Thursday, May 7, 2020

Photography Fun: Speed

I helped a friend with a photography project. The project was to show speed. We thought it would be fun to dress up in my motorcycle racing leathers and ride a bicycle with packages strapped to the back. I think the photos turned out well. What do you think?

The photographer is Jessiena Lake; you can see more of her photos at: 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

-23F Winter Motorcycle Ride

A blast from the past! With the quarantine, I've been digging around my bulging drafts folder. I found this gem from the winter of 2014 which was never published here or on youtube.

Enjoy a short clip of me riding the Ural at -22.5F which I'm going to call -23F. With the windchill, it's colder than -60F at 60mph. I rode around for about 30 minutes on the freeway before going home. I'm not sure why I never posted about this. I edited the video nearly 90%, and didn't finish. What was 2014 me thinking?

Enjoy the video!

Watch the video here:


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Back on the Motorcycle

It has been great to get back on the motorcycle this year! After the crash last year, I didn't ride. I was waiting for my body to heal up. I'm happy to report, I've graduated physical therapy and have been riding regularly this year!

I had to replace some of my gear and get some things repaired. I have a new R3 light vs my R1 light from Aerostich. I also got a new helmet and am now using an R2 from Schuberth since they don't make my Arai anymore. Thankfully, I got a great deal on the Schubert as a ridercoach through the MSF. I was also able to send my airbag vest into Helite and they repaired the damage on the shoulder.

I haven't repaired the SV650 yet. It's been sitting in the corner of the garage. More time for me to enjoy the Vstrom! I do intend to fix it, but haven't found the motivation to do so yet. I hope you are able to get out on your bike and enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Wear Your Gear

I'm writing this post to encourage and inspire you to wear your safety gear when riding your motorcycle. I recently crashed and wearing my gear saved my life and prevented serious injury. Dont get me wrong, I'm still hurt. However, I'm at home sleeping in my own bed versus being in the hospital. There are no broken bones, just lots of bruises and the mental scars of the event. 

It was a lovely spring day. The sun was shining and warm. It was well into shorts and sandles weather in the mid 80s. I was excited for tasty home cooked meal at my girlfriend's house. I had stayed a little late at work and missed most of rush hour. 

I carefully zipped up my roadcrafter over my shorts and t-shirt after securing my boots. I attached the tether from my helite vest to my sv650. I fastened my arai helmet and strapped my gauntlet gloves on. The SV purred to life as I left the office lot.

I quickly entered onto I94e from the downtown St Paul entrance ramp and looked for a place to merge. A light colored sedan came from the left, dive bombing the upcoming exit ramp from the far left lane, crossing over three lanes. I saw it coming and quickly started to brake. I barely missed the rear bumper of the car as it continued to exit never knowing I was there. I missed it by mere inches. 

The bumper was the last thing I remember seeing before the world spun around and around. "Dont target fixate" I tell my students, "look where you want to go!" I was looking down and that's where I went. 

I crashed in the right lane of I94e. I couldn't move at first. The airbag deployed very tightly around me, protecting me. I took a moment to take stock of my situation. The bike was leaking gasoline, radiator fluid and oil. I turned off the bike. "I dont want to start on fire I thought." Which quickly turned to "get out of the road!" My right leg was pinned under the bike as I lay in traffic. I couldn't get up nor could I get free. Deep breath and keep trying. I didnt want to get run over as traffic was flowing freely when I went down. I tried harder and managed to pull my leg free. I tried to stand and felt horrible pain in my right leg, so I hopped as fast as I could to the shoulder and flopped down. 

By this time, others had stopped and came to help. "Are you ok they asked?" I was dazed. I replied "I dont know, I hurt all over." I was breathing really quickly. I forced my self to breathe slower. I took off the airbag vest which was bear hugging me. Then fumbled with my gloves and helmet. Someone was asking me to look at him, so I did. I saw someone else talking to 911 on their cellphone as I heard sirens coming. 

An off duty trooper saw the bike as he drove from i35e south onto i94e. He spun around and drove the wrong way, against traffic to get to me. I later learned he was on his way to take his pregnant wife to the hospital and had seen a motorcyclist die a week earlier. He was worried I would be next. 

When the trooper arrived, the others left. He took my license and started asking me questions. I tried to explain what happened. I was still a bit dazed. Then there was firefighters and an ambulance. I asked for some ice for my leg and left hand. The trooper talked into his radio calling it in. He told me he didnt believe my story and that his partner had seen me doing wheelies further back. 

I took the rest of my gear off. The EMTs examined me while the firefighters admired my gear. The EMT asked if I had hit my head, I replied "nope!" Then we both looked at the road rash across my helmet and I updated my statement to "I guess I did hit my head." The EMTs concluded unlikely to have broken bones and strapped some ice packs on me. They all remarked I was lucky to be alive and that I had good gear. Then they left. 

It was just me, the trooper and a highway helper at that point. The trooper said we should get my bike out of traffic and made me get up to help him and the helper. I hobbled after them and watched them lift the bike up while I fiddled with the shifter to get it back into neutral. Then they backed it onto the shoulder next to my gear. 

I have towing as part of my America Motorcycle Association membership. I tried to find the number in my phone. I couldn't figure it out. I recognized I wasnt thinking clearly earlier and took pictures to try and remember what had happened. I called my girlfriend and asked her to come get me. Then I called another friend to come get my bike with a trailer. Both quickly said yes and came to my rescue. 

The trooper asked me to sit in the back of his car as it was safer. I agreed. I saw him typing on his computer to someone that he didnt believe me and that I made the story up about the other car. I was gutted and angry. I stayed silent. Getting mad at him wouldn't help anything. How could he not believe me?! 

Another trooper came and they walked over to my motorcycle to talk. They chatted for a while. I kept holding my ice packs. I was up to three and out of hands and straps to hold the fourth. My original walked around to my side of the car. I had the rear door open and was trying to stay focused on my cold packs. He said the other trooper confirmed my gear and bike didnt match the other rider. He then surprised me by apologizing. After that, he became much nicer offering me some advil and water. I was grateful he was mature enough to admit his mistake! I'm also happy that I didnt argue with him earlier which would have probably made things worse.

We chatted about his soon to be fatherhood while we waiting for my ride. My friend got there first with the trailer. The trooper helped him load the bike and helped me pick up my gear and place it in the back of the truck. I wished him good luck and hope that he is a proud father of his first child now. He thanked me for wearing gear and left. 

My friend drove us off the freeway where we met up with my girlfriend and then we drove to my house. 

I few days later went to the doctor for xrays and to confirm my suspicions on my injuries. Contusions on my left hand, right shoulder, right hip, right knee, calf and ankle. My mind keeps replying what happened and trying to sort it out. I'm also struggling with moving so slowly and coming to terms with what could have been my end. I'm not sure on the condition of the bike. I dont want to look at it yet. I want to focus on healing my mind and body first. The gear and bike are easy to fix with a little money. The other two take some work. I'm grateful to be alive.

Please wear safety gear while riding. Take some time to give your loved ones a hug and to let them know you care. 

Epilogue/FAQ: I will keep riding. Not sure what's wrong with the bike yet. Going to buy a new aerostich, helite will repair the airbag vest. Hunting for a new helmet and boots neither are currently being made anymore. It was therapeutic to write this post. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

And then there were three

Adios WR250R! When I bought this bike new, I had dreams of riding it to far away places. Maybe do the TMAT or ride to Alaska or the far end of South America. Life got in the way and those dreams started to fade. 

I had a lot of fun with it while I did have it, but I barely rode the WR250R last year. It spent some time with a friend whose motorcycle had died. It helped him ride while he fixed his bike and I secretly hoped he would fall in love with it and buy it. He didn't. He is more of a sportbike guy. 

Enter my friend visiting from Texas! He has recently retired early to homestead in West Texas. He has acres of dirt and has been talking about getting a street legal dirt bike. Wow! I had a deal for him :) 

We concluded the negotiations with cherry chocolate chip ice cream. I feel like every vehicle sale should conclude in ice cream or another delicious treat. I'm glad the WR is going to a good home. Enjoy the ride Joe! 

PS: the remaining three are: sv650,dl650,super9. 
PPS: I plan to buy an electric bicycle and then invest the rest. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

2017 Minneapolis Motorcycle Show

This month the International Motorcycle Show came to Minneapolis. I worked the MMSC booth encouraging riders to take training and handing out the coveted “Start Seeing Motorcycles” bumper stickers. I had a great time chatting with all the current and future riders who stopped by.
The highlight of the show for me was the freestyle motorcycle stunt show. I tried to capture a few pictures and posted a short video to twitter. They barely do the show justice. The flips and tricks were really impressive.
Watch the video here if the embed below doesn’t work:
There were quite a few interesting bikes in the custom bike show contest. These are some of my favorites.
Overall, the show was decent. Sadly, I wasn’t very excited about any of the new bikes the various manufacturers had. I also don’t need any new gear, so many of the booths weren’t interesting. I did pick up some brochures for a couple track day events and some new more advanced rider training. I’m looking forward to those.
Did you attend an IMS show recently? What did you think?

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Riding the Skyway in Australia


My 14th and final trip of 2016 was Australia. My goal was to leave Minnesota 12 times. I spent Christmas and New Years in and around Sydney. For Christmas, I was in The Blue Mountains and spent time hiking and relaxing. I rode the Skyway in Scenic World (pictured above). The Skyway is a cable car with lots of windows and a glass floor. One of the views from the Skyway is below. Very beautiful!


I made a 360VR video using a Gear 360 and posted it to YouTube. The link is below. I recommend watching on your phone. You can move the phone around to change the view. You can do similar with the controls in the upper left when watching on your computer. Enjoy! 

Riding the Skyway at Scenic World in Australia 360VR

PS: Subscribe to my channel on YouTube: EverydayRiding to watch videos as soon as I post them including some fun with a drone.