No bike riding for me this weekend. I somehow managed to ride over a nail so the FJR is down for the count. Today The Doc taught me how to get a nail out of a tire and repair it. Way easier than I thought it would be!
The rest of our weekend was pretty low-key as well. Saturday morning I spent with my friend Samantha celebrating her birthday with some pampering and brunch. By pampering, I mean pedicures!!! Usually I do them myself but sometimes you have to treat yourself and let the professionals do it!
After pedi’s we ate brunch at my favorite local joint, The Pink Flamingo Cafe. The place is located on Davis Islands in Tampa. I spent seven years working on the island and would eat at the Flamingo about 3 times a week, love them there (and they love me). This is also where the yacht club is located that we race sailboats.
After our delicious brunch, I met back up with The Doctor where we headed to the USF gym to work on our fitness. USF as in The University of South Florida (GO BULLS)!! Both of us receive our undergrads here. The Doc is currently working on his Ph.D and teaching/TA-ing there while I am taking 3 classes (and working full-time, busy is me!!!!).
We worked out for 2 stellar hours then had to hurry home for the continuing festivities that were Sam’s birthday. Sam loves to shake her booty in dance classes and out on the dance floor so she wanted to go take a Salsa Class at one of the local bars/clubs in South Tampa.
The SOHO district in South Tampa is one of the most popular spots in Tampa. SOHO is home to many bars and restaurants. There is a very big crowd of young (early 20s young) and older. Popular during the day time with lots of little shops. Night time brings out the party and SOHO’s Howard Ave does not disappoint.
Back in my early/mid 20s I lived on Howard Ave. This was the place to be and the drinks were pretty much free, always make friends with your bartenders!!!
Good trip down memory lane but now back to our Saturday. Dinner was at a restaurant called Cheap. Don’t let the name fool you, this place was anything but cheap. Nice atmosphere and fun music. Heard Nine Inch Nails and Live followed by some music from today like Lady Gaga. I like it when places mix up the music, playing, 80s, 90s and today.
It was almost time for salsa so we hurried over to the class. This was my first time going to a dance class. So much fun. The teacher spent 30 minutes doing New York style Salsa then spent the last 30 minutes doing Bachata.
It was so much fun!! After the class, The Doc and I salsa’d away. He used to take classes back in the day so he showed me some moves. We danced our cares away (Giving a shot out there to my fav show as a kid, Fraggle Rock) and laughed our hearts out.
What a fun, low key kind of weekend!!!
It has begun. I am officially searching for a new motorcycle!!!!
Back in September I bought my FJR. Check out my post below about the FJR, here’s the link: http://adventurouswanderings.com/2011/12/12/my-fjr-1300/
There are days when you want to jump on a motorcycle and hit the open road. On days like that, the FJR is perfect. Then there are days when you want to hop on a motorcycle and go off-roading. It is this last one that has triggered my thirst for a new enduro motorcycle.
The daily Craigslist posting search began yesterday! Already found 3 that I am interested in looking at! Oh the excitement builds. I am looking for a 250 or 300. Nothing too big or crazy. I just want something to go goof off on some trails with. I am hoping within the next 2 weeks or so there will be a new motorcycle added to mine and The Doctor’s collection.
Speaking of The Doctor, he is undertaking a new project at the house. He has a 99 KTM 640 enduro which he is converting over to a Motard. His father has an 01 KTM 640 Motard already. His bike needs some loving as well. So while both guys work on their respected bikes, I am searching for a new one so that we can all go riding together.
A bit about The Doctor’s 640. We nicknamed her Katie (KTM = Katie, we are so clever). Here she is, don’t let her looks fool you, she is a powerful machine and will scare the crap out of you before you have the chance to shift her into 3rd gear. That is from personal experience.
I love riding Katie. When I feel the urge to have the ever living crap scared out of me, I steal her from The Doctor and take her for a ride. At that point he would get stuck riding my XT 225. I always thought he enjoyed riding my smaller bike from time to time. It gave him a chance to do silly things that if they went south wouldn’t hurt him too bad like it would if he was on the 640
It is actually quite a site watching me ride Katie. I am 5’5, the KTM sits a lot higher than my little legs can reach. So I have to do this awkward jump from side to side to get her going. I have video of it somewhere. Will definitely have to find it and post it on here! Think you would all enjoy the laugh.
Here is the first picture of the Operation Convert Katie to Motard. The Doctor was test fitting a mock up wheel to fabricate bushings and spacers (don’t be fooled, I have a rough idea what that means but not fully, I just paid attention when he talked). New wheels, tires, carbs and a whole bunch of other parts will be taking over the man cave shortly. Yes, The Doctor built himself a man cave out back. The smell of sweat, man and grease lives strong out there! It is also home to where I am writing this post.
As the project goes along, I make sure to post pictures and updates. All updates will be posted in the “KTM 640 Conversion to Motard” category.
For now, happy riding to all
Christmas Eve officially started my 10 days of vacation. I haven’t had 10 days off in a row since summer break in high school. Saturday and Sunday were spent with friends and family enjoying the holiday festivities. The rest of the vacation deserves some special time with my loves, The Doctor and FJR
I was really feeling being around and in nature today while The Doctor was feeling more city-ish. So we compromised, today we would drive around town doing this and that then Wednesday we would take off on the bikes for a camping/caving/road trip!!
We were both on different missions today. I am in the market for a new helmet while The Doctor got “The Itch”. So our this and that’s for the day involved motorcycle stores for my helmet search and dealerships to quench his thirst for a new bike.
I put my head in quite a few helmets today. Looking for the perfect Cinderella/glass slipper feel helmet. You never realize how many different feels helmets can have until you start sticking your head in them!
Arai, HJC and Shoei OH MY!! Out of all the helmets I tried on, The Shoei Qwest is the winner. The minute the helmet came over my head, I knew this was the one. It was that perfect moment, the moment I realized this was it. I continued to try on other helmets but none of them could compare to the Qwest.
I wasn’t able to get a picture of the Qwest while we were in the store but here is the link: http://www.shoei-helmets.com/Helmet.aspx?QWEST&h=20&t=1
Not to mention I wasn’t a fan of the color scheme of the one they had in stock. I’m a basic color kind of girl, nice light gray or silver is right up my alley. I would love black but a black helmet in the Florida heat would be a huge mistake!
I plan on ordering the helmet in the next couple of week so once it arrives I’ll let you know what I think of it.
For The Doctor’s bike search, we hit a couple of places today. The one shop we really wanted to visit was closed The Doctor was there this past week where he test rode a couple BMW’s as well as a Ducati Multistrada. As of right now, the Multistrada has taken the lead.
Before he takes the leap on the Multistrada, he wants to test ride the Ducati ST4s. Our search on Craigslist in FL has been a bust. There was one for sale in the Northeastern US The Doctor mentioned. I could see him flying up to get it and taking he sweet time getting it back home!
Before owning my FJR, I owned another bike. My first bike came about right after I finished taking the motorcycle course.
For the first bike I had to decide if I should get a road bike or an enduro?! Decisions, decisions!! I was given the advice to start with an enduro because when you lay it down or crash in the dirt, it doesn’t hurt as bad as on the pavement. Sounded like solid advice, so I took it.
I get asked a lot, what’s an enduro. Well, you have your road bikes like the crotch rockets, Harleys and touring bikes. Then you have your dirt bikes. Road bikes are made for the road and dirt bikes are made for the off-roading. Well the enduros are street legal dirt bikes. You can ride them in the dirt and on the road, as long as you have a tag on them.
Since I decided on the Enduro, it was time to find one that was budget friendly. Lots of time was spent scanning Craigslist for the perfect first bike! It was at this time that I found a great website, searchtempest.com. This site is like Craigslist on steroids. You type in what you are looking for and add your zip code/search radius then voila, you get all the Craigslist ads within that radius for your search.
It was this search that lead me to my bike. There was a guy just outside Orlando, FL that was selling a Yamaha XT 225 for $1,200. Before I knew it, we were in my SUV heading over to check it out. If you are wondering why I put “in my SUV” instead of “in the car” or “then we hit the road”, it will make sense shortly.
So the plan was we both drive over then The Doctor would ride the bike home as I followed in the SUV. Perfect plan, what could go wrong?!
We arrived to check the bike out. There it is in the drive way, so cute and fierce! Motorcycles have that way of being beautiful and petrifying at the same time. So The Doctor takes off on the bike to see if it is worth buying. I sit there chit chatting with the bike owner, Eric, as we await the return to The Doctor and the bike. After what seemed like forever, I started to get a little concerned. If you knew The Doctor, you would know that he likes to push things. I was beginning to wonder if he tried to pop a wheelie and pulled it over (and for the record, one time after I bought it, we switched dual sports for a day and he did pop a wheelie and pull it over).
All these thoughts started going through my head, how will I buy a new bike if I have to pay for the one he broke, AHHHHH. Luckily though, my fears were short-lived and he returned. The bike was a perfect beginner bike, SOLD. Now it was time to start working on that price tag. After some talking, we got it down to $975 and the tool box/stand with it. Bargin deal!
The Doctor gets his motorcycle gear on and we head off to get her back home. I kid you not, we made it to the end of the guys subdivision and the bike dies. Just in case something like this happened, we brought a tool box.
So, we get the tool box out and he gets to work. Short time goes by and in the distance we notice a massive rain cloud heading our way. REALLY?!?! So we call Eric and ask him if we can borrow his garage to work on the bike as a storm is coming. He says no problem so back to the house we go. After I park the car, I walk back to meet up with The Doctor and my sad bike being pushed back.
Once we get back to Eric’s house, the rain hits and the surgery begins. Nothing was working. So we had to figure out how to get the bike back to Tampa. If you have ever wondered if a 225 XT motorcycle would fit in the back of a Kia Sorento, well I can tell you, it does. For the most part that is. We laid a tarp down in the back so the oil wouldn’t ruin my car.
It wasn’t the easiest of things to get the XT 225 in the back of the Kia but with the three of us working together, we did it!! Go team go!
The almost 2 hour drive back home wasn’t so bad, except for the “door open” alarm that was going off. 2 hours with “Ding, Ding, Ding” playing in our ears was awesome!
All the “dinging” in the world was worth it for the moment we got her home and unloaded. My new toy was home!!!!
Once we got her home, it was time to tear her apart and find out why she was sick.
After some major surgery we got her up and running. By the time she got to this phrase, I had named her Sadie. Don’t worry, I haven’t named the FJR, yet
Time to suit up and hit the dirt!!!
Sunday, you oh so sexy day of the week! This weekend has been filled with Christmas parties, good friends and a couple of delicious beverages! Love the holiday season.
After our festive weekend, The Doctor and I woke up today with a need to be on two wheels. He has been itching to hop on the motorcycles while I was wanting a little mountain biking action. Thus our Sunday became a two-wheel kind of day.
We started our morning out with a 45 minute bike ride. Nothing too crazy, just riding around the neighborhood. We live in an area where there are some big grassy fields, railroad tracks, corporate warehouses, and back roads to go play on. Works out perfectly because each way gives us a different type of workout.
I decided that I wanted to go to this cute little creek that runs underneath the railroad tracks. This is perhaps the longest and most strenuous route to take. The Doctor was a little wary of this route but I was feeling motivated!!
We made our way to the tracks, heart rates were up and I was feeling good. Then not even half way there, we gave each other “that look”. You know the look, the one where even though you want to go on, it just isn’t happening. Without waiting another second, we turned around.
We agreed upon another route to take. It was still a good workout but nothing like the railroad way. I didn’t feel guilty about this decision. Yesterday we had gone out for a walk/run session and pushed ourselves pretty hard. So today we didn’t have to be too brutal.
Once we made our way home it was time to get the motorcycles ready to go. Now The Doctor is an excellent rider and I have a tendency to slow him down at times. Once I get better with the FJR it won’t be the case (I go a lot slower into turns then he does). So we decided that he was go out for a cruise solo then we would meet up to do a Sunday date of riding together.
Worked out, gave me time to get things done around the house
When The Doctor arrived back at the house, I was beyond ready to go. We decided to head south toward Apollo Beach area to grab some lunch. Before we took off, I wanted to try to get the bike off the center stand. I have not attempted this before with the 640 pound FJR so this was going to be fun.
It took a few attempts. By a few, at least 10. Next time it will be so much easier but for the first time out, I was very pleased with myself. So center stand – check! So with the bike off the stand, it was time to take off.
Perfect temperature and weather. Florida in December is simply amazing!! As we journeyed south, we kept an eye out for somewhere to eat, something new. You have to mix it up a bit from the usual places.
We ended up finding an Asian buffet. Pulling in, I wasn’t really feeling Asian Buffet but I was hungry so it was going to work. Have to say, we were pleasantly surprised. After eating way too much, it was time to get back on the bikes.
We decided to head east over to Walmart in Sun City Center so that I could get a new pair of sunglasses. The current pair I have, while completely cute (see below), do not work on the bike. They create blind-spots in my peripheral vision, so while I love being stylish, I find that being able to see safely on the bike to be a bigger priority.
As we were walking out of the restaurant, we could see rain in the direction we were heading. As being new into the world of owning a road bike, I am still wary of riding in to the rain. However, as a Florida resident, rain is something that must be dealt with. In the summer, it rains everyday.
So instead of getting nervous, I decided to jump right in to the rain. Best to learn how to ride in it now. We made our way south, then made our left turn on to College Ave which would lead us right into Walmart. Once we made our left hander, the temperature dropped significantly, rain was going to happen.
We made it to Walmart and the hunt for new glasses was on. Since I was looking for glasses that would work with my helmet, I put my helmet back on as we got into the sunglasses area. There were some stares and I’m sure some, ” What is that girl doing?” but I didn’t care. I take safety on the bike seriously so I paid no attention to them and picked out my glasses.
When we walked outside it started to sprinkle. Ok, the moment of truth, time to ride in the rain! We geared up and took off toward home. Turns out, we were heading ahead of the rain so the little sprinkles we had leaving Walmart were the only rain drops we got. Oh well, there will always be the another time.
Almost home and The Doctor decided to take a different way home. As soon as I saw his blinker on to make a left I knew where he was going and what he was going for. The road we were turning down has some great, tight turns. Now that I am getting more use to the FJR, I found this detour very exciting!!
Luckily the speed limit drops kind of low for the turns so it is perfect for me at this stage in my riding. The first turn was a tight 90 degree lefter. I dropped down to a couple of gears, leaned the bike through the turn then straightened it up and then came up to the 90 degree right turn. This went on for about a mile, fantastic!
I can’t wait for the day when I am 100% comfortable in going into turns on my bike. They are so much fun, just need to build the confidence to do it with a bit more speed.
This twisty road took us out close to the house. Before I knew it we were pulling into the driveway. I am always sad to see the end of a day of riding. Something so beautiful and freeing about being on a bike. Saw a quote recently, it said “You never see motorcycles parked outside a psychiatrist office”. So true.