Sunday, November 30, 2014

The winter doldrums begin--few opportunities to ride motorcycles's that time of the year: minimal motorcycle riding.

As a pacifier, I looked over my photos from our July trip to Al-a-bam-a to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum to see their collection of motorcycles.

Here are two photos of preter-motorcycles:

A few Whizzer motorized bicycles. I forget what the placard said, but these were early 1900 vintage Whizzers.

This is a Honda Cub. I should have snapped a photo of the placard of all of the motorcycles but I didn't...I think this bike would have been made circa late 1950s to early '60s. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Solo motorcycle ride south -- lessons learned

While on a continous 25-hour, 1200 mile, stopping only for potty breaks, gas, snacks, and leg stretches motorcycle ride, you formulate important thoughts. Here are some of mine:

1. I wasn't surprised to find Waldo in Florida.

2. Somebody has taken down a lot of those South of the Border billboards. Thank you.

3. Some of the potholes on I-95 in South Carolina are huge. They are scary. Best case scenario hitting one on a motorcycle is that you'll damage your bike. You can figure out the worst case scenario. Dodging these at 3am took concentration.

4. Nothing has changed much on Main Street, Daytona Beach since I was there nine and a half years ago.

Wait...the price of motorcycle parking has changed. It's doubled.

5. Riding one of these is inspiring:

Riding one of these is not:

6. If you've had a motorcycle riding suit for 15 years, it fits better when you remove all of the safety padding. Who needs padding?

Solo motorcycle ride south -- it's over Part 2

I forgot to add the obligatory motorcycle route map:

Solo motorcycle ride south - it's over

I'm back home. I arrived yesterday morning at 9:30am and was too tired to update my trip notes until now. Here's the summary:


As I mentioned in my previous post, I left Walterboro, SC at 8:30am waiting for the rain to stop. By then, I had decided I would make a go for Key West. It would be a long 700-mile ride, but so what?

While on the road, it dawned on me I better check hotel availability so I pulled into a rest area in southern SC and made a phone call. The hotel price provoked me to change plans. I decided instead to go to Jacksonville, hang a right to Mobile, and then another right for home. But when I got back on my bike and headed for the rest area exit, I passed this motorcycle and grabbed both brakes skidding to a stop:

A bobber.
No rear suspension beyond the rigid seat and less than 1" up front. Clip ons. Pretend rear brake (that is, hub brake with shoes). I don't know Harley motorcycles well enough to tell you which motor it had beyond it being a Sportster engine. And, unless you're the size of an 8-yr old, you'd be all scrunched up when riding this bike.

I looked at the license plate and it was from Texas! Someone rode this thing from Texas!! Probably going to Biketoberfest. No new smell shiny faux leather jacket with matching boots and chaps and fingerless gloves rider here. No Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy Wild Hogs poser here.
The dude riding this bobber is the real deal--and yes, it's a dude because no woman I know would be crazy enough to ride a bike like this for more than 10-miles. I waited for the rider to come out but he never showed--he was probably inside waiting until his coccyx recovered. So I got back on my bike and headed south. I was inspired. I was going to Daytona. I wanted to see more.

Pre Biketoberfest:

250-miles later I was going down Main Street at Daytona Beach. Even though Biketoberfest didn't officially start until Thursday, there were lots of riders. Too many riders. Too many Wild Hogs riders (see above).

Funny, not much has changed in Daytona Beach since the last time I was here for Bikeweek in 2005. I decided to leave.

On the road again...for 25 hours:

I headed for home. I arrived at 9:30am Thursday morning having ridden through the night. I spent 25 hours on the bike and traveled about 1200 miles. I might be eligible for another Iron Butt certificate, but I already have one of those the time I went crazy in March 2009.

It's good to be home.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Solo ride south - Day 2 morning

Going to wait until rain passes before hitting the road. 

It dawned on me Daytona's Biketoberfest starts tomorrow...that explains all off the motorcycles I saw yesterday on trailers and in the back of pickups. I'm not sure I'll drop in for that, we'll see. 

Need to get going...burning daylight 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Solo motorcyle ride south - Day 1 evening

I think I'm supposed to have deep thoughts and words of wisdom now that the day draws to a close, but I find typing on an iPad so cumbersome that I'm unable to be witty. 

I made it to Walterboro, SC where I called it a day. I thought about stopping in Savannah, GA about 80 miles further south but it started to rain again and my suit had nearly dried out from an earlier rain and I didn't feel like getting wet all over again. Plus, there are tornado watches in Savannah this evening. 

GPS stats for today:
503 miles
10:06 total time
8:08 riding time
1:58 stopped time

Somewhere in NC stopping for gas and refreshment. 

solo motorcycle ride Day 1 midday

I'm in Selma, NC. The weather has been good if a little warm. I'm about to get wet. 

Solo motorcycle ride in search of the sun - Day 1 morning

I'm heading south.
Not sure where I'll end up.
Looking for this:

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


The end of the world must be near...see the video below, it includes a soundtrack sung by angels.
300hp on a production motorcycle!
Kawasaki admits this motorcycle is not for the street, but I'll let you know when I see one.
I wonder how much it is going to cost? I saw a MCN post that indicated it would be more than £20,000.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

2014 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone- V7 Special- V7 Racer- First Look Review- Photos

I think this is one of the best looking factory bikes.
'via Blog this'

Moto Guzzi Custom Handbuilt Motorcycle- First Look Review- Photos

Very sharp!
'via Blog this'

Sep 27th motorcycle ride to Fort Valley, VA

Taking advantage of exceptional weather, we planned a ride to Fort Valley, VA because I couldn't remember if we had ever rode our motorcycles through this "valley within a valley." It is about 20-miles long and Rte 678 essentially goes from one end to the other. From the Wikipedia entry on Fort Valley:
According to tradition, Daniel Morgan built the first road into Fort Valley from the north, at the order of George Washington, with a view to holing up in this naturally fortified valley as a possible last stand against the British during the American Revolution. The Continental Army's victory at Yorktown altered Washington's plans.

The GPS stats:

  • Total distance = 213 miles
  • Overall avg speed = 28.1 mph
  • Moving avg speed = 40.7 mph
  • Max speed = 67.1 mph
  • Total time = 7 hrs 34 min
  • Moving time = 5:13
  • Stopped time = 2:20 (GPS on entire trip)

Here's a map of the route we took:

And here are some photos:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Vintagent: The World's #1 Vintage Motorcycle Site

A very cool web site...check it out!

'via Blog this'

Curiouser and curiouser...what some folks won't do to ride their motorcycles

If you're interested in motorcycles and spend even a little time on the Internet, then you've no doubt seen plenty of these kinds of photographs.

If you haven't seen photos like these, then I truly apologize...

Yeah...the only thing this guy has to worry about is the smog in the air.

Put's new meaning to "Get on your hog and ride!" (That's horrible, I know...I couldn't help myself.)

See above.

Do you think there's a rider in there?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Aug 16 Ride to nowhere in particular

A terrible conspiracy called 'weekend to do lists' coupled with increasingly dense 'weekend traffic' thwarted all efforts on Saturday the 16th to ride down to Kilmarnock, VA. The best we were able to do was get to the 2400 Diner in Fredericksburg for lunch and then take a meandering route back home trying to avoid the I-95 traffic.

The few photos I took:

And a map: 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Motorcycle road trip without the motorcycles

Alas, it is true. Our annual summer motorcycle ride may well have occurred and we didn't take the motorcycles. That's so sad I'm beginning to tear up...

An unexpected alignment of the stars and planets provided us 6 consecutive days in July where we didn't have our regular real-world routine to deal with. I promptly made plans to ride down to Birmingham, AL to visit the Barber Vintage Motosports Museum. About 750 miles south west, I used our rule of thumb based on years of riding to limit our daily mileage to less than 350 miles, this meant 2 days down and 2 days back giving us 2 days at the museum...more than plenty!
Biker Babe
Not wanting to have a repeat of last summer's water works, I also checked the weather report. Unfortunately, rain was forecast over the mid-Atlantic states for 4 out of the 6 days. 

Recalling the unpleasantness of last year's trip caused me to reluctantly admit taking the car was a wiser decision than riding. The first two days were great riding weather, cool temps and overcast skies, and I grumbled during regular waking hours. However, the next two days the bottom fell out and I had to admit I was happy we weren't on the bikes.

We ended up making changes to our itinerary and added Memphis (to visit friends, a most excellent decision) and Bowling Green (to visit the National Corvette Museum) and then zig-zagged through KY, WV, and MD to get back home.

Here are some photos from the roughly 150 photos I took at the Barber Museum (I was partial to the Moto Guzzi motorcycles):