Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Finding Your Right Road (aka Finding Your Authentic Self) -part 1

The world today... Viruses, terrorism, climate change and the stock market fluctuations to name just a few. And the media in all this, with their hype and conjectures certainly isn't helping anything. 

There you are, just cruising along when all of a sudden you find yourself in a ditch. It's real easy to find yourself stuck there, with all the hate and anger at the situation, at everyone around you. 

Or maybe you found yourself in a rut -doing the same thing again and again and again because it feels safe. And you didn't even realize you dug this rut yourself, but now there you are. 

Photo by Wil Stewart on Unsplash
With all that doom and gloom that seems to be looming over us, it can be difficult to see the positive things in life. You might even be tempted to fall for the negative bullsh*t, allowing it to mess with your self-esteem.

That's where knowing you're on the right road sure comes in handy. And by that, I mean you know your authentic self: who you are and what you stand for. 

But what if you haven't found it yet? What if you did but then lost site of who you are? That's where this blog comes in 😁

Unfortunately there are many people who live in a constant state of fear. They're stuck just like you, except they aren't ready to move forward -it takes a lot of courage!! And staying in 'the negative' is a lot easier for some than doing the work to get and be better.

I'm telling you that because those people that I just described might just lash-out at you. They might even be close friends or family. It's just with you moving forward they're reminded of how stuck they are. Remember: their resentment and negativity is not yours to try and fix; only they themselves can do that. You stay in your own lane.
Photo by Fernando Jorge on Unsplash
Now, if you're ready, you'll want to take the next step. Find a way to get quiet; find a way to be still. Clear out all the noise and distractions. Of course the easiest way I can do that is by riding my Harley... except it's winter and my bike is in storage. So for now I meditate and hang out at the barn with the horses.

It's very important for you to find the quiet, where your mind is still -be it through riding, meditation, in your man cave/she-shed, maybe even shaving! That's because it allows you to tap into your creativity. It's been proven that when people do something as simple 'turning off their mind' they were better able to make decisions and be more effective. There's just something about letting your brain relax that allows you to open up to possibilities and creative discoveries. 

See that you are a fierce human being and learn what does and doesn't work for you. This isn't about you trying to be someone else. It is about finding your purpose, your frequency, your energy. And when you do it'll feel like a pair of comfy slippers, a cozy sweater, the perfect easy chair to kick-back in. In other words, pure happiness. 

Sunday, February 23, 2020

7 Out-of-the-Way NYS Destinations where Bikers Ride to

The boldness, grittiness, the intensity that is New York State. We might have more people moving out than moving in, but we still have some pretty great destinations that 253 million people visit on vacation. 

Sure we've got the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and Niagara Falls that draw the BIG crowds. And if that's where you want to be - following the crowds - then great. Of course they'll be crowded as well as priced accordingly.

But if you're wanting an authentic New York experience AND have a bit of money left over afterwards, then you'll want to ride the same roads and enjoy the destinations that we do.


BBQ

Dinosaur BBQ got their start providing good food to Bikers at motorcycle rallies and festivals all over the northeast before settling down in Syracuse. They now serve some of the best bar-b-que in eight locations across New York, Stamford, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey. 

Providing fresh, homemade, high-quality BBQ in a great place to have some fun is what runs the Dinosaur and keeps loyal customers coming back for more.

Coffee

Knowledgeable staff, great prices (a cup of coffee & a fresh bagel are under $5!) and delicious coffee and other treats make The Brew Ha Ha in Watertown our pick for the java juice.


Live Music

Celebrate the good things in life -that's what the Lovin' Cup in Rochester is all about.  A comfortable environment, that transforms from morning to night with deliberate attention to detail when it comes to the vibe: handcrafted tables, rotating local art, ambient lighting, and most prominently their beautiful wine rack. A crew of people who not only take care of your needs, but get to know you. A wide-range of events and music every night of the week! 

Their biggest driving force? They truly take pride in their conscious understanding of what a community-driven environment is all about.



Gastronomy

The sense of community, sharing and connecting over food, drink, and oftentimes desserts, keeps us going back to Gram's Diner in Adams week after week.

Their place in the historic row buildings of downtown Adams was carved out many years ago. However, their mission has always been the same: Serving people homemade food, at good prices, that makes them feel like they're eating just like they're at home.
French Onion Chicken -just one of many weekly specials at Gram's

Lakeside

Natural beauty with towering mountains and glistening waters make up Lake George, NY -right along the shores of a lake of the same name. Fun and recreation are always mere minutes away with untouched wilderness that is destined to remain "Forever Wild."

It's also home to Americade -proudly known as "the world's largest multi-brand motorcycle touring rally" drawing an estimated 100,000-200,000 visitor days each year. It truly is an event you have to see for yourself, whether as a rider or a spectator.


Outdoor Voices

The name Adirondack is thought to have come from a Mohawk word meaning 'eaters of trees,' and the earliest use of the word to describe the mountains between Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain dates back to the 1700s. The Adirondack Park is a place of great relaxation, which is probably why it is also home to many of the Great Camps.

With GoTourNY.com you can discover scenic country roads that piggyback along mountain ranges, through pristine wilderness areas and travel old logging trails. For a few dollars in gas - the six million acre Adirondack Park is yours to explore. Find quaint towns without stop lights or villages with more cows than people.


Street Party

That award goes to the Thousand Islands River Run -it takes place towards the end of each June in Alexandria Bay. Located in the "Heart" of the Thousand Islands, A-Bay (as we call it) is home to Boldt Castle and a short ride to Canada across the Thousand Islands Bridge -all of which you can see with an Uncle Sam Boat Tour.

During the River Run you can visit the vendor area where custom bikes are displayed, update your Biker Gear with vendor products, enter a "Ma and Pa" Custom Bike Show, and enjoy the "Live Music Fest" throughout the day and into the night on James Street. Not to mention the local flavor of unique gift shops to search for the perfect gift to bring home.



Saturday, January 11, 2020

How Bikers Survive The Winter Months

When your passion is living a life on two wheels, but you live in an area where snow dominates the landscape four to six months out of the year, you learn certain survival skills. 

Here are some crafty ways we in the north endure:

Making plans to escape:
There are numerous motorcycle rallies throughout the year: from Daytona Bike Week to Laconia, from Laughlin River Run to Sturgis, and all the small town rallies in-between. Our own local bike rally, the Thousand Islands River Run takes place in Alexandria Bay, NY every June. 

There's also weekend trips, week long, cross country - how ever we plan on riding, Bikers are plotting where and when we'll be riding to this upcoming season.

Windows into other worlds:

Even though we're surrounded by snow covered hills, we still have ways to ride - it's just through others in print or on the screen. Reading books like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, your H.O.G. Magazine, The Harley-Davidson Reader allows us to escape through our mind's eye.

Or there's television series, documentaries and movies that provide a nice break. I recommend Harley and the Davidsons, 21 Days Under the Sun and The World's Fastest Indian. If we can't ride, then at least we can watch other people riding.

Out and about:
Riding ATVs and snowmobiles - for some of us just the fact that we are outside and moving is enough to help us get through. At FX Caprara Harley-Davidson always has events throughout the winter as well. 

Adding that special something:

Now is the time of year most of us have our bikes up on a lift adding new exhaust, a sissy bar backrest, doing an engine upgrade, adding extra speakers to our sound system so we're ready to spring from winter's lock down. 

Saving some dough:
Hotels, dinners, gas, gear and the like - bikers tend to save some extra money now to help offset the expenses later. Having a friend cut our hair or just cutting it ourselves, grabbing a free cup of coffee at the dealership rather than at the dinner or coffee shop, taking on a side job or two -all ways we keep our expenses light so we can live large in the Riding Season.

Do you have a way to get through winter? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

3 Things to Know as we get into the Shopping Season

Since Halloween is happening pretty quickly, and the fact that I already put my bike up in Winter Storage, that means the Holidays will soon be upon us. And with that, holiday shopping is about to kick-off.

This list is to help you get through the so-called 'silly season' and keep your sanity intact.

1) Shop early, shop often, and get it done

It's going to be a looooong November and a short December. What am I talking about?? November still only has 30 days, while Deceber has 31... BUT, this year Thanksgiving comes late, November 28th, right at the end of the month. So there's only 3 full weeks in December before the week of Christmas. The sooner you can get done with your shopping, the better off you'll be.

2) Love 'em? List 'em!

In the interest of time, I am definitely creating my lists of who I'm shopping for and what I'd like to get them. And when it comes making THAT decision, I go to one of my favorite guidelines: Want, Need, Wear, Read.
  • Want -something that THEY say they wanted and not something you think they will want. There is a difference! I was given a book once for my birthday -not from any of my favorite authors or on a subject matter that I usually read... but the person who gave it to me said, "But you love books!" Which I do, it's true. Although when it comes to giving a gift, I want mine to be in line with what they person has said they actually wanted, not just what ever is "hot" at that time.
  • Need -it might not be fun or fancy, but if it's something they need then the gift will truly be appreciated. Spark plugs and an oil change kit might not seem sexy, but if they need it to help get their bike back on the road, then wrap that shit up!
  • Wear -pretty self explanatory... although this is your chance to get something that speaks to that person's style. See a scarf that'll go perfectly with that new dress? Get it. A dress-up Harley-Davidson shirt for him to wear to the party? Absolutely. The only caveat is to get a gift receipt so that they can return it for the right size if needed. 
  • Read -again, pretty self explanatory. That being said, a cookbook is still a cookbook guys. If you're loved one really loves Harley history, then I'd suggest getting her a book like "The Harley-Davidson Reader" and NOT "50 Shades of Grey" (yup- looking at you Mom!). Get them something from their favorite author, or a subject matter you know they enjoy.  They don't have enough time to read? Audiobooks would work in this instance.
Another favorite guideline is the Holiday 50/50 Rule for the other side of the coin (them shopping for you): one for them, one for you. For each gift you're giving your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend, you also treat yourself. You're there anyways, it'll save your significant other the trip and the time, and you know it's something you'll like.

3) Protect and Defend

Even though I work at a traditional brick & mortar store, and would absolutely love it if you came in and do all your shopping at FX Caprara Harley-Davidson, I know that's not going to happen. It's far more easy and less time consuming for you to go online and get at least part of your list checked off.

However there are just as many bad guys out there waiting to take advantage and steal your money. Phishing scams, fake websites, and those rip-off artists who have pirated a brand name to 'sell' you items that don't exist. Here's some tips to help keep you safe:

  • Pay with a credit card rather than using your debit card (easier to dispute transactions).
  • Don't save your credit card info online. Some sites will offer to keep your card info in order to speed up the check out process on your next purchase, but remember those data breeches over the last year or so? Yeah- enough said.
  • When buying, selling or even checking your bank account do not use public/open Wi-Fi. Just imagine someone looking over your shoulder whenever you think about doing a quick purchase while on Starbucks open network.
  • Check the website address -bogus sites subtly substitute similar characters (AMAZ0N.com versus AMAZON.com). 
  • Same with the brand logo - I once got tricked by a Harley-Davdson jacket I bought online (well before I started working at a dealership of course) because my mind saw what I thought was a complete logo.
  • The price is simply too good to believe. Cuz if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Check the seller -if an individual has 20 of the same handbag just in different colors, you should definitely think twice. Individuals are not licensed by the manufacturer to sell, they're most likely selling fakes.
Of course the best way to get a good deal online, along with the real product, customer service, and easy returns, is to shop with an authorized dealer. Go to that brand's website directly, like H-D.com/store or RalphLauren.com. 

And, to be ultra secure and know for sure that you're getting the real thing, head over to the actual, physical store location. You'll get a more personal shopping experience as well as an actual human interaction. 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Wheel Keeps on Turning

Today I'm reminded of the song by Journey (one of the great rock bands of my youth): Wheel in the Sky. You remember that song, right?
Ooh, the wheel in the sky keeps on turning 
I don't know where I'll be tomorrow 
Wheel in the sky keeps on turning... For tomorrow
Why? Because here we find ourselves at the end of September... already. 

SPOT CHECK: Where are you on your New Year's Resolutions? 

Most bikers I know have only one "New Year Resolution": to ride more miles in the new year than they did the previous year. Last year I rode a total of 8,465 miles, and I've almost reached my goal to surpass that this year... 'almost' being the key word. I haven't reached my goal just yet.

With Halloween on the horizon (which kicks off the holiday trifecta) some of us living in the North Country might think that the Riding Season is over. Think again!!

I'm here to tell you that there's still time to get out and go ride!!
Yes you can squeeze every mile out of the Riding Season. Windproof gloves and jackets, heated grips, jacket liners, waterproof pants & seats, and face masks or neck gaitors (to name just a few). All to keep you comfortable and warm while you're riding.

And, of course, all available at FX Caprara Harley-Davidson. Along with our staff -most of whom ride as well- to give you the right recommendations for what you need.

PS- for those H.O.G. (aka Harley Owners Group) Members logging miles for the Mileage Recognition: remember to have your mileage verified with me, Dawn at FXCHD, or at your local Harley-Davidson dealer.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Forward Thinking Way Back When...

Last year saw a lot of firsts for me: my first new Harley, my first trip 'home' to Milwaukee, and my first week-long motorcycle adventure to celebrate 115 years of all that is Harley-Davidson.
This year will find me back to Wisconsin, my first solo trip by motorcycle, and my first Annual Dealer Meeting in Milwaukee. In fact this year marks the 100th Anniversary of Dealer Meetings.
First Convention Booklet Cover

Just before the annual motorcycle show in Chicago, the founding fathers invited dealers to Milwaukee -that was November 1919. In the years prior many dealers flocked to the factory, since it's close to Chicago, and conveyed what their customers wanted as well as to get technical training.
Dealers getting briefed on the 1936 EL, November 1935
The first ever National Dealer Convention was quite noteworthy!
"It was truly a successful event... from the standpoint of the dealers and those who troubled to pack their kits to come to Milwaukee, as well as from the standpoint of the promoters of the idea." ~Motorcycle and Bicycle IllustratedNov. 27, 1919 
A welcome as BIG as it gets!
Harley-Davidson recognized even back then that their dealerships are 'on the ground' with the customers, and were quick to listen to what they were saying.
Legendary "Dot" Robinson and a 1957 K Model
With that in mind, fast forward to today: What is it you'd like us at FX Caprara Harley-Davidson to convey to the MoCo for you??

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

5 Things You Do Not Need to Take on a Motorcycle Trip

Taking a long trip by motorcycle is a wonderous thing! No matter if you're going it alone or with a group of friends, you're going to have the time of your life.

Although you might be a seasoned traveler, successfully navigating through airports, TSA, flight delays and lost luggage, trekking by bike is something else all together. 
Photo by Harley-Davidson on Unsplash
I remember when I first started traveling by motorcycle, packing everything I could fit into my bag, straining it to the seams. Now, nearly 10 years later, I know exactly what I don't need to take with me. And they are:

1. Hair Dryer
Why? Because your hotel room will have one and space is a precious commodity on a motorcycle.

2. Towels
Again, your hotel room will have them and the more space you save the better. There's only one towel you need to bring, a small one - or better yet a travel chamois cloth - to wipe the morning dew off your bike. 

3. Books
You might be thinking you'll have time to read once you check into your hotel. And then you realize you just got to your destination -where are you going to eat dinner. Oh -and there's that live music you just found out about. Planning to read in the morning before check out? Remember that you'll be packing your stuff onto the bike... Unless it's your H.O.G. Touring Handbook, you're not going to have time to read it.
Photo by JJ Jordan on Unsplash
4. Clothing that doesn't do double duty
You'll want to bring a sweatshirt you can wear on cold days while riding and cooler temps at your location. Not that special cashmere sweater or silk blouse that cost over $100 and you plan on wearing only once. 

5. Too many shoes
This is a hard one for me! But I have to remember I really only need 3 pairs: my riding boots, a pair of sneakers, and a pair of flats. The temptation will be there, so just remember you're going to want to save as much space as possible. And also remember to put your socks and/or underwear inside your shoes -again, to save space.

I think it must have been a biker who came up with the phrase, "Less is More," because it is absolutely true on a motorcycle!
My 2018 Heritage all ready for our next adventure!