Friday, February 27, 2015

Road Pickle Part 3 Begins!

sash and steve road pickle
East bound and down! I-8 through California
Four months is a really long time to live in the same place. Even though Sash and I have had some good times here, and we made some new friends, I really feel the need to make like a tree and leave.

And that's what we did this afternoon.

We finally left our Winter retreat in San Diego and got back to our Road Pickling ways. We headed east to Arizona, en route to Tucson for some 25 days. From there we'll head up to Scottsdale for Arizona Bike Week.

As I write this, I'm sitting at a desk in a comfy hotel room in Yuma, AZ. We're only here for just the night. Tomorrow, we arrive in Tucson.

After Arizona, it's a long trip up the Pacific Northwest to Seattle, then down through Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado.

Originally, we decided against returning to Sturgis, SD for the 75th annual rally, but we've changed our minds. We'll be there primarily to show our support for Indian Motorcycles, considering Sash has had their new Scout for a few months.

Throughout the trip, we'll also hit up Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico.

As it turned out, the Indian Scout that Sash got on loan for two months from Indian Motorcycles is now hers to ride indefinitely, except she has to keep it within Southern California. Since that doesn't fit into our Road Pickle plans, Sash talked to them about taking it on our first month of Road Pickle through Arizona, and exposing it to a couple of motorcycle events, including Bike Week. They agreed. Our plan is to return it to Indian at the end of March when we make our way north through California.

It seems Indian really likes the website we built for the Scout, which in turn has apparently referred some sales to an Indian dealer in San Diego. It's interesting how much coaxing and relationship-building it took for Sash to get the Scout from Indian, but now that she has it, they're eager to let her hold on to it.

But Sash is still intent on getting another Scout. Maybe when we get back, they'll loan her next year's model?

The four months we've been in San Diego have not been a hibernation by any means. We landed some new business which we feel hopeful will generate more income for our nomadic lifestyle.

Sash is looking forward to stopping at many taco shops across the country. I'm looking forward to stopping at many craft breweries. Hopefully, the two of us won't be stopping any time soon. We're both so happy to get back to our Road Pickling ways. It feels like home.

Leaving our vacation rental in the Banker's
Hill community of San Diego
Sash rolling down I-8 east on the Indian Scout,
and wearing her Indian biker vest too
Gas stop at the Shell Station in Jacumba, CASash licking the guacamole from her fingers at
Johnny's Burritos, El Centro, CA
Our bikes parked out front of Johnny's Burritos,
El Centro, CA
Another shot of our bikes parked in front.
Sash sporting her Dolce & Gabbana shadesThe I-8 in California is miles and miles of arid
desert, with Border Patrol keeping an eye out.
Sash feeling so free and happy to be back on the
Road Pickle tour.
Finally leaving California and entering Arizona!

5 comments | Post a Comment

Monday, February 23, 2015

My Wife's New Book Is Now On Sale!

rude biker chick
Back on Valentine's Day, Sash released her book, "Rude Biker Chick: Lessons From My Daddy", now available as an e-Book for Kindle and Nook readers, as well as in other electronic formats.

You can visit her new e-Book website to buy a copy:

She started writing it last year during Road Pickle 2014. But the idea for a book started long before that. In 2011, she was inspired by a song she heard on the radio, and it completely turned her life around.

She went on to win the title of "Ms. Menifee", a suburb in Riverside County, CA where the each of us were living at the time. She was feeling so much positivity within herself, other women sought advice from her on how to turn their lives around too. For a while, Sash entertained the idea of becoming a motivational speaker. She attended some conferences and workshops, and even got to do some of her own gigs. That's when she realized she needed to author a book.

But writing a self-help book became an uninspiring chore.

A year went by, and in 2012 we launched "Too Much Tina" our present-day marketing and media business. Sash no longer wanted to do the motivational speaking circuit, and discovered she has more fun and productivity with her person-to-person skills. But the idea of writing a book was something she still wanted to do.

In April 2013, she and I did our first Road Pickle trip, where we rode our motorcycles across the country, going through 26 states over a 6-month period. She met so many people, many of them were existing clients, and some of them became new clients. She also met her uncle Reggie, who taught her a lot about her ancestry. The exposure to so many cultures and ways of thinking, opened up her mind and really changed her.

After attending the Steel Horse Sisterhood Summit in May 2014, she finally found inspiration to write her book.

It would be a description of two journeys happening simultaneously. One is the 6-month Road Pickle tour of the United States, the other is a road to enlightenment. The latter starts from churning up all the pain from her abusive childhood, past marriage, and a father/daughter relationship that remained elusive. Along the tour, however, she remembers the wealth of wisdom her father left her with, and realized how it all made sense after thousands of miles seated on her motorcycle. The book combines actual situations she found herself along the tour, and relates them to her father's words.

Even though Sash's father died in 1990, she's developed a closer relationship with him now than ever before. Her father was heavily involved in the 1%er motorcycle culture of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. "Rude Biker Chick" is in some ways, a daughter's homage to her 1%er father, and not just the story of how Tina became Sash.

Download your copy:

1 comment | Post a Comment

Monday, February 9, 2015

Defining the Great Motorcycle Escape

About a decade ago, give or take a year, there was born a magazine called "Motorcycle Escape" which celebrated the motorcycle rider who spent most or all of his/her vehicular time on two wheels, with an emphasis on going far, far, far away.

I guess that's really what Sash and I have coined, "Road Pickle". But where Motorcycle Escape covered it more as a recreational phenomenon, we look at it as a lifestyle that affects even your time off the bike. It doesn't matter than you still make the commute to work everyday. What matters is that your preferred choice of transportation and thrills has changed the way you live, reassessed your priorities, and shaped your perspective on the Universe.

When it comes to "escapism", I see so much of it going on in our lives that I'm often surprised how much escaping we do.

  • Sitting at the bar with a beer is an escape.
  • Watching a movie is an escape
  • Playing a video game is an escape
  • Writing blog posts and journals is an escape
  • Taking a walk around the neighborhood is an escape
  • Looking at social media is escape
  • Going to the gym is an escape
  • Sleeping is an escape
  • Even when I'm developing a website for a client, it's an escape from reality
All of these things I do everyday. If so much of what I do is escapism, then what is not escape? What exactly am I escaping from?

"We don't create a fantasy world to escape reality. We create it to be able to stay." - Lynda Barry
"We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality." - Iris Murdoch
"A few years ago, the city council of Monza, Italy, barred pet owners from keeping goldfish in curved bowls... saying that it is cruel to keep a fish in a bowl with curved sides because, gazing out, the fish would have a distorted view of reality. But how do we know we have the true, undistorted picture of reality?" - Stephen Hawking

What Hawking is saying in a round-about way is much like what I'm asking. "What am I escaping from?"

If so much of what I do is escapism, can there be a point at which the act of escape becomes reality? Will I get to a point where I need to escape from escape?

Sash might tell you that I live in a fantasy world only because my tolerance of reality is so low. But living in fantasy is not a black and white thing. Each person does it in varying degrees. I'm still perceiving reality, but I typically see just enough of it to know that I'd rather sit on my bike.

The brain has a way of filtering information to better serve you. Whether it's filtering out noise so that you can see the danger, or that it's filtering out something traumatic that you don't lose your sanity, it's true that we each create a perception suited to protect and comfort us.

Hence, the act of escaping may be a way to keep our filters in focus. Maybe getting a headache is our brain's way of saying, "I'm confused, I need a break." All that's needed is some time to watch television, drink a beer, or play a video game.

If you're reading this, most likely you're someone who finds escape from reality on a motorcycle. To think that we take our bikes out on the highway so that we can immerse ourselves in fantasy, is perhaps the ultimate irony when it comes to keeping our eyes on the road. 

But it only goes to show how complicated the human species is. 

2 comments | Post a Comment

Thursday, February 5, 2015

When a Filipino Lady Becomes Your Last Girlfriend

san diego motorcycle
On my way through San Diego to visit my tax guy
Certainly it's a good thing that we're getting more business lately. On the other hand, it keeps me sitting at my laptop working most of the day.

I'm not getting much riding in aside from running errands, making appointments, and heading out to the bar.

We have website projects to work on, social media accounts to manage, and articles we're being hired to write. We're even being paid to develop PowerPoint presentations for a local health care consultant. And kudos to Sash for putting in all the work to market our business and build relationships.

And I'm not really complaining either. This is the life we set out to create for ourselves, so that we wouldn't have to work for someone else, or make a long commute. I wanted this so that I could set my own hours and set my own price.

But this lifestyle of not having a permanent residence, and traveling across America on motorcycles, is not a vacation by any stretch. Sash and I work everyday, sometimes morning to midnight. If anything, I'm doing the kind of work where I can be myself and make good money at it. For Sash it's the same way, she gets to be social and earn business from it.

The other day, she and I talked about retirement.

For a man, retirement means being confined to a bed and having to push a button to get a Filipino lady to help us pass gas. For a woman, retirement means having a secure source of income.

"I used to think owning a house was my retirement plan", Sash said. "Now, I don't want to own anything."

It's funny how in 10 years time, your life is completely unexpected. It only goes to show that you can't predict the future. 10 years ago, I was in another marriage, believing I would be in that marriage forever. Never would I have thought that I'd go through a divorce, find another woman who wants to ride motorcycles together across the country, and live like vagabonds.

Which only makes me wonder what my life will look like 10 years from now.

As far as retirement income is concerned, it seems no use in trying to build a nest egg if I can't count on the future. I mean, putting money into an IRA or 401K seems like a pretty big risk to me. If I should die in the next few years, then all that money I saved will go to someone else, and what good does that do me?

So, I'm happy that we're getting a lot of work right now. With my 50s right around the corner, I can still tickle the keyboard, crank out some finished product, and feel like I'll always have an income right up to the day I "retire".

I suppose it's good that we don't have a permanent residence and just ride from place to place, because otherwise, I'd probably just keep working this keyboard all day long.

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...)