Equal but Bigger

Hey Kids,

When we returned to town last Sunday evening, a new bike had been purchased over the weekend. Parked under the carport, its paper plates still smelled of the sharpie used to write the expiration date of the temporary registration.

Finally today, I got the occasion to walk over to check out this new playmate to the motorcycle sandlot. A white 2000 Yamaha Road Star 1600 hard-cased bagger.

I stood admiring the look and the lines of the bike when its owner wandered out of his apartment. I’m sure he needed to see why I was out there creeping on his bike.

I let him know that I liked the bike, asked some questions, and complimented him on his fine purchase. All this set him a little at ease.

“Those are my bikes over there,” I told him, thumbing at the pair of bikes resting in their own spot under the aluminum roof, a few sections down. This seemed to change everything and suddenly I had street cred.

We spoke a little longer and it seemed to get his juices flowing for a ride. He looked up to the dark clouded skies. Standing in my riding jacket and seeing my helmet resting on the back seat of the bike on which I had just rolled in, he trusted me when I suggested he should go. It could be hours before the next rain session.

He agreed and rolled out for a country scoot.bigger

We had nothing in common but the name on the apartment complex and a love for the two-wheeled people movers. That usually is enough to be buds in the parking lot and equals in the eyes of the motorcycle gods.

Well, almost equals. I have TWO bikes and an extra 300cc on MY Yamaha.


Post 3-115

Aaand they’re Gone

Hey Kids,

The First day of spring was a few days ago. Monday actually. It was 73°.

We went on to set a new high temperature of 74°on Tuesday.

My fairer weathered brothers and their motorcycles crawled out of their winter hibernations and we enjoyed the new season’s sun and the warmth. I broke out the lighter jacket and relaxed on the turns, knowing that ice had zero chance of waiting for me on the blind curves.


The Scene leaving the office today.

So today, being Thursday, it snowed.

And again I find myself alone on the road, among the fluffy snowflakes and the temperatures falling back down to 34.


Post 3-082

Weather or Not

Hey Kids,

Yesterday was 62 degrees in the early afternoon. There was snow on the ground before we went to bed. Give it two days and we’ll be back up near 60. Thus is springtime in Utah.

As a motorcyclist, this is the time of year I have to watch the weather like it’s interesting. Conditions can change hourly and the conditions during the morning commute are irrelevant in regards to what they might be for the evening commute.

There has been a few times I failed to watch the weather and have been caught in an afternoon snow storm. The windshield on the bike has caked over with snow and my glasses have fogged up so thick I could barely see.Motorcycle-Snow-Sculpture

I’ve learned it’s imperative to keep the tires in the tracks in the snow made by the cars ahead or feel the bike try to slide out from under you. And to ignore the people who honk at you for going so slow around the turns. So far, however, I’ve always made it home.

It’s a challenge, but I’d have it no other way.


Post 3-066

Making it Known

Hey Kids,

It’s political times. 5508Everybody has an opinion and not always based on information, reason, or understanding. Here are some of my political beliefs:

For: American League, American Conference, and Western Conference.

Against: Fan voted All Stars.

For: Motorcycles. They don’t have to be Harleys either.

Against: Gold Wings. Just kidding, I’m for Gold Wings too.

For: Cheap gas and fast cars. Real ones. Classics.

Against: Smart Cars. Not kidding.

For: Buy low and sell high. I don’t do this much in practice, but I’m for it.

Against: Places that don’t have a Value Menu.

For: Lake Powell

Against: Anyone against Lake Powell

For: Fishing. Fly, bait, or lure. If there’s fish to catch, I’m in.

Against: People catching bigger or more fish than me.

For: Free speech.

Against: Long lists of “for and against”.


(Please note, I don’t always agree with everything that I say.)


Post 3-037

Environmental Awareness

Hey Kids,

We passed a car today with the driver’s window down.

It was enough odd to see this on the 5th of February, at full speed on the freeway; but it’s something one just doesn’t see any more.

Instead, we roll up and down the highways and freeways, and the streets and avenues, contained in our little micro environments of perfect temperature, dampened outside noise, and personally selected audio programs. The things we listen to aren’t even from a local radio either. We have satellite radio, or play lists bluetoothed from our phones. 

The outside world surrounding the cars today makes little difference to the occupants inside.

Growing up when the AC units on cars weren’t so great so people rolled downed their windows to keep the car from overheating, and the laws allowed people to ride in the back of pick-ups, and you could only listen to local radio stations f available, I felt more connected to the roads we traveled. The miserable sensations of the trip burned a few of them into my memory so deep, I can still recall them so many years later.

That was then, this is now. Unless you ride a motorcycle.bugs-in-teeth

Riding in the open air, you are keenly aware of the outside temperature. You know if it is raining, if the wind is blowing, or if the cows are gassing. You feel the different temperature pockets, like the cool air next to a field that is being watered. Or the heat of the afternoon sun on your neck. Or the force of the splat of the bug on the forehead.

You feel connected. You’re a part of the process, not alien to it.

Next time you see a motorcycle on the road, roll down that window and join us back in the world. And in the misery you’re missing out on.


Post 3-036

My Daily Drive Home

Hey Kids,

To honor my words that said I would, and based on the idea on a post by Nancy Loderick, here are a few pictures of the things I see on my daily ride home.

Out the front door of the facility:


The bike is waiting:


Leaving the “U”:


Rolling through the posh neighborhood:


I have no idea what this is, but it’s there, across from the Shriner’s Hospital:


The Salt Lake Cemetery. The picture does it no justice, it’s huge and beautiful.

Around and across City Creek Canyon and up to the Capitol Building.

And the view off to the west. Sorry the ride gets fast and not picture worthy for the last 5-7 minutes of the drive. While I took the last picture, a fellow motorcycle rider, pictured below, slowed to check on me and made sure I wasn’t broke down (don’t ask me how I took that picture).


And to end, a happy selfie.



My Inspiration: A Walk Through My Hometown

Thanks Nancy.


Post #50-9

Perfect Days

Hey kids,

A motorcycle has no top, no doors, and no inside.

The air, as it it on the outside, is as it is on you.

Wind chill, moisture, and heat are all experienced first hand by the rider.

It’s part of the experience. ac0239f797e7fb746c2fa7856ec26968

Let me tell you, some of that “experience” is not as fun, even on those perfect sunny days. In fact, many of those perfect aren’t so perfect. Wind burn, sun burn, and bum burn can also be part of the perfect day “experience”.

I take it all, but the way to make those not-so-perfect characteristics livable is to be prepared for them.

Rain gear, sun screen, and layered clothing can be the difference between enjoyed and endured.

The more you ride, the more you learn what to carry in the saddle bags and how to use them.

Life, in general, is like this too.


Post #375

The Slide vs. the Ride

Hey Kids,

Dress for the slid, not the ride.

So says a popular motorcyclist saying. It means to anticipate the worst thing possible in lieu of only enjoying the immediate best part.watermelon-helmet-1

Many riders go without helmets and protective gear. They feel the wind in the hair, the sun on the skin, and the freedom of clothing expression are the reasons they ride.

Icon Safety GearOthers wear skid armor jackets, thick leather gloves and full faced helmets. The equipment might steal the rider of the intimacy of the road, but gives comfort from feeling safe if things go horizontal.

In this scenario, the saying puts all merit in being prepared for what could happen and makes second the comfort and the joy of the road.

On a motorcycle, this might be good advice.

In life, I suggest the opposite.


Post #369

Crazy Alone

Hey kids,

I know that there’s a good reason most people put their motorcycles away on days like today (upper 30’s to lower 40’s- snow sticking to everything but the roads). But I love being the only bie out there.

It’s not why I ride, and I don’t need other’s praise. But it means something to me to be part of the few, part of the crowd that others think is nuts.

I enjoy being willing to brave the cold and the wet.

I like to be alone where others don’t dare to tread.

I love being one of those guys.

I am one of those guys.


Post #361

If I Were A Rich Man

Hey Kids,

I whined a little last night about being poor. So it’s only fair to take account of those things in which I am rich:rich man

I have 5 kids. And although our relationship is a little one-sided, I have five human beings I get to love unconditionally. No matter what, my heart feels for them. I think of them. I have 5 people for which to cheer through life. I love those kids and I always will.

I have a super wife. It’s unbelievable to have someone who is always on your side, always there to encourage me, and always there to lean on. If I had nothing else, she would be enough to feel as rich as the Prince of Brunei.

I have two motorcycles. Some people are saying, “So?? I have 5”. OK, that would be pretty awesome; one for each weekday. But I know it wasn’t very long ago I was saying, “Man, a bike would be so cool”.

I have this sense of confidence. Maybe that sounds arrogant, but that goes with confidence. I just know that I can pick up my game at any time, do anything that I have to do. I’m not afraid to bet on myself. Somehow, someway I’ll survive. I’ll make it.

I’m mechanically minded. I can figure stuff out. I was taught at an early stage of my working career to ask when something shows itself as a problem: what would I be afraid of if I was that thing? Believe it or not, that works in a lot of situations.

I’ve found a place in life where I get to do what I love: to write. I love writing and I’m not too bad at it. I’ve written for a national magazine, and now I write for myself. I’m so lucky to live in a time where being an independent writer is not only possible, it’s the favorable way to do it.

Speaking of writing, NaNoWriMo is going well. I’m a little ahead of schedule and going to try to steal whatever time I need to get my words down early in the month. I worry about Thanksgiving weekend. It’s fun to watch this story I’m writing come along. As of right now, there’s a good chance this will turn into a book that I might actually release.

I guess that’s enough “I love me” for now. I think it’s just good to remind myself how good I do have it and things are only as bad or good as you want to see them.



NaNoWriMo: 5,300/50,000

Day 253