Thursday, January 24, 2013


Seems like I'm kind of slacking lately...OK, yes, I've been slacking lately.   In lots of areas.  Work.  This blog.  One of my other hobbies (making jewelry).  Riding my street bike.

On the other hand, I've also been setting up "dinner out" nights for my friends.   Planning a mini-vacation (OK, long weekend).  Um, that's about it.  So, yeah, slacking.

With that in mind, thought I'd stop in for a quick note just to say that I'm still here and I do have stuff to still talk about.  I did end up going riding the other Sunday, so I have a report from that as well as putting together Part 5 - What Doesn't Kill Me....  I'm hoping I'll have some down time this weekend, maybe sitting by a pool in Miami, to work on some of this.  

Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

"Bad" Weather and Gear/Bike Updates

"Bad" Weather
Grrrr.....!  For days, everything and everyone was predicting 60-70% chance of rain all day last Sunday throughout the entire greater Tampa Bay area.  As a result, my friend and I decided to make other, indoor plans rather than go dirt biking like initially planned (OK, plus we both ended up sleeping in rather late on Sunday - like 10:30 am late).  Wouldn't you know it - beautiful temps and sunny - all day. Because of our late start and other plans, we didn't go out on the bikes Sunday.  Which means I couldn't try out....

My "New" Gear
As you may recall from Part 1 - The Gear, I would have further updates on my gear.  This is the first of those updates.  While out on my first day riding last month, the kidney belt of the medium Alpinestars Bionic 2 armor ended up working more like a bustier on me (yeah, I know guys, and the problem with that is.....?!  Trust me - I got that comment when I reordered, lol!) rather than protecting my kidneys while I was riding.  It also felt constricted in the shoulders while riding, so I decided to exchange the medium for a large.  I haven't tried the large out riding yet, but just trying it on I feel like it may function more like it's supposed to because it is a little broader in the shoulders, the back protector is longer, and the entire item is longer and as a result seems to fit my entire torso better.  I was pleased that even though it's wider and longer, the mesh doesn't seem to fit much different than the medium, which was my greatest worry.  Of course, the real test will be riding - so we'll see what the weather holds for this upcoming Sunday.....!

Bike Updates
No riding also means I didn't have a chance to try out my updated handle bars, clutch, or brush guards.  The brush guards I decided to add as an optional accessory for when we start getting off the trails or ride trails that have a bit more branchy stuff in the way. I bought the Trackside brush guards from Cycle Gear; they weren't terribly expensive and seem basic but I feel that is just fine for me being the noob I am.  We also replaced my handle bars; they weren't in terrible condition when I bought the bike, but the bars were bent a little and new ones were, again, a relatively inexpensive fix.  Clutch was a bit wonky and had issues with finding neutral; that is now fixed.  Still waiting, though, for the back-ordered left peg to come in.    Also need a heat shield so I can avoid burning a hole in my pants again (luckily I have a GR patch to cover that up!)  And, of course, *need moar stickers*!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

This first week is already shaping up to be a busy one (beware - shameless, but fun, plugs ahead):
  • bike night on Wednesday (Tampa area - come on out and meet fellow riders - it's not a club - it's just an informal regularly scheduled place and time, set up by a local forum, to meet up with other guys and gals that like to ride - sportbikes, dirtbikes, a few standards.  You don't even need to have a bike, plenty of people cage* it due to work schedule or they only have an off-road (track or dirt) bike or weather or because they're currently bikeless for whatever reason.  Here is the link for more information: Meet n Eat - O'Tooles - Brandon)
  • dinner plans on Thursday
  • dragstrip* on Friday
  • Girl Riders ride on Saturday (check it out - it is a street ride open to all ladies, all bike types, and all skill levels:  Girls Ride Tampa)
  • and (finally!) most likely some dirt biking on Sunday!  
Needless to say, I'm going to enjoy the quiet of today.   

I'm also going to try to work on the next installment (Part 5: What Doesn't Kill Me.....) this week and post it up before Sunday so I can try to get myself back on track here.  So, really, this is just a quick note to wish you all a Happy New Year, encourage some of my Tampa area readers to attend some local events, and let you know more posts and riding will be coming soon!  

Happy New Year - Get Dirty!

*See Side Notes - Happy New Year