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Bitterroot Bugle archives

unwelcome time off

We (I’ll drag Missy into this for allowing the following) picked up from an estate sale a BMW touring bike I used to own, and grabbed a heckuva deal on a small 400cc “dual sport bike” that was languishing under a tarp next to it. I never got around to restoring the BMW, but found the Suzuki DRZ400S to be a highly desirable bike in exceptionally good shape. The former I sold “as-is” for what I had into it, while “Doctor Z” became a favored steed. With the ice thus broken, I bought an upgraded semi-touring BMW in Denver on occasion of a family reunion nearby and rode it the next day to the top of Pike’s Peak. Not […]

… and furthermore

I do not do this very often, but got such a case of the ‘shoulda-saids’ regarding yesterday’s “benefits of motorcycling” post that I went in and added the paragraphs I felt were missing. Its essence is unchanged. I can’t recommend a revisit as important, but I wanted the additional thoughts to be part of that essay.

benefits of motorcycling

I have been thinking about and posting on motorcycles quite a bit of late. Some of that is the season, as weather has become intermittently attractive for the bikers whose passion for that has been in a winter straightjacket. That is by itself exciting and motivating for us. That brings to mind the bigger question: Why do we find our motorcycle rides so exciting? From a practical standpoint, they beat most alternatives. The Asian region, particularly India and China dominate global sales dramatically, with Central and South America not too far behind. The USofA accounts for less than 1% of the global motorcycle market. People who cannot afford cars are much more able to own scooters and motorcycles. For those […]

Jack’s job 1

A big deal in our household last year was Missy’s accomplishment of learning to ride a motorcycle for the first time, her serious, in-depth study of all that meant, taking and passing the beginner biker class as by far the oldest student, one of few women, while riding far and away the oldest bike – the only one with a manual choke and a kick starter. She completely racked up the style points while becoming ‘a biker’. We took a good number of short biker jaunts all over our neighborhood with my Dr Zee keeping her Piglet company. Dr Zee was happy putting along in their company at their preferred moderate 10-35-mph pace. He was also an eager pony […]

we gained weight today … and power

Dr Zee (2012 Suzuki DRZ400 SM) – running errands on Old Darby RoadI watched Dr Zee ride off into the sunset … well, a few hours before sunset, but on down the road with happy new owner aboard. I really did like that cheerful, eager little scooter. My replacement intermediate bike sat quietly in the garage watching the one he displaced roll out of our lives. Dr Zee could mosey behind Missy and Piglet at the 10-25 mph pace they enjoyed and, technically speaking, could make the occasional Hamilton runs at the 70 mph highway traffic demands. BUT the highway portion felt like a stretch to me. The 400cc single-piston (aka: a thumper) thrashing around underneath me had my sympathies […]

33rd annual Ride To Work day – June 11, 2024

Ride your motorcycle on Ride To Work Day and demonstrate: – The number of motorcyclists to the general public and politicians – Motorcyclists are from all occupations and all walks of life – Motorcyclists can reduce traffic congestion in large cities – Motorcycles are for transportation as well as recreation Ride to Work Day is the 2nd Tuesday in June each year. Show the world that motorcycles and scooters are great for everyday transportation. On Ride to Work Day, ride your motorcycle or scooter to commute, shop/run errands, or simply to enjoy the experience. For more information, see Globally, motorcycles provide economical, efficient personal transportation that have not been as much appreciated in the USofA recently. Their time […]

considering EMP possibilities

I have discussed this topic here before. If you want to know more, check out some of my prior posts and links on the subject here: electro magnetic pulse articles At the most basic, and significant levels, our electrical grid and household power are gone in a blink. They will not return in the foreseeable future. That is a given. What happens next and how we prepare for it has filled many books. That is not today’s topic here. While we touched on the above, I was explaining yesterday to a neighbor how he could set up NOW to recover the use of his vehicle after an EMP disabled it. That refreshed in my mind the things I, too, […]

neighborhood ride snapshot vs photograph

It was another lovely spring day in The Bitterroot. We got the dogs walked – which is a most exciting treat for them, and not a bad thing for us. We also got to ride our motorcycles. I took my camera along as I always regret when I fail to do so. But my eyes did not see any photos worth taking. Until at a rest stop, Missy mentioned the lovely mountain view. *BAM* I knew immediately she was right, and subsequently came up with a snapshot that included the mountain, along with the bikes and a rider that put kind-of a time stamp on the photo, remembering the reason we got to that view on this day. That was […]

Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, May 19, 2024

We are now 1 month away from this annual, international event that is now 12 years old … and growing bigger every year so far. This is primarily about a group of enthusiasts getting together and stylin’ through the city on bikes. It is also a fund-raiser for men’s health issues. Though not as much fun to talk about as breasts, testicular cancer and suicides kill more people every year. The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride has donated $45 million towards programs working to reduce those negative impacts. I am pleased to see that my closest ‘big city’ now has one being organized. My wife and I are seriously considering trailering our classics 1.5 hours each way to participate. Hmmmm: It […]

I almost took two photographs today

This was supposed to be a quick trip to Skalkaho Falls for a photo devoid of other tourist vehicles and people. I forgot something. The last 6 miles of road to the falls is closed through winter. On the way back in a light drizzle, I was hustling along to get garaged before it turned to rain or snow when I noticed and braked for a herd of sheep. Some of them backed up onto the shoulder while most of them went slightly up the hill from the road as I rode my bike slowly by. I wanted a photo, but that requires I park the bike, turn it off, take the key to unlock the trunk, remove camera […]

biker chick

This afternoon I was coming down home stretch in the LEO Tupperware reassembly (numerous interlocking plastic panels on Leo – my 2nd-hand ex-police patrol bike) after finally restoring the low beams. I was eagerly anticipating putting some miles on the highway eater when Missy said, “Nice day for a ride” … exactly what I was thinking… until she went on to say, “I mean ME taking a ride … on Piglet”. (Her died-in-the-wool HOGs-Forever brother restored and gave her this diminutive 1978 Honda XL75 that kind-of named itself) The recently licensed grandma on this vintage classic itty-bitty 6-horsepower, 175-pound, 4-speed, kick-start-only bike is completely incompatible with me on Leo. Yet she obviously wanted me to accompany her – also […]

how I spent my vacation

In no particular order, but that in which the photos uploaded… Spring motorcycling weather arrived very early in the Bitterroot this year. I am not counting on winter being truly done with us, but am grabbing these delightful riding days as they come my way. On the left is nearby Lake Como completely covered in ice, though the snow on the ground has all melted. On the right is a stop atop “Almosta Road” which is dirt/gravel all the way, graced with almost no traffic whatsoever and pleasant scenery. No photos, but much of my time is spent on what I call “estate management”. That can include plowing snow, fabricating shelves, welding, woodworking, communing with my shop tools, managing […]

weight just a darn minnut

Older motorcycle riders begin questioning their hobby as it gets harder to handle their bikes at low or no speeds. Some sell their bikes and quit open air touring, others get side-car rigs, traditional trikes, the newer 2-wheels in front trikes, topless sports cars or give up on the whole concept of the trip being more important than the destination. Many of those are giving up riding the 1,000-pound cruisers and big touring bikes they view as integral to biking joys, not imagining motorcycling pleasure being possible on light, more easily managed two-wheelers. Lamentably, I sense that day approaching. Strength, balance and agility all matter when you pull up to a stop on a motorcycle. As you can see from […]

Grandma gets her Motorcycle endorsement

While demonstrating zero interest in riding her own bike and only a little in pillion, my wife’s brother (major HOG guy) delivered a 1978 Honda XL75 to her. On June 30th he and I strapped it onto the motorcycle lift with the rear tire not touching and ran her through the operation thereof. She immediately began researching all things about riding, and signed up for the first available beginner class and DMV written test appointment. Manual choke, hand clutch, foot shift, separate front and rear brakes with hand and foot … imagine all the foreign things there are to learn. Next was a month of my driving what eventually got named “Piglet” to the unused school parking lot where she […]