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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year 2009

Yeah, we're getting crazy at the vast 40on2 Estate.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Indian Wrecking Crew Movie Update

I mentioned earlier this year that there was a new movie in the works about the famed Indian Wrecking Crew racing team from the early '50s. The original post is here. There was some scattered talk that maybe the movie was more dream than reality but now I'm delighted to see that they have finished shooting the film and a preview clip is on the movie website here. I have a feeling that "The Indian Wrecking Crew" movie will be a real treat for people who love vintage bikes and perhaps even for younger riders who think that Jeremy McGrath is an old guy racer.

Also on the web page for the production company are two links to some excellent 8 mm clips of riding and racing in the early '50s. The quality of the footage is amazingly good, way better than the Super 8 junk I shot myself many eons ago. Here's the links:

Pearl and Smitty Smith Collection:

"A second collection of period 8mm movie clips, spanning the '40s and '50s"

Joe and Laura Holman Collection:

"A collection of period 8mm movie clips, spanning the '40s and '50s, these films show the true heart of the Club"

The IWC production company, Design2Pictures, is also selling IWC shirts and goodies. I'm guessing from the looks of things that this is not a mega-budget film so if you're partial to real films about real racers you might buy a t-shirt or something for someone you love (I wear an XL) and help the cause of preserving a bit of motorcycle racing history.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Fat Tire Photo Moto

Yes friends, the news for which the world has been waiting with bated breath. No, not the new motorcycle land speed record of 360 mph set by Rocky Robinson or the 2008 MotoGP championship won by Valentino Rossi. Not even whether or not America will plunge headlong into a socialist workers paradise guided by "Dear Leader" B. Hussein Obama. Nope, the big news you've all been clamoring for is what bike I bought to replace the Gold Wing.

(sound of crickets chirping)

No doubt your keen eye noticed the picture at the top of this post and you've figured out already that I went from one extreme to the other, from the GL1800 Gold Wing to a slightly used Yamaha TW200.

So here's the logic in the choice: The Mrs. has been trundling around on the 50cc Ruckus having a fine time. I decided a simple bike that could be used to follow her about would do the trick for my needs for now. No need for a mega motor or 30 inches of off-road suspension travel. Basic is good. In this case, the Yamaha TW200gets the nod. Air cooled motor, 5 speed tranny, huge fat tires for soft surfaces, readily identifiable engine parts, and cable operated drum brakes. I might actually be able to fix this one myself should something on it croak. The TW200 is a relic of the 1980s that is still in Yamha's line-up. I'm a relic of the 1960s that is still riding. To me the TW200 is modern enough to do the job I need done. Sometimes old and known is a better choice than new and trendy when the going gets tough, ya know?

In this case, in addition to following Wife about on the Ruckus I also outfitted the bike with a large, homemade carrying rack and some soft luggage from adventures past.

I also outfitted yours truly with a new Nikon D90 camera to replace my trusty Nikon CoolPix 8800. Ta..daaa... "photo moto bike." Just the ticket for wandering about, on road and off, to look for suitable photo subjects. The Gold Wing was way more comfortable but dirt roads were an invitation to disaster and even the Aprilia Caponord, while decent on dirt roads, was a huge handful for my vertically challenged self when the going got rough. The TW feels minuscule compared to the previous bikes so for doing quick u-turns to catch a shot, the TW can't be beat. Turning the Gold Wing or the Caponord around quickly is sort of possible, just not something you want to do without some careful thought and zero mistakes.

I set out today to visit Picacho Reservoir some miles east of my little town. The reservoir was built in the 1920s and has pretty much silted up from lack of attention turning it into two square miles of marsh land. Wild life abounds there...when there is water in the reservoir. At the end of our Arizona summer I was hoping for maybe a large pool or two were some feathered critters might be congregating. I was looking forward to testing the new 300mm Nikon lens that arrived the other day. No such luck. You can see by the shot of the GPS below that I rode right into the lake. Except lake isn't really there at the moment. Maybe in the Spring it will be back and I'll visit again.

In the mean time, the lake and the dead, formerly sunken trees have a slightly otherworldly look to them that I didn't quite capture with the new camera. Going to take some practice to get a handle on all the widgets and tweedle points of the D90. More photos and wanderings to follow for sure though. I had a great time today even if reservoir wasn't there. It was nice to get out of the house and away from the town.

First proper photos from the new D90 are here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New BMW for Off-roading

BMW have announced the latest addition to their globe trotting GS line of motorcycles. Following in the path of the 1200GS and 650GS is the all new and environmentally friendly BMW BS or "BurroSport."

(Shovel not included.)

When asked to comment on the fact that the new motorcycle was not a motorcycle at all but in fact is a burro the BMW spokesman said "It has our logo on it. Plenty of people will buy it regardless of what it is."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cycle World Show In Phoenix Next Week!

It's that time of year again when the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show visits Phoenix. October 31 through the 2nd are the dates. I've gone to the show the last two years and had a grand time. As I've written before, the show is not huge by European standards but if you love motorcycles and cannot have a good time at the Cycle World Show you're not trying.

From reading the official website, www.Motorcycleshows.com, it looks like the show has grown a bit this year with more demo rides and a wider array of bikes and scooters on display.

I've availed myself in the past of the demo rides and besides being great fun they have actually impacted my motorcycle and product buying decisions. Unfortunately it looks like Honda will be a no show for demo rides again this year. Their loss, I guess they already sell enough motorcycles in Arizona. I'll have to amused myself, hopefully, with a ride on the new Kawasaki Voyager 1700 which will make it's US debut in Phoenix.

For you Duc-philes, on Friday, Oct. 31 – Ducati will unveil the Monster 1100 for the first time in the U.S. and and for you custom bike guys there will be the a new Roland Sands Bike that will be unveiled to benefit charity. The show opens at 4 p.m. and the unveils will begin at 4:30 with Ducati.

I'll be there on Friday when the door opens and don't plan to leave until they kick me out. I've had a grand time each year not only looking at some amazing bikes but also talking to a wide range of motorcycle enthusiasts, racers, and manufacturer's reps. As always I expect to come away with a reasonable amount of freebies which is nice too. An extra motorcycle t-shirt or two keeps my wardrobe complete and in fashion for another year.

Here's the link to my visit to last year's show.

For more info, show opening times, special events, and tickets on-line visit the show web page here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Manadatory Words

Doug Savage is my kind of cartoonist. Below is one of my favorites from his website:

Speaking of lacking originality, did you ever notice that when any non-motorcycle publication does an article about motorcycles or motorcycle riders that there are certain key words that are apparently mandatory for the author to use in the copy? Where ever it is that non-motorcyclists writing for major publications learned to write, in addition to teaching budding authors how to slant a news article left or right depending on their politics, they also teach students that when writing anything about motorcycles, be it a charity fund raiser ride, 80 year old grannies who still ride, or even scooters, they must work in one or more of the following words:

roar (see also, "roaring")
black leather
Hells Angels

A composite of the last one hundred motorcycle related articles from major and minor newspapers and magazines would read something like this: "The roar of the engines, a flash of chrome, and speed spelled danger and maybe a trip to the hospital for the riders as they felt the rush of the wind and the freedom of the asphalt before them. The roaring engines tipped police off that a biker gang was coming this way, not the Hells Angels though, but a gang of 80 year old men who are rediscovering their youth by riding not Harleys but 50cc scooters for charity."

When writing about politics I can see where it is essential to include words like graft, corruption, sex, bribe, sell-out, or idiot. Politics today does not amount to much more than those things if we believe the mainstream media and opposing politicians.

There is a great deal more substance to the world of motorcycles than clichés left over from the 1960s Saturday Evening Post so it would be nice to see someone in the mainstream media do a motorcycle oriented article and leave out trite metaphors and imagery. Otherwise they can just copy my paragraph above, add a name, a location, and maybe grainy picture and send me a small fee for the work I've saved them. Adding the words "It was a dark and stormy night" is optional for those really struggling to be original.

(One more Savage Chicken that you other bloggers will appreciate: Poetry Blog )

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Adventures of Wan

In October of 2007 it all seemed pretty straight foward to Wan.

From the TotalRuckus.com forum:

"Hi guys~

my name is Wan

I'm from Seoul, South Korea

I want to cross the U.S with Ruckus

For this trip, I worked at the restaurant in Seoul for 1year to make money.

Finally I got the Ruckus today!

and all other things are prepared (camping stuff)

I will start on Next Monday

I'm Fayetteville, N.C now

my plan is

Fayetteville, NC -> Charleston SC -> Savannah GA ->

Jacksonville, FL -> Orlando, FL -> Miami, FL -> Tempa, FL ->

Tallahassee, FL -> New orleans, LA -> Houston, TX -> Austin, TX ->

El paso, Tx, -> Phoenix, AZ , -> Las veas, NV, -> Los angeles, Ca

It will take 3months or more

I know the US is huge and Ruckus is small

I need you guys' supports

I don't have any friend in the U.S yet

Please cheer to me

Thank you~

Normally I would not recommend that someone pursue a scooter forum message thread that runs almost 200 pages but the "Adventures of Wan" is too good to let it pass even with all the usual bike forum fodder mixed in.

Imagine one beer loving Korean guy, one loaded down 50cc Honda Ruckus, and the dream of riding across America. 10,000+ miles, more than three months, and countless new friends later Wan had experienced the best of America and a bunch of Americans experienced a truly unique person. I recommend you grab a cold drink and wade through all of the Adventures of Wan. If you love riding and traveling on two wheels you'll count the time as inspiring and well spent.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Traffic Camera Fraud

There's a new web site up and working now in Arizona, CameraFraud.com, and it deals with the injustices of the new speed camera system being implemented in Arizona. The State of Arizona has decided to roll out it's biggest stealth money confiscation scheme so far. It's hard to imagine there is anything more phony than car and motorcycle dealers charging "doc fees" but speed and red light cameras fall into that category and are worse as far as I'm concerned.

Some research will show anyone that cares to confront the truth that automatic traffic ticket camera systems are far from fool proof and in fact have been shown to increase traffic incidents contrary to what the State Department of Transportation proclaims on it's web page.
A 2008 University of South Florida report found:
"Comprehensive studies conclude cameras actually increase crashes and injuries, providing a safety argument not to install them.... public policy should avoid conflicts of interest that enhance revenues for government and private interests at the risk of public safety."

You can find reference information here and here.

Many city and state governments are lured by easy money under the guise of "road safety" but no one is fooled by this bit of political slight of hand. The issue is money, not safety. That was well proven by the State of Arizona's FY09 budget summary which stated "Prompt enactment and implementation of the new highway photo enforcement legislation would provide revenue needed for responding to growing needs."

I object in principal to photo enforcement systems as not only as another step towards "Big Brother" government but also as an abdication by the government to properly police our streets using a police officer who is far more able than a machine to judge the complexities of a traffic situation.

The usual response by officials is "don't speed and you have nothing to worry about." To that I pile of sanctimonious equine fecal matter I say that no one needs a questionable ticket issued by a robot just so the State can raise money when they don't have the courage to raise taxes or cut services. "Just don't break the law" is the sort of government-speak one expects from fascists, communists, and others devoted to the growth and expansion of the government who employs them.

Perhaps you are thinking that I am angry because I am one who recently received a citation via an automatic ticket system somewhere. You would be incorrect in thinking that. I have not received such a ticket in Arizona or anywhere else. I have no axe to grind here except to object to the government pursuing additional revenues in an inappropriate and unjust way. The times in my four plus decades of driving that I have been cited by a traffic officer were straight forward (perhaps with one exception), the officers were polite, professional, and I paid the fine without complaint. Sometimes I like to head out on some country road and ride fast and if I get popped, so be it. You play, you pay. My concern is with a fallible camera system set to maximize profits for the government and it's contractor or photos reviewed by blind people before the citation is mailed.

No one is perfect which is why camera systems are bound to err and safe drivers are likely to get a citation when they miss a light by as little as 1/100th of second. By the way, the Arizona State speed cameras are supposed to be set to trip at 11 mph over the posted limit. I've been told that the State highway patrol wanted them set to trip at 6 mph over. That shows you how much the police leadership wants to nitpick in pursuit of control and money.

Watch your speedometer; how often do you find yourself more than 5 mph over a posted speed limit if only for a moment? What about 11 mph over? 25 mph zones on side streets or 35 mph zones on wide, lightly traveled city streets should prove lucrative hunting grounds for our ravenous government unless every one of us drives prefect. Roads where the speed limit changes from 45 mph to 55 mph and back again in a matter of a mile or two will provide and ideal speed trap location because you see the speed limit changes at the sign, not 10 feet beyond it. Expect the State to exploit this. The money potential will be too good to resist.

In the desperation to raise money some governments even involve enforcement trickery. Given time and after traffic cameras take root more than they have already you can be sure that police departments will resort to gimmicks in their effort to make you a perfect driver. That is the goal, isn't it? For all of us to drive perfectly and never make an error?

You government officials were elected to govern honestly, not to backdoor citizens rights and pocketbooks. An honest government should not need to use some Orwellian electronic device supplied by a foreign company to do the financial heavy lifting for them.
If the government needs more money it can cut costs or raise taxes and fees honestly. Traffic cameras are a fraud and a shame and the State of Arizona and every city who uses them ought to be ashamed of their actions.

[Note: I am not affiliated in anyway with the web sites www.thenewspaper.com or www.CameraFraud.com]

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

SuperMoto Scooter?

This whole scooter riding thing may have more potential for fun than I thought:

Hat tip to The Scooter Scoop blog for the link.

Friday, August 08, 2008

What's In A Name?

My friend Jim visited a Harley shop recently and wrote me later in an e-mail "There were some rough looking bikers in there. Beer bellies, lots of black leather, tattoos, beards. And the men looked pretty tough too!"

My last post generated some kind comments and interesting ideas about what constitutes a "biker." Over at the Mr. Motorcycle blog there's some good thoughts on the subject and with which I am in general agreement.

I've never considered myself a real biker though, hence my unwillingness in the previous blog entry to post a picture of me standing next to a new Harley Crossbones. I am not much into playing pretend and I'd prefer to make fun of myself than be mistaken a poseur.

Rather than a biker I have always thought of myself as a through and through motorcycle enthusiast. I'm not an expert about anything in particular in the motorcycle world but I love almost all of it. I've spent most of my life around and riding motorcycles, made my living from them sometimes, and spent what some would say was foolish amounts of money on motorcycles. I have no regrets. As for the biker label, there is a reason why I never wanted to be a biker in the sense that I know the term and reason for that pre-dates the not only the riding experience of a lot of people but even pre-dates their existence and mine.

When I first became interested in motorcycles I was about 12 years old. As with anything that catches my interest I wanted to learn about motorcycles, poke at them, understand them, and ultimately own and ride one. They scared me a little but rather than scare me away the feeling pulled me closer for some reason. That period of time when I got hooked on bikes was the early 1960s so my ideas about what motorcycles and motorcycle riders are had their formation in a time when motorcycling was in many respects extremely different than it is now. Honda was just starting to run about telling everyone that you meet the nicest people on their bikes.

No one considered Hondas real motorcycles. Real motorcycles were ridden usually by ruffians -- bikers. The upright and virtuous American Motorcycle Association with their white pants wearing officials at races and sanctioned, uniform wearing road clubs or well organized racing clubs was quick to point out that their crowd were the good guys and only one percent of all riders were the bad guys. You see, those one percent folks were...bikers! Some bikers still wear a "1%" patch proudly. It has a much deeper meaning than just a jacket decoration.

Many years back my younger brother bought himself a Yamaha 400. Might have been his first bike, I'm not sure. He called me and told about his "bad" black bike and his "bad" black jacket and his "bad" boots, sunglasses, etc. etc. etc. I replied. "One day you're going to be sitting at a stop light on your bad black Yamaha, wearing your bad black jacket and your bad mirror sunglasses and some biker who really is a bad guy is going to ride up, hock a big one on your boot and then we'll see how bad you really are." Darrel grew up in time, went through a fair number of bikes himself, and currently rides a black Suzuki VStrom 1000. I don't know that he thinks the VStrom is "bad" but he seems to like it a lot. No, that's not my brother on the left, that's "Psycho" on his KLR650.

In 1963 or so to be a biker was not seen a positive thing in any way by anyone outside of those who made up that group. To be a biker was a genuine anti-social thing. Forty or fifty years ago a biker was a rough character, an untrustworthy person (except to other bikers). A biker was someone who smoked unfiltered cigarettes, had a tattoo, rode a loud motorsickle down your street late at night, shot pool in smoky bar rooms, consorted with women of easy virtue, and settled his arguments with his fists or a length of drive chain.

"Biker" and "hoodlum" were pretty much interchangeable words. Mr. 1960 Biker probably didn't have a job or if he did it was something no decent person would aspire to as a career. Nice girls did not hang around with bikers, decent people would not associate with bikers, and young men of promise were inculcated with the idea that "You are known by the company you keep." Wally and The Beaver would have understood it was certainly not good to be known as a biker. It all sounds like a silly stereotype now, doesn't it? But there was a time when it was reality. For a few, it still is.

To better understand this early image of the biker watch the old Marlon Brando movie "The Wild One." The movie looks corny now, seems trite, but it was very much a reflection of how people saw "bikers" way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth in 1950. You will even see some nice, proper motorcycle racing people chase off the bikers. Worse, "The Wild One" along with a few later movies, indelibly stamped the negative biker image on the wider American social consciousness and to some degree that negative image is still there.

Note also in "The Wild One" how many bikers rode something other than a Harley. In fact if you look through custom bike magazines from the late '60s or '70s you'll see that a fair number of customs were based on British bikes, not American bikes. Bikers rode anything and everything (except "ring ding Jap bikes").

The term "biker" has evolved quite a lot in the last 50 years and that is for the good. For many riders now, regardless of their positive demeanor, grooming habits, employment, or lack of a rap sheet, to be called a biker is a badge of honor. We take some of the patina of the original biker, the spirit of rebelliousness, and call it our own even while we know it's at best only partly true of a modern biker. Calling yourself a biker now is more a statement of the importance of motorcycles and motorcycle riding in your life.

Those that I, being an old fahrt, would refer to as "real bikers" still exist. If you've been around motorcycles very long you know who they are and they pretty much fit the old stereotype before it was a stereotype. It's their life though, it's who they are. They didn't borrow their lifestyle from anyone else. As one told me recently "I didn't choose this life it chose me. I tried to get away but I always came back." Being a real biker isn't necessarily and easy ride.

If you think of yourself as a biker in the modern sense of the term then more power to you as long as you're serious about bikes and riding. If you're just playing the biker game though, remember that someday you're liable to run into a real, old style biker who just might call your bluff and hock a big one on your boot. Then we'll see if you settle the argument with your fists, a length of drive chain, or a weak smile.

As for me, I'm just an motorcycle guy, a guy who got bit by the motorcycle bug a long time ago and never found or even wanted a cure. If that makes me a biker by the modern definition then that's OK.

Besides the photos of yours truly, all of the people in the photos in this entry are people I know, have ridden with, or have met at bike events. I do not know if any of them consider themselves to be bikers but I'm certain they are all serious motorcycle riders. My kind of people.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Born To Be Mild

I found myself with a bit of free time yesterday and in the vicinity of certain motorcycle shops so it only made sense to visit said shops and look at bikes. As the Mrs. was with me she would at critical moments whipped out her point and shoot camera to document some of the fun for all of you.

We visited a Kawasaki shop, a Honda / Yamaha / Suzuki "powersports store" (ugh), a Euro bike dealer now stocking choppers along with Ducati & Friends, and yes...two Harley shops. How could I not stop and eyeball the darkly alluring bad boy bike, the Crossbones, the bike which brought about a whole series of intense, high level discussions at the 40on2 Estate?

I did indeed plant my keester on a Crossbones and I like it a bunch. The version with the silver tank really captures the bobber look better than the all black version does and I can image no end of fun bombing around Arizona on that bike. I even stood next to a very rowdy looking Jack Daniels Edition Harley. The Jack Daniels bike was fun except that I quit drinking nearly 30 years ago and didn't like JD even then.

To be honest, in looking at the pictures the wife took of me sitting on the bikes I looked ridiculous, like some middle aged, chubby, engineer poseur imagining he was a biker, hence the slight editing of the photos for the blog. I am not a biker, I am what I appear to be and as much as fun as it may be to imagine a Harley would make me look like my occasional riding associate, Imo, I look like me: A motorcycle enthusiast but fairly ordinary no matter what. There's a lesson there for all who think riding a Harley makes them a real biker. See if in the photo below you can guess which guy is Imo and guy is me.

And just to mess with notions of stereotypes, for the last several years Imo (on the left) rides a Yamaha RoadStar ratbike:

I would never actually buy or not buy a bike based on how I looked on it. Motorcycle riders can all be a little image conscience (don't tell me you never rode past a big store window and didn't check out your reflection) but truly I do not care what anyone thinks of what I ride, how I dress when I ride, or how much or how little I ride. What does all this mean? I don't know. I just went bike shopping and motorcycle fever combined with a lack of access to large sums of cash and an empty garage has addled my brain.

Back at the Harley shop the Mrs. was curled up on a black leather Harley logo'd sofa by the Harley logo'd pool table next to the Harley logo'd juke box and reading a book while eating free popcorn as I continued to browse bikes and tell stories to the sales guy. H-D has done a wonderful job of marketing their shops to wives. Someone finally figured out that non-riding wives and girlfriends just might have some influence on their mate's purchasing decision.

H-D also does a superb job of styling and nailing down the fit & finish on their bikes. I'd be pleased to motor about on the Crossbones or any of several Harleys upon which I looked and liked. I suspect that the Harley Fat Boy would fit me better than the Crossbones, you know what I mean?

I finally wandered over to the Mrs. and said "I told the salesman I'd take the Crossbones. Give me the checkbook please." She looked at me with much skepticism, not unlike the way she does after reading most of my blog entries. She said "Yeah right. I don't see the salesman doing the happy dance so I know you're just teasing me."


Monday, August 04, 2008

A Worthy Ride

As The Wife pours over cruise ship brochures humming happily I am dispiritedly browsing Craig's List and Cycle Trader looking for some sort of motorized two-wheeled vehicle commensurate with my experience, riding preferences, need for speed, general reputation as a motorcycle enthusiast, and worse...my budget. Since my motorcycle budget is now slightly less than what the average Harley owner spends on beer in a month or the average BMW owner spends on one tune-up it is mighty slim pickin's for ol' Doug. No matter, sometimes the search is half the fun and I try to be open to new directions and ideas about what constitutes motorcycle riding fun. Still, I have my standards.

I'd rather have the Heinkel scooter with the sidecar.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Oh Wretched Man That I Am

A truly rare and sad sight. No motorcycle in the garage.

I sold the Aprilia for two specific reasons: First because it was not getting ridden enough, scarcely at all. Second because I decided I needed to sock away a little extra cash for next Spring when I allegedly retire from the working world. The little bit of cash a used Aprilia brings, even one in near new condition, won't make a lot of difference in my plans for next year but entering into retirement is a bit like going off to college broke and uncertain of how things will work out except that at the end of the retirement you die instead of graduate. Selling the Aprilia was the sensible, responsible thing to do. I hate growing up.

As for selling the Gold Wing, that was sort of an impromptu thing but then again it wasn't. Someday some bike will be the last bike I buy but until then every bike is just the next bike with more sure to follow. The Mrs. does not, even after being married to me for two and a half years and four motorcycles, grasp why it is that bikes come and go in my life so quickly. One could say that I have short attention span for bikes but it would be closer to correct to say that there are so many varied and wonderful machines out there that I want to try them all. Sadly, that can't happen but I am willing to keep working at it until time and money run out. At the moment money is a larger issue than time as the good die young and any number of people will tell you I should therefore live to 150 years old.

I placed an ad in Craig's List for the Gold Wing and specifying a price that I thought was fair. I figured no one would buy the bike because no one ever wants to pay a fair price and then I'd just keep riding the Wing for another year or so. I got several calls right away. Drat. As the son of a car salesman I'm beholdin' to my heritage to make the sale if it can be made.

Just my luck that some wily fellow also named Doug way up in the Great Frozen North of Ontario, Canada saw the ad and decided my bike was the bike for him. I semi-tried to talk Doug out of it just because there are obstacles in moving sums of money over $10,000 across international borders unless it's a regular part of your business. As much as Americans tend to think of Canada as the 51st State it really is a different country. Just as well too because we don't need Quebec as a US State, it's bad enough being stuck with California in the Union.

With no real prompting Canada Doug hopped a plane with a pocket full of US dollars (none of that funny money with the Queen's picture on it, thank you very much) and flew southward to Phoenix. I got stuck at work so dear, sweet Wife picked Doug up at the airport, drove him around to take care of some paperwork issues (there's that foreign country thing again) and then down to our little town south of Phoenix.

I managed to get off work early enough to meet Doug and go over the bike with him, talk bikes, and I also installed one of the Gold Wing radio/intercom headsets into his helmet so he'd have tunes on the way home. I have to say that as bike selling goes, Doug was one of the nicest people I've dealt with. Must be the first name as nearly everyone named Doug is wonderful.

At left. Just your basic headset installation.

Now the coolest thing about this is not only was Doug willing to do a fly 'n ride to get the bike he wanted but he's a mere child of 30 years old, not your typical Dairy Queen bellied, gray haired Gold Wing rider. His chutzpah in doing what he wanted, when he wanted when it comes to motorcycles made me think of me when I was younger (last year). If you're going to be stubborn and obsessive about something then motorcycles are a good choice. I was glad to see the Wing go to a worthy owner.

After paperwork and greenbacks were exchanged Doug hopped on the Gold Wing, asked which way was North, and headed off. In the truest, real motorcycle guy fashion it was Friday night and he had to be back at work in Canada on Tuesday morning. He sort of made it too, might have gotten home a little quicker but he stopped at the Grand Canyon and a couple of other places on the way. 2000 miles in 3 1/2 days isn't Iron Butt territory but it's pretty good. Ye done yourself proud, Doug me lad!

Now, what comes next?

The garage is empty of bikes and as the twelve regular readers of 40on2 know there is some debate going on within the ivy covered walls of the 40on2 Estate for disposition of the money from the Gold Wing.  The Mrs. was quite upset at seeing the bike leave so I said "No problem, we'll go buy another one unless you'd rather go on a vacation trip of some sort." Oops. Money...motorcycle money spent on vacations? Oh fatal words!! Oh mouth how often doth thy hastiness bring sorrow upon mine head? Cursed lips hold thy peace and utter not such foolishness!
Too late.

I would be fine with another Gold Wing and yes, I've even looked closely at the Harley Crossbones because it's a very cool bike, but a mere vacation? The Triumph Scrambler has rambled through my thoughts as once again I ponder how much I might look like Steve McQueen on his Triumph or even Johnny from "The Wild One." A better reason for the Triumph though is that I've never owned a British bike so that would be a first except that the Scrambler is now built in Thailand or someplace, not England. Another conundrum is that the comfort and luxury of the Gold Wing has spoiled me forever and every bike I ride from now on will seem uncomfortable. Yes, I have grown weak and soft. I admit it.

Sadly, the Mrs. has been looking at websites for cruises to Alaska and is enamored of the pretty pictures of something called "the inland passage" hence the on-going struggle symbolically (but with total accuracy!) portrayed in "As The Wheels Turn." All I can say for sure at the moment is that I WILL be getting another bike. Just what it will be and when that will be is a bit unclear. Stay tuned.

In the mean time, a few pictures Doug sent me of his ride home on his new Gold Wing:

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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

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"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