Monthly Archives: June 2009

Heritage Softail Service and Tyre

The other day I came out of work after a late meeting to be greeted by the the Harley-Davidson sitting there with a flat back tyre.  One of my colleagues tried to look on the bright side by reassuring me that it was only flat at the bottom, but I think this was just trying to make me feel better.

However, I wasn’t really worried, except for the fact that this would delay me getting home for my dinner. After a phone call to the lovely people at the RAC, I settled down for a wait. I didn’t have too long to wait before one their bright orange vans arrived, quickly located the problem, which was a hole in the tyre and proceeded to make a temporary repair.

I had been asked a couple of times whether this was a tubed or a tubeless tyre and I neither knew the answer nor realised that the question would prove to be significant.

It seems that temporary repairs are only for tubeless tyres.

After some searching, the RAC man announced his verdict. It had a tube.

This meant that I could not ride it home, even though the temporary repair was holding up. I would have to wait for a truck to come and take me home.

He also announced that I needed a new back tyre as the tread was on the very edge of being legal.

I settled back down in the office at work and eventually the truck arrived. We manoeuvred the bike onto the back of the hi-tech sliding tipping flat bed and the driver proceeded to strap the bike down. After this was done, we finally set off for home with me in the truck.

Apart from getting no dinner until about 11pm, things were OK. Our RAC membership had covered the costs of both of my rescuers and the bike was safely put away at home.

The next step was a phone call to Robin Hood.

No not that one; the Harley Davidson dealership in Nottingham.

They would come and collect the bike, fit a new tyre and carry out the service that was also due.

The ball park price that we were given during that phone call was a bit of shock. We are looking at about £700.

Oh well, nothing is cheap on a Harley.

The shop van turned up this morning and as I write this, the bike is in their tender care. At some point the phone will ring and my Visa card will go pale.

But the bike will be back on the road.

There is some debate going on in our household at the moment about whether we are going to keep the bike. With my job being almost an hour away from home, a car is a necessity, especially for next winter. My heart wants to keep the bike and walk to work if the weather is too bad to ride, but the well-hidden sensible bit of me realises that walking to Swadlincote from Nottingham is not an option.

Anyway, whether the bike stays or leaves, it needs to be roadworthy.


A Cautionary Note For All Volunteer Managers

A friend of mine, Aussie Volunteering guru Martin Cowling, was interviewed on Breakfast TV in New Zealand this morning about the potential problems that we are storing up as the population ages and as the people who volunteer age with them. His argument applies to us in the UK just as much as it does to New Zealand.

Through the magic of the interweb, you can see the interview here

Martin Cowling on New Zealand TV
Martin Cowling on New Zealand TV

Ride Safe

I’m Getting My Life Back

Tha last few months have been the busiest that I can remember for some time.

As well as my wonderful new job in Swadlincote, we have had visitors over from Denmark, been to Thoresby Hall for a wonderful weekend. Sue has also changed her job, we’ve test driven a Smart car, been to a wedding and handfasting on Dorset and survived Volunteers Week.

I’m amazed at how much of this has been captured here on the blog – although its initial purpose of recording no more than trains and bikes and occasionally, music has been swept aside by everything else.

I still have to write about our Dorset Wedding, but the Volunteers Week adventures are being recorded over at the Volunteer Centre South Derbyshire blog.

Ride Safe

Discontent in Sherwood Chapter

Although we are no longer members of Sherwood Chapter of the Harley Owners Group, we keep an ear to the ground about what’s going on there.

It is not entirely unrelated to what we are hearing that I have decided to remove the password protection from this post about my reasons for resigning from the committee and for not renewing my membership of the chapter. As I now have no connection with them – and almost six months water is under the bridge, I no longer feel bound by my agreement to remove this post from view.

If you’re a chapter member, would you like to comment on what is going on there at the moment?

Ride Safe