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

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Biker To The End

There are a great many traditions in motorcycling, some have to do with club patches or colors, some with bells on bikes, some with remembering and memorializing dearly departed riding buddies. There is a whole code of unwritten rules and meanings in the design and color of club logos.

One of the more unusual traditions is a biker club tradition of taking a deceased club member's ashes, dividing them up and loading them into empty .45 caliber or .357 magnum bullet casings (really, any manly caliber would do), putting the normal lead projectile in as a cap, and distributing the bullets to the the surviving club members who then wear one on their vest or bike so their brother biker rides on with them. My late buddy "Snake" Holsen had such a bullet and when Snake passed on a few years ago was buried with it dangling from his own riding vest.

I had a neighbor for a while who's very elderly mother was a great patron of one of the local Indian owned casinos. Apparently blue hair and slot machines are a natural combination because the casinos here in Arizona seem to be filled to the brim with gray haired folks gambling away money they could be leaving to the children and grand children who could squander it in some useless way like a buying a new motorcycle or paying for college.

When my neighbor's mom passed on they had her remains cremated and then came the need to do something with the ashes and apparently no one in the family actually wanted them. My neighbor, wishing to leave her mom where she was happiest, one evening took her mom's ashes, drove up to the shrubbery sounding the parking area of her mom's favorite Indian casino and emptied the urn right there amongst the ficus and oleanders.

Now some of you who are not otherwise planted in a traditional "dirt nap" manner might wish to have your remains scattered at sea or on a lofty mountain top. Noble thoughts but were you into fishing or mountaineering? If not, then it makes no sense then does it? No you should have your ashes scattered where you were happiest.

I used to want my ashes scattered around the Grand Prix motocross course at Carlsbad Raceway but I think it's a housing development now so I have to come up with a different location lest I merely wind up as lawn fertilizer. The M&M candy factory comes to mind as a suitable resting place but they probably have some policy against such adoration. All my favorite motorcycle shops are long out of business so those parking lots are out also. Should I suddenly kick it, I think my family will simply put me out with the recycling bin or worse.  Think "gold fish" and "burial at sea."

Finally, I offer for your by now doleful winter consideration the final statement for a real biker: A motorcycle themed urn for his or her ashes. I thought the idea of a flame paint job was interesting. Seems like it would invite some speculation as to the ultimate location of the departed and thus brighten up the wake.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Here it is the 9th of January of the new year and I have not posted a thing this year. I didn't even post Christmas Greetings, Happy New Year, poignant reflections on the past, sage predictions for the New Year, or any of the usual crap people post in their blog at this time of the year. I've made no New Years Resolutions as the futility of that exercise was learned by me, and probably you too, long ago.

I'll lament that I didn't ride more in 2007 and hope that I can do better in '08. The reasons for not riding more last year are many and I'll spare you the whinny details. I do think the blog is better when I ride more, I probably grouch and complain less here, at work, and at home, when I ride more so riding more this year would be a good thing. That is not a resolution to ride more, only an acknowledgment that I am happier with more miles behind me and more pictures taken. It's also stoopid to spend so much money on motorcycles and then not ride them. If I was going to spend a lot of money on something I didn't use I'd spend it on a boat and then at least I'd know why I didn't use it: I don't enjoy skiing, swimming, or fishing.

The Caponord has sat mostly idle for the last year except for occasional rides to work. As much as I like the bike, I ride it a tiny fraction of what I rode the first one I had. I should probably sell it or trade if for something useful like a Hayabusa or a Suzuki Burgman 650 scooter. Sorry, I guess I'm rambling but I'm still recovering from the three weeks I took off for Christmas....oh never mind, I'm going riding.

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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