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

Friday, April 08, 2011

Sojourn Chronicles Comes To Visit

I'm not afraid of a little rain
In the nearly seven years since I started 40on2 I've only met in person one other moto blogger.  Apparently my part of Arizona is the part that no one in their right mind normally visits. Some have passed through but either I didn't know about it, was otherwise engaged, or they were purposely avoiding me, not wishing to tarry in in a really boring small town.  Believe me, I can understand that last reason.

I've been reading the Sojourn Chronicles blog pretty much since Brent Miller started it back in '05.  Brent's operating the Ohio based blog now as part of his larger web site so the name is sort of gone but the quality remains.
Brent and I have traded e-mails over the years.  We seemed to have quite a bit in common -- motorcycles, blogging, photography, interest in airplanes -- and always meant to get together to swap motorcycle stories and general blog related stuff the next time he was in Arizona visiting his family.  Finally, this year, we managed to meet up at the Hangar Cafe at Chandler Airport.  He had been telling me about the eatery for a long time but I'd never given it a try.

Nondescript but with good food and a good view if you like airplanes.
Now, the day was one of those rare Arizona days when the weather looked doubtful, there was even a forecast for a 30% chance of rain.  My wife suggested "Why don't you take the car?" "Ha!" I replied. "Show up to meet a fellow moto blogger in a car?  I'd never live it down."  So with an eye on the darkening clouds I rode my clean and shiny Kaw 1600 the 40 miles to the airport and guess who showed up in his car...

I wasn't fooled by the helmet, I know the difference between an SUV and a Suzuki V-Strom
Yes, the mere hint of rain put Brent off of riding his V-Strom the 10 miles from Mesa to Chandler.  Okay, I made that last bit up.  In the Midwest, where Brent lives, it was 30°F and raining + snow so he left his bike in Ohio.  I don't blame him for driving the car out to Arizona,  I wouldn't even ride 100 miles in 30° weather, even if wasn't raining.

I was going to make up a lot of stuff about our meeting, I thought it would be great fun.  Maybe something like  “He slid from the seat of his bike like outlaw Cole Younger sliding from the saddle of a stolen horse. With a sardonic smile playing across a face that had seen many a mile on a bike, and with a John Wayne swagger he strode up to me.  Brent Miller, the man, the legend, held out a right hand the size of a baseball glove and said in a voice aged with whiskey and too many ceegars, “You must be Doug.” “Yes sir, Mr. Miller, I am he” I answered.  His handshake was like a velvet vise. I tried not to wince and I reminded myself that I wouldn’t want to anger him anytime soon, he was clearly a man that would not suffer a fool gladly....” 

During lunch I outlined my plan to use a blog post to build him up into a mythic, outlaw figure and Brent reminded me that he has a blog too and than paybacks are a, well, you know.  So I've just stuck to the truth here, mostly.

Brent's lunch won the eye appeal contest.  Mine tasted better than it looked.

The food was good, not great, but good enough to try again.  I'm told that breakfast is their best menu.  Best of all the Hangar Cafe really is part of an active hangar and sits right off the ramp where you can watch some pretty interesting planes come and go while you chow down.  Seems like it would be a great gathering point for beginning or ending a ride.

Two Great Lakes biplanes.  I flew in one back in the '70s. Very cool.
The two of us had a fine time talking bikes, blogging, bikes, cameras, bikes, and other, less important topics.  After more than an hour over lunch and another hour yakking in the parking lot we'd only scratched the surface of all the things new friends find to talk about.

Hopefully the next time Brent heads this way from Ohio he'll be on his Suzuki or maybe the Moto-Guzzi V7 Classic after which he's been rightly moto-lusting and we can get in some proper motorcycle riding.   It was good to meet the guy and discover, as I thought I would, that he's as fine a fellow in person as he appears to be on-line even if he's not a mythic hombre of the toughest sort.

Brent got the best photo of the cloudy day, re-used here from his blog, by permission.
I'd be the good looking one on the right.


mq01 said...

ooooh, what a fun time! :) its so great to see folks meeting up and enjoying one another. what a great spot!!!...

Unknown said...


I like to meet other bloggers too and one day I may be able to get to your area. I have met a few and it is always like you had known each other for a long time. I was looking forward to you seeing Brent on his V-Strom, but at least he had his helmet on

Riding the Wet Coast

D. Brent Miller said...

Doug, this is great, AND you didn't embarrass either one of us! I had a great time. As I write this, I am in Oklahoma City headed home. The weather man says there are tornado warnings in the area, and of course, I'm on the third floor!

I shall return to Arizona on the motorcycle, and maybe I can meet up with some of those folks in the Seattle area this summer, too.

D. Brent Miller said...

PS My wife, Lin, thought this was great. She laughed all the way through it.

Sid said...

Nice pictures....i've got a lot of positive from your post.
Many funny photos and i keep smiling)
especially i like photo with food. Some kinf of ketchup commercial) and full of positive)

Greybeard said...

Enjoyed your post...
I would think riding in the rain in Phoenix would be like going for a dip in a refreshing pool!
Looks like my son is moving back to the Phoenix metro area soon. If you want to meet another blogger and go back to see if breakfast is sublime, I'll buy. (I'll even buy for Stu and see if he orders bacon.)
In the meantime, a tutorial!

Doug Klassen said...

Ah, Greybeard, never have I been so wryly corrected.

Your son should get a hold of me after he arrives in Phoenix. Always fun to meet another blogger.

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