~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

But You Can Ride Year Round!

thermal image. 9:45 at night in the city


"But you can ride year round in Arizona!" is something I've heard from snow country friends ever since I moved here.  You can ride year round in southern California, not central Arizona.  It's 9:45 PM here and 94°F outside, guess what it's like at mid-afternoon.  Of course it's not very humid, 30% - 50%, but it's still too hot to ride. 

We do have an advantage over much of the rest of the country, we know it's going to get freakin' hot here so everything is well air conditioned.  But as with heated homes during snow drift season back east or in the mid west, indoor comfort doesn't make going out of doors any easier and riding is still pretty unpleasant.
thermal image. ST1300 sitting in the sun. Engine cold.
seat temp is 180°F


I rode to Tucson about two weeks ago and was so relieved to have a bit of overcast and the temperature didn't get above 100°F until I started for home.  I'll be glad when summer is over and riding season begins!




Thermal images at the right are some I made several years ago in another life.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Film Is Cheap

Indian Chief.  Camera: Nikon CoolPix 8800
To me this photo I shot back in 2008 of an exceptionally nice Indian Chief proves two things.  The first is that you don't have to have a fancy DSLR to get nice pictures.  The second is that I couldn't remember what model year the bike is.

Something I was slow to catch on to when shooting pictures at vintage bike shows was to take one shot of the show placard with the bike so that I could know for sure later what make, model, year, and maybe who the owner is.  I'm certain I looked at the placard with this bike; I should have photographed it too because trusting my memory is getting increasingly risky.  

Digital "film" is cheap, unlike 36 shot emulsion film rolls in the old days where every shot cost real money for film, processing, and printing and none of those things were reusable.  So your tip of the week is to shoot more pictures of each bike including the details like the show placard.  There are more than 36 exposures in most camera memory cards.  Take more pictures of your friends too, they are at least as important as the machinery.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Shoot For No Regrets

I've spent a lot of time lately visiting my mother who just turned 90 years old.  She lives now at an assisted living residence, or as we used to say "the old folks home."  

Mom’s had a good life, is well loved by her family, and she and my dad traveled quite a lot over the 64 years they were married. 

I like to ask the people I meet at the retirement place about their life and give them a chance to talk.  Often no one really talks to them or asks them much of anything beyond the banal “How are you feeling today?”  

A few, like “Smitty,” who was part of the Anzio landing in WWII, or the very talkative lady who doesn't remember much but remembers performing on Broadway in the 50's, have had pretty amazing lives.  They DID things and saw things that became a part of them, and they remember those things.  And their kids and grandkids and great-grandkids might even remember someday. 

Sadly, most have no great stories, none beyond the fact that they worked and raised kids who hate to visit them now, or worse.  A few wrinkled faces sometimes look regretful about their lack of adventures.  That regretful look is painful to see because there is no way to undo it and they seem know they could have done things, could have had adventures, but didn't.


I believe that long time motorcycle riders have the spirit to do more than merely live.  Try not to be one of those who regrets what they did not do.

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"When my mood gets too hot and I find myself wandering beyond control I pull out my motor-bike and hurl it top-speed through these unfit roads for hour after hour." - T.E. Lawrence



An Important reminder from the past:
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." - James Madison