Bikers Have Big...Hearts!

Santa briefs Toy Run Participants
I was reminded on Saturday during our annual Toy Run that bikers have big hearts and despite their sometimes-rough appearance, they are good people.  It’s sad that society as a whole tends to judge people by the way they look and dress.  Based on my experience (limited as it may be), I find those who ride are some of the kindest most generous people I know.  Even the toughest motorcycle clubs and 1%’ers give back to their communities by helping raise funds for all types of charitable causes.  Less than two-weeks ago a group of Hell’s Angels members waited in line 5 days to buy bikes on Black Friday to give to needy kids in Fresno, California…proving even the baddest aren’t always bad.

Loaded and Ready to Go
I’m encouraged when I see a group of bikers working together for a good cause…like the annual Toy Run.  Saturday was cold and it looked like the sky could open-up any minute, but almost 60 braved the weather to participate.  On the road, the group stretched out for more than a ¼ mile as Santa led the way to three pick-up points in the New Braunfels/Canyon Lake area.  Even though the weather wasn’t the best, everyone was in good spirits and eagerly gathered toys then bungee’d them to their bikes and stuffed them into saddlebags and tour-paks.  Once the bikes were loaded, the overflow was packed into a cargo trailer. It didn’t matter if you rode a Honda, a Harley, or a Spyder…everyone worked together knowing they were doing something good. The toys and money collected will be distributed through the local Sherriff’s office and will hopefully brighten more than a few faces this Christmas. This holiday season and throughout the year, I will always be thankful that bikers have big hearts! 
Do you have a story about big-hearted bikers?  If so, please share it.  With all the craziness going on in the world, it’s nice to celebrate the positive.   Until next time -- Live Free. Ride Hard. Be Happy!


Lies Your Ol' Lady Tells You

Note: The use of "ol' lady" is not intended to be disrespectful or derogatory towards women. In the biker community it's used as slang to describe your significant other.
Lie #1 - “Sure babe, it’s comfy back here, let’s do another 100 miles.”
Riding pillion on most motorcycles isn’t very comfortable and on some it’s down-right painful. Nevertheless, there they sit, arms wrapped around us with a smile on their face.  Women who ride two-up, especially on smaller bikes, should be commended.  The next time you hear this lie start looking for a good place to pull-over because what she’s really saying is, “Damn, I love you but my butt is on fire and I need to get off this bike now!”
Lie #2 - “Of course, I think your belly’s sexy.”
What did you expect her to say?  She loves you too much to tell you, “No, your belly’s not sexy.  The truth is you’re a fat mother fu*%er who needs to eat less and hit the gym…a lot.”  Sadly, there are quite a few Harley riders out there (myself included) that are all too comfortable believing this lie.  Every now and then, we need to hear the truth…even if it hurts.
Lie #3 - “Your beard? I love it. Every time I see it, I just want to kiss your whole face.”
Yeah, beards are cool and they give you a rugged, bad-boy look but she isn’t really excited about kissing your bearded face.  She tells you that crap because she loves you.  The whole time you’re making out she’s thinking, “God, please don’t let me find left-overs from dinner last night.  That would be so gross…ewww.”  Ever wonder if you’d get more lovin if you were clean shaven?
Lie #4 - “You can refer to me as your ‘Ol' Lady’ anytime.”
 Although she won't embarrass you in front of your friends for calling her that , you can bet if she's over 30 she's thinking to herself, "If he ever calls me that again in public, I'm going to stick my spiked heel motorcycle boot so far up his butt he’ll need a tow truck to pull it out.”  
Or maybe, just maybe, the next time you’re out, she’ll make a really big deal and introduce you as her “Fat Mother Fu*%er.”  Love is a funny thing isn’t it?
If you’ve been told, or have told, a little lie like the ones above, I’d like to hear them.  Who knows, sometime in the future I might post an update and add to the list.  Until then, Live Free. Ride Hard. Be Happy! ☺


Beaded Motorcycle Seat Review: BeadRider - A Cooler Way to Ride

A few posts back I wrote about monkey butt and how to prevent it.  One piece of the prevention puzzle was to minimize moisture and I noted that the BeadRider beaded motorcycle seat could help in that regard.  At the time, I only had anecdotal evidence based on what other riders had reported.  I mentioned that I had ordered a BeadRider and was looking forward to trying it out for myself.  Well, after receiving my BeadRider and putting a few hundred miles in the saddle, I feel qualified to give you a first-hand report on its performance.

BeadRider "Ultimate" Beaded Seat
First, a few words about my ordering experience.  I placed my order through the BeadRider website on a Saturday. Within minutes, I received an e-mail confirmation with all the details of the order.  Two days later, on Monday, I received shipping confirmation and a tracking number and two days after that, on Wednesday, USPS delivered my package.  I was very pleased with the straightforward ordering process, no-hassle communication, and speedy delivery.

Upon returning from the mailbox, I quickly opened the package to see what my $70.95 ($58.95 + $12.00 shipping) had bought me.  Having seen several BeadRiders on friend’s motorcycles I pretty much knew what to expect, but I’m always a little apprehensive when receiving on-line orders.   Fortunately, everything was just as expected and I was impressed with the overall feel and finish of the product.  For the record, there are two versions of the BeadRider (available in several sizes).  The “Original” is made of wooden beads and the “Ultimate” is made of ceramic beads.  I chose the “Ultimate” because I felt that the ceramic beads would hold up better.

After a quick examination, I wasted no time installing the BeadRider on my Sportster.
Although there were no instructions, installation was simple.  I removed my saddle, slid the BeadRider in-place, tightened the attached shock cords, and put the saddle back on the bike.  Total installation time, less than 10 minutes.  Some might think the BeadRider looks odd on the saddle but I didn’t buy it to win a beauty contest…I bought it to make my butt happy.

The first thing I noticed when I sat on it the first time was I felt a little taller in the saddle.  The BeadRider effectively lifted me up about ½ inch.  Depending on how vertically challenged you are and your bike’s seat height, this could be a problem. Fortunately for me, the seat height was low enough originally that the extra ½ inch didn’t affect my ability to flat foot the bike.  The second thing I noticed is that I didn’t feel a bunch of beads.  The weave of the BeadRider does a nice job of spreading my weight evenly over the entire seating area.

On my first few rides I was a bit apprehensive about how sitting on the beads would feel after a few miles.  I’m happy to report sitting on the beads isn’t uncomfortable at all.  In fact, there’s not a huge amount of difference in the “feel” of riding on beads or riding without them.  So far I like it…I like it a lot.  I can definitely feel more airflow around my backside, which helps with reducing moisture.  I can also move around in the saddle easier.  Before the BeadRider, readjusting my seating position was more difficult and on a hot day, it could feel as if I had melted into the saddle.  I don’t think I’ll have that issue with the BeadRider.

I haven’t done any long distance or all day rides just yet, but based on my experience thus far I’m pretty confident the BeadRider will increase my long distance comfort.  I’ll be putting that theory to the test on two Iron Butt rides I’m planning…a 1500 mile, 24-hour BunBurner Gold into New Mexico and a 3000 mile, 72-hour Saddlesore to Hell and back (that’s Hell, MI just in case you’re wondering).  I’ll let you know if I’m still a fan of the BeadRider afterwards.

If you have a BeadRider and have used it on long distance rides, leave me a comment and let me know what you think about it.  You know what they say, “Opinions are like assholes, and everybody has one.” I want to hear yours.  Until then Live Free. Ride Hard. Be Happy!


Fall Is In the Air - A Great Texas Ride Remembered

As we start seeing cooler temperatures and the leaves begin to fall, I'm reminded of a great ride to the Lost Maples State Natural Area (SNA).  I wrote a guest post for Motorcycle House detailing the ride last November.  You can check-out my original ride report on their blog. Here's the link - Changing Seasons A Ride To the Lost Maples State Natural Area.

Big Tooth Maple in Lost Maples SNA
If you live in or around the Texas Hill Country, I'd highly recommend visiting the Lost Maples SNA this Fall.  It's one of the few places in South/Central Texas where you can actually see a magnificent show of Fall colors.  The Big Tooth Maples in the SNA are absolutely stunning and if you plan your trip right, you'll have a chance to ride some of the best motorcycle roads in Texas.  The famed Twisted Sisters are just a short ride away.

Before saddling-up and pointing your bike towards Lost Maples, check-out their Fall Foliage Report to get an idea of the of how the color changes are progressing. You can use the report to help time your visit to experience the peak color change (generally occurring sometime in late October or November depending on the weather).

Fall is probably the best time of year to ride in Texas and I know you'll enjoy riding to Lost Maples SNA.  You'll be on some great riding roads, with lots of interesting places to see along the way.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Ever tried fresh apple ice cream? No? You don't know what you're missing.  Visit the Apple Store in Medina, TX.
  • Interested in motorcycle history? Stop by the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum in Vanderpool, TX.  The museum is only a couple of miles from Lost Maples.
  • Need an interesting place to take a break and fill your belly?  Try the Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop in Leakey, TX.  You can get some great Twisted Sister merchandise to commemorate your ride too...and don't forget to check-out the view from the patio.

I hope my walk down memory lane gives you some great ideas for a Fall ride.  No matter where you ride, always remember to Live Free, Ride Hard, and Be Happy!

Photos from my Ride to Lost Maples SNA in November 2013

On Our Way to Lost Maples

Walking Down the Riverbed in Lost Maples

Painting the Colors of Fall in Texas

Now There's Some Color

A Peek of Orange and Red