Let me start off by saying that a Harley-based bike night is not at all my scene, but my good friend Dave does pin striping on the side and sets up a booth at JJ's Bike Night once a month and asked if I'd come down to hang out and take some photos, so photos I took and hanging I did.

JJ's in Watervliet holds a bike night once a month, weather permitting, the Tuesday evening after the Guptil's car cruise in (this is the easiest way to explain it - otherwise it would be "the first Tuesday after the first Monday of the month").  This month was not a weather permitting month.  The turnout, to my understanding, was a little light due to the fact that an impromptu rain date was scheduled for Wednesday night rather than the rained-out Tuesday and caused a number of bikes and a vendor or two (notably the food guy) to not be around.

Nicely restored Indian
That said, it seemed to me that quite a few people showed up despite only a day's heads up.  Parking was very well organized (I was among the first to arrive) and by 6:00 or so the lot was most of the way full with a collection of hand-picked bikes parked under the tent for judging and trophies.  I don't recall all of the details on everything, but there was a very cherry Indian and a tastefully done Panhead that each belonged to owners, employees, good friends or some other relation to Buzzy, the man who owns the shop.

Smitten with this Sporty
I was particularly smitten with an early 70's Sportster that rolled in with a bolt-on hardtail and a very minimialist and mechanical look.  Made me wish I hadn't ever sold my '64 XLCH.  Walking through the shop was also a treat with lots of old iron floating about, some crazy paint jobs and a properly shagged XR1200 that looked ridden like it should be. 

Dave at work
Well before dark, bikes began to peel out quicker than they arrived and before we knew it the time to pack up had come, but not before Dave got to paint a helmet for an employee of the shop.

The only thing I didn't like?  The Triumph embarrassed me!  It had a hell of a time starting, very low idle and would stall out - took far too many tries.  I gassed up right before I got there, so I'm thinking I vapor-locked the tank with it being so full.  Will have to keep an eye on that.  It also has me wanting to build that X1 again - as nice as the bikes were, I think I'd have the most interesting ride there if I could manage to build what's in my head.

Here are some other photos I took of the event:
Strips, that is.  And let alone the fact that I tend to prefer Popeye’s over KFC, what I’m specifically getting at is motorcycle tires and those tell-tale identifiers that most people use to determine just how big (or small) your testicles are.

The reason I bring this up is that the Sprint and I are really beginning to groove together.  On my way into work this morning, I dragged the toe of my boot on the ground going around a curve, not even intending to.  This was something that occurred with relative normalcy on the S3T due to the much lower peg position, but the Sprint’s pegs, while not superbike high, are perched far above where the Buell’s mounted.  As such, I was a little surprised that it even happened.

When I got into the office, I decided to take a look at the rear tire and I was a bit surprised at what I saw:
For street riding, this is about as close to the edge as I’d like to get.  At this point, I can clearly see that I get the bike leaned over to this point on a regular basis, and given that I don’t like to run at more than 7 or 8/10ths on the street, it leaves plenty of room for emergency maneuvers.  I see some street bike tires that are consistently to the edge and wonder what they will do when a squirrel jumps out and they’re out of lean angle, tire or both.  I’d rather have my tire look like that and be able to remember the exact time and place I did it, as it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence on the street.

Now, the track is an entirely different story.
None of this is to say that I don’t like wearing a tire right to the edge now and then.  The photo above was taken at my very first track day, and as you can see, the tire had been properly shagged most of the day.  But, this was at a track – where there are no squirrels, pot holes, tar snakes, minivans or trucks creeping over the double yellow into your lane.  You get to ride the same route over and over again to make sure you’re taking the most perfect line with the most perfect speed and most perfect braking your ability allows for.  In this environment, taking it to the edge of the tire, and even touching a peg down (which I have yet to do) is more than acceptable and something every track rider should aim for.

Now, before some of the super-heroes out there run out to the garage to check out how non-existent their chicken strips are, keep in mind that they only tell part of the story.  It’s well within the realm of possibility to lean the bike over at an extreme angle while the rider is sitting mostly upright.  At the same time, it’s also possible to drag your knee (or even hand) on the ground and barely be leaning the bike at all.  Because you can’t see your own form from the behind the handlebars (or that of the rider of a bike parked on the street), it’s best to reserve judgment until you can see photos or videos.  Chicken strips, alone or paired with other aspects, are not a good indicator of rider skill.
Before I go any further, let me point out that I made a rather conscience decision not to bring my camera along and take any pictures for this entire week.  Those you have seen thus far were taken on my phone and they are the extent of what I shot, so proceed with the knowledge that it’s all gonna be just words from here on out, holmes.  If you’re not the reading type, this may take some effort and result in a somewhat boring existence for the next however-many-minutes it takes your brain to process this.

Well, it's been quite a while since I last made a post.  I was expecting to see a handful of days with 0 visitors on my stats page, but apparently there are no fewer than 22 of your losers looking at this crap each day, even when there hasn't been any new content in 2 weeks.  Get a life.  Also, thank you!

So why such a hiatus?  A couple weddings did take up some time, but the big one was Americade 2012.  This was the first time in a few years where Angelo, Joel, Ival and I decided to do the whole week-long shebang.  We had been growing tired of the crowds and overall Americade "format" the last few years we went, but taking a break and going at it a different way was definitely the way to go.  Years past we would sign up for a few mini-tours, boat cruises and the like, but the more we did them the more we decided they were kinda lame.  Actually, super lame.  Being stuck on a boat in the cold without enough indoor seating or food is not a good time.  At the same time, doing a 15mph parade lap around Sacandaga Lake is not much fun, either.

This time around, we would get our wrist bands and not sign up for anything else.  No cruises, dinners, tours, rodeos... nothing.  We just showed up, did some shopping, some riding, some eating, and it turned out the best way to attend Americade we (or at least, I) had found.