Monthly Archives: February 2017

Prepping your Motorcycle for Spring
Chuck’s Checklist

Well it’s a balmy 70 degrees in February, and there are plenty of motorcycles cruising past our office at The Storage Inn Self Storage facility here in Egg Harbor Township in South Jersey. I’ve also noticed a few of our storage space customers getting their bikes out  – who could blame them on a day like this? As I was making my rounds, I came upon one of our long time motorcycle storage customers, Chuck, who had his storage unit door open, and appeared to be staring intently at the inner workings of his Harley Road King.” Headed out?” I yelled to him. “ Not until I do my Spring safety check “  he shouted back at me. Upon further investigation, I found that Chuck actually had a checklist that he follows every spring – things to check prior to getting the old two wheeler on the road for the season. Being a rider myself, I was curious to see what his list included.

Here is Chuck’s checklist…..

  1. Check your battery – This the heart of your ride’s electrical system. Chuck says that any biker worth his salt will have already been connected to a trickle charger, and should be good to go, but if you don’t have your battery on a charger, the first thing to make your motorcycle ride-ready is to charge your battery.
  2. Change the oil & filter – It’s best to change your bike’s oil before you store it for the winter, but if not, now’s the time to do it. Swap that stale lubricant for fresh clean oil and a new filter. If you don’t do the work on your bike, make arrangements with your favorite cycle shop to get it done.
  3. Kick the Tires : We don’t really want you to kick them, but you should do a full 360 degree check on each tire for any cracking or punctures. Also, check for wear. On many tires, tread wear indicator bars signal a need for replacement, but another easy check – if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head on a penny when inserted in the tire tread, Lincoln’s head facing down, it’s time for a new tire. If your tires pass the wear test, inflate them to manufacturer’s inflation specs and your rubber is ready to go!
  4. Fuel up  – Ideally, you should have stabilized the fuel in your motorcycle during the winterization process before you placed it into storage. If you didn’t winterize, and also didn’t fill the tank before storing, check the fuel tank for rust, which may have formed due to water condensation. If the tank is clean, fill it and ‘ride-on’. If there are signs of rust, you’ll live with the consequences – fouled carburetor, clogged fuel filter, etc. – until you replace the tank.
  5. Check your Connections – A Spring tune up of cables, plugs, and pivot points is time well spent. Check all electrical connections, cables, and all moving parts that might require lubrication. Things tend to dry out over the winter, so take the time to make sure that the moving parts are kept moving!
  6. Lights! Camera! Action! Turn on your motorcycle’s power and check all the lights for any that have inoperative bulbs and replace them. (i.e.  brake lights, turn signals, headlights, etc.) Often, replacement bulbs come in twos, so save extras for the next time you need one. If a new bulb does not light, it’s time to check the fuse box. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to visit your local cycle shop. electrical problems are best left to the experts.
  7. Ready, Set, Stop! Stopping your motorcycle safely is just as important as insuring your bike can accelerate. Before you hit the road, thoroughly check all the components of your brake system – lever adjustment, cables, calipers, brake pads, etc. If things don’t seem right and you’re not comfortable making adjustments, seek professional help. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
  8. Stay Hydrated – Check all of the motorcycle’s fluid levels – brake, clutch, oil, coolant. Top them off as needed. Look for any leaks on the floor where your motorcycle’s been stored. Another way to check for leaks is to start and warm your bike up to running temperature, then turn it off and check for leaks.
  9. Keep it Clean – The old adage, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” is true – especially for your motorcycle. When you’ve taken all the steps to prepare your motorcycle mechanically, thoroughly clean the exterior. Your bike will look as good as it runs and you’ll look good riding it!!!

So there’s Chuck’s checklist, so get ready, get that bike out of storage and get ridin’! With 70 degrees in February, you’d better do it now while it’s warm – could be snowing next week!

 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day From The Storage Inn

Lots of Cards and The Legend of Saint Valentine

It’s a cold February day here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. One of our storage space tenants, Mrs Ragnoli, just stopped in to the office for some boxes and bubble wrap, but before she left, she said, “ Don’t forget to buy your wife roses – you know Tuesday is Valentine’s Day!”. “She’s right“ I thought – “ I also need to make a dinner reservation”.

Speaking of Valentine’s Day I recently read that approximately 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas,.This made me think. “ What is this holiday really about other than roses, cards, and chocolates? And what size self storage space would hold 150 million greeting cards?”

The Man, the Myth, the Legend

I checked it out and found that the history of Saint Valentine’s Day is shrouded in mystery. Who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with a holiday that celebrates love? One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.  According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl, possibly his jailer’s daughter, who visited him during his confinement. It’s alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today.

At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th  St. Valentine’s Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14th was the beginning of the mating season for birds, which added to the idea that Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400.

Love American Style

Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters .

Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures. Today, according to the Greeting Card Association,Valentine’s Day is the second largest card-sending holiday and women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.

Storing 150 Million Valentine’s Day Cards

This is certainly an approximation because there is a wide variety of card sizes and shapes, but if a customer wanted to store 150 million cards that were 4 x 6 inches and printed on 100lb cardstock (.011 inches thickness x 2 sides) it would take about 45,833 cubic feet. To put that into perspective, we would need about 46 storage units that were 10 foot tall x 10 foot wide x 10 foot deep. That’s a lot of cards!

So there you have it – Valentine’s day is about buying cards and eating Chocolate! – Just kidding!  It’s actually about Love and Romance and Taking the Time to tell your special somebody that you care. Happy Valentines Day to All from the staff at The Storage Inn!

It’s Groundhog Day!

Shedding Some Light on Groundhog Day

Today I’m working at The Storage Inn II in Ocean City, New Jersey rather than my usual Storage Inn location, in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey. As I peer out of the open bay doors, and take in the view of this great beach town, it occurred to me that… Today is Groundhog Day. Why Groundhog Day? Why not something more spring inspired, like Robin, Daffodil, or Bunny Rabbit day? I wondered where this tradition came from, so I checked it out.

It turns out that Groundhog Day has its roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. The candles represented how long and cold the winter would be. Germans expanded on this concept by selecting an animal, the hedgehog, as a means of predicting weather. According to tradition, if the hedgehog comes out of its hole on this day and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather – no shadow means an early spring.

Germans who came to America and settled in in Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania Dutch) continued the tradition, although they switched from hedgehogs to groundhogs, which were plentiful in the Keystone State.

On February 2nd 1887, Groundhog Day was celebrated for the first time at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. A newspaper editor belonging to a group of groundhog hunters from Punxsutawney, called the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, declared that Phil, the Punxsutawney groundhog, was America’s only true weather-forecasting groundhog.  The line of groundhogs that have since been known as Phil might be America’s most famous groundhogs, but other towns across North America now have their own weather-predicting rodents, from Birmingham Bill to Staten Island Chuck to Shubenacadie Sam in Canada. Today, tens of thousands of people converge on Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney each February 2nd to witness Phil’s prediction. The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club hosts a three-day celebration featuring entertainment and activities.

Well, there you have it – the history of Groundhog Day. By the way, it’s a luke warm 50 degrees right now at The Storage Inn in Ocean City, New Jersey, but according to Punxsutawney Phil, we are in for six more weeks of winter! So if you need to rent some storage space, or simply need to  reorganize your current storage unit, today might be one of the best days to get it done before winter strikes again! Happy Groundhog Day!