Moto Blog

Central Wisconsin, 2004
  • Train. Life. Part Two

    May 29, 2022 by

    If Texas is dry then California is uneven.   Since morning I watched the sky and since morning it is unchanged, a strange shell impossibly near but otherwise enveloping all.  Sewn into rolling hills and foothills of mountains patched here and there with varied gum and iron bark breeds the spent husks of their kind… Read more

  • Train. Life. Part 1

    May 28, 2022 by

    While I was riding from LA back to Colorado, my dear friend Justin Adock was taking a lifetime trip by Amtrak from Mississippi to Oakland. I’ve known Justin for twenty years now. We’ve done a few short comics together, and he just published the fantastic gothic piney woods western, Into the Pines. Pick up a… Read more

  • Home

    May 28, 2022 by

    Nothing profound today, but I arrived home safe and sound to my beautiful wife, and loving dogs. Which is profound indeed!

  • Back in the Saddle

    May 27, 2022 by

    Location: Green River, Utah. Milage: 675 Current State: Edging toward bed. What came of the Rocket Sled?  Wither Kuskin and his trip to Los Angeles?  What of his duties at the University of Colorado Boulder.  Wonder no more.  Our last adventure had me arrive on my daughter’s birthday, only to find the door quite literally… Read more

  • La Cresenta, CA

    May 2, 2022 by

    Made it.  A touch under 700 miles.  This morning, James changed the oil on the bike, made me two easy-over eggs with salsa, and gave me a hug. Adela, Chase and Christen sent me on my way with the smiles of family. Blu could not say good bye because he was, unfortunately, under house arrest… Read more

  • Baker, CA

    May 2, 2022 by

    The plan to get to my daughter’s house on her birthday is shaping up.

  • The Break-In Ride

    May 1, 2022 by

    The speed made me take notice.   This speed is of a different order. The old speed was extracted from mechanical wearwithal. My old Harleys literally beat themselves to destruction with every power pulse. My Ducati was always warning me that a new tune up—an endeavor of engineering that would take countless hours and inestimable expense—was… Read more

  • Day One: Salt Lake City 

    April 30, 2022 by

    I got out early enough and met my buddy James in Loveland. James had flown in the night before to pick up a pretty special Harley from a friend who wasn’t riding anymore. James has been around bikes all his life and took one look at my mass of webbing, broke out a power drill… Read more

  • Tomorrow is the Last Day of Class

    April 28, 2022 by

    To state the obvious, I have been out of the saddle since the pandemic began.  One chilly and wet ride out to LA last October—a story that didn’t get written up—and bunch of car trips, but otherwise, I went into hibernation.  I ended up gaining some weight and losing my mojo. Tomorrow is the last… Read more

  • 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. In Our… 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 8: Breakfast

    July 31, 2019 by

    Hard to believe it’s eight days on the road. I am sore. Breakfast burrito from my favorite hole-in-the-wall. I discovered this place while PA-ing for Helen’s major video. I always get the breakfast burrito.

  • 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

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