Category: Motorcycle

Blog posts about motorcycles.

5 Lessons Learned Traveling by Motorcycle

5 Lessons Learned Traveling by Motorcycle

There is no substitute for experience

When it comes to motorcycle trips, there are so many things that you only discover by experience. Each ride teaches you something about what you will or won’t need for the next time around.

These are a few of the lessons I’ve learned while traveling by motorcycle.

You don’t really need all those clothes.

If you road trip anything like me, you spend all day on the bike and arrive at a hotel somewhere around dinner time. After settling in, having a shower, and decompressing from a day in motion – there’s little time left to eat something and check-in with family before you’re ready to conk out and start the process over again the following day.

You wear the same riding gear every day with just the base layers beneath it that need rotation. If you’re a smart packer who chooses fast drying and versatile garments, you just don’t need to pack all that much. All that extra stuff creates weight and aggravation as you unpack/repack throughout the trip.

triumph bonneville in virginia on a a road trip

When I first started going away, I overpacked with “what if” clothing. What if I go out a nice restaurant in town? What if I go to the bar? What if the Queen is visiting? Those thoughts were all because I didn’t really know what sort of a traveler I was yet. I usually came home with lots of unworn items.

As you get to know yourself and grow more comfortable in your own skin, you realize that you’re probably more interested in going to sleep than going to a bar after you’ve been riding all day. Those fanciful “what if” cardigans and such don’t even make a blip on your radar anymore.

Wash and wear. Wear again. Athleisure for the win. This is riding, not a fashion show.

No, there isn’t cell signal everywhere.

I am a part of the last generation to exist in a time before the cellphone became as ubiquitous as wearing pants. Can you even imagine? People moved through the world without immediately knowing stuff or taking selfies.

natural bridge dinosaur statue

Yes, boys and girl, we went places and saw things and NO ONE knew about it until we got our film developed – sometimes weeks later. I’m talking about some real caveman shit.

With cell technology so prevalent in our lives, especially those of us who live around major metropolitan areas, it’s easy to get lulled into the idea that there is cell service everywhere. There isn’t. Even here in the big ole US of A.

Knowing this, I wince when people tell me they are going to only use their cellphone for navigation. My experiences have taught me to have a paper map, a GPS and a cellphone when I’m out long-distance traveling. Each one of these options has its own point of failure. Why limit yourself to having only one arrow in your quiver?

I should be able to make it; an idiotic classic.

Mm-mm. [shakes head]

You know? This is just one of those things you have to learn from experience. And even then, it might take you a few times of sweating with your eye on the gas gauge before it really sinks in.

If you think you “might” have enough gas to make it and you see a gas station? Just stop and fill up!

triumph tiger in death valley

Listen, you aren’t in that much of a hurry that you can’t stop. Besides, you’re really gonna be pressed for time if you have to push your bike somewhere or have to wait around for help.

Any traveler with a couple-two-three trips under their belt has probably made all sorts of bargains with the universe if it would just let them make it to the next town before the last fumes of gas evaporate. I know I’ve said a few “thank Gods” as station appeared on the horizon.

The spare key to my heart.

Are you a forgetful dumb-dumb like me?

Have you ever torn a hotel room apart looking for your key because you put it down in a “special” place where you wouldn’t forget it, instead of putting it in the regular place you always put it?

Have you ever had your key stick to the magnet on the bottom of your tank bag (see: the last place on Earth you’d look) as you go through your stuff like the Tasmanian Devil searching for it?

Well, friends? Have I got news for you! That extra key they give you for your motorcycle is made for just such occasions. I like to wear mine around my neck when road tripping because I am a complete idiot.

triumph tiger on a road trip in pennsylvania

Be brave, not stupid.

There is a difference between being brave and just being stupid. We all have moments when faced with something new or unknown in which we hesitate before proceeding. And then there are moments when the little voice inside is shouting, “STOP!”

Standing on the Grimsel pass with the Furka pass in the background

Listen to that inner voice when it comes to dealing with people, environments, lodging, weather, navigation, whether or not you should eat or drink something. Keeping you safe is its job.

Being brave or stepping beyond your comfort zone doesn’t mean you have to abandon all good sense. Your intuition will usually steer you in the right direction. After all, no one knows you better than you.

Never stop learning.

Every trip, every ride can teach you something useful. Pay attention to the things that keep you comfortable and content, and try to find solutions for the things that don’t. Never stop exploring.


How about you?

My way isn’t the right way, it’s just what works for me. Do you have motorcycle travel lessons-learned to share?

Why You Shouldn’t Eat Motorcycles in Bed

Why You Shouldn’t Eat Motorcycles in Bed

Please don’t eat motorcycles, m’kay?

Everyone needs a little help sometimes. For example, I might consult an online content topic generator to help me stick with the practice of writing something every day. And you might need to know why you shouldn’t eat motorcycles in bed. What we have ourselves here is a win-win situation.

Here are 3 reasons you shouldn’t eat motorcycles in bed.

They’re like, dirty and stuff

You never really think you are going to have to explain to your kid that they shouldn’t stick their tongue through the grill of an oscillating fan after they’ve spent the last 5 minutes singing into it. Wrongly, you assume that the consequences should be obvious.

I feel similarly about eating motorcycles in bed. I mean, clearly, they’re going to get dirt everywhere. And so help me, if my favorite purple throw pillow gets messed up I will cut a bish.

The bed is no place for that kind of filth.

don't eat motorcycles they're dirty

Motorcycles are so filling

Let’s say I eat my FZ07 tonight. I’ll be tipping the scales with an extra 400lbs when I wake up.

When the alarm goes off, and all of those delicious motorcycle parts from the night before are ready to abandon ship – I’ll be trapped under the covers by my newly-found heft.

Listen. No one wants to accidentally poop a turn signal in their bed because they’re too fat to get up. No one.

don't eat motorcycles they're really filling

You’ll miss your sweet baboo

You know? The most important reason why you shouldn’t eat your motorcycle in bed, or anywhere else for that matter, is because you would miss it once it’s gone. A moment on the lips, a lifetime of regret on the hips.

Just think of all of the excellent rides and happy moments you would miss out on. It would never be worth it.

Have a banana instead. They’re good for you.

don't eat motorcycles - you'll miss them once they're gone
Motorcycles Can Help With Unanswered Questions

Motorcycles Can Help With Unanswered Questions

Serendipity to the rescue. Again.

Sometimes the planets align just right and deliver an answer to a question that you may have long since forgotten to keep asking. I love it when that happens.

While scrolling through Instagram the other day, I saw this photo set posted by @Mototourers:

As soon as I saw the location it was posted from, the wheels started turning: Bethel, New York? That’s day ride range. Maybe I should go check that out.

Ahaaaaaaaaa!

After looking through the photos and reading the caption, I landed on the ZacMax website. There I found the answer to a question I’ve had since 2016 – who or what was this:

Fuzzygalore ZacMax Statue

In the summer of 2016, we were on our way home from a weekend of riding in Hancock, NY. We’d stopped in a gas station in the town of Liberty. This guy just happened to be lurking in the bushes.

From this brief encounter, I never found out whether this was a mascot, a known character, or a funky piece of art from a local. That is… until this week.

And sure, maybe knowing the answer to something like this is trivial. But even so, that feeling of not knowing something was quelled. That’s a relief.

Fuzzygalore Riding KTM 690 Enduro Dirt Road - Hancock, NY

I’d like to believe that if I just keep riding around, the answers to all of my unanswered questions will make themselves known. Nothin’ to do but just keep trying to figure it all out.

Keep riding, exploring, asking questions, discovering answers.

Hopefully, I’ll get to the bottom of those pancakes one day.

5 Fun Facts About Motorcycles

5 Fun Facts About Motorcycles

Here are a few fun facts that I’ve learned through the experience of riding a motorcycle over the last 20+ years.

1. Motorcycles Help You Meet New People. Or Not.

Motorcycles are two-wheeled friend machines. They make it easy to meet new people to hang out with and talk to. Feel like having some company? Easy-peasy.

Hell, they even help you meet people you don’t want to talk to!

Looking to get away from everyone and everything? Don’t forget that any time you need it, your motorcycle can help you find solitude, too.

Finding solitude in Death Valley – January 1, 2017

2. You Won’t Need to Bring Sexy Back. With Motorcycles, Sexy Never Left!

You know it, I know it, everybody knows it. Motorcycles immediately make you sexy. Maybe even too sexy for your shirt, or quite possibly so sexy it hurts.

hawt.

3. They’ll Magically Make You Cool

On the first night of motorcycle ownership, you are visited by a majestic unicorn as you slumber. With a toss of its mane, the unicorn sprinkles supercharged glitter into the air. When you awake in the morning, you are 104% cooler than you were the day before. It’s science.

Prior to riding motorcycles, I ate baloney sandwiches on white bread, shopped at the Gap and played pinochle on Tuesdays. Just look at me now! Thanks, motorcycles!


4. Motorcycles Will Help You Earn a Degree in Badassery

Riding a motorcycle will make you a badass. Rain, mud, sand, water, cold, dead of night? Psssh. Whatevs. Bring it!

And if you keep riding long enough you may reach the point of enlightenment where you go full Honey Badger. You think the honey badger cares? It doesn’t give a shit.

5. They’ll Take You to the Moon, Past the Second Star to the Right and Straight on ‘Til Morning

True story.

The Neufenen Pass – Switzerland

How About You?

What fun stuff have you learned along the way?

Better Hurry – These Ghost Signs Won’t Last Forever – Newburgh, New York

Better Hurry – These Ghost Signs Won’t Last Forever – Newburgh, New York

The town of Newburgh, New York isn’t exactly what you’d call a motorcycle destination. At least not for pleasure riding, anyway. It’s a once-grand city that languished for decades in decline and now has an ember of resurrection starting to glow.

Cities like Newburgh, whose heyday has long since passed, are great places to hunt for ghost signs. That’s why I found myself riding through its streets. A motorcycle is easy to park, quick to get in and out and can present itself as non-threatening. Especially in the case of the Bonneville. That bike is downright polite.

Hunting for Ghosts

Uneeda Biscuit

Over the past couple of years, I’ve seen quite a few Uneeda Biscuit ghost signs, in several different states. Whenever I do, I’ll think to myself, “yeah, I kinda do need a biscuit.” It’s kind of like an inside joke I tell myself. Perhaps the inside-est of all jokes.

Fuzzygalore Uneeda Biscuit Ghost Ad Newburgh, NY

The King of Wheat Foods
Uneeda Biscuit
5¢ Sold only in Packages 5¢
National Biscuit Company

Maxwell House Coffee – Gold Medal Flour

This two-fer is a bit hard to make out – one layer is a Gold Medal Flour ad, and the other a Maxwell House coffee ad. Gold Medal Flour is another popular sight, but I’ve only ever seen one other Maxwell House coffee ad.

“Good to the last drop…” Did you sing the jingle? I did. I’m showing my age.

Fuzzygalore Maxwell House Coffee Ghost Ad Newburgh, NY

Uneeda Biscuit

The National Soda Cracker

Fuzzygalore Uneeda Biscuit Ghost Ad Newburgh, NY

Gold Medal Flour – Jap-A-Lac

Jap-A-Lac is new to me. Apparently it was varnish, stain and enamel made by the Glidden Varnish Company. You learn something new every day.

Though I couldn’t get a very good view of this ghost, we can see it is Jap-A-Lac and Gold Medal Flour.

Fuzzygalore Gold Medal Flour Ghost Ad Newburgh, NY

Jap-A-Lac – Gold Medal Flour

Another Jap-A-Lac and Gold Medal Flour two-fer. I was able to make out most of the writing, but the top and third lines in yellow on the upper right escape me.

Fuzzygalore Jap-A-Lac Gold Medal Flour Ghost Ad Newburgh, NY

Jap-A-Lac
In the Green Can
10 Enamel Colors

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