Riding on a Sunday afternoon

How does one explain the joy of motorcycling? Books have been written trying to capture the essence of the feelings and emotions of riding: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Tao of the Ride, Pilgrimage on a Steel Ride, Motorcycle Therapy, and the writings of just about every other motorcyclist who has authored a book or a blog.

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There is the feeling of freedom, the wind in your face, the perception of being in the immediate environment rather than enclosed in a car and protected from it. Is it the adrenaline rush from twisting the throttle? Or, the movement of the bike as it flicks back and forth through the curves? Perhaps it is because it is the perfect adventure vehicle.

The joy of motorcycling is all that and one more. Motorcycling is just plain fun.

See you on the highway.

Brent

Back to the Hangar Café with a moto blogger

Several times, in past visits to Arizona, I tried to meet up with fellow blogger and friend, Doug Klassen. Doug publishes a great moto site, 40 Years on 2 Wheels. On this visit, we managed to meet for lunch at one of my favorite eateries in the Phoenix area, the Hangar Café at the Chandler Airport.

Doug was putting away his riding gear as I approached the gate to the café. He rode his Kawasaki 1600 Nomad to lunch. I drove my Toyota Highlander, pretending it was really my motorcycle. I approached him. “You wouldn’t be Doug Klassen, would you?”

“And you would be Brent Miller?” he asked.

Doug and I have followed each other’s blogs for several years and have corresponded frequently. Doug’s writing style is humorous—and good writing. He manages to keep his readers entertained with nostalgia, motorcycling and a sometimes comic decision-making process. In fact, I can’t wait to read what he has to say about me! He gave me a verbal rough draft over lunch, but I didn’t understand the part about ‘a swagger like John Wayne.’ I liked the reference to James Dean. Okay, I can dream a little.

We talked writing and motorcycling—two of my favorite subjects. Retirement was thrown in there somewhere too. He is. I only pretend not to be retired. Or, maybe semi-retired makes more sense. I don’t know what to call it. It’s self-employed at age 60—that’s it.

After sitting for lunch for about an hour, we hung out in the parking lot for another hour, talking and sharing stories, grabbing a couple of photos here and there.

Yup. It was a pretty good meet up, and I found a better friend than I knew before.

See you on the highway.

Brent

A week without motorcycling, oh my!

I really wanted to ride out to Arizona to attend Overland Expo, but the weather just wasn’t cooperating for leaving the Midwest. Of course, once out here, the weather is fine, just fine. Perfect for riding.

Having a need to sit on a motorcycle, I went window shopping. Well, not window shopping, I actually went inside and sat on a few. The BMW shop is nice, but not exactly what I’m looking for. But, I found exactly what I was looking for at Arizona Superbike and more. Just inside the door sat one of the new Triumph Tiger 800s, a white one.

The salesman, Greg, was quite helpful. The first thing he said was, “Throw a leg over it.” So I did. Comfortable. It sits just a little taller than my V-Strom. The Tiger 800XC would sit just a little taller due to its off-road nature. Everything I’ve read is that this bike is the next big one. Just like the V-Strom 650 has been for the past five years.

Another couple had questions about a different bike, and Greg stepped away. I wandered around the showroom, looking at the rest of the offerings. I turned around a divider wall into another area and my heart stopped. There in front of me were three Moto Guzzi V7 Classics—black, white and one in the Café version green. I took a picture with the camera phone, but the quality was not good, nor the angle. So I grabbed a photo from the Moto Guzzi web site.

I have had thoughts before about flying to Arizona, buying a bike and riding it home. Having ridden the route twice before, it would be easy if the bike had a proper break-in. The dealer told me how I could do that. That’s tempting.

See you on the highway.

Brent

Few updates worth mentioning

I’ve been busy the past few days, and there are a few updates worth mentioning. You’ve probably read the Studio News issued this morning. If not, the link to that is in the last post. Take a look, and if you are not a subscriber, go ahead and subscribe. It’s free.

The web site has a new look. I think it’s important to freshen the look from time to time and the best way to do that is to change the header image. The banner image is a crop from my most recent business card. If you don’t have one, ask for it the next time we see each other. I usually freshen the business cards every year, too.

USA for BC 4VistaPrint

The photo side of the card says it all—Words & Images, and Sound … and a little travel too.

Speaking of travel, I’ve been getting the motorcycle ready with a spring tune up.

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It’s all back together, and I just finished giving it a shake-down ride. It purrs like a sewing machine, and runs like an antelope. I’m ready for the riding season, although it really never ends for me. It just slows down in the winter.

Brent

Riding out with the Hero

The Hero is a unique little video camera, formally known as the GoPro Hero HD. It shoots 1080p, and has become a favorite camera for adventurers. Just take a look at some of the videos on the GoPro web site.

I am continuing to experiment with video and still photography, and if I get a chance to combine that with motorcycling, well, it just makes it better.

So the weather looked great, and I decided to go for a ride and see some of the sights along the way. Primarily, my mission in this short ride was to combine video with still photography. Here is the final version for my experiment.

See you on the highway.

Brent