We finally received “plowable” snow in Minneapolis. It’s been a strange December, with temperatures lingering in the 30s and bouncing up to the 40s. When I did a book signing at the Harley-Davidson Shop of Winona on the 9th, folks were talking about mowing their lawns one more time. And there were more than just a couple of bikers who showed up for the open house on their motorcycles. It was that nice outside.
Now the snow has come and the winter ritual of piling up snowbanks has begun. The streets are driveable for cars and trucks, but too tricky for bikes. Most of them have been cleaned and polished and their batteries are stored for the winter. Time for indoor activities. Like re-arranging the patches on my husband’s motorcycle jacket.
He likes to collect patches from places we’ve visited and rides he’s participated in. Last spring he went on the Patriot Ride and noticed a number of veterans who had their military rank sewn onto their jackets. He wanted to add his.
Normally, I take his jacket down to a little Greek tailor in our neighborhood and he sews the patches on for $5 each. Trouble of it is, he’s frequently overbooked, and I knew he wouldn’t understand how important it is to get that Navy crow on the left shoulder. So, I dug up a curved upholstery needle and went to work.
Pushing a needle through leather is hard on arthritic hands! But now, the left arm proudly carries patches with Ralph’s rank and his ship, the USS Kitty Hawk (CV63), which, sadly, has been de-commissioned. The right arm will carry a US Navy logo and a patch for the Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club. When that job is complete, I’ll re-arrange the patches on the back of the jacket in a more pleasing configuration (after all, I have to look at them when we ride two-up!).
If you’re looking for something motorcycle-related to do this winter, get a copy of Ride Minnesota or Ride Lake Superior and settle in for a cozy read on the couch. That should keep you busy until the motorcycle shows start in February.
“Highway to Hell” blasted out of the speakers of a Victory Magnum motorcycle and ricocheted off the walls of the Minneapolis Convention Center on Sunday morning, certainly a different message than what I would have heard at church! My husband and I went downtown to the Progressive International Motorcycle Show to sniff the 2015 bikes and mingle with the leather-jacket crowd.
IMS is all about the bikes. There’s something there for every adrenaline-addicted speed demon from sporty Ducatis to heavy-duty Harley cruisers. Even if you’re like me and don’t have a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license, it’s fun to thow a leg over and get a driver’s perspective.
It annoys me that so many really cool-looking bikes are not built to accommodate women riders. After all, women now make up 25 percent of the motorcycle market, and it’s growing. It’s frustrating to find a bike that looks like it’s just my size, only to find out it’s too tall, or the gas tank is so wide it threatens to crack my pelvis like turkey wishbone. C’mon, motorcycle engineers! Do something for the ladies!
The next show in the Twin Cities area is the Motorcylce Life Expo at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn., Feb. 28-Mar. 1. While IMS is all about the bikes, MLE is about what you do with your motorcycle after you’ve acquired it. That includes not just customization, but places to ride. If you want to expand your horizons beyond Sturgis, South Dakota, it’s the show to visit. It runs from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. both days. I’ll be there, hawking copies of Ride Minnesota.