Monday, May 31, 2010

First Ladies Bike Show and Ride In

This past Sunday (5-30-10) Biker Rags hosted the first Ladies Only Bike Show and Ride in. It hasn't yet been announced if there will be another one, but I'm betting that there will be. For a first time event this one had a really good turnout.

Jeff and Pam, the owners of Biker Rags, said that they had been wanting to do this for a long time, but weren't quite sure how to best pull it off.  It looks like all they needed was to hook up with "The Lady Bikers",  a ladies only motorcycle group based here in Knoxville. 

Pam said that they had 31 ladies enter their bikes in the show, but I counted well over 50 bikes in attendance. Don't think that these ladies are fair weather riders either. The forecast on this day was for scattered thunderstorms, and you could see them in the distance.These ladies rode down anyway.

WIMZ was there doing a live remote which kept things lively, and helped spread the word about the event during the day. The Lady Bikers organizer Vicky Cromwell was interviewed on air to talk about the event, and several cars blew their horns in support as they drove by.

I know this sounds like it's straight out of the 70's, but this event had a "Cool Vibe" going. There wasn't the typical "I'm a bad ass biker" attitude, people were dressed in more than just black T-shirts, and there were lots more smiles than scowls. Everyone there seemed to be having a really good time.

As far as choice of bikes, most were cruisers, but there were also several Sportbikes in the mix.  It was a good indication of the diversity of the group. Also, just about every bike manufacturer was represented.

The Lady Bikers isn't a formal club so to speak, but more of a social gathering group. It was started in January of 2009, and according to Vicky already boast 219 members. If you know any ladies that are looking for others to ride with, Vicky said that all ladies with all brands of bikes are welcome to join. 

They plan their rides and events through the social website  Their address is 

As soon as I hear of another event planned I'll post it on the CycleBlend Events Calendar

All the "support" guys taking pictures.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Best Ice Cream Shop in Tellico Plains

When you go to Tellico Motorcycle Outfitters, you have to go across the street to the Downtown Creamery! ( or you may want to go to the Ice Cream shop, and then visit the bike shop)

The Downtown Creamery was started about two years ago by Cheri Dozier (shown in the picture) and her Ice Cream shop is a hidden jewel!  Cheri makes her own waffle cones from scratch, and trust me, they alone are worthwhile excuse to ride to Tellico Plains. 

If you're hungry for more than Ice Cream they also have hot dogs, salads, and fine chocolates. The Downtown Creamery is right across the street (Scott Street) from Cherie's husband's shop, Tellico Motorcycle Outfitters.

Tellico Motorcycle Outfitters

Hidden away in downtown Tellico Plains is one of the nicest rider stores you will ever find. Tellico Motorcycle Outftters has been in business about three years, and owner  Mike Dozier has created a shop that is for the real motorcycle enthusiast. 

I stopped by on Saturday afternoon and there were lots of people shopping, hanging out, and just enjoying the day. 

Everything in the shop was top notch, with lots of high quality items that people who log lots of miles appreciate. He has a large collection of Olympia and First Gear brand riding gear, and one of the best glove selections I've seen. He also has helmets, plus a good assortment of things like tool kits, soft luggage, rainsuits, and flat repair kits.

Mike also happens to be a Dual Sport / Adventure rider, and is working directly with the Forestry Department to spearhead the movement to open some more trails/forest roads in the National Forest.
There are lots of great roads that lead to Tellico Plains, so visiting Tellico Mountain Outfitters just gives you a good excuse to make a trip. (Coming from Knoxville, I took 360 from Vonore) Plus you're right at the start (or end depending on your direction) of the Cherohala Skyway.  It's a great shop that you'll like to visit. There is a link to his website in our links section.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Recommended - Sniders Paint Guard

Here is product that doesn't cost much, is simple to use, and can really save some wear and tear on your scooter. The stuff is Snider's Paint Guard. It is a 7.5 mil thick clear plastic that attaches to your bike with static, no adhesive. As you can see in the picture, it's virtually invisible when you get it on. In this picture the top 1/3rd of the bags are covered.

All you do is cut a piece to fit, mist the part you want of cover with water, and then squeegee it dry. Sort of like when you use to put window tint on your car as a teenager, only easier.  It worked great on protecting the edge of my saddle bags that I kept hitting with my boots. You get 3, 11"x14" sheets to a $14 pack.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Be Careful Out There

With the arrival of just about perfect weather riding season is now in full swing. The first rides of the year bring with them much enthusiasm, just don't let your enthusiasm put you on your head as mine did me last summer.
This picture was made last summer by Jack Rose of, and captures yours truly doing something I hadn't done in 26 years, going down on a street bike. After 100's of trips across the dragon on sportbikes, it was a old chopper "wanna be" that got me.

So what happened? User Error, pure and simple. I was all fired up about the big ride, but failed to take into account, even though I talked about it, that I was riding a bad handling old cruiser (Suzuki Intruder), with worn out suspension, and poor ground clearance. It did have new tires. My mistake was thinking that the pegs would scrape before the frame, and that I would have some warning before anything hard drug the ground.

In my over exuberance I simple pitched it in to the turn too hard (at least too hard for this bike), drug the frame mount for the footpegs, and levered the front end off the ground. What an idiot! 

A big factor was that this turn has a dip in the middle of it (not counting the one on the bike), so it really compressed the tired old suspension, using up what limited ground clearance it had, even at a slow speed. As I was going down in what seemed like slow motion I thought to myself, "I can't believe I'm wrecking this thing!" I was probably doing 35-mph, and didn't even slide out of my lane when I hit. In fact, I only slid a few feet.

Luckily good gear kept me from getting scraped up, and we went on to ride over 250 miles that day. Lessons learned, #1 Always wear your gear. #2 Know the limitations of the bike your riding. #3 Be careful about dragging stuff if you're on a cruiser.  

By the way, I sold this bike the next week. No more cruisers for me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Super Saturday at Cycle Gear

This is too late to help promote the event, but the Cycle Gear Store in West Knoxville plans on doing this again. What they did this past Saturday was have a sort of Open House where anyone in the motorcycle community, street or dirt related, could come down, set up a table or do whatever they wanted to promote their club, event, ride, or group. 

Cycle Gear had music, BBQ from Southern Comfort Caterer's, and 10% off everything in the store. EJ, the store manager, had his Corona Replica CBR600RR track bike on display, and local WERA Racer Ed Vigilucci had his Championship winning 750 Ducati out for people to look at. This is an event that could become something really cool if enough people get on board. I ask let me know ahead of time so I can put the next one on the Cycleblend Calendar

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cool Bike -1983 Ducati Mike Hailwood Replica

Seen at the Vintage Show at Biker Rags, this immaculate 1983 Ducati Mike Hailwood Replica reminded me of the first time I saw one in 1984 at the AMA Roadraces at Mid Ohio. These bikes were built by Ducati as a tribute to Ducati Racer Mike Hailwood, and are coveted by Ducati collectors

George first found this bike on E-bay years ago, only to let it be won by another bidder who was willing to dig deeper in his pockets. So the bike went from nearby Virginia to a new owner in Oregon. A few years later the same bike came up for auction again, and this time George made sure he had the correct change. Of course now he had the added expense of getting the bike across country! The message here:#1 Don't give up on that ride you want. #2 Sometimes its cheaper to pay more.

The only non-stock parts on the bike are a set of Conti Exhaust and a clear site glass in the head that lets you see the bevel drive camshafts.  If you are a "Gear head" yourself, you can't help but love that. As you can see in the picture the bike won its class at the show. Cool Ride George!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Small Bikes Rule!

The Time Warp Vintage club had a small bike ride this past Sunday that left out of, and ended back at Biker Rags on Kingston Pike.  Nearly everyone's first ride came on some type of small bike, and riding them again proves that the amount of fun you have riding isn't dependent on the cc of the machine. 

This gang of displacement deficient machines included everything from worn out mopeds, to scooters, to really slick mini restorations.  I'm not sure who originally had the idea for this ride, the club has done a couple of them, but the concept is great!

25 guys on < 200cc bikes started this 50 mile loop through West Knoxville and Loudon County, and only 1 came back in the chase truck. No word on what the average speed was, but I didn't hear of anyone getting pulled over. Judging from the laughter of the riders in the parking lot, this won't be the last small bike ride. I hope to make the next one!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Appalachian Dual Sport - Post Ride Report

My first Appalachian Dual Sport (AKA Renfro Valley Dual Sport) ride turned out to be a very memorable one for several reasons. #1 the event is extremely well organized, #2 the trails were fun, #3 I rode more in the rain than I ever have before, #4 We had a really good time (mostly because of reasons 1 and 2)

The incoming weather system was the big talk, and during the riders meeting they told us that if it rained the advanced sections may be better left alone. Of course that just makes you want to see them out of curiosity! We left the KOA Campground under ominous skies, and raindrops started falling just as we got to the main road. 

The mix of trails was very good. Everything from perfect trail to slimy monsters that made you pray to see the next section of gravel road. In dry weather there would have been a few trails that were challenging, in the wet most of them were. The rain sort of came and went in the morning, but got pretty heavy later in the day.

One thing about riding in the rain, once you get totally soaked, it really doesn't matter anymore. I also realized that when you come out on a paved section, and its raining really hard, the faster you go the more mud it washes off!  Sort of a throttle adjustable pressure washer. The biggest trouble we had was fogging goggles and blurred vision,  that is until we go caught on one of the advanced sections and it started raining harder. We can't say we weren't warned.

Honestly, too much happened in one day to write about here, but I'll give you the condensed version: Around 250 riders,Great Trails, Muddy Trails, Slick Trails, Rocky trails, all connected by pavement and gravel roads. Great lunch, too many creek crossings to count, seeking out water puddles with the hope it will get some of the mud off your tires, getting so tired I sat down in the rain just to cool off, getting so lost that locals couldn't even tell us how to get back.

Our getting lost was our own fault. We tried to shortcut back and got off course. In fact I have never ridden in an event where the course (100+ miles on Saturday) was marked so well.  The level of effort to put this on must be incredible (this was it's14th year). We didn't ride on Sunday, but we'll ride it again next year. (hopefully the weather will be a little better). Congratulations and thanks to the 4Fun Trail Riders club for putting on a great event. They do a really fine job.