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

Saturday, December 31, 2005

2005 - Looking Back

2005 was a year of ups and downs but then what year isn't? The downs have been real downs though and the ups have been high rpm, red line ups. Life is always the most interesting near the red line.

The biggest downs for 2005 were the loss of my friend Daun to cancer at age 36 and my friend and co-worker, Mike A.K.A. "Killer", at age 54 in a solo bike crash. I wrote a bit about Daun previously but have not written anything as yet about Mike's demise. I'm still pondering his crash out on Apache Trail and trying to piece together in my mind what happened late at night when Mike was all alone on his VMax. We can ramble on all we like about bikes and riding and roads but ultimately it's the people we meet along the way that matter and give real character to riding. To ride and not in some way share the experience with fellow riders is to miss a good bit of what makes motorcycling so special. To lose motorcycle friends is to have the motorcycling experience diminished and put into a more realistic perspective.

Downs of a much, much less significant nature were the departure of my beloved Caponord. Yes, I still miss the Capo and sometimes find myself scheming about ways to get another one. Reason still prevails but just barely. My Kawasaki 1600 Classic left this year but didn't leave the empty spot in the garage like the Capo did. I need an Italian bike again and preferably an Aprilia even though buying an Aprilia is largely an act of faith and madness because of the sketchy support and parts situation. One must believe fervently in the solidarity and reliability of the brand to attempt ownership. The timid owner, those in need of dealer hand holding, need not apply.

Having talked a bit about the downs, I'd rather focus on the ups. There were a great many this year; here's a few highlights:

First and foremost is that I put another year of riding behind me. There were a few moments when things went wonderfully right but could have gone oh so wrong. A 100+ mph blast up Kitt Peak and similar wail down Aravaca Road burned the sound of the Aprilia v-twin into my mind and heart. A moronic driver in a junker Chevy crossing the yellow line in a fast curve on Aravaca Road nearly spoiled my year though. It was a matter of inches. Often in motorcycling triumph and tragedy rub elbows.

The wild flower rides early this year were great fun and maybe the most relaxing rides and getting out to ride for the first time time with my buddy Doc Henry and the redoubtable Angry Bob was grand.

Other, good stuff came in the form of the new Honda ST1300 in the garage.

I took a bunch of pictures in 2005. I am still very much enamored of mixing motorcycle riding and photography. My new Nikon 8800 is a wonderful camera. I wish there were disk space available to share more of what I shoot. A couple of favorites follow:

Magma Hotel, Globe/Superior, AZ

East of Tortilla Flats, AZ.

Eloy, AZ

All in all I rolled up about 6,000 miles in 2005. Not as much as in '04 but I'm hoping to improve that number in '06 by including at least one longer trip instead of the usual day rides I've been doing the last couple of years. '06 looks very promising on several levels and I remain hopeful of lots of miles and great rides.

The blog has done surprisingly well too. I have actually turned down some opportunities to promote it further because I prefer to write when the mood strikes and without feeling beholden to anyone. It's a tiny blog with just a few visitors when compared to the bigger, better known blogs but that's ok with me. I enjoy the writing and judging by the mail a regular group of people enjoy the reading. I genuinely appreciate your e-mails and the time you spend reading here. 

I wish you all well in 2006. Ride Safe!


Travis said...

Congrats on your wedding! Hope the new year brings clear and curvy roads as far as the eyes can see.

Me said...

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2006.

Rick Williams said...

Congrats on the marriage, really enjoy your tales on the trade, hope you can do some more. I have a few pieces publshed on http://www.umgweb.com, a site you might find interesting, though it is UK based originally but more American orientated these days.

NOPCKL said...

Congratulations on the nuptials. Very cool!

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