Weekend Getaways Are The Best


Jim and I always try to get away for Memorial Day weekend, even if it is only for a day or two, but this past weekend we were unable to. The weather was supposed to be bad on Monday and sketchy on Saturday and Sunday, so we decided to work at the store. With that being said, I do remember a Memorial Day ride that we took a few years back, and it was awesome.

The weather hung in there pretty well, and although there were thunderclouds with threats of rain, we stayed dry for the trip. It did rain on Monday, but we were in the store and glad that we decided to take Saturday and Sunday instead of Monday.

That particular year, we did have to work a bit on Saturday morning, but finally got out of the store around 1:00 if I remember correctly. We were already packed so were able to jump on the bike and head out of town. Luckily, we had missed all of the traffic and the roads were clear. It was a bit chilly, but I always like riding in my leathers and so does Jim.


We always have a plan and decided we would head south. A storm was brewing in the north, and the last thing that we wanted to do was ride through a tornado or serious lighting and thunderstorm. We’ve done that before and trust me, it’s no picnic!



Because the weather was so unpredictable that particular weekend, we decided to take a short road trip to Springfield. We take the 47 down to the 44. Most folks don’t know that Route 47 is one of the original state highways and was built back in 1922.

We always make our reservations before we leave. We have flown by the seat of our pants in the past, but on a busy holiday weekend, it doesn’t pay to take your chances.

Jim and I like Bed and Breakfast Inns especially if they have a good spread in the morning. We have always wanted to try the Walnut Street Inn and were really impressed.


The service was awesome and the owners, Gary and Paula Blankenship, couldn’t have been nicer. It was more of a boutique hotel than a B & B and had all of the amenities you could ask for, but with the charm of a southern style B & B.

We had a great night’s sleep and woke up to a huge breakfast prepared by a 5 star chef…if you have been reading my blog, you would know that Jim is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, and I’m a real foodie, but Walnut Street catered for both of our tastes.

That afternoon we spent the day window-shopping and after checking out the Branson Train Station, decided we would be back to take the 40 mile train trip one day. Of course, we finished the afternoon off with a couple of hours at the Bass Pro and really enjoyed the newly renovated aquarium.


It was getting late so we decided to head home, and have dinner on the way. We found a great little diner in Rolla. Joe and Linda’s Tater Patch is a classic biker bar, and Jim and I loved it. Jim had a pulled pork sandwich that was as big as his head, seriously! I decided on a, “Stuffed Tater,” because that is what this place is famous for. At first I couldn’t decide as there are several on the menu, but finally ordered the Chicken Pot Pie Tater. Both of us were stuffed and happy that we didn’t order an appetizer…doggie bags really don’t work well on the Road King!

Jim and I love our. “Travels with Harley,” and will defiantly spend another weekend at the Walnut Street Inn, and of course stop at Joe and Linda’s either on the way, or on the way back…I have my eye on both the breakfast and lunch menu, and so does Jim!

Keeping Up With Fashion In Travels With Harley

I wouldn’t call myself a fashionista, but I do like to look good when Jim and I head out on the Road King for, “Travels with Harley.”


The motorcycle industry, especially Harley-Davidson, has had a huge impact on the entire world, and no one can deny that fashion has played a major part. Although I’ve never considered myself that cool, I change my tune when I put on my leathers and hit the road with Jim.

Men and women all over the planet have emulated the biker look. Big leather boots, leather jackets and of course leather pants are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fashionable biker wear.


The leather that we wear is not only fashionable, but also worn for protection. Boots, jackets, gloves, and pants are usually made out of Kevlar, nylon or leather. A good motorcycle jacket should have heavy padding on the shoulders, spine, and elbows. The gloves that Jim and I wear when we go for a ride or made of leather, with carbon fiber knuckle protection.



Our boots are reinforced to keep our feet safe, especially when Jim takes those sharp corners. Made from heavy materials with extra strength on the seams, our boots are designed to resist cuts, abrasions, and tears. Our Harley boots are strong, tough, and surprisingly flexible. The stiff soles also provide us with protection. The composite soles are rubber-based and oil resistant. This gives us both the grip that we need on the pavement, and on the pegs. Our boots also have load spreaders and energy absorbers that help to protect our ankles.

Some Harley-Davidson riders wear leathers. These can be one-piece suits, or jackets and pants that are worn in case of an accident. The leather that our biker clothing is made out of is protective leather, which is flexible, strong, and tough.


Kangaroo leather has become popular as it is lightweight, strong, and supple and can be likened to cowhide. The very first racing leather suit was worn by Geoff Duke, a world champion racer. His suit was made for streamlining as opposed to safety. Like most of the leathers that were made in the 1950’s, his suit was made out of horsehide.


These days you can find great gear for riders, especially women. You can buy pink, red, blue, or turquoise leathers with a matching jacket, or go for something more subtle. Personally, I like pink, but I doubt that I will ever get Jim into a pink leather one-piece for our next, “Travels with Harley,” road trip!

Some Interesting Facts About Our Road King


I like nothing better than jumping on the back of our Harley and hitting the road, but with the weather being so unpredictable lately, Jim and I haven’t been able to get out and enjoy the spring as much as we would like to.

Needless to say, I did some research this weekend and discovered some things about Harley-Davidson, most specifically our Road King, that I didn’t know.

Road King Anniv

The Road King, otherwise known as the FLHR, has been around since 1994, but its roots go way back to 1941 when the first FL model was introduced by Harley-Davidson. Harley built its first motorcycles, which looked like motorized bicycles, in 1903. As Harley designed and built bigger engines, the company had to design special frames for hauling, climbing, off-road and track racing. Today’s Road King is actually a refined version of the touring bike that evolved from those big framed bikes that took over US roadways in the 40’s, and are still here today.


The Road King has had a few upgrades in the past few years including the size of its engine. The 2012 Road King was the biggest ever and features a Twin Cam 103 V-Twin engine. If you are into bikes like Jim, you would know that the air/oil cooled mill pumps put out around 1690cc’s, is married up with a six-speed transmission and has a belt final drive. This makes the Road King fly up steep grades without having to constantly down shift. It also allows the rider easy access when it comes to passing on the freeway.


Our Harley-Davidson Road King is a classic and we’ve logged plenty of miles on her, and plan to do more when we have time in, “Travels With Harley.” All we have to do is pack up our gear, a few bottles of water, and we are ready to hit the road, if the weather would ever cooperate with us!



Forward Controls For My Road King


The Road King that I have now came with stock footboards. This is the first bike that I have ever owned that came with footboards. Before Demea, I never rode much with footboards and none of the other bikes that I owned even had them.


I love adding stuff to my Harley-Davidson’s so I told Demea that I wanted to put forward controls on the Road King. For those of you that are not into motorcycles, forward controls are a modification that extends or relocates your brake pedal, foot pegs and shift pegs forward so that you can ride comfortably with your legs extended. Some bikes come with them, but my Road King didn’t. Mind you, I used to love riding with forward controls taking the turns at high speeds with my boots dragging on the pavement.

Anyway, I checked out the Harley parts catalog and they don’t make them for the Road King. I have no idea why, but decided to check out the aftermarket catalogues, and yeah they make them, but Holy crap, they are $600.00!


Needless to say, I just kept riding with my footboards, but every time I thought about forward controls I think, “Man, I’ve got to have some.”
About a week ago, I take my bike in for a service and a new back tire and I get to talking with Kent over at Bourbeuse Valley Harley Davidson. These guys are my favorite dealers and always look after me. So Kent and I are talking and I tell him to order some forward controls for me…he tells me that they are $400.00 and they have to be back ordered…yeah, still pricey in my books, but $200.00 less than the aftermarket catalogs, and I trust these guys so I know that I’ll be getting a good product. I’m not really in a hurry because it’s been raining for days, but was really looking forward to getting my forward controls.

Demea and I get a chance to get away from the store for an hour or so and decide to take the bike down to pick up the new controls, unfortunately, they weren’t in yet, but they put on the back tire and did the service.

After we get back to the store, Jay the mechanic calls me and tells me to come down as he has made me some forward controls for my Road King, so at lunch time Demea and I head down to Bourbeuse Valley Harley Davidson to check out the forward controls.


Jay did a really good job. He used old parts from other bikes, but I was happy with them. I didn’t really get to check them out on the ride home as it was only about 12 miles, but about a week later; we took a ride on Saturday and clocked about 200 miles. I really like them better than the footboards. With the new forward controls, I can go through a tight curve and drag my boot heels, kind of like an old Panhead that I used to have. The new controls made me feel like I was riding a Harley-Davidson the way that you are supposed to. Now it’s time to start thinking about some exhaust pipes for our next, “Travels with Harley.”