Where to Park Your Bike In DC

If you’re planning to ride into Washington, DC this summer, whether for Rolling Thunder or just to see the monuments, you’re probable going to want to stretch your legs at some point, which means finding a place to park.

Most parking garages around the District don’t allow motorcycles, and while it’s perfectly legal to park your motorcycle in a car slot, the time is usually limited to an hour or two. The best option is to look for motorcycle parking. Some of these slots allow you to park for up to 12 hours, who’s is unheard of for cars.

The slots can be hard to find, but this DC Motorcycle Parking on Google Maps has a pretty good list of spots.

If you know of any others, let us know in the Comments below.


Fat Boy on a Softail

This 1993 Heritage Softail Classic isn’t a small bike, but when Curt gets on it, it looks down-right tiny! Fortunately, an aftermarket Screamin’ Eagle motor helps him keep up.

Z-Rod: Undead V-Rod

While it may be hard to believe, one of Big Daddy’s little buddies trashed his V-Rod, most likely as a result of doing something he shouldn’t have been doing, somewhere he shouldn’t have been, and probably with someone he knew better than to be doing anything with.

It’s funny how many Oden Motor Shop projects start out this way.

We’re not sure how Big Daddy ended up with the wreckage, although repayment for bailing the previously mentioned Little Buddy out of jail is a strong possibility.

For a while now, Big Daddy’s been wanting to get Son Number One off of his tiny 1980 Honda CX500 Custom, and onto something more suited to a man of great … stature.

Granted, the CX500 is a great motorcycle, but the circus clowns want their bike back.

So, for Son Number One, a junked out V-Rod is zombified by the mad geniuses of Oden Motor Shop. We give you: Z-Rod!

DC Motorcycle Parking FAIL

I recently found out an interesting trick when trying to park a motorcycle in DC. To start off, there’s not a whole lot of street parking in DC, and most garages don’t serve motorcycles (i.e. the attend starts waving his arms around like a chicken being electrified, while yelling unintelligible curses in his native language).

I considered myself extremely lucky when I found a row of motorcycle parking just a block from my office, and there was still a space open!

I parked my bike and went to feed change into the old-school meter. Most meters in DC now work with Parkmobile app, or you can give your credit card over a toll free number. In the city, most meters are limited to two hours, but these coin-op motorcycle slots were good up to twelve hours!

So, I went around to feed the meter, and it has a great big “FAIL” on it.

I was running late already, so I locked my bike and prepared to eat the fifty dollar ticket I was sure I’d find upon return.

Later in the day I ran into my coworker who rides in on his crotch-rocket almost every day. I told him about the meter, and said: “Ah, don’t worry about it. Those meters are always broken. When you find one, you’re supposed to call a number and give the broken meter number. They may come and fix it sometime next year.”

So, if I your trying to park your bike in downtown DC, a FAIL is a good thing. But try to remember to call the number; I haven’t every gotten through due to “higher than expected call volume”, but now I always take a picture of my bike and the failed meter. Just make sure you get the meter number, or you may have a harder time getting out of those tickets…

You can report a Broken Meter by calling the DC Mayor’s Citywide Call Center at 311 or (202) 737-4404, or online using the District government’s Service Request Center.

Identify the meter by its unique meter ID number (located on the inside of the dome of single-space meters and on the front of multi-space meters) and describe the specific problem (i.e. coin jam, out of order, flashing fail, out of paper, etc.) A service request will be put into the tracking system, and you should receive a service request number.


This Bolt’s Driving Me Nuts

I have an embarrassing problem. My bars just won’t stay erect. I can’t tell you how embarrassing it is when I have to come to a sudden stop, and my handlebars flop down onto my knees.

Oddly enough, the first person I go see whenever I have a mechanical problem is my Big Daddy (who in real life is my daddy, and still pretty big, but not nearly as big as me). Big Daddy also built my bike, so he already knows the peculiarities of this particular situation.

As it turns out, the original handle bars were not knurled, so Big Daddy set a screw in the bar so it would catch on the inside of the riser bracket before dropping all the way down.

On one hand, this was a brilliant idea: adjustable height handle bars. On the other hand, it didn’t work out so well for me. After the set screw mod, the bars would still clear Big Daddy’s short little legs, even at their lowest point, but my long, lean, muscular, sexy … OK … My big fat legs were tall enough that the bar would knock my knees when my feet were flat on the foot boards.

We just couldn’t figure out why the bar was still dropping. After some deep discussion and clearing of cobwebs, Big Daddy recalled that there was always something odd about the top bolt on the right hand riser. The bolts seemed to go in fine, but even after torquing them down, the bar could slip under pressure.

In a moment of genius (and because he was supposed to already be on the road to Daytona at the time), Big Daddy had inserted a zip tie into the bolt hole and torqued it down. The bars were tight as can be, and the temporary nature if the fix slipped Big Daddy’s mind (likely with the help of several gallons of beer and tequila during bike week).

Now, a few years later, when the bike is handed over to a gentleman of even greater stature (myself), that poor little nylon strip couldn’t handle it any more.

So, let’s get back to the real problem: factory bolts, after market bolts, bolts found in an oily bucket in the corner of my garage would not seat properly in the riser. The threads didn’t appear to be stripped in the riser, and the bolts (especially the chromied ones) are pristine. And since the bolts all fit fine in other riser bolt holes, the only conclusion we can come to is ….

Factory defect.

That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it.

So, I went to the local hardware store and purchased a nice course thread Grade 8 bolt and nylon lock nut. everything righted down beautifully, and my handlebars are stable.

It’s not particularly pretty with one odd nut hanging off the bottom of the riser mount, but if will do fine for the next week while I wait for my new risers to arrive.



Big Daddy’s New Ride

Do you ever get that not so fresh feeling? Well, at some point in the life of every one of Big Daddy’s motorcycles, the seat stops smelling so much like leather, and starts smelling like old, hairy, STANKY, Big Daddy ass. When that inevitability happens, Big Daddy goes shopping.