Just a gray haired arthritic old man who would rather ride a bike than a motorcycle

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by deserttoadd, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. deserttoadd

    deserttoadd New Member

    Now that I have a new set of wheels under me I feel like I can start posting.

    I live in the middle of nowhere so I guess that puts me in the middle of everywhere. lol I started riding my motorized bike to work about 5 years ago but was stopped because of a tumble at the post office when I went to stop, oil spots are not my friends, and by the time I was ready to go again the
    General decided to make the requirements for motorized bikes the same as motorcycles so I was out of luck until higher headquarters decided that Motorized bikes only had to conform to state law and I had to wear a bike helmet. My first bike was stolen four days before I was going to get it ready for riding to work so my house insurance paid 100% to replace it with this one.
    Bike: Schwinn Commuter Bike, changed to heavy duty wheels and sprockets and 26x2 airfree tires with an aggressive tread, not all of my roads are nicely paved. I work the graveyard shift and learned my lesson early and got tired of having to repair flats every day
    Engine: Honda GX35 Four Cycle Engine w/ belt drive from GEBE
    Tools: I carry a small container in my pack with various wrenches, screwdrivers,batteries, air pump for the horn, a few zip ties, two extra belts and lower gears for steep hills. Extra container of fuel in bottle holder. I also carry my registration, job ID, and CA. Veh. Code extracts covering motorized bikes for dim witted sheriff deputies and govt police both civ and GI.
    Clothes: shorts, t-shirt, Bibbies when it start getting to the end of October, steel toed work shoes, gel bike gloves.
    Safety equipment: Helmet w/ light on top, reflective vest (esp. at nite), mirror on the helmet, front and rear lights, air horn, reflective tape (black) all over the black frame and supports.
    Miles: 31 miles (round trip) from gate on AF base, hoping to expand to full 48 round trip home to work to home by end of the month.

    I have taken a lot of ribbing from the younger guys at work and the older ones look at me with a mix of respect and curiosity about my sanity. Ride I do and I get more and more questions from folks as to what the whole situation is about. If any questions are still floating out there then please ask and I will answer them. Photo-0021 a.jpg

  2. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum. We don't ride these thing to impress people. We just get hooked on them.
  3. deserttoadd

    deserttoadd New Member

    I apologize for the misunderstanding. I am not trying to brag but only introduce myself. I did not mean to step on your toes.
  4. MikeJ

    MikeJ Member

    Hi Deserttoad -

    You have a good looking bike there. It should serve you well for a long time. The 4-cycle engine choice is a very smart one. In recent weeks, there have been almost no complaints about getting 4-cycle engines up and running. If your higher HQ allows you to ride as a bicyclist, that's great! The three AF bases on which I can ride a non-motored bike require motorcycle registration, insurance, riding course, etc., etc., etc. Helmet requirement is the least of my concern. It is just easier to walk or drive.

    If questions other than "How fast?" come to you, consider them admiration for your skills and deviation from the norm.

  5. deserttoadd

    deserttoadd New Member

    You may want to talk to the ground safety office. AFI 91-203 has changed a lot of what is required as far as 2/3 wheeled motor transportation for both motorcycles and motorized bikes. CA vehicle code says that as long as it fits the definition as a motorized bicycle then it is to be treated as a bicycle. Check your state assembly or state senate person for getting the law changed so that motorized bicycles are not classified as "low-power scooter". The worse that will happen is they say no. The CA veh code section 405/406 can be used as an example. I still have to wear a reflective vest at night and a bicycle helmet but the insurance is not a problem. My home owner's insurance replaces my bike if it is stolen. I have enough lights and reflective tape, my own purchase, to qualify it to be called the "clown bike". I feel cheated if I don't get to ride it.

    At night, 8PM - 9PM, I have only four or five cars pass me on my way to South Base and it is an absolute thrill to be able to ride for so long with a minimal of problems, getting run over and 20 knot headwinds. I have been fighting an arthritic knee since 20 and I cannot ride much more than a mile or so at one time without my left knee lodging a major protest. I have set up my motor gearing so that I can effectively pedal while riding. Since I work on a flightline, we have 4, I deal with a lot of younger ex-GI's who gently kid me about the motor but also respect the fact that by hook or crook I will ride. A few of them have taken my bike for a ride around the parking lot and are smitten by the experience. My inspiration is a guy who rides a road bike from California City to the AF Research Lab, 32 miles one way with the last 9 miles up a steep hill, and he was using a helper motor.

    Thank you for the encouragement. And thank you for the time you paid.