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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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Road Dirt Remembers 9-11

Most of us over the age of 25 remember where we were, what we were doing, and who we were with, on that fateful day in early September, 2001. I had ridden my Yamaha Royal Star to the office that day, and after pouring up a cup of coffee, was at my desk going through the morning’s emails. A coworker send a staff wide message, stating a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. Soon, several of us were gathered in a conference room, watching the events unfold on screen. Thinking a freak accident had happened, and somehow a small plane had flown into the building, we were suddenly horrified to witness a second plane, a large jetliner, plow into the second tower, fire and debris exploding out from the impact. The first words out of my mouth, when I could finally find words to speak, were “We’re under attack.” I’ll go to my grave remembering the images and footage all day from New York, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. It was a defining moment in American history, and a defining moment in many of our lives.

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Lost in Translation

There are few universal truths in the world, but one I’ve come to learn with regard to motorcycle repair is that if an aftermarket part promises it will fit, you can be damn sure it won’t. Inevitably, something always gets lost in translation. Yet knowing these dangers, I still venture into the world of aftermarket parts hoping and praying that things will be different this time.

Riding The Upper Left- A Photo Album

Recently, Road Dirt’s owner, senior editor, chief cook and bottle washer Rob Brooks flew 3,000 miles from his Georgia home to Wenatchee, Washington to join me and eight others on our annual seven day, 1,500+ mile tour of the upper left. I promised him blue Pacific Northwest skies, great food and a memorable experience. One out of three isn’t bad.

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Skool of Moto

It’s Independence Day, a Saturday, and students are in school. But the four students attending summer school were not lackluster performers or behavior problems, nor are they being forced to attend against their will.
Quite the opposite. They paid to come here, some traveling thousands of miles to attend. Even more unusual, the curriculum at this school involves clutch control, lofting the front wheel and monkey lifts. All of them, including the instructor and her support staff, are female.
Welcome to Skool of Moto.

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Mike Boyd- Unsung Hero

I first met Mike Boyd at an Athens Cycle World bike night, via our mutual friend Phil, my “partner in crime” here at Road Dirt. Mike was buzzing a drone across the festivities, its four propellers humming a few feet above all the action and motorcycle noise. After a few minutes, Mike landed the drone, and Phil introduced us. They had first met through the Athens H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) chapter, and Phil insisted we meet. “Mike’s got an amazing collection of bikes,” Phil assured me, “and he’s got an amazing personal story as well.” A small, thinly-built older chap with an infectious grin, Mike has a quick wit and zest for life we all should have. After talking with him for a few minutes, Mike invited us to come visit his place on the east side of Athens when we could, so we set up a time to pay him a visit.

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