Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Irish Twins

Below, you read about the latest addition to our family. Donna says from the get-go it was obviously a male. Since he was the color of the golden sun, and he was a little uppity and needed to be conquered, the name Apollo was almost too easy. He has already seen his first road trip, some personalized upgrades, and he's assimilating nicely.

Problem is, we have the same taste, and the FXSTC happens to be my favorite bike, too. I *love* this thing. Donna's been riding it every time we go out, and I have to watch with envy. She's on her big-girl bike, and I'm a big guy draped all over a little Sportster with 70,000 miles on it. A couple weeks ago, we were at the dealership picking up one of the aforementioned upgrades, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but another one in an awesome blue and silver. Not the limited-edition gold leaf thing that Apollo wears, but sweet nonetheless, with some cool chrome upgrades and a nice set of detachable saddlebags.

It was a year older than Donna's, and I could have gotten it for about the same price, but I hate spending money. And we didn't really have room for the last bike, let alone another. But after a week of double-checking prices, and working a deal for winter storage of my current bike, I eventually decided if I could steal it, I'd take the plunge. I called with a lowball offer.

Well, all that did was get me more wound up. Then, that weekend during the dealer's Open House, I was there as a volunteer and ended up watching the bike ridden off by its new owner, who was willing to pay a fair price. Now remember, not only can I certainly not afford a new Harley, they stopped making this model 2 years ago.

I suppose in an effort to console myself by proving that these things are out there, and to prove that this was not the deal of the century and I missed out on it, I began really looking in earnest. I did find a few for about what "mine" was sold for, so it made me feel a little better. If I could get one for a good chunk under market, I'd grab it knowing I could get back out of it without taking a bath. If not, no biggie. Time is money.

And then, just like that, I found it.

It was an auction on eBay, ending the next day, located in South Carolina. As fate would have it (and I have a strong relationship with fate,) I'd already had the day (Friday) scheduled off to use up my PTO days before the holiday rush. I'm certainly not about to spend that much money on something sight unseen, but I was able to book a last-minute flight at a great price, and in a whirlwind of activity, I loaded up my T-Bag with rainsuit, jacket, and chaps, grabbed my helmet, and soon found myself disembarking in Greenville, SC on a sunny Friday afternoon.

Three hours later, I was riding up I-85 on my "new" Envy Green 2007 Harley Softail Custom. (Envy Green: another shadow of fate?) It's the prior year version of the limited-edtion paint thing, color-shifting in the sun and also emblazoned in gold leaf script, and all the chrome accessory goodies that are already on it are also to my taste and didn't cost me a dime. It really was a great deal.

I don't have a name for her yet, and I'm not even sure if she's even going to stay green - I have a line on an awesome tank and fender set. But now Apollo has an Irish twin, and we have as many bikes as we do kids. And despite the fact that it rained half the way home, as you surely assumed, Kevin is smiling ear to ear!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Rain For Rent

The title above probably does not ring a bell to anyone reading this, with the possible exception of my dad.  I'll explain later, but these days nothing could be more appropriate.  I'm stealing it.

Two weeks after Labor Day, for the second year in a row, we headed to Ocean City, MD for Delmarva Bike Week.  (Yes, this post is *very* delayed.)  OC Bike Week is already one of our favorites and is pretty much on the calendar permanently, for a couple reasons:

-There is an awful lot to do, spread out over a pretty large radius.  Plenty of adventure for riders, not just sidewalk bikers and trailer queens.
- There are tons of places to party after hours.  It's a beach town.  Some of these bars can entertain hundreds, even thousands of people.  And, there's the drunk bus!
- Being a beach town, there's a natural main drag to see and be seen, instead of wandering through a town making it up as you go along. 
- There's plenty of places to park a trailer.  (Just kidding!)
- Hey, it's the beach. 

Also, half our friends are there.  Even if we don't travel with anyone (this year, we didn't) we always end up with friends; sometimes by design, often by accident.

So this is the first road trip for Apollo, Donna's new Softail (painted in Golden Glow and Black Glow Pearl.)  We load the bags, cinch 'em up, and guess what happens?

That's right... it RAINS.  We look at the radar, poke around, try to find a window, and ultimately just put the damn rainsuits on and ride our shiny clean bikes down the turnpike.  Un-be-lievable.

It stopped somewhere in Delaware, and actually got nice there for a while, but as we shopped at a venue 40 miles out of town, it was not only pouring in Ocean City, there was a TORNADO that came across the strip of sand that makes up the town.  That's right.  Tornado.  In Ocean City, MD.  Un-be-lievable.

That night, we made good use of the drunk bus.  The next day, we made good use of our hotel room and it was late by the time we ventured out.  It had rained during the day, but stopped before we got back on the drunk bus to go out and see an awesome band. 

Saturday we got out early and met some friends for breakfast, and about 10 of us rode to a site in Salisbury, about 20-30 miles out of town.  The forecast was about 35% chance of scattered showers, but of course we all brought our rainsuits.  It started raining as we got there, and continued ALL FREAKING DAY.  We killed as much time as we could before finally throwing in the towel, suiting up, and heading back.  We ended up taking the bus to a seafood buffet and went back to the room early.  Too much fun...

Sunday we got about 20 miles before stopping to suit up.  It didn't rain for the entire 180-mile ride home, but at that point, who even cared?  Seriously, it rained 4 days out of 4.  Between the weather and the number of accidents that are happening to people we know, this year can go to hell and never come back.  Aside from our 2-week trip out west, which was OK but certainly not ideal, weather has killed all of our long weekends and the majority of our short ones.

Rain For Rent was the name of the Coburn and Miller Top Fuel dragster in the 1960's.  The name came not from the fact that it rained everywhere they were booked into for a show, but from the name of an irrigation company owned by their primary backer.  Still, it seems to Donna and me that if you were one of those Texas farmers living through a record drought this year, you could probably solve all your problems by hosting a bike week and paying us to come.  We could make a fortune.