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If You See Kay: November, 2013

By Kay Cardwell

Patty Brassfield of Los Gatos was out on a road trip to Oregon with a couple of girlfriends, Debbie Macdonald of Santa Cruz and Paula Pierce of Watsonville. On their first day out, Patty ran into a little trouble and got a flat tire in Laytonville. Patty said, “In the category of ‘over and above customer service,’ Leif and Emily Magnusen and Vince of Ukiah Harley-Davidson saved my cookies. Leif drove the trailer one-and-a-half hours to pick my bike and me up. They stayed after hours to get me back on the road by 7:15 p.m., and I caught up with Debbie and Paula at 10:00 p.m. that night in Scotia.” Three cheers for Ukiah H-D. Thank you, Leif, Emily and Vince… Happy birthday to all riders who celebrate in November. Happy birthday to IHR members Jay Cuccarese in Salem, Oregon, Bob Moore in Boulder Creek and Gene “Taz” Thompson in Hidden Valley Lake. Happy birthday to Santa Cruz H.O.G. members Dennis Grazian, Bud Gussman, Lisa Racine, Charles Atwater and Terry Swinggi; to Samuel Martinez in San Jose, Rusty Barter of Stockton H.O.G. and to Iron Steed H.O.G. members Chuck Matheson, Sam Fernandez, Kenny Mann and Kathy Lukachinsly. Happy birthday to Joelene Downey in Midland, Oregon, and happy birthday to Lompico Lyle, Chairman of Monterey Bay Confederation of Clubs and founder/president of Ghost Mountain Riders MC… In late 2010, my old Santa Cruz H.O.G. friend Pete Gallagher contacted me. He was suffering from esophageal cancer, and he wanted to make his time left very full and special. One thing he wanted was to attend the 2011 IHR campout in September. He didn’t make it. He died on October 11, 2011. His friends will remember him with fondness… For several months, I have been investigating trikes with the idea that I may convert my bike, but this is a very expensive and permanent change to make with any uncertainty. Thank you to all who have responded to give me the wisdom of your experience. Fred Garber of Modesto H.O.G. says that he has had an Ultra Classic trike since August of 2010, and he loves riding it. Then, I got a very informative and helpful letter from “Jack the Machinist” in Valley Springs. Jack built his own trike, but this is not to be undertaken lightly. Jack is a pro, and he has all of the proper equipment. He says, “It’s certainly not a simple bolt-on process.” The conversion includes disassembling the front end to install the raked triple clamp, altering the primary gearing to suit the larger rear tires (car tires) and additional weight (add about 200 pounds), reconfiguring electrical wiring to include two taillights and relocating the turn signals. Jack is right when he says this is a job best left to those with specific trike experience. Before he started his conversion project, Jack talked to Mario Balderas at Freedom Rides in Lincoln and found him to be very knowledgeable and helpful. I certainly agree. Jack Munoz and I took a ride over to Lincoln to meet Mario and Gerardo Balderas. These are two terrific guys, and they know their business. Both of them took a lot of time with us. In addition to helping us learn the cost and what goes into it, they took us out for extended rides. Jack the Machinist says that riding a trike is not better or worse than riding a bike, but it is different. He did mention one difference that I had not considered. He said that you have to be very careful with high-speed turns when you are on a trike. If you find that you are going a little too fast in a turn with a bike, you can lean it down a little more to compensate. With a trike, however, if you find that you are going a little too fast in a turn, you could be in real trouble. You could easily end up going over the yellow line or running off the road. Let me tell you, getting used to a trike is more difficult than you may think. While sitting in the saddle your impression is that you are on a bike, and it takes a lot of self-control to quit putting your feet down each time you stop. What can I say? Yep, I can learn to do it, but I am going to have to give it more thought.


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