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Spark plugs need to be gapped to operate properly.

Why gap spark plugs? A quick overview.

“He can check the spark plugs and see if the engine’s runnin’ rich,” said the woman behind the counter. I’d never been to this shop before, even though I’d driven by it hundreds of times. I’d stopped because of the sign that read Certified Harley Mechanic. I was just a little too skittish to drive my bike all the way out to the local Harley-Davidson dealership because […]

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Am I having mid-life crisis?

When I first told a few people that I was going to learn to ride a Harley, a few said, “What…are you having a mid-life crisis or something?”  In the moment, my face blushed and shame whooshed through my body.  I was embarrassed by the notion that I could be making an irrational, selfish decision […]

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The motorcycle learning curve: the bad and the good

Last weekend (June25-26) was World Ride Weekend, a campaign promoted by Harley-Davidson Motor Company with a single mission: “Just ride of the love of riding.” Motorcycle enthusiasts were encouraged to keep track of the miles the rode and report them on the Harley-Davidson website.  Collectively, riders worldwide logged over 10 million miles. I did my part.  My Instagram post says […]

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Fear of dropping my motorcycle

The fear of dropping my motorcycle

When it comes to riding, I possess a plateful of confidence and a dollop of fear.  There’s lots of reasons to fear riding a motorcycle (speed, invisibility, and traffic, for example), and I face most of them with caution and logic.  But the one fear that holds me back from riding alone is the fear […]

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Riding motorcycles and bad weather

Since purchasing my bike about a month ago, there’s been rain, fog, or ominous clouds on 20 out of 31 of those days.  Many of those have been on weekends and evenings, the only time I can ride.  As a new rider eager to get out on the road, practice, and get miles under my belt, it’s been frustrating.  What’s a […]

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Riding a motorcycle involves risk

It was a few days before my New Rider Course.  My 17-year-old daughter was giving me a lecture at the dinner table. “Riding a motorcycle is dangerous. I don’t support this decision at all.” In a single moment, I felt awash with warmth from her concern, but also stunned into speechlessness.  I stared back at her with no ability to form words or respond. […]

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Fear of riding my motorcycle. But doing it anyway.

My pulse raced as I left the comfort zone of the big parking lot and took a right turn onto an actual street in the industrial park where I practice.  The synapses in my brain over-fired as I worked through shifting, braking, engaging the blinker, turning, and stopping.  Corners scared me, and stopping did too, ever since I dropped my bike. It had been five days since […]

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