Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day, 2016

A day dedicated to remembering those who have lost their lives while in the service of the country.

Yesterday, Sunday, I paid my regular visit to SSgt Brian Joiner, USAF.  He was the son of a work friend of mine, who passed away while serving in the US Air Force in 2009.

It's always sobering to see the seemingly endless rows of headstones at Fort Logan National Cemetery.  I visited briefly with Brian and then headed home after taking a slow ride through the cemetery's roads.


Sunday was also the 10th anniversary of the first time I threw a leg over a motorcycle and started learning how to ride one properly.

The original intent and thought had been the cliched "save money commuting".  We all know that didn't happen.  :)  Proper riding gear, repairs on one's motorcycles, tires and gas....they all add up.

It's been a mostly wonderful journey, with changing goals and routes, surprising and great friendships with folks I met along the way, a broadening of one's mind, a great deal of wrenching knowledge gained and the traveling and discoveries of my own state, other parts of the USA and other countries!

There's been a few miles covered while on motorcycles, over 181K miles at the end of last year, and I've become a sidecarist along the way.  Talk about that being an unforeseen result!  It's funny how a sidecar rig becomes the preferred conveyance, though I have a perfectly working two-wheeled moto in Brigitta, my '87 R80 Beemer.  Poor thing almost never goes out now.

When I ride Brigitta, it's exactly like Jack Riepe described it:  "Closest thing to flying while still touching the ground".  She's not the fastest out there, far from it, but for me with my sidecar rig senses, she's plenty fast and maneuverable!

As I pass the ten year mark though, I'll admit that riding a motorcycle is no longer the "prozac on wheels" that Martha used to describe it as.  Not sure what happened but the excitement and eagerness to ride is no longer there.  This is reflected by the steadily declining total miles ridden each year, which started in the low 20K miles range to last year's pitiful 11.5K miles total.  Having a job which allows me to work from home hasn't helped rack up the miles either.

"Prozac on Wheels" and its present lack aside, I remain a motorcycle rider.  Rider/Motorcyclist, not biker, thank you very much.  The term Biker, when applied to what I do, irks me to no end.  Ich Bin ein Motorcyclist!

I've gone from one motorcycle to presently two sidecar rigs and one two-wheeled motorcycle.  I've ridden a small cruiser (Gretl, my first motorcycle) and a sports tourer (Maria); airheads and sidecars (gone through five so far).  There's even a 125cc Scooter in the barn but that's Martha's ride.  Stewie, the scooter, spends a lot of time garaged along with Brigitta.

Here's a video of  selected pictures of the last ten years.....I hope you like it.

I plan on adding some more countries to the list of countries where I've ridden either on two or three wheels....stay tuned!


SonjaM said...

A ten year anniversary... certainly the right time to reminisce about. Look at all these memories gathered, and people met, and it's how they say... you meet the nicest people on a motorcycle. Dom, here's to the next ten years of two and three wheeled fun. It is certainly not about the mileage racked up, but the quality of motorcycling. I hope you'll continue to enjoy you hobby of riding and wrenching (and blogging).

redlegsrides said...


You are so right in that its not the number of the miles but the quality of the experience! I must remember that when feeling the blues. thank you.

Unknown said...

Great slideshow, Dom. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Oh, and I'll "save money commuting"... Yeah, we all know how that goes. :D

redlegsrides said...

Thank you Ry Austin, glad you liked it.

David Masse said...

All that, in only ten short years. I feel like a slouch!

That slideshow was nothing short of spectacular.

It was nice to see friends, some of whom have shared my home.

With a little luck one day we will meet.

redlegsrides said...

Thank you David Masse, it would be great when, not if, we meet. I am sure our paths will cross.

Oz said...

Please thank David's family for his service and theirs.

Ten years! I started in March 2004 so I haven't been riding much longer. I was immediately hooked and can imagine life without a bike.

Be safe all riders out there.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Thomas Osburn. I'll assume you meant Brian's family. :)

Bluekat said...

I would say you're going for quality miles now, rather than quantity. I racked up most of my mileage to work and back, but the best miles were the special trips with friends. Perhaps fewer, but more memorable.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Bluekat if I was smarter I could probably work up a Pirsig-like explanation on the meaning of quality as it relates to riding.