Blog Section: Chronicles

Sidetracked: Why We Stand

May 22, 2018 View Comments by

Ouray, CO, “Little Switzerland.” Vehicles roll through town packed with overlanding gear, and dual-sport motorcycles parade the streets with their colorful jockeys aboard. Smack in the middle of this melee rides a group of Space Rangers on loaded, knobby-tired beasts, some with cylinders protruding from the sides like proud iron rhinos. The riders are standing […]

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Motorcyclist Guide to the Galaxy: Dealing with Murphy, Part 4

May 21, 2018 View Comments by

Previous articles focused on tools and technologies that can help us get out of trouble or at least reduce risk and damage after the fact. All of them are generic and reactive fixes. Generic, because off-the-shelf solutions are not specific to motorcycle usage; and reactive, because it is assumed the rider will actively respond to […]

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Going East: A Father, Son, and Some Well-Earned Silence

May 20, 2018 View Comments by

It was a rough ride down Interstate 78. Old ladies slowly drifting too far beyond the road surface markings. Big, V8-powered trucks switching lanes to lodge their tailgates a breath from Justin’s handlebars. His father, “The Captain,” would growl into his Sena headset, forgetting he had an audience on the other end of his microphone, […]

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Downtown Local: A Potent Brew of Espresso and Moto Memorabilia

Apr 12, 2018 View Comments by

    Halfway between the Northern California coastal towns of Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay, at the nexus of some of the best motorcycle roads on the planet, lies the somnolent town of Pescadero. It just might be the coolest coastal burg that no one has heard of. So please, don’t go there. But […]

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The Carrizo Plain National Monument

Apr 09, 2018 View Comments by

    A sleeping giant lies on the valley floor between the Temblor Range and the Caliente Range. That is where this story begins. In 1857, the strongest earthquake in California’s recorded history ripped through the San Andreas Fault, wrenching the western side of the Carrizo Plain National Monument 31 feet northward. But today the […]

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Sidetracked: The Kerfuffle

Apr 05, 2018 View Comments by

    At 125 horsepower and 125 Nm of torque, the BMW R 1200 GS can sling mud from its Shinko knobby like a snow blower in a Louisiana swamp. My pal Jay Rothstein sits unaware atop his clutch-less KLR 650, 12 miles north of Gypsum, CO. Afternoon rains have turned this section of the […]

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Motorcyclist Guide to the Galaxy: Dealing with Murphy, Part 3

Mar 29, 2018 View Comments by

  In previous articles, we have established that when traveling the unexpected is likely to happen and therefore it is wise to carry a communication device, either a phone, asset tracker, or satellite communicator. Yet not everyone owns satellite communicators and they’re not free. Occasionally a backup plan is needed, and other cost-effective survival tools […]

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Interview with Ryan McFarland of Strider

Mar 28, 2018 View Comments by

  RoadRUNNER: Strider Bikes got its start when your son was two and learning to ride using a tricycle and a pedal bike with training wheels. What wasn’t working? Ryan: The bikes were too tall, too heavy, and too complicated. A great analogy would be using Honda Gold Wings in a learn-to-ride motorcycle class for […]

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A Motorcyclist’s Guide to the Galaxy: Dealing with Murphy, Part 2

Feb 13, 2018 View Comments by

When we’re riding and running into emergencies, it could be extremely valuable to carry a smartphone or an asset tracker. But the smartphones don’t always have coverage and the asset trackers, as the SPOT3, have limited one-way functionality. Murphy comes in all kinds of unpleasant forms, yet not all of them are life-threatening situations. Hitting […]

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Sidetracked: Rain on an Old Tin Roof

Jan 22, 2018 View Comments by

Thunder roared in the distance as I ducked under the rusty, corrugated sheet-iron structure. I was a lone 16-year-old boy wearing a faded Levi’s jacket, tight, high-water 501s, and a white T-shirt. Three hundred miles into the day’s journey, my 4 a.m. departure was taking its toll. It was my longest day yet on a […]

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The Nation’s Christmas Tree

Dec 06, 2017 View Comments by

Reflecting back on my last National Park Service assignment, Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park were managed as one giant park with a huge Sierra heart.  After all, these parks have two of the largest living trees in the world.  The largest sequoia tree resides in Sequoia National Park and that is special.  […]

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Mr. Meticulous: Pete versus the Vibration

Nov 22, 2017 View Comments by

The world is filled with an abundance of avid motorcyclists. But “avid” can take many forms. There are bikers whose lives revolve around riding daily, whether to work, a vacation destination, or simply a meandering excursion along some country roads for an afternoon. There are those who purchase their dream motorcycles and continually extol their […]

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Riding and Camping in Yellowstone: Mountains, Geysers, and Bears … Oh My!

Nov 20, 2017 View Comments by

As I press my tent stakes into the mineral-rich soil of the nation’s oldest national park, I am glad that I didn’t heed the impulse to turn around before even rolling across the western boundary of Yellowstone earlier in the day. The big jugs on my BMW R 1200 GS were getting hotter than I […]

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PhotoMojo: Selfie Confidence

Nov 15, 2017 View Comments by

It’s the craze that’s sweeping the nation! Here’s a selfie of me with friends! Here’s a selfie of me in the bathroom! Here’s a selfie of me in front of a thing that I saw! Here’s a selfie of me with a bacon cheeseburger! Selfie. SELFIE. SELFIE! Love them or hate them, a lot of […]

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A Motorcyclist’s Guide to the Galaxy: Dealing with Murphy, Part 1

Nov 13, 2017 View Comments by

It was a warm spring day when Mr. Roland Howard Goff, of southern Georgia, started up his Honda VTX 1300. He couldn’t have imagined the chain of events that would result in him spending the next eight days lying trapped in a ditch under the heavy bike, fighting for his life with one leg crushed, […]

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