Winters End

Spring Harvest

It’s March 31, 2014 and I have just spent the whole morning shoveling 9 inches of snow from the driveway. I live pretty far north but darn it’s not the Yukon. It should be at least 50 degrees and the spring rain should be washing the salt off the roads in preparation of my first riding day.
The snow that dropped today was not the light fluffy stuff, it was the water drenched heavy stuff which has a goal to either blow out your back or to give you a heart attack. Whenever you get that heavy snow, there is always a story on the news about someone’s ticker who called it quits while they endeavored to tackle the heavy white stuff. I call this particular Heavy Snow the “Blubber Snow”. If your cholesterol is high and your idea of exercise is walking to the toilet, then don’t try to shovel your driveway when there is a coat of Blubber Snow. Take my advice, leave it and let it thaw in a few weeks.
Stay warm and safe, spring will come and summer will follow. My thoughts are about riding black rambunctious curvy tarmac.

How To Get Around Your Fear of the Dentist


No One likes the dentist.  Even when you have perfect pearly whites, the trip to the dentist is still uncomfortable.  It’s bad when the dentist whips out the drill to do some enamel fabricating.  The worst in my experience is the tooth extraction, at this point just knock me out.

I feel bad for the dentist and the dental hygienist.  They have a tough job and should get more credit for what they do.  How many people brush their teeth and use mouth wash before their dental exam? It’s a fair question.  How would you like to go to work with someone less than ½ inch from your nose breathing into your face with bad breath?  I can’t deal with my own breath when I wake up in the morning let alone someone else’s halitosis all day long.  It does not stop there.  They have to live in constant phobia of getting one of their fingers bit off by some yahoo with an Oral Reflex Response Disorder or ORRD for short (I just made up this medical condition but I am sure it exists).  It’s all fun and games until some whack job with bad breath bites your index finger off because you touched their tongue.  Life changes when you lose a digit and it’s not for the best.

I have a theory to improve your Dental Experience, at least it works for me.  Have you ever noticed that in life, it’s never about you?  When is the last time you have had all the focus completely on you in a beneficial way?  Think about it, when you are at a restaurant, is your server totally concentrating on you or are they multitasking?  Do your kids pay attention to you during dinner after you cooked the meal and worked 60 hours a week to put food on the table.  Does your cat really care that you’re alive?  If you’re like me, you will find that most of the time, you are not the primary focal point of life.  Here is the good news.  When you go to the dentist, everyone is totally dedicated to the betterment of your mouth.  A dentist or dental hygienists is not worried about random thoughts and ideas when working on your teeth because they are too concerned about your Oral Reflex Response Disorder and don’t want to lose a finger in the mouth betterment process.  They are 100 Percent FOCUSED on your Oral Health.  I say celebrate that truly unique focus, you won’t get it anywhere else.  Yes, the whole situation is uncomfortable and can often be horrifically painful but at least you can say that the whole situation revolved around the betterment of you.  That is a rare situation indeed.

A Story of a Vet


It’s a sunny day in Colorado and my parents are visiting to see their grandson. I am glad to see my mom and dad but I am still getting to know my wife again.  My son is 13 months old and I have only met him a few days ago; were still strangers.  I spent a total of 12 months in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and have not adjusted to civilization yet.  As I Walk down the street, I see working street lights, cars that run, smell wondrous pastries from the bakery.  I start to think to myself, where are the real fragrances like the smell of death, the dead dog corpses, the waning aroma of raw sewage and misery?  I have smelled misery and it’s undeniable.  The slightest whiff of it transports you back to a darker place.  The smell lingers.

The mountains project from the Great Plains in force and look majestic with white sparkling tops on mammoth landscapes.  I am on leave from Ft. Carson.  My father and I decide to head to Coors Brewery for a tour of the facilities.  My dad is fond of beer, so I try to make his day a good one.  Were early for our brewery tour so we go to Starbucks and order him a coffee and I take a hot chocolate.  We take our hot drinks and begin our walk to Coors.

I see a driver in her car waiting at a red light.  The driver is a young mom and seems to be concerned with her infant in the back of the car.  She is rushed and is toiling with her newborn’s safety harness, her baby is crying.  The shriek of the child grows louder as we walk closer.

The light turns green and the women in the car is still working with her infant in the back seat.  She is not paying attention to the green light, the baby screams grow louder.  A Volkswagen bus is the second car back from the lady with the screaming child.  The van driver gets frustrated and starts beeping his horn.  The baby’s cries grow louder.  The horn blows with intensity and the man begins to scream and use violent language, the situation is hot.

The smell lingers.

There is danger and I must act.  I reach for my 9 millimeter, it’s not on my side.  My SAW is nowhere to be found.  I slept with these weapons for a year and now they are gone.  I run towards the Volkswagen bus.  The man in the van continues to beep his horn and to yell, he is a threat.  I have no weapons so I throw the hot chocolate at the van.  The van driver reacts to the assault and curses at me.  I try to drag him out of the van, I see fear in his eyes.  The mom in the car with the child takes off down the road, scared off by the commotion.  The smell of misery dissipates and the van drives away. The child is not crying.  The street lights are working and the smell of misery in the air has vanished.

Two police saw the whole thing while taking a break in Starbucks and I find myself in cuffs on the side of the road.  My dad is lost in confusion and I am sitting on a curb on a busy city street, no longer in the sand box.  One of the police officers was a Vietnam Veteran and after confirming who I was and where I have been, took pity on me and let me go with a warning.  In reality I should have been arrested.

This all went down in a matter of 4 minutes on the main drag in Golden, Colorado.  It’s when I realized that I came back a different person.

Life experiences change us.  Do we embrace the change, bottle up the change, suppress the change, or assimilate to the change.  How we react to the transformation is the difference maker.  There is no easy path back from a burdened soul but there is a way!!!  We can only find that path while moving forward one step at a time.  Keep the faith, never stop the good fight and walk, crawl and drag yourself forward out from the shadows.



Do you ever just feel like your acting to much like an adult?


I have been dwelling upon my life and feel that I need to regress about 20 years. It seems like I spend my whole life at work and have an acute shortage of  fun. Hopefully I am not going through another mid-life crisis because this would be the 4th one in the last 15 years.

It’s been about 4 months since I have been out on my cycle with the exception of a 10 mile ride last Friday.  I was desperate, so took my FJR out with 2 feet of snow on the ground in freezing conditions.  My back tire slipped out on me once which was a scary moment but I recovered.

During the middle of winter, I always get a bit on edge.  There really is something about Cabin Fever that is real to me.  The only thing we can do is get some good exercise, stay warm and get our bikes ready for spring.  Here is to warm weather just beyond the horizon.  Even if you can’t ride, get out there and find some fun.


Army Bobber

Jasper The Dog

Jasper the Dog


A smile on four paws,

Looked like a Muppet,

So ugly she was cute,

Always happy to see me,

And sad to watch me leave,

Mischievous but kind,

She knew when I was sad,

Made me happy when I was blue,

Followed me everywhere,

Car rides made her day,

Always cleaned up the floor after our meals,

Protected our family with a radical bark,

Was only 15 pounds but thought she was a lion,

Never complained, Never Sad, Always a Friend

I lost a 13-year-old puppy a few days ago.  She was a true friend and companion.  She was part of our family and will truly be missed.  Jasper was a big smile and a sloppy kiss, wrapped up in a black shaggy skinny body.  Jasper I miss you and will see you down range.

Accidents Happen


We have all heard it a thousand times, “there are only two types of riders out there, those who have gone down and those who are going to go down”.  I remember my mom telling me that when I wanted to buy my first motorcycle at 16 years old.  When I pressed the issue with dear old mom, I got the famous, “not when you’re living under my roof” speech.  My wife gave me the same discourse when I wanted to take my young son for a motorcycle trip.  It’s hard to love motorcycles so much when so many people you love don’t support your passion.  I believe that most Nay Sayers have good intentions but life is all about weighing Risks vs. Rewards.  With every activity there is some sort of risk.  A jogger must risk a physical assault every time they venture outside.  Men/Women who shovel their driveway risk a heart attack or back injury with every snowfall.  Every person who eats out to dinner risks food poison or the flu through germ contamination of their favorite foods.  Life is a risky proposition but we continue down the path of life with our pants on fire hoping for the best with a goal of keeping a smile on our face and supporting those we love along the way.

I have no statistical data but I have to assume that not every biker goes down.  There has to be a few riders who traveled on two wheels for a matter of time who have met their maker without taking a spill on their beloved cycle.  Personally I assume that it is just a matter of time that I have my first accident on my cycle.  “Absent Minded” is my most prominent attribute, so it seems very unlikely to survive a life time of riding without going down.  Let’s be honest, I am not the most skilled rider, and there are a ton of riders with amazing riding abilities who have gone down for one reason or another.  So it’s out of respect for them that I prepare for the worst but never stop hoping for the best. 

I will end this dialogue with a quote from Dejan Stojanovic, “Accidents are not accidents but precise arrivals at the wrong right time.

Car accident


Marley Africa Roadtrip


I just watched Marley Africa Roadtrip on Netflix.  Be warned this is not a motorcycle documentary.  At the end of the day the five episode series did not have to be a motorcycle filled bananza on two wheels.  It has substance and character which propels the story forward with real thought-provoking content and becomes a wonderful tribute to Bob Marley’s heritage.  The show revolves around three of Bob Marley sons (Ziggy, Rohan, and Robbie) who travel to South Africa.  Along with taking a few motorcycles on their journey, they endeavor to set up a free concert in an effort to promote African Unity and Culture.  The documentary is directed by David Alexanian, the same director of Long Way Down and Long Way Around.  The documentary gave me a chance to immerse myself into unfamiliar territory while at the same time feeding my passion of cycles with morsels of Ducati bliss.  The music of Bob Marley has never been my genre of choice but after watching this documentary, I did get my hands on some of his albums.  In many ways I enjoyed Marley Africa Roadtrip better than a Long Way Round and a Long Way down.  It felt more real and had more depth of scope.

Better Giraffe- Marley Road Trip


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