I am an ordinary guy who enjoys riding motorcycles. I love riding all makes and models. I love short rides, long rides, and multi-day road trips. I post reviews about motorcycle gear, motorcycles, roads, restaurants, sights, gadgets and more. The Motorcycle Facts,Trivia and History page has a lot of good info. Be safe and enjoy the ride, Oz.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Eating in Pagosa Springs

On the east side of Pagosa Springs where  US 180 & US 84 intersect you will find the appropriately named Junction Restaurant.  The Junction is very biker friendly, although the parking lot is not paved.  The scenery and ride to get there is awesome, especially if you ride over Wolf Creek Pass (10,857 ft) east of town.

The Junction is both a restaurant and a gift store.  The gift store had a good selection of t-shirts and collectibles.

The Junction serves up country cooking with a little southwest flair.  Standard country food was on the menu, i.e. burgers, chili, chicken fried steak...

We were greeted with smile and quickly seated (11:30 am).  The waitress filled our drink order and answered our questions about the menu and struck back at the joking around by members of our party.  She did a great job.

I had the green chili.  This is not a normal menu choice from me, but I am glad I ordered it.  The chili was served hot and it smelled great.  It was very flavorful and had some "kick" to it, but it was not too spicy.  The ground meet was good and I did not notice any gristle.  My son and other ordered the hamburger.  The burgers looked good - nothing great, but were good and satisfying burgers.  No one in the group complained about the meal, actually everyone enjoyed it and would stop by again.

The price was very reasonable for a tourist town and we found the service good.  The facilities were clean and decorated nicely in  country/mountain decor.

If you are in Pagosa Springs stop by the Junction Restaurant for a meal.  Try the green chili, I think you will enjoy it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Luggage for the long trips

I have been blessed to be able to take my son and go on some really long trips on the bike over the last 5 summers.  Packing for these trips has proven challenging, but having good luggage really helps.  I have had the same brand and type of luggage now for 5 years.  I moved from the large to X-large in the same model before the 2009 summer trip because my son's clothes keep getting bigger.

I chose the TourMaster Nylon Sissybar Bag with Barrelbag in 2005.   The system allows three different setups of luggage (sissybar bag only, barrelbag only, sissybar bag & barrelbag).  The barrelbag sits on top of the sissybar bag and stays secure with a length wise zipper and latches on both ends of the luggage.  The tops of both bags secure shut with a large area of hook & loop closures.  (Picture from http://www.tourmaster.com/)
Both bags are constructed of water-resistant heavy-duty nylon and synthetic leather, but Tourmaster includes a waterproof rain cover.  The rain cover fits tight and can completely cover a tightly packed unit and includes a drawstring so that the bottom opening of the cover can be minimized and slack in the cover removed. 

The sissybar bag has two large side pockets and a front pocket that has a zippered pocket to store the rain cover and other small and thin items.  The barrelbag has a pocket at both ends for smaller items.  The barrelbag also comes with a rigid internal support to help maintain the shape of the bag even when lightly packed.  The mounting system is adjustable so that the bag can be used on any bike.

I have used the bag a lot and I have been very please with the durability.  The combination is a good value and will last a long time.  I am looking forward to using it on many more trips.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

International Motorcycle Show

I went to the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show (IMS) in Dallas this past weekend. The IMS is a good show that allows bikers to see most make and models for the upcoming year.

Tickets at the door were $15, but if you rode your bike parking was free. The event was held in the Dallas Convention Center, which allows for plenty of room and parking. The facilities are nice and the layout allows for enough room so that visitors are not cramped, except at some of the very popular vendors. The only real negative is the ride to downtown or as many call it the “metromess.”

I did hear some riders comment that they felt there were not as many vendors this year, but I did not notice any particular category of accessories missing.

All of the major manufacturers were there i.e. Honda, Harley, Suzuki, & Yamaha, Kawasaki. Ducati was the only European company with bikes in the show. Some nontraditional motorcycles were present, namely the Can Am & the GG Quad.

Rick Fairless of Strokers Dallas was present with some of his custom bikes and some Victory bikes. There were some other custom builders who also had booths.
Various dealerships and stores had booths where one could buy a wide range of accessories.

The Marine Reserves Toy for Tots organization was present and they displayed the custom chopper that they will raffle off on Nov. 21, 2009 at the Dallas Stars game. This is a great organization raising money for a worthy cause.

The IMS is worth attending. I plan on being there next year even if it is still in downtown Dallas.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Little known places are often the best places.

I love those places that only the locals know about. A local diner, the country road traveled by farmers, or an area attraction, these are the places I enjoy visiting. Not only do I avoid the crowd, but I get a touch of personal service and some local flair.
One such place I stumbled across is the Delta Music Museum in Ferriday, Louisiana. This small museum honors individual from the music industry that have direct ties to the Mississippi Delta geographical area. When I stopped by in July of 2009 there were 17 individuals in the "Hall of Fame", including the three famous cousins from Ferriday, Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley, and Jimmy Swaggart. Other inductees include Aaron Neville, Fats Domino, Irma Thomas, and Percy Sledge.

Outside the museum is the Walk of Fame where each inductee has his/her own star. The museum was once the Ferriday Post Office.  The grounds are nicely kept and landscaped.  Admission is free, but donations are welcomed.
When I entered the museum two long-time residences of Ferriday enthusiastically welcomed me. One sweet lady (sorry I do not remember her name) walked with me through the exhibits and gave me an informative personal tour. She was a wealth of knowledge and had experienced personal contact to many in the Hall of Fame.

The exhibits were informative and displayed original personal items of the inductees. Each exhibit was carefully and tastefully arranged. There was a family like atmosphere in the entire museum.

I will go back to Ferriday and visit the Delta Music Museum, but I will take my son so he can see some of the great influences in music. It is a great place to visit and as a bonus it is just across the Mississippi River from Neches and the southern end of the Neches Trace.   MAP

Friday, November 6, 2009

You just got to love a good hangout and accessory store.

North of Dallas is a little community named Westminster. This tiny town actually has boast of being the home of Westminster College at one time and was a cotton market and retail center for the area in the 1920's. The Great Depression caused a lot of people to move and the decline continued for many years.

With around 390 residences you would not expect to find a hotbed of biker activity, but that is what you will find on a nice weekend. 

Photo from Big Slick's website
Big Slick's Bar and Grill and the Motorcycle Outpost team up to provide a great watering hole and biker accessory shop.  Housed in the old bank and attached building Big Slick's grill will serve up a great hamburger and fries.  The order of nachos is big and there is plenty to share with your friends.  Both indoor and outdoor sitting is available so riders can take advantage of those nice days of sunshine.

The Outpost is upstairs and the owner Jerry will welcome with a big smile.  You will find a good assortment of patches, shirts, leathers, sunglasses, and other accessories at the best prices around.  On site sewing is also offered for your patches.

Take US 75 north from Dallas or south from Sherman and then exit FM 455 and go east into Anna.  Ride over the railroad tracks once FM 455 intersects TX 5 then turn left on FM 2862.  FM 2862 is a great road and it will take you directly to downtown Westminster and to the front of Big Slicks and the Outpost.

You can also turn left on FM 2862 from TX 121.  Check out a good Texas map and you can find several good ways to get there.

Big Slicks and the Outpost are open Friday 11am - midnight,  Saturday 11am - 1am, and Sunday Noon - 10pm.

Plan a ride out to Westminister if you have never been.  You will enjoy it.   MAP

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Teddy Bear Run

I have been told that bikers are the most generous demographic in the USA. When think about the numerous charity events and how many bikers participate I can believe that statement.
One such event is the Annual Collin County Children’s Advocacy Center Teddy Bear Run. This event was held again on November 1, 2009. My son and I attended the run. This was my third time to participate.

Teddy Bears on the bike above were donated by Bill Smith's Cafe, McKinney, TX.

The CCCAC Teddy Bear Run is a well-organized event with a very worthy cause. This annual event is one of the bigger toy/teddy bear runs in the north Texas area (maybe in the state, but I don’t know about all the runs). 

Registration and the starting point are in the McKinney High School parking lot. $10 or a Teddy Bear is all that is required. Many riders bring multiple teddy bears. Ride pins and t-shirts are also available to purchase. From 9 am to 11:45 am bike roll in and are directed to line up for the ride. The organization for the line up is great and this keeps things safe in the parking lot. Plenty of room is allowed between rows for people to walk, examine bikes, and visit.

The organizers arrange each year for police escort and for traffic to be stop on one of the busiest highways in the metroplex, US 75. There are also a large number of volunteer bikers who help block traffic (after law-enforcement secures the intersection or on ramp). The controlling of the “cages” really makes the ride pleasant and safe.
The 20-mile ride travels down US 75 to East on Plano Parkway to north on Los Rios, which runs directly in front of the Advocacy Center. Food, drinks, entertainment, and raffle tickets are available at the center with proceeds benefiting the CCCAC.
This is a great ride. If you have not attended the ride make plans to next year. The ride is always on the first Sunday of November. You will have a great time.   (Awesome gold trike ridden by G.E. and Janis Vaughn of Greenville)