May 30, 2009

Motorcycle Mania Update

Okay - an update on finding me a new bike: NO way I'm buying a Rebel. They're cute, but about as useful as a Hasbro Big Wheel on the freeway. Actually, they ARE a Hasbro Big Wheel on the freeway.

We've looked at dozens of bikes, spent time and gas driving miles from home, tested, kicked tires, choked, throttled, straddled, kicked some more and found bikes that were either not in great shape, or were too high priced. I was about to give up, but yesterday a long-time-no-see friend callled and said he was selling his 1987 Kawasaki 454 LTD. I tested one of those already and it wasn't in great shape, definitely not worth $1800 asking price. So I didn't have much hope I'd like this 22 year old bike. But my friend's asking price was too good to pass up, so we figured we had to at least look.

Well, this bike may be 'mature', but it's the best running, most well kept bike of all the ones we looked at, and FAR cheaper. It had been garaged since last fall and needed a new battery, which he installed the day we came to look. He rode it once. When we fired it up, that baby idled with the smoothest purr you've ever heard. It is a real sweet bike. And a perfect fit for me in height, weight, straddle width, the works. We said we'd take it. AND our friend said he would deliver it, saving us the headache of strapping it down in the truck (we are not endorsed and are good, law-abiding citizens).

At least he SAID he was going to deliver it . . . He said he and his wife want to take one last ride on it, so he will bring it sometime this weekend. Then, after a little more catching up chit chat, he said, yeah, I'll bring it by first part of next week. Hmm. I'm really hoping he doesn't change his mind. I was bummed that I can't get out there on it this weekend and start practicing for my endorsement test (June 20), but oh well. I'll squeeze in some riding every chance I can.

And I found a great deal on a brand new helmet on craigslist from a guy in my own neighborhood. I'm just about set!

Here's a stock photo of an '87 Kawasaki 454 LTD (Pre-vulcan). It feels sort of poetic, somehow, to be buying a Kawasaki. My first bike (at age 11) was a Kawasaki 100 street/trail bike.
Ah, the memories.
And the ankle burn scars.


May 15, 2009

Harley for Sale. . .

Yes, I have decided to downsize to a smaller cruiser for now.


Go ahead. Say it.

Camille is a big fat weenie.

Wanna buy a gorgeous 883 Sportster? It's quite the loveliest Big V-Twin you'll ever see, always garaged (um....duh). Well maintained, trickle charge feeder, added chrome (screamin Eagle pipes), a snorting, beefy hunka bike. If you mention this blog post when you call, you'll get a super secret special bloggy discount off the price. Asking $4999. What a steal for a Harley!! (here's a link to the craigslist post & photos)

I took it for a spin (that's sort of a you-feminism) on Mother's Day (between Thai lunch and Star Trek movie) and quickly realized aint NO way I'm practicing a tight cone weave with this bike to pass my endorsement test.

If you buy it, know that you will be promoting marital longevity by helping me and Dan be able to ride together, instead of taking turns like a couple of total dorks. This was a 25th anniversary gift, but let me ask you: how lame is it to celebrate a quarter century of togetherness by taking turns riding alone?


In case you're wondering, I'm looking for a Rebel 250 or 450. That's a Honda if you aren't bike savvy. (And if you are bike savvy---Karla---I already know what you think, but you can say it if you want to. Once.) A Honda Rebel is a smaller cruiser style bike that I might actually be able to pick up if I drop it (weighs about half as much as the Sportster) They look like a mini Harley, if that matters to anyone. Metric-heads (people who ride Japanese bikes and don't know any better) say it's the other way around. Hey, I'm no purist and have no desire to get all childish about this. Harley Davidson will always have a place in my heart. Yes, I will miss the rumble. However, I am no longer the fearless/stupid invincible teen who had never heard of high-side crashes and skin grafts.
I am a gwown up.
My mature ego will not suffer if fellow bikers throw the wrong set of finger signals at me because I'm on a metric. It's cool. I made my peace with Japan.
Here's the '02 Harley:

And here's a 1986 Rebel 250:

Care to comment? Gloves off, of course?



I've published three novels and a novella (more about those on my website.) I've been writing all my life, but decided in 2007 to get serious about being published.

I love action movies and Jane Austen. (she’s dead, I know. I found that out when I tried to get her to endorse my novel)

They let me play Bass guitar and sing in a worship band.

I can produce 4 dozen homemade cinnamon rolls in a flash for a crowd of drooling young adults. Or publishing house editors.

I used to have a Harley. Now we have twenty-something kids. Decent trade, really. The window-rattling grumble isn't quite the same, but we are still enjoying the ride.

I am a proud Grammy. Don't even think about taking candy from my babies.

I hate shopping (Yes, I'm aware that I'm a girl)

I've lived in Oregon all my life, spent time in Eugene (Go DUCKS!), Springfield, Reedsport, and Smith River. Which is not really a town, but a river, about 70 miles long, a tributary of the Umpqua River in southwest Oregon.

Although it's not a town, it is a community with a strong sense of pioneer history. It's cool to say you've lived there, especially if you lived there during the days when you had to take a boat to school. No joke! The old farmhouse my grandfather and my mother grew up in still stands, nestled into a narrow, pasture carpeted valley, complete with a swimmin' hole and its own 'crick'. It may turn up in one of my novels.

There's a rumor that my ancestors had a connection with the Mafia back in Sicily. I used to fantasize as a kid about a big black limo with tinted windows pulling up and whisking me away from school. Ahhh. So THAT'S why I'm having so much trouble conjugating my dangling participles now.

NOT RANDOM: I am challenged by the truth and amazed by the grace of God. And it's either in spite of or because of that grace that I hold a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way.