Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fat Tire Commuter

When I bought the Mongoose Dolomite, a while back, I justified it by planning to use it as my fattie commuter. That way, I can set it up with lights, rack, fenders, etc, and not weigh down the titanium fat bike, which can remain in trail-riding trim.

I still haven't come up with any fenders, but I decided, as I rode the Funk home, today, to get Big Blue on the road. So, when I got home, I pulled up to the shop building, and started prepping the Dolomite for commuter duty.

 I transferred the frame bag over from the Hargadon. It carries the pump, spare tube, patch kit and 15mm wrench (for the axle nuts). My rain glasses will also ride in there, ready to wear, in case of precip.

The cable lock (in case i stop at the grocery store, on the way home), and a few other must-haves ride in here. Lunch, etc, will go in there, as well. The bungee allows for carrying overflow, like all of the extra clothes I wear, on cold mornings, which are too warm in the afternoon, sometimes.

 Lights! The closer light is one from a pack of three, that I got at Big Lots for $10.00. It has low beam, high beam, and flashing mode.  I've used these lights on a few bikes, and I am really impressed with them. The 10 LEDs put out a lot of light (and the price is right!). The other light is an Ace Hardware buy, which fits perfectly in my CatEye mount. That one only has on-off, but it throws a ton of light. Between the two of them, I have less than $30.00 in the lights. Compare that to any good "bike-shop" bike light...

A CatEye flasher on the back of the rack, along with a Knog as backup, will probably be augmented, later, with another large flasher. I like to light up my bike like an emergency vehicle, for the commute.

Ready to roll...


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Another Hero Gone

Jack Bruce, bassist for Cream, passed away, yesterday.

Not only a fantastic bass player, Bruce virtually defined the sound of white blues singers, for my generation.

I don't know what else to say.  I hate seeing my heroes fall away.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Warm Hands, Cold Heart

On of the big problems with riding a motorcycle through the winter is that it becomes very difficult to keep your hands warm, once the temperature falls below about 30F. For the last couple of years, I have used rechargeable electrically heated gloves during the cold times. They work well, but the batteries are only good for about a season and a half (I've already replaced them, once, at $75.00 for the pair!), so I have been thinking about alternatives.

My Suzuki V-Strom 1000, which I traded in when I got the Scrambler, had hand guards and heated grips. Of that whole bike, that is probably the only thing I miss, compared to the Scram. So, I figured I might try installing those on the Triumph.

As always, I was working with limited funds, and I didn't want to order the uber-expensive hand guards actually made for the Scrambler. So, I ordered some ATV guards. The customer reviews indicated that these worked fine, on a motorcycle. Once they got here, of course, I found that there was no way to use the stock mounts on my handlebar. So, I had to fabricate my own.

I took me a couple of hours, but I got the hand guards installed, today. And, it took only one trip to the hardware store!

Not really "classic" looking, but functional. I'll likely take them off for summer.

Next up, I have some lace-on, removable, grip heaters. We'll see how that installation goes...


Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Now, In Color!

I admit that I am much more amused by this than probably anyone else is...

It's been a while since I've had a bruise like this. I am perversely proud of it...


Sunday, October 05, 2014

Blues and Mountain Biking, This Weekend

 Steve and I played at 3 Kings Tavern, last night. I didn't manage to get a picture of both of us, for the Facebook page, but Steve shot this one of me and my Les Pauls, before we played.

Nick Wilson showed up for the show. After the show, he asked me if I wanted to go mountain biking with him and Jen, up in Lyons. I told him that I would. So, today, Nick dropped by the house and picked me up. We met Jen at Heritage Square, then drove on up to the Picture Rock Trail, in Heil Valley Ranch.

What a nice trail.

I managed to fall off of a a little drop-off, into a pile of rocks, on the way back down the hill.
 My right arm took the brunt of it. That bruise on my bicep is even more colorful, now, 4 hours later.
The left arm got a bit of abuse, as well. The worst part is that I bruised the meaty part of my thumb/palm of my left hand. I'm glad we don't have a show coming up, in the next little bit. It's going to be a couple of days before I can play the guitar, I suspect.

I had forgotten how much fun a technical mountain bike trail can be. I need to do this more often (minus the falling off of a mountain part)!


Denver DGR 2014: Part the Two

 Our second stop was at the Denver City and County Building. We got some group photos taken, which you can see here.

 Hey! there's my bike!

We ended up at Erico Motorsports for hot dogs, beer, raffles and rock 'n roll.

Great ride!


Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Denver DGR 2014: Part The First

I was agog at the cool bikes which showed up for the ride, Sunday. I took over 70 photos of them, some better than others. Here are some of my favorites:

My bike is right behind that red car.

It was impossible to get a sense of scale, in a single photo. The official bike count for the day was 209!

 That included everything from old-school choppers to...

...GoldWing muscle bikes.

I loved this thumper. It ran strong, throughout the day, and sounded fantastic.

 A pretty unique CB-450 Honda

One of my all-time favorite Japanese bikes, the Yamaha XS-650. I have owned 5 of these!

 I like these mid-1960s Honda Scramblers.

 But, I love these first-generation 450 twins!

 Kenny Roberts signature Yamaha RD-400!

 King Kenny was a hero of mine, back in the day (still is). He was one of the pioneers of the modern style of motorcycle racing, and seeing him hanging off of the side of his bike in the turns was a thrill. These two-stroke bikes take me back to those days.

Another RD...

 The parking lot at Red Rocks Amphitheater, where we gathered for our first stop.

 This bike seriously outguns the Ducati Hypermotard in the "cool" department, IMHO.

 The Widow Maker ... 750cc of two-stroke madness. Too bad that the suspension and chassis didn't match the performance of the motor, in these bikes. Still, it's bad and beautiful, 40 years after the fact.

Cleaning the plugs, during a ride, is one of the facets of the two-stroke experience which I don't miss.

Stay tuned for our next installment, in which 200 motorcycles descend on the Denver City and County Building!