Cyclerides.com Weekly Update
1/5/11
 
Greetings Riders,
 
Well, the first thing I'd like to say is welcome to 2011. A new year, filled with new hopes and dreams. Mentally taking the last couple of weeks of the year off has energized me and I am ready to roll. It's kind of funny how the changing of the calendar to January immediately turns my attention to where I want to ride this year. I start pulling up Google Maps to explore some new ideas and look at old pictures of where I would like to visit again. But just getting into January, I know that some good riding weather is not far away and I want to be ready to go.
 
While I was trying to stay away from the daily routine, it gave me some time to think about some new things for Cyclerides.com, ride ideas, bike night ideas and new events for all of us to enjoy. I would really like to organize more free ride type of events that would just give everyone an excuse to take a ride, have others on the same route and have a crowd at the end. This would give riders an opportunity to meet other riders along the way, but most importantly, a reason to get the bike out and look forward to a good ride. I am mulling over a couple of ideas right now that I think will be a lot of fun. So stay tuned to the newsletter for whatever it is that develops.
 
For those of you that like Bike Nights, the Cyclerides.com Westgate Bike Night will be starting up again sometime in March. I don't know the frequency or the exact beginning date, but I should have that put together with Westgate in the next couple of weeks. I am also working on an East side location that I think will be a good one.
 
As I said above, I am really getting excited about getting out and putting on some miles. My mind has been active recalling all of the great rides that we have taken in this State as well as others. So next week, I am going to give you my top 5 rides in the State and when would be the best time to do them, along with maps and photos.
 
It has been a couple of years since I have updated the Women Who Ride photo gallery. So I would like to begin the 2011 Women Who Ride photo gallery starting right now. If you are a Woman her rides your own bike, send me a good photo of yourself either riding the bike or a beauty shot sitting on or standing next to your bike. Email them to info@cyclerides.com and I will start adding them ASAP. There will be a link to the page on the front page of www.cyclerides.com as soon as I get a few to ad.
 
Since a lot of you are probably starting to get the same itch that I am to ride and have probably taken a look at some of your trips the last few years. Send me a couple of your best photos from the locations you have been. Preferably next to a sign, landmark or landscape that we might recognize. This will be the beginning of the 2011 Reader's Rides Photo Gallery. Email your photos to info@cyclerides.com . Look forward to sharing your rides with you and others.
 
Once again, I'm energized and excited about where 2011 is going to take us. I don't know where that is going to be, but I am looking forward to the ride. My goal is for Cyclerides.com to continue to bring you the positive side of motorcycling, the best events we possibly can, and to keep you all out enjoying and sharing the passion of riding with one another. The wheels are turning in my head, and hopefully soon on the ground, to continue bringing you places to go, photos to view, and hopefully a little humor along the way. 
 
Thanks for taking the ride with us for the last 11 years. Mrs. C. and I look forward to a great 2011, soaking up some wind and seeing you along the way. If you have any ideas for the site, feel free to email me at www.cyclerides.com . If you know someone who might want to take this newsletter, have them go to http://www.cyclerides.com/emailletter.htm to sign up.
 

 
I try to add the following at the beginning of every year to remind myself the things I have learned over last year. A lot of them are the same every year. I must not be a fast learner. See if you have a few of these on your list.
 
As I start to get excited about the upcoming great riding weather we are going to have, I also like to start to think about things I have learned over the past few years and try to not make those mistakes again. Here are my "Top 10" that come to mind that you might have experienced yourself:
 
1.  Putting on rain gear. If it looks like rain, smells like rain, and there is rain on the pavement, it is probably raining. It is now officially PAST time to put your rain gear on. Put rain gear on PRIOR to all of the obvious signs.
Lesson: Error to putting on rain gear too soon. It only takes a couple of times of getting drenched to learn this one.
 
2.  Learn that "E" on the gas gauge actually does mean empty. It does not stand for "E-ternity of Gas". I sometimes tend to get those confused. Figuring out how far past the "E" you can ride is useful in the game to see how far you can go on a tank of gas. To win the game you are able to ride into the gas station and actually put more gas in the tank than it holds. Losing the game involves a call to AAA from the side of the road. My record is now 5.3 gallons in a 5 gallon tank. 
Lesson: Walk 3 miles for gas in 100 degrees and you won't make that mistake again.
 
3.  Estimating time to ride to destination.  Getting it through my head that 350 miles of riding through mountain passes and twisties is going to take considerably longer than 350 miles on a Montana freeway. One of my more famous quotes on a trip; "It is only 350 miles, we should be there by 3pm." I am reminded of this quote at 5pm by Mrs. C. when we are still 100 miles away.
Lesson: Learn it. Over estimate how long it will take.
 
4.  Be sure bike is in neutral when starting. After 35 plus years of riding, this one still tends to get me every once in a while. Nothing much worse than going to your bike at a bike night, thinking it is in neutral and pushing the start button to find out that you were wrong. However, it is quite entertaining for all of the people that saw you make this common rookie mistake. Pull in the clutch or make sure it is in neutral before pushing the start button.
Lesson: Don't be the subject of the jokes for the rest of the day.
 
5.  Confirm that the kickstand is secure before dismounting. I had this happen in Ouray, Co. last year. I put the kickstand down on the severely sloped main St. a little too straight up. The wind was blowing pretty good and when I got about 4 steps away from the bike I heard a big crash. It had blown over. Fortunately no serious damage to levers, etc. and I was able to ride it.
Lesson: Make sure that bike is stable on kickstand.
 
6.  Directions. No matter how much I like my GPS and no matter how many times it has saved me, road signs still trump the GPS. If you know you are supposed to be on I-70 West and the sign clearly says I-70 West, go with the sign.
Lesson: Know what you know.
 
7.  Eating regularly. I am the kind of guy that will eat a big breakfast and be good until we stop for dinner. My thought is that stopping to eat is "Burning Daylight". Lesson: Not everyone is that way. Much easier on everyone to stop and get your spouse some food when she is ready for it. Generally the only source of real discussion on our trips. 
Lesson: Keep your wife well fed. Makes for a more enjoyable ride.  
 
8.  Be aware of under dressing. Realize that standing still in the sun with a short sleeve t-shirt on in 60 degree weather does not feel the same as riding 70 mph in the same temperature and attire. Over dressing will never be  a problem for me. Lesson: Learn how to "Layer" properly. It is easier to deal with too many clothes on than it is to freeze for 100 miles.
Lesson: Error to over dressing.
 
9.  Turn off alarm "Before" getting on bike. I have a siren alarm attached my stock HD security system. It is an $80 add on that helps me sleep better at night knowing that at least I could hear my bike being wheeled away if someone tried to steal it. But there have been many times that I have forgotten that I have set the alarm and get on the bike to the sound of the wailing alarm. I always get "The Look" from Mrs. C. for that one. 
Lesson: No lesson here, just an irritating habit.
 
10. Stop taking off with kickstand down. Rookie mistake #1. It is embarrassing to have someone point at your kickstand when you are riding to find that it is still down. It also makes left turns much more challenging. Page 12 in the riders manual advises against this activity. Never can figure out how I forget this. Usually stems from being distracted just as you take you bike off of the side stand.
Lesson: Dangerous. Stop doing it.
 

 
Events This Week
 
Thursday, January 6th
Memorial Service for Grant Walker.
I am very sad to hear about the passing of Grant Walker from Chopper Kings last Thursday night. He reportedly lost control of his motorcycle, was thrown into a block wall and was unresponsive at the scene. Details are few. I had known Grant for 11 years as he was the first to work on my Titan way back when. He was a great guy, was a joy to be around that everyone loved. I will miss him and his smile. RIP Grant.
 
Grant's Memorial Service will be held Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011 at Heritage Funeral Home in Peoria, Az at 11 am. The address is 6830 W. Thunderbird Road. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. Grant was a good man. I will there.
 
Saturday, January 8th
Benefit Ride for Lucas Smith. Lucas Smith was in a serious motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down and he also suffered a leg amputation. This ride is to raise funds to help with medical expenses and help get him what he needs to cope with this situation. Registration from 8am - 11am. The poker ride will begin at 9am at the Elks Lodge #2349 located at 2455 N. Apache Trail and finish at The Hitching Post located at 2341 N. Apache Trail. There will be a silent auction, door prizes, 50/50. Email Dan Buckingham at therancher@hotmail.com for more information. Click Here for the newspaper article about Lucas.
 
Next Week
 
Saturday, January 15th
2nd Annual Stand Up Stand Proud Salute to American Veterans. Motorcycle Event helping homeless veterans. Event to be held at the Mesa Market Place located at Baseline and Signal Butte of U.S. 60 Hwy. 8am - 2pm. Registration $10. Parking, registration and breakfast begins at 8am. Salute begins at 10am. Bands begin at Noon. See flyer for all details.
 
Sunday, January 16th
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson SWAP MEET. This is your time to clean out that garage and get rid of a few things you have been tripping over. If you don't have anything to sell, then come by to find that nugget you didn't know you needed. Set up for vendors from 8:30am - 9:30am. Event time from 9:30am - 1pm. There will also be a Ladies of Harley Bake Sale and Hot Dog vendor on site. Limited spaces, so please call 623-247-5542 to reserve your spot. Arrowhead HD is located at 16130 N. Arrowhead Fountain Center Dr. in Peoria, AZ 85382.
 
Upcoming Events
 
February 25th-27th
Checkered Flag Run. The Checkered Flag Run is a weekend in Arizona hosted by the Second II None Phoenix Motorcycle Club, Phoenix International Raceway and Talking Stick Resort and Casino. The weekend culminates with an escorted motorcycle run from Talking Stick Resort and Casino to Phoenix International Raceway to watch NASCAR Drivers, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson tear up the track in the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Sunday, February 27th, 2011. 3 days of activities and fun. Go to www.checkeredflagrun.com for more information. Click Here for tickets.
 
Extras
 
Mid Week Updates will be made on the Cyclerides.com Facebook.
New Easy to remember Facebook address. Go to Cyclerides.com Facebook. Over 2800 FANS!
Take a look at all the new photos posted on the wall. If you are not on Facebook, you can still view the page, but you will not be able to post. There will be a link there for you to sign up for Facebook if you are inclined. Click the LIKE button!
 
I can't remember if I had this in before, but it made me laugh again. Check out this short song by a senior citizen about his wedding night. Click Here to View.
 
I don't even know how to preview this one. But watch to the end or you might fall "behind"Click Here to View.
 
Video of the Week: This is a hilarious compilation of people doing dumb things, and sometimes by accident. Click Here to View. Click on the Video of the Week graphic on the page.
 
If you would like to sign up for the Cyclerides.com Weekly Update Click Here.
 
Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To All,
 
Barry Caraway
"The Road Is Yours - Take The Ride"
www.cyclerides.com
info@cyclerides.com
 

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