Archive for February, 2010

The Little Old (Biker) Lady From Pasadena . . . or Chicago

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

OK, this is just a fun story I want to pass along. Thanks go to Mike Landon, who sent the link to me.

It seems there were these folks living in this Chicago-area nursing home who regularly passed a biker bar. They grew interested in the bar and decided to pay it a visit. But they didn’t just drop in. First, they did themselves up with tattoos and biker costumes, and rolled in as a “biker gang.”

They were welcomed and members of the local Latino American Motorcycle Association and ABATE chapters have agreed to take them all for rides on their bikes.

It’s a really fun story. Worth your time to read it here.

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
Only a biker knows . . .: Motorcycle wit and wisdom, #11

Biker Quote for Today

If your mind wanders, ride after it.

When You Can’t Get Enough, There’s RumBum

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Just a little cross-fertilization here. If you read this blog regularly you know I also write for What you may not know is that I also write, twice each week, for

RumBum logoI’d have to say that some of my best writing goes up on RumBum, for the simple reason that they pay me better than some of the others. In case you’re interested, here are some of the pieces I’ve done for them that I like the best.

Heading Out On The Highway With The OFMC – One of the two pieces I do each week for RumBum is a personal column. As such, I write a lot about the trips I’ve made with our group, the OFMC. This piece introduces the guys and tells the history of the group.

The Life of a Motorcycle Demo Rider – The behind the scenes skinny on what it’s like for those folks who manage demos rides for the manufacturers.

Winging It – Tales of the good and bad things that come if you hit the road without a plan.

Don’t Drop the Bike – Some stories of time we did, one or the other of us, drop the bike.

Going Anywhere – Slowly – In a Ural – A profile on my friend, Dom, who rides a Ural sidecar rig. This is the guy I went up Guanella Pass with last week.

The Breaking Point – The story of my most despairing moment on my motorcycle.

Baja Dreams – The condensed version of the story I told at great length on Examiner about the J2 Racing team that ran in last year’s Baja 1000.

They. Are. Here. – A look at electric motorcycles and what the future may hold.

Are Motorcycles Greener than Cars? – Just scratching the surface on this surprisingly not-so-obvious question.

You Only Live Once… – A biker’s bucket list.

So there you go. With any luck something among those should sound interesting. And comments are always welcome. Suggestions, too. I’m always looking for new story ideas. Thanks.

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
MSF’s motorcycle crash study reluctance challenged

Biker Quote for Today

Here’s to burnt skin, numb crotches, and bugs in your teeth. Ride on!

Cottonwood Pass and Taylor Canyon Now Up On Website

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Eight months ago I went up Taylor Canyon and over Cottonwood Pass shooting pictures and gathering information to put these places up on the Passes and Canyons, Motorcycle Touring in Colorado website. Taylor Canyon is a beautiful canyon, with lots of good motorcycle-accessible camping spots. Cottonwood Pass is only paved on the east side but the gravel road is passable on the west. Both deserved to be on the site.

I’ve been busy. But I finally got it done. Here are some photos from these places.

Taylor Canyon

Cottonwood Pass

The top of Cottonwood Pass

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
SuperSkin helmet touted as lifesaver

Biker Quote for Today

To me, the best kind of trips are the ones you planned on the way, allowed yourself to change, and maybe didn’t end up where you expected.

Elephant Ride Was Great!

Monday, February 15th, 2010

It’s been a long time since I’ve had that much fun. I did the Elephant Ride this past weekend and there is no question I will be going to more of these Adventure Rider events.

Ready to go on the Elephant Ride

I mentioned before that I had been invited to ride monkey with Dom Chang on his Ural sidecar rig and that made a huge difference. To participate rather than observe was a big, big difference.

But as much as I liked getting to ride, it was really the party the night before that I enjoyed the most. For 30 years my friends and I used to go winter camping in March. They’ve all wussed out on me at this point, and our annual camping trip came to an end about 5 years ago. For the hard-core riders of the Elephant Ride, the event really starts the night before. Some people camp, others have campers, but standing out around the blazing fire while the frigid wind blew, talking about motorcycles and a lot of other things, drinking and (in some cases) getting way too drunk–it was just like old times. I absolutely loved it!

Yes, it was cold crawling in the sleeping bag, and even worse getting out of the bag in the middle of the night to offload some of the beer, but I just loved it.

Oh, and hey, we did ride motorcycles way up Guanella Pass. Most of us didn’t make it all the way up, and nobody made it over to Georgetown. No matter, we tried, and that’s more than about 5 billion other people on this planet can say.

Here’s a shot of the Urals as they arrived in a squadron.

The Urals arrive en masse

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
Elephant Ride assails snowy mountain pass on motorcycles

Biker Quote for Today

I’m old enough to know better, but young enough to do it all again!

Elephant Ride Coming This Weekend

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Who is crazy enough to ride their motorcycles up over a high Colorado mountain pass at a time when the pass is closed by deep snow? Why, the Adventure Riders, of course. They’ll be doing it this weekend and while I’m not riding, I do plan to be there as a witness to the event.

Elephant Ride--Photo by GeekThe group will gather Saturday night in Grant, along U.S. 285, and camp out or take advantage of the local accommodations. Saturday night is party time. Then on Sunday they’ll head up over Guanella Pass to Georgetown, or at least as far as they can get.

This photo gives you an idea of what it’s like. I grabbed the shot from an AVRider post by a guy who goes as “Geek” and I don’t yet have his permission but I’m contacting him to ask for his OK.

The folks making the ride generally ride smaller dirt bikes set up with studs in the tires, just like ice racers, or on sidecar rigs (Urals generally), other three wheelers, or Rokons. Rokons, in case you’re not familiar with them, are very wide tire motorcycles designed to plow through mud or snow and just generally be a four-wheel-drive sort of two-wheeler.

I do know that Dom Chang, the Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner, who I’ve written about before, is planning on doing this run on his Ural sidecar rig. I don’t know any of the others but that should change soon.

Oh, and one other consideration. The weather forecast for the next three days is clear, but snow is predicted on Sunday. Could be fun.

Update: Geek gave me the OK for using his picture, and I spoke to Dom and I’m going to be riding with him in his Ural, so I won’t be just a spectator after all. Hot dog!

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
AMA’s Ed Moreland on protecting public land for future generations, not from them

Biker Quote for Today

There are 2 kinds of people in this world. Those who ride motorcycles and those who want to ride motorcycles.

Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge to Run Florida to Alaska

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge

Here’s an interesting looking challenge. Have you ever heard of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge? This 7,000-mile run starts in Key West, Florida, and ends on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. The race begins on June 20, 2010, and the winner will take home half a million dollars in Alaskan gold.

Hoka Hey, the organizers tell us, means “It’s a good day to die.”

“HOKA HEY” was the roar of every warrior that rode into battle with Crazy Horse. Join us as we ride into battle. As we put ourselves on the line to find out just who we are.

More from the organizers:

Known as the Conch Republic since the city seceded from the union in 1982; Key West reflects the rebel spirit of the Hoka Hey Challenger and we couldn’t think of a better place to kick-off the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge!

Key West is said to be the southernmost city in the Continental United States. It is also the southern terminus of U.S. 1 and State Road A1A. The Southernmost point in the continental United States is claimed to be at the corner of South Street and Whitehead Street and this is where our adventure will begin on June 20, 2010.

About the destination:

Homer is on the shore of Kachemak Bay on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula. In fact, Homer is just 15 miles away from the westernmost point in the North American highway system at Anchor Point, AK.

Homer’s most distinguishing feature is the Homer Spit, a narrow 4.5 mile (7 km) long gravel bar that extends into the bay. And it is here that our Challengers will find the end of the road. Plus, when the Challengers arrive in here; they will be greeted by one of the most enthusiastic and endearing group of people you could ever hope to meet!

The event is a benefit for the following charities.
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Warrior Weekend
Disabled American Veterans
American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.
Vietnam Veterans of America
American Indian College Fund
National Multiple Sclerosis Society

This looks like one to watch for. If you decide to run in it, let me know and I’d love to carry your reports.

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
Buy that motorcycle now for this summer

Biker Quote for Today

If ya ain’t flyin’ ya ain’t tryin’!

Getting an Itch to Go South of the Border

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

I met Alisa Clickenger last year covering the Dirty Dozen, Adventure for the Cures ride. Alisa is now embarked on a solo ride to the southern tip of South America. Following her trip is giving me an itch.

a road in PanamaFirst off, I’ve always been more interested in seeing South America and Central America than a lot of other places in the world. But now I’m seeing her pictures and one thing is coming very clear: Riding in a third world country has got to be a lot like riding used to be in the U.S. about 50 or 60 or 70 years ago.

Sure they have some major highways, and some major cities, but much of these countries is still what we would call “unspoiled” by development. Tiny, twisty roads that we exult over when we discover them here are the order of the day down there. Take a look at this photo, one that Alisa put up on her blog. Does that look like sweet riding? It does to me.

Now, I have to say, Alisa’s stories of the hassles of getting through customs have reinforced my reluctance to do the kind of trip she’s doing. But I’d love to fly into some place, such as Panama, in the photo, and rent a bike. And of course, tours are offered just about anywhere these days, in case you really don’t want to worry about the hassles.

I’ve never really given this sort of thing much thought before, but the more I see Alisa’s pictures the more I do start dreaming. Now if I just had a bit more disposable cash . . .

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
Motorcycle Mojo mag: A Canadian approach

Biker Quote for Today

The mother road remains, it provides no more. It can only take us away.

Embarrassing Moments on Motorcycles

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Regular readers know I like to pass along particularly interesting or amusing things I run into on biker forums. This time I’m just going to point you to the thread so you can check it out yourself.

The question posed was, “What was you most embarrassing biker moment?” This was on the HD Talking forum. Here’s an example of what you’ll find, courtesy of AcidRayn.

just had one this morning!!
stopped for gas, same place, same pump i stop every morning.
sitting next to me is Uber Hot Mommy in her escalade, i’m talking
heather locklear, christie brinkley prime years hot here, she’s checkin me out,
or the bike, i look over, give the “yea im game” look, i say something stoopit,
she smiles, then starts cracking up, im like, how rude, yea, well, she seen the gas overflowin outa my tank and all over my jeans.
i had visions of going home as a fiery comet.


Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
Reflections, observations on Colorado Motorcycle Show and Swap

Biker Quote for Today

Evolution stops when stupidity is no longer fatal!