Thursday, July 24, 2008

Drive Thru's

So yesterday Dutch Bros was donating all proceeds to Relay for Life.

Since it was a good cause, I grabbed my Starbucks cup and stopped by on the motorcycle.

I am reluctant to go through drive thru's in general, but I was willing to make a go of it for Relay for Life.

When you go through a fast food drive through, generally, space is an issue unless you have a tank bag to stow your loot into. Otherwise you have to get off the motorcycle to stow it.

In this case, I had to wait behind a car and took the opportunity to take my glove off and get my money and my cup out. I did have to get off to retrieve my cup.

When it was my turn, I was able to present both to the barista. She was careful to tighten the lid and I was able to put the cup in my saddlebag without getting off. Kind of reached behind me.

It worked out okay, but I don't think that I will be making it a habit.



Saturday, July 19, 2008

Motorcycles and Mayhem

So last Saturday I decided that it was cooler at the coast and set off on the motorcycle.

I don't check the air in my tires as often as I should, and it was a good thing that I checked them before the trip because they were rather low.

On the way out of town, I filled them up.

Filling up the front tire is always easy. Just stick in the little nozzle and you are good to go.

The back one used to be a pain in the buttocks until I hit on the solution. I was trying to fasten the nozzle at the opening between the spokes. If I brought the nozzle through the upper part of the spokes it fit. Duh.

So filled with air, I was ready to set out. (is there a blonde joke in there somewhere? I am not even blonde.)

I set out and the trip to the coast was rather uneventful.

I did do much better on the curves. I picked my lines much better than the last time.

The Valley was hot and the wind that was blowing was hot.

It wasn't until Burnt Woods that I felt my first gust of cold air and it felt quite nice.

It was my intention to get some clam chowder, but I knew that Mo's in Newport was going to be packed, and didn't want to repeat my trip to Mo's West two times in a row.

So I decided to stretch out my trip and eat at the Casino.

It turns out that I should have eaten an Mo's West.

When I got to the Casino, I noticed a custom chopper next to a trailer in the RV parking but did not pursue the thought further. I should have because when I rounded the bend, I was presented with a billion motorcycles.

So Chinook Winds was having some kind have motorcycle rally and the parking spaces were taken up by booths of some kind and music.


Now I get to park further back.

Rally's are really not my thing.

A get together of fellow Rebel owners are okay, but I have just enough social anxiety to be uncomfortable in large groups of people.

But there were a lot of nice motorcycles there.

On the way home I stopped at the gas station right next to Chinook Winds.

They were having problems with their pumps.

Not interested in waiting to find out that I wasn't going to get gas, I went to the next gas station on my side of the road.

It's quite a ways.

After filling up, I had an almost uneventful trip home.

At Blodget there is a convenience store and a road splitting off right in front of the store.

The store was on my right and there was a white van in the parking lot moving to get on the road.

There was a car in the split off road (what ever road it was) waiting to get on the highway I was on.

The van commanded my attention because it was moving.

When I had my permit, my Dad told me that everyone else on the road was only there to hit my vehicle, or to hit something that would hit me.

He said that was their job, otherwise they would be at home watching TV.

So according to that rule, the van was bound to hit me because it was moving.

Fortunately for me, most people are not good at their job, because I had slowed down (because she was moving) and she saw me at the last minute. So I swerved to the left a bit.

I am willing to bet that the lady in the van was startled.

Cars that pull out in front of you are a challenge because you don't know which way to swerve.

If they keep going in front of you, you can swerve to the right and pass behind them. If they stop you can swerve to the left and pass in front them.

It's like that Crusader at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. "You have chosen . . . poorly."

Choose poorly and you end up a statistic. Kind of makes a motorcyclist pay attention.



Saturday, July 12, 2008

How many Balisada's does it take to change a lightbulb?


Balisada doesn't change lightbulbs on her motorcycle. She takes it to the dealer and says "change my headlight." They smile and say "Sure."

But there is a wait in the summer so I had to change my own headlight.

In doing so, I have discovered that there is really no instructions on the internet, on how to do so.

I did run across this dude from Arizona's page, and he says that there is really nothing on the internet (yeah, I figured that out too) so he posted his instructions. I really do appreciate that he did so because I needed them. Here are his instructions.

So, first a disclaimer:
This posting on how I changed the headlight for a 2006 HONDA REBEL, is for entertainment purposes only. You need to seek the services of a qualified mechanic, and Auntie Balisada is not responsible for any injuries to you, your vehicle or the universe in general because you took this post as an actual guide on how to change a lightbulb.
Next an FYI:
Before you get started, locate the headlight. Should be easy.

Now, put down the screwdriver or wrench and find the two holes in the bottom part. These should be the ones that have little screws nestled inside them.

Now that you have found them:


These are the screws that adjust the aim of the headlight, and have nothing whatsoever to do with replacing a headlight, so it behooves you to not mess around with them.

To remove the outer ring, there are bolts that stick out from the assembly (at least on mine).

First the instructions called for removing the cover of the black box just above and behind the headlight. I did that with a screwdriver.

Next, I was supposed to unhook three wires (I think one was blue and the other was green), but there were a lot of wires and I didn't know which ones, so I didn't.

Then I found the bolts on the bottom sides of the headlight. I found them at the 5 o'clock and 7 o'clock positions. I removed them with an 8mm socket, and put them on my saddlebag in the order that they were in on the assembly.

Next, I spent a lot of time trying to get the outer ring off. My book that I had purchased addressed the older Rebels, but not the newer ones, and there had apparently been a change in headlights. After a phone call to the dealership, I did what they said.

"Stand in front of the headlight and grab the bottom. Pull it up toward you and then pull straight up." Or did they say straight toward me? Oops. My bad. It will suck to be me when I have to do this again. They probably said toward me, since it's a lip sort of thing that comes up and over.

After some pain and suffering, it came off.

This is why I had pain and suffering. See the little lip on the ring? Yeah, it grabs the assembly and you have to lift up enough to unlatch it, but not up so much that you break the assembly. Which means that I probably pulled toward myself.

My next problem was in removing the wire from the lamp. I had a dickens of a time and eventually got it, but it sucked.

I then removed the rubber cover and found that a wire was keeping the bulb in place. If I removed the wire, I could take out the old bulb and put the new one in.

Then I put the whole thing back together in reverse order and was presented with a working headlight.









Well, I am now off to the coast.



Sunday, July 6, 2008

Swerving in North Albany

So Saturday was promising to be a respite from the hot weather that we had been having.

My Aunt was having a bbq and I had decided to ride to Salem, in lieu of riding with family.

My trip was rather uneventful, and I skirted the outskirts of Albany and then rode through Jefferson and out to Salem. When I got to Sunnyside, I got on the freeway and took the Detroit Lakes exit to Lancaster and then to my Aunts House.

I would like to take this opportunity to point out that after what I believe is the Kubler drive exit, there is a speed limit sign that I clearly remember saying:

"Speed 60"

Okay, perhaps it said:

"Speed 55"

Regardless of what the sign said, traffic was CLEARLY SPEEDING because I know that the speed limit was below the usual 65.

I read an article that talked about the most common excuses that police hear when giving speeding tickets.

I don't care how many cc's your motorcycle is lugging around, you will be using one of the excuses on the list.

"I was just trying to keep up with traffic."

I wonder if a trooper will give a 250cc Rebel a ticket for speeding or shake his head in amazement? Perhaps if I beep and wave merrily as I pass.

The trip back was a rather uneventful trip down the entire freeway.

Both the trip up and the trip back were uneventful.

I think that God was giving my eyebrows a break from their workout last Sunday.

Last Sunday was a rather beautiful day and I decided to get some chinese for lunch.

I had decided to go through North Albany and then wander to Corvallis for lunch.

I ended up going past the golf course on Springhill drive and turned right on Independence Highway. I had picked up a pickup behind me (punny, ain't I?) and was a bit surprised that the pickup didn't use one of the straight stretches to pass me.

Just after the Independence Highway turn, there is an 'S' turn.

View Larger Map

That's where my eyebrows got their workout.

I would like to point out right now that my mistake was treating the 'S' turn like one turn and it's not. An 'S' turn is two turns. In my case it was a left and then a right.

Two turns. Each needs to be treated as it's own turn. Ideally, you end the first turn by setting up for the second.

When I began the turn, I was looking through the turn and already looking head to the end of what I perceived to be the end of the turn.

I had noted the three bicyclists and the car.

The bicyclists were in the exact middle of the 'S'. The car was just behind them.

In scanning back through the turn, I again turned my attention to the bicyclists and car.

I would like to point out that the CIA is not going to snatch me up due to my superior intellect.

I point this out because I actually spent a second or two trying to figure out what happened to my road.

Taking up the left 1/3 of the road is the bicyclists.

Taking up the next part of the road is the car (off the center and several feet in my lane). It has thoughtfully left a LOT of room for the bicyclists.

And then there is me, stupidly trying to figure out where my road went off to (Excuse me, has anyone seen my road? I thought I left it right here, but someone must have moved it).

Essentially, what I saw, directly ahead of me was a car.

Fortunately, I was in no real hurry during the ride and had also slowed down to take the turn. I was probably going a max of 20 miles per hour.

When my brain finally caught up with reality, my eyebrows got what cartoons probably call a 'wild take'. That's where the eyebrows pop up about a foot above the head, and that is what mine did.

And then I did the only thing that could be done.

I swerved.

I would like to point out that I spend a lot of time swerving.

No, not around cars trying to run me off the road.

The pavement reflectors at LBCC are actually a hoot if there is no traffic and I am getting quite good at them. At ART class, we swerved at 30, 35 mph and I know that I could have done faster. (I wouldn't try this. Security will probably write you a citation, and I don't do it very often. Just when I know they are elsewhere on campus and there is no traffic on the campus road.)

The only issue that I had was I wasn't sure if the car was done infringing on my lane. Apparently he was and my swerve was flawless.

Especially since I didn't panic once. Not a bit.

After I peeled my eyebrows off the top of my helmet, I turned left at the next left (Suver Road) and then left again at the next major highway that runs right into Corvallis (99W).

The pickup that I had picked up chose to pass me after turning on Suver Road. Probably decided that he didn't want to follow someone who apparently attracted so much attention.