Women Riders

Chrome for the Holidays

Written by  November 30, 2006

Well, here we are just days short of the Christmas season. All the glorious rides of spring, summer and fall are behind us as we settle in for Old Man Winter. Are you dreading the winter months? Take a different attitude this year; they don’t have to be boring or depressing just because we can’t get on our favorite ride. Take this time to read some interesting books on motorcycling, have planning parties for your rides and rallies in 2007, take a winter trip and either do a fly-and-ride or trailer your bikes somewhere warm, clean and organize all your riding gear and accessories, visit local motorcycle stores to stay in contact with what’s going on and what’s new, and to get one more ride in, there is always the annual Polar Bear rides on New Year’s day…..burrrrr.

Motorcycle riders don’t want ordinary gifts for Christmas or special occasions. The want chrome, leather, belts, buckles and lots of bling! The accessories are endless, but here are just a few to choose from. Give your “Santa list” to family and friends, or if you get the green stuff for Christmas, go splurge on yourself. I’m not going to list an entire catalog of merchandise, just some realistic add-ons or gifts for others.

If you want to go custom crazy start with some of the following:
Mirrors
Foot pegs
Grips
Exhaust pipes
Handlebars
New paint job


Or you can think about adding other accessories like:
Windshield
Saddlebags
Sissy bar
Backrest
Tank pouch
Tool bag


If you have been riding for a while you might be ready to overhaul your clothes wardrobe:
Leather jackets, pants, vests, chaps
Denim jackets, jeans, vests
Rain gear
Helmet
Gloves, mittens, liners
Hats, head wraps, bandanas
T-shirts, dress shirts, tank tops, halter-tops
Wallets, purses, fanny packs
Shorts, swimsuits, towels
Boots, shoes, flip-flops
Sunglasses, goggles, visors


Are we broke yet? If you have money to spare, add bling, flash and sparkle with items such as:
Watches
Rings
Bracelets
Necklaces
Earrings, toe rings, belly rings


Last, but not least, maybe some novelty merchandise from the various motorcycle makes and models:
Coffee mugs
Picture frames
Coasters
Coolers, ice buckets
Blankets & throws
Clocks
Note pads & pens
Zippo lighters
Playing cards
Floor mats, rugs
Furniture, barstools, foot stools


Another cool gift worth considering is the Beginner or Advanced Motorcycle Safety Class for you or your riding partner. And of course, there are always gift cards for those who want to select their own gifts. I guess if all else fails, how about getting a new bike! Now we are talking serious cash or a Santa with lots of dough!

Whew…if this doesn’t give you a jumpstart, I don’t know what will!

Wherever you shop or whatever you spend, have a blast doing it and keep the holiday spirit alive!

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TO SPLIT OR NOT TO SPLIT?

I had a question from Candace, a reader who will be trailering her bike to California over the holidays. She wanted to know about lane splitting, so here you go, be careful and I hope these tips work for you.

Since I have not taken my bike to California and have not had the opportunity to experience the challenge of lane splitting, I had to seek the advice of a couple of friends who have ridden in California and experienced this first-hand. One of those “Been there, done that, and I’ll probably never do it again!” was one of the words of wisdom I was given. The stories were interesting and somewhat frightful, but I believe you need a lot of riding experience, self-confidence, patience and guts before attempting to do this.

California is the only state that allows motorcycles to split lanes on the freeways. You are measuring distances and acting and reacting to what you see ahead. If you can’t see what’s happening around you, you’ll never make the right move. There are a lot of benefits to it, like not sitting in stopped traffic or being stuck in rush hour, and it saves you in commute time. But, there are also major safety issues if you are not experienced in split-lane riding, which you need to take into consideration, such as:
Use one lane or the other, don’t switch back and forth.
Don’t ride more than 10 mph faster than traffic flow.
Be aware of vehicles changing lanes abruptly.
Be aware and alert, drivers do not see you coming.
Be careful of splitting between 18-wheelers, they sometimes take their half out of the middle.
If traffic is flowing at a rate of over 40 MPH, there is no need to lane split.
Practice riding on the lane buttons to get used to the feel.
Keep your eyes moving, check ahead and to the sides of you, check your mirrors.
Check for other lane-splitters coming up behind you and pull over or speed up.
Make sure your mirrors and handlebars will clear the vehicle mirrors in the lanes you are splitting.
Be cautious at merging; other drivers often change lanes.
Relax, breathe, and if you become tired or stressed, stop lane splitting for awhile.


Candace, have a safe and fun trip, but please be cautious and careful!

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To all of our readers, have a Happy Healthy Holiday and we hope you get everything you ask for on your list!

Goldie Arnold
“Never rider faster than you angel can fly”

TIP OF THE MONTH: Be a Secret Santa and share the wealth to someone in need this holiday season. Whether it be food, clothes or money, it will be greatly appreciated by the recipient.