Sunday, November 25, 2007
Ft. Davis was fun but c-c-c-cold!
This week's trip to Ft. Davis was my first there without a bike since 2005, and to be perfectly honest, I'm very glad.
The highest temperature we experienced was was 39(F) on Wednesday afternoon, and the lowest we endured was 14(F) with wind chill just outside Marfa on Thursday night. Then on Friday, the wind blew at well over 30 miles per hour atop the observation point at the state park. Brrr.
But aside from the cold, the trip was very fun. I took one of my cameras with me and shot the following footage. Enjoy:
I hope everyone had a safe, enjoyable Thanksgiving.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
"That's a cop, stupid."
I thought I'd get one good evening ride in tonight before the rain and snow in this week's forecast arrives, so at about 6:30 or so, I headed out on the ZX-7R for wherever.
The ride itself was a good one. I rode Midland's north side, then took a jaunt up through Gardendale, went around Odessa once, then took Highway 191 east back toward Midland.
When I got into town, I stopped for fuel at Midland Drive and Andrews Highway. As I pulled out of the gas station and headed for the Godfrey intersection, I saw the unmistakable front profile of a late model Mustang several blocks behind, suddenly coming up fast in the lane beside me -- engine revving to the moon.
"Puh-leeez," I thought. "This should be interesting."
As we stopped at the red light, an MPD patrol cruiser pulled up too, facing us head-on from the other direction -- as plain as day under the streetlights.
"That's that," I thought. "This punk will surely stand down."
So there we were, just the three of us -- me, Johnny Law, and the pimply-faced geek with the small-block V8. All would be calm and civil.
Or so I thought.
To my surprise, Mustang Dork® started revving his engine like John Force at Pomona, trying like mad to get my attention. Naturally I ignored him, like I always do in these all-to-frequent scenarios, but he persisted. Finally, I looked over at him and he put his window down, hands making a what's-the-deal gesture and giving me the nose-up nod.
"That's a cop, stupid," I barked while raising my faceshield. "Chill out!"
He looked over toward the patrol cruiser just as the light turned green. I immediately took off at a brisk pace, attempting to send the message that the conversation was over. Not only that, but I went up a block and got into the Left Turn Lane to make sure we didn't meet again at the next red light. But, nooooooo. Mustand Dork® slithered in behind me, determined to have either a race or a conversation, neither of which I was interested in.
A soon as I made the turn, I hit the hyperdrive button and stayed in the cooking oil until the next light. At long last, he got the point and turned off, presumably back in the direction from whence he came. Me, I went for a coffee.
If I had a knickel for every time some teenage knucklehead in a Mustang, Camaro, or tuner car attempted this exact same stunt, I'd own one of the space shuttles by now. Listen up, kiddies: If you can't run 10 seconds or less in the quarter-mile, don't bother picking on me. It's not my job to entertain you, nor are the vast majority of you worthy of even lining up along side the likes of me. Don't be silly. Stop it. Honestly.
So what's the moral of this story, you ask?
I hate people.
Well, most of them, anyway. Eric Clapton, as an example, wouldn't fall into that category. But backward baseball cap-wearing, pepperoni-faced teen douchebags in lame Mustangs do.
Oh, and if they have a "No Fear" or "Ain't Skeered" decal on the window -- Ooooh, then I double hate them.
WE'RE DISCUSSING THIS SUBJECT AT TWO-WHEELED TEXANS
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
The gaggle of morons that is the IIHS
From the AMA:
You probably saw the headlines in newspapers across the country several weeks ago:
"High-Performance Motorcycles Contributing to High Death Toll."
"Supersport motorcycles lead the pack in death rates and claims costs."
"The New Motorcycles: Bigger, Faster, Deadlier."
And underneath those headlines, you—like many other Americans—read dire warnings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that sportbikes are much more dangerous than other types of motorcycles on the road.
Indeed, the IIHS claimed it had conducted research showing that three types of motorcycles—those that fit in categories it calls "supersport," "sport" and "unclad sport"—are so dangerous that serious action is required to deal with this issue.
What type of action? Here are the IIHS' own words on the subject:
"Short of banning superport and sport motorcycles from public roadways, capping the speed of these street-legal racing machines at the factory might be one way to reduce risk."
That's right—this powerful Washington-based group is talking about either banning or restricting entire classes of motorcycles. And when we hear words like that, we—like you—take notice.
Never mind, for a moment, that the alleged "research" behind this report doesn’t stand up to critical examination. What matters is that mainstream media outlets, which are unlikely to give this report a hard look, are already parroting the IIHS line, which means that we all need to be very concerned.
"This kind of flawed report, passed off as scientific research, has the potential to do great damage," says Ed Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations. "At the very least, it can create false perceptions we’ll have to fight for years. And at worst, it could lead to restrictive laws that have no basis in reality."
Read the whole thing here.
This isn't just about sportbikes. Congress tried to do this with UJMs in the early 80s but thankfully failed, due in part to swift action by the AMA.
No matter what kind of motorcycle you ride, you'd better make your voice heard against this plan.
WE'RE DISCUSSING THIS SUBJECT AT TWO-WHEELED TEXANS.