Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Secret to Avoiding Failure...

broadstone balboa park
Leaving our new apartment building in San Diego
My first overnight motorcycle ride since ending our 2 1/2 year long Road Pickle motorcycle tour was a short two-nighter between San Diego to Phoenix and back. One of my clients, a gourmet beef jerky company known as Lawless Jerky, has its manufacturer facility in the Valley of the Sun, and its CEO was in town, visiting from New York.

And because I've been moonlighting the past several years as a beef jerky reviewer, I like meeting the players in the meat snacks industry.

The good news is that the weather in Phoenix is mild. It's sunny, but a comfy mid-70s to low-80s. This would be a solo trip for me, with Sash staying in San Diego.

By this time, however, I've become bored with the ride between San Diego and Phoenix. It's pretty much always Interstate 8. Yes, there are alternative routes in California, but not in Arizona. But even the alternative routes in California have become boring. I've ridden them all dozens and dozens of times over. I find myself falling into the attitude of just wanting to get there as fast as I can, and sacrificing any opportunity of new tales and chance meetings.

But I can honestly say, that I really have looked at Google Maps, and zoomed in to search for that lonely road that keeps getting ignored. But alas, there's no such road heading into the Grand Canyon State, at least none that I haven't ridden a few times already.

If anything, I did get a little bit of a fright when I discovered I was 60 minutes late to my meeting with Lawless Jerky. It seems this time of year, Arizona is one hour ahead of California. I panicked in my hotel room realizing my laptop's clock still showed Pacific Time. I texted my client, but was assured there wasn't a problem. I guess this sort of thing happens all the time when Californians visit Arizona.

"I think these are still smoking", Matt Tolnick, the CEO of Lawless Jerky pointed out to me, as he struggled to unlatch the massive, industrial sized smokers. The door cracked open a few inches, sending clouds of hickory smoke mixed with teriyaki marinade billowing out. My salivary glands stimulated into action. "Yeah, these still have a long ways to go", he said.

What amazed me is that I remember when Matt first started his business. He had just quit working as an attorney for a sports agency, determined to build a business from his jerky-making hobby. He was just like thousands of guys across the country trying to make a buck selling homemade jerky. Yet here he was, only three years later, standing inside his own USDA-inspected jerky factory. Trust me, after writing jerky reviews for 7 years now, I've seen a lot of entrepreneurs come and go.

The difference between success and failure, it seems, is simply avoiding failure.

"I think you have to fully invest yourself into what you're doing in order to succeed...", Matt explained over a capacola sandwich. "...so that you're in a sink or swim situation, so that you have no other option but to succeed."

matt tolnick lawless jerky
Matt Tolnick, CEO of Lawless Jerky, standing by a rack of marinated beef  ready to be smoked.
I nodded my head in approval.

It reminded me of a documentary called, "The Secret", which discusses the Law of Attraction. In short, it simply says that when you genuinely believe in something, you start to see those opportunities around you. Most of us instead hope and pray for a miracle, and rarely does that miracle come. Yet, if we tune our focus into believing success, we start seeing solutions. It then becomes a matter of just acting on them.

And I think Sash and I are starting to put ourselves in a similar boat as Matt. Having just signed a one-year lease on a fancy new apartment, we're determined to stay there for the full term, despite the challenge of finding new clients for our marketing business.

"We're going to make a lot of money in 2016", Sash keeps saying to me.

I know she's determined. It's time for me to put on my determination hat too.

8 comments | Post a Comment

Monday, November 23, 2015

Confirmation Bias Under Temporary Permanence

tom rogers
Me (left) with Tom Rogers, Old Town Cemetery, San Diego, CA
This morning I woke up to realize that Sash and I are no longer motorcycle vagabonds, at least for the time being. The lifestyle of moving across the country whenever, and wherever it pleased us, has dropped us with a solid "thump" in downtown San Diego, CA.

I know this because a few weeks ago we signed a one-year lease on an apartment.

But it wasn't until this morning, when I rode my motorcycle to Phoenix, that it felt different. That is, riding my motorcycle across state lines doesn't feel like running away when I have a landlord and a contract waiting for me.

A few days ago, however, we were visited by Tom Rogers. Tom is a motorcycle vagabond. He doesn't have a blog however, and he doesn't post much about it on his Facebook. There's something kinda cool about being so humble. Not needing the approval or confirmation from others is a sign of strength. I don't normally tell strangers that I ride a motorcycle, nor even tell them about my tales of riding across the country, although obviously I do write about it here.

The fact that Tom would seek us out in our new confines is interesting to me. It comes just as when Sash and I have hung up our wandering boots for the cyclical routines of domiciliary motion. It makes me wonder, however, if a vagabond is always a vagabond. Did I spend my younger years as a wanderer in domestic's clothing? Is it possible to be temporarily permanent? His visiting us is like a confirmation for me.

Philosophers have insisted that "we see what we want to see", or that, "we attract what we are".

In science, they call this confirmation bias.

That is, we tend to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information that confirms our beliefs, while at the same time shutting out alternative ideas. It's why someone who believes in ghosts ends up seeing one, why someone who believes in aliens ends up abducted by them, and even why a woman born to white parents ends up identifying as black.

I guess it's because Sash and I had identified ourselves as motorcycle gypsies that we saw many of them and hung out with them. Some are still wandering on the road, Stephanie Yue, Joe Sparrow, Kevin Bean're. But some are also on temporary permanence like Tad and Gaila. There are also those who I have yet to meet like Ara Gureghian and Scooter Tramp Scotty. There are others that Sash have met that I haven't.

Perhaps the same is true with Tom Rogers; he stopped to see us along his interstate meander because his mind wants to see the same severance from everyday convention as ours. He likes being with people who follow the same path.

Or maybe he just identifies with people who have boring names like mine.

Confirmation bias keeps us from losing our sanity. There's just too much going on around us, and too many ways of looking at something, that we have to pick a path and follow it. Like-minded people such as Tom, Stephanie, Joe, et al, are like guide posts that keep me in my lane, even when I'm temporarily out of it.

2 comments | Post a Comment

Monday, October 12, 2015

When is a Squid Not a Squid?

Me riding through Arches National Park, Utah, June 17, 2015
Can someone ever rightfully claim to be a safe motorcycle rider? Can someone ever point out another rider as being unsafe? Can ATGATTers pat themselves on the back for being safe riders? Are squids destined to die?

I go crazy when I hear a rider point out another rider as being a "squid", or publicly espousing the virtues of wearing ATGATT, because those terms are relative. In some respects, they're just fantasy.

Binary Opposition is a subject that has been much observed particularly in recent times through feminism, racism, religion, and politics. It's basically refers to polar opposites. Humans measure things linearly. We understand expressions of "up and down", "hot and cold", "white and black", "male and female", "God and Satan", "gay and straight", "liberal and conservative", et al. But we tend to prefer one opposite over the other. Males tend to dominate females. God is good, Satan is bad. Whites are priviledged, Blacks are discriminated.

Humans are social animals, and as such, we assemble into groups and look at the world as "us versus them".

In motorcycling, ATGATT is perceived more favorably than Squid. And while ATGATT proponents point to data in the course of defending their position, the data still remains relative and inconclusive. That is, there are many motorcyclists who died despite wearing a lot of gear. Moreover, many of those lives could have been spared, had they wore even more gear.

And that's why I go crazy when I hear people espouse the virtues of ATGATT. It's simply impossible to wear all the gear, all the time. A rider can never wear enough gear to be 100% safe. You can always put on more gear that will get you closer to 100%, but you can never get to 100%.

But, safety and death do not have a direct correlation to gear. How much more gear you wear does not equate to how much more safe you'll be. Likewise, how little gear you wear does not equate to how many more injuries you'll suffer. It's very possible for an ATGATTer to suffer more injuries than a squid over the course of 100,000 miles.

So why do ATGATT afficionados like to point fingers at squids?

Again, "binary opposition" is one of those things that make up humanity. We're obsessed with polar opposites. I think it's because humans can never be 100% neutral. We're always going to have some bias, somewhere. And because we want to assemble with like-minded persons, we tend to point out those who are opposite to us. Some of this opposition becomes highly emotional, particularly with religion, politics, racism, and sexuality. I tend to witness the same emotional level of opposition in motorcycling.

I mean, look at Harley versus Metric. Cruiser versus Sportbike. Leather versus Textile. I've been around enough BMW riders to know how much they despise Harley riders. This is all under the supposed, "brotherhood of motorcycling", and yet the mudslinging can get pretty passionate.

Meanwhile, it's impossible to be a squid, simply because by definition, a squid is the polar opposite of ATGATT. And if you're the opposite of being 100% safe, then you're 100% dead. In my opinion, if a rider traveled from Point A to Point B safely, then technically speaking, they rode safely. It doesn't matter how much gear they wore, or even how fast.

In reality, we all exist in the grey area. We all wear some amount of gear, even if it's just a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. Even if you rode naked, you still have a brain that kept you safe.

Safety can only be declared at the end of the ride, and is not a reflection of how much gear you wear.

I will agree, however, that wearing more gear will reduce injury and the risk of death. But there's an irony in wearing more gear. If you agree that you can't wear enough gear to be 100% safe, then you're obviously willing to risk death. And if you're willing to risk death, are you not a squid?

Otherwise, the difference between ATGATT and squid is a sliding scale of risk, with each person getting to decide how risky they want to be. That's grey area. I can see how someone would "feel" more safe if they wore more gear, but does that make them more safe? Does that give them the right to declare someone else as unsafe?

So, when is a squid not a squid?

Well, we're all squids, and we're all ATGATTers. The sliding scale doesn't include or exclude us from either opposite. We can never be either or. That really ought to unite us all.

The terms "ATGATT" and "Squid" only end up dividing us.

11 comments | Post a Comment

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Body In Motion Tends To Stay In Motion

Tule River swimming hole, along CA-190, Sequoia National Forest
My one week solo motorcycle trip last month was rather unremarkable, aside from some challenging tight, twisty riding through the Sequoia National Forest. Originally, I had planned to ride through Yosemite National Park, but considering I've already ridden through there a few times, I decided to change course.

The Sequoia National Forest lies in the southern portion of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, and contains several tight, twisty roads that reach high elevations. And since lately, I've been wanting to focus on roads I've never ridden before. (See route map)

But I'm starting to lament.

Sash and I are now committing to stay in our hometown of San Diego for at least a year. We're looking to sign a one-year rental agreement on a house or apartment somewhere. As of this writing, we're staying in a vacation rental we booked on Airbnb for a month.

I say "lament" because it's sad to leave the road life. When your mind, body, and soul is tuned to the frenetic pace of arriving and leaving, of being thrust into new environments, and the chaos of ever-changing variables, it becomes somewhat depressing to be surrounded by the same four walls, day in, and day out.

Sir Isaac Newton wrote in his Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosphy, that...

"...an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force."

We always remain who we are until another person, place, or thing influences us. Without any external force, we continue to do as we always have.

And so, what external force brought about this change?

Well, it's quite tough to live the way Sash and I had been living the past few years. The constant packing and unpacking of our stuff. The physical toll of riding long distances, day after day. Keeping up with our work while riding across the country is mentally demanding. Riding through consecutive days of rain or heat tests your resolve.

You get to a point where you want the luxury of saying, "I think I'll stay in today."

But it's also having to be together 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sash and I often get on each other nerves, and push each other's buttons when together so often. Constantly being on the road means constantly being together. By contrast, if we were permanently settled, we'd have more time to be apart.

Sash has already found a new apartment building that she wants to move into. It's located in the Park West community of San Diego, which is just up the hill from downtown. It's a contemporary neighborhood filled with 6-figure income hipsters. People there ride bicycles, eat vegan food, and do yoga in the park.

It's a complete 180 degree change from the motorcycle road life.

No comments | Post a Comment

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

If I Lose Everything, I Still Have Myself

Leaving San Diego on my motorcycle this morning felt different than with other trips. The 5+ plus weeks that Sash and I spent here since returning from the 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally left a profound effect on me.

I'm now on a one-week solo trip that'll take me into Yosemite National Park and back. Meanwhile, Sash is on a motorcycle trip to Bakersfield where she'll pick up her daughter and spend a few days bonding with her in San Francisco. Afterwards, Sash and I will reconnect somewhere in the LA area before returning to San Diego.

Since we started this motorcycle vagabond lifestyle 2 1/2 years ago, we've become different people. What we initially dubbed, "Road Pickle" has not only changed our perspective, but also changed our relationship.

That's what Road Pickle was all about in the first place, changing your outlook on life by taking a long road trip. This is the actual definition I published on the Road Pickle website...

road pick·le
[rohd pik-uhl] noun, verb

1. a motorcycle road trip so profound and/or comprehensive, that it changes your perspective of yourself, others, the world, or life itself. (eg: “I’m quitting my job, moving out of the apartment, and doing a road pickle this summer.”)

2. the act of embarking on a road pickle. (eg: “We’re going to road pickle all summer long and reassess ourselves.”)

How are we now different?

I think from here on out, Sash and I will put more focus on pursuing individual endeavors. We've agreed to find a permanent home in San Diego and use it as a base to launch our personal goals.

For one, I want to do more long-distance riding. I want to pare down my belongings and see how bare I can get and still get by sufficiently. I want to spend more time writing fiction. I know that Sash wants to become more self-sufficient, and has already put herself into a better position to do that. She's also started to surround herself with a network of trusted friends to give her the emotional feeding she needs. Consequently, what she's doing will free me up to do these solo trips.

Spending more time apart is something we realize we need to do. Since we first met, we've spent almost all of our time together. And riding across the country together gets us cooped up in hotel rooms, cabins, and vacation rentals. We start stepping on each other's emotional baggage, mostly without knowing it, and next thing we know, we're blindsided into a fight.

What Road Pickle has done is expose all this baggage. And since Sash and I still deeply care for each other, we naturally want to help each other. That's why we're doing this.

In effect, Road Pickle has improved our relationship.

Several months ago, I watched this documentary called, "Jiro Dreams of Sushi", and found that it offered a profound message. The piece is about a famous itamae (sushi chef) named Jiro Ono. Jiro owns a very tiny sushi bar in Tokyo. In the documentary, Jiro is 85 years old. His oldest son, Yoshikazu works for him as an apprentice, and expects to one day inherit his father's bar.

The message is that to master the art of something, you have to break it down into very small elements, and master each element. Each element is not small, nor insignificant, but rather complex.

Yoshikazu started his apprenticeship washing dishes, and focused solely on washing dishes for many years. Because his father believes that dishes add a significant component to the fine art of sushi, it was an important element to master. There was a particular process of scrubbing, a certain water temperature, specific soap, and a process of rinsing and drying. The dishes had to have the right amount of shine, reflection, and surface tension.

After his son mastered dish washing, he was allowed to wash the rice, which he also did for several years as well. Once he mastered that, he was allowed to cook the rice. In the documentary, Yoshikazu is 50 years old, and still hadn't progressed to making sushi yet.

For the Japanese, honor is everything. No sushi master wants to have to bow his head in disgrace because he forgot to make sure the rice was perfect.

But for the sake of this article, stripping something down into its basic elements is a way to tackle a problem in a structured process so that even idiots can eventually master it. It's like saying the sure fire way to find your way out of a maze is to put your hand on a wall and keep walking without losing touch. It's basic, rudimentary, certainly overkill, but always guaranteed. And if you do it enough times, you'll learn the variables and subtle nuances that lets you take shortcuts.

Somehow, stripping myself of belongings and doing these solo road trips, I feel as if I'm doing just that. I think it stems from this philosophy of mine that even if I lose everything, I still have myself. And as long as I have myself, I have everything I need.

2 comments | Post a Comment

Friday, July 24, 2015

Getting 100,000 Miles Out of a Motorcycle

100000 miles on the odometer
My odometer, seconds after the 100,000 mile turnover
The feeling was more like a revelation than anything else. When Blackbird, my faithful Honda ST1300, finally logged its 100,000th mile this afternoon, I realized where it happened, and when it happened, and thought to myself, "Oh, OK."

I mean, after my Alaska trip in 2010, I felt convinced that this bike was a keeper. That's the point when I wondered how long it would take until I got to see the odomoter tick from "99999" to "100000", and where it would happen. It wasn't until just a few weeks ago, that I finally had a good idea.

So, there it happened today, along County Road S-22 in San Diego County, otherwise known as "Montezuma Valley Rd", just east of Ranchita, CA, inside Anza Borrego Desert State Park.

But best part about it is that Blackbird did this without any help. That is, she's never needed repairs. Nothing busted, no faulty parts, and nothing worn out. All it has ever needed was the usual fluids, brake pads, and tires. It's not like my 2005 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic, that needed constant repairs and patch work to keep it going. I mean, I suppose any motorcycle could go 100,000 miles if you keep replacing busted parts.

So, kudos to the engineers at Honda for designing a rock solid bike.

Yeah, that Harley was a comfortable bike with lots of bells and whistles. But that's about all I can really say about it. About every 8,000 to 10,000 miles, it would require some kind of major repair. A few times the inner primary seal wore out and needed replacing, which is a tedious job to do. I had a head pipe crack on me. I had the rear brake line wear a hole. I had an engine mount crack and disintegrate. The ball joint on the shift rod connector wore out. And of course, I had the cam chain tensioners disintegrate.

It's as if Harley designs bikes with the intention of failing so that you'll take it to a dealer for repair. That way, you'll notice the newer motorcycles in the showroom that were resdesigned to solve the problems your bike is plagued with.

"Yup, Harley fixed that issue last year", the salesman says to you. "Your bike was the last model year that had that problem."

honda st1300
County Road S-22, just inside Anza Borrego Desert State Park
It's no wonder why the Motor Company sells more bikes to existing owners than to any other group.

It was around 75,000 miles when the cam chain tensioners finally disintegrated on my Electra Glide. I was faced with either replacing them, or spending a lot of extra cash for gear-driven cams. It would take another 50,000 to 75,000 miles for gear-driven cams to pay for themselves, and everyone encouraged me to do it. But I said, "No".

This is where the love-hate relationship with Harley stops.

I went the cheaper route by getting new cam chain tensioners, and then I sold the bike. I used that money to buy a used 2006 Honda ST1300 that had 7,000 miles on it. 93,000 miles later, here I am writing about it.

Complaining about Harleys isn't the reason for writing all this however. My point is that I wouldn't appreciate getting 100,000 miles out of a motorcycle that needed no repair work if I had never had the Harley.

But it's not to say that Blackbird will put on another 100,000 miles. She could fall apart tomorrow for all I know. But at this point, I feel satisfied knowing I got my money's worth.

9 comments | Post a Comment

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Conflict Between Love and Comfort

Sash and the Indian Scout along Palomar Mountain Road
Roads in and of themselves are not dangerous. They're simply layers of pavement that remain still. It's the riders themselves that lose control. Yet, motorcyclists often describe one road as being more dangerous than another, and often speak of roads reputed to be so dangerous that some riders refuse to ride them.

When I lead Sash to Palomar Mountain Road last winter, I felt compelled to pull off to the side to give her some tips about what she would encounter. I didn't want her to underestimate the switchbacks and decreasing radius curves and end up dead. Many riders have crashed and died along that road.

"Be careful" I said to her, thinking that somehow, she'd ride more carefully.

But in thinking it through, I felt a conflict. I love Sash for her tenacity, detemination, and guts, yet here I was asking her to be a little more intellectual so as to address my fear. The truth is, it's not fair to a rider that they tone down their enthusiasm to suit someone else's concerns, even if the sentiment was out of genuine care. When someone else asks me to "ride safe", I usually don't give it much thought, nor take any offense. But after having logged hundreds of thousands of miles myself, I like to think that I can make my own decisions on staying safe.

At the root of all this, is a conflict between love and comfort.

We all have things we love, but we also want to feel comfortable. Can we love something and set it free, but at the same time control it when we're worried?

We see it all the time in other facets of life...

  • You love your new boyfriend because he's so creative, spontaneous, and free thinking, but you want him to put on a shirt and tie when taking him to meet your parents.
  • We love sports figures who battle to the death, break records, and pump their fists in victory, but we want them to be humble and civil in public.
  • You love having your buddies over for a night of poker, beer, and jokes, but you want them to keep it quiet because your wife is sleeping upstairs.

In fact, it was Sash who decided a couple years earlier that we ought to wish someone to "ride fun" instead of "ride safe" because it seems to be a more neutral valediction.

But that doesn't always relieve the conflict between love and comfort.

The more you love someone, the more you worry, and the more comfort you seek. Setting someone free is not that easy, yet it's the letting go that mysteriously makes them come back.

These days, I've become more conscious about bidding farewell to a fellow rider. I catch myself wanting to say, "ride safe", but instead say something like "catch you later".

3 comments | Post a Comment

Monday, July 20, 2015

Show Low, AZ to Scottsdale

US-60 descending into the Salt River Canyon
Rain had been predicted all Saturday long when I left Show Low, AZ for Scottsdale. I hadn't brought any rain gear with me, aside from the leather jacket and full face helmet I normally wear. So, I was prepared for a soaking.

"It's just water", I often explain to myself.

I did, however, bring my cold weather, waterproof gloves, because they don't take up much space in the trunk. Yet, I opted not to wear them because rain was not actually falling the moment I left. I'm one of those "in the moment" guys, as opposed to those, "you never know" guys, and would just rather wait to see how accurate the forecast was.

As US-60 made the slow descent from the White Mountain Range into the Salt River Canyon, grayish thunderheads loomed across the horizon like giant puffs of billowy cotton soaked with the warm waters of the Gulf of California. The highway wasn't making any attempt to steer me away from them either. It looked as if this ride was going to be as wet as the weatherman said it would.

If there was any consolation, the road was wide open. The scores of minivans and RVs I had expected along this route just wasn't to be found.

Yet somehow, I had passed under numerous clouds that looked to ready to unleash their loads, and nothing came down. So far, the rain had waited.

As the highway began the twists and turns that snaked its way down the rock canyon walls to the river bottom, sunshine had actually come out. The air was starting to warm up to the normal 100+ degrees F that Arizona typically sees this time of the year. I felt rewarded for having stuck to my guns about gearing up for the "now" instead of for the "might be". And just when I thought I was going to be stuck behind a line of slow moving cages, the highway offered a passing lane that let me twist the throttle and get in some good leans.

Another 10 miles down the way, I was treated to some beautiful views of blue sky interspersed with bright white stratocumulus clouds hovering over streaks of bluish-gray mountain ranges. Where were the other Saturday afternoon riders? I suppose they were frightened off by the overly-cautious weather forecast.

After I finished a rather uncharacteristic lunch of all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet in the town of Globe, I opted to prolong my journey into the Salt River Valley with a side route to Roosevelt Lake via AZ-188. According to Google Maps, AZ-188 would then intersect me with AZ-88, a road that would take me to Scottsdale but more twisty and challenging.

Yet when I got to the 88, I found a sign warning me that it was all dirt. So, I stopped at an overlook that offered gorgeous views of Lake Roosevelt, and spoke to a couple of Harley riders, who confirmed that the 88 was indeed all dirt, and very soft in places. No worry, I ended up taking the 188 instead to AZ-87, and then into Scottsdale.

As it turns out, I got only a light bit of rain taking the AZ-87 south, not even enough to pull over and put on my waterproof gloves for. Sometimes when it threatens to rain, that's all it amounts to.

View more photos from this ride here.

1 comment | Post a Comment

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Exploration is the Key to Self-Discovery

US-60, AZ, through the Superstition Mountains
Exploration is the key to self-discovery. I've read those words a number of times in various places, and they always seemed like an oxymoron because I thought exploration and self-discovery were practically the same thing.

But that piece of advice somewhat suggests that we are to reach a destination of realization, where we might finally get into a groove and ride out the remaining years of our lives in fulfillment. But, I'm not sure I've met anyone who has fully discovered themselves.

In fact, in the past few years of riding across the country, I've come to meet many people who went through divorces, or are contemplating divorce, because things are different now. They've changed. Their kids moved out. They lost their job. Self-discovery is an on-going process as opposed to something we arrive at and conclude.

Yesterday, I left Chandler, AZ for Las Cruces, NM, believing I would continue taking Interstate 10 eastbound through more flat, straight, expanse of desert. As boring it might sound, the Interstate has been the tried-and-true way to get through that heat quickly with plenty of amenities and rest stops in between. But after looking at the map one more time, I realized I could actually take US-60 and US-70 through Globe, Safford, and Duncan before reconnecting with the I-10 at Lordsburg. The route was technically a little shorter in miles, but longer in time.

Moreover, there was a stretch of the US-70 between Safford and Lordsburg that I had never ridden before.

I'm glad I made that choice.

Temperatures dropped from the upper 90s into the low 80s as the US-60 wound its way up the Superstition Mountains. I was treated to gorgeous views of boulder-laden grades interspersed with oaks and creosote bush. I was able to lean into sweeping curves one after another, feeling the centripetal force pulling my body and motorcycle down into my tires as I increased throttle and slingshotted from each apex. It was some fun riding.

Just the cooler air alone, made it worth the while.

But as I got to the other side, dropping down into the Apache Indian Reservation, that respite was soon gone. I was back into hotter air, though still enjoying pretty scenery and a highway largely free of traffic.

And that stretch of US-70 between Safford and Lordsburg that I had never ridden before? Well, it was actually rather straight and unremarkable. Yet, it was still satisfying because my mind had shifted to that of exploration. What I had ended up discovering was just another piece of Arizona and New Mexico that I had never seen before. And now that I've seen it, I like to think that I know these two states just a little bit better.

Perhaps that's what self-discovery is too. Getting ourselves off the familiar routine and trying something new is like stirring up the pot to see what else is in there. Even if on paper, the familiar routine is the tried-and-true way to get through the day, we're never going to grow as people if we don't face challenges and explore the unknown.

Even if you were to discover that there isn't anything new, at least you discovered that.

4 comments | Post a Comment

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions

Interstate 10, eastbound into Arizona
It's been said that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. But while most of us mean to do good, in the end it's always what we failed to do that we're defined. It's always that one big opportunity we didn't make good on, that haunts us.

Good ideas always start out, of course, as good ideas. But science teaches us that "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction". You can't put a good idea into place without pissing on someone else's Cheerios. And when naysayers make good on their equal and opposite reaction, you're on that road to Hell.

But it's all in how you handle the negativity that determines whether you're barbecued in Hades, or toasted on the morning show circuit; every dark cloud has a silver lining they say.

Meanwhile Interstate 10 through the State of Arizona offers its own little road to Hell. As I got into Phoenix this afternoon, the air temperature gauge on my Honda ST1300 read 108 degrees F (42.2 C). The thing is that it gets so hot in AZ, and getting to the Valley of the Sun requires hundreds of miles of empty desert, you don't want to take side roads. You just want to get there as fast as you can.

108 degrees. The "F" means "Fuck this shit"
Sash, on the other hand, is still in Southern California, continuing her commitment to doctors appointments. After spending so much time together on the road the past few years, living in hotel rooms, cabins, and vacation rentals, we need some time apart. Moreover, "I" need some time apart. I need that feeling of running away, being on my own, left to my own devices.

And we've talked a lot about spending more time apart as a way to maintain a healthy relationship. We've talked about it for a few years now. But it's always manifested as a few hours here or a day or two there; we've never spent weeks apart before, until now.

Looking back across my adult life, there were things I wanted to do that I never made good on. The reasons why are many. For one, I married young. And two, I spent my twenties chasing the approval of a mother and father who just weren't going to give it to me. But also, it was because I've been one to just let sleeping dogs lie. I didn't want to rock the boat, or disrupt the status quo with what I felt were good ideas. I didn't want to find myself on the road to Hell.

Sash, on the other hand, doesn't seem to be bothered with going to Hell because she's always managed to come back from it. I guess it's a good thing that I have her as a guide in my life. But then again, it might make me dangerous.

Dinner and brew, Uncle Bear's Brewery, Chandler, AZ
Meanwhile, my stay in the Phoenix area lasts only one night. By morning, I'm looking to avoid the road to Hell once more with some cooler AM temperatures as I make my way further east into New Mexico.

I've a balding front tire that needs replaced, and I'm certain no one's got something that'll match the Michelin PR4 on my rear wheel. So, I'm looking for a shop that can get one in a few days time and mount it on the spot.

1 comment | Post a Comment

Heading Back Out On the Highway

This morning I headed back out on the highway with Las Cruces, NM as my first destination. This time going solo. I'm planning a short stint of 19 days before returning to SoCal. When I get back, Sash and I are taking another little trip to the 75th Anniversary Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Since cutting our original road trip short last month, and returning to Southern California, Sash and I have stayed at her house in Menifee for 16 days now. She actually still owns a house, but has been renting it out to a family the past few years. They moved out of the house just as she and I returned back. So, the house is mostly empty aside from a futon, television, and patio furniture.

But now the house is up for sale.

A few weeks after the Sturgis Rally, Sash has another doctor's appointment in San Diego. So, she'll be returning. I have a client in Boulder, CO that I'll be visiting with. After that, I'm not sure what I'll be doing.

Probably just riding around.

I can remember at the age of 12 when our family moved from San Diego to Santa Ana. The change in culture was severe. Even though the neighborhood we lived in San Diego was predominantly hispanic, it was still very friendly. I had lots of friends there. In Santa Ana, however, where the population is also hispanic, people remain guarded. As the only Asian/White family on the block, we were like alien invaders to them. I never felt so alone there.

But at that time, I was also going through some of my own problems with being a stepchild. Both my mother and father remarried to new spouses, and both had new sons to love and raise. It made me feel abandoned. Moreover, my mom kept complaining about me spending too much time inside the house during weekends and summer vacations. She wanted me to get out of the house.

"Go outside and make some new friends!" she demanded while making a serious face.

How was I supposed to make friends with people who made suspicious expressions at me?

It didn't take long, however, until I discovered the Santa Ana River Trail. It was a stretch of narrow pavement for bicyclists and joggers that ran along the banks of the Santa Ana River. It starts in the San Bernardino Mountains and flows some 96 miles to the Pacific Ocean at Huntington Beach.

I'd ride my bicycle a couple of miles to the river trail, and from there could ride southwest to the beach, which was about 8 miles, or ride northeast to Prado Dam, which was about 22 miles. The first couple of times I rode towards the beach, and by the time I got there, I found it very crowded with joggers, skateboarders, and bicyclists. I felt quite overwhelmed. So, I started going the other way towards Prado Dam.

The entire day of riding to Prado Dam and back was close to 45 miles. This for a teenager was actually not that exhausting. It did, however, keep me in good physical condition, which I think I still benefit from today.

But for the most part, spending so much time riding far away, and being all alone, made me feel so much more comfortable. I didn't have my mom nagging me. I didn't have to be the stepchild anymore. I'd imagine myself as running away, and resigning myself to my own faculties. Yet, I'd return home by evening.

What I know now is that I get quite anxious staying in one place for too long. Sixteen days here in Menifee has been a long enough time for me. Getting on that motorcycle and being gone for several weeks, even months, is like being able to breathe again.

1 comment | Post a Comment

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough go Riding

cantina mayahuel san diego
Sash chats with her friend Janet at Cantina Mayahuel, San Diego, CA
Nearly a week ago, Sash and I had begun staying at her house in Menifee, CA, a bedroom community located in the Inland Empire, about an hour north of San Diego.

The family that had been renting the house from her moved out a week prior to us getting here. The house, which has five bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms, covering 3,000 square feet, is largely empty, aside from the patio furniture, futon, and television that we brought in from storage. It was good timing that her renters moved out just in time for our return to SoCal.

As Sash reported last May, she's returned from our road trip to take care of health issues that just can't wait any longer.

Since returning over the past week, we've hooked up with some old friends that we used to hang out with frequently. It's always good to see them again, but interestingly I no longer get this feeling of missing them. I think that something inside me says that I'll be back to see them again, even it takes another year or two or three.

I think part of it is knowing that we're all connected via social media, and that we can always get small snippets of each other's day to day lives over the Internet. Another part is knowing that in most cities across the country, we have other friends and family to help us feel welcomed and appreciated. But I think the other part is that I don't feel connected to a home anymore.

That is, San Diego, along with Southern California for that matter, no longer feels like a place where I'm "back at home". It's as if being on the road for two-and-a-half years, moving from city to city every week or two, has numbed my sense of grounding. Meanwhile, the friends we reconnected with recently all have jobs they go to Monday through Friday. They have to mow lawns, fix leaky faucets, and pay electricity bills. Whereas, I haven't touched a lawn mower since I moved out from my ex-wife over four years ago.

I found it liberating that over the past few months, I've been reading about the water shortage in California, and I don't feel concerned. Should the drought continue to devastate the Golden State's economy, I guess I'll just hang out somewhere else. There's something really freeing in knowing that when the going gets tough, the tough go riding.

But it's not like I just don't care. I feel as if I've paid my dues. I put in a lot of state and federal taxes as an employee, and having been a business owner for the past 14 years, I pay even more state and federal taxes. I've thrown so much money at Sacramento and Washington DC lately, I've earned the right stick my middle finger at Jerry Brown and Barack Obama.

A part of me has always wondered, however, what our clients think when they hire a marketing team that is constantly changing cities. I mean, I know that Sash and I have lost some opportunities due to clients preferring to hire contractors rooted in their geographic locale. But many of the clients who've hired us travel frequently themselves, and I think they "get" the concept of mobile living and working.

Sash, on the other hand, has been working on a list of her top 10 favorite cities. But I don't know if I really have any favorite cities. I do know that there are some places I just didn't like. Yet, I still enjoyed myself there. It's knowing that I can leave at any time without the hassel of selling a house or moving furnitture that makes me feel a lot better about visiting a shit hole.

This house in Menifee we're staying in has not been ideal for Sash. She bought it with her then-husband several years ago and actually used to live in it. Since returning here last week, it reminds of her of many bad times, and seeing it so empty now makes her sad. Part of the reason why we're staying here is so that we can clean it up and fix it up for sale. We have only a couple more weeks to stay here, and then Sash heads down to San Diego to housesit, while I take a short road trip.

3 comments | Post a Comment

Sunday, June 21, 2015

In Sickness and In Health...

Sash along US-285, just east of Saguache, CO
Sash had her back propped up against a set of pillows on our hotel bed, with the covers pulled up to her waist. In front of her was her laptop. By her side was her smartphone. On the nightstand was a tray of prescription meds, and on her shoulder was a bag of ice.

Her body, nearing 50 years of age, was being pushed to its limits just from the day to day toll of riding motorcycles across the country. I felt sorry for her, but I knew she didn't want anyone to sympathize.

"I can do this", she'd tell me, throwing a leg over her Yamaha V-Star 650. "I'm not going to let this stop me!"

What has tried to stop her was physical pain. Pinched nerves in her shoulders and low back aches have been the most obvious. But the ulcer in her stomach, her atrial fibriliation, and the fibromyalgia have been unpredictable thorns in her sides.

Myself, along with any other husband, could take a step back and see how damaging a two-and-a-half year motorcycle road trip had become for her. Yet, telling her to settle down has become nearly akin to committing suicide. Her mind is trying to make up for 25 years of time lost on baking casseroles, driving SUVs, and wearing mom jeans. It’s as if independence and empowerment didn’t come until well into her 40s, after her health had declined, and now she simply refuses to let go of the opportunity to fly like a bird.

Our stay this weekend at Zion National Park in southern Utah is Sash’s last on the road for this year. The heart episode she had in Boise, ID last May was the worst she had faced, and she has many of these each month. She needs to go back to San Diego to see her regular physician to figure out a way to manage it.

But I know in my mind she's already proven herself an Iron Butt. Going through 35+ states in 32 months, racking up tens of thousands of miles, in the coldest, hottest, wettest, and driest of weather, with over 100 pounds of pack on the bike, which she has packed and unpacked a hundred times already, she's seen more country and done more miles than many of her male counterparts.

And throughout it all, she's managed to run a marketing business, write a book, build a network of friends, and of course, put up with all of my bullshit. She regularly parents over the phone her adult daughter suffering from borderline personality disorder. But there are other moments that have tested her as well, like getting hit by a car in Tucson, crashing her bike in the snow on Wolf Creek Pass, or getting poisoned from a crop duster in Nebraska.

Perhaps it all came to a head a few days ago, while she and I were riding through the Navajo Indian Reservation in northern Arizona, under 104 degree F (40 C) temperature. We had actually left our hotel room early to beat the mid-afternoon heat, but somehow the sun was equally prepared to put Sash’s resolve to test. She sped up past me to motion us over to the side. Then she hopped off her bike, stepped into the bushes along the side of the road, and puked.

The heat had already taken its toll on her, despite having consumed a bottle of Gatorade and a couple bottles of water, along with wearing a wet vest. There were times I saw her pinching her nose
while riding, because the dry, desert air had caused her sinuses to bleed.

When you're out in the middle of untouched desert for 50 miles all around you, there's little else a husband to do but to give her time to rest and encourage her to press on. I feel helpless in those moments, yet the best I can do is cut off my emotions and address the matter purely from my intellect.

In a few hours from now, we'll be packing up and leaving Zion National Park, headed to Southern California. We'll leave around midnight just to avoid daytime temperatures that would otherwise reach 110 degrees F (43.3 C) and above. It'll be the longest ride Sash has ever done in one shot.

Over the next several months, I plan to alternate between spending time with Sash in Southern California, and heading out on the road solo for a week or two at a time.

For Sash, the goal is that she'll be ready for Road Pickle 2016 around February or March.

9 comments | Post a Comment

Monday, June 8, 2015

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

US-191, south of Boulder, WY
Empty landscapes filled with green bushy flora and white bushy tails seem to suck out the clusterfuck of worry and obligation that collects in my neural pathways. I've seen these hills before even though I've never been on this road. But it doesn't matter, it still does the trick.

I don't care how cold it is out here, or even how wet.

I just want to get some distance.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. That is, asphalt is asphalt, whether it's laid down on Wyoming or Virginia, it still looks and feels the same. Even though I know each highway offers different scenery, different twisties, different road side eats, it only cements the fact that highway living is highway living, no matter where it is.

But even though I've seen so many landscapes and ridden along so many roads, I still want to experience more.

In our travels, Sash and I meet lots of people, and they're all the same in the sense that they love company, love to share stories, and want to get to know us better. But each time we meet people, there are different personalities, different attitudes, and different life experiences, that makes each moment unique. Yet in end, it's seeing these differences in people that allow us to arrive at what makes us all the same.

Each thing manages to maintain its own mystique that will keep us thinking and wondering until we finally experience it, and then we realize that there's only so much variation feasible. But it's not until after we experience the breadth of variation possible that we finally are able to arrive at a definition.

One cannot sit on a Harley-Davidson and describe motorcycling without having ridden BMWs, Hondas, or sportbikes and dirt bikes.

You have to ride different brands, different roads, different weather, and different styles. You have to put away at least tens of thousands of miles over dirt and pavement, city and country, twisty canyons and long straight Interstate just to know what it's like to be a "motorcyclist". It's not until after you've run the full course of variation that you can finally see how it translates to the same common demonimator.

And that's when we're able to say, "Yeah, I know all about it."

Road Pickle Update: Lately, I've become more busy with website work. The past few weeks have been spent converting a rather large website from an old page design to a responsive, mobile-friendly design. I've spent more time in front of this laptop, and less time going out.

Since my last post dated April 29, Sash and I have ridden from Seattle, WA, to Boise, ID, to Jackson, WY, to here in Denver, CO.

If you follow Sash closely, you've heard that she's having health issues and needs to return to San Diego for doctor appointments. We have one more week in Denver, and then we'll head back to SoCal over the next week or so. However, I'll only stay there for a couple of weeks, and then get back on the road until the warm weather runs out.

No comments | Post a Comment

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Building Strengths From Our Weaknesses

I-90, Minnesota
Continuing on with the subject of "Behind Every Strength is a Great Weakness", I wanted to touch some more on how that's lead me into motorcycling and becoming the person I am today.

The point I tried to make before is that weaknesses we perceive in ourselves causes us to build strengths to make up for them, or to divert attention from them.

Someone with many trophies and certificates of achievements on their wall may be covering up a fear of insignificance. Someone looking rather young for their age may be covering up a fear of being called, "old". And this exists in the animal world too: Desert tortoises hide under a tough outer shell to address their inability to run from predators, while foxes have developed keen hunting skills to make up for their inability to live as herbivores.

After riding across the country with Sash the past couple of years, I've built up a better understanding of human beings and the human mind.

Every person has weaknesses and faults, and each of us have our ways to make up for them, or at best, divert attention from them. And some of us are much better at identifying these characteristics in others. For the record, I'm not one of them.

And so, when I detect I'm in the presence of someone who can read me like a book, I feel quite vulnerable. That's my weakness, feeling exposed. I'm willing to bet that most men feel vulnerable in this way, but I'm certain I feel particularly vulnerable. In fact, so much so that I've gone on to build strengths to make up for it, and divert attention from it.

Perhaps I'm a better writer for my lack of verbal talents. Perhaps I remain elusive for my lack of person-to-person skills. Perhaps I've developed a comfort with remaining solitary.

Just the other night, after Sash and I got into our hotel room here in the Seattle area, we watched this movie on Lifetime called "The Perfect Assistant", where Rachel lost her parents at a young age and was raised by her aunt, uncle, and cousin. She developed this uncontrollable anger that led her to wreak havoc with employees at her job, and ruin many lives.

"I can identify with that anger", I told Sash. "Albeit this is a movie, and her anger is heavily dramatized, nonetheless I know exactly how that feels".

I've become intellectual so that I can keep that anger at arm's length.

Human beings are inherently social creatures, and children desperately need their mothers and fathers to love them. I would hate to see a little boy or girl develop the same anger and become its hostage. That kind of weakness can summon up destructive strengths.

I love meeting other motorcycle riders wherever I go. I love interacting with them on social media. I even love riding with them and hanging out over food and drink. But some days are a struggle to hold on to my sanity. It's not easy to fake enthusiasm when you're frightened inside. I think it's just one reason why I find riding my motorcycle far, far away so relieving.

2 comments | Post a Comment

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Riding From Tucson to Scottsdale, AZ

AZ-79 "Pinal Pioneer Parkway" is lined with colorful daisies and lupine.
Left Tucson, AZ yesterday under warm weather and bright blue skies, and am now basking under hotter temperatures here in Scottsdale, along with worsening allergies. That's spring time in the Valley of the Sun.

After spending little over three weeks in Tucson, yesterday felt almost like leaving home. Not that Tucson ever was my home, but that I started to get used to the place.

I was finding some favorite watering holes that I revisited a couple of times, and I started to figure out my way around town. I had ventured out on some rides, and even got to meet some nice people. I suppose it means that I finally got to see The Old Pueblo, and can finally say that I know something about it.

Defining at what point one has visited a town, as opposed to just stopping over, is hard to figure out. I mean, I could ride down the Interstate, and then pull off the road in Tucson to fill up with gas, and then get back on the Interstate. To me, that short of time isn't enough to say that I visited. In fact, it seems like I'd have to stay longer than overnight.

But on the other hand, if it's possible to see some of Tucson's sights, eat at several of its restaurants, meet some of its people, and even get to know the layout of the city, all in one day, then I guess it's not necessary to stay more than a day.

I'm not, however, a busy tourist. I don't make a day-to-day plan of what I'm going to do. For the most part, I try to take care of business first, and then figure out what sounds good. And sometimes, the introvert in me wants to remain solitary, even if I'm just riding the bike, or sitting at the bar nursing a cold one. Either way, I don't like pushing myself to get to know a city better. I need to do it on "my" time.

If anything, the time I spent here in Arizona's second largest city has been rewarding. Getting to know Mike & Chris, a couple who rides Royal Enfields, has spread some new perspectives on me about the way I see life. Just being able to stay in a smaller town, smaller than San Diego that is, feels refreshing too.

It was also fun to meet up with Stephanie Yue again, the gal who rides her 250cc Vespa across the country. Our paths happened to cross once more, and we caught up on our mutual stories of adventure and sight seeing.

I got to try out a few taco shops, a few coffee shops, a handful of craft breweries, and even some good burgers. I got my leather jacket repaired too; the zipper tore, and I found a tailor to sew on a new one.

Meanwhile, the drier air in Southern Arizona, combined with the Spring blooming season, has my allergies at peak flare. I'm gobbling down Zyrtec by the day, and Benadryl by the night, and still it makes things bearable at best. The watering eyes and sniffling nose, I think, is what caused me to abandon my exercise regimen, and now all the beer drinking and Mexican food is catching up to me. I have a few t-shirts that have now become too unflattering.

When we left Tucson yesterday, Stephanie rode with us. She was headed to Phoenix. We took AZ-79 into Florence for lunch, and then along AZ-87 into the Phoenix area. We split off from there. We hope to hook up with her perhaps this weekend before going opposite directions across the USA.

As I type this blog post, Sash is running around trying to cram several appointments and committments into today, tomorrow, and Saturday. She's really focused on building our marketing business while we're in town for AZ Bike Week. I've managed to pick up some work designing PowerPoint presentations for a healthcare company in San Diego, so I'll be busy too.

Me drinking a brew at Barrio Brewing, in the
downtown area of Tucson
Sash posing for a shot inside Tucson Botanical
The Double Donkey Punch burger at Lindy's on 4th,
probably the best burger in Tucson
We visited Mission San Xavier Del Bac, a Jesuit
Mission established in the late 1600's
Me having coffee with Chris and Mike in
Patagonia, AZ
Sash and Chris at gas stop in Sonoita
Chris & Mike invited us to their house for some
killer goulash.
We met Margaret, who restored this little
Hondamatic CB400
Me working at Crave Coffee Bar in TucsonOne of my favorite breweries in Tucson turned
out to be 1055 Brewing.
Sash enjoying tacos and a margarita at Calle Tepa
Mexican Street & Grill and Bar
Stephanie and Sash downing margaritas together
My office set up for the afternoon at Savaya Coffee
One night, we stayed in the hotel all day and night,
and Sash made tacos
Another favorite brewery of mine, Sentinel Peak
, and their Overhaul Chili Beer.
Sash seated at the bar of Tap & Bottle, in
downtown Tucson.
Sash underwent a metamorphosis at Tucson
Botanical Gardens
Our bikes parked in downtown Tucson.
The Tom Mix Monument, where the famous
cowboy actor met his fate.
Sash's helmet with a new Hello Kitty decal
Riding north along AZ-87 between Coolidge
and Sacaton, Stephnie and Sash behind me.
Stopped for lunch at LB Cantina in Florence, AZ
We passed by this older couple going it slow
through the San Tan Valley
We finally made it to Scottsdale in time for
Arizona Bike Week

5 comments | Post a Comment

Monday, March 16, 2015

In the Desert, You Can't Remember Your Name

Nothing else seems more of an example of contradiction than the desert. Something so empty and featureless is yet so teeming with life. A place so hot and dry, and yet still snows and floods.

I don't know if I've become attracted to the desert just because I've lived in Southern California for so long, or if there's just something about it that I identify with.

The past couple of weeks, Sash and I have managed to mix business with pleasure here in the desert city of Tucson, AZ. At 520,000 people, it's effectively a "large" city, but yet it feels smaller. By contrast, the city of Phoenix to the north, along with its surrounding towns, commands 4 million.

riding a motorcycle on the interstate
Eastbound along Interstate 8, Arizona

But Tucsonians don't seem to see themselves as playing second fiddle. They're not really trying to be influential in the Grand Canyon State. They instead prefer to let the crazies remain up north, while they enjoy their own brand of insanity down here.

Since arriving here, we've had the opportunity to meet Mike & Chris, a couple of Royal Enfield riders. Chris had been following Sash on social media for the past couple of years, and when she heard we were headed to Tucson, she and Sash had arranged to meet at a nearby restaurant.

Later in the week, Chris and her husband invited us to their home for dinner.

The couple live on the west side of Tucson. Tucson is split between west and east by Interstate 10. The west side tends to embrace the desert landscape, with roads that curve and twist, whereas the east side is the older part of town that still embraces the traditional grid pattern of downtown and suburb.

Their home is very much nestled within the desert landscape, almost as if the structure itself was just dropped right in the middle of ocotillo, creosote, saguaro, and palo verde trees. They have an up-close view of the Tucson Mountains and the spectacular sunsets over Gates Pass.

"I just really love the desert", Mike said in his native German accent, as he was showing me his backyard patio and desert garden. "I don't know what it is, but I just feel at home here."

I had to agree with him. But for me, it's more like empathy, and thereby, compassion. There's something solitary about it, lonely yet still teeming with life, deadly yet still sensitive. I feel a fondness for it, which somehow attracts me back to it.

The desert is almost like a child holding on to its emotional scars. It can take a decade or more for sets of tire tracks to completely smooth over. Meanwhile in coastal areas, plains, and lush forested hills, plant life grows so quickly that the ravages of mankind are easily overcome. At the same time, the desert kills dozens of wanderers who come unprepared.

"There is no shortage of water in the desert, only exactly the right amount." wrote Edward Abbey, an author who died here in Tucson. Yet mankind continues to tame it, and change it into something that it's not.

Sash and I still have another week to spend here in "The Old Pueblo". We hope to see Mike & Chris once more, and hopefully meet some other riders too.

Me riding east along Interstate 8, ArizonaSash riding along AZ-83
Saguaro Cactus add the signature visual that
makes Arizona's desert landscape unique.
A tiny plant rises through the delicate, pebble
top soil of Arizona's Sonoran Desert
An indian reservation near Tucson doesn't want
outsiders poking around.
My bike parked in downtown Tucson, along the
4th Avenue shopping district
Chris & Mike, and myself, hanging out over
coffee in Patagonia, AZ
Chris and Sash getting friendly ouside the local
Royal Enfield dealer.

6 comments | Post a Comment

About Steve

A vagabond who hauls a motorcycle around the country in a toy hauler, earning a living as a website developer. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, craft beer, and/or public nudity. (Read more...)