Friday, May 22, 2009

Jesse James rides a BMW...

Jesse James' (of Monster Garage and West Coast Choppers fame) new TV show Jesse James is a Dead Man Debuts on Spike May 31st. In one of the episodes Jesse rides a motorcycle on the Ice haul road in the Arctic, That motorcycle appears to be a R1200GS. There is no schedule for that episode yet. To find out more click the title link.


Thursday, May 21, 2009


Content adj. 1. Satisfied. 2. Resigned to circumstances.

Satisfied: On the ride home from work this incredible feeling of Satisfaction always hits me head on about halfway home. My motorcycle has become an extension of me as we follow the road first left then right, again and again... When I'm riding my bike (sorry I never have given it a name) I can never see how I could replace it. The bike fits so well, either my behind has changed to fit the seat or the seat has changed to fit my behind. I know the familiarity with the motorcycle has a lot to do with the satisfied feeling, the motorcycle and I have shared many great adventures together. The majority of the miles racked up have just been myself, the motorcycle and the road, but the road is always changing not to be seen or felt again.

Resigned to circumstances: Some mornings on my ride to work I get lucky and only have to stop at 10 of the 40+ traffic lights, the rest of the mornings I make a lot more stops. I would have liked to post a photo of me in the morning traffic, but as my hands are busy (with clutch, gas & brake) and my brain is tied up tracking all of the enemy ships around me, there will be no photo. My morning commute (20 miles of no more than 45mph and 5 miles of freeway) is perfectly suited for a twist & go scooter in the 1/4 to 1/2 liter range, but I'm resigned to the fact a scooter is not in the book's this year. The Missus said a scooter was ok, if I sold the motorcycle. That's not an option, see above. If only more people needed what I'm selling...

The video is the last portion of my commute, enjoy. Warning 10 minutes!!

See you on the road.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Red Light Changer. 1 and 1. UPDATE.

Way back in March I talked about installing a Red Light Changer magnet, and at the time it didn't seem to work very well at the one light I wanted it to work at. Since that time I have avoided that traffic light until today. After a short ride this afternoon I took my chances and pulled up to the traffic light in question. On the first cycle of the traffic light I got the Green light I wanted. To date the Red Light Changer is even, one success and one failure. It should also be noted that I called my State DOT, and they said they would check and adjust the traffic light giving me trouble. I don't know for sure if the DOT actually came out or not. So for the time being I will withhold judgment on the Red Light Changer.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Short-cut...

My career path has led me to sit in a dark room, stare at a computer monitor and listen to a hypnotic droning sound, for 5 - 7 minutes at a time. When the noise stops I often find that I have been day dreaming. Recently those daydreams have been about past motorcycle adventures...

July 15th, 2001 I found myself in Maybell, CO eating a cheese burger for a late lunch with a critical decision to make. Take the short cut or take the long way? I was on my way to the BMW MOA rally in Redmond, OR, earlier that day I started from Fort Collins, CO and had passed through Rocky Mountain National Park. My goal for the day was Rock Springs, WY. The long way was very simple, continue west on U.S. 40 to Vernal, UT then north on U.S. 191 to Rock Springs, WY (It might have been a really nice ride, I may never know). The short cut would take me northwest on CO 318 to the very northeast corner of Utah and what looked to be about 20 miles of gravel road before hitting Wyoming and a few miles of paved road to U.S. 191. The short cut (see image above, then click on the title link to see what it really looks like.) would knock off 60+ miles, making Rock Springs only 143 miles away. Of course I took the short cut, but not why you think, it had been tickling my brain for weeks. Ever since I first laid eyes on the map and this lonely little road I knew I had to take the short cut. I left Maybell with a full tank and stomach. 318 was a fine road, I know because I don't remember one iota about it. There was a sign when the pavement ended, it said only 40 more miles to U.S. 191, halfway there. I immediately found myself on a washboard surface that literally blurred my vision and banged my teeth together (see below). No matter what speed I drove there was no relief. Occasionally the road looked to smooth out, but when the tire would hit it I found myself in 3-4 inches of powder, not fun. It seemed like I had been riding in this stuff for hours. I soon saw another sign that said only 35 more miles to U.S. 191. I stopped to think about my SHORT CUT, There was just no way I could turn back at that point, it would have added several hundred miles to the day or left me with out a roof for the night. The key to the road was to ride it like I was on a dirt bike, so up on the pegs I went. I was able to cruise about 35-40 mph with out having my teeth fallout, I would find missing bolts and screws for days and weeks afterword's. I guess my brain had softened some and that is why I didn't stop and snap a photo of the next sign I saw. It read something like this: "Caution Narrow Winding Road Ahead. 14% Grade. Trucks should use tire chains." The road went from washboard gravel to a relative smooth crushed red rock, but the pot wholes were of historic proportions. The road was not much bigger than two tire tracks and the thought of meeting one of those trucks needing tire chains was a little unnerving. The other side of the pass was of a much gentler grade down into a large valley. I did scare up a group of 15 -20 prong horn antelope, it was quite a sight to see them running at speed off to my right. It wasn't long before I came to beautiful paved road (I must have made it to Wyoming). When I reached U.S. 191 the sun was getting low in the sky. A few miles up the road the setting sun was putting on a show and forced me to stop for a few photos. After taking the photo above I realized all of the gear strapped to the pillion had worked loose on the gravel roads and was in danger of leaving me on the road ahead. By the time I finished repacking the sun had long since set. The last 40 or so miles into Rock Springs were surreal as I followed glowing white and yellow ribbons. If only I had had a video camera.

I went on to have a great trip I saw Crater Lake national park, had a great rally and did a SS1000 on the way home. I actually rode 1900 miles in 38 hours including a 5hr motel room stay but only documented the first 1100 miles for the Iron Butt Association. But out of it all, the thing that comes to my daydreams is the short cut.