Wrapping Up Another Year of Riding and Writing

Bikes head out on a ride at the Overland Expo

Bikes head out on a ride at the Overland Expo, one of the many places I went this year.

In my fourth year as a freelance moto-journalist I went all out. This has been the year I’ve dreamed of. And frankly, the coming year isn’t going to be anything close.

In the year 2012 I had another article published in Rider magazine and a couple published in Kawasaki’s Accelerate magazine. I rode my bike in 16 states and set a new personal record for total miles. I don’t know what that number is yet, because the year is not over yet, but it’s already a record.

I had some very cool gear given to me in exchange for testing and writing it. A bluetooth helmet-to-helmet communicator has proven to be a welcome little gadget, and a bluetooth-communicator-equipped helmet may yet prove to be even nicer. I just need some reasonably decent weather to continue testing that one. I’ve also received some good books, as well as some crappy ones, and some killer motorcycle maps.

July found me crossing the country on my way to Vintage Motorcycle Days, in Ohio, and earlier in the year I headed down to Flagstaff for the Overland Expo. Of course the OFMC took its annual summer trip. And I checked out STAR 2012, the Motorcycle Sport-Touring Association’s shindig.

I stayed with a whole bunch of folks from the Motorcycle Travel Network and we had a bunch who stayed with us. This thing beats the heck out of staying in motels. Cheaper and a lot more fun.

As I try to do every year, I rode a bunch of different demo bikes. I also had my first-ever flat tire on a bike and I got my first-ever speeding ticket on a bike. Oh well, it’s all grist for the pen.

I doubt I’m going to be able to say half as much about 2013 come this time next year because this freelancer got a job. It was pretty necessary considering that my main staple income source, RumBum, shut down, and my number two, Examiner, jacked around with their pay so badly that my earnings from them dropped by 90 percent. If you have noticed that I hardly write for them anymore, that’s why.

Still, I’m working now at the National Park Service, and if the clowns in Washington don’t pull some rabbit out of a hat soon I figure it’s contractors like me who will be the first to take the hit if the government agency we work for has to start trimming costs. At least this job has allowed me to pay off all this expensive dental work I’ve had done recently, and if a lay-off comes in a couple months–rather than next week–I’ll have put aside enough cash that I could end up doing a lot of two-wheeled traveling once again this summer. I’m a winner either way.

So hey, I figure I’m pretty dang fortunate. I’ve had a terrific year and the future looks bright. What more is there?

Recent from the National Motorcycle Examiner
Nothing at all.

Biker Quote for Today

“Whenever my mood turns foul and I find myself wandering beyond control, I pull out my motorbike and hurl it top speed down these unfit roads for hour after hour.” – T.E. Lawrence


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