Friday, August 30, 2013

The History of Labor Day and Motorcycles

Labor Day: How it Came About and what Men did to occupy themselves on there day off.

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Labor Day Legislation and the invention of the motorcycle

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. At this time a German named Gottlieb Daimler invented the first gas-engined motorcycle in 1885, which was an engine attached to a wooden bike. That marked the moment in history when the dual development of a viable gas-powered engine and the modern bicycle collided and American, Sylvester Howard Roper (1823-1896) invented a two-cylinder, steam-engine motorcycle (powered by coal) in 1867. This can be considered the first motorcycle, if you allow your description of a motorcycle to include a steam engine. Howard Roper also invented a steam engine car..

Gottlieb Daimler used a new engine invented by engineer, Nicolaus Otto. Otto invented the first "Four-Stroke Internal-Combustion Engine" in 1876. He called it the "Otto Cycle Engine" As soon as he completed his engine, Daimler (a former Otto employee) built it into a motorcycle. From these, a movement developed  to secure state legislation for a day off and on this day men could ride there motorcycle.. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887 which is a beautiful state to go for a ride in the summer. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment and more riders had the day off. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories so now all rideers have a 3 day weekend to go for a ride.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

FIRE! At Yosemite National Park!

 One of my favorite rides is riding through Yosemite National Park, Now this beautiful national treasure is being destroyed by fire!
The numbers are staggering and the prospects are absolutely scary as a massive California wildfire menaces Yosemite National Park.
The Rim Fire, which has devoured nearly 161,000 acres, is also threatening San Francisco's key water and power sources.
The Yosemite wildfire rages on in California as the wildfire doubles in size and Fire crews fight to save Yosemite as more Firefighters are sent in to battle Yosemite wildfire.
The wildfire, which was 20% contained Monday night, was spreading primarily to the east and threatened to grow amid extremely dry conditions and hot weather.
As many as 20 helicopters and air tankers were aiding the efforts of 3,600 firefighters.
The fire continued to spread Monday toward a key part of San Francisco's water supply: the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which lies within Yosemite and is just east of the flames.
The fire also could threaten the area's hydroelectric generators, which provide much of San Francisco's electricity. Because of the approaching flames, officials shut down the generators, and the city -- more than 120 miles to the west -- temporarily is getting power from elsewhere.
Yosemite, with hundreds of campground sites and lodging units, had nearly 4 million visitors last year, and the park typically has 15,000 visitors on a busy summer weekend.
While the Rim Fire has consumed at least 12,000 acres in the northwest section of the park, so far it has had little or no direct impact on Yosemite Valley, a popular spot for tourists and home to many of the famous cliffs and waterfalls in the park.
About 4,500 structures, many of them vacation homes, were under threat, according to InciWeb, a federal website that collects information from agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. The fire so far has cost more than $20 million.

About Wildfires:
Wildfires are sometimes called "wildland fires."
Wildfires can originate from a dropped match, cigarette embers, campfires, exhaust sparks from a train, or arson.
Many wildland fires are ignited by lightning.
There are no official rules, but the first responders usually name a fire after a meadow, creek, city, or type of plant they see.
Wind, temperature, and humidity all influence wildfires. Strong winds push flames toward new fuel sources. Wind can pick up and transfer burning embers and sparks, starting "spot fires."
During the day, sunlight heats the ground and warm air rises, allowing hot air currents to travel up sloped landscapes. At night, the ground cools and air currents travel down the slopes.
Humidity dampens fuel, slowing the spread of flames. Humidity is greater at night, so fires usually burn less intensely then.
Large fires can create their own winds and weather, increasing their flow of oxygen.
A really large fire can generate hurricane-force winds, up to 120 mph. The high temperatures preheat fuels in the fire's path, preparing them to burn more readily.
Its everyone's responsibility to be careful with fire so we don't loose a national treasure like Yosemite National Park.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Deer, Oh Dear!

There are a lot of “booby traps” that the unwary motorcyclist can ride into, including innocuous-looking alleyways, raised pavement edges, railroad tracks, loose sand, sunken manhole covers, tar snakes, and white plastic arrows glued to the pavement. Most of those hazards occur in the city. Out in the country on those twisty back roads we love to ride, we can expect some different types of booby traps.
One major trap that can spring on us is a wild animal, especially wild deer. Deer are so delicate and demure that it’s hard to think of them as a hazard. But when we come upon the sickening sight of a dead deer along the highway, we are again reminded of the danger, both to the animal, and to ourselves.
Animal strikes are a significant hazard for those of us who enjoy long-distance travel. Statistically speaking, vehicle collisions are the major motorcycling hazard, but as motorcycling experience builds and we get a little smarter, our risks of a car/bike collision should decrease. But the risk of animal strikes remains high because animals are so difficult to predict. Wild deer are found all over North America, in large numbers, their population is increasing, and they have habits and instincts that put them on collision courses with motor vehicles.
Photo: Yes, it’s gruesome, but deer strikes are a real threat on country roads.
The typical deer strike occurs with the animal suddenly leaping in front of the vehicle, often at night. The vehicle slams into the deer, with sickening consequences. What’s startling is the amount of damage even a small deer can do to a speeding vehicle. If the motorist happens to be a motorcyclist, the odds are high that both deer and biker will be seriously injured. What’s so insidious about motorcycle/deer collisions is the unpredictability.
You may have ridden for hundreds of thousands of miles, proficiently avoiding thousands of left-turners, alley jumpers, edge traps, graveled corners, and decreasing-radius turns. Then, on some easy country ride, a deer suddenly leaps out of the woods into your path, and Thud! We don’t have reliable statistics on motorcycle/animal collisions, because many accidents don’t get reported. The famous “Hurt Report” gathered statistics from only motorcycle accidents in the Los Angeles area, where there are few wild deer. But animal strikes are a frequent enough problem elsewhere, that we should practice appropriate countermeasures on those rides that take us into deer country.

Monday, August 12, 2013


You may think that your skin is safe from the elements once you plan out your trip, saddle up and ride. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Most people know there's another environmental factor to watch out for -- the wind.

Your skin has an outer layer made of molecules called lipids; they keep your skin moisturized and protect it from the wind or F.A.B. When the air is cold, however, your skin contains less moisture. As a result, the elements can break down these lipids and harm your skin more easily. The wind friction can cause the redness and skin irritation commonly known as windburn or F.A.B SYNDROME (Facial Air Burn).

Although F.A.B. most frequently targets the face as your riding, it can affect any exposed area of skin. The stronger and colder the winds, the more susceptible skin becomes to F.A.B. F.A.B. is especially common among people involved in riding and having fun with there bike. The increased speed and possible blast from the wind causes more friction and less fun, which can lead to uncomfortable chafing, bugs in your face, wind buffeting, and facial expressions that would scare the dead. You're especially likely to get F.A.B Syndrome if you get off to a fun ride without your LRS Shield and head out into a blast of winds . People with LRS Shields don't often get F.A.B. Syndrome because it causes the wind to go over your head 3 more inches and what man wouldnt want 3 more inches.

 F.A.B Syndrome may feel like sunburn, and because F.A.B. is more likely to happen in the winter (especially for those who ride in winter season without an LRS Shield), the two irritations may coincide. Luckily, LRS has the cure for windburn or F.A.B.  If you want to find out how to prevent and treat F.A.B. Syndrome, head to and shield yourself from F.A.B. and dont be another statistic.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


The Sturgis Rally, the single biggest motorcycle event in the world, drawing in close to a half a million bikers each August, has helped the small South Dakota town to become known as "Motorcycle City USA." In contrast to today’s annual turn-out, the rally’s beginnings were humble-to say the least.
In 1938 a local Sturgis motorcycle enthusiast, J.C. "Pappy" Hoel, founded the Black Hills Classic. The rally began life as a race with just nine motorcycles showing up. In the years since it has grown into an iconic motorcycle gathering as well as a major tourist event for the state.
Founded in 1878, the town of Sturgis sits just off I-90 (exits 30 and 32 to be exact). It was a boomtown catering to off-duty U.S. Cavalry soldiers stationed at nearby Fort Meade (how’s that for a bloodline of partying and good times relevant to today’s biker culture?). Sturgis was named after Ft. Meade’s commander, Colonel Samuel D. Sturgis.
Each summer since the original 1938 rally, the sleepy little town-with a population of 7,000-is descended upon by hundreds of thousands of bikers from all over the world.
Although the founding element of racing is still alive at the Sturgis event, with two half-mile dirt track races, four short-track races, and two hill climbs, the majority of attendees come for the awe-inspiring gathering of motorcycles, chrome and characters on Main Street, as well as taking part in the nine-day event’s various activities and tours.
                                                                            The Sturgis event has had its troubles over the years, with incidents small and large that threatened to cast a negative shadow over the event. However, the Rally has survived and today is welcomed by the locals as a vital tourism event that bolsters the local and State economies.

The rally’s rich history can be traced at the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. Traditionally the weather is hot and sunny in August in that part of the country, making for perfect motorcycle riding.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013



The New 2014 Indian Chief combines classic cues with modern performance and technology. It will run your Bluetooth, tell you your tire pressure, has throttle-by-wire and ABS. It has traditional running lights in the fairing but features integrated LED turn signals too. Classic cues include the red hue the marque is known for, swooping fenders and a lit War Bonnet emblem on the front fender. Its crown jewel is its engine that sits like a mother of pearl within the six-piece modular frame. But it’s more than just a pretty face. It’s like a punch in the nose, which Indian just delivered to its competitors.

 Indian brass stated it has one goal in mind with the new lineup: To build the premier premium American motorcycle. As it moves forward to that goal, it pays tribute to the brand’s Springfield heritage and its long history that dates back to 1901. The first 1901 production models coming out of Spirit Lake will be numbered, and the new model launch includes plenty of firsts for the Indian brand. The cast aluminum chassis is a first on an Indian, the bike’s skeleton providing both the weight savings and rigidity Indian sought as it attempted to pull mass out of the frame. The progressive linkage system used on the Chief Vintage and Chief Classic is another first on an Indian Motorcycle. The 2014 lineup includes the first hard-faired bagger the company has produced, too. 

During Indian’s technical presentation on the bike, they said the Chieftain’s styling cues were drawn from Indians from the 1950s, bold bikes with distinctive lines. But the new version departs from the norm by being the first Indian
produced with a hard fairing and hard bags. Indian designed them not only with function in mind, but made them quickly detachable and with the ability to be remotely locked via the bike’s key fob. The saddlebags are big enough to stuff in my backpack, which holds my 17-inch computer. 

Besides being attractively designed, the instrument console is placed intuitively, the round dial of its analog speedo easy enough to read at speed, as is the analog tach placed opposite it. Between the two dials is a digital readout with four different screens and plenty of information to toggle through. Among its functions are a clock and outside temperature gauge, radio, satellite radio, a plug-in audio device, range indicator, odometer, and tire pressure PSI readout. Cruise control comes standard and is operated via the right switch control.

The new Indian Chiefs have been the buzz of Sturgis. Every time we stop, someone will approach with a story about an Indian they owned and just about everybody has responded positively on the direction Polaris has taken. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

A New Kind Of CREEPY!


My Wife and I rode to Virginia City here in Nevada last weekend in July just to give ghost hunting a little try. My wife and I love ghost stories so we couldn't wait to visit the Washoe Club and the Crypt, where we heard there was a lot of ghost activity.

We entered the Crypt and turned off the lights. We didn't feel or see anything strange. We kept going in and out, turning lights on and off, hoping to see something. Three women came into the Crypt after we left and were taking pictures of each other with the lights off. I asked one of the ladies if they wanted me to take a group photo; they were thrilled that I offered, and handed me a camera and a cell phone.

After I took picture #1, I looked to see if it was a good shot, and noticed a black figure to the left of one of the women. I used the cell phone to take picture #2, and there was an orb where the black figure was in the other photo. Immediately, I showed the women the camera and the phone ~ they were talking excitedly about the pictures!!! I was disappointed that I didn't capture anything on my own camera.

Later in the day, we happened upon the same three ladies walking along one of the streets. We stopped, and I asked if they would mind sending me an email with those two pictures, as I hadn't captured anything myself. They told me that soon after we parted, both photos turned white on their cell phone and on their camera, and there was no way to explain what happened to them, "Weird" I thought...... I can't wait to go back!.
We then ventured to the haunted St. Mary Louise hospital, now known as St. Mary's art center. This historic property in Virginia city is quickly becoming a hot spot for ghost hunters.

At 14,000 square feet, four stories tall and resting on 5 1 / 2 acres of active land, the old hospital staff continue to loyally perform their duties of the day. The building was commissioned by bishop manogue from St. Mary's church in Virginia city, NV, 135 years ago this year. The staff consisted of 6-7 sisters who resided in the attic and attended to the patients in the old public wards as well as the private rooms.
These sisters were known as the daughters of charity. The first patient was admitted on March 14, 1876 for paralysis. On site property managers who have also been investigating the paranormal for the last 6 years, experience unusual phenomena on a daily basis.

Day or night, the spirits do not have a preference. Sounds such as heavy boots walking the halls and stairs, rolling of carts and gurney's (on hard wood however, the above floors are carpeted) , marbles rolling on the wooden floors, ladies conversing down hallways or in other rooms, shadow figures have been seen regularly (even during the day) , class A EVP's have been captured, phantom smells of rubbing alcohol, vomit, vapo rub, sterile scents, flowers, pipe tobacco, etc., have also been lurking the hallways and rooms. Several impressive photographs have been captured by many tourists without any explanation. Batteries have a tendency to go dead really quickly in certain rooms and light anomalies as bright as a flashlight have been captured on film (and no, it was not a flashlight).

Full body apparitions have been seen by the property manager inside the building as well as on the front lawn. This historic building is now an art center with 5 art galleries and  15 guest rooms if any of you feel up to the challenge to gather up your courage and spend the night with these unrestfull spirits. So if your ever ride into Nevada, Check out Virginia City cause we had a blast!