Riding Stories

Bun Burner Gold

Last year Kevin Beretta and I did a Saddle Sore 1000, an Iron Butt Association sanctioned ride of 1000 miles in 24 hours. (See saddlesore1000) It was fun, sort of, and an interesting challenge, so this year we decided to ratchet things up a notch and do a Bun Burner Gold, or 1500 miles in 24 hours. Also, instead of riding a more or less circular route, as we had done on the Saddle Sore, we decided to incorporate the BBG into a longer ride of several days. We spent some time discussing the route, and eventually decided to ride east out of Everett on I-90 and I-94 until we reached 1500 miles or so, then turn north and return through Canada via Highway 1, where neither of us had ridden before. It turned out to be an interesting trip.


The First Time I Entered a Race

Photo credits: S. Shibuya, S. Miura

Hugo Following the Pack into the First Hairpin

Exhausting! That's what racing is, exhausting. The 'Big Day' was the day before yesterday. Yesterday I wandered around dazed despite having an hour and a half snooze after lunch and today I feel alert enough to write this but still a bit fugged up. Having a cold might have something to do with it - maybe it's that chicken flu... cluck, cluck, cluck atchoo. I tried to write this last night but my mind wouldn't work. I guess I just have to accept that at 49 I'm no spring chicken and my body takes longer to recover from being worn out.


Alabama State Legislature Says pi = 3

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - NASA engineers and mathematicians in this high-tech city are stunned and infuriated after the Alabama state legislature narrowly passed a law yesterday redefining pi, a mathematical constant used in the aerospace industry. The bill to change the value of pi to exactly three was introduced without fanfare by Leonard Lee Lawson (R, Crossville), and rapidly gained support after a letter-writing campaign by members of the Solomon Society, a traditional values group. Governor Guy Hunt says he will sign it into law on Wednesday.


NorthWet Tech Day, May 9, 1998

The day dawned overcast and damp. This being the NorthWet, it was no surprise. Ten riders from across the state responded to the irresistible call of the Tech. They girded their loins, packed their rain gear and headed to Granite Falls, Washington. Three, Bill & Marilyn Schink #2651/2651.5 and Brian Golphenee #968, came from Kettle Falls, another wet place in the northeast corner of Washington. K Falls is at least 350 miles by the straightest route. Another, Steve Creagh, came from Vancouver, British Columbia. He wasn't an Airhead when he came, but he was when it was over. The directions were good, and no one got lost. If they did, we never heard from them.


One Fat Guy Racing

As a child I always eschewed team sports. Not only because I was a clumsy, meek spaz, but because individual achievement seemed a better barometer of a person's worth. Now I know that even the most singular sport, Motorcycle Roadracing, requires a copious amount of teamwork to keep the ham on the racetrack.

After the failed Kawasaki race programme of '96, I swore that if I were to ever race again, I would do so on a BMW. The Kaw was so unfamiliar to me. It ran poorly and I lacked the ability to mend it or ride it properly. Norm Blore bought the "Green Bean" and with a little money and his experience, eventually won with it. As the long months passed, I watched on with envy as Norm, Frank, John, and countless others careened around the track without a care, Volvo, or cop in their world.

Then I saw her.


Burning Man '98

An Airhead who recently returned to motorcycling decided to ride to Beemers at the Burning Man without knowing anything about the festival. He figured he would have a couple of beers with the guys and maybe catch a tech session or two.

At the welcome to Black Rock City sign he paid the entry "tax" and motored across the flat dry clay lakebed upon which the festival takes place. After a couple of miles he reached the edge of the series of camps that form the city. He thought it a bit odd when a Mardi Gras type float motored by with a dozen costumed people dancing to Rave Music on the float. He was definitely surprised to have to weave his bike through a line of chanting pedestrians wearing only green, blue, and silver body paint. As he passed a small parade of individuals pounding drums wearing Zulu war paint, he thought this must be the wrong event. Finally, as he arrived at Airheads camp and parked his bike with the other beemers, he exclaimed "What the hell is this?"


The Ever Evasive Blowout Story

My wife and I left on Sunday morning, to rediscover a few county highways that I had traveled, as part of a fun run with the Leather Stocking Touring Society. The Catskills are just magnificent. We were having a great ride on our '78 R80/7. While heading back to our cabin in Richmondville, NY, we were just outside of Summit,NY on route 10, accelerating to 50 mph, and the rear tire blew. My wife,on her 3rd ride, handled the situation as we all hope that riders would, not swaying or panicking, but keeping still ,allowing me to consider what few options that I had to try to come to a stop without trashing ourselves, or the bike. By the grace of Jesus Christ, we came to stop, vertical, and none the worse for wear.