A Simple Ride

“Honey, I’m going for a simple ride. I’ll be back in a little while.”

“Okay. Be careful.”

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And with that, I rolled the motorcycle out of the garage, started the engine for a warmup, put on my riding jacket, helmet and gloves and straddled the bike. Pulling away from the house, through the neighborhood, and out onto the county road to see where it might lead me. It’s just a simple ride.

What constitutes a simple ride? Around the block? To the store and back? Thirty minutes of country back roads? What does it mean? To me? To you? Lots of questions about a simple ride.

What do you expect to feel when you ride? Exhilaration? Adrenaline rush? Do you push yourself and the motorcycle to reach these sensations? Speeding down the highway flat out, or cruising through the curves with twists and turns and white knuckles? Hearing the roar of the engine with rapid acceleration? Or, are you looking for something else?

The county road flows through the countryside like a river of asphalt. Blue sky above, leafless trees ready for Spring and starting to bud out. There is no other traffic. It’s just me on the motorcycle on the road, rolling along at a moderate pace. The road twists and turns into the valley to follow along the river lined with trees. The sun shines down, casting shadows of trees on the pavement. Music only in my head seems to create a music video, perhaps a piano solo or maybe a guitar. It’s euphoric.

There is a Zen quality to a simple ride. To be a part of the environment. To sense the presence of something bigger than myself. To feel a part of that harmony that we are connected. For we are.

A simple ride? There’s nothing really simple about it.

See you on the highway.

Brent

V-Strom and Givi Luggage

Riding season is just around the corner, and I hope to do much of my Ohio River Towns photography project on the motorcycle. So, I needed to equip the bike with sufficient luggage to make it utilitarian.

I have always liked the Givi brand of motorcycle luggage. They are rugged and good looking. Secondly, I love the way you can use the same mounts to put different bags on the bike. Below is a great example of how that looks. First, the bike without bags.

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You can see the new engine guards and the luggage mounting racks on the rear. Next, is the set of smaller bags I purchased when I first bought the bike. Givi E-22s. These are great for around town and running small grocery errands. I have used the smaller bags to go camping, also.

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What about a top case? I decided to go with the Givi Trekker series of bags. The 52-Liter top case will hold a lot of stuff like camera gear and audio equpment, and it doesn’t look too bad with the E-22s—just a slight difference in styling.

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Or, how about riding with just the top case. Many do. Without the side cases, it’s a narrower profile.

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For the bigger loads, such as motorcycle touring and/or extended camping, the full set of Trekkers will do just fine—52L top case and 33L side cases, better known as panniers.

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That’s some serious load-hauling capability. Still, it’s best not to try to carry everything. Think backpacking or minimalist motorcycling.

See you on the highway … along the Ohio River.

Brent

Exploring Cowan Lake State Park

There are several state parks within an hour’s ride from my home. Cowan Lake State Park is to the east southeast, about 30 minutes away on some nice two-laners. Even though the V-Strom is still in the break-in period, this bike is so smooth, a joy to ride.

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Next time, I visit this park, I’m bringing my fly rod.

See you on the highway.

Brent

A Short Ride-About

The weather has improved rather dramatically, and the motorcycles are out and about. I was one of them.

2015 V-Strom DL650 at Morrow, OH.

It’s hard to ignore 50+ degree weather and a little time to ride. So, I quickly planned a route, and fired up the V-Strom. Two hours later, I had a big smile on my face. I have so missed motorcycling over the past few months.

See you on the highway.

Brent