Riding with the herd, cruising silently down the road, and riding a wide-ranging selection of motorcycles, I had a lot going on in 2011. The following are my favorite stories of 2011.
Twice-ripped off motorcyclist now gets last laugh
The year started off with a particularly fun piece, when I had the opportunity to speak with Manolo Rey of San Diego, whose BMW S1000RR had been stolen and recovered twice. Manolo had barely gotten his newly repaired bike back after it was first stolen when it was taken again. The LoJack system he uses got credit both times for the recovery.
Converting gas motorcycles to electric with everyday technology
Chris Ravana figured that electric motorcycles have got to be the wave of the future, but wondered why they shouldn’t be part of the present as well. So he takes old gas-powered bikes and replaces the motor with electrics.
On the road to Arizona Bike Week
My first road trip of the year was to Scottsdale, AZ, for Arizona Bike Week. From freezing cold the day I left to 100 degrees on April 1, it was a trip with a lot of variety. It also included a run down to the Overland Expo and a ride home on what could be considered the New Mexico’s Tail of the Dragon.
Demo riding the Concours 14, and loving it!
While I was down at Arizona Bike Week I test rode a number of bikes and fell totally in love with one in particular, the Kawasaki Concours 14. Granted I had a predilection toward that bike considering that I already ride an older model Concours, but I didn’t expect to love it quite this much.
The hurdles to actually becoming a RiderCoach
I made up my mind that I wanted to become a RiderCoach, one of those people who teach others to ride motorcycles. So I paid my money and took the course and developed a much greater respect for the folks who do that work in the process. It was hard! I finished that class humbled, my confidence a bit tattered, and not at all sure if I would proceed. (As an update, I am finally pushing forward in the process.)
On the motorcycle scene with Diva Amy
One of the best things about doing this work, other than earning a living riding motorcycles, is the people I meet. Diva Amy is someone whose eye-catching bike I had seen elsewhere, so when I saw it again in Scottsdale I figured I had to meet this person.
Piaggio MP3: A parallelogram of wheels
It may be just a scooter, but with two wheels in front that actually lean like a single wheel, I had wanted to try out the Piaggio MP3 for a long time. I finally got my chance and I was pretty impressed with how it worked.
OFMC faces the herd, and potential trouble averted
One of the best weeks of every year is the week I take off with the OFMC on our annual summer motorcycle trip. This year we rode with a herd of cows for a ways, making for some amusing stories.
Cruising British Columbia on an Electra Glide
British Columbia, we discovered, is a land of steep ups and downs. Mountainsides plunge from their very peaks all the way down to the sea, spawning roads like the Sea to Sky Highway. Of course we had to check it all out by motorcycle.
Dual-sport riding out of Gunnison
It’s always fun to trade the street bikes for a dual-sport and do some riding off the pavement. This time, however, we were accompanied on this rough stuff by someone on a Ninja, who did just fine, thank you. It kind of puts the idea of the actual need for all that specialization at issue.
Riding again after 30 years
It’s never too late to learn to ride a motorcycle, or to come back to riding. Janice Carrington, the wife of one of my buddies and the sister of two others, did just that. Welcome to the gang Janice.