Ride Life

Stories From The Open Road

Robbie Knievel, His Father’s Son

The first time I ever saw Robbie Knievel in action was his televised 1989 Caesar’s Palace fountains jump, in tribute to his world famous father, “Evel”. Unlike his dad, Robbie successfully completed the jump without crashing. Evel had attempted the jump in 1967, and we’ve all seen the slo-mo footage of his ill-fated landing and subsequent bone-crunching tumble down the ramp, head over heels. 22 years later, April 14, his son Robbie stuck the landing, rolled to a stop, and tearfully announced, “That was for you, Dad.” I remember thinking, “He’s a chip off the old block.”

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Dakar 2023 Dramatic Finale

We here at Road Dirt absolutely love following the annual Dakar Rally-Raid. It is the most incredible race on the planet. Crossing inhospitable, otherworldly, vast open landscapes, just finishing the grueling odyssey is an achievement in and of itself. From intense heat to freezing nights, dry desert dunes to drenching downpours, those who undertake this grueling contest are another level of courage or crazy.

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Two Points Of Contact

Both motorcycling and skiing are about managing two finicky points of contact with bravery and skill. The rush of wind and speed is the same with both. Lean angle with either always equals risk, speed will always equal radius and more speed will always equal more brakes. The sublime joy of two points of contact means you have to lean, you have to carve, you have to trust your traction, and yes, you have to be just a bit crazy.

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Christmas Thanksgiving

Almost a foot of snow fell yesterday around my Pacific Northwest home.  My motorcycles are all parked around the 1966 Ford Mustang convertible, hibernating, tethered to their battery tender umbilicals for the winter.  About a month ago was the last time any of their engines spun, Mustang included, replaced by the monotonous drone of a snowblower.  Staring at them makes me reflect on the things I am most thankful for from the riding year past.

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To Give Is To Gain

Motorcyclists are a generous lot, giving of our time, talents and resources to worthy causes, year-round. During the Christmas season, however, “Biker Goodwill” ramps up even more, with charity rides and events dotting the landscape and nearly every day until the new year. We especially love children’s causes, whether it be for underprivileged boys and girls, kids with severe illnesses, or recent loss and orphaned children. Those definitely tug at our heartstrings. Beneath the leather and loud pipes, we are softies for serving those in need around us.

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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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