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Author: J. Joshua Placa

The Budget Biker II: Don The Deal

I’m not sure what really happened or how; do any of us when a nasty habit takes over? Something went wrong. Somehow I was drawn into this lurid world of pre-owned shoes and pants, and most seductive of all, perfectly broken-in jackets. Lord knows what stories their well-worn leather could tell.

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Riding Through The Red Stone

There are some places on this planet that defy description. They are unexpected, ostensively in a different realm. Canyon de Chelly (pronounced “d’shay”), hidden deep within the vast Navajo Nation, is an epic wonder created by shallow seas that advanced and retreated over millions of years, leaving behind deep layers of scarlet stone. Of course, all wonders, natural and unnatural, are best seen from the saddle of your bike, or in my case, a Vampire.

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Too Sexy For My Bike

Preconceptions about motorcyclists swirl though the head of every citizen who crosses their curious path. Tinged with Hollywood images of reckless lawbreakers and life takers, bikers are an essential yet often misunderstood part of our folklore. In a country formed by rebellion and settled through aggression, the wild rebel is both feared and admired. It’s the American way.

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Midnight in Metropolis

Steam was still rising from the titanic Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 floating under me. I had only stopped for a few minutes to wipe my sunglasses, have another cigarette, and figure out how the hell to find her again. It’s been three days of relentless rain and seven straight nights since I last saw her. She has jet black hair, blood red lips and hard green eyes that could turn me to ice under a dog-day sun.

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In Search of Los Angeles

It never rains in Southern California, except for today, and yesterday. It’s been pouring, turning streets to rivers. Seems like the better part of valor is to live to ride another day. In my case, that’s the “temporarily” purloined Indian Super Chief Limited. It is, however, a lovely time to have a beer can regatta in my alley. The water is flowing at about two knots so conditions are pretty good, but that’s another story for another pub.

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Indian Motorcycle Gear For Wind And Road

Like most manufacturers, Indian offers a long lineup of motorcycle gear for men and women, from bandanas to T-shirts, jackets, helmets and gloves, among other offerings. Leading off our selection is what I would like to think is Indian’s flagship men’s moto-wear, the Horsehide Liberty Jacket. Made from genuine horsehide, it is tougher than cow leather, and more abrasion resistant. The Liberty is thick, warm, heavy and very serious. It is the Cadillac of motorcycle jackets.

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Haunted Highways, Part 3

Valerie and I had ridden through Old West towns infested with spirits fun and foul. We galloped east near the New Mexico border and the stunning Chiricahua wilderness, a great place to hike or camp or eat a Bologna sandwich. It was a beautiful, sightseeing day, until deep and dark clouds, pregnant with rain, dumped their water on us. We got monsooned. If this has never happened to you, it’s a lot like somebody dumping a swimming pool on your head. Visibility zero, soaked to the bone in milliseconds, eyes filling with stinging sunblock runoff. Yes, it rains in Arizona, sometimes supernaturally so.

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Haunted Highways, Part 2

Tombstone remains a living monument to a romantic if murderous era. Its clapboard buildings and wooden sidewalks stir up images of cowboy heroes and villains, the likes of Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Doc Holliday and Johnny Ringo, as well as the Clanton and McLaury clans, now taking up permanent residence on Boot Hill, where moldering graves are marked by rotting wooden tombstones. Their historic shootout near the OK Corral is known around the world. The Wild West is preserved in the town’s original 1880s’ buildings. The celluloid stuff you saw on TV is here to experience, live and undead.

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Haunted Highways

Tales of the haunted abound. They’re everywhere; they surround us; they know us. Restless spirits seem to have infested our world no matter where we try to run or hide. What are they trying to tell us? What do they want? Are they simply echoes, a kind of resonance from the afterlife, the last sound of a soul as it departs this earth? Or is it something else, something more menacing? Could these be lost souls searching for a warm body? Your body?

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