The ONE Picture Ride Report

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Well-known member
Aug 5, 2011
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Lafayette, LA
I stole this idea from Sport-Touring.Net. I think it is fantastic.,10834.0.html#.VqzF9KT2a2w

Suggested Guidelines:

1. Pick exactly ONE picture per post. No more, no less: just ONE picture.

2. Tell a story about the picture. It could be how you got there, something special about the place, perhaps a distant memory. It can be 10 words or 1000 words. Just tell us the story.

3. Most important: YOU CANNOT POST ANYTHING UNLESS YOU TELL A STORY! No commenting on a previous story. No questioning a story. No commentary at all UNLESS you Post your OWN picture and story with your comment! This is to encourage the formation of the bigger story, which is the undeniable fact that we all have a story filled with wonderful adventures in motorcycling. Let's save the dribble for another thread. If it goes like I hope, over time, we could make something very meaningful.

If the mods agree, maybe they could pin.

I took an 18 year break from motorcycling to raise children with my wife. A kid needs a dad to bring home the milk and diapers. We were living too close to the financial edge back then. I could not afford a mistake that would leave me unable to work.

Those years were a wonderful blur. Watching your DNA develop is rewarding beyond words. Early on, it is very visible. Fingers lengthen. Voices speak. Clothes and shoes are rapidly replaced for larger sizes. Then the mentality and the personality comes and it’s a whole new ballgame. You stare at them and wonder where the heck did that thought or action come from? You witness some sincere act of charity or some other desirable character trait and a pride fills your heart that is indescribable. Fathers Day. Awards presentations. Dance reviews. Soccer games.

But there is another side to this parenting thing. In the beginning, you are so busy and so tired. The bills keep coming and you work every single second you can to earn just a few more nickels in the hopes of getting ahead. Of course that concept is a farce. There is no “ahead”. You are living in a pool of quicksand. The more you move, the more you sink.

Still further, as these people turn from gremlins to human beings, their independence takes you by surprise. You try with all your might to suppress this. Bullshit punishments. Stern lectures. Scare tactics. Perhaps a little terrorism. All in vain. When friends call, they answer and you quickly learn that you and Mama are NOT priority one. You give them a car mostly out of selfishness. Finally, I don’t have to be the chauffeur. But the car is Custer’s last stand. Now they are truly mobile and the fence has been move to an infinite distance.

For me at least, the late teenage years became mundane. Boring, dare I say. All of a sudden, I’ve got this extra time and I have no idea what to do with myself. I try sleeping in on a Saturday morning. It’s something I have been dreaming about for years. But I’m still full of piss and vinegar and tossing in bed isn’t what it is cracked up to be. I try gardening, home improvement, fantasy football. Bla Bla Bla. It’s completely unfulfilling. What I need is adventure. Delve into the unknown. Go where this man has not gone before.

In August 2009, I convinced my wife that I could return to motorcycling responsibly. Apparently, I really can sell ice to Eskimos. Little did I know how much this would fill the void. I was exhilarated and terrified all at once. It was simultaneously liberating and naughty. Pants, you live in a box. This machine is your ticket out. Will you have the courage to punch your ticket?

It was mid September 2009. I decided to ride the Mississippi River levee road. A full 50 miles from home, riding straight there was completely out of the question. What if the bike breaks down? What if I get lost? What if I piss in my pants? No, for this maiden voyage, we will trailer the bike over there, and then ride up and down the single road.

I stopped along the way to sniff, read, observe, and learn. In between stops, under the helmet, my mind was running at a fast pace. I’m doing it. Living the dream. I’m a bonified biker and this feeling in my hands is more than I ever imagined. It was 45 of the most amazing miles ever ridden by a motorcyclist. My ass was sore the rest of the day. In the truck on the way home, I was beaming with excitement and joy. It was like a kid that just learned to whistle. I could not wait to get home and tell my wife of my day, my discoveries, and my happiness.

This is Nottingway Plantation, and it speaks volumes about my heritage, history, and culture. But that is for another time. The real story is that this was my first ride report. It was spiritual and it changed my life forever.

Stay thirsty, my friends.


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Can't figure out how to post from my phone. So I will put the accompanying picture up tomorrow

Between my freshman and sophomore year in college, one of the kids I played high school football with needed a place to stay while he went to the local junior college. I moved off campus into a trailer( it was a double wide on a foundation and even had a detached garage) with an extra bedroom. Jake had always had a cycle of some kind, so when he showed up on some old Yamaha, I knew I wanted a motorcycle. A few problems stood in my way.

First of all, I was a broke ass college kid who was renting a trailer owned by my future father in law for 200 bucks a month. All utilities included, I just had to keep up the lawn and other yard work. Trying to keep up with the requirements of playing football, going to school, and doing right by the future wife was not easy. The amount of time I spent in class, lifting, going to team or position meetings, and actually practicing left little time for a real job. Money was going to be a problem.

Second, I had never rode any type of motorcycle ever before. Sure, I could drive a stick as you can see from the Honda Civic in the background, but even the brakes on a bicycle and motorcycle are freaking backwards.

Third, I didn't have a license and that kinda negates most test ride opportunities at a dealership. Jake isn't gonna let me learn to ride on his bike and he ain't riding "bitch" while I drive is what I recall him saying.

So it kinda looks like my hopes were already dashed before it got started. I had almost given up hope when someone told me about a guy, who knew a guy, that knew a guy who was looking to get rid of a bike. His wife told him that the cycle had to go because they had a baby on the way. After a few minutes of conversations with the guy, his wife comes out on the porch and says "just sell it to the kid, he can afford the freedom, you can't". About 10 min later I gave him 750 bucks after a quick run to drain my bank account.

The word that stuck with me...Freedom. That is what that bike allowed me. I rode it away in shorts, tennis shoes and a pair of gas station sunglasses. I learned the true meaning of freedom on that bike before I actually had a motorcycle license.

Eventually, my fiancée "made" me go buy a helmet at the dealership that wouldn't even let me on a test ride. I still didn't have a license because the DMV lady that did the parking lot portion of the cycle test would automatically fail you if you didn't have a helmet.

I still had to go to all those classes, lifting and conditioning sessions, practices, and team meetings, but I made that 30 min commute on a motorcycle. I hated college football mainly, but I had to keep playing for my scholarship.

I was free as soon as I got on that beast every day. Still the way I feel now. And it all started with this little gem.

Thanks for the assist Andrew

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This valley, at the western foot of the Continental Divide, contains everything I knew and experienced as a child and teenager; I relished returning to it after 20+ years of having not seen it. That I rode across the country on my bike to do it is something else...


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Gone to Texas.

Went out to the Hill Country a couple of years ago.

Not many places to pull off and get pictures.

Texas is not real big on scenic pull outs.

This was just a good place to stop and get a picture.



A visit to Deal's Gap in 2002, the Tree of Shame. I believe there have been a few items added to it since...

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Early June, 2004, the upper half of Skyline Drive was a favorite weekend day trip. I was riding along close to the 35 mph speed limit when a doe ran across the road ahead of me. Her wobbly legged fawn wasn't as confident and immediately dropped down into "camouflage mode" (I'm just a patch of bare dirt with sun spots, not a deer). Wondering if it would stay put, I got off the bike and snapped a quick couple of pictures, the little one not budging the whole time. Got back on the bike and carefully rode past, whereupon the little one joined mom, who was patiently waiting.

From the top of Chief Joseph Highway summer of 2014.


Man, that was a hell of a ride day. Best of my life (so far) Chief Joe, Beartooth Hwy, then the wide open spaces of Montana. We were all alone with just the surrounding mountains and our thoughts at the turn out that morning. The burn-out graffiti that some squid left on the sidewalk (behind my wife) reflected the mood perfectly.

I call it: Continental Divide Contentment

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May 2010

Now about 9 months into my return to motorcycling, my appetite for riding was become insatiable. I joined the Honda Nighthawk forum and made some online friends. Someone came up with the idea of getting together at Deal's Gap for a weekend. Riding "The Dragon" would become a Rite of Passage for me. I packed the night before and as my wife and I are falling asleep in bed:

(Wifey) "Let me get this straight. You are driving 750 miles away to a place with little or no phone service to ride your motorcycle in the mountains with people you met on the Internet?"

(Pants) "Uh... yeah, that just about covers it."

(Wifey) "And you don't want me to worry about it?"

(Pants) "It will be fine, Mama. These are some good people."

(Wifey) "Oh brother....."

I drove up there and on Saturday morning, it was time for me to tame the Dragon. I was scared shitless. In route on Hwy 28, I kept telling myself "Ride your own ride, Pants. Don't get stupid. Keep your head straight.." Finally we arrived on Hwy 129 and off we go. At first, I'm riding horribly. My lines are stupid. I'm blowing curves. This is not going like I expected. Then about 25 curves in, I find my grove. Instead of 3rd gear, I down shift to 2nd so I can use more engine breaking and the horse starts dancing with me. Now I'm over the natural low rpm flat spot on the mid sized bike. Off the apex, I'm smooth on the throttle and the relatively hot cams for the 700s start singing at around 6K. I can hear the crescendo from my Mac header through my ear plugs and it is absolutely euphoric. What a great ride!!

Along the way, I see one of the photo dudes taking pictures and decide to get cute. I work at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette or "UL". We use our small finger, index finger, and thumb to form a "UL" when cheering for our school. Of course, if you use your RIGHT hand to display it, the audience sees it the right way, dyslexia suffers excluded. Dumb Ass.

Back home, I learn that my photo was a Killboy finalists on that day for some kind of cheesy prize. What, pray tell, would anybody see in that photo? Well, it turns out that my hand gesture in sign language stands for "I Love You". I guess technically, that fits too!

Stay thirsty, my friends.