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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Milestone

On Saturday April 24, 2010 at 10:20 on TX 5 at the south edge of Howe, TX my 2003 VStar 1100 reached 100,000 miles!
100,000 miles on an air-cooled v-twin

It was a pretty spring day in Texas
Just wanted to share the milestone.  Bike is running great although I have a small oil leak that I am trying to track down.  I think I know where it is and how to fix it, now I just need to do it.

I decided to "celebrate" by take one the best roads in our area to Sherman, where I had a scheduled meeting with the area Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA) leadership.  I continued north on TX 5 into Howe where I turned east on FM 902.  There is a nice duo of sweeping curves a little way out of Howe and the small country road is in good shape and lightly traveled.

FM 902 end in Tom Bean where in intersects TX 11.  I turned east for one block and then turned north on FM 2729 and head to FM 697 known as Old Ida road.  Old Ida road is an eleven mile stretch of great curves and hills with some great views of the area.  I missed about 3-4 miles of the eastern most part of FM 697 but I greatly enjoyed the ride.

It was a pretty day and there was no traffic.  I even pulled a U-turn to go back and take some pictures of the donkeys that were grazing.  There was a herd of about 20.  I have seen a lot of donkey, but it just seemed like a good time for a photo.
Momma and baby away from the herd
FM 697 a great road in the NT area.
FM 697 is not the Tail of the Dragon, but it is a great road and I enjoyed the celebration of the milestone by dragging some floorboards on the curves and enjoying the scenery.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I hate wet feet when riding

This is my second post concerning riding boots (first post).  I have found that if my toes are cold or my feet are uncomfortable riding becomes less enjoyable so quality footwear is important for comfort as well as safety/protection.

A few months ago I acquired a pair of Icon Accelerant Waterproof boots from Riders Discount.
Great soles on the Accelerant Waterproof boots
The boots are made with an anti-slip rubber compound soles that grip very well in all weather conditions.  Leather and nylon uppers give the boot a nice look, a sturdy feel, and great durability.  There is a "shin deflection strap" that makes the boots fit snug and keeps the laces from flapping around.  The shin deflection strap has an aluminum lock buckle that works smoothly.

The boots fit snug.  If you wear a size 9 and are use to them being a little loose you will not find that the case with these boots.  If you were wanting to be able to wear some thick socks during the cold weather you may need to purchase one size bigger than usual.  The boots felt great as soon as I put them on.  I did not need any "break-in" time. They are very light when compared to other boots.  Icon claims they are the lightest boots Icon makes.  I believe them.
Photo from the Icon Riders Discount

I wore the boots in the snow during one of the rare occasions it snows here in North Texas.  My feet never got wet.  When riding in the rain the feet stayed dry.  The boots have lived up to their claim of being waterproof.

What stands out the most to me is the comfort.  I have worn the boots for over 12 hours a day during my trip to and from Orlando.  At the end of the day I wasn't just rushing to take the boots off.  The boots support the feet and ankles very well.  The cushion is not enough to play 3 hours of basketball, but it is enough for a day of riding and site seeing.  These boots are as good for riding as they are for walking.

If you are needing a good waterproof boot checkout the Icon Accelerant Waterproof boot.  I think you will find them a great buy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Time for another special list.

In December I posted my first list of places, gear, restaurants... that I did not find worthy of a review.  I don't like to write negative reviews or reviews of "just average" items and have you waste time reading about something that isn't worthy of your consideration.

The items/places on this list are not necessarily bad, but they are not items/places that I would get excited about sharing with my friends.  So, I hope you find this list useful in it's own way.

Restaurants:
Kate's Place - Ridgway, CO
Old Mexico - Dothan, AL
Two Senoritas - Greenville, TX
La Fiesta Grande - Natchez, MS

Eye wear - Hooligan Photochromic (transition sunglasses) - comfortable, but did not get dark enough for me during the bright daylight.

Tires - Dunlop D404

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Not much room, but great burger.

I confess that I did not ride my bike to Burger Land, but I was on motorcycle business.  I was visiting some motorcycle dealerships in the North Texas area to talk to them about carrying the Moto Oz Detailing Products (yes, that was a shameless self serving plug, but I won't do that often :) ).  


It was time for lunch and I was in Paris, Texas.  I decided to drive to the downtown area and see if I could locate a local eatery before visiting with another dealership.  As I was heading south on Main St. I passed by a small, older looking, drive thru place that had a lot of vehicles parked around it.  All the vehicles caught my attention so I turned around to investigate.


** All photos are from Burger Land's Facebook photo album.  I had not planned to take pictures for the blog - I guess I should always be prepared.  **
There was a reason the parking lot was full.
The old marque sign in front of the place read "Burger Land."  It looked busy and I know that busy usually means something good when it comes to places to eat.  I parked in one of only two open space near the building.
This is the long side of the bar.
As soon as you open the door you can smell the homemade fries and burgers cooking.  The only seating in the place is the L shaped bar with stationary stools facing the "kitchen."  You can watch the "chef" cook your order.
Grill cooking up the burgers.
I ordered the cheeseburger, fries, and a drink.  As I sipped on my drink it was not long until the fresh cut french fries arrived hot & freshly fried.  I liked that I was served my fries hot even tho my burger was still cooking.  I seasoned the fries with the seasoned salt mixture that was provided and began to enjoy some of the best old-fashioned homemade fries that I had in a LONG time.  They were great.  I usually put ketchup on my fries, but not this time.  They were very tasty and cooked completely without burning them.


My cheeseburger arrived about 2 minutes later.  There is nothing special about the toasted bun, but there is no reason to doctor up the bun because the meat and fixin's were high quality.  The meat was flavorful, but not overly seasoned.  The lettuce was fresh and the pickles thick.  (No onions or tomatoes for me! Photo is not my burger.)
Hot fries and a great burger!
Normally a burger is just a burger, but the Burger Land's cheeseburger tickled my fancy.  I finished off the burger and fries and was already planning on a return trip.  The only negative is that if I am riding with 6 or more friends we might not be able to get in!  There was a picnic table and benches outside that would be nice when the weather cooperated.


Burger Land is open 10:30-8:00 Monday - Friday and 10:30-4:00 Saturday.  The address is 1301 N. Main, Paris Texas.  If you find yourself in Paris, TX and you want a good old-fashioned burger stop by Burger Land and enjoy!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I finally found one I like!

Honestly, if I was 100% sure I would never crash I would love to ride without a helmet, but since I live in a world where there are 4 wheeled cages on the road and wild critters that will dart out in the road, I opt to cover my skull.  Admittedly I wear among the least protective helmet, a 1/2 helmet, but it is a DOT approved helmet.

Over the years I had not found a helmet that I really liked enough to suggest it to anyone.  I realize that every individual's head and hair combo makes it impossible for manufacturers to make perfect fitting helmets for all of us.  We all try to find that helmet that we can use and at the end of the day not feel like our head has been squeezed in a clamp or rubbed because it is too loose.

On my recent 1,200+ mile trip to Orlando and back I tested my most recent helmet acquisition - the AFX FX-3 Karbon Beanie Half Helmet that I got from Riders Discount.

AFX FX-3
When I first tried on the helmet it seemed a little tight, but as I wore it on some shorter riders before the big trip I realized that it fit well and did not move as much as my older helmet.  The snug fit did NOT cause any pain or pressure and I did not have to overly tighten the chin strap to stop excess movement of the helmet.

Once on the road to Florida I knew I would get a true test to the comfort or discomfort of the helmet.  The first day we road to Natchez, Mississippi - 430 miles.
River boat on the Mississippi River in Natchez, Ms - photo taken from the west side of the river.
I have a short windshield so I quickly noticed that the small visor did not catch as much air and push on my neck as much as my other helmet, that was nice.  The strap secures easily and the end of the strap can be kept from flapping around by using the elastic loop above the latch to keep the strap fastened down.  I would prefer a snap instead, but the loop worked OK.

When I took my helmet off after one full day of riding I had no discomfort to my head (maybe some helmet hair, although I don't have much to mess up). 

On Friday March 19 when we left Orlando to head back to Texas the temperature was the highest for the entire trip, reaching into the 70's.  On that day I realized that the helmet did not have air vents.  Although, that was not a big issue on this trip I can see that it will be in the hot summer days in Texas.  

Overall, I like the helmet.  It has been the best 1/2 helmet I have owned (I had 3 in addition to this one).  I like the fit, the look, and the performance.  The only concern is the lack of ventilation and I will know more after some riding in Texas during July and August.

Would I buy the AFX FX-3 Karbon Beanie Half Helmet again?  Yes.