The RTR ended last week and we have since moved back over to our Ehrenberg, AZ camp. After most RTRs there is a group of us that leave and then camps together afterwards, and this year was no different, 15 of us moved to this camp and another group went down to Yuma, AZ. I love the chance to make so many new friends at the RTR, but I am such a private person that in the past it has been very stressful for me. This year I was much more careful of my alone time and tried to establish some boundaries for myself and then stay in them. It worked very well!! It helped that everything went perfectly and we had a remarkable group of people who were just so very nice!! For me, it was by far the best RTR and I heard many other people say the same thing. Of course the perfect weather and best-yet location didn’t hurt either!
So when we moved to our new camp I wanted to continue with establishing boundaries. I promised myself that when I got here to Ehrenberg I would make sure I had more privacy and was more alone. I found a nice tree near a wash that is a much prettier campsite than I’ve had before and it’s a little further away from the main group. I have to say I am happier here now than at any of the other times we have been here. I love having people around, I just need my “alone-time” and having people all around me doesn’t let me feel “alone” even when I am.
So I guess the lesson is that we are all so very different that each of us needs to be honest with ourselves and learn what “I” need for myself. And then take care of yourself! Don’t be embarrassed because you want to be happy! I love this quote from Audrey Hepburn:
As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others. ~Audrey Hepburn
What are you doing to take care of yourself? Could you be doing more? What are you doing to help someone else? Could you be doing more? For the best possible life, keep both arms exercised and very strong!
Transporting my New Honda 250 Rebel
I told you in an earlier post that I bought a used Honda Rebel 250 motorcycle to ride on quick trips to town. My goal was to save money on gas by riding it instead of driving the van. The van only gets 12-14 mpg and that’s just the cost of gas. The total operating cost is much more than just the gas when you factor in maintenance, deprecation and repairs. The Honda is getting 70 mpg and because of its simplicity and very low mileage (1076 miles when I bought it) its total operating cost is going to be extremely low.
In the last three weeks I’ve only driven the van twice, once to drive to Parker for a stock-up trip to Walmart and the second was to move camp from Quartzsite to Ehrenberg. Other than those two trips, all my local trips to town have been on the Rebel or with Judy. The bottom line is my total operating costs for a motor vehicle are going to dramatically drop because of the Rebel.
As a huge bonus, the Rebel is fun; it’s just a blast to run around town on it! It’s small, light and very low to the ground so it’s extremely easy to maneuver in parking lots and traffic. Most important, it isn’t very powerful! In the past I have owned several very fast, very powerful motorcycles and I always thought how easy it would have been to get in an accident. Speed is addicting! When all you have to do is roll the throttle a little bit and you can be going 120 mph in a few seconds, that spells trouble for me!! The Rebel is strong enough to drive comfortably on the freeway at 55-60 mph, but by 65 mph it is working hard so I keep the speed below that. Plus, it is not a strong accelerator. No problem keeping up with the flow of traffic but I’m not going to be winning any drag races!!
Some of you have written asking how I carry it, and that’s a good question. I bought a motorcycle rack that mounts to the receiver hitch. I like to buy too big and not too small so it has a 600 pound capacity even though the Rebel is only 300 pounds. That way I can be 100% confident it is plenty strong enough! You might be wondering how I will use it because I tow my cargo trailer on the back hitch. I found an easy solution by putting a front receiver hitch on the van and carrying the Bike up front. I bought it from Amazon.com and had it installed at a local RV shop. Curt Manufacturing Front Mount Receiver
I just now finally got everything ready to carry the Rebel. Up till now I had only moved from Quartzsite to Ehrenberg and then back and each of those moves was only 20 miles, so Judy and I just shuttled the bike back and forth. But because everything was done, this time I carried the bike on the rack instead of shuttling it. Everything went well, just like it was supposed to! Pushing it up on the rack was no problem because it is low to the ground and the angle is very low. Once on the rack, Judy held the bike while I used ratchet straps to secure it. While driving, the van handled the weight up front like nothing was there. There was no wander, shimmying or steering problems at all. You can see in the pictures that I had no problem seeing around the bike while I was driving.
The one real problem is that it blocked the headlights and turn-signals For sure blocking the turn-signals will be illegal, but I’m not sure about the headlights during the day. I can solve the turn-signals by getting a magnetic trailer lights setup and putting them up on the front hood. I’m hoping that by only carrying the bike on nice days I can get away with blocking lights.
You can see in the pictures that the Rebel is a long way out from the front grill so overheating won’t be a problem. But I am concerned about having that much weight on that long a lever. I can easily get a welder to cut down the length of the rack so it is closer to the van. I’ll probably do that.
Because I have a 1 ton I’m not concerned about overloading the van, but my friend Forest thinks carrying the weight up on the front might lead to more front-end wear and cause the alignment to go out sooner. I’ve got it set up to so that I can put the bike rack into the rear receiver hitch and still be able to tow the trailer. That means the motorcycle will be between the van rear door and the trailer. Again, because it is a 1 ton it will just laugh at that small amount of weight, but it does exceed the tongue weight of what the receiver should carry. It’s a 500 pound receiver hitch and between the rack (80 pounds), Rebel (320 pounds), and tongue weight of the trailer (150 pounds?). I’m about 50 pounds over its 500 pound limit. It’s only 50 pounds but I’m still concerned about it. Next time I move it I will put it on back and see which seems better.
The main thing is that I will seldom carry the bike in either place. During the summer the trailer will be in storage somewhere in the desert southwest while I travel with just the van. In that case I can carry the bike on the back receiver with no problems at all—400 pounds on the back of a 1 ton is nothing! If I’m not traveling, I expect to be within 500 miles of Quartzsite; that means the bike will only be on the rack less than 1500 miles a year and most years it will be less than 1000 miles. If there are problems, it will take a long time for them to happen at that low rate of driving.
I am so delighted to have the Rebel. Its fun, cheap and in the long run will save me a bunch of money. When the price of gas starts to skyrocket from increased demand and decreased supply, I will be even happier!!