Tag Archive: suzuki


As I was mowing the lawn yesterday, something hit me and made me think.  I know, it doesn’t happen very often.  Anyway, I was thinking about growing up as a kid on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  I thought back to mowing the lawn since I was old enough to safely push or ride the mower.  My  grandfather worked on mowers in his spare time and we were always testing them out when he was done to make sure they worked properly.  The best part was when he would fix go-karts and we could test them out.

I can remember one day he fixed a go-kart and I was testing it around the yard.  I was ripping along at a good pace for the first lap or two, slowing down for the corners and accelerating in the straights.  By the second or third lap, I was all out coming through the corners and sliding the back end around, steering through the corners.  Well, I made it maybe two more laps around the yard before I heard “the whistle”.  When he put two fingers in his mouth and made that whistle, you knew you were in trouble.  Without hesitation, my foot came off the gas pedal and I slowly crept back to the garage.  I was scolded a little for tearing up the lawn when I slid the back end around the corners, but it was more like a life lesson.

We also had a mini-bike back then.  I can remember riding it around the yard and the neighborhood when I was young.  I even remember one time when my brother was riding around the yard and the throttle got stuck.  I can see the grown ups like it was yesterday, chasing hims as fast as they could run.  They caught him eventually and all was well, but it was a little scary and quite humorous.

I remember my Aunt and Uncle coming down from Massachusetts on their motorcycles and my uncle taking us for rides.  It was the best.  When I was 16, my grandfather had an old Suzuki automatic (650 LA perhaps?) that he let me take down the road one day.  That was all she wrote.  Since those days of go-karts, mini-bikes and motorcycles, I have been a motorcycle lover.  I love the freedom and the instant speed.  A lot of sport bikes I have ridden will do 0-60 in under 3 seconds.  That’s faster than a Ferrari.  Now you see why I love riding.  And it’s not just the speed.  It’s the fresh air in your face, the smells, the freedom.  I love it.

So, a big thank you goes out to my grandfather.  He was like a father to me and taught me great things I will never forget.  He also taught how to treat and respect a woman.  He and my grandmother were married for 54 years before he passed away.  They just don’t make them like him any more.  I miss him very much.

See ya soon!

Every summer there is a very large gathering of bikers in Lake George, NY.  When I say a large gathering, I am not joking in any sense of the word.  For one week in June, it is estimated that 50-60,000 bikes roll into Lake George for Americade.  Along with all those bikers come tons of vendors and motorcycle companies.  During this week, you can find darn near anything you need for your motorcycle.  From nuts and bolts to custom seats to tires to camping trailers you can tow behind your motorcycle, it’s at Americade.  I can’t imagine needing something that I couldn’t find there.

Corbin's Custom bike(?)

Each year when Americade rolls around, Rose and I head up two times during the week it is going on.  Once, in the car in case we buy something too big to carry home on the bike, and the second time on the bike to meet our friends and go on some rides in the area.  Some of the rides in Lake George area and the surrounding area are amazing.

A heavily customized Harley Rocker

We have a bunch of friends that rent a hotel just outside of the town every year.  We usually go up the second day and meet them for a three lake ride and then go back and hang out at their hotel or go into town to see what’s going on.  Hanging with those guys is always a guaranteed good time.  They will keep you in stitches with their hi-jinks.  They are some of the best friends you can have.

One of Geico's bikes

As I mentioned earlier, a lot of the big motorcycle manufacturers come into town and offer free demo rides on their bikes.  Two years ago, I took out a few Harleys on a demo.  Up at the Roaring Brook Ranch, you can find demos from BMW, Triumph, Can-Am, Victory, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki.  It’s a great place to try out that bike you may be thinking about purchasing.

Another Geico bike

Another thing I love about Americade is going down by the lake and looking at the parking lot full of bikes.  It’s like a sea of motorcycles.  Walking through the parking lot, you can see a vast majority of bikes from all different manufacturers.

A sea of bikes

You will also see a lot of crazy customized bikes.  Bikes with amazing paint jobs.  Bikes with trailers.  You just never know what you will see next.  I even saw a chopper with a small inline 6-cylinder motor and covered with spikes.  Even the guy’s helmet was covered with spikes.

So, this year I will attend Americade as I do every year.  There’s talk that the Department of Environmental Conservation has raised the fee for the space Americade uses by some ridiculous amount and Americade might not come back next year.  This is absurd.  Come  on, New York.  Soda tax, fat tax, closing the state parks, and now trying to kill Americade?  This is getting out of control.

No matter what you do at Americade, don’t do this…

You’ll get in big trouble!  See ya soon!

I am hoping to start writing more about motorcycles in the near future.  I want to try and help raise awareness as much as possible about bikers and clear up some of the stereotypes out there.  For this blog, I wanted to let people know about the good things bikers do for the community.

Over the last few years, I have been a part in many fundraisers as a biker.  Most of the fundraisers are Poker Runs.  Poker Runs are when a large group of bikers get together and ride to raise money for someone in need.  It may be for a fallen biker, a child with a rare disease, or perhaps a biker’s child that has cancer.  A Poker Run is a ride where each biker pays a fee for the rider and a passenger should they have one.  They then go to three more stops before returning to the starting point.  At each stop, they get a card.  At the end of the ride, whoever has the best hand wins a prize.

Last year, a group I ride with every Wednesday night during the warmer months did a poker run for a member’s daughter.  She was diagnosed with cancer and the ride was to raise money to help with medical bills.  In the months leading up to the Poker Run, members of the group went to local businesses looking for donations to help raise money by entering those prizes in a silent raffle.  There was also a 50/50 raffle the day of the ride.  If you are unfamiliar with a 50/50 raffle, tickets are sold throughout the day.  At the drawing, 50% of the money from tickets sold, goes to the fundraiser, and the person with the winning raffle ticket gets the other 50%.

After the ride was over, we met back at our usual meeting place and had dinner and a band played for us.  People entered into a silent auction for the prizes that had been donated, hopeful they would be the winner.  At the end of the night, the money was tallied up.  The group had raised nearly $8,000 dollars for this young girl’s medical bills.  It is an amazing feeling to be part of that.

Riding in a group that large takes focus and cooperation.  Everyone should know the rules of riding in a group.  There are guidelines and hand signals that you must know to keep everyone safe.  The bikes behind the lead bike are blockers (if used).  The blockers stop traffic that could come from side streets and split the pack up, keeping everyone safe.  The riders behind the blockers and through the rest of the pack must ride in a staggered position.  If the riders do not stagger and ride side by side, it could be dangerous.  Should one of the bikes have to swerve to miss a pothole or dead animal in the road, there is a chance they could take out the rider next to them and then cause a chain reaction.  Because of this, the bikers are to ride one bike on the right, and one bike just behind on the left, then one just behind that one on the right and so on and so forth.

In the back of the pack, there are a few sweepers.  The job of the sweepers is to pull over with anyone in the pack should they have an engine problem.  The sweeper will then assist them in getting back on the road, or calling for help.  If all of these things are done correctly, the pack will be safe and no accidents will happen.  Here is a chart I found with the proper hand signals for riding in groups;

Group Riding Hand Signals

Group Riding Hand Signals

Imagine this, if you will.  You are in a pack of 100 motorcycles, riding to raise money for someone in need.  In front of you, you see bikes for a mile.  When you look in your mirror, the same thing.  It is a feeling I will never forget.

I want to make the public more aware that all bikers aren’t bad guys.  Sure, there are some that are.  But a good portion of the bikers that participate in these events are Vietnam Veterans who risked their lives fighting for our freedom.  They deserve a huge thank you for all they do for the community.  If you see a Vet, please thank them for the freedoms we have today…

**Image Courtesy of Group Riding Hand Signals