FIT TO RIDE

This is another post on “How to Enjoy Your Motorcycle”.

One of the things that go along with getting the correct size motorcycle is staying physically fit enough to enjoy your bike.

Motorcycling is a very physically demanding sport and not everyone can do it. You have to be coordinated, quick thinking, and maybe most important- you have to be physically fit enough to handle and control your motorcycle. If you’ve ever taken an all day ride, you already know that being in shape makes the difference in how you enjoy your motorcycle.

Many folks quit riding because they think they think they are getting too old. But we believe it’s not your age that makes the difference but how physically able you are to ride. You can’t do anything about getting older but you can work on being more fit.

To fight getting old, and to be able to continue to enjoy life as much as possible, we both exercise on a regular basis. We stretch and do mild cardio EVERY morning and we go to the gym a couple of times a week. Our goal is simply to feel good so we can continue doing all of the activities we enjoy doing. We’re lucky because we do it together and it beats the hell out of sitting on the couch watching TV. Plus if we don’t exercise, then we don’t enjoy our ice cream as much. And if you haven’t noticed by our blog posts- we LOVE ice cream!

In this video Jeff talks about staying fit helps us enjoy riding:

We hope you are enjoying your riding season!

Until next time.

Jeff and Pam

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DAY RIDE TO LOOK ROCK TOWER

Jeff getting ready to do the opening video.

On Wednesday, May 2, 2018 we took another Day Ride.

The main way that Jeff and I enjoy our motorcycles is by taking Day Rides. This ride to Foothills Parkway is one we’ve done many times- but we’ve worked in a twist. We’ll be hiking up to the Look Rock Tower.

Jeff kicks us off in this video:

That’s me, Pamo, excited about the ride ahead of us.

Here’s the view from the parking lot overlook off Foothills Parkway.

Before we took the short hike to Look Rock, we had a picnic lunch. Yum!

The trail marker is just off the side of the parking area. The hike is a half mile round trip.

The trail is well marked.

The trail will get your heart rate up but is very doable.

When you reach the road intersecting with the trail, turn left.

That’s the air quality data collection center to the right.

Almost to the tower.

There’s the base of the tower.

A bit more climbing and we’re almost there.

View of the tower.

Almost to the top.

And the view was well worth the short hike.

Another view from the tower.

Another view.

Jeff reads the placard.

View of Maryville.

We sure live in a gorgeous area!

We could almost touch the birds flying in the sky.

Time to start back down the trail.

And there’s the Foothills Parkway road.

Ready to get back on the bikes after visiting the lovely Look Rock Tower.

So even though the Foothills Parkway ride was one we’ve done many times before, we added a new adventure to the experience. Part of keeping riding fresh is mixing it up a little. It doesn’t take much- perhaps just a new route to your destination or discovering a sight you’ve never seen along the way.

Until next time!

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PLANNING A GROUP RIDE

Another terrific way to enjoy your motorcycle is by participating in a group ride. Getting together a group of riders can be challenging because everyone has different schedules. So sometimes you just have to make the commitment and plan for the day.

Back in 2015 a good friend of ours, Richard Hawkins, motivated a group of us to do just that- make the commitment, take the day off and ride to Wheels Through Time Museum, a place we love. We can honestly say that the ride we took with those friends is a memory we still hold dear – even three years later.

So consider getting together with a group of riders, pick a destination that all of you can enjoy, and then just DO IT!!!

Here is a re-post of that ride we took in 2015 with our friends. We hope you enjoy seeing our day and maybe you’ll get motivated to plan a group ride of your own.

Ready to ride!

Ready to ride!

On Thursday, June 4, 2015 we joined up with friends from the Time Warp Tea Room to take a day trip to Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum in Maggie Valley, NC.

We left our home in North Knoxville at 8:00am.

Jeff kicks off our day in this short video:

Everyone met up at the Weigel’s next to Lowes on Chapman Highway.

Everyone is excited about the day.

From left to right: David, James, Peanut, and Richard

After all our group arrived (a total of eight bikes), Richard led the ride. We headed south on Chapman Highway then took Whites School Road into the backside of Pigeon Forge.

From Pigeon Forge, we took the Gatlinburg bypass and stopped at the Sugarlands Visitor Center for a short break.

We then headed up 441 going over the mountain. Our next stop was at Newfound Gap.

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The gang seems to be enjoying the break.

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Newfound Gap is a mountain pass situated along the border between Tennessee and North Carolina.

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Look at that view!

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And another. It’s easy to see why so many people stop at Newfound Gap.

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Left to right: Peanut, Dennis, Richard, Pamo, Jeff, David, and James.

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The guys are telling stories.

We left Newfound Gap and continued our trek over the mountain. We then took a left onto the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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Here’s the gang about to exit the Blue Ridge Parkway heading toward Maggie Valley.

We arrive at Wheels Through Time around noon. The guys are anxious to get to the museum so we delay lunch until afterwards.

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James hydrates before we hit the museum. Nice mug James!

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Here’s the entrance to the Wheels Through Time Museum.

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A cool vintage ride sits outside the museum.

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Here are the guys in the lobby getting ready to enter the museum.

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A beautiful Indian. Love the color.

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The guys love this stuff.

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Dale purchased this car at auction in 2011 for $175,000. It’s future estimated value could be close to a million! (We have the auction video playing at Biker Rags.)

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The guys get a kick out of the old choppers.

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The museum is over flowing with antique machines.

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Engines are everywhere at Wheels Through Time.

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Big Fish. Wonder what year this one was customized?

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How many times do you get to see an antique board track racer in person?

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Another beautiful Indian.

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The bikes just go on and on and on….

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This one was found inside a wall in Illinois. Wow!

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The museum is full of rare items you’ll never see anywhere else.

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Enthusiasts appreciate the unmolested beauty of these machines. This is one of the first Indian’s ever made!

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Peanut and Jeff love the color scheme on this Knucklehead.

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A Whizzer!

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Here’s a view from the second floor. From here you can see about twenty percent of the floor space.

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An early Sportster. Wow!

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Evil Knievel’s machine. Amazing how he jumped that motorcycle.

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The boys have really enjoyed the museum.

By this time, we had spent a little over two hours inside the museum. We could have stayed another two hours and still not see everything.

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We got Richard a souvenir t-shirt for planning the day. Thank you Richard!

By the time we left the museum, it was about 2:30pm and we were ready to eat lunch. Just a few blocks from the museum is Country Vittles Family Style Restaurant.

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You can’t miss it! It’s located just a few blocks from Wheels Through Time right on Soco Road.

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Plenty of parking available for bikers.

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The guys test out the porch while David tells another tall one.

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The service was friendly and fast and the food was spectacular!

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Jeff and I got the chocolate cake too. Delicious!!

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The guys discuss the return trip route.

When the day started, we considered going another route back to Knoxville. But that route was longer and the group decided to return back over the mountain the way we came.

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We stopped at Newfound Gap again going back over the mountain.

Here we are waiting on the road crews. Didn't take too long.

Here we are waiting on the road crews. Didn’t take too long.

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When we got back into Knoxville, Jeff and I stopped for an Icee at the same Weigel’s that our morning began.

We arrived home at 7pm and our total ride was 190 miles. Thank you Richard and all the guys from the Time Warp Tea Room for such a great day.

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You can view our entire list of DAY RIDES by CLICKING HERE.

 

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MOTORCYCLE FIT

This is another post in our “Enjoying Your Motorcycle Series”.

Hey folks- Pamo here. Last week Jeff talked about how getting the correct size motorcycle can make your riding experience more enjoyable. This week- I’ll talk about it from my perspective.

Back when we first opened the store in 1994, I was riding a 1971 Ironhead Sportster, handed down to me from Jeff. It didn’t take long before I knew I needed something more to my liking, so I got a 883 Hugger. It was a great bike, but after a couple of years, I traded up and got a Harley Springer Softail. (The Bad Boy Softail.)

That’s me on my Harley Bad Boy around 1999.

Again, it was a great ride, but over time, I felt I spent too much time struggling with it’s heft. The front end was quite heavy and I had a difficult time maneuvering in parking lots or in tight spots. So after a couple of years, I traded for a Dyna Low Rider around 2002. I put a windshield and saddlebags on it and once again, had the perfect bike.

Jeff is kind of crazy when it comes to motorcycles, so we’ve always had a garage full, but me, I like to stick to one or two bikes. After riding one of Jeff’s Sportsters, I found myself riding my beloved Dyna less and less. In 2010, I finally admitted to myself that I needed a lighter, more manageable bike.

Soon after this realization, Jeff and I stopped in at Knoxville Harley and I got a 1200 Custom, a bike that I still have today. For me, this is the perfect bike. It is fuel injected, lightweight, comfortable, powerful and it makes me smile every time I ride it

That’s me on my 2010 Sporster in 2015.

It really is the perfect bike for me. After Jeff rode it, he went out and got himself one too that he still rides.

There are many ways to enjoy your motorcycle. Having the correct bike for you (and believe me this changes over time) may be the most important way to enjoy riding. The dealerships all have demo days- so if you ever want to test ride a different motorcycle- they make it really easy. The guys at the dealerships are really nice and I’ve never felt any sales pressure. Because really, these newer, lighter, better made late model bikes sell themselves.

That’s me on my Sportster just a couple of weeks ago.

Until next time,

Pamo

 

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MOTORCYCLE SIZE FOR RIDING ENJOYMENT

This is another post in our “Enjoying Your Motorcycle Series”.

Greetings from Jeff at Biker Rags.

Pamo asked me to throw in my two cents for her “How to Enjoy Your Motorcycle Series”. So, after careful thought, here’s what I’ve come up with.

As you can imagine, over the twenty plus years that we have been in business, we have seen lots of folks that make motorcycling a part of their life. We’ve also seen a lot of folks that ride for awhile, never to be seen again. And we we see folks that still have a bike, but don’t ride much.

We always wonder why. Why do people quit riding? For me, I think one of the biggest reasons is that many folks don’t have the correct size motorcycle. I guess what I’m really saying is that many folks have a bike that is just too big for them. I’ve been guilty of it myself.

Fifteen years ago, my daily ride was a full dress Harley with a big trunk. It was big and bulky even then, but I was younger and stronger and I thought that’s just part of it. But over time, I got tired of trying to man handle my bike around parking lots and at stop signs.

Finally, I decided to swallow my pride and traded my bagger for a Heritage, a bike I still have but that is almost too big for me today. I still ride my Heritage, but mostly I ride my Indian Scout or one of my Sportsters. These bikes fit me and they ride as well as any bike. They are lightweight, nimble and my feet are firmly on the ground.

I read once that a good test to see if your bike fits you is to lift it off the kickstand, roll it twenty-five feet forward, turn it around and roll it back to where you started. If you can’t do this, your bike is probably too big for you.

Believe me- I hate that I’m not as young as I used to be- but I’m also more determined than ever to enjoy riding my motorcycle. It’s finally dawned on me that we don’t live forever, and that life goes by pretty quick, so I’m not changing the way I live. All I’m doing is making a few adjustments. Besides- there’s nothing on TV.

See you soon,

Jeff

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A MOTORCYCLE LEGEND – CONARD SHULTZ

This is another post in our “Enjoying Your Motorcycle Series”.

Another way that Jeff and I enjoy motorcycles is by collecting and sharing our love of vintage motorcycles at Biker Rags.

Vintage Bike Enthusiasts gather at Biker Rags.

We met Conard Shultz, Knoxville native and vintage motorcycle guru, when we first opened Biker Rags back in 1994. We thought it would be cool to have a vintage Triumph in the store to display. When Conard invited us out to his shop and we saw his massive collection- we were hooked!

Even today, over twenty years later, many of the bikes you’ll see in our vintage museum have been built, restored, brought back to life or somehow touched by Conard.

Conard has been enjoying motorcycles longer than most of us have been alive.

Conard arrives on his bike and is greeted by Tim Burchett. 2016

Conard has been building, customizing, and restoring British motorcycles for over sixty-five years. For many of us British motorcycle enthusiasts, Conard has been our mentor, our historian, our connection and our friend.

Conard customized this Triumph with a horse saddle!

1959 Triumph Bonneville restored by Conard and his crew.

1965 Matchless restored by Conard.

This past year, Conard has been in a battle for his life. Despite weekly chemotherapy treatments and fighting a disastrous systemic infection, he has prevailed. He still shows up for Bike Nite at the Time Warp Tea Room and still orders parts for his customers.

Still kicking and still interested in life at age 84, we think it’s his dogged determination to see that next vintage beauty (or bastard- it’s all the same to Conard) run is what keeps him in the game.

In 2014, we honored Conard with the very first Conard Shultz Day at Biker Rags. We did it again in 2015 and 2016. Then in 2017, we had to put the celebration on hold because Conard wasn’t strong enough to get through the day. This past February Jeff asked Conard if he was up to another party and Conard gave us the thumbs up. So this next Saturday, April 21st, we’ll once again celebrate Conard’s Day at Biker Rags.

Conard and his wife, Marie, enjoying Conard’s Day in 2016. That’s Jeff, of course, on the right.

We hope you’ll come out to celebrate Conard and his contribution to the motorcycle world. He has certainly helped Jeff and I love and enjoy motorcycles. Come see his work and experience why we believe Conard is indeed a motorcycle legend.

The party starts this Saturday, April 21st, at 11am. If you have a vintage motorcycle (all brands are welcome) come show it off to other vintage enthusiasts. The vintage ride-in show is from 11am to 2pm. Free food for everyone starts at noon. And we’ll be taking pictures with Conard from 11:3o am to 12 noon.

Everyone is invited to this FUN and FREE event. Whether you love vintage motorcycles or just curious why those of us do, come join us. See you Saturday!

And here are photos from Conard Shultz Day, April 21, 2018:

 

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PLAN YOUR NEXT DAY RIDE

This is another post in our “Enjoying Your Motorcycle” series.

Jeff and I like to take impromptu rides, heading wherever the mood takes us. Over the years though, we have found that taking planned rides can be even more adventurous and fun. Because when you have a destination in mind, you can plan out new and different routes to get there and end up seeing sites you’ve never encountered before.

Here’s Jeff talking about how he plans our Day Rides:

 

Here are links and photos of some of my personal favorite Day Rides that we’ve taken by using this planning process. (Frankly there were too many to list- but you get the idea.)

Another view.

View from the Pinnacle at Cumberland Gap National Park.

Fall Creek Falls

The Natural Arch in the Daniel Boone Natural Forest.

Natural Tunnel State Park in Southwest Virginia

View of Burgess Falls.

Coke Ovens Park in Dunlap, TN

View from Fontana Dam.

You can see all of our Day Rides by CLICKING HERE.

So next time you ride, try planning it out and have a destination in mind. This can really make riding more enjoyable! Give it a try.

Also, be sure to join us this Saturday, April 14th for our FREE RIDE MAP day. Everyone who comes into the store gets a FREE ride map- until all the maps are gone. We’ll have refreshments too. Come early to be sure and get your FREE RIDE MAP.

 

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GEARING UP FOR THE RIDE

This is another post in our “Enjoying Your Motorcycle” series.

We went for a ride last Wednesday. The morning temps were around 55 degrees and it was cloudy. We knew by the afternoon, it would be closer to 70 degrees. So it was one of those days when we needed to wear our full gear in the morning but be able to shed some of it by the afternoon.

I talk about our morning gear in this video:

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CHECKIN’ OUT THE NEW BIKES

This is another post in our “Enjoying Your Motorcycle” series.

Let’s face it- not every day is a riding day. Life gets in the way and the weather doesn’t always cooperate. Fortunately, there are other ways to get your motorcycle fix in!

One of the things Jeff and I love to do on those days when we can’t ride is stop in at Handlebar Highway in North Knoxville and check out all the new bikes.

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KEEP RIDING FUN

This is the first installment of our “Enjoying Your Motorcycle” series.

Jeff and I have been riding together for over 25 years. We’ve seen a lot of different sites and had a ton of fun along the way.

On our ride this past Thursday exploring some back roads.

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