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My Motorcycle Blog: Memorable Rides
by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

* November, 2006 blog * * October, 2006 blog * * September, 2006 blog * * August, 2006 blog * * July, 2006 blog * * June, 2006 blog * * May, 2006 blog * * April, 2006 blog * * March, 2006 blog * * February, 2006 blog * * January, 2006 blog * * December, 2005 blog * * November, 2005 blog * * October, 2005 blog * * September, 2005 blog * * August, 2005 blog * * July, 2005 blog * * June, 2005 blog * * May, 2005 blog *

My First Ride on the Low Rider after the Break-in Period

July 24: 2007:
Today was my first regular ride on the Harley. Yesterday afternoon I completed break-in mile 500. So, this morning I was under no speed, gear or rpm restrictions.

I got up at the usual time and took Sarah for her morning walk. When we got back, I fed her, and changed into my riding gear while she ate.

A check of the tire pressure showed that it was unchanged from yesterday. I have 30 psi in the front and 36 psi in the back. With much effort, I duck-walked the bike backwards out of the garage. On the Rebel, this was an easy task. On the Low Rider, because of the extra weight and stiffness of the fluids, it takes concentrated effort.

Once the Low Rider was backed out enough to make a u-turn, I turned on the key, thumbed the run switch, waited for the engine light to go out, and started it up. It was loud. I hoped the neighbors were already up! I gently idled the bike down the block, stopped for the stop sign, and then took off.

I did my normal warmup route, then headed for the gas station. The Low Rider is powerful, but it has a powerful appetite for fuel, also. I topped off the tank and headed out. After a quick u-turn on the feeder, I entered I-10, heading west. Traffic was very light. The Low Rider has power to spare, and I had no trouble accelerating into position among the cars and trucks.

I decided to start with my normal workday circuit. The bike cut through the traffic effortlessly. It seems to have power in all gears, and it is hard to tax it at normal speeds.

I did a quick two circuits, and noted that I had used up forty minutes of fun. It was very relaxing to fly down the freeway, knowing I can either brake or accelerate to get out of any trouble. With the Rebel, my main alternative was to decelerate to kept away from the cars and trucks. With the Low Rider, I can zoom ahead or fall back. Nice.

On the third circuit, I took I-45 north. I then headed east on Beltway 8 to the Top of the World (which is my term for the exit from the Beltway eastbound to Highway 59, southbound). Traffic was surprisingly heavy on the Beltway until I cleared the exit for the Hardy Toll Road. Then it was smooth sailing.

I took the upwardly sweeping curve to the right from the Beltway onto Highway 59 South. I was enjoying the turn so much that I didn't even notice the Houston skyline until I was well down Highway 59. Oh well. I missed the view, but I enjoyed the banked curve at speed.

When I got to Loop 610, I headed east, all the way to I-10. This stretch of road was packed with trucks of all kinds. I made sure to keep safely out of their way.

When I got to I-10, I headed back west. The trucks were still ever-present, and they were joined by many morning commuters. At one point, I was going down I-10, a safe distance from the pickup ahead of me. Suddenly, I heard the close-by squeal of brakes. It was very loud. And it is a sound you don't want to hear at 65 mph* during rush hour. I squeezed the front brake lever to buy some time. The vehicle ahead of me didn't seem to be in trouble.

The drivers on my sides also seemed fine. No one was slowing down. I saw no patches of smoke from burning rubber. A quick glance in my side mirrors revealed a pickup with a large sheet of plastic stuck to the front. At least the windshield was clear. But the driver must have panicked and hit his brakes in fear that the plastic would work its way up onto the windshield. It was a big piece of plastic, and it covered most of the front grill of the pickup. I have to tell you, my adrenaline was at high output, just from the sound.

I thought about heading home, but I was having too much fun. And I had not really been at risk, adrenaline notwithstanding.

When I got to the West Loop, I headed north on 610, then turned eastbound on the North Loop. As I passed the exit for TC Jester, the odometer hit 600 miles. It was ironic that yesterday, I had hit mile 500 at the same place--only that time I was headed westbound on the North Loop.

When I reached the exit for I-45, I decided to go to the Top of the World again--and noticed the skyline this time.

By then, it was a little past prime rush hour, and traffic was thining out. The Beltway was not especially crowded. When I soared through the exit onto Highway 59, I looked for the skyline, and realized that the buildings were almost invisible in the morning haze. It made me feel a little better that I had not missed a clear skyline the first circuit.

The remainder of the trip was without incident. When I pulled up to the driveway, I had 638 miles on the odometer. I had covered 130 miles, and the morning was still young, the humidity was low, and I was smiling.

See you on the road. And don't forget to think.

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For the November, 2006, blog entries, click here.

For the October, 2006, blog entries, click here.

For the September, 2006, blog entries, click here.

For the August, 2006, blog entries, click here.

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For the July, 2006, blog entries, click here.

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For the June, 2006, blog entries, click here.

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For the May, 2006, blog entries, click here.

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For the April, 2006, blog entries, click here.

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For the March, 2006, blog entries, click here.

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For the February, 2006, blog entries, click here.

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For the January, 2006, blog entries, click here.

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For the December, 2005, blog entries, click here.

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For the November, 2005, blog entries, click here.

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For the October, 2005, blog entries, click here.

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For the September, 2005, blog entries, click here.

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For the August, 2005, blog entries, click here.

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For the July, 2005, blog entries, click here.

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For the June, 2005, blog entries, click here.

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For the May, 2005, blog entries, click here.

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*Note to Law Enforcement:

All statements of speeds on various streets are simple estimates, and solely for novelity purposes. Actual speeds vary, but are always lower. I'm sure that legal speed limits are never exceeded, anything in this blog to the contrary nowithstanding.

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