Monday, April 30, 2012


So it's possible I'm selling the Vulcan. So, even with the thought of selling the bike, my mind quickly jumped to shopping for a new one....Which I won't be purchasing until after I graduate, but no reason not to get a head start.

I'm looking mostly at harley's. I'm focusing on Sportsters because they tend to be in my price range (imaginary, but I'm saying between 3k-6k and really prefer it to me closer to the 3k than the 6, you know what I'm saying....found a few I like the looks of....and then I stubled upon this.

I sick is that? Love the paint scheme, the corbin cafe seat the sick race fairing, and the tank with knee indents...It is priced around 5k. What really aught my eye were the rear controls...absolutely neccesary for a cafe I googled a bit and found these guys:

Pretty fancy stuff right there, but the ability to color coordinate a bikes control linkage with anodized aluminum is sick.

Then I found these from SATO Racing. Minimal, functional and super clean.
All this makes me want to build a sick Harley Sportster cafe racer. I'd probably to a black and gold theme but who knows. Well that got me and gold is great, but black and copper is better. So I found a place in St. Louis that does copper plating. I think it would be nice to build a bike from the ground up and start with a copper plated frame. Hell. Yeah.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

TX->MO 08/2010 Part One

It's been over a year since this little adventure happened but I'll jot down the juicy parts as best as I can remember them.

I, for the last few years, have had the good fortune to visit my folks up in the Missouri hinter-lands once a year. There is a magical time in August when financial aid has arrived in my account, but before classes have started, that I am afforded a lump sum of money that affords me the opportunity to take time off of work. 2010 was no different. As some of you faithful readers may recall, I bought the motorcycle on September 28, 2009. There are a few stories to scribble down from that year that will have to wait for another time. Fast forward a year to August 2010 and you'd find me sitting in the garage, cup of coffee in hand, staring down the bike.

Y'see, I'd gotten it into my head that I was going to ride my motorcycle to Missouri. I mapped my route six or seven times and finally decided on one that would avoid Interstates completely. All back roads and 2 laners for a thousand miles. I bought a tent and a few odds and ends. As luck would have it, there were some guys doing a run out to Shreveport the same day I had planned on leaving Austin so I met up with them and had an escort out of Texas.

The night before I left I could barely sleep. I had packed the bike earlier that day and went to work. I tossed and turned and got up about 5:30 in the morning. I had a cup of coffee in the garage with the bike before loading up and riding out. I have a vague recollection of somebody taking a picture of me. It may have been my girlfriend at the time, it may have been my room-mate. My mind was already spinning. To be perfectly honest, I was a little scared. The beginning of the trip didn't worry me too much, especially now that I would be riding with about 15 other bikes, it was that lone ride up Arkansas and Missouri with no back up that I was a little concerned with. As it has been said by others though, it ain't about where you're going-it's what happens on the way there that makes a good story.

I zipped up 130, the tollway just east of Austin, and watched the sun rise off to my right. I met up with the guys at a Starbucks in Round Rock and we all soaked ourselves in coffee before rolling out. The ride from there on was great, we headed out...78 I think, I'll check that later....which is a straight shot to Shreveport. We stopped for lunch after a bit and had a good bit of bonding over some greasy diner food. This was to be the first of many greasy meals on the road.

We crossed into Louisiana in the afternoon and headed north. Me and the guys parted ways at I-20, they headed East, I continued North. It felt great as I rolled through the stoplight, giving them a wave as I did. I was headed straight into a narrow road flanked on both sides by tall pines. They, conversely, were headed down a major interstate deeper into the belly of an urban beast. The unknown and the known. They were traveling in a pack, with comforts awaiting them at a Casino hotel, I was off into the darkness with no real idea where I was laying my head for the night.

It was after about 30 minutes of the piney woods of Louisiana that I really started feeling that I was on a road trip. Mind you, I'd been riding all day, but at this point I was alone and didn't know where the fuck I was. I had a general idea, but it was definitely unknown territory. The roads were brutal, potholes and no shoulders. The pine trees at least cut some of the sun out bringing some welcome relief from the August sun.

I pulled into an intersection that had a gas station for a little rest and to pick up a Louisiana map. The folks inside looked at me like I'd just landed a space shuttle in their back yard. I ignored the looks and checked the place out. I scored a coca cola, but the joint didn't have any maps for sale. The place had a hot lunch counter at the back and a door in the side that led into a very poorly lit room filled with slot machines. I was damn glad it was still daylight outside. The octagenarian behind the counter seemed to know every person's name that walked through the door.

I lounged on the bike out front for a little while before hitting the road. I kept riding till I hit 1 and headed north. I came to a T in the road that had a Wal Mart at it. The smallest damn Wal Mart I have ever seen. I walked in and asked them if they had any maps. The whole staff seemed to be sharing one set of teeth. The manager directed me to the magazine rack. They all seemed pretty confused why anyone would be looking for a map at the wal mart. I wanted to get the fuck out of that state as quick as humanly possible, but I wasn't about to share that little pearl of wisdom with those charming ladies.

I walked to the back of the store and finding no maps, made my way back up to the front. Fuck it. If I just kept heading north I would eventually hit Arkansas. I was half way up to the front when the poster child for Meth-Cooker Monthly spotted me and yelled MOTORCYCLE MAN! YEEE HAAAW. I gave him a raised fist salute and got the fuck out of there. I managed to sneak off into Oklahoma pretty soon thereafter before making it into Arkansas.

I had put on some good mileage and had finally hit some AMAZING riding. I was feeling invigorated but night had fallen and I figured I'd enjoy the roads a lot more in the morning when I could see. The other thought I had was that I would be less likely to decapitate a deer during the daylight hours. I finally found a place to camp out around 10. The sun sets pretty late so I didn't do an inordinate amount of night riding but I was damn happy to find the place when I did. I logged about 450 miles the first day

It was a Christian Motorcycle Campground. There wasn't a gate or any attendants in the office so I just filled out a piece of paper and dropped it in the box. I set up camp and crashed. On the bike, your sweat evaporates pretty quickly. When you stop, however, It just floods over you. I laid in my tent sweating my ass off till about 1 am. The noise in those tall pine trees of cicadas was deafening. I slept well and woke up early in the morning. I hit the showers, broke camp and hit the road. This was the best day of riding so far. I zipped through the Ouachita National Forest all morning and had a fine breakfast upon hitting civilization around 10 am. I rode all day the second day and rolled into Higbee, where my folks live at about 980 total miles. It crossed my mind to ride around for another 20 miles just so I could end it on an even 1,000 but I was beat down.

At some point I saw a suspension bridge connecting two mountains off to the west and desperately wanted to figure out a way to ride it. I was sure I would remember the name of the town and gave a thought to hitting it on the way back. The town was Mountain-something....maybe. It was around this point, somewhere between Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri, that I stopped into a little gas station, grabbed some 83 octane (the best they had) and a coca cola. There were a couple of, what appeared to be, tridents hanging on the wall. One was priced at $50, the other at $60. "You sell many of these?" I asked. "Hell, we can't keep 'em in stock during giggin' season," said the darlin' behind the counter. Giggin season. Awesome. I procured an Arkansas map fairly early in the day and was much more comfortable with the thought of it in my saddlebags.

It was great to see the folks and I slept all night and till about 10am the next day. After lunch, I squeezed a few more hours of sleep in. The next day I was much more rested and set about enjoying the visit with my folks. I stuck around for a week before heading back to Texas by way of my old friend Alison's place in Arkansas. And I still don't have a goddamned Louisiana map.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring Break 2011

Is it necessary to acknowledge the time that has passed since I last set type to screen? My days and nights have been filled with curriculum and studies with occasional bouts of sleep and sustenance. The bike has a new set of exhaust that causes its throaty voice to be heard for blocks. It is great to see the vision I had for it come to fruition. An air cleaner cover, a new set of handlebars, new mirrors. I've scraped together parts to get the bike looking, sounding, and feeling like I feel it should.

Customizing is a way of growing together, man and machine. Accessorizing is a hallmark of mankind. Baubles and beads. My latest accessory is my education. Soon, by May of 2012, I will have obtained my first Bachelors degree. I will then accompany it with a certification to teach History in the state of Texas. A bachelors degree opens up the world to me, I may move to China to teach English, maybe Korea. I sent off for my passport yesterday in anticipation for the coming opportunities. I stare at the world through my computer screen. I read about it in books but the experiences have yet to meet me, to meld man and world-for us to grow together. With a degree I will release one of the many leashes that ties me to the land. I replace it with the debt of an education, but my debtors, in their infinite generosity are happy to accept my payments from wherever I may reside.

The motorcycle, the degree, they both feed this need to run. Not away. But run. I'm racing away from my own mortality, to see, to feel, to experience all this world is hiding in its many corners, to accessorize my thoughts with the experiences of a world filled with possibilities. I realize that everyones heart does not ache the way that mine does. That the lure of the unexpected and the unexplained are not as enticing and seductive for some as they are for me. I believe the world is calling me to far away places, to exotic food and dangerous women. At times it calls me with a whisper and other times, like today, it is a raucous din of which I cannot describe. London, Edinburgh, Morocco, Senegal, Melbourne, Moscow, Prague, Buenos Aires, Honk Kong, Tokyo and every road in between call out to me. I'm listening and I'm hurrying and I ache for you just as you ache for me dearhearts. Be patient, I will race across your blacktop in time and breathe in your air, I will marvel at your vistas and swim in your streams. We were made for each other after all and not even the devil can keep us apart.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

classical romanticism

I believe it to be fairly common that people separate the psychological world from the physical world. (I'm working on getting some sources to cite the development of this idea). I think that the tragedy of this form of perception is that it denies the basic understanding of the human existence as a physical act. Therefore, contrary to the aforementioned idea, I think that the more one understands their own psychological/spiritual existence, the closer they come to understanding the physical world around them. Some would argue that the limitations of human perception shape and distort the actual world from the world which we experience. I don't deny that, but offer the additional note that pure understanding is not the goal but the process of becoming one who seeks to understand which holds the greatest reward. It is far greater to have approached infinity and be humbled by it than to have discounted the destination as possible and grown farther from it with each moment.

possesion of thought

So, I've previously discussed the idea that possession is merely an illusion created by an alignment of the space-time path of an object alongside the space-time path of a person. They can approach each other, seeming to merge, but it is merely an illusion created by to wide a view.
I'd like to explore that idea as it would apply to our thoughts. Consciousness is a journey, a time-line of thoughts that build upon one another, oftentimes arriving at ideas or conclusions that others have arrived at as well. I don't intend to make the argument against independent thought. On the contrary, independence is the core characteristic of human thought.
The concept I am laying out is that the ideas and realizations that we come to are independent of us. It is not necessary for someone to have considered compassion for it to exist. Given this hypothesis we can explore the revelations that we arrive at as a chase, this pursuit for understanding-a passionate pursuit. It is unlikely that one could scarce draw a map to patience, but it is undoubtedly out there, waiting for us to come crashing into it, headlong, with the force of a thousand conclusions to propel us, and the grin of one whose understanding exceeds one's perception.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I just got back on Monday from an 850 mile road trip out into the Texas Hill Country. Me and handful of other bikers camped out at Lost Maples State Park and road the legendary Three Sisters group of roads, 335, 336, and337. I'm kinda exhausted right now but I'm gonna throw down some thoughts before crashing.
Initially, in the planning stages of the trip I thought about what I would need while I was gone. It dawned on me after a while that I was dreading returning. One of the reasons was that all the bullshit of everyday life would be waiting for me-no matter how far I rode. So I decided to reduce the amount of crap waiting for me when I came back and cleaned the house, did all my laundry, dishes, mowed the yard, washed the car, and generally took care of any loose ends I could think of. This was the best idea I've had in a while.
There's a break-point on a road trip where the relevancy of my normal everyday life becomes microscopically small. It usually happens when I am finally far enough out that I am the only one on the road. Problem is, the everyday life becomes increasingly relevant as I ride back towards home. By reducing the number of things that life would entail upon arrival back at the house I made the ride home in a relaxed fashion and was pleased to have nothing to do but relax and unpack when I got back.
More details about the trip later. Right now, it's time for some much needed rest.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One of the things I really like about Texas is the vast area of it that is undeveloped. Although suitable to support life, much of it is ill suited for crops or major development. Living in the city can create a false sense of progress by way of new buildings and structures. Outside of the city though there are thousands of acres of land that look much like they have for thousands of years. The only signs that man has even seen it before is the occasional road.