New rider!

April 29, 2006

We picked up Angie’s 2000 Honda Shadow VLX VT600 on Wednesday. Here she is riding around the neighborhood. The smile says is all doesn’t it?!

Angie’s Shadow VLX 600 Posted by Picasa


Thundering Hearts practice run

April 24, 2006
Sunday turned out to be another gorgeous 70° day – blue skies with puffy white clouds, an occasional breeze. I was getting ready to head out to Milford for the first practice run of the Thundering Hearts Ride when a co-worker from Children’s Hospital, Mike Jansen called to go riding. Mike rides a VTX 1800, Honda’s biggest V-twin. I headed over to Mike’s place and we rode on some nice back roads to Milford. Most of the riders, about 50 in all, were there because they will be road captains on the day of the Thundering Hearts ride and need to be familiar with the route.

Riding in a large group is very different from riding solo or in smaller groups. There’s the “rubber-band effect” when the group tends to get stretched out or broken up due to traffic or stop-lights. Then there are the hand signals that need to be passed to the back. But mostly, the group moves as a single unit, a sea of bikes moving in sync. Its an awesome sight to see and even better to be a part of. While a group of 50 is impressive enought, the organizers are expecting close to 1000 bikes for the actual ride on May 20th! There will be a police escort and they will be blocking traffic at the intersections with the help of the road captains, so that the group can move together for the entire ride.

At the ride, we met a wonderful couple, Jimmy, an ex-Marine and Vietnam veteran, and his wife Pat, who took some great pictures and was kind enough to email me some.

At the meeting point

Ready to roll

At a stop

On the move

Mike’s on the right and I’m on the left

Chatting with a couple of veterans

Jimmy, Mike and me

Jimmy and Pat

A Perfect Day

April 23, 2006
I try to live with the attitude that every day is a perfect one. But some days are more perfect than others! Yesterday was one of those, when everything just came together so well that it couldn’t have been any better.

To start off, Angie and I went to check out a bike for her. Yes, she is finally getting one! I’d found a silver 2000 Shadow VLX with 5900 miles on and she was excited!

The owner, Tony Eich, is an air-force veteran, world traveler and photographer (check out his site). The bike is in excellent condition. He let us test ride the bike and even knocked a couple of hundred bucks off the price for us. We put down a deposit on the bike and headed back to Angie’s place, where we met up with John, Aimee and Dave, her neighbor who rides a Harley Davidson as well.

We then set out to Versailles, Indiana, where Angie’s folks Jerry and Phyllis have a farm. It was 70° and simply the best day to be out riding. From US 50W, we took route 56 from Aurora, IN and then route 262 from Rising Sun. We then took route 62 at Dillsboro, a winding, scenic road though the town of Friendship, IN.

We were starving by the time we arrived at the farm. Mama Bling had just what a bunch of hungry riders needed! Brauts and hot dogs, an excellent potato salad, baked beans and chocolate brownies! After devouring most of the food, we took a tour of the farm.

The riders and Jerry

I tried fishing for the first time and after overcoming some initial hesitation about threading a live worm through a hook, I even caught a fish!

It was a little cooler as we headed back to Cincinnati, and we reached home just before dark, having ridden about 150 miles. Lets see how we can top yesterday!

The Second Annual Thundering Hearts Motorcycle Ride

April 21, 2006
I plan to ride in the Thundering Hearts Motorcycle Ride organized by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center on May 20th. Here are the details from the website:

The Second Annual Thundering Hearts Motorcycle Ride
Date: Saturday, May 20, 2006
Type: Fund raiser
Location: The bikers will depart from the American Legion Hall, Post 450 in Milford, Ohio
Contact: Paul Martinez (, 513-636-7260
Sponsor: The Heart Center and the Division of Cardiology

On May 20, 2006, bikers from the Greater Cincinnati area will rev their engines for the Second Annual Thundering Hearts Motorcycle Ride benefiting Camp Joyful Hearts and The Heart Center Family Retreat Weekend of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Bikers will gather at The American Legion Hall, Post 450, in Milford, Ohio, and head off on a scenic route to Camp Joyful Hearts located in Clarksville, Ohio. Participants will have the chance to meet the patients and families that attend the retreat weekend while relaxing at the camp. The fun does not stop there – there bikers will hit the road back to the American Legion Hall where the food will be hot and a band will be ready to rock!

Registration is from 10 am to 11:30 am. The bikers will depart at noon and will arrive back at the American Legion Post about 3 pm. Cost is $15 per rider plus and additional $5 if there is a passenger. Route maps are available upon request.

For more information about the Second Annual Thundering Hearts Motorcycle Ride, contact Paul Martinez (, 513-636-7260.

Inclement weather……trip to the gorge cancelled!!

April 14, 2006
It looks like this isn’t going to be the best weekend for a motorcycle camping trip. I wasn’t going to change my plans over a minor sprinkle but lots of rain and thunderstorms are in the forecast for this region.

Link to Accuweather radar Posted by Picasa

The rain suit that I ordered will arrive today, so I might test it out this weekend on a ride around the neighborhood.

Check out this neat site I found that lets you build your own checklist for a motorcycle camping trip: Motorcycle Trip Checklist

Postscript: We did end up going to the gorge, but by car. And there wasn’t a drop of rain the entire trip! So much for the weather forecast. I saw plenty of day-riders there but no one who was on a motorcycle camping trip.

Great Ride on Sunday

April 10, 2006
After returning from Columbus on Sunday afternoon, I immediately replaced the frayed clutch cable and set out for a ride. I met up with John, Aimee, Greg and Melissa at Angie’s place and we proceeded to Bier Haus in Cleves, OH. After an early dinner, we were eager to get out in the sun and ride. A quick jaunt through E. Miami river rd. and Buffalo Ridge Rd.brought us back to Harrison Ave. Greg and Melissa headed home from there, the rest of us decided to ride some more. We headed north on E. Miami river road and continued on route 126 toward Brookville. Some back roads brought us to the town of Harrison and John and Aimee took I-74 back while Angie and I decided to take Harrison Ave back. At the intersection of Harrison and route 128, we had a close call– the dreaded cager turning left in front of you, totally ignoring your right of way. I had to pull off a pretty hard rear-tire locked, front brakes squealing stop but fortunately didn’t drop the bike. I don’t think the cager even realized what happened. Angie was a bit shaken after that but other than that it was a great ride. John and Aimee were waiting for us when we pulled in at Angie’s place. The pictures below were taken just after we arrived. Postscript: Just added the last picture, taken before the ride. Greg and Melissa are in the middle.

Great weather this week, I hope the weekend will be nice too. The plan is to ride to Red River Gorge in Kentucky and camp there Friday night, do some hiking and return on Saturday. I have to see how much equipment I can load onto the bike safely, the big ones being the tent and the sleeping bag. More on that soon.

The Honda Riders! | Posted by Picasa

The HD riders! Posted by Picasa

All Posted by Picasa

Saturday ride to Columbus cancelled

April 8, 2006
I had planned to ride to Columbus to meet some friends today. I was inspecting the bike before starting out and I noticed that the clutch cable looked frayed. On closer inspection, I realized that it was almost ready to come apart! Whew…close call! Imagine the cable breaking while I was cruising at 75mph on the highway. Anyway, I’m replacing the cable tomorrow and will hopefully get to do some riding this weekend.