I’ve paid admission at a movie theater once in the last three years. That was a short time ago when I went to see the last of the Harry Potter movies. Say what you want, I like the books and the films
Red Tails tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen – the first black pilots to fly in combat for the United States Armed Forces back in WWII. I’ve met a few of the real Tuskegee Airmen and they were all humble, down to earth guys. I thanked them for their service and they very sincerely thanked me for showing up and stopping by.
I’ll gladly spend my hard earned cash to see this movie when it comes out and I’ll probably buy the DVD as well. The story needs to be told and re-told so that the sacrifices of these brave men are not forgotten.
Click on the video above, select the 720p HD setting, and select full screen. When you’re done, tell me if you think it’s worth the few dollars to go see it
To the Tuskegee Airmen and all who serve, thanks again for your service and sacrifices
I know I haven’t been riding all that long, but I am enjoying every single second on my bike
I still get all the same questions as I’ve gotten since I announced I was going to get a motorcycle. I answer that when it rains I get wet, yes I am a bit hot but the jacket’s mesh and I’d rather sweat than bleed, and I know it’s dangerous but living on a motorcycle’s much more enjoyable and satisfying than living on a couch
Riding a motorcycle is such a completely different experience that I struggle to put into words what it’s like, how it feels, and why I don’t think I’ll ever stop. Yes, it gets cold sometimes (Mt. Charleston for example), and baking hot (like it usually is during summer in Las Vegas). I’ve ridden in severe thunderstorms, nasty gusting crosswinds, and I’ve navigated the insanity of the Las Vegas Strip. There hasn’t been much I haven’t enjoyed immensely
A YouTube vlogger (video blogger) who goes by ROKKIT44 put together a video that expresses how I feel better than just about anything I’ve found yet. Click on it above, kick back, and enjoy the show For the best experience, set it to HD (720p or 1040p) and select full screen
There’s always a challenge to riding. Sometimes that challenge is in how you view the day or the conditions. I was out on the streets in another thunderstorm after work today. The rain wasn’t too bad, but the roads were slicker than a politician at a fundraiser Others might balk at the conditions. I just ratcheted my level of alertness to 200% of my normal semi-paranoia around cars, kept the control inputs smooth, and enjoyed being cooled off as I rode through the falling water
I could go on and on about this, but I’ll save the rest for future posts. Until then I wish you a wonderful and safe weekend
On a hot summer day at Edwards AFB
I didn’t have any big plans for this weekend. All I wanted to do was to de-stress after another long week at work. Of course a motorcycle ride was in order, but where to go and what to do? Dinner at the Hard Rock sounded good
On the way down, I noticed how cool the reflection of the sky in the back of the headlight looked
I’d never really looked at the motorcycle parking lot at the Hard Rock, but there were quite a few machines there yesterday
After dinner I headed south on the Strip. The weather here is still HOT!!! I’m looking forward to autumn
To end the day, I wanted to arrive at Red Rock Canyon at just the right time. That’s about 1945 hours this time of year. It’s the time when the sun is going down in the valleys between the peaks of the cliff faces. I managed to get it right and got the pics I wanted
That’s all for now, but I’ll be back again before long Have a great day
Last week wasn’t the worst, but I’ve had better. I woke up Wednesday with a nasty attitude, my shoulder hurt for no reason, and I was tired as hell I wasn’t in the right frame of mind and wouldn’t be 100% up to the task of riding safely that morning so I took the car instead Part of being a safe rider in my ever so humble opinion is knowing when to stay the heck off the bike. If you’re pissed off or too tired, you won’t be properly focused. You could fail to notice a car or a patch of gravel and end up laying on the roadway. You could screw up your clutch or throttle control and have a similar incident. I’d rather not end up as an accident statistic, so I’ll take the car at times
Getting in the car after being on the bike so much is a strange experience. I’ve noticed that aside from the novelty of air conditioning and music, there’s also a feeling of constriction from the seat belt and the outward visibility is terrible compared to the bike. Between the rear view mirror and pillars dividing the windows, there are a ton of blind spots in the car I much prefer the view through the huge eye port on my helmet – it’s almost like there’s nothing there Add to all of that the fact that the car doesn’t lean in corners like the bike does and that there’s no wind etc. and the car becomes seriously boring. I still find myself surprised at times by just how much different it is to lean into the corners, to put a foot down at a traffic light, and to have to lean forward when I accelerate on the bike. It’s all part of the grin factor that comes with riding
Now, the temperature hasn’t been quite as bad as it could have been, but it’s still been hot. Yes, air conditioning helps but I find that there’s still an artificial feel to it. Also, there’s not all that much in the way of good smells around the city. It was time for a bit of a change in pace. After leaving work at 1630, I decided to pick up some liquid refreshment and head on up Mt. Charleston for some nicer surroundings
I swear I nearly froze a couple times yesterday but I enjoyed every second of it. Cool, clear air with just a hint of humidity was just what the doctor ordered Aside from the temperature differential, the mountain always smells wonderful! There’s the vanilla aroma from the Ponderosa pine trees for one thing, but then there’s the Christmas tree smell from all the fir trees as well and it all helps to remove me from the week that was
Still, all good things must come to an end sometime and I headed on back down the mountain. The temperature rose steadily as I dropped from 9,000+ feet down to the 2,500 or so feet above sea level we live at here in the valley. The wind picked up while I was on the 95 coming back into town which added a little extra adrenaline to the mix, but I’ve started to get used to it
Overall, it was a very nice way to end the week and kick off a three day weekend
That’s it for now, but I hope you have a great day
The posting from the weekend’s rides continues
I got more pics from Sunday’s ride than from Saturday’s and did a few more miles, too Sunday was a bit more of an adventure due to the route I took. I’m perfectly fine on surface streets and two lane highways, but I’m not really that experienced or used to the bigger roads like I-15. Well, if I want to go touring I’m going to have to hit the “super slab” as some riders call it so I figured what the heck and headed out
My route took me north on Durango, east on the 215 Beltway, and then north a ways on the I-15. Once at the Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza I turned east and headed to Valley of Fire State Park. After transiting the park with a bit of a detour, it was south along Lake Mead until I reached Henderson where I took a few surface streets to get to Highway 160 for the final part of the trip through Red Rock Canyon. For those of you who’d like to see something fairly close to my route, I’ve prepared a Google Map with a close approximation of where I went – click here
This was not an easy ride all the way by my standards. First there was the traffic on the interstate to deal with, then the heat, wind, and general hostility of the desert in the summer. Add to that a good long stretch of twisty road in the middle of nowhere with many corners not endowed with guardrails… You get the idea. It’s mentally stressing at times and physically stressing at others. Anyone who tells you it’s easy to do trips like this because you just sit on a bike is full of Bravo Sierra.
But that’s all good stuff. I figure there’s no better way to prepare for longer trips than to work up to them. Sunday was 190 or so miles which isn’t too far, but the heat and all the rest above made it a good training run for some of the trips I have planned like Utah, Arizona, California, and possibly much further
Enough blathering about all the stresses and trials of the ride (even as fun as they were) – let’s get to the pics
As I said, the blast up the I-15 raceway was necessary to get me up to Valley of Fire State Park. Sure, there was some training value in it, but I probably wouldn’t have done it except to get to this place.
You didn’t think I’d go somewhere like this without a gratuitous bike pic now did ya ?
I’ve been to Atlatl Rock before, but I didn’t have any really good pics. I figured I’d take this opportunity to remedy that
Those stairs may not look like much, but they seem longer and more difficult after continued exposure to high temperatures
Petroglyphs and pictographs are all over the rocks in Valley of Fire, but this is one of the most easily accessible panels. I think this is a cool panel though because of the atlatl which is one of the only tools or man made objects I’ve seen in any of these glyphs
There was other thing to share from the platform at Atlatl Rock – the view in the other direction
Back down at ground level, I took the chance to get into drink a quart of Powerade Zero, get into some shade, and douse myself with water. There were a few of these little critters who came out to drink from the pool that collected on the concrete under a water spigot
I learned something else about my V-Star on this ride. It will do gravel and dirt, but not exactly well This pic was taken at Rainbow Vista and the rocks really are rather colorful, but the lighting just wouldn’t cooperate. I wasn’t going to complain about shadows at this point with the sun and the heat being what they were And yes, I do plan on going back sometime when it’s cooler for more pics
This section of road goes off the main thoroughfare through the park a ways and I’ve always liked the rock for its color and visual texture There’s a point of interest a short distance from this place called Mouse’s Tank that’s pretty interesting. From the park’s website:
Again, I’ll go back for more pics when it’s not over 110° in the shade
I’m going to call it a night as it’s getting rather late, but I hope you’ve enjoyed the pics! Have a great day everyone
It’s a sad admission, but this is the only decent picture I got during about 160 miles of riding on Saturday. To tell you the truth, I really wasn’t all that concerned with photography during this excursion due to the gusty winds, warm temperatures, and need to focus on the road at 55 to 75 miles per hour I took the 95 north past Indian Springs before heading south to the romantic vacation resort destination known as Pahrump. After a burger and some fuel in the bike’s gas tank it was time to head home via Red Rock Canyon. I promise to get more pics the next time I head over that way
Now before someone gets the wrong idea, I DID NOT shop at the business advertised on the sign in the picture above No, I just wanted a good picture or two to use during the election season when I start reminding people that politics is actually legal in a few counties here in Nevada
That’s all for tonight folks, but stay tuned for a few good pics tomorrow and have a wonderful Tuesday
OK, so I’ve got a couple of dates jumbled I figured I’d get caught up a bit and get these pics posted
Here’s hoping you see something you like
I figured I’d head on down to Carter Powersports to pick up my disk lock and saw this on my way back north. It didn’t make the news so it couldn’t have been that bad. It was just something I don’t see too often here in Vegas.
This Mustang is one of a series of cars in the “Fueled by the Fallen” series. You can read all about that organization here, but I figured I’d post their mission statement:
I’d say it’s a worthy cause
I love the look of this BSA They only want $6995 so it’s even somewhat affordable
Another vehicle that’s not for sale, but which I would love to drive is this gorgeous car I just don’t want to have to pay the gas bill
Lots of power and no brakes on this classic BSA flat tracker must make for a very exciting ride
Last, but not least we have another rare motorcycle with some history No, you won’t find me on one of these anytime soon
That’s it for now, but I’ll have more pics soon! Have a great day everyone
Ya know, I’ve been riding my bike about 100 times more than I’ve been driving the car. It seems like I go pretty much everywhere on it. And that means I end up leaving it outside in places I’d rather not. Let’s face it, the ignition lock (which also locks the forks) isn’t much of an obstacle if someone wants the bike. It’s basically like the one you’d find in a car. I wanted something more.
Sure, I’d need a chain around the frame if I was really worried. For now I’ve decided a disk lock would be enough for where I usually ride. I bought a Kryptonite Keeper 5 for about $25 – it’s that yellow thing you see attached to the brake disk. Made of hardened steel, it’s nearly impossible to cut, especially if you’re in a hurry. The slot is just wide enough for the rotor, so good luck getting to the skinny pin that goes through the vent hole. There’s even a free turning plate over the keyhole that makes drilling it a serious challenge. I doubt anyone’s going to have the time and or determination to get past it
The biggest problem with disk locks is that sometimes people forget they put it on and then try to ride off with it in place. To prevent that most unfortunate outcome, many riders use a cord or cable that runs from the disk lock to the handlebar to remind them to take the lock off. I figured it was a pretty good idea so I got one of those, too The “REMOVE BEFORE FLIGHT” key chain was just a little piece I picked up in Utah that looked like it might be cool
Sure, it’s just a deterrent and someone can still take it if they want it bad enough, but that little yellow piece of steel on the rotor gives me peace of mind and that’s worth much more than I paid for it
See – I told you I’d be back soon
I stopped by Red Rock Harley Davidson here in fabulous Las Vegas on Sunday. I was looking for a few accessories, but didn’t pick any up until Monday. Some people have bashed Harley Davidsons and their dealers. They say that the difference between a Harley and a vacuum is the position of the dirt bag and that the dealers won’t talk to ’em unless they show up on a Hog. I’ve found both stereotypes to be completely, 100% wrong The folks at Red Rock Harley Davidson are some of the best I’ve ever met. Steve in parts has helped me a few times now and Millie back in clothing worked to find the right things today. If anyone wants to see how customer service should be done, go to this dealership and work with these two! They’d be smart to clone them
Red Rock Harley is the closest dealer to me and they’re more than just a bit of space with a few bikes for sale I figured I’d give y’all a bit of a glimpse into what you can find at a good dealership I don’t know all that much about bikes yet, but I think the old ones are pretty darn cool!
This bike looks like it’s probably fast due to the four cylinder engine and cafe racer handlebars, but those drum brakes look entertaining
I’ve never driven a sidecar rig, but they’ve always fascinated me. This one’s incredibly custom and very cool
I really like old cruisers like this Harley, but there’s something about this one that just doesn’t quite click for me. Maybe it’s the fringe or the huge chrome parts on the fenders, but I just can’t see me riding it. Maybe things will change in the future. I wish the new owner many years and miles of enjoyment
If I were going to buy a new Harley, this would be my bike. I’ll take the Road King Classic with factory custom paint and all the options
This little two stroke is too small for me, but I can only imagine the look on a kid’s face if they got it for Christmas
I’m not sure if these are originals or replicas, but they sure look FAST!!!
While I think this is one of the coolest looking bikes in the shop, I don’t know that I’d really want to try riding it
I’d only ever seen a Vincent Black Shadow in videos so it was great to see one in person The Black Shadow was the first motorcycle to be stable and very controllable at high speeds of over 100 miles per hour. Motorcyclists attempting such speeds on earlier motorcycles would run into a problem known as “Speedman’s Wobble” which does not sound very enjoyable
Once again I’m going to say that I really don’t know much about these two Triumph bikes, but they sure look nice
This is another one of those bikes that I think looks cool, but I’d never really want to ride
This should bring back some memories for people ! This looked like a pretty good replica
I’ve heard a lot of both good and bad about Softails, but they look pretty nice to me About the only things I didn’t like on this one were the passing lamps – they just don’t really appeal to me
This bike looks old to me, but it’s actually a 2006! The styling and the manufacturer – Ducati – both tell me it’s fast and that price tag tells me it’s not going to be a problem for me anytime soon
I’m no stranger to a bit of speed and excitement every once in a while, but this just looks like insanity to me Actually, I’m rather surprised it hasn’t been resurrected for the X-Games
One of these days I’ll have to write a post just on this motorcycle. I think it’s absolutely gorgeous, but the controls are different from anything I’ve ever seen before. For example, the throttle is on the left and does not automatically snap back, the clutch is on the left pedal where I’d expect a shifter, and twisting the right grip adjusts the timing advance Sounds like it might be fun to learn
This Sting Ray isn’t the only car on the showroom floor (more of those in later posts ) but I really like it It’s got the big block 427ci engine which sounds like fun but I’m really glad I don’t have to pay for gas I’d prefer the knock off wheels and side exhaust, but I’d drive it with pleasure if I had the chance
That’s about it for now. Here’s a big THANK YOU to Red Rock Harley Davidson for not only providing me with exemplary customer service but also for allowing me to take pictures of the awesome vehicles on their showroom floor
Have a great day everyone
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