Moto Blog

Central Wisconsin, 2004
  • New Roads

    February 2, 2020 by

    I rode The Queen to work yesterday. Teetering through a U-turn and huffing and puffing while backing into a parking spot, I had to admit to being a little out of practice. My wrist still hurts from that July ride down PC1—the clutch work at the endless traffic stops really took a toll—and I tore… Read more

  • Weekend Movies

    January 23, 2020 by

    Last weekend my wonderful spouse and I went to two movies, probably more than we’ve seen in the past six months. This sudden burst of cinematic appreciation was inspired by my colleague Bob’s mention that the American Shelby Collection was just up the road, tucked away in Gunbarrel, CO, so off we went to see Christian Bale… Read more

  • Winter Musings

    December 28, 2019 by

    The tragedy of the human condition is to know oneself well enough to ride across the world, and to write that story out mile by mile, confessing each emotion but still not be able to explain oneself to another person.

  • The Return Of The Queen

    December 25, 2019 by

    Readers of Onwards!, few in number though you are, will remember that we began with a cross-country trip, which ended abruptly on the shoulder of I-15, outside Cedar City, Utah.  Yesterday, almost six months later, I rode my Harley home from the shop.   If I’m honest, I’ll confess that I put our reunion off a… Read more

  • Thanksgiving, 2019

    November 29, 2019 by

    It’s a snowy day in Colorado and has been for the better part of a week.   Richelle, Helen, and I traded Thanksgiving-week celebrations for a pre-holiday trip to Ireland. No motorcycles on that one, just a strange little Nissan Pulsar, but it was a grand adventure and included a visit to Malin Head, the backup… Read more

  • Sunday Ride in October

    October 21, 2019 by

    There was cold in the air and gray in the sky today. For the first time this year, it felt like winter was coming. I decided to take a quick ride in the flats up to Carter Lake, which sits at the very base of the foothills between Longmont and Loveland. The way to Carter… Read more

  • To California and Back Again

    September 29, 2019 by

    I spent today primping.  Ducatis are bikes one primps.  Comparing the Ducati Monster to the Harley-Davidson Sportster, Richelle announced that it was “Okay, if this bike is more of an art object.”   Bless her for understanding. Off and on, I’ve been trying to understand why I see driving 2,500 miles in three days as… Read more

  • Home

    September 28, 2019 by

    Made it home. Greeted by an IPA and my dog. Tomorrow: Unloading the Bike!

  • Il Mostro in the can: Fernley, NV

    September 27, 2019 by

    My therapist chides me for drinking Bud Light. “Don’t only frat boys, drink that?,” she says. “What can I say?,” I shrug, “I’m getting old and I gotta reckon up somewhere.” In one of my more hair-brained schemes, I lit out yesterday morning for San Fransisco to buy a 2007 Ducati S4RS, the king of… Read more

  • From the Vault: Best Trip

    September 16, 2019 by

    My best motorcycle trip occurred in the summer of 2009. The trip was both my return to long-distance riding and my daughter’s first. She was ten at the time, and given that she’s a different person now, I figure I can tell it here. We moved to Boulder in 2006. I brought three red Italian… Read more

  • The Aftermath of My West Coast Trip

    August 25, 2019 by

    Yesterday, I went up to visit the Harley in the shop. Sort of like visiting a friend in rehab—one feels badly that the friend has fallen apart and still loves him or her dearly. Justin, the service manager at High Country Harley Davidson, took me back. The bike’s up on the lift, chest opened up… Read more

  • Packing Motorcycles and Unpacking American Minimalism

    August 17, 2019 by

    Onwards!’s First Product Review—Luggage, Literature and More! My favorite of Ernest Hemingway’s works is In Our Time, and my favorite story in that book is “Big Two-Hearted River.” I read it as a junior in college and was quick to teach it when I got in front of a class in graduate school. That 1923… Read more

  • Rebellion and the Street Fightin’ Man

    August 12, 2019 by

    Ev’rywhere I hear the sound Of marching, charging feet, boy ‘Cause summer’s here and the time is right For fighting in the street, boy Well now, what can a poor boy doExcept to sing for a rock n’ roll band?‘Cause in sleepy London townThere’s just no place for a street fighting man I said, “Hey… Read more

  • A Late Morning

    August 4, 2019 by

    How does one conclude a big trip? With the final route: I got out of Green River at 4:30am Saturday. I took I-70 to six, and then came up 93, cutting across Cherryvale to home. The landscape was lush throughout, the Colorado River high all the way through. The U Haul hums along, sure enough,… Read more

  • Day 10: Green River

    August 3, 2019 by

    Drinking Bud Lights at Ray’s, Green River, the best burger place between Vegas and Denver, Mr. BMW M5 from Simi Valley chatted me up. More sophisticated, younger, and handsomer, but no less self assured or apparently successful than ol’ Mr. Corvette from Twin Falls, he is probably not a Trumper, but I didn’t ask. The… Read more

  • In the u haul.

    August 2, 2019 by

    Strapped in tight. Seems to be a fueling issue in the heat. Not going to risk getting stuck in the no cell coverage area. Can still make Green River. Thanks everyone!

  • Broke down

    August 2, 2019 by

    Hard to know what the situation is. It starts up.

  • Day 9: Last Night in LA

    August 2, 2019 by

    It’s my last night in LA and, after a wonderful meal prepared by my daughter, I am packed for a pre-dawn departure. I went into this trip with a lot of questions about where I am headed. The highway, and more importantly the people I sat with along the way, gave me answers. Thank you… Read more

  • Day 9: Takin’ Risks

    August 1, 2019 by

    The Glendale Harley mechanic reported an “abnormal sound” and thought it was a lifter. He recommended a day to investigate, and then maybe a few days to order parts. Bike seems great to me. It makes all the sounds it’s made for 2200 miles and runs like a champ. Not going to overthink this one.… Read more

  • Day 8: Around and About in LA

    August 1, 2019 by

    The trip is picking up velocity now that it has rounded the 50% mark. I feel like I’m on borrowed time. I spent a few intense hours talking about writing, LA, and the next twenty years of possibility with my dear friend, and CU Boulder colleague, Pete McGraw. The rest of of the day was… Read more

  • Day Seven: The Mighty Los Angeles (Miles ???)

    July 31, 2019 by

    A morning meeting in Mountain View with the fabulous Courseran, Cat Richter. Over coffee and a tart we schemed the future of scaled degrees. Watching the people go by, all I can say is that Mountain View is a strange world, indeed I headed down the coast. It was beautiful but bumper to bumper, a… Read more

  • Day Six: Berkeley

    July 30, 2019 by

    “I woke up in a soho doorway A policeman knew my name. He said, ‘You can go sleep at home tonight If you can get up and walk away.’ I staggered back to the Underground And the breeze blew back my hair. I remember throwin’ punches around And preachin’ from my chair” —P. Townshend, “Who… Read more

  • Day 4: IJMS Conclusion

    July 28, 2019 by

    Really good conference day. Unfortunately, a good conference day does not make for good pictures, but the IJMS moved through topic after topic in a really focused way today, a way that only mature conferences muster. I learned something about my practice that I have not learned otherwise. Bravo to. Shelia Malone to putting this… Read more

  • Day 4: Observations at McMenamins Hotel

    July 27, 2019 by

    It’s a beautiful misty-rainy morning. Nice, because my body is still exuding heat from the ride out. I’m enjoying a coffee on the veranda at the hotel before the conference starts a half-hour’s walk at Pacific University campus. The hotel is lovingly maintained. I’m in the “Al Reynolds” room. A mortician who lived at the… Read more

  • Day 3: Forest Grove (3 miles, Walked!)

    July 27, 2019 by

    Apologies, dear readers, for not posting. This trip was planned around a visit to the International Journal of Motorcycle Studies 9th Annual Conference at Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR. Colleague, fellow motorcyclist, and director of the Herbst Program, Leland Giovannelli, recommended the organization to me, and I submitted a paper. The group meets today… Read more

  • Day 2: Forest Grove, OR (588 miles)

    July 26, 2019 by

    “You just keep going You just keep trying to get right down to the crux.” —John Coltrane I discovered these lines painted on the wall of the Equinox room of the McMenamins Grand Lodge, where I am right now practicing my paper for tomorrow’s meeting of the International Motorcycle Studies Journal Conference. Coltrane is a… Read more

  • Day 1: Oregon

    July 25, 2019 by

    Made it to Oregon. Tougher day today because I’m a bit groggy from yesterday. I might have fixed the problem with comments, folks. Thanks for trying. Onwards!

  • Day 2 (starting out)

    July 25, 2019 by

    Dreamt of rain & an involved Dungeons and Dragons game with a coworker. Did a double take when I realized I still have another 600 miles ahead of me. Lots of Harley’s in the lot. Two weeks or so from Sturgis, they’re all headed east.

  • Day One: Twin Falls, Idaho (688) miles.

    July 25, 2019 by

    Phew. That was a handful of miles in the hot sun. Maybe the longest day of my trip. I’m glad to get it done with first. My hands ache. My left foot has a blister from the sun baking it in my boot. But The biggest day is behind me. The rest will be a… Read more

  • Day 1 (first gas stop: Rawlins)

    July 24, 2019 by

    211 miles in. First gas stop in Rawlins, WY. Some unpacked sections. Saw a little foxy guy with a prairie dog in his mouth cross the road. Took it as a good sign.

  • Day One minus 1

    July 24, 2019 by

    The bike is packed. I’m still figuring out how to make this wordpress site work.  It ain’t as easy as they make it.  But I’m excited for my trip.  A good clearing of the head.  I’ve really enjoyed writing trip reports, but I’ve dropped facebook completely.  This is a bit more challenging, for sure, but… Read more

  • Day One minus 2

    July 22, 2019 by

    Packing and Planning Ready to pack: what’s a good trip without a copy of the Odyssey, Batman Year 100, and Sapiens

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