Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tucson Quilt Show and a Bike!

We headed out about 10:30 this morning, headed for Tucson.  It is the weekend for the Annual Quilter's Guild Show in the convention center there.  Loyce has gone the last two years, and wanted to make it three.

We drove right along on our outer loop 202 called the San Tan freeway, until we came to a complete stop, somewhere South of Chandler.  I moved over to the inside lane, as it seemed to still be moving some.

After what seemed to be an eternity, we found a car that had rolled down the interstate and ended up on the shoulder without its top.  The people were already gone in an ambulance, so we were spared that part, but the responders were sweeping the interstate of rocks and broken glass.  Having been thru this ourselves two years ago, we just cringe when we arrive on these scenes.  (Link) and (Link) for pictures.

The rest of the trip to Tucson was uneventful, and the sun was shining brightly.  Not a cloud in the sky, but it was cool at about 63 when we arrived.  I dropped her at the door, and Biscuit and I were free for a couple of hours.

On the way into town, we had passed a Harley Davidson dealer, and we backtracked to the bike shop.  After Biscuit watered their plantings outside, and retired to her car crate with the car windows open, I went inside.

They had an enormous number of bikes on display.  New and used.  A salesman spent time following me around, and I finally had to admit that I rode a scooter, because of the neuropathy in my feet and the shifter pain.  He explains that there are now electric shift solenoids that will put the gears on the handle bars, but you still have to use the clutch.  A possibility!

I could probably use a heal and toe rocker bar type shift, if need be, as it is the upward lift of the gear lever that kills me.  On the rocker bar, you can press down with your boot heal to shift up.

I was quite startled to find that some of the Screaming Eagle bikes are now over 40K.  Wow, it was just a few years ago that they were about 25K.  The economy isn't hurt any in the motorcycle business.  What they are mostly selling is image, as the bikes can't cost that much to make.

The Screaming Eagle is hand assembled in one build station by one builder.  A custom build, just for you.  The assembler rides the bike some at the factory to test that he has everything just right, before it gets packed up to ship.  But that costs somewhere around 15K more!

To me, the bike that is assembled on a production line would be just fine, as they take them out on the road to test everything as well.  Each fellow knows his job as well as possible, and does it repeatedly, so the skill level is much the same.

But where the difference come in, is the assembly line moves along at a fast pace, where the custom builder can take more time on something if it doesn't go quite right.  Bad stuff should be ID ed at the test ride anyway.  Or at the dealer prep time, too.

So when I went back to pick up Loyce at the convention center, I was full of ideas on how my new Harley was going to look and be!!  I don't think that was what she had in mind, when we left for the Quilt show.  Think really loud pipes, and a leather jacket!!! LOL

We came back thru the countryside when we got about 30 miles North of Tucson.  I was tired of the interstate, so I got off on US 87.  We drove to Coolidge where the Casa Grande ruins are located, and stopped at the Wal Mart there, mostly for a potty break.  Biscuit needed out too!

We continued our scenic country drive partly around the San Tan mountain to the East but turned North before Florence.  Winding around the blacktops, we caused George the GeoSat GPS to recalculate several times as we headed for Queen Creek and eventually home here in East Mesa.

We arrived back here about 4:30 and had to open up the rig, as it was quite hot inside.  I'm not sure it made 70 officially today, but the sun was out all day, and compared to the single digits we were hearing  about back home, it will do quite nicely.

Tonight Loyce was digging thru her new bag of stuff from the show, and I was still talking new Harley, and she said, Ya Right!!!  What ever that means..........

Retired Rod


  1. Hey Rod, I toured the Harley Factory in York PA. Several years ago. It was a really class act. as you could follow a frame as it was hung on the assembly line to where it was gassed with one gallon of gas and then started and driven into a booth with rollers that got it up to speed and the rollers simulated bounces to test the shock action, all while the bike appeared to be standing still inside the booth, so yes every Harley is test driven right off the line anyone that they deem need further testing go outside and are tested on their track, another need place.So if you looking at a Harley all you need to do is just bring money. I keep thinking maybe someday if I find a good deal on a used one I can wrench on, but I still have Donna watching over me. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

  2. It's too bad the Harley's have to cost sooooo much money. And the high priced accessories too. And then there is the high insurance etc!! I, like most guys like the sound of the bike & the mystique of the name. Had I tried to save enough money for a Harley I would have never had a motorcycle...period. I am totally happy with Honda Shadow Aero 1100. No, it doesn't have the mysteque & rumble of a Harley but it was affordable, runs like a charm & I had a motorcycle mechanic guy tell me 2 summers ago it was one of the nicer bikes he had ever ridden. Now, would I still like a noisy Harley Davidson....of course I would:))

  3. Hey I can see you now in my minds eye. We will be looking forward to seeing you and Loyce in your leathers and head rags at our site in Usery Mountain next year.

  4. Sounds like you had a great day, and there may even be a new byke in your future.

  5. Seems like you're trying to talk yourself into this new Harley, Rod! It sure would boost your image with the motorcycle club in the park! Vroom!!! Vroom!!


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