Showing posts from 2016

Strange Sightings from the Saddle

Originally Published in Southeastern Rider Magazine, December 2016

I have been around long enough, and done several different things long enough to know that if you something for a while great stories emerge. Like the time Kasey, my favorite riding partner, and I were riding in Illinois and came upon the town of Chittyville. Here are a few more of the strange sightings I have seen from the saddle. Let’s start with animals. I’m sure we have all had our own encounters with wildlife on the road. Here is my elephant on the road. On trip from Indianapolis to Fayetteville, Arkansas, the sightseeing got started early. Just off the road, perched up on the hill was an African Elephant. The gray beast stood tall. We were in no harm, as the Indianapolis Zoo had designed for this happen. Wasn’t my first time seeing an elephant up on that hill, but since I had a couple of guys from out of town riding along, I had to make sure to point it out.
On another ride through the Hoosier Countryside, I was fol…

Riding Partners

Originally Published in Southeastern Rider Magazine, November 2016

Most of us that ride a motorcycle look at it as an activity done in solitude.Even if you ride with someone else on their own bike, you couldn’t talk to them except when you stopped. Got a partner on the pillion? You would have to yell and fight the wind to hear the voice. Intercoms and Bluetooth has changed all that, so choosing a riding partner has become more important. Here is my history with riding partners. The first person I shared riding with was probably my father, while he was teaching me to ride. The practice I got after that came from making ruts in my parent’s yard with my brother.He had a few years experience on me, five years my senior, and like a lot of things when you are young, you don’t get to pick who you do it with. Age brought the usual divides; he entered his teenage years, and I was just an anchor. Once he got his driver’s license, the law forbid me from following him. By the time I got my license, …

Not Ready For A Third Wheel

Originally Published in Southeastern Rider Magazine, October 2016

We were all taught in Geometry Class that three points make a plane.As a video production professional, I used this principle every time I set up a camera...on a tripod. Three points give you stability, but do you always want stability? Isn’t really living about being off balance, leaning into the wind and turns? Those are probably questions we each have to answer for ourselves. With age, those answers can change. With that in mind, my favorite riding partner, Kasey, and I were about to head east for about 100 miles to take a different kind of ride. We can’t imagine traveling without our knees in the breeze. We also know that as those knees get older, they may grow to the point were they can’t hold up a motorcycle. A few weeks earlier, I had seen on social media that a dealership in Fayetteville, North Carolina was having a day of demonstration rides on the Can Am Spyder. This three wheeler has become very popular. I’m su…

Riding For Remembrance

Originally Published in Southeastern Rider Magazine, September 2016

There are times when you throw your leg over the saddle, and know you’re about to make some great memories. You may know that you are about to witness breath taking scenery. Perhaps it’s a ribbon of asphalt with curves that boost your pride with each one you carve up. Sometimes, I have rides not because of what I have seen, but because I felt one with the machine, the road, and the nature surrounding me.
There are times when I’m planning a ride, and I know I’m about to create imprints that will be on my mind for a long time. This is about such a ride, a Ride for Remembrance. It all started when my brother and I were planning the rides for Gathering of Eagles, Cruiser Club USA’s annual get together, which was to be held in Mineral Wells, West Virginia. I had the idea for one of the event’s rides, however, it would be a journey. The destination would be the Flight 93 Memorial in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
The Gathering …

South Mountain State Park

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

It is time to head out and earn another North Carolina State Park Passport. This time we are headed west to South Mountain State Park. Before the ride, we needed to fuel up ourselves, and that would start at a Wayside Restaurant. While we have discovered there is more than one eatery with this marque, we have also discovered that they are not created equal. Even though one would be on our way, we decided to head for the one in Stanfield, that just makes better food.

For us, we were getting a pretty early start, as we had some ambitious miles in ahead of us today. Some of the hardest would be the first, running up Highway 200 to Highway 601, and then turning west to get passed Charlotte. State Road 73 would be the asphalt that would pass underneath us for quite some time. As we passed over Lake Norman, the cool air from on top of the water mixed with the warm air the sun was providing.

At Lincolnton we moved on to State Road 182, and that would carry us as f…

Birthday Ride

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

Not just any day, but this is my birthday - 48 years young/old, however you want to call it. Since I was about to embark on a day of miles on my motorcycle with my favorite riding partner, I will say young. Maybe immature might be a better descriptor.

The mid-morning started out with the sky broken up with clouds, but the temperatures were good. There was a slight chance for liquid to fall from the sky, but we had hopes for the best. We met T-Bo at the Sunoco, and then headed out of Locust, North Carolina using Bethel Church and Coley Store Roads. At Mission Church we ran passed Running Creek Church, and then headed north for Millingport. We would this road through the town of the same name, and into Richfield.

We veered off onto SR 49, and headed north and east. We stayed on the State Road, crossing the Yadkin River and then entering the Uwharrie National Forest. On the eastern edge of the National Forest, we turned right onto Slate Mine Road. The wooded lane…

Making A Run For The Border

Originally published in Southeastern Rider Magazine, August 2016

Moving six hundred miles from the place that I had spent most of my life means that every trip that I take in my new home state of North Carolina is an adventure. When I lived in Indiana, I spent all but a couple of college years living in the middle of the state. While I did make a few runs outside the Hoosier State, most of the time “a run for the border” meant getting a bite to eat at a fast food, pseudo Mexican eatery.
So I was excited to be heading south and crossing the line into the other Carolina with my favorite riding partner seated behind me. We have this little tradition, it started with our first ride. We hop on the bike, with the plan only in my head, plotted on the GPS in front of me. She asks for hints and makes guesses along the way, but usually she doesn’t know our destination until we are nearly there.
We started in our little town, about 15 miles east of Charlotte, Locust. After filling the tank, we star…

GOE XX, Day Five: Back Home Again in Indiana

June 22nd, 2016

The Hoosier State continued to wrap us in a hug of grey clouds. Kasey and I awoke from our slumber in our bed at the Hilton Garden Inn, and made ourselves ready for breakfast with as little effort as we could. We made our way down to the lobby, and besides the aroma of the morning meal, we were also greeted by other Cruiser Club Members.

We spent the time eating and talking, and most of the morning slipped away. Tuesday had two rides planned, one to Grissom Air Force Base, the other group was going out to wonder around and get lunch. Since we had recently visited Grissom, and the threat of heavy rain, Kasey and I opted for the lunch ride.

I would talk more about the country side in Indiana, but our eyes were more to the skies, since they seemed to thicken, and it was only a matter of time before the rain was squeezed out. We were able to make it to lunch, and then decided to just head back to the hotel rather than chance any other miles.

We stayed dry for most of the r…

GOE XX, Day Four: The Final, Wet Leg.

June 20th, 2016

From the time we arose from bed at my parent's house on the north side of Indianapolis it appeared the theme for the day would be rain. After all it was Indiana, and while leaving under Carolina Blue Skies, we often remarked about the grey that held in Hoosier Skies for what seemed like everyday.

After breakfast, we loaded up the bike with lots of of items from Kasey's Explorer, and suited up with our rain gear. It was not wet out yet, but we knew we were going to hit it soon anyway.

We started heading north on Westfield Boulevard into the city of Carmel. When I grew up her, Carmel was only town. I'm happy to say it has grown out more than I have over the years, and ballooned in a sprawling city suburb. Where field of corn use to grow, the area is covered with pavement, concrete and brick.

At 116th Street, we turn right, and head east. These are roads I have actually been on thousands of times. When I was a teenager, I cruised my 1972 Mustang along this rou…

GOE XX, Day Two: The Things I see in Kentucky

Sunday, June 19, 2016: Father's Day

Day Two of heading to Gathering of Eagles, Cruiser Club, USA's Annual Gathering, held this year in Fort Wayne, Indiana is still kind of a Blue Collar mile day, but it will be much more enjoyable.

We started the morning by heading out of our hotel and crossing Interstate 75. We would see far fewer super slabs today. Our bellies were full, and my Honda VTX 1800c, as well as my chase vehicle, with Kasey and her daughter Rose inside, needed full tanks to start the day.

So we set out heading west on the Russell Dyche Memorial Highway. A quick Google Search yielded that Russell was a local journalist during the early two thirds of the 20th Century. He was also a conservationist, and gave part of his salary to create an area park. I would say that is worthy of having a stretch of road named after you.

The road sweeps back and forth through Kentucky foothills and leads us to Somerset. Her we start heading north on Highway 27. In Danville, Kentucky, …