Shootin' the Breeze

by "Bummer"

bummer @ abate

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March 2017

    “Marching” on to better things!

    I’m hoping that by the time you read this in March the fork-lock assembly will have been replaced on my scoot. I just ordered it yesterday from that place that I dread to go to (the “Hardly” shop) and I should have it soon (it’s that time-paradox thing again). They said it would take a week to get the part. I could have gotten an after-market assembly but it would still have taken a week, and for once the stock part wasn’t that much more expensive. Besides, I wanted to be able to use the same key for the forks and the ignition without any more hassle than necessary, like changing the ignition and the additional cost for that. To get one (the genuine stock assembly) ya gotta take your bike’s title in to the shop just to place the order proving that you own the bike and to get the specific fork lock and keys for that bike’s individual locking system.

    The way it all came about is this: I went to a little bar one night to meet up with some friends and when I got off the scoot I tried to lock ‘er up like I usually do, but the notches in the fork lock wouldn’t line up enough to even get the key into making me think, “Now, what the heck is going on here?” It was like coming home and finding your old lady changed the locks on your door (which is something that could, and maybe should have happened to me a few times, but didn’t). I’m just glad that this didn’t happen at another time and in another place because I didn’t have a padlock with me. I HATE leaving the scoot unlocked anywhere except in my garage (which itself is always locked), even though you and I both know that if someone wanted to rip off your sled THAT bad, they’d find a way. Any pickup or van that might be used to haul a bike away can just as easily haul bolt cutters and torches to cut anything, even if ya have the bike chained to a damned telephone pole! Keep all this in mind if you happen to keep your title on your bike with your registration! Believe it or not, many do.

    I still have no idea why this occurred other than metal fatigue (or something like that). Maybe my little lucky “road demon” bell thing fell off and the little bastards got pissed. I should look to see if it’s gone. That’s the thing about giving any kind of credence or power to superstitions, traditions, and old wives’ tales... once you give in, you’re sunk... then there’s no end to knocking on wood, throwing salt over your shoulder, and so many other obligatory responses to weird stuff.

   I’m going to go off on a tangent for a moment here so please forgive and bear with me... Earlier when I mentioned how much I detest going to the “Hardly” a bike shop, I really meant it. I remember the good old days when you’d enter an HD shop and you might slip on a puddle of oil if you didn’t watch out. Back then the shops sold motorcycles and little else except parts and T-shirts. Now they’re spotless and trendy clothing boutiques with so much other merchandise bearing the “Hardly” logo that it’s mind boggling! “Hardly” grandfather clocks... “Hardly” jukeboxes...the list doesn’t end. Hell, my friend Jackie told me that she parked next to one of those officially designed by Ford “Hardly-David$on” pick-up trucks in the parking lot where she works the other day! To add to that, it was even a General Motors employee’s parking lot, so how does corporate pride and loyalty figure into ANY this?

    Now, I’m not putting down or laughing at people who buy this stuff. If you buy anything proclaiming your appreciation of, or loyalty to, a brand name, then go for it and good for you. I have a few “Hardly” doo-dads in my home too, and whenever I’m not wearing an ABATE shirt, it’s probably an old HD shirt. What I’m bitching about is how the “Company” is more interested in making a buck off their name than making sure their “stores” stock Knucklehead, Panhead, Shovelhead, and recently even some Evo parts for the customers who have bought their product over the years and made it an icon in the first place! I still, and probably always will, love their motorcycles. And they DO keep improving them in so many ways. But just about any part for an older bike has to be ordered from the “Company’s” warehouses instead of being stocked in their shops for when you actually need it.

    If you feel like I do concerning any of this, instead of having to carefully work your way through their boutique with its racks of clothing and its shelves full of piggy banks, dog toys and knick-knacks on your way to the parts counter so THEY can order it for you, I think you might even save a few bucks by ordering the part on-line yourself like I would... that is except for the damn fork lock assembly LOL! Like I said, ya gotta physically GO there with your title! (Did I mention how much I hated going there?)

    On a related note: A few years ago the disc on the top of the sink faucet in my bathroom signifying it was “HOT” broke off exposing the tightening screw. I happened to notice that it was the exact same size as the caliper emblem on “Hardly” brake assemblies that proudly proclaims, “Genuine Hardly David$on”. Since I had a few in my garage, I glued them on both faucets just as a little joke about how the “Hardly” logo is so over-used on so much crap that has nothing to do with motorcycles. Since then, people who see them keep telling me how cool it was that “Hardly” makes bathroom faucets and how they want a set of them for their own bathrooms! I just smile, shake my head, and reply, “Hardly” stopped making ‘em.” Now, “Marching” on again (Okay, I’ll stop saying that)........

    Last night I went to 2017’s first local ABATE monthly meeting (remember its January in my world). For this year we decided to combine the counties back into just one regional meeting due to the lack of need for separate county administrations, almost all of which are vacant anyway. We also have new officers including Director, Secretary, Sgt. at Arms, and a few others. The fact that we have those new officers means new possibilities (if nothing else), and these people have old time experience and dedication to boot! Perhaps things will turn around. They must. As a local OR state organization we can’t survive much longer with such a rapidly dwindling roster. If you can, try to think of something, anything, to help out with that. Then make sure you tell those thoughts to the right people. If you think you have some really good ideas and sharing them goes nowhere, tell somebody else. If that doesn’t work, come to a state board meeting with a bullhorn and make sure everybody hears! We need to be trying new ways to recruit members!!!

    Those of you non-members who might be reading this via our webpage or from an Outspokin’ that has blown into your hands are more than welcome to do so. I’m sure I can speak for all members of ABATE in saying that your interest in what we do is gratifying. But IF you ever decide to give up the measly yearly fee it takes to join this very righteous organization we really WOULD appreciate it because we so need your numbers and your participation (which can be minimal). I haven’t begged anyone for anything since the last time I spoke to a cop in a seriously personal capacity, but I would beg for this: Puhlease consider joining ABATE! We need you and, whether or not you know it, you need us. The only people who give a damn about what goes on regarding motorcycle legislation are those who freely ride a bike, and those who are against riding freely... and sometimes it seems they outnumber us. We need to fix that soon. We realize that the times ARE hard and your bucks might be few, so we understand if you can’t join us right now and we’ll carry on watching out for your rights anyway.

    Additionally, ABATE really CAN be fun trip to go on. Like I mentioned last month, our annual state legislative seminar will take place on April 7th and 8th this year near Akron. Hope to see as many of you as possible there. It really is a fun time and very rewarding in so many ways. Where else do a bunch of bikers book a bunch of rooms in a hotel/motel and do legal, responsible things? (Well, for a while at first anyway.)

I’ll be yakking at y’all next month. Until then...
“March” on brothers and sisters.
(Oops! I told you I’d quit that.)

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