Ride Life

Stories From The Open Road

Appalachian Playground

If you want a land to get into your soul, ask it to dance. Roam through its curves, flirt with its scenery, stop and stare at its unfolding landscape and it will talk to you, revealing itself like an intimate dance partner. Ask the landscape questions and it will whisper the answers in your ear, embedding it into your memory forever. As a northwest native, I never thought I could feel that way about Fall in the Appalachians.

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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.

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Sam, His Van, His Plan

Sam Verderico is a painter in my hometown of Wenatchee, Washington, a God-kissed land in the upper left of the United States snuggled into a valley between the Cascade Mountain Range and rolling wheat fields. The mighty Columbia River runs through the middle. Sam grew up here, but as pristine as this northwest haven is, his beginnings were anything but idyllic.
“When I was a kid, we were super poor, sometimes homeless. My dad watched AMA road racing on TV. It was his passion. We just watched Mike Tyson and motorcycle racing. That’s where I got my passion. My dad would say ‘Gosh, those guys are awesome’, and as I grew up thought, ‘You know, these guys are awesome. I want to do this.’”

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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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