The Total Freedom Machine

Ed. Note: March 21, 2021 is International Poetry Day.

MC Ride 03-21-2021

Spring air coaxes me on as I lean  into the curves.
The park is filled with families, kids in the playgrounds.
Overhead, an airplane tows a glider, ready to be released
to near total freedom, but it must return to earth.
The motorcycle awaits. It is the total freedom machine.

See you on the highway.

Brent

Motorcycling and abandoned airports

I’m a map guy. I love to study maps. Paper maps mostly, but the digital versions can be just as intriguing. There was an older BMW ad that I loved, even though I don’t own that brand of motorcycle it read: “My favorite author? Rand McNally.” That about says it right there.

Some time ago, I noticed on a paper map an airport that I had never seen. There it was on the map, and I have been past that location many times, but have never seen it. It even shows up on my Gaia GPS. The San Mar Gale Airport.

MC Ride 03-10-2021-2

Of course, the airport is closed now, and this is what it looks like from Waynesville Road nearest the end of what was the airstrip. The strip is just over the back end of my V-Strom.

MC Ride 03-10-2021-1

I had to do a little searching to find out that the airport was closed in the 1990s. It was probably a grass strip, which made it easy to convert to agriculture. It had an official airport designation, but I could not find a record of that.

There are a couple of other private, abandoned airfields in Warren County, and they most likely were on farms, much like this one. It is exploration like this, and detailed maps like the DeLorme Gazeteers and Gaia GPS that reveal opportunities for a motorcycle adventure.

See you on the highway.

Brent

A quick ride on the V-Strom

We have had an incredible warm up. The temps reached 65+ and I have been lusting for a motorcycle ride. So, I aired up the tires, checked the chain, and fired up the V-Strom for a ride around the block. Okay, it was a long block, but much needed.

MC Ride 02-24-2021-2

And of course, I found a church for a photo in Goshen.

See you on the highway.

Brent

Thinking about fishing and motorcycles

It’s January—cold with a mix of rain and snow. Coronavirus has required us to stay inside. So, what’s a fella to do?

Planning. Getting ready for a fishing season along with a little motorcycling. That’s what a fella is to do!

KLR Fishing

Over the years, I have built fly rods and bought rods that would make it easier to carry them on a motorcycle. Then, I discovered Tenkara in 2013, and that changed my motorcycle/fishing world completely. However, I still like to use a conventional fly rod from time to time. It all depends upon the water to be fished. The minimalist approach to Tenkara just makes perfect sense with the motorcycle. So, for 2021, here is my list of gear for fly fishing with the motorcycle as transportation.

The rods:

Gear 01-07-2021-1

Any one of these will fit into the bags on my motorcycle. From top to bottom:

  1. Tiny Tenkara. 8.5” collapsed, 54” extended
  2. Tiny Tenkara 2. It is 14.5” in rod tube, 8’ extended
  3. Tenkara USA Hane’. 17” in rod tube, 10’10” extended
  4. 7-piece, 9’ 5wt travel fly rod. 18” in rod sock
  5. 5-piece, 7.5’ 4wt fly rod. 20” in rod sock

Of course, there are a lot of other manufacturers and options out there. Find one you like, and get to fishing.

The packs:

Gear 01-07-2021-2

I do not use a fishing vest preferring a pack instead. I have three in different sizes. They can carry an assortment of fly boxes. It just depends upon how much you want to carry, or more importantly, how much room on the motorcycle is available. L to R above: 

  1. Simms small sling pack. Plenty of room for fly boxes and gear, including space for a water bottle on the bottom.
  2. Fishpond small waist pack. Less room, but will hold one fly reel as well as fly boxes.
  3. Fishpond small chest pack. Minimal gear. One small fly box.

With the minimalist approach of Tenkara, the small Fishpond chest pack is perfect, and it takes up less room in the motorcycle bags.

A net?:

I think a net is a luxury for motorcycle fly fishing, especially if you are also hauling camping gear. But I recently discovered a net manufacturer who has been in business since 1955, and I think his net will be just the ticket for saving space.

Gear 01-07-2021-3

The top net is one I built. It is 21” long, and will fit in a bag if you tilt it a little. It’s a nice net, and there have been plenty of fish in it. The little one is an expandable net from Handy Pak Net Company in Pennsylvania. It has a spring steel rim, folds up to fit in that pouch, AND it is a bigger net than my homebuilt. The Handy Pak Net is going with me on the motorcycle.

Waders?

What about waders? Waders take up too much space, and if you’re going motorcycle camping, they are left behind. You either wet wade or fish from shore. If you’re just going fishing near where you live, there is probably room for waders. I prefer waist sock-foot waders with a separate boot. The waist waders fold up into a smaller package for transportation. Plan on some kind of plastic bag for carrying wet waders and boots home.

That’s all folks!

I am so ready to get on the motorcycle and go fishing.

See you on the highway (or maybe on the water … or both).

Brent

Dreaming of the Oregon Trail

For some strange reason, I awoke this morning dreaming of my 2012 ride on the Oregon Trail. It was a 6,000-mile, 21 day adventure. But, why this morning? Maybe I’m just dreaming of another motorcycle adventure. 

OrTrail-60
Chimney Rock in Nebraska, a landmark for travelers on the Oregon Trail.

See you on the highway. 

Brent