Category: Motorcycle

Blog posts about motorcycles.

Reminiscing with the Mothman

Reminiscing with the Mothman

Winter has settled in with its icy temperatures here on Long Island. There hasn’t been any riding for me in many, many weeks now. For the most part, I haven’t missed it. I suppose the love for it is a state of mind more than anything else. I’ve been keeping myself occupied with other things instead.

While I haven’t done much exploring lately, I do have a million photos and 10’s of thousands of miles in exploration to fall back on. I figure maybe it’s time to blow the dust off of some of them.

Mothman Statue in Point Pleasant West Virginia

This afternoon, I found myself watching The Mothman Prophecies for the millionth time. It was never well received critically, but I love the movie. There is some conceptual thread that runs through it, that makes me unable to turn away when I come across it.

Maybe it’s the idea of a harbinger of news; that there is something that “knows” more that we do. But when it comes down to it, would I want to know the future? If it were only the good stuff? Maybe.

John Klein: “What do you look like?”
Indrid Cold: “It depends who’s looking.”

Seeing the Mothman would likely make me shit my pants.

Alexander Leek:
“The nocturnal butterfly. In ancient cultures, the moth represents a form of the psyche, or the soul immortally trapped in the hellish death realms”. Mothman. Well, that’s what the Ukrainians called him. Rough translation of course. There were a hundred sightings in Chernobyl when the nuclear pump went down. Galveston, nineteen sixty-nine, just before the hurricane. They saw it. But seeing isn’t always believing.

In the last decade I found myself in the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia – the real life town on which the move was centered – a couple of times. In the 1960s, there were many sightings on the Mothman in the area preceding the collapse of the Silver Bridge.

Point Pleasant has embraced their most popular cryptid with not only a museum and statue, but also a festival celebrating all thing Mothman.

Mothman Statue Plaque - Point Pleasant West Virginia
Mothman Museum sign in Point Pleasant West Virginia
Hanging Mothman at the Mothman Museum Point Pleasant West Virginia
ghost sign and triumph bonneville in point pleasant west virginia
mothman statue in point pleasant west virginia
downtown point pleasant west virginia
Avalon Motor Inn from the movie Mothman Prophecies - 1 Avalon Cir, Eighty Four, PA 15330
Avalon Motor Inn – 1 Avalon Cir, Eighty Four, PA 15330
lai pouch tobacco ghost sign in point pleasant west virginia

Being able to explore on a motorcycle has been such a blessing in my life. Finding myself in small town, taking in unusual sights and sipping at a cup of Americana has been an incredible education about people and life.

Just a Little Love From Here, There and Everywhere

Just a Little Love From Here, There and Everywhere

cey adams love mural street art lynn Massachusetts
Cey Adams – Lynn, Ma.

If I’ve learned anything in 2020 (debatable) it came from being reminded that love matters above all else. Without it, there is nothing. Whether that be self love, romantic love, familial love, love of your fellow man or what have you – love is where it’s at.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve seen heart shapes in the wild. I’d see them in coffee rings, clouds, in oil swirls on the wet ground, you name it. The humble little heart, a symbol of love the world over, was everywhere.

File under: Pareidolia?

:Β the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern

The scientific explanation for some people isΒ pareidolia, or the human ability to see shapes or make pictures out of randomness. Think of the Rorschach inkblot test.β€” Pamela Ferdinand

Merriam-Webster

And then for a spell much longer than was comfortable, I didn’t see any hearts at all. None. Nowhere. My secret superpower was gone.

Riverhead, NY

You see, I never considered that seeing hearts where they didn’t really exist was something neurotic or strange. It’s always been a good thing, almost like a check to say that I still knew what mattered.

My mind has always gravitated to metaphorical things. I’ve always been a seer of signs. And so it felt symbolic to no longer be able to find these heart shapes hiding in plain sight. It was as if my ability to find “love” went away.

During that period, the thought occurred to me that I would never again be able to find the hearts. And I asked myself more than once, what that meant for me. Surely, it meant something, right? Had I really changed that much? Was I broken?

LOVEWork - Monteray Virginia and Triumph Bonneville motorcycle
LOVEWork – Monteray, VA

One afternoon a few months ago – after getting the mail out of the box and walking up my driveway, I saw a leaf on the ground in the shape of a heart. “There you are,” I said out loud to no one. Except perhaps myself because it was me that needed to hear it.

A sense of relief washed over me. It was a sign. I’m still here. I just needed to be patient.

Love is so simple, so pure. Yet, loving people can be hard. And when we are hard to love, perhaps that is when we need each other’s love the most.

DFace Love Forever mural street art las vegas nevada
D*Face – Las Vegas, NV
love trumps hate - moodna viaduct - graffiti
Unknown on the Moodna Viaduct – Salisbury Mills, NY
lovework - culpeper virginia - triumph bonneville motorcycle
LOVEWork in Culpeper, VA
peace love donuts huntington west virginia
Peace, Love, Donuts – Huntington, WV
lovework luray caverns west virginia
LOVEWork – Luray Caverns, VA
dia de los muertos sacred heart artwork long beach new york
A Sacred Heart – Long Beach, NY
thomas english muffin butter heart truck
Random 18-Wheeler
Instructions on the back of a disposable razor.
love butt triumph bonneville
The Love Butt – Charlottesville, VA
morais vineyards lovework - bealton virginia
LOVEWork – Morais Vineyards – Bealton, VA

You can view all of Virginia’s LOVE Works on their map.

My sweet love.
lovework waynesboro virginia
LOVEWork in Waynesboro, VA
heart graffiti and motorcycle boots
Graffiti on Route 218 – Cornwall, NY
xoxo donut - heart donut
Donut Love
Almost Time to Turn the Page

Almost Time to Turn the Page

Standing on the precipice of a new year, I wonder what is in store for me when the calendar turns the page. Who doesn’t, really? But I’m admittedly curious about the sentiment that people are excited to kiss ’20 goodbye, as if reality changes at the stroke of midnight.

I suppose having a catalyst for actual change in your life be something definitive like a line in the sand makes the leap easier. If you’ve got something finite to measure against, a corner to turn that changes your mindset and therefore your reality – the stroke of midnight is as good as anything else, I guess.

Looking back at 2020 as a whole, it wasn’t the worst year of my life. Sure, there were ups, downs, fear, disappointments, resignations, discomforts and yes, pleasures – all things considered it wasn’t the absolute worst.

Yes, my lifestyle was cramped. I’ve spent more time in the house than I ever have in my whole life since I live and work in the same space. And I missed out on traveling and being with people in the ways I wanted to. Not to mention I haven’t had a proper haircut/color since February and I had to say goodbye to my pink hair. But still… it could have been worse. My loved ones are healthy. That’s what matters most.

In a funny way, I think the opportunity for diminished activity all around helped me gain clarity about some things. Without the ever-present crush of having to do something, having to be somewhere, or feeling the vice of FOMO my typically boiling brain was able to reduce to a simmer. With that reduced interaction came reduced friction and more opportunity to get right with myself.

My year started strong with a riding trip in California. That’s something I always love doing. I spent a week bumming around solo taking in the world, enjoying the warm weather and the sunshine.

That trip was then capped off with three friends flying out from New York for the weekend to do SoCal Supermoto. That was a neat experience and highly recommended.

Fuzzygalore at SoCal Supermoto

The four of us also rented Harleys and rode around. While that style of motorcycle isn’t typically any of our thing, the experience of being together out in the desert on bikes was wonderful.

I took special joy in seeing our Italian former-racer in his rashed-out full suit and pucks “enjoying” his Road King.

Side note: While we were stopped for this photo a van full of women in spandex exercise gear (literally!) stopped to take a picture and chat with the guys on bikes. It was like something out of an 80’s movie. I guess chicks dig motorcycles, or something πŸ™‚

I still have a mountain of photos and experiences from that trip to share. And many other trips and rides for that matter.

Once lockdown released here in New York, many motorcyclists seemed to find riding a great socially distant activity. The same was true for me. I did get out and do some riding, exploring, and looking at stuff. I was able to share time with people I care about, even if it wasn’t “the same” it was still worthwhile.

fuzzygalore FZ07 Pokemon Wall Greenlawn New York

This autumn I unexpectedly found myself the proud owner of a new-to-me car that has been a lot of fun to drive. I’ve never been much of a car roadtripper, but something about the Corvette is particularly satisfying. The car has a very interactive and mechanical feel which I enjoy. It is in stark contrast to my daily-driver Audi that is like playing an effortless video game.

As the weather has gotten colder I’ve been cruising around in the car, top down, heat on. No, it’s not the same as riding but is pleasurable in its own way. I actually look forward to taking a road trip on four wheels to see what that’s like. For now I’ll have to file that one away for “next year.”

While this year has been a nightmare for so many, I find myself fortunate in many ways. I hope that you find yourself in good health, with food on your table, love in your life, and a sense of security. My hope is that tomorrow is a little better than today for us all.

xox,
R.

Motorcycle Exploration – Murals and Street Art in Bushwick, Brooklyn

Motorcycle Exploration – Murals and Street Art in Bushwick, Brooklyn

yamaha fz07 parked on wycoff avenue in bushwick brooklyn

When you think about getting out for a ride on your motorcycle, how often do you think about heading into a major metropolitan area? More often than not, my thoughts about riding involve being in remote areas, places of solitude, or lonely mountain rounds.

But if you want to get in and around a city, being on two wheels gives you lost of room to maneuver where a car can’t.

The Beauty and Solitude of an Empty City

Solitude. Now that is something that I wouldn’t typically equate with existing on the edges of the five boroughs of New York City. And yet, what I discovered is that it could be experienced.

Sure, timing was everything. The universe had to line up the chess pieces and I had to make the opening move. But on an early Sunday morning at the end of August when these photos were taken, I pretty much had Wycoff Ave in Bushwick, Brooklyn all to myself.

The streets that morning were filled only with the compressive thump of my motorcycle exhaust and the swirling color of street art. The city streets felt simultaneously alive and yet… not.

With initiatives from groups like the Bushwick Collective the streets of this area have become an ever-expanding canvas of street art and murals. This smattering of photos is just the top of the iceberg.

artichoke pizza neon sign wycoff avenue bushwick brooklyn streetscene
street art painted buildings sea wolf in bushwick brooklyn street scene
yamaha fz07 motorcycle parked in front of mnstrsqd street art patch whisky ghostbeard
wycoff avenue in bushwick brooklyn - dface til death do us part mural street art
Artist: D-Face
patch whisky ghostbeard collab bushwick brooklyn street art mural mnstrsqd
Artist: Patch Whisky
patch whisky ghostbeard collaboration bushwick brooklyn street art mural mnstrsqd
Artists: Ghostbeard and Patch Whisky
Artist: D-Face
humpty trumpty mural in bushwick brooklyn street art
bushwick brooklyn street art murals
golden street art mural in bushwick brooklyn
Artist Golden
sipros sipros big ears donut street art mural bushwick brooklyn
Artist: Sipros Sipros
Artist: Golden
jason naylor bushwick street art mural brooklyn
Artist: top – Jason Naylor
phetus street art bushwick brooklyn cupcakes
Artist: Phetus
stik street art bushwick brooklyn
Artist: Stik
phetus88 street art bushwick brooklyn
Artist: Phetus

What is a Motorcycle Blog About Anyway?

What is a Motorcycle Blog About Anyway?

With twenty-plus years at the helm of a motorcycle blog, you’d think at this point that I would have full confidence in what actually makes up a good personal motorcycle blog. But the truth is, I don’t.

Or, maybe I do.

I don’t know.

motorcycle blog - yamaha fz07 oink light up R in riverhead new york

Because even as I write this, I think that writing a motorcycle blog all comes down to the author’s personal motorcycle experience. And then I quickly find counterpoints to that thought.

A rider’s motorcycle experience – boy, talk about something that is variable, huh? Not only is my experience different than anyone else’s, it can differ greatly from my own prior experiences year to year.

A motorcycle blog, at least in the way that I write one, seems to be something akin to time-marking. It is the story of a life written in small fragments and captured in snapshots. A life that is explored by way of the motorcycle.

In so many ways, throughout my ongoing story the motorcycle itself is it just a supporting actor for the protagonist. At times, the motorcycle is a visual metaphor or a stand-in. What else could it be when the story is the journey of the self?

When you stop for a moment to consider how much your life can change from one year to the next, you can see why it may be hard to define what a motorcycle blog is, or how to write a good one.

Maybe other bloggers don’t go through these types of internal conversations about their own blogs? Some authors write impersonally about motorcycle events or product reviews and that’s it. The vibe or concept never changes and they are satisfied and confident in their direction. The expectation from their readers is that they will get “x” and that’s what the author delivers every time.

The thought has occurred to me that when there is a commercial element or the exchange of goods or money, that might help to limit the focus of what a motorcycle blog delivers.

But when you are just writing about yourself, in all of your different iterations over the years – who knows what might pop up next? You may gain and lose readers as their interest in your interests waxes and wanes.

And in the end, what do the answers to any of these questions I have for myself about writing a motorcycle blog matter? Would the answers prompt me to change direction, shift my focus, write a whole separate blog? After all this time the answer is likely, “no.”

With twenty-plus years in, I am an old dog. Though there have been dalliances with social media, video, meet-ups, and hangouts over the years – I don’t have any new tricks. Year over year I come back to the same old formula: riding around, snapping photos of the world as I see it, and posting it on my blog. I guess it’s what I do.

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