Author: Fuzzygalore

Rider, adventurer, traveler, weirdo, lover of love, and all around curious person. Trying to squeeze the fun-juice out of each and every day.

Instagram, Motorcycles and the Pondering of a Grouch

Instagram, Motorcycles and the Pondering of a Grouch

Apparently, these were my “best nine” photos on Instagram in 2017. And by best, the gang at 2017bestnine.com simply mean the ones with the most likes. I don’t think these are the best photos I’ve taken all year – not that I’ve ever prided myself on being a great picture-taker. But I get lucky once in a while.

The more I use it the less I understand social media. I mean, I get the technological premise and even the naive goal. I suppose what I’m really saying is that I don’t understand people and their motivations.

Strategically placed products, brand ambassadors, curation-machines… I need to get off this ride. I don’t care about any of it.

And since Instagram decided that it knows best what I want to see algorithmically – I see the same people, and even the same photos reshared all the time. I’m not necessarily seeing pictures from people I actually care about. I don’t see photos from everyone I follow. This is not what I want.

Get off my lawn.

Perhaps I’ll always favor blogs. Passive as they are, whether I get to see them or not is directly controlled by me. I dunno, maybe I’m holding on to the past too tightly.

Why don’t you tell me (and whoever else is reading this) about your “I’m not going to try to sell you anything, I just share my life” blog in a comment below? Or maybe share your “I’m not a brand ambassador” Instagram account?

Spreading Cheer – Photos from Our 2017 Santaride

Spreading Cheer – Photos from Our 2017 Santaride

My very first Santa-ride was a solo affair in 2010 – just me dressed like the big man cruising around on my DRZ. I don’t really remember what made me decide to buy the red suit and go for a ride in the first place. It really seems like a ridiculous idea. But, there is a special kind of magic in the ridiculous.

Over the years, what seemed like a good idea blossomed into a great idea when friends started to join in. Our little local Santa-ride has become something of a tradition. As new friends ride along and old friend watch from afar the feelings that come from doing it never change.

My favorite ADVelf:

Joy.

There is a special moment, something akin to an awakening that happens across the face of a stranger when they see 10 motorcycle Santas. I kid you not, there is child-like elation that they cannot contain. The goal has always been to just ride around and spread cheer to the people on the roads. Happiness is a gift that everyone can use and it always fits.

I’ve said it for several years now – doing this, making someone’s day… is a gift you give yourself.

A Surprise Roadside Animal Menagerie in Pennsylvania

A Surprise Roadside Animal Menagerie in Pennsylvania

While I was on my way to see the Snoopy barn in Nazareth, Pa. I happened to pass by this house with a great menagerie of critters in the front yard.

If I had just one of these animals, I’d be happy. But to have them all? Man. Sadly I can’t remember exactly where this place is. The only thing I know for sure is that I was between Belvidere, New Jersey and Nazareth, Pa.

I love the look on this guys face. It’s like he fell asleep on the train and woke up here and has no idea what’s going on.

Just look at this collection. That crazy bear who’s all hell yeah! about his fish? I mean, c’mon!

Can you imagine the conversation about the buffalo on the far left? “No, babe, let’s turn him around so everyone can see his balls!” I could absolutely imagine dying of laughter in the front yard while directing Kenny to turn Buff around. The people who live here are probably just the right amount of weird.

Relationship Goals:

 

The Inner Monologue of one Motorcycle Blogger

The Inner Monologue of one Motorcycle Blogger

It’s been a few months now since I set off on a road trip through the Virginias. In the time that has passed, I’ve struggled to put together posts to talk about what I saw. And that isn’t because I didn’t see anything worth writing about. It’s something different that I wrestle with episodically.

As my mindset fluctuates, the way that I approach writing about my time does too. But, I find that I’m often stuck in the same old pattern of trying to write about life in the “old way.” My robotic response is to work linearly on a timeline in medium-sized chunks. But, thoughts don’t always happen that way, do they?

For a while, I was especially rigid about timing. If I’d ridden somewhere 2 months ago and didn’t write about it then? Well, it was too late. There was some imaginary freshness calendar that had to be adhered to otherwise I wasn’t allowed to write about it. Isn’t that strange that I could be so particular about something like that? I’ve gotten over that, mostly.

What I’m learning is that trying to make my thoughts fit into a predefined size or shape is a recipe for disaster. Instead of an easy-to-follow formula that allows me to just plug in the pictures and words, I end up with a cramp. The result? Nothing.

My thoughts are scattered like dandelion seeds and are constantly floating away from me. Why can’t I share them here in that way? Little idea whisps that sail on a current – their barbs getting stuck on the people that want to read them. That’s how things like Instagram work. Everything is shared in snack-sized bites.

Why do I resign myself to thinking that I have to make blog posts lengthy? Why do I feel the pressure to write about my time in a particular way, as if there is some correct method to blogging? Why do I censor sharing my interests because I think other people are sick of reading about them? Why would I care if someone else thinks I post too much or too little? Why can’t a picture be worth a thousand words when I do it here? So many rules. But why?

We each develop a personal process to produce the things that matter to us. I feel that when I doodle in my sketchbook, too. When I deviate from my natural process, things feel off. To the viewer, the end result probably doesn’t look any different but I know something isn’t right. But how does the process grow when you’re so busy following the old rules?

I’ve always maintained that I write my blog first and foremost for myself. It is my system of record for thoughts and feelings about moving through the world on a motorcycle. But that must be a lie I tell myself. There is a nagging undercurrent of the need to please others or fitting into preconceived notions about what they want from me. Approaching this blog from the outside in is when things go wrong. You’d think I’d have fully understood and embraced that by now. I mean, I know that so why does the need for a reminder keep bubbling up to the surface?

 

That Time I Met the Lord on a Virginia Backroad

That Time I Met the Lord on a Virginia Backroad

Some might say that riding along through the mountains and valleys of Virginia backroads is heaven. I’m inclined to agree.

After dipping off of Virginia 42 in favor of some smaller roads, I found myself in a rolling valley. The road I was following didn’t have a stripe up the middle. It was just a small, tar ribbon snaking among the greenery.

Without anyone else around, I stopped often to take in the view. At one point, I sat for about 10 minutes observing 6 or 7 deer munching away, scratching, and being wary of me.

Continuing along this quiet little road, there were few houses and no other traffic.

It would be totally understandable that if I pulled over near a home in such a lightly traveled area, that a person who lived inside might stop what they were doing to see what I was up to. Who is this stranger on a motorcycle? Why are they parked near my house? Do they need help? Are they selling encyclopedias? Valid questions all.

While parked along a little bridge, some woman working in a churchyard just kept staring at me so intently that I found it unnerving. So much so that I said, “geez, what the hell is up with this lady?” out loud.  I figured it was clear that I was just taking photos. Afterall, I looked like a traveler given my dress and the luggage on my bike. And, I wasn’t presenting myself in a menacing way. But man, she just wouldn’t take her eyes off me.

After stowing my camera and setting off again, I figured I would just give the lady a friendly honk and a wave to let her know I wasn’t some creep casing the joint.

But when I got closer…

Oh. Right.

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