More information can be found at www.ridetowork.org. Don’t let that purported 50% chance of thunderstorms stop you – get out and ride! I’ll be doing so too! I won’t be racing, like I was in the photo above but I sure do enjoy getting the fresh air on the way to and from the office! And we’ll see about getting back into roadracing again some day. Just don’t tell my wife.
One thing that brightened my countenance was some garage time, tinkering on the motorcycles. Mostly spring readiness stuff, which doesn’t entail much; I put my bikes away properly and they’re plugged into trickle chargers all winter long. Once I had a nice polish on my big sportbike, I decided to go for some fresh air. It felt pretty good and helped clear my head a bit. It sure was nice to feel 150hp pushing a 375 pound bike around…wheeeeeeee! If only my truck would lift the front wheel under acceleration with only moderate throttle…
I used to be one of those guys who had to ride all the time. I rode every month of the year, including ice racing. Nowadays I’m busy being husband and Daddy as well as having hobby overload. Besides, the roads right now are absolutely AWFUL. There’s still lots of sand and gravel out there, and the potholes & cracks are everywhere. Because of this I’m satisfied to wait before ramping up the riding season.
I don’t mean to imply that the city isn’t taking care of the roads to the best of their ability; after all, they’re only finishing up the aftermath of the flood fight…this after a record winter. The weather has subjected the roads in our area to abnormal stresses and it’s going to be a while before crews can give the roads the attention they require. Add to the fact that the problems are everywhere and you have a long, drawn out repair season.
I have seen a lot of motorcycles out, especially young guys on the sportbikes. I understand the itch to ride ’em. This seasoned sportbiker, however, has put in enough years as a gung-ho kid to know when it’s time to hold off a bit to avoid bending wheels or sandblasting the bottom of the bike. I’ll be out with my dirt bikes or my camera for a while instead.
My sources tell me that someone called KFYR-TV after their newscast to complain that he was the last guy across. That would have to have been either the person behind me in the white car, or the last person to come across from the Mandan side (before I did my u-turn). In any case, nobody came across from the Bismarck side after the white car and I, and nobody came across from the Mandan side after I did. I know because I sat at the red light on the east end of the bridge for what seemed forever, since I was wearing leather riding gear and was very hot. Nobody came up behind me. Sorry, whoever you are…the reports are accurate.
Just as I got to drive on the Expressway Bridge shortly after it opened (I had my permit, my mom let me drive) I got to ride on this bridge right before it closed. I know, it’s odd to be so sentimental about local landmarks…but what can I say? I love Bismarck-Mandan. I always have. That’s why I started this website in the first place. I’m just thankful that I have a camera and can run around after things like this. It’s cool to document Bismarck-Mandan history and provide a viewpoint for the record.
By the way, I noted again today that Brad Feldman seems to have the same sort of sentimentality for our town. I really like his Around Town segments on KX news, as well as his knack for local information. I could tell from the tone of his report on the bridge closing on tonight’s news. It’s cool to see someone who has a love of their community and what’s going on here. Hopefully people who read my ramblings here will catch that sentimentality, then things like this bridge closing will seem a little more significant.
He’ll also be taking part in the Hutt’s parade float Friday morning, so don’t forget to keep an eye out for the flashy green Kawasaki! Then hop on something with two wheels and head over to Cycle Hutt for the 1:30 performance and some fun that will last throughout the night. Anyone on a motorcycle will be invited to hang out and watch the fireworks after dark.
There was a lot going on at the Hutt today, too…I have hundreds of photos of course, which I’ll post in due time. There was free pizza and Dew, so I was pretty much in heaven; pizza, Dew, sportbikes, and photography. Wow!
Don’t forget to take part in the festivities at Cycle Hutt! They’ve really gone out of their way to do something fantastic for fans of sport motorcycles in Bismarck-Mandan.
This reminds me of a common misconception among cagers (car drivers) about motorcycle reliability. For some reason there’s an idea out there that 10,000 miles is a lot for a motorcycle. Perhaps it’s because North Dakotans don’t get to ride theirs as much, or maybe it was just something that has passed along from one uninformed non-biker to another. Maybe it came from those old AMF Harleys, I don’t know. But it ain’t true, folks.
I know people who have put lots of miles on motorcycles, even surpassing the 100,000 mile mark for some of them. All that’s required is simple maintenance. The fact of the matter is that a properly maintained motorcycle will run nearly forever; however, many motorcycles are simply neglected to death.
If you sat a brand new 2008 motorcycle out in the sun next to your shed and left it there, it would deteriorate just like any mid-70s enduro that you might see decaying in a trailer park along your daily commute. Cars left to sit soon rot as well, and even a house deprived of residents will soon fade and begin to lean. Everything needs reasonable maintenance.
As far as the relic in the picture above goes, I bet it would have some value with the rust buffed off. I can’t help but be really curious as to its make and origin. If I ever have some spare time again in this lifetime, perhaps I’ll compare it to some photos of vintage 1900-1910 motorcycles. Its true identity could be surprising, maybe even to its owner.
I meant to visit the 50th annual Mandan Art Show, but by the time I got to the Mandan Community Center, the doors were locked! Argh. I was feeling pretty down about the nosedive my Saturday was taking, until I drove past Cycle Hutt.
My prayers for a White Christmas were answered this year, and yet I was still able to ride motorcycle on Christmas day! I think we’ll call that the best of both worlds. So what did you do for Christmas?
As part of Mandan’s Holiday Shop Hop, KTM Cycle Hutt offered a challenge to their 16 employees: decorate the best tree and win $1,000 in cash; 2nd place $500; 3rd place $100.
To jump-start the decorating frenzy, each employee was given $250. The 16 uniquely decorated Christmas trees will be on display from December 2nd through December 28th outside KTM Cycle Hutt located on the Strip in Mandan (3700 Memorial Highway).
Drive by to view the colorfully lit Christmas trees during this holiday season. If you would like to vote for your favorite Christmas tree visit www.cyclehutt.com or stop in the dealership 9 am to 9 pm weekdays, Saturday 9 am to 1 pm. through December 20th. For 2008 KTM Cycle Hutt will allow non-employee Christmas tree entries.
You can visit Cycle Hutt on the strip in Mandan. You can’t miss the trees, which are positioned around the lot. When you drive through, please stop to take a close look at all the trees; there are some pretty cool items hanging in them to complete each tree’s theme! When you find a favorite, don’t forget to vote. Click here to vote online for your favorite tree at KTM’s “ndracing.com” website.
Kudos to Justin and Tammy, owners of Cycle Hutt, for giving area sportbike riders such a great night! Also to the guys who helped orchestrate the event. I know Amos was part of it, and I think there was another guy or two who partnered up with him. I’m sorry I don’t have your names, guys. Anyway, props to all involved – we had a blast!
Last year I made a passioned plea to the Bismarck City Commission to re-examine their policies regarding chip seal application. In the 90’s I had a nasty encounter with this stuff, spread SIX INCHES deep, in a corner that was not only unlit, but at the crest of a hill as well. I still bear nasty scars from that instance, and even some ground-down bones as well. I was leading a group of riders who all had passengers, but thankfully they saw me hit the gravel and were just that little bit more prepared for it. I was also the only one decked out in safety apparel, although falling on chip seal is like falling on a meat grinder! Thankfully, we had a nurse, a doctor, and a surgical technician among us that night…it was quite nasty.
Back to the point. After last year’s City Commission meeting, I was approached by Keith Hunke. For those of you who don’t know, he’s from the Public Works department. He was interested in what I had to say and agreed with the Commissioners that a better job of signage could be done. I think he’s kept his word; I’ve seen plenty of signs this year, and they look brand new. I also understand that it’s not always possible to mark every patch of chip seal from every possible approach. With that in mind, I’m throwing Keith and the Commission a big thumbs-up for the effort to make our streets safer during this construction period.