Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Florida Trip

Chris and I headed on down to Florida a few weeks ago. We rented a couple of Harley Davidson's and put about 200 miles on them in a day. We rode from Kissimmee to the coast and back. It was 85 and sunny. I was a little pasty with my Winter White when I arrived though I returned with a bit of color.

We also had an opportunity to meet Kathy Tolleson, the owner of Roar Motorcycles. They customize bikes for women and have just released their first production bike designed from the ground up for a woman.

If you'd like to read more about the trip or see the interviews at Roar, please visit www.coolbikerides.com.

Spring is finally here!

Well, the weather hasn't been perfect but it sure has provided a handful of beautiful riding days lately.

Chris and I met our buddy Jim on Saturday and put about 55 miles on. We headed on down to Connecticut via back roads and enjoyed a cup of coffee down in Bloomfield.

The temp was in the high 60's making for a perfect ride! Hell, I had my summer gloves on for the whole ride...

I hope you got some riding in too!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Weight loss...

Well, I've worked out every day for a little over two weeks now and have finally adjusted my diet. I'VE LOST 5 POUNDS! Well it's not much but it's a start! I guess I'll keep at it for a while...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Went riding again today...

Well, the temprature hit the 40's again today, but the cloud cover didn't look like it wanted to let loose. The clouds were thick and low and were gradually moving to the east. The weather man was predicting some heavy afternoon winds as well. The temp was also supposed to drop relatively quickly once the clouds cleared so I knew the window to ride would be brief.

Well, almost like clockwork, the clouds cleared out at noon on the button. There was a breeze but the heavier winds hadn't started yet.

Chris and I quickly geared up and headed down to the garage to pull the bikes out to test the roads. Well, there was still some ice on the driveway, but it wasn't as bad as it had been last week when I'd taken an afternoon ride so we decided to give it a try.

After great deliberation, I opted to wear my half helmet, with my Global Vision glasses and my leather bandana. I also decided that it was just cool enough with the breeze that I should pack my full face as well. I'm glas I did as I regretted not wearing it 5 minutes into the ride.

We headed on out and turned towards some of the main roads to avoid the leftover ice and heavy sand on some of the shady side roads. We got about a half a mile from the house and those winds they predicted were just getting going. As we approached a local farm, we were both blown quicte hard to the left. This was certainly going to be a short ride.

Once we reached the center of town, I pulled over so I could take a minute to switch helmets. I'm sure glad I did as it made the brief ride much more enjoyable. My forehead was sure to be a block of ice had I not made the change.

After a brief stop, we decided to continue on down route 10/202 towards Westfield figuring the road would be in nice shape. Though we figured right, the winds kept getting stronger and stronger. Additionally, the one part not covered by my chaps was begining to get cold quickly (I'll leave that to your imagination). We aborted the ride a little early and headed back home.

I spent some time giving the bikes a good cleaning when we arrived back home. I hate to leave the road salt on them as it sure can cause issues with corrosion. It sounds silly but I always break out the leaf blower when I wash the bikes so I can dry them before the water spots get a chance to set in. If you've never tried it, give it a go. Just expect a few funny looks from your neighbors...

After cleaning them, I made a few minor adjustments and repairs that have needed doing for a while and then I put them away for another day. It looks like there's a bit of a warm-up on it's way this week so hopefully it won't be too long.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ian's personal note...

All right, this one's not bike related but I figure if I make this a public proclamation, perhaps I'll see it through.

I had an old friend who found me on Facebook post some photos from High School. Now I'm estimating this was sophomore year. The primary shot was focused tow young ladies behind me, I'm sitting in the front of the shot listening to my walkman. You remember those right? You actually had to put a cassette in it to hear misc? You got maybe 5 songs per side and kept flipping it over? You were required to pack a bag just for your music? I think you probably get the idea.

Well there I am, sitting there listening to my music, wearing my HD shirt (OK, a little motorcycle talk), eyes closed, enjoying the bus trip to Virginia I believe. The first thing I noticed was I HAD A NECK! Of course my son noticed the mullett first... The second was how broad I was in the shoulders at the same time I HAD A NECK!

You see, I started to lift weights during the summer between 8th and 9th grade. My friend Ron Hebert and I begain lifting together in his basement. His dad even brought us into Springfield to the old Central City Gym a few times. I'll never forget the first time I walked in. The odor, the huge people everywhere... For those over 35, you may even remember his dad. He was the Incredible Ice Man. You know, the guy who used to bust massive blocks of ice with his head? He also used to stack them up on his chest and have them busted with a sledge hammer...

Well I discovered something that summer. I had this uncanny ability to bulk up quickly. I put nearly two inches of muscle mass on my arms in about 8 months. I still have the remenants of my stretch marks to prove it. Over the next couple of years, I spent nearly any free time I had lifting weights. I was a tank and I was a powerhouse.

Fast forward a few years. I discovered Chinese food, beer and girls all around the time I was in and out of casts. I'd broken my ankle and it just didn't want to heal properly. I continued to work out for a while, but found I didn't have the time or desire I once did. Well, I soon discovered that the same metabolizim that allows me to put on muscle mass quickly also allows me to fatten up pretty fast. I put on some weight. It wasn't terrible, but just enough pudge that the doctors wouldn't harrass me too much.

Well time passed and I got into the software industry. No more running around all day long, instead, I spend my days in front of a computer. I also maintained my eating habits at the same time. Needless to say, the body decided to spread out some more.

Seeing this picture, right after dealing with some pictures that were taken this last weekend at the Winter Bash, I'm left to contemplate my current condition. I DON'T LIKE IT!

Here's my goal; I'm going to get into shape this year. Preferably something other than round. I figure my wife tolerates me at this weight but she shouldn't have to. Additionally, I'm going to end up killing myself with a heart attack or something. I'm going to keep this picture visible and though I probably won't see that exact shape again, it will serve as a target, a reminder of what once was and what can be again.

If you see me out and about this year, and see me heaping a plate full of goodies at one of the biker parties this year, just remind me of my picture. Perhaps I'll even have it with me.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Another 6 weeks!

Well, good old Punxsutawney Phil made his prediction today, 6 more weeks of Winter. I for one could do without!

Oh well, we did get some motorcycle stuff in this weekend anyway. We had been invited to attend the Easthampton Legion Riders Winter Bash in Easthampton, MA this weekend. Though it was a bit of a fiasco getting there, we had a great time. I've written a bit more on this on my website www.coolbikerides.com and will be posting some photos sometime today if you're interested in learning about the experience. All in all if was a fun night and hanging with all of those bikers has me yearning for Spring.

The weather here was great yesterday. I think it may have hit 50! Unfortunately, prepping for a Super Bowl party kept me from getting the bike out. This morning was nearly as nice, perhaps 8-10 degrees cooler, but warm enough that I took a lunchtime ride.

The bike was a little slow to start today. It's been sitting for a little more than a week in the cold garage. The engine moaned as it turned over and over. After playing with the choke, VROOM, it kicked over. Man, there's nothing like cracking open that throttle and feeling that power between your legs! I headed into the center of town to meet Christine at lunch. It was a decidedly brief ride, but nice none the less

When I left the house, the sun was shining bright. Boy that feels fine in February. My driveway and road proved a bit challenging with a little remenent ice but the main roads were pretty good. A little wet with melting snow but nice otherwise.

Looking at the long term forecast has me thinking my next opportunity to ride won't be until next week so I guess the bike will have to sit for a little longer. Take heed, Phil says riding season is only 6 weeks away!

Ride safe!


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Busy few days...

It's been a crazy week this week! I've been working on improving my website, www.coolbikerides.com, and have added a boatload of new stuff.

First, we've added a new post from Sasha Mullins, noted biker and author. This has been added under the Ladies Only section of the site. We hope to be adding additional content to this area over the coming weeks including an interview with Kathy, the founder of ROAR Motorcycles, a custom biker builder specifically for women. On that note, Christine is considering starting a Cool Bike Rides Woman's Riding Club for the coming season. If you're interested, please contact ccreswell@coolbikerides.com and let her know. This would be based out the the Westfield, MA area. If you're interested in forming a Cool Bike Rides Women's Riding Club in your area, contact me at icreswell@coolbikerides.com and I'll give you a hand getting started. If there's enough interest, I'll help her get this organized and an announcement will follow. This has been the one big area that's been asked for. I'm finding that there are more and more of you ladies giving up your position on the back seat for your own on the front one. Welcome to my addiction! The most frequently asked question I get from you ladies is "where can I find other women to ride with?" We're going to try to help!

I've also done some re-organizing on the site so you may find a couple of things in different places. I think you'll like it. The biggest move is I've combined an old menu selection under one new one that includes some new, really cool tools. I've created a Communication section on the site. Under this you you'll find the link to our Cool Bike Rides forum. Additionally, there are links a new Cool Bike Rides chat room. We've created this for your chatting pleasure. Use it to meet new folks in your area, to find a riding partner for a weekend, or just to catch up with some friends. The nice thing is there's no signup, nothing to install on your local machine, just a simple chatting tool for you to use. Additionally, I've resurrected my Blog. If you're interested in reading it, or subscribing to it, there's a link on the main commincation page.

We've just created a new group on Facebook. It's called Cool Bike Rides. Original huh? We welcome anyone who's on Facebook to join. Just another great communication tool. If you're interested, look for me, Ian Creswell, and send me a friend request. I'll be happy to accept. I'm alson on Myspace at www.myspace.com/coolbikerides.

I've added some links to some great rides on the Maps and Directions page. Be sure to take a look at those and don't hesitate to send me your own suggestions.

Are you a reader? I sure am, nothing beats a good book when you're stuck at home. As of last evening, we've added a bookstore to www.coolbikerides.com. We've added several books, some of which we've already read and enjoyed, so you can find interesting reading. Christine has written up reviews on a few books and has just done another I'll be posting shortly. This will give you some idea what kind of read they may be. Keep checking back as we'll be expanding the bookstore over the coming months.

On to the big one, I'm in the process of setting up an internet radio show. It's likely to be a weekly, perhaps bi-weekly program. On this show, we will cover all sorts of topics related to the motorcycle industry and riding in general. We're formulating our plans for this show and hope to broadcast our first one shortly. Watch the website for an official link and schedule. If you have any ideas for topics, guests, or anything else you'd like to hear, please e-mail me and let me know. We want to ensure we're providing you with the topics you're interested in!

Let me close with a call for your help. Send us in your favorite rides, riding roads, books you've read and enjoyed (just the title and author, no need to send the book ;-), pictures and stories so we can share them with everyone. We'd be happy to review and add these to the website.

I guess that's it for now. Now that I read through this I wonder how I found the time to get this all done?! We hope you enjoy the site and continue to share it with your friends!

Ride safe!