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Patience is a Virtue

October 26, 2018

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May 7, 2019

Racks mounted and loaded with gear 

Adventure travel is my favorite thing, and close second to that is vintage motorcycles. So, I figure, “What the heck! Why not combine the two.” One of my jobs is as editor for Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Magazine, the official publication of the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club of North America. This club is composed of over 3,500 members spread across North America (and a few other countries as well). The “VJMC” started back in the seventies but soon grew too big for one small group to organize, so it split into three geographical groups all from the same root—VJMC NA, VJMC Australia/New Zealand, and VJMC in the UK. If you love old Japanese motorcycles, you owe to yourself to look into joining one or two or all. These clubs put on events al...

September 8, 2016

It's really a simple idea. Imagine a quality bungee cord that adjusts to virtually any length and which can be adjusted for whatever tension desired. That's exactly what Rok Straps deliver. OK, Rok Straps will not adjust to any length but are available in 12” to 42” (5/8” wide, rated to 55 pounds) and 18” to 60” (1” wide, rated to 100 pounds)—enough range for pretty much any motorcycling needs.

Rok Straps on my Bonneville fully laden for touring with Rok Straps securing my dry bag, containing my sleeping bag and mat, and my tail bag.

 A Rok Strap, adjustable from 18” to 60”

Before I discovered Rok Straps, I used regular bungee cords for strapping down the loads on my motorcycles. I would carefully select lengths of cords suitable for each piece of luggage that had to be str...

June 27, 2016

I got up at seven and leisurely got the camp picked up and the bike loaded. Got on the road about 8:30 and found my way back to US 27. I thought about stopping to get a coffee but didn't see anything other than gas stop/convenience stores. I was hoping to find a little country diner somewhere, where I could sit inside in comfort and enjoy some coffee and maybe a light bite, so I kept heading south with my eyes open for the first opportunity.

US 27 continued south and passed I-20, the main east-west corridor out of Atlanta on its west side. Not long after I turned off 27 and tried to get on US 27Alt which headed more southeasterly toward Newnan south toward Greenville. Instead, at Newnan I got confused and ended up taking a bypass and the wrong way out of town on GA 34, which i...

June 25, 2016

In the morning I repeated my breakfast of oatmeal and coffee and then walked outside to take a look at the many bikes gathered in the circle in front of the inn as they bike show registration got underway. There was a wide variety of vintage Japanese motorcycles arrayed around the circular driveway, from daily runners to showroom condition pristine examples of rare models. People lined up at the registration tent or rolled their beauties into place among the other entrants, while I snapped photos for use in the magazine.

More group rides departed early for the rolling Indiana countryside so they could return in time to get their bikes registered for the show before voting began at noon. I didn't join in, thinking the less miles I put on my ailing chain the better my chances wo...

June 24, 2016

 A bunch of vintage Hondas gathered on the circle for the upcoming bike show at the VJMC National Rally

Group bike rides came and went again while more and more bikes gathered in the circle for the next day's bike show. It was a relaxing day with not a lot to do between shooting different sub-events. 

June 23, 2016

I had a restful sleep and headed downstairs to have breakfast in the restaurant dining room. I sat with Mary and Charles, good friends from the club who hailed from Louisiana. Charles had once operated a tugboat on the Mississippi and so we had boating stuff in common to talk about. We had a nice conversation while I was downing a bowl of oatmeal with raisins, dried cranberries, walnuts, and honey gathered from the extensive breakfast bar. I limited myself to my usual oatmeal as I had lost seven pounds so far on the ride and didn't want to gain it all back here—easy to do with all the activities revolving around lunch stops and big buffet dinners each night in the banquet hall. Plus, to avail myself of the entire breakfast buffet would cost me eight dollars with coffee two bu...

June 22, 2016

Looking down from the third floor of the inn at Spring Mill State Park at the circular drive where the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club of North America held its bike show

I had set the alarm for seven, as late as I could and still be able to see Joe before he went off to work. There was no hurry to get on the road with only 250 miles or so between South Bend and Mitchell, Indiana and Spring Mill State Park, where the VJMC was having their national rally and I would be getting into work mode to make sure we had the needed photos of the event for the upcoming magazine issue.

By the time I walked into the dining room/kitchen there was a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast along with hot French pressed coffee waiting for me. Joe soon left and then between sips of coffee...

June 20, 2016

Rain and thunderstorms had kept me awake for an hour or so the night before starting at about am, and I had laid in my bag listening to the thunder overhead, worrying that perhaps camping under the canopy of a tree may not have been the best idea. But the thunder sounded like it was cloud to cloud instead of cloud to ground. I could hear the storm moving from the northwest to the southeast and it eventually calmed down over head as it headed off. I soon fell asleep again.

I woke up about 7:30 and everything was wet, including clothes in the pillion bag where I had also thrown all the rain and cold weather gear. Everything in the new Ortlieb panniers and the Nelson-Rigg tail bag stayed dry as a bone, including my laptop. The new purchases were paying their rent and I didn't reg...

June 19, 2016

I woke to rain the next morning, trying to snooze it away but it persisted. The Rainy River was living up to its name. I guessed I should just be thankful it was not called the Snowy River. The tent got packed away wet.

At Pelland, I continued east on US 71 to International Falls, while highway 11 turned south.

Arriving in International Falls, downtown I spotted an open diner. I rode a little way past to see what other options I might have but seeing none I did a U-turn and parked up in front of Coffee Landing Cafe. On the menu cover it was described as a “small town cafe with big city espresso bar.” The place had a wide selection of coffees, but I opted for the brew of the day, good old black strong coffee. With the cold rain I had ridden through the hot coffee was marvelous a...

June 18, 2016

The next morning I was up and out of Stoughton by 8 am. I thought I had heard rain on the tent last night but this morning everything was dry. It must have been the leaves of the trees overhead rustling.

Canada is huge and the prairie much wider than in the US. It was taking me forever to cross it. By the time I got well into Manitoba, the empty prairie was replaced by something similar to the terrain of northern Indiana at times and of southern Michigan at others. There were still large fields, but instead of prairie grasses they were planted with crops. There were more substantial woods among the fields instead of the thin line of prairie wind breaks. Oil drills still were common most of the way east, then along with woods and planted fields appeared ponds and lakes. Deer an...

June 17, 2016

I woke up to daylight, no thanks to my phone's alarm clock, which had run dead in the night. Still, it had to be pretty early and I estimated it to be about 7:30. By eight I was gone and heading more or less east again on the Trans Canada Highway. The wind was wickedly strong, blowing out of the west-southwest. The route made an abrupt jog south for several miles as I fought the gusts, then turned back east again. After the turn east, past Gleichen, I left my view of the mountains behind me, by then just a pale blue outline in my mirrors. I would not see anymore mountains until I crossed my old friends, the Appalachians, after leaving the VJMC rally in southern Indiana and heading home.

Again the road turned southeast around Bassano heading for the town of Medicine Hat, on the...

June 16, 2016

After only a couple taps of the snooze button on my phone I got out of bed, fully rested, and made my way upstairs in hopes of some coffee. Chris and Kimberly were not coffee drinkers so I got out some of my tea bag coffee while some water was heated up. I gathered up my things and packed up my bags then sat at the kitchen island chatting with Chris about hunting and motorcycles, the two subjects the quiet man would come alive to talk about. Soon Chris had to leave for work, and we said our goodbyes as Kimberly appeared. We talked about essential oils, which was a cottage industry for her, and she asked me what I would like for breakfast. There had been mention of elk steak in the fridge the night before, and I did not hesitate to remind her of that. I had mentioned that on t...

June 15, 2016

I was up early with plenty of time to enjoy a leisurely coffee or two and a morning snack at the KOA office, but to my dismay, it did not open until 9. Our plan was for Brent and Julie to meet me there at 8, which meant no breakfast for a while for me.

We headed out on I-90, but only as far as US 12 where we hopped off to connect with MT 141, where we thought we'd find fuel. Exploring the little settlement of Avon, we could find no gas and by then it was getting critical. We decided to head out of our way east toward Helena on US 12 figuring there had to be something soon as the highway approached the big-for-Montana city. By Elliston we found fuel. I had to make due with something for breakfast in the little store there, but I managed to find a decent muffin and hot coffee.

Fu...

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October 26, 2018

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