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Showing posts from June, 2010

Across America on a Motorcycle - Then and Now

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No idea how I missed the post on Lucky's blog Monday, but IF you like motorcycles, you have got to check this out. In 1919, following World War I, a British Royal Air Force Captain by the name of R. K. Shepherd decided to ride a brand new Henderson 4-cylinder motorcycle (Henderson Motorcycle Co. of Detroit, Michigan) from New York City to San Fransico. Consider that there was no interstate system at this point in time and in fact, roads were not the greatest in that time period. The trip ended up amounting to 4,950 miles in three months. He had numerous engine overhauls and noted that he fell off 142 times. He published a book documenting the trip, Across America by Motor-cycle which seems like a worthy read. Fast forward to May of this year, and a fellow named Chris set out to roughly ride the approximately same trip on a 2007 KLR 650 and document it on blogger! You can read Chris' documentary of his experience to date at: acrossamericabymotorcycle.blogspot.com

Commute on Two Wheels

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Monday was Ride to Work Day(tm). I thought I would give kudos to the folks that work in my building that commute on two wheels(not tm) all the other days without prompting. On some days this area is even fuller with half a dozen more scooters in the 50cc range. I always enjoy walking down after work and seeing what a menagerie of two wheel transportation has collected for the day. In the picture above you see a Kawasaki Vulcan 900, a scooter, and a Harley-Davidson Road King. The Vulcan has been there everyday I have ridden since going to work here, though I have not had the opportunity to meet the owner/rider. The scooter belongs to a lady in the 40-50 age range who seems to be as regular a two wheel commuter as the Vulcan rider. We have spoken severl times. She seems to be an avid scooter fan. You quickly sense that she loves riding when you talk to her. This BMW seems to be a pretty regular two wheel commuter as well. And older model but sitting here almost everyday, so it mu

The Hard Hat

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I ride into the parking deck just before 7am another headache starting. I get off the bike and see a hard hat making a beeline toward me. My head hurts, its too early, and I just don't feel like it but here it comes anyhow. "You know what the ugliest thing in the world is?", he asks. I can feel the dig coming. "Honda Goldwing?", I reply. Without missing a beat he finishes his punchline, "a Harley rider without his helmet." "Oh", I say, "BMW RS1000 would a been my second guess." His face twists and he responds, "Don't be ugly now. Don't be ugly." Then he shows me a cell phone pic of his BMW RS1200. My bad. Its the headache. I meant 1200. Had to drive the truck today for the air conditioner I guess. Have a good one! -Peace

Summer Time, Summer Time

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OK so Summer is here. 94f and humidity so high that it feels like walking through a vat of hot tapioca pudding. The temptation is to ride motorcycles in the least amount of protective gear as possible. I see lots of riders in a t-shirt, gym shorts, and tennis shoes or flip flops with a full face helmet. I find this bewildering. So it is hot enough to forgo hand, arm, chest, leg and foot protection, but they still are going to protect that face? Someone explain this to me. They are really intent on the safest helmet but the rest is elective? +1 for wearing a helmet. +1 for a full face helmet. -5 for omitting the rest of the gear. photo by author, all rights reserved I followed this guy on my commute home in his summer "riding gear" the other afternoon. As we approached 65mph, his t-shirt amounted to a scarf flapping from his neck in the breeze. At the same time, I observed many distracted drivers on the crowded highway. One lady was filing her nails driving with her kne

More Aluminum Ladders

It was another gorgeous afternoon as I walked out of work and into the parking garage. I pulled on my leather chaps and my textile riding jacket, strapped my helmet on my head, pulled my gloves on tight. I was soon in the multilane commuter traffic of downtown traffic trying to sneak North out of the city. My route takes me on a two lane highway with a concrete divider wall, narrow shoulders, and traffic merging into the right lane. I am in the left hand lane running highway speeds 3-4 car lengths behind a car positioned to the passenger side of the car I am behind so that I can see the brake lights of the cas further ahead. A few miles into the ride, I see the right hand lane suddenly braking hard, smoke rolling off tires, and cars darting to the narrow shoulder on the right hand side. I begin to squeeze some brake to provide more space between Rosie and the cars ahead in my lane of traffic. Soon my lane is slowing as well. And then I see it, an aluminum omlete stretching across fro