Found the OA before the Cafe about 6 months ago when I was on a Shadow but looking to upgrade to the X. Dunno why I ended up over at the Cafe more than here, but now that I know of an active group in my area I'm hopeful to play here.
Little background on me. Been riding since I was old enough to. No bike I ever really fell in love with, they were all just a ride. Rode Street, Sport, 1 HD, and Cruisers. My first love was my Purple 2000 Roadie. Sadly taken from me in 2001 by a left turner on 28 in Hooksett the day before the WTC were hit by hijackers so the whole 9/11 thing is sorta surreal for me. About a year later I mounted up on a friends Vstar 650 that wasn't being ridden. Didin't feel right ridding someone else's bike and of course I ended up back in that same intersection same time of night and ...you guessed it, left turner. No hit this time. Had the owner on the back with me too (girl of course). Pulled over and puked my guts out. Had I been alone I probably would have walked away from the bike and most likely never looked back. Luckily I had to man up in front of the chick and I got back on what was probably an hour later.
Rented a few, still not the same. wasn't sure if it was the crash and then the near crash that did it or if it was "this biek isn't mine" syndrome.
Wasn't til April 2010 that I started riding my own again. Picked up an '86 VT1100C of Craigslist for trade of a laptop. $400 into it and a little over a year of riding it.... sold it for what I thought I would be buying, a 2012 Victory Cross Country. But @ $14K I just couldn't pull the trigger. On the old Shadow forum there is a guy that has a VTX 1300, never seen the VTX before but man that was one hot bike he had. Asked him all kinds of questions about it then found this site and the Cafe. Started shopping locally, on ebay, and CL for a VTX 1300, didn't know about the C the R or the S. Read read read and read some more. Oh yeah... I want a 1300R.
Found "Blue Jean Baby" - a 2005 1300R, in a town just outside of San Antonio TX just before Thanksgiving. Had a Shadow forum mener go check it out for me and went on the pics I had, the description I had, and what the Shadow member told me. Paypal'd a deposit to the seller after negotiations, fly out Dec 1, 2011 to ride it home. Of course Texas is in a drought and the weekend I fly in to ride a "New to me" bike it rains straight for 3 days...
On day 2 I decide to just hope on the slab and outrun the rain. I had planned on spending the weekend in San Antonio to get to know the bike in case there were any issues. The plan was to ride back roads all the way back to NH, with a backup plan of hauling it. Everyone I told said I was crazy to ride this time of year INTO New England.
Long story short, I hit soem weather but I would not trade my 2800+ mile backroad ride from TX to FL then up to NH in 9 days for anything. One of the best rides I've ever had. Met up with the friends I made ont he Shadow forum, and a few guys from the Cafe on my way home. Some of them are now very good friends of mine. Looking forward to making some here too.
Thanks for having me.