Any excuse to go for a ride

April 2, 2015

VS 700 Intruder


     With the weather warming up it’s best to start working on excuses to take a ride now rather than find yourself without one during the summer. There are very few things in life worse or more annoying than having nowhere to ride to on a beautiful day. So here are some excuses to use this riding season to help kick start your list.


     At the top of this post is a picture I took the other morning of my VS700 at Frank’s Diner. Breakfast is not only a good excuse for a ride but it is after all the most important meal of the day. And best of all as an excuse it can be used seven days a week all year long.

     Non-ethanol gas

     My bike is 30 years old with dual carburetors and really really hates the 10% ethanol gas that is just about everywhere now. Filling up with non-ethanol is almost like a full tune-up with how much better it runs. Here in the Spokane area we are down to just five places that you can get real gas. The good part though is that they are all at least a 20 minute ride away from me. has a list of stations that still have it so take a look and do your bike a favor by taking a ride and filling up on the real stuff.

     It might rain later so I’d better go now

     Probably a better excuse on the west side of the state than over here but it’s a tried and true excuse to go for a ride. Rain can be substituted with hail, snow or locust swarm depending on where you live. Better safe than sitting at home is what I say.

     Keep the battery charged

     It isn’t going to charge itself you know. Where I park doesn’t have electricity so I am unable to keep a tender going on the battery all the time. So its not just a good excuse for a ride but a necessity! Absolutely vital to take the bike out for a good ride and keep that battery in shape. Considering that my last motorcycle blog post was about putting in a new battery this year I can even add getting my money’s worth out of it.

     Road test

     Sure, I have a battery tender that I can only use once in a while but what I don’t have is a load tester. It might say fully charged but the only way to know for sure is to take the bike out for a good ride. The road test excuse can also work for a list of other things like; scuffing up new tires, checking fork seals, listening for rattles and unusual engine noise, windshield placement, action camera settings, headlight aim or periphery test with a new helmet. So take the bike out and when you get home you’ll sleep better that night with the peace of mind coming from knowing the saddlebags didn’t fall off.


     Oddly enough I only seem to crave ice cream during the winter but over the summer nothing beats a good milkshake. Well, maybe a root beer float, but there just happens to be a burger stand with both only 20 miles away. Plus I get to ride along the Spokane River for most of it so even on the hottest days the ride is still mostly cool. Wherever you live it is a good idea to plan ahead and find something similar to ride to this year when the need arises. Oddly enough the further away it is the better the milkshake tastes. Not kidding, try it out for yourself.

     Almost out of smokes

     Washington has one of the highest cigarette taxes in the nation. A carton of smokes on average is running about $85 around these parts. Lucky for me Idaho is only an hour ride away where I can get the same carton of smokes for $15. Not only a great excuse to go for a ride but over the course of this year’s riding season my bike will have almost paid for itself with smoke runs. For those of you who don’t smoke then make a run for a buddy who does and save ‘em some money by taking the bike out for a ride.

     Poker run or charity ride

     Chances are one is happening soon somewhere in your area. I know here there are two benefit rides and three poker runs coming up and the riding season hasn’t even officially started yet. These are great excuses to go out for a ride, meet some fellow riders and is usually for a good cause.

     Photo tag

     As far as I have been able to track down this started in Portland, Oregon but since has spread to just about everywhere. Chances are an online motorcycle forum in your area has one going. Basically someone posts a pic of their bike somewhere and the challenge is to go out and find it. Once found take a pic of your bike there then find another location. Take a pic of your bike in the new location and post up the old and new pics. Tag, your it. Great excuse to take a ride at any time.

So there are a few excuses that I have used to take the bike out for a spin. Hope this gets your list started and have fun out there this summer.


The West Report

The opinions expressed in The West Report are the author’s own. Feel free to repost or share, we just ask you credit or link to this article as a source.


6 Responses to “Any excuse to go for a ride”

  1. Linda G. Says:

    My husband and I ride for ice cream…. ;)

    • Shawn West Says:

      Best part is that it can be found in any direction you ride. Just as long as “round side down” doesn’t mean you’ve dropped your cone.

  2. LilyMae Says:

    Sometimes I call it going out to “practice”. No one can argue when you are going out to work on your riding skills.

  3. PKA Says:

    Cool, Shawn. Nothing like a ride to clear out the sleep, eh.

    It’s getting on for winter here but that means freezing mornings but midday highs of 20 degrees C. Makes early morning runs interesting though, what with fingers chilled to the bone.

    • Shawn West Says:

      The best part is about noon when you find yourself wearing two layers too many. It does make the breakfast stop with the group funny though. “We’ll need one booth for us and another for the extra coats and sweaters”.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: