Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Re: Bike Shop in the Shopping Mall:
Originally posted April 26, 2012

Passing through Sacramento’s Down Town Plaza shopping mall recently, I noticed that, while the signage is still up, the backsides of the PowerSports display windows are papered over.  Inside the displays still rest (as of late June) a Vespa 150, a Piaggio three-wheeler and a motorbike or two, along with related clothing and gear.  Unfortunately, not being able to sell machines out of the site – due perhaps to poor test riding conditions on city streets – a sign in the window indicates the mall store will reopen for the holiday season and invites people to visit their main store in Elk Grove.  While still a boffo marketing idea, I’m sure it is tough to staff such an outlet on the proceeds from t-shirts, ball caps and the occasional Shoei helmet or logoed leather jacket.  I look forward to seeing them again in November.

In the meantime, if some entrepreneur were gutsy (or foolish) enough to open up a Fiat-studio-pizzeria-restaurante-gelato-Italian-dress-and-shoe-shop and Moto Guzzi outlet in western Placer County, CA, I’m sure something there would entertain my lovely spouse while I drooled over the bikes.

Re: Celebrating Arnold Horshack:
Originally posted August 15, 2012

Early on in my teaching, the woman who had been my fourth grade teacher years before (we’ll call her Nasty Ol' Mrs. Smith), was part of a visiting Monitor and Review Team on our campus.  [Back in that day, MAR Teams visited campuses to peer review the practices of neighboring elementary schools, ensuring compliance with state and federal regs and providing feedback on the teaching and learning witnessed during the visit.  Under a different acronym, the practice is still in place today.  It’s a good thing.]  My old fourth grade teacher saw me sitting in the staff room and asked: "What are YOU doing here?"  I said, "Teaching."  She flushed and replied, "Oh my God."  I guess I was her Arnold Horshack.

Re:  Clearwater Krista Running Lights: 
Originally posted August 18, 2012

I took a little dusk/evening ride home from a meeting the other night - first opportunity to check out the Kristas. Here are my "findings":

·      With the GSA's Hi beam on and the Kristas at full, more than a few drivers flashed.
·      With the GSA's Hi beam off and the Kristas at full, same result.
·      With the GSA's Hi beam on and the Kristas ratcheted down about half way, no one seemed annoyed.
·      With the GSA's Hi beam off and the Krista's off, I felt at a disadvantage against the lurking, inky blackness. EEEK!

At about half strength, the Kristas give what I would estimate to be about 150 yards of illumination to the shoulders of both sides of the road. Full blast, as someone on Pashnit (a fabulous motorcycle touring forum) commented, you can see a great distance. I'd estimate 1/4 mile. The Pashnit response said 1/2 mile. Not sure.

Degree or width of beam? Someone suggested 30 degrees. Can't say for sure. Just know that there is greater illumination than I experienced with the stock running lights on. I like being able to see what's going on on the shoulders of the roadway. I think the Clearwaters are a great improvement over what came on the BMW, however, it will take some time to learn to reach for the dimmer dial on the Kristas - which requires moving the left hand from the grip - than moving a thumb to dim the Hi beam.

These get a thumbs up from me.


PICTURE/POST CROSS-REFERENCE! Again: by popular demand (well, actually, one reader asked if this could be done) I have linked many of the pictures in the right hand column to the story in which they first appeared. By simply clicking on the picture, magic will happen, and that story will pop onto your screen. To quote Gomer Pyle: “Shazam!”

© 2012
Church of the Open Road Press

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