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.


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.


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.


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.


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.