Monday, August 10, 2009

Part of the gang

September 8, 2008 - Monday

I haven't updated my blog in way too long.

After the great tour of August 30, I joined Roger's forum, United Bikers, and got into full swing of being part of a small but select group of enthusiasts. UB centers on the motorcycles, of course, but come bad weather and winter, there's all sorts of other things to do. I'm going to like this.

The first official UB shindig I got to join was the 13th UB dinner in Frenkendorf. There was a quick spin out to Black Forest before folks met at the restaurant, but I had to miss the drive because I worked until 1645 hours. I went home, changed into jeans - it was warm, and I didn't want to don full bike gear for dinner, but I didn't want to drive the autobahn for an hour in capri pants either - and headed south to Basel.

I missed the exit to Liestal and weaseled my way through the rush hour traffic of Basel before turning around and finding Frenkendorf. I was half an hour late, but so was Octavian, and we found the restaurant and five other UBs waiting for us. Roger greeted me; I didn't know any of the other guys. David, Steven who just got himself a new Fireblade, Fabian and Toni were there. I think Toni is the other Speedy driver, but I'll have to go to one or two more meets before I can keep the names straight.

Dinner was fun. The youngest guys are in their late twenties, so the conversation was on a moremature level than some stuff I've heard around. I love listening to the anecdotes of the experienced. I was fairly quiet, though they included me in the coversation, and Toni - I think that's the name of the guy I was sitting next to - had several stories to tell me, which I listened to with great interest.

We laughed, had three conversations going at the same time and planned further outings. The only alcohol on the table was a small glass of panache for Octavian; everyone else had pop and coffee. If this first good impression of the United Bikers gets confirmed, it'll be worthwhile driving to Basel every so often to meet with them.

Weather wasn't looking so great, so Roger said he'd let us know by 1000 hours on Saturday whether we could do that Black Forest tour we'd been looking forward to. Then we talked about what to do on winter days when we couldn't drive, and of course guns came up. So sometime in October or November we'll be doing a UB shooting day, complete with bring-your-own-guns. They've done it before; they do a lot when they can't drive. Shooting, go-carts, quads, bungee jumping and tandem flying, indoor sports like bowling, climbing... You name it. There's some things I'm not going to do, like bungee jumping, but I'm really looking forward to hanging out with these guys. Maybe I can get Florian to come along to some of these meets too. He should get out and about a little more often.

Saturday ended up being rainy and gray in the Basel/Black Forest area, so there was no UB tour. I used the morning to catch up on my room, clean up my e-mail inbox, sketch a bit and explain to Kevin that I'm not obligated to spend time every weekend with him, before meeting Ken, a Fireblade driver, at 1400 hours for a quick two-hour run over Ibergeregg and the Etzel, getting in our quota of curves and reaching home just before it started to rain.

I let the evening roll out with a movie and some reading before going to bed early to sound of dripping rain.

I was well-rested next morning when I went with Dad on the paper route. After church we all went up the Rigi with Oma and Opa (except Mom, who wasn't feeling well) and after we got home, Löchen split time between helping Alex start putting his Husaberg back together and working on my blue engine lighting on the Beastie. We - yes, I actually made myself useful and was able to help a bit - mounted four of six LEDs and were able to see how the Beast looks lit up. On the left there's an LED in the air intake and one under the tubeframe that casts a lovely glow on the... whatever the big box thing is behind the foot peg. There's an LED behind the pegasus in the fly screen and another LED in the right air intake. The last two LEDs will be mounted, on in the airbox cover and one back by the ventilator.

The two LEDs in the air intakes might need adjusting; the main glow is hidden behind the plastic. On the right side Florian suggested we mount a long blue lamp instead of just a bulb. I'll see if I can find one.

Either way, the Beastie's look better and better.

Alex asked me what all I still wanted to do to the bike. Here's the list:

-Metal plate under the seat
-Xenon headlights
-Blue lighting on the display
-Spikes in the front axle

Yup, that'll be it.

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