikes (or is it passed bikes?)

Happy New Year. 2007 is done and now I can look forward to messing up the date for the next few months until I realize it's '08 (and not '88)....Time flies! This week came and went too fast. Not enough got accomplished but, I made some small progress.

In my last post, I mentioned that I picked up a few camping items at LL Bean (http://www.llbean.com/). I plan to slowly accumulate everything I need for the trip over the course of the next seven months. We leave at the end of July and plan to be gone for sixteen days of riding and camping. It won't be an Iron Butt rally but I'm sure I'll be grateful to get horizontal each night.

Speaking of that, I got vertical today for the first time. I purchased an inversion table from Brookstone recently and found the time this week for the assembly. It took longer that I had thought but, this is a very sturdy unit, well capable of supporting my 200 lb. frame. I tested it out in a variety of positions, including fully vertical, with my head just inches above the ground. Very cool. I'm hoping that this will be a good way to decompress my lower back at the end of each day.

But, back to the topic of past bikes. I guess I didn't have any/many digital pix of my last two bikes so I had to troll the 'net to find shots of my last two rides. Here they are, in order of ownership. The first was a 2000 Kawasaki Ninja 600:

This is the first bike that I owned/paid for but there has been a long line of mini-bikes, dirt bikes and "borrowed" street bikes over the past 40+ years. I had always wanted a bike like this and did not hesitate to buy it.

My second bike was a 2002 Honda VFRA. To me, this is still the most beautiful bike built today, short of a couple of Ducatis or the stray MV Agusta or two. Here is a shot I found online:

You can tell from the shot how pleased the designers were with this bike. This was a redesign and a technological leap for Honda, at the time. In the past six years, this bike has gone largely unchanged. Rumors abound about larger displacement but this bike can run with all of the 600 or 750 class sport bikes and still give you all of the room you need for a weekend away.

That's it for tonight. I just wanted to post these two shots but got a little gabby. If you've owned either of these bikes and want to email me a photo of yours, I'll post it here with a note. Just send an email to me at joerocketmc@yahoo.com. I'd be interested in trading tales about them.

Thanks and have a great 2008!

Joe Rocket

PS - If you live in Southern NH and are looking for a group to ride with in the Nashua area, check us out online at our club site: http://www.amherstnhmc.com/

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of you, my dearest friends and family! It's a quiet New Year's Eve as we sip eggnog by the fire. The Christmas tree is beautifully decorated but the presents have long been whisked away, from under it.

Christmas came and went and New Year's Eve will soon be behind us while the new year lays ahead. December has broken all records for snowfall and we are somewhere above 46" in one month. I hope January will be less snowy or I won't be able to get the bike out of the driveway when spring comes, thanks to the ice build-up.

Our planning continues for Sturgis. We've picked a campground and we've set the dates. We'll arrive in Sturgis the week prior to the rally and get some riding in before it gets crazy busy. I hope to shoot a lot of photos along the way and while we're there. Jerry will pack his pc so I'll try to send posts during the trip.

Over the holiday week, I shopped at LL Bean, in Freeport, ME and picked up a couple of camping supplies. I found this great little LED lamp from Coleman for inside the tent and a LED headlamp for those midnight trips around the campground. I want to find a Therm-a-Rest mattress (http://www.thermarest.com/) but LL Bean had few available after the holiday rush. I'll take a peek at EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports) or buy online, as we get closer to camping season.

I buy a lot of my gear at EMS. They understand outdoor gear and bad weather. I probably stop in to one of their stores every month, just to review new gear. I plan to stock up for the new riding season. Motorcycle camping is a lot like backpacking in that the amount of space is limited and you need to minimize weight.

In the coming months, I'll post a camping gear packing list and other preparations for our epic trip. We plan to do 1900+ miles in 4 days and then do some exploring once we land in the Sturgis area. Additionally, I'll post my bike plans, including the aftermarket seat, lights, etc. to modify it for the ride.

For now, I'm going to have a glass of champagne or wine, sit by the fire and daydream about the coming riding season.

Happy New Year and a safe riding season in 2008.

Joe Rocket