Tag Archives: Honda

Love the Ride for the Pure Joy of Life and the Never Ending Dream

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I knew that it would be another tough day at the office filed with turbulence and strife.  My commute is about an hour and felt a profound satisfaction that my hectic work day would start and end on my motorcycle.  During my ride, I dwelled upon the end of winter and the beginning of a new season.

As the sun peaks over the horizon and shares its warm vibrant rays, I realize that winter has retreated north.  The scent of new life has permeated through the plains and mountains and one can almost smell the land coming alive from a winter’s desolate exile.  The rivers are more vibrant, fed by melting snow and the birds chatter among the trees in an epic devotional of the miracles of spring.   For motorcyclist living in a multifaceted climate, this time of year represents an open door to freedom which removes limitations to our ability to ride.   The warm air and gentle breeze call us from afar to find new paths to places rarely visited.

Motorcycling in spring is like waking up to find that one’s awe-inspiring fantasy has indeed become a reality.  Seize the moment and ride.  Find a new adventure, research the wonders of history in your backyard, visit a friend long-lost, and cherish the majestic environment that only spring can display.  We are our own leading restraint in finding happiness in this world; don’t let any obstacle get in your way.   Now is the time to leave the chaos of life behind and chase smiles and grins on black top covered dreams.

We live a life of risk and rewards.  Every day may be the last day but we are always planning for tomorrow.  It’s a life of balance and one must never lose touch with rationale thought but an occasional jaunt living on the edge builds character.  Find time to live and breathe the fresh air of an uncluttered mind.  Focus on the Ride and let the road be your long-lost muse.

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn” –  Hal Borland

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A Scent on a Frigid Cold Ride

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It got above freezing last week so I took the opportunity to go for a ride. It is rare this time of year that there are no ice patches on the roads. If you have a chance to exploit Old Man Winters grip on this place then you need to take it. As I drove my Honda along, I smelled a scent reminiscent of a winter’s hike up Mt. Evens in Colorado that I trekked more than decade ago. A strange déjà vu kind of moment struck me which was brought upon by this snowy scent. Physically I was on my bike but mentally I was transported from my motorcycle directly into the memory of a winter hike up a mountain which I took a long time ago. Then as quickly as the recollection came, it was over and I was back on of my motorcycle scanning west along the mountains. This is the third time in my life that a smell has caused such a dramatic mental recollection. It’s like certain scents have the ability to directly “Main Line” your conscious to a specific memory from ones past. Along with the reminiscence of the moment come the feelings associated with that memory which make the memory that much more dramatic and fresh. For that split second I was there and back again. It was a rather surreal refection on a specific moment from my past and I am thankful for its recall. As I write this short blog, I am reminded that it’s great to remember the past but I never want to lose focus upon the creation of new memories and adventures which will occur in the future. Hopefully all of you find all that you’re looking for in 2017. Keep Safe, Ride Hard and Be Well!


A Motorcycle Mindset- Exploits beyond the Plateau

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Have you ever noticed the fact that motorcyclist tend to be individuals that normally diverge from the status quo.  When everyone else goes straight down the road of life, motorcyclist travel a different path.  We tend to have eccentric demeanors.  Our focus is not laser pointed unless were deeply entrenched into a journey on two wheels.  What we lack in focus we gain in individual perspective.  Motorcyclist may lack money and fancy houses but we have awesome stories of phenomenal substance.

Motorcyclist have a profound appreciation of life outside societal norms.  We tend to believe in hard work and dedication to family but our minds drift through the surreal in search of harmony and bliss.  The ride is not just about speed and adrenaline, it’s about searching our senses and our environment in a quest to find what is real in this life.   Don’t get me wrong, I love the wondrous views and the remote sense of fear as I take that curve a little too quick but it’s more than that.  It’s about finding our own path and dictating our own terms in a world where individual thought is discouraged.  Our continual search takes us all too a different spectrum of our environment.  Our quest will never lead us to the same answers, were just too darn individualistic to share that same route.

I have been working so much lately in an effort to do what is right for my family.  I have no issue with my job but sometimes I feel that maybe it takes me away from what is real about life.  In Denver, we have a huge homeless problem.  Some of these folks are surely caught up in despair and bad luck.  The gruesome cycle of poverty is no joke and I feel fortunate that I am still able to work and support my family.  With that said, every once in a while as I pass a person I think is homeless and they look at me and I swear THEY THINK, “you look at me like I am homeless but you’re the one I pity.  I may have no wealth or monetary substance but you are living a life of real poverty.”  I never want to be homeless.  I write this while camping in the mountains of Colorado in January.  Its bloody cold out, my fingertips feel like little rocks as I type away at the keys.  My hands and digits are stone cold and I shiver as my toes ask warmth but there is none to be found.  I camp in the cold typing on my laptop knowing that I have a warm home awaiting me after my winter camping festivities which provides me eternal security beyond recognition.  Homeless people do not have this option and this simple tragedy keeps me awake at night. Wow, I never want to be homeless and cold with nowhere to go. Most homeless surely do not want to be in their predicament and are looking for solutions to meet their immediate needs.  I grieve for these individuals and hope they can find warmth and security.   As bad as being homeless may be, is it possible that a few people choose to be homeless?  We live such complicated lives and through simplification of our environment our minds become less cluttered with problems and worries. Henry David Thoreau wrote, “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” I believe that there are a few individuals that choose this life style.  These few persons, give up everything in their search for an answer.  It’s an ALL IN Approach in their path to find knowledge.  This is a journey I never want to follow but I respect their conviction and courage.

One of the best books of insight I ever read was a novel called Siddhartha.  It’s a spiritual word fest of enlightenment.  When I was younger, this book answered many of my questions about what makes an individual truly rich.  I still very much respect this book for its wisdom but I have found in my declining years that answers of this magnitude can never be answered by a book but must be answered by the individual seeking guidance in the matter.  The answers are all relative and change with every individual.   I believe that books will never truly answer our questions but are needed to help us find wisdom so we can answer those questions ourselves.

Wow that was a tangent, I think I finally have succumbed to hypothermia.  My toes are now numb and silenced.  My hope is that I may be able to thaw them in my car.   My fingers are now in a frozen state and lack the manual dexterity to hit the correct keys.  It’s their way to punish me for writing in the snowy cold mountains in the middle of the night without any heat.  One last thought, I do believe that there is something about riding that helps us open our minds to answers and wisdom.  Maybe it’s a Zen Like state comparable to meditation that our minds transcend to while riding?  All I know is that mind works differently when riding in a positive way and for that I am thankful.

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The Loneliest Road in America

The Loneliest Road in America

I have no photos to prove I rode the Loneliest Road in America.  Forgetting to take photos for a two-week ride on my motorcycle has not been my finest moment as an amateur blogger.  Over the same two-week trip, I also forgot to put on pants at a family re-union dinner.  Oh yes, this is a true story.  I walked into the room with a short sleeve shirt, shoes, hat and boxer underwear.  I totally forgot my pants but luckily was wearing white boxer briefs which could almost count as shorts but are definitely classified as underwear.  The whole family noticed my fashion blunder and I will go down in the family history as the dude that forgot his pants at the Family Reunion. Luckily shortly after that incident, I got back on my cycle to ride one of the most majestic roads in North America.  The Loneliest Highway through Nevada is not just a clever name to increase tourism, it is legitimately desolate beyond compare.  Think of the Desert Planet Tatooine in Star Wars and you will have an accurate representation of the isolated motorway.  The Loneliest Highway is part of U.S. Route 50 which starts in Ocean City, Maryland and runs all the way to West Sacramento, California.  Highway 50 has been named the Backbone of America which defines its rural spirit.  The Loneliest Highway is a subsection of this interstate which is located in Nevada.  This stretch of payment is a philosophical bikers dream.  It’s not filled with wondrous curves or insane pathway cliffs but its barren landscape breeds independent free thought.  In the desert, the lines of communication between our consciousness and soul become more linked and primed.  Back in 2003, I lived in the desert in South East Asia for a year.  During this time, I wrote without abandon with more conviction and feeling then I have ever felt.  This could be explained by many reasons but I always thought that the desert environment served as a muse which affected my soul directly leading to my literary expressions.  It could be the open skies, the vivid sunsets, mesmerizing dawns, murderous sun or extreme deadly heat but for some reason, the desert enhances ones own own self perspective. 

For me the Loneliest Highway started near Carson City, Nevada along U.S. Route 50 and ended in Delta, Utah.  If you’re going to ride this isolated route, then be prepared for nothingness.  For the first time in my life, I did my homework.  My research found a limited amount of Gas Stations along the way.  I packed an external gas reservoir, to supplement my small gas tank.  This was absolutely needed and was used on multiple occasions.   Sun block is needed and a lot of it.  With every stop, I applied sun block.   I found that the scent of the lotion much better than my natural odor (showers were limited on my trek).  There are plenty of places to camp for free in National Forest and Bureau of Land Management Property.  Watch out for small desert creatures that can ruin your evening if you choose to sleep under the stars.  I traveled with a foam bed roll, sleeping bag and fully enclosed bivi shelter.  I am a huge wimp; the thought of waking up with a rattlesnake in my sleeping bag or scorpion on my forehead makes the bivi shelter and absolute essential for desert camping.  Don’t be fooled, it may be scorching hot during the day but at night the temperature drops and a sleeping bag is mission critical.  Sitting under the night sky while camping on the Loneliest Highway is one of the most peaceful environments I have ever witnessed.  The sounds of the desert, vast star infested atmosphere and the loneliness of the place, transfixed my emotions and brought me into a dream while still conscious.  It’s a great place to be with one’s self and ponder life’s many conundrums.

Nevada

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Random Thoughts on Two Wheels

My Bike Gazing Over the Pacific Ocean

 

I rode from Denver, Colorado to Lincoln City, Oregon a few weeks ago.  I spent about 10 days on the road.  I have only one photo of the whole trip.  The picture is of my cycle gazing upon the Pacific Ocean and is attached above.   It’s rather strange that I did not take more photos of this trip. Think about it, how many people take multiple photos a day of things like their meal or random snaps of grass growing.  I travel half the country and only take one lame picture.   I did not even notice until I got back home that I was basically photo less.   Take more photos is on the need improvement list for future trips.

My Honda Interstate was so comfortable on this sojourn.  I set it up for a long journey by adding an engine guard and additional foot pegs.  I used to get major aches while riding on long treks on my old cycle (FJR).  I was pain free this go around; the only reason why I had to stop was to get gas.  Another added comfort was using one of my bags as a back rest.  The back rest is a must have.  One last tip, a cool way to store a tent and sleeping bag is to use a water proof bag and hook it on a luggage rack with zip ties.  The concept worked great and your sleeping provisions will be guaranteed dried when it’s time to pull over and set up camp.  Remember your essentials on a long trip which are zip ties, duct tape, multi-tool, sun block and flip flops.  Nothing like putting on flip flops after a 500-mile ride.  Leave your schedule and sense of punctuality at home.

 

I so much miss the speed and excitement of riding my old sports tourer but absolutely adored the cruising comfort of my new ride during the trip.  What is more important, handling/speed or comfort?  Let’s be honest, my Honda Interstate has absolutely nothing on my old Yamaha FJR when comparing corning, speed and agility.  With that said, my Honda Interstate provides total comfort on long rides and gives me the ability to peacefully ponder the journey without nagging pain and discomfort.  The answer is that it’s an individual decision.  One may choose comfort over speed/agility or vice versa and there is no wrong answer.  I used to think that my FJR gave me both comfort and speed but as I grew older and rounder, I found those ugly pains coming more frequently.  I think the real answer should be that everyone gets issued 4 motorcycles that they can choose to fit their individual mood.  This should be a tax payer expense and every citizen is able to participate in this program.  Along with this program, once a month there should be a No Traffic Law Day where individuals can ride as fast as they want.  Yes it will be an expensive endeavor but think of the benefits.  I have listed a few below:

  • Riding Increases Overall Happiness.  We Finally Live In a Happy Society
  • Increased Motorcycle Awareness.  With Everyone Owning Multiple Motorcycles, Cagers Will Be More Mindful of Motorbikes
  • Lane Splitting Would Surely Be Made Legal in Every State
  • Less Crime Due to the Fact That All the Hoodlums Are Doing Motorcycle Stunts Via Massive Flash Mobs on our Local Highways
  • Everyone Knows That Driving Fast on a Motorcycle Cures Hiccups
  • More Women Riders
  • Crack Addicts on Motorcycles, What Can Be More Entertaining
  • Less Road Rage
  • Moms Could Not Say, “Not When Your Living Under My Roof” When a 16-Year-Old Kid Asks For a Motorcycle
  • A Decreased Dear Population From So Many Motorcycles Taking Out Annoying Suicidal Deer
  • Less Use of Alcohol and Anti-Depressants As Everyone Will Cure Their Gloomy Dreary Lives With Super Cool Motorcycles Of Their Choosing

 

What 4 Motorcycles Would You Choose?

Here are my choices below:

  1. 2016 Triumph Scrambler (There is a Hipster in all of Us Wanting to Ride a Scrambler Down a Dirt Road)
  2. 2016 Indian Chieftain Dark Horse (A Dark Cruiser Needing an Attitude Adjustment and Caring a Big Bat)
  3. 2014 Ducati Panigale R (Speedy Gonzalez has Nothing on this Red Beast)
  4. 2012 KTM 990 Adventure Dakar Edition (Sometimes One Must Get Off the Grid)

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Does Anyone Have a Motorcycle I Can Borrow in San Diego?

Lane Splitting is Legal in California

             Lane Splitting is Legal in California

Today I was stuck in traffic on a southern California highway. When traffic slows, that’s where my jealously rises. The 4 lane highway slowed into a parking lot and I found myself trapped in my 4-wheel cage. Then in the rear view mirror I saw one single headlight weaving through the traffic. Like a jaguar darting through trees, the motorcycle snaked its way between the ensnared autos. As the cycle split the lanes of the slow moving traffic, I wished that I could have the opportunity to ride that traffic gauntlet of death. From conversations I have had with locals in California, splitting lanes is not as dangerous as it appears. If done in a safe manner, the action can protect the motorcyclist from being in harm’s way. Think of it as being a proactive defensive rider who is guarding against being rear ended by a distracted 4 wheel texter. When you are between the cars, constantly moving forward, then you are sheltered from the rear by the cars surrounding you. So in actuality one can look at it as an action that reduces risk by taking risk.  

In California, splitting lanes is a normal part of doing business in terms of riding motorcycles. In Colorado, splitting lanes means a reckless driving ticket.   I figure the smaller the cycle, the better it could be used to weave in between cars in traffic. With that said, I did witness a big old Harley Road King doing a good job of it the other day near Oceanside, CA. I don’t like the feeling of being jealous but I really wish I had my motorcycle here so I could attempt this majestic endeavor. The weather has been foul here over the last few weeks, so I have not had the opportunity to rent a cycle, plus my work schedule keeps me busy till dark. I think would be a bad idea to attempt my first time lane splitting at night during a rain shower. That scenario would lead to certain ugliness.

 

Only in California Can A Motorcyclist Lane Split

Only in California Can A Motorcyclist Lane Split


My New Bike

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My FJR is no more.  I just had to much back pain and butt woes to keep my sports tour.  There was nothing wrong with that Yamaha, the fault lies with my ever growing belly.  The good news is that I traded in my old bike for a brand new Honda Interstate.  It has a 1300 CC engine with an upright laid back sitting position which I love.  It’s like riding on a pain free cloud and love the lines on my new Honda. Here are a few photos of my recent ride in Colorado.

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