by Bruce Mike
August in Minnesota. This is not my favorite time of year. I’m not a high heat, high humidity kind of guy. What I normally do this time of year is take off on a bike trip. I find that riding keeps the negativity from creeping into my soul. Unfortunately, my wife and I have no big trips planned this year. Finances just won’t allow for it. We’ll be doing some weekend trips involving camping and maybe staying with family but that’ll be it for this year. Our lives have definitely been affected by the state of the economy.
This is the first time I can remember that our nation’s economy has had a direct impact on me personally. In the past I’ve been lucky to have a job that wasn’t greatly influenced by recessions. I was not so fortunate this time around. I’ve learned to be much more responsible with my finances and have not had to sacrifice a whole lot.
My August funk started a little early this year when I found out both Warner Polaris/Victory and Kline Motorsports were closing their doors. These were two local dealers that were part of my motorcycle community. I have fond memories of Minnesota 1000 events that were held at Warner and Dean is a stand-up guy with a lot of years in the business. I called to offer my condolences and part of his response was “maybe now I can go riding with you guys”. Kline was the home of an annual Vintage Japanese Motorcycle show that my wife and I attended and even entered a couple of times. To everyone involved in both these dealerships, happy trails and I hope our paths will cross again.
The common denominators with these two shops was their involvement in the local motorcycle community as well as a reputation for being great to deal with. It’s sad to see them go.
Our tough economy which has created low consumer spending is probably what hurt Warner and Kline the most. At the same time, I’ve been talking to small service-only shops that are really busy and doing pretty well. I like to think I’m a pretty average guy and I know I’m not planning on buying a new bike in the near future, but I’ll do everything I can to keep what I’m riding now on the road.
I’ve decided the best way for me to get through “The Dog Days of Summer” without a big ride will start with the MMM calendar page. I’m going to go to these events and take part in my local motorcycle community. None of the stuff in the calendar costs a lot of money and every time I attend one of these events I enjoy myself. You can also find these events posted on our facebook page.
To do my part for the economy, I’m going to make every effort to buy locally. As much as I like the convenience of on-line shopping I’m going to start looking close to home first. If it costs me a couple of bucks more and requires me to stop somewhere and have contact with another human being, so be it. It’s been my experience that the more people I meet involved with motorcycles, the better off I am.