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Aaron’s Story

I was swinging on our front porch with my wife the other night, the sun having set behind the tree line, and the woods around our North Georgia home were awash in the glow of dozens of fireflies. It’s late spring, and I suddenly found myself reflecting on a treasured friendship with an old adolescent pal named Aaron Smith. I’m not sure what triggered the memories, but I lingered there in the gathering dusk, even as Lisa excused herself and stepped inside. I bid welcome to the images, conversations, and shared experiences with my old friend, allowing them to fill my consciousness. I sat and savored, like watching a great old movie I’d seen before, but worth the viewing again and again.

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A Soldier’s Road Home

The sky was clear and the air was cool that morning. I had received my discharge paperwork only the day before. After four years of full time active duty in the Army, including a year in Iraq, I was finally free to do what I wanted. All I wanted to do was ride. I didn’t know where I was going or exactly when I would be back. I just knew I needed to go.

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2020 Isle of Man TT Joins List of Race Cancellations

The government of the Isle of Man has canceled this year’s annual Isle of Man TT, originally scheduled for May 30- June 13, as a precautionary measure against the worldwide spreading of the coronavirus. The legendary motorcycle time trials race has attracted thousands of pro racers and fans from across the globe since its inception in 1907. The two-week racing event has only been canceled one other time in its long history, in 2001 due to the government’s concerns over an outbreak of “foot-and-mouth” disease in the neighboring United Kingdom.

Pipe Dreams

The sign in the truck made my head tilt to the side with curiosity, like a Labrador hearing the far off squeak of a chipmunk. It was a worn, hand carved wooden sign that the muddy truck displayed proudly on its back window as it hauled a rack full of dirty snowmobiles. It declared a simple, often misunderstood saying: Loud Pipes Save Lives.

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Meltdown Vintage Motorcycle Show

Nestled in the hills of western North Carolina, in the old Southern town of Hendersonville, a vintage motorcycle event takes over the downtown area for a Saturday each year in late April, attracting owners and fans of pre-1980s old classics. The Meltdown Vintage Motorcycle Show, now in its 8th year, is presented by Ton Up Highlands, a North Carolina chapter of the Ton Up Club International. Hosted by Southern Appalachian Brewery, the show covers several city blocks and streets around the brewery, and features all kinds of local food fare, various moto-related artisans, local rockabilly bands onstage, and of course, an incredible array of motorcycle history, up and down the street.

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Best Roads of the Upper Left, Part 1

Hit the reset button on all of the stereotypes you once held about the Pacific Northwest,  i.e.  it rains all the time, the locals are grumpy, the beer is warm and the roads are crap. True, there is a tiny spot in the state where disgruntled natives seek shelter in the local Starbucks, staring into their devices while moss grows between their toes. However, there’s more to the story.

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Riding the Iron

The Sportster has been a staple in the Harley-Davidson lineup since 1957. In fact, the Sportster is the longest continually-running production model in the H-D universe, and quite possibly the longest anywhere in motorcycling. It has undergone many iterations, many upgrades, and a few pitfalls, but overall, the Sportster has always been and continues to be among the brands’ biggest sellers. It’s held a widely varying reputation, from entry-level Harley, to hooligan bike, and even racer. Like the famous Triumph Bonneville line, so many veteran riders see a Sportster and reminisce, “Yeah, I owned one of those, back in the day,…” as their eyes and voices trail off to chase some distant fond memory.

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