Category: Motorcycle

Blog posts about motorcycles.

Scenes from a Pennsylvania Rideabout

Scenes from a Pennsylvania Rideabout

In the beginning of June, we spent a long weekend based out of Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. My hubs Kenny was doing the Durty Dabbers Dual Sport. I wasn’t into it so I opted out this year. Instead, I spent my time bumming around and taking in scenes of America. These were some of the things that I saw:

Taking in a view of the bridge from Lock Haven on 664.

Spotted this delightful little place in Jersey Shore, Pa. Phil-It Up Drive In. Sadly for me, there’s not too much ice cream being sold at 8 am.

The town of Jersey Shore’s Veterans Park.

The bridge along 44 in Jersey Shore that crosses the West Branch of the Susquehanna.

Just ’round the corner from the Phil-It Up Drive In is a lovely war memorial. It stands across from the VFW hall. It’s sad that they are needed but memorials such as these feel like an important anchor in a community.

The well-worn patina of this old flour mill was outstanding – Milton, Pa.

Sunday morning and nothin’ doin’ in Mill Hall, Pa. I’d stopped here to snap a picture of a Mail Pouch ad.

This is said Mail Pouch ad – Mill Hall, Pa.

One for the tiny post office files – East Smethport, Pa. along Route 6.

Seeing this nice caboose (not a euphemism), I decided to pull over and have a drink. As I stood around munching on my Barnana snacks, a car with two young girls pulled up across the way. I watched as the two of them went through curious contortions in the front seat. They adjusted out of place hairs and tilted their heads just so, to snap the perfect selfies. They clearly knew their best angles. It is an art form that I still cannot buy into with any gusto. It is an interesting phenomenon to see unfold.

I bet the “Welcome to Weedville” sign gets stolen a lot.

You know there were actual events that prompted the shirt AND pants sign to be put up on the post office. Sounds like a fun town 🙂

Nirvana.

You can bet this sign has seen some things. Including better days.

 

Ride Photos: Recently Spotted Nifty Cars and Trucks

Ride Photos: Recently Spotted Nifty Cars and Trucks

There are some themes or subject matter that will make me pull over to snap a photo as if I’m caught in a tractor beam. Interesting cars happen to be one of those them. Art cars, rat rods, and old pickups especially. These are some of the notable odds and ends I’ve seen in my travels over the last few weeks.

This old tow truck from Watsontown, Pennsylvania was like a magnet. I could not resist stopping for a look-see. My everyday driver is a sensible 4-door sedan but my daydreams are peppered with romantic notions of driving such a thing.

The other night while I was out looking at a 30-foot duck, I just happened to pass this ole Chevy Suburban in Flanders, NY.

I posted about this Willys Wagon before but it was too good not to include it in such good company.

This blue babe was parked outside a local tattoo shop:

While my friend Joe and I were bumming around in West Virginia, I made him pull over in the pouring rain so that I could snap a pic of this cool Rat Bug. Doesn’t that look fun?

This truck has a For Sale sign on. Luckily for Kenny, I’m not that impulsive. Handsome, isn’t it?

Dicing it Up With Ghosts… Or Not

Dicing it Up With Ghosts… Or Not

You never really know what is going to come along and sabotage your rational mind. For the last week, I’ve had a familiar and unwelcome tickle in my brain. It the one that whispers that it’s just about that time when we go careening out of control on a negativity bender. It started with the telltale sign of my disrupted sleep. Today the monster’s claws came out. I hate it when that happens. But – this is my reality and talking about it helps me to some degree.

My husband Kenny was away doing a weekend ride, my daughter Chloe was busy doing Chloe-things and so since I was flying solo, I figured I’d get out for a ride in the morning before the heat of the day. While I was out, I saw a group of riders I know. It’s a small island, after all. I stopped in where they were having breakfast. And against my better judgment, I tagged along with them when they left for a road ride. They – speedy sport riders and me – laid back on my KTM.

Though I spend 90% of my time riding solo these days, I wasn’t always this way. I used to ride with a pack of sportbike crazies all the time. I loved the speed, the rush, the dicing it up and feeling ALIVE! But… that part of me was put to bed years ago. I don’t have that drive or those desires anymore. Or, so I thought.

It was a strange sensation to watch the bike in front of me fade out of sight on the road. There was a peculiar twinge of something like jealousy battling my good sense. For a moment, I wished I was riding something with sticky tires instead of knobbies. But I settled into cruising along on the 690. When I rounded the last corner, I saw hunched shoulders and helmets tipped toward their bike’s mirrors watching to see if I’d finally caught up with them.

At that moment I realized that I have finally closed that chapter on my old riding life. I’m firmly in the puttering category. When I reached the stop sign, I leaned towards my friend and said, “I can’t do what you guys are doing. I’m going to peel off,” and I left. There was a sting to those words that I didn’t like. It felt like shame.

What was that all about? I don’t ride sportbikes anymore. I don’t care about being the slowest person in the group. But, this was different. It felt like I couldn’t do the things that I used to.

Mail Pouch Tobacco: Looking For Ghosts

Mail Pouch Tobacco: Looking For Ghosts

This morning I was trying to recall when and where I was first exposed to a Mail Pouch Tobacco barn or ad. I’ve come up with nothing concrete. My first blog post related to Mail Pouch was from 2009. I’d stopped to take a picture of a barn while we were riding in Kentucky. Could that have really been the spark that lit the fire?

A Mail Pouch Tabacco ghost in Mill Hall, Pa.

Prior to 2009, I’d done some riding in West Virginia, the home of Bloch Brothers and Mail Pouch Tobacco. I’d traveled up and down roads that I’ve subsequently come to know have Mail Pouch barns on them. Maybe it is all just one big recognition puzzle. You start gathering pieces and shapes and then one day everything begins to interlock and you start to see an image.

Many layers to the Mail Pouch onion in Mill Hall, Pa.

Honestly, I’m not even sure what it is about the signs that interest me so. I find smoking and chew/pinch tobacco disgusting. So you can rule out nostalgia for the product itself. Maybe I connect the locations where you’d see barns and ads – places like lonely backroads and old rail towns – with good times? And the aesthetic can’t be discounted either, I suppose. Maybe I see them as art. Or time capsules to a less modernized life which I tend to romanticize.

Re-painted Mail Pouch barn on the Corner of 6 & 146 in Mt. Jewett, Pa.

For me, ghost ads or barn ads have no slickness. And I say that as a compliment. Instead, they carry a humanity to them. They weren’t made with mechanized sprayers or stretched vinyl. They were made by the hands of a person. A person standing, sweating, wiping their brow, stretching, correcting, pulling paint along a surface. I appreciate the humanity of the process.

Friday Check-In: Hello from Sleepy Weirdo-Town

Friday Check-In: Hello from Sleepy Weirdo-Town

Happy Friday, youz guyz.

This week started off pretty good but then somehow tripped and landed on its head. On Wednesday, I woke up in the middle of the night. Whatever it was that woke me up, was enough to turn my brain on. Once that happens? It’s over, Johnny. I’m up.

Unfortunately, at my advancing age, I don’t seem to be able to just snap right back after being up all night. Remember how you could just stay up forever when you were 21? Now, it takes me a few days to get back to feeling normal. As a result, I’m limping into Friday with tired eyes, but good spirits.

Don’t really have much fun stuff planned for the weekend. Just a bit of idea polishing. A few weeks ago, I started noodling around with thoughts of taking a road trip. Nothing grandiose like heading out west or anything. Just my usual bumming around looking at “stuff.” And so, I’ve been moving forward with getting that worked out. I’ll probably do a bit of tinkering on that front.

Other than that, I’ll be taking things as they come. Do a little daydreaming, maybe post some stuff I’ve been sitting on, do some wondering where the day went. You know, pretty standard stuff.

How about you? Is anything super-funtacular going on with you this weekend?

 

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