One of the great things about riding a motorcycle is the tie that all motorcyclist enjoy. Yeah, I am one of those guys that waves, to every motorcycle rider I see, even if it is a guy on a scooter. Why, because I love the fact that a perfect stranger and I have something so close in common. Riding a motorcycle in modern times is not a necessity like it was in post war Europe or Japan, or as the cheapest means of transport like it was here in America. Instead you ride a motorcycle now, because you love it. You like to live life just a little bit different. I am not saying all people who ride are hard core bad ass people. I mean I am an elementary school teacher, but rather we live life by a different set of rules, and that unites us. You can almost always count on a fellow motorcyclist stoping to help you out if you are stuck, you can always count on another rider giving you parts or gear, for free, just because you need it and they got it. You can always count on at least one good story every time you stop and talk to someone.
I bring this up because just the other day I was getting on the IMS Triumph Tiger 800XC when a old man walks up to me and starts talking. I needed to get home, it had been a long day and my wife had to deal with a 4 year old and a 2 year old for the last 12 hours alone, so you can see my hurry. Well this particular old man had started the conversation by asking about the bike, saying he had seen me on the freeway and really wanted to talk to me about the bike and was glad that we ended up in the same place at the same time. When I explained to him the bike, the engine, and all the add ons, his smile just kept getting bigger. You see back when he was in college, one summer he bought a brand new, Triumph 650 Bonneville Twin Carb, and rode it from Pittsburgh up into Canada, along the Trans-Canadian Highway, down to LA in California. Seeing me on this Triumph really brought back those memories, it was almost as if he had just gotten of the bike in LA all over again. It was really something else to see this bond between the two of us. We had never meet before, and probably never will meet again, but I had found in this old man, and he in I, an instant friendship that you just don’t get with other people. Now, I have never done a ride like he mentioned, and it will probably never happen for me, but each time I swing a leg over that bike, each time I fire up that 800cc Triple and hear the purr of that exhaust, I am making memories that I will hold onto for a lifetime. And one day I will be that old man, telling some young kid about how I used to have this hopped up Triumph and how I rode it everywhere, off road and on. It will be at that point that I connect with a person in a way that I just wont be able to connect with someone who doesn’t ride. And that kid will do the same thing one day himself.
This kind of experience is something else, it is something that few understand, and it is something that I hope to pass on to generations to come.
So today, take the time and wave at a fellow rider, stop and talk for a minute, help them out on the side of the road, you never know when you will make a life long friend that you never had before. So go make a friend and get out and ride.
So Thanksgiving has passed now, and Christmas is coming along very soon. It is a great time of year to sit and reflect on what we have to be thankful for. Over here on the Central Coast the winter is pretty mild, we don’t have to pack our bikes up because of the snow, or convert them into snow mobile type machines. Instead we are pretty lucky to get to ride all year long. Now since I am a school teacher I was thankful to get the entire week of Thanksgiving off and took the opportunity to ride down Highway 1 from Monterey to Pismo Beach (while my wife took our daughters the faster way on the 101) to meet Scott Wright, the owner of IMS, for a Thanksgiving getaway with my family. I of course was riding the IMS Triumph Tiger 800XC and was hoping to get some time at the Oceano Dunes, and was not disappointed.
First off the road riding section. WOW, I am very thankful of the men and women that put countless hours of time into crafting what has got to be one of the most amazing stretches of road in California. The most beautiful sections of road were from Monterey to about Cambria. It was tight, twisty, forest, ocean, cliffs, and just all together amazing views and roads. The opportunity to pass slower moving traffic is not as abundant as I would have liked, but it is times like that I still found something to be thankful for because it allowed me a chance to just really admire the views and enjoy the scenery.
After about 3 and a half hours of amazing riding I arrived in Pismo. Spending time with family is always something to be grateful for, and after an amazing dinner I followed Scott out to Oceano Dunes for some riding and a impromptu photo shoot. The bike tracked great in the sand. I didn’t go into any of the deep stuff out in the dunes, staying primarily on the compact wet stuff near the water. I was very thankful for the GPR Steering Stabilizer as it helped in the few rough spots, or where the sand was a little softer.
End of the day, there is a lot to be thankful for. Your adventure ride doesn’t have to be a 6 month tour to South America from Alaska, it can be something as simple as a ride down the coast for Thanksgiving, and a cruise on the beach. Thankfulness is a frame of mind, don’t let other things get in the way, and if you have time, just get out and ride.
Ok so here are a few pics of the Owner of IMS Scott Wright and his 2014 BMW 1200GSA. This was taken along Engineers Pass near Ouray Colorado. More to come. As you can see the KLIM gear still looks great after two days and 850 plus miles and then another many miles of dirt riding. The bike (as all BMWs do) performed great even with the street type tires, the different traction control settings alone with the D-ESA helped a ton in making it a smooth ride in the dirt, but even without the GS series are just great ADV bikes.
Also as you can see in the first pic the new IMS ADV 1 foot pegs provide a great standing platform, allowing much more of your foot to be in contact with the peg, giving you more control and more comfort.
Ok so lately I know I haven’t been talking about off road riding directly and with the weather being amazing and riding conditions being perfect I should be but bear with me just a little longer, I am waiting on our second baby to be born (any day now) so I am “riding’ on my computer so to speak. But as I was cruising the internet, I came across this article http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/racing/motogp-summary-sunday-american-gp-2013/#more-42249 Now I love off road but I am also a huge MotoGP fan and try to keep tabs on what is going on. Jumps and dirt are cool but so is 200mph with your elbows and knees dragging the ground. Anyways I think it is appropriate to mention that this new rider, Marc Marquez, has now taken the place of Freddie Spencer as both the youngest rider ever to take a premier class pole, and the youngest rider ever to win a premier class Grand Prix.
This took place at the inaugural round of MotoGP at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The most interesting part was that he had a harder rear tire, so less traction but longer wearing, and had a front end problem but still managed to pass Pedrosa, a 8 season veteran, and broke a record standing since 1982. Pretty cool huh. It is really neat to see when young talent comes out and sets new records and establishes himself right out of the gate. Now something is to be said of hardwork and dedication, 99% of people in this world will not get anywhere with out it, but in the rare instances when human development takes a leap and you end up with almost freakishly skilled people, like Tiger Wood, or Michael Jordan, you have to set back and says “Wow” . In these cases I feel that these people need to be recognized for what they can do. No I do not recommend idolizing these people because even the best of people fail, and if you put your hope and faith into something temporal it will let you down. As Marc’s dad says ““What you have to remember is that one day, a rider will come along and beat Marc’s record. And from that day on, nobody will remember it was Marc who once held the record,” But still as the title says Credit where credit is due, congratulations Marc and many more wins to come.