There are times in my motorcycling life that I find the need to do a little bit of explaining…
The title of this blog is “Hogrider Dookes.”
This is because:
a) I ride Harley Davidson motorcycles.
b) My name is Dookes.
Simple…well yes, so far, but as regular readers, the “Blogonaughts,” may recall, I like to class myself as “A Motorcyclist who happens to ride Harley’s” and not a Harley Rider. There is a big difference.
Back in November I visited the “Motorcycle Live” exhibition in Birmingham, this annual event is the biggest motorcycle show in the UK and goes on for nearly two weeks. All the major manufacturers attend, along with countless aftermarket suppliers and trade stands, it’s a fantastic event for anyone with a passion for motorcycles. I had a super day looking at everything from the latest things on two wheels to clothing, luggage and other accessories. True I did have a sit on one of Harley’s 2018 models, but then I also sat on Honda’s, Ducati’s, KTM’s, Yamaha’s and even a Royal Enfield…eclectic, is probably the best way to describe my taste.
Then, just before the nonsense of Christmas and New Year, I found myself chatting to one of the Road Captains from our local Harley Owners Group Chapter; the subject of the exhibition came up in our conversation and I enthused about all the different bikes I had seen.
“I’m not interested in other bikes, just Harley’s.” Was the somewhat scornful response. Fair enough, point taken, said individual then went on to tell me that his own bike, an Ultra Limited Low, had been put away for the next few months as “The Riding Season is over until Spring.”
The thing is, he’s not alone. Lots of motorcyclists pack their bikes away in the Autumn and hibernate until the Spring, maybe Harley Riders more than most.
I guess that’s what I mean about being a Motorcyclist who happens to ride Harley’s and not a “Harley Rider.”
You see, I ride all year round and I’m in a silly way I’m bloomin’ proud of that!
True, sometimes a four-hour ride equals eight hours of cleaning and polishing afterwards, but it isn’t half worth it! Take the situation just before Christmas for example.
For a few weeks we had been enduring our usual share of Cornish winter gales; loads of rain, high winds, hail and just a dusting of snow on the high moors. Then the wind dropped, the sun came out and the temperature plummeted.
What better thing to do than to hit the road on two wheels with a motorcycling pal for company?
My artist mate Mark is always up for a ride at the drop of a hat and like me isn’t too bothered by winter weather. Mark rides a solid Honda CB1200, a real no-nonsense bike that suits him down to the ground and if I’m honest a model that I really like too, but which one of my two-wheeled ladies should I take?
Well, I did consider Baby Blue so that I could hide from the cold behind her big faring, but as Harls was already pretty filthy from me riding around in the week before I settled on her. Anyway, my heated jacket and gloves would keep the cold out!
For some reason, probably just because we could, we decided on the delights of the high ground of Dartmoor on the border of Cornwall and Devon. Only a few days earlier the moor had been lying under a light blanket of snow, but now the roads were clear if a bit wet from running-off water, the sky blue and the air crisp. This was motorcycling for the purist!
I think that I’ll let the pictures do the talking…
On the way back we called in on the local Harley Dealership, Plymouth Harley Davidson, ours were the only two bikes in the parking lot.
In the showroom, salesman Kev grinned at me.
“Hi Dookes, I see the 12 month riding season is still open then?”
It certainly is Kev, it certainly is!
“Bleak winter sunset with sky of lavender…”*
Catch you soon.
* Images In a Moment of Time, Ryan Richard Nych