These boots were made for riding

Most of the time, the riding boots are stored in the hall closet along with other footwear, jackets, hats and gloves. The house looks less cluttered that way especially around the back door to the garage. The boots don’t always go in the closet. Sometimes, after returning from a motorcycle ride, I pull off my boots while seated at the kitchen table and set them next to the patio door where they are still out of the way but more accessible and at the ready for a quick jaunt or a longer adventure.


Today, however, I put on the boots, rode out for coffee and breakfast, returned home to take care of a mailing, rode to the post office and then grocery store, and never removed my boots. I wandered back and forth from the kitchen to my writing space with my boots still on, and pondering their comfort. A discussion was going on in my head.

“Why don’t you take off the boots?”

“I don’t know. I might want to go out on the motorcycle again.”

“Are all the errands done?”

“Yes. But, I might want to just go out.”

“Where you going?”

“I don’t know, just out on the motorcycle. It’s the freedom of the ride.”

“So, why don’t you take off your boots. You can put them back on if you go out.”

“Yeah, but I might be going in just a few minutes. I’ll leave them on for a while longer.”

And so went the discussion in my head—past the noon hour, past 1 p.m., past 2 p.m. and going on 3 p.m. Back and forth. Back and forth, until I had an idea.

“Brent, why don’t you take your boots off, take a picture of them, and then write something for the web site? Give it some life.”

“Okay. I can do that.” … The boots come off. Tripod set up with camera mounted. The camera shutter clicks. The laptop keyboard clicks away, and after a quick proof and edit. The publish button is keyed. And now, you are reading this, because I didn’t want to take my boots off.

See you on the highway … after I put my riding boots back on.


PS Where are my riding gloves?

Motorcycle dreaming

I’ve been thinking about other motorcycles lately. It appears Suzuki is going to update the V-Strom, and a few details and photos were leaked prematurely. There was a feeding frenzy by moto journalists and several trade publications.

I really like my V-Strom, and I have not found anything that might replace it. But, what if I was looking for something different to ride, a second bike, a stable mate to the DL650. There have been several motorcycles on my short list, including a little nostalgia.

Doug Klassen, Forty Years on Two Wheels, sent me a link to a video of his dream bike, and it just so happens it’s on my short list. We’ve been trading e-mails. Here’s a video link he sent:

Cycle World Presents: The Jack Pine Triumph Scrambler


I’ve lusted over a Scrambler for some time. Having watched this video several times, including the times before Doug sent it to me, I decided to ride to my nearest Triumph dealer, Joe’s Cycle in Dayton. They report a Scrambler shortage—no 2011s available. Well … doesn’t that beat all. It’s probably just as well.

I had a nice ride. Wandered a bit.

See you on the highway.


Home delivery of the weekly free newspaper

The dually-wheeled pickup truck pulled out of the side road with plenty of safe distance, but then failed to accelerate to highway speeds. Following at a safe distance on the motorcycle, I soon realized why it was going slow and would continue to go slow.


At every driveway, he was flipping a rolled up newspaper in one of those plastic sleeves out of the truck. Although there was a passenger, the driver was like a robot, throwing to the left and then over the cab of the truck to the driveways on the right.

Because of the double yellow line, and the curves, I was content to follow and watch, but then, I had little choice. He rarely missed. Oh sure, there was an occasional paper in a tree, and one missed the driveway and slid into a gulley. That one will probably lay there for a while. Maybe a long while.

We have the same method of delivery in our neighborhood. The other day, while I was rolling the motorcycle out of the garage, and had it parked at the end of the drive, a delivery driver rolled by and threw our paper forcefully to the side of me. I will give him the benefit of doubt, because he did wave. I picked the weekly flyer up and properly disposed of it in the recycle bin. I never read them. But I am absolutely sure that all those papers thrown out on Middleboro Road delivered by that driver in a dual-wheeled, heavy duty pick up truck were read cover to cover. Well maybe. Okay, maybe they were recycled like mine.

The one aspect of this brief encounter that I am still wondering about is why anybody would use a heavy-duty, dual-wheel pick up truck to deliver newspapers. That thing probably gets 10 miles per gallon! Even the guy in my neighborhood is using a small car. Maybe the truck owner thought it would be a good way to deduct mileage and therefore write off the truck expense, and he would own a truck that could pull heavy duty equipment. Yeah, maybe that’s it.

Or, maybe it’s just a truck thing.

See you on the highway.


Semi-trucks and campers prohibited

With the weather improved, I went back to my ABCD photo location to grab another photo and show why semi-trucks and campers are prohibited. It took a 15mm fisheye lens to be able to show the whole picture. It’s a good road for motorcycling.


See you on the highway.


ABCD: A Blogger’s Centerline Day

I learned of this, today. It’s not too late for other bloggers to jump in, but there are rules.

This is the first annual ABCD, A Blogger’s Centerline Day, where all bloggers are invited to photograph themselves and a centerline. I assume that means a road or highway centerline. Gary France, of USA Tour on a Harley Davidson, conceived this project, and he posted the rules of engagement for participants. (Also posted below.)

So, I headed out with two cameras to grab a photo and participate in this online event. I was not looking for a photo op that would cause hearts to stop beating or people to swoon. I just wanted to participate. So, I stood on the centerline with my Canon PowerShot Pro 1 on a mini tripod atop a guard rail post, and used the remote control to capture a few frames.


I have some favorite roads for quick, stress-releasing rides. One of them is Ohio SR 350 between US 22 and the town of Lebanon. In the middle of this section of highway, a sign appears, “Semi trucks and camper trailers prohibited.” That’s because the road becomes very curvy with hairpin turns as it goes down into the Little Miami River Valley and back out again. It’s true. A semi would never get through there. But, a motorcycle … no problem.

In this photo, I am on the western side of the Little Miami River, and the highway is at a steep, hairpin curve exciting the senses going up, and testing the nerves coming down the hill approaching the even steeper portion of the inside curve. It’s a fun highway to ride as are all of the roads along the Little Miami River.

The five rules are simple:

Rule 1 – the picture must be taken on 1st May 2011.
Rule 2 – the picture must be of yourself, and you must be a person that publishes a blog. You can include whatever else you like in the picture, including other people if you wish.
Rule 3 – the picture must include the centerline of a road.
Rule 4 – you should publish the picture on your blog on 1st May 2011, along with a few words about the picture and why you chose that location or pose.
Rule 5 – when you have posted the picture on your own blog, put a comment on and include in that comment the address of your own blog post containing your own picture.

Later, Gary says he will be posting links and photos to all who participate. Take a look at the creativity of the online community.

See you on the highway.