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Ride Life

Stories From The Open Road

An Entertaining Misery

We never saw the storm coming, a Colorado squall that stalked us from behind, waiting to sucker punch us until we had our backs turned. A few hours before on this idyllic August day during the Colorado 500 we were enjoying perfect weather. Our fast group of five were Colorado 500 board member Hutch Collier, his wife Dawn, his son Currie, his riding companion Phil Weida and me, and we ripped through the narrow canyon lands leading to Gateway, smooth red rocks and polished boulders doing their best southern Utah impersonation. I couldn’t believe our luck to get these roads with such stunning scenery and perfect weather, one of those days on the motorcycle you wish you could bottle. We had no idea we were riding on borrowed time.

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Relationships Are Everything

A recent road trip Steve described led us to publish this photo essay, and the story behind it. Steve made the westbound trip with a former student of his, Mike Greenwood, a good friend of Steve’s as well as Mike’s father John, whom interestingly had also been a student of Steve’s back in 1980. A two-generation friendship. Mike’s father passed away two years ago, and Steve has been there for Mike and his family in the years since.

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The Moto Mindset

So much of proficient motorcycle riding is all in your head. We all assume a measure of risk every time we throw a leg over and throttle out. Most people are unwilling to take that risk upon themselves. That’s what makes us motorcyclists different, sets us apart. We control our fears, conquer our reservations, and prepare ourselves as best we can to enjoy what we love- two wheels, a motor, and an open road before us. It all begins “between the ears.” This truth became abundantly clear to me on a recent road trip with friends.

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They’ve All Come To Look For America

On my 2018 Honda Goldwing, with my friend Max on his 2015 Harley Road King, we launched out on our whirlwind 6,000 mile, 2-week trip across the United States. Sick of the constant negative news and craziness of current culture, we hit the road to get a taste again of real America, like the old Simon & Garfunkel song to which my title refers. We averaged between 400 and 500 miles each day. We left North Georgia and blasted our way up through Kentucky and Illinois into Iowa. It was amazing to see the changes in the landscape from the eastern United States to the central and then to the west. Our lands are rich in diversity, in so many ways.

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An Englishman In Ukraine

We’ve followed the travels and writings of motorcycle rider and internationally known writer Neale Bayly for years. The Englishman now residing in America has seen much of the world from the saddle of a motorbike, and has shared the best of humanity in the wonderful people he has met the world over. In this travelogue series from his recent motorcycle trip into war-torn Ukraine, Neale gives us a glimpse from the ground of life under fire in the eastern European nation. With acclaimed photographer Kiran Ridley, Neale pulls back the veil to show the world what a regional superpower is doing to this beautiful nation and its resilient, big-hearted people.

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Through The Lens- David “Bones” Aldana

For those who followed American motorcycle racing in the 1970s-80s, David “Bones” Aldana will be a familiar name and rider of the time. Born November 26, 1949 in Santa Ana, California, Aldana raced both flat track and road racing in the AMA Grand National Championship and Superbike Championship respectively. A fierce and colorful competitor on both the track and dirt, Aldana even raced in the 1970 Trans-AMA Motocross series and did some speedway racing as well. Aldana gained notoriety for a set of racing leathers he designed and raced in that were solid black with a white human skeleton on the front. He earned the nickname “Bones” with the one-of-kind suit, and fans loved it. The AMA, however did not, and threatened to ban the man if persisted in wearing them in sanctioned races.

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Decisions, Decisions

The Wild Rose Squad’s annual motorcycle pilgrimage to Nelson, BC is sacred.  Nothing keeps us from Nelson, except however, border guards.  I found that one out the hard way last year, but that is a story for another time.  If I do somehow manage this year to not be asked very politely to make an immediate u-turn and Leave Canada Right Now Sir, my next conundrum is which bike to take.  I have three compelling choices with reasons for and against.  Help me decide.

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Dynamite In Small Packages

I’m hard on the throttle exiting the wide sweeping curve known as “The Bowl”, trying to click up through the gears as fast as possible before the brake/downshift zone and the left hairpin that is turn 1. As I drift wide so as to dive deep into turn 1’s apex, an 11-year old named Cooper undercuts me on the inside, passing me on a 110cc Ohvale like I’m standing still. “That kid’s good,” I muse to myself as he rockets away down the back straight.

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The Old Bike and the Sea

Give me the Pacific Ocean.  You can have the rest of the country, just hand me her blue waters.  Take Beartooth Pass, Tail Of The Dragon, Going To The Sun Road and Million Dollar Highway. I’ve done them all, just leave me the Pacific, a road that runs alongside her and an old motorcycle beneath me.  Sailors know the Pacific’s pull, her captivating blue rollers have a way of getting under your skin like a seaman recruit’s poorly chosen tattoo.  Ride her shore once and you understand.

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