Thursday, March 31, 2016

Life Under 60 ... MPH

Some of you may remember a simpler time, when all it took you to get across the county was 60 cents of gasoline and 350 cc's of simple engineering. It used to be that motorcycles were built to only go about 60 MPH and helmets were completely optional. Those were the days when we had just landed on the moon, and when you could trust a politician... well maybe not that last part.

 Just recently I had the opportunity to step back into that past and explore a bygone era. It came in the form of a tarp in the garage and a lazy Saturday at Grandpas house. Nick G. a buddy of mine was visiting his relatives when he found in his fathers garage a mystery item covered with a dusty tarp. Off came the tarp and underneath lay a nearly pristine 1972 CB350. The bike had been sitting for nearly four decades with only 1200 miles on the Tachometer. Nick had never ridden a motorcycle in his life, but something about the bike spoke to him and that was that. IT HAD TO BE HIS!
Having been bequeathed the aged old horse, we spent a few evenings bringing it back to life. The first time I took it down the drive way and listened to the engine attempt to push me along, I felt a spirit of the past sing inside me. Those were the sounds  nostalgia and resurrection thumping along while I sped down the road on a blast from the past.

Three months latter and with spring on the heels of winter Nick went out and got his Motorcycle endorsement and now it's time to ride. THE ONLY PROBLEM IS THE BIKE CAN ONLY SAFELY DO ABOUT 60 MPH MAX - You can't get any where in Nevada without having to do 70 at a minimum.

That's where his good biker buddies have stepped in and planned him his first back road bike trip to re-christen his bike. It involves the old roads, the forgotten highways, and best of all a chance for man motorcycle and road to reunite with the past.

 I think this trip is the perfect first big ride for any biker - But I'll let Nick be the judge.

HERE IS OUR PERFECT ROUTE - Under 60 mph the whole way!
See our groups blog here and see a little more about the ride.


Mic Jagger once rode a CB 350 -

Thursday, March 24, 2016

5 Ways to Make Spring Rides AWESOME

Not everyone lives in a cold environment, but those of you who do will know exactly what I'm on about. Sure we all like to think we are hard core and ride all winter long, but no matter how much you ride in the winter, NOTHING beats your first spring ride of the year.

With the cold weather ebbing its way out of the air, and the dead branches and bushes resurrecting from their dormant winter dressings, spring brings life to the world and to the heart of the biker. Its the time of year your buddies all start asking if you can come out and ride this weekend, and the time you start to make long ranging plans to wander the mountain roads and desolate deserts on your two wheeled stallion.



Protection comes in many forms, gear, riding in a group, planning your route, making sure people can see you.  When it comes to spring riding make sure to keep in mind that most cage drivers have forgotten that you exist during the winter, it takes a while for the average driver to remember to watch for motorcycles.   So have some fun with it, wear bright colors.

Even though the weather is warm, going down on the asphalt wearing nothing but a T-shirt can yield some pretty messy results... so wear the right clothing to be on a bike, boots jacket and jeans at a minimum.

Although a lonesome ride in the mountains can be enjoyable, spring is a great time to ride in a group and there is safety in numbers, don't be a loner... call up your brothers and ride together. For the last four of five years my group has taken to riding with SCALA or other intercoms, it makes communication way easy and believe it or not it has saved my bacon a few times when my buddies have warned me of obstacles, idiot drivers and speed traps.

2.  A killer Play-List

Im an AC -DC to Zeplin kinda guy, but whatever your flavor is make sure you have some tunes for the road. I get into conversations all the time about what the best music for the road is... and I'll be honest I'm not sure thats a question that has a single answer.  Ride with what you love (Even if its Taylor Swift).

Here are a couple of links to some great lists

3.   Don't Plan Your Route! - Entirely

OK you have to have some idea of where you want to go ... or else you you would end up stuck in traffic in china town (maybe not such a bad thing).   My point here is that destinations are only one point in what can be an entire journey or an adventure.  So if you are going on a ride to enjoy spring give yourself a direction but then get out there and explore the places you haven't been, find that road your buddies never new existed with the perfect curves. Stop in at the restaurant you would never have thought existed with the worlds best double baked potatoes.

The most fulfilling part of being a biker is exploring the world around the roads and enjoying what is behind every curve. Like Bugs Bunny its ok to miss that turn back in Albuquerque, because there's a lot out there you never new existed.

4.   Never come home the way you left -If you can avoid it - 

I have found that its never a good Idea to take the same route back home that was used to get to where I was going. For whatever un-explicable reason rides are always a little bit more boring when you are simply looking at life in reverse. If you plan your ride in a loop, you will spend the entire ride looking forward, which has a phsycological effect on the way you feel about the experience.

Moreover, if your ride is a loop rather than a down and back you will not experience the feelings of   "Now its time to go home" - which is like being called home from dinner by your mother - always a downer moment.

5. Stop and smell the roses... or eat some instead! - KEEP THE ROUTE ALIVE

Ok not many of us are going to pull over to the side of the road and eat some rose pedals but the meaning is hidden inside the phrase. Life is too short to stick to the normal way of doing things, and as  a biker you kind of want to break the mold.  Find new ways of looking at the road and the world around you and try to find experiences that will help you see the world through new lenses. 

If you are going to experience spring, find a meaningful way of doing it. Finding small missions for your ride are helpful. A great example come from a buddy of mine... He decided that on a ride through the sierras he was going to stop at as many country stores as possible or was reasonable and present himself as a lemonade taste tester. He challenged each store to present him with the best possible lemonade and he would judge them on a grade from 1 - 10. It was silly and many of the stores didn't even have a lemonade other than the bottled stuff. Regardless we had a blast doing it - and it kept the route alive for us. 

Find your own way to make your rides meaningful by thinking outside the box or  by running the box over with your motorcycle ... whatever you do make it meaningfully unique and you will have a blast. 

Here are a couple of fun ideas: 

- Decorate your helmets with your biker names - or some steer horns
- Follow the route of a famous figure ( Pioneers, Pony Express, Bonnie and Clyde) 
- Stop along side the road and have a race, arm wrestle, bike challenge... make the looser wear an embarasing T-Shirt or Sign. 
- Pick a destination meaningful to your family history or past
- stop and skip rocks, or roll boulders off a cliff
- If you ride with your wife or girlfriend, make up your own road game
- Go hunting for Big Foot, Chupacabra, whatever.
- Find a hidden restaurant and put it on the map 

The best ideas you will come up with at some random spur of the moment time... JUST RUN WITH IT and live a little. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Saint Patrick's day is a great time to be a biker.

Its a day to do what we love best... Go a little crazy... Get a little (or extremely) drunk... Have a good time - and if you so choose to.... YOU CAN DO IT WEARING A DRESS!



Advertisement for Douglas Motorcycles -  Man wearing kilt
two bikers in kilts.... those might be Scottish though
Well... I bet it keeps things cool down there. 

Across the world people celebrate the day by wearing green, and generally mucking about.
Stanley Woods (1903-1993), Irish motorcycle racer famous for 29 motorcycle Grand Prix wins and winning the Isle of Man TT races 10 times in his career. A print from the photo album Popular Personalities, issued for Piccadilly Juniors Oval Photos, 1935.

For all those who wondered... Saint Patrick actually rides a trike!

It's true. Motorcycle Riders are a superstitious group, and with saint Patrick's day luck at stake we thought is would be a good idea to review some of the superstitions that surround motorcycles and bring luck or a lack there of.

The following came from:
written by Go For a Ride Magazine - All credit due

Some of the long held superstitions and their origins follow:
Ride Bells...
Want to keep evil Gremlins, Demons, and Evil Spirits away from your beloved ride? A ride bell is in order. But do not buy it for yourself. It must be a gift in order for the magic to really work. Some say that the evil road spirits become trapped in the bell and the constant ringing drives them away. Others say that the ringing keeps the demons from hanging onto your ride at all. Searching for the origin I came across a tale about an old biker who went down on a lonely dark road. He threw as many things as he could at the road gremlins until all that he had left was a bell. The bell kept the gremlins at bay long enough for help to arrive in the form of another biker. When his safety was certain he gifted the bell to the helpful fellow biker. Hence the part of the legend that says you must receive your bell as a gift. Never steal another biker’s bell. The evil spirits will be drawn to a bell whose magic is tarnished by a bad act. 
Green Motorcycles...
Why on earth would a Green bike be bad luck? Bikes used in World War II painted military green were often considered sitting ducks. Many military riders were taken out some say because of their Green bikes. A legend was born and is still widely believed by many today. 
Blessing of the Bikes...
Religious or not having your bike blessed is believed to bring safety to the biker in the coming ride season. Churches around the world hold annual blessings for bikers. While these events are called Blessings of the Bikes they are really more about the riders. The Vatican’s Pope Francis held a blessing of the bikes. More than 35,000 bikes and their riders were in attendance for this event. Francis’s open-top Jeep navigated the main street to St. Peter’s Square blessing the thousands of people in a sea of Harley Davidsons. This event was part of a four day anniversary of Harley Davidson. Blessings are held around the country at Churches and other locales and date back several decades. 
Seeing a broken down bike on the side of the road is not as common as it once was. Technological and mechanical advancements have reduced breakdowns greatly. Stopping for that lone biker that is on the side of the road will indeed come back to you. It will come back to you the same way not stopping will revisit you when you break down. Karma will take her turn teaching you a valuable lesson. Don’t just wave and move on. I once stopped for a gentleman on the side of the road on the way home from Bike Week. He was broken down and a diabetic. We took one of our bikes out of the trailer loaded his up, gave him food and water and a ride home. I rode my bike home with peace of mind, knowing that I had saved someone from great inconvenience, and potentially a serious health crisis. We exchanged Holiday Cards for years. 
Dead Man’s Motorcycle…
Superstition has it that riding a Deal Man’s Motorcycle is bad luck. This does not mean that he was in a fatal accident on the machine. It is said that his spirit is still riding the motorcycle on his journey to the other side. If you are riding it in the physical world he will knock you off of it. Even the parts from that bike are bad luck.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Around the world on a Harley!

Tengenenge, free sculpturing from stone

This is the map showing Pete And Kays Ride - See their entire story at
Can you imagine such a spectacular adventure - putting your life on hold and driving your Harley literally around the world.

The planning and logistics of a such a trip blow my mind! It is difficult to imagine the skill required to keep a bike running in countries where taking you bike to the dealership means meeting a mechanic in the back alley of a hookah lounge.

There have been many riders who have taken epic rides on their bikes, but to do so on a massive american touring bike seems like a particularly daunting experience, but an adventure none the less.