Thursday, September 25, 2008

How to make your woman happy: a four-step guide

Step 1.

Step 2.

Step 3.

Step 4.


I really like this bike! I picked it up yesterday at Morton's BMW in Fredericksburg, VA and rode it 50 mi back home for the big surprise. Even though I was keeping it below 4k rpms for the break in and riding the whole way on the 95 (I had to get back quickly before my cover story wore thin!), I had a stupid grin on my face the whole time. The motor just purrrrrs along. The shifting is really smooth. Nice pep, GREAT sound coming out of the pipes, and my oh my oh my is it a gorgeous shade of red.

Miriam was QUITE pleased. She's upgrading from an F650 classic (aka a "Funduro"). Great bike, but she was ready to move on. Too bad the weather stinks this weekend, but I suspect we'll be out there anyhow!

Oooh, OK, one more pic. The caption for this is "ooooh, electronics!"

The amount of gadgetry on this bike is crazy! (In stark contrast to her carbureted and very, very analog Funduro!) It puts on a pretty impressive light show when you turn the key.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Fall of Freedom 2007 tour! Boston to Alaska's north shore and back.

Click on the links below for the story,
or click the map for an interactive look at my route.

Heading home

Day 25-26: Ferry to Prince Rupert

Well, Day 25 fell on October 1. Well past the date when the mountain passes of the Alaska Highway became impassible to motorcycles without studded tires. That left the ferry. Not a bad option: it passes among the islands of the Alaska shore, making it a scenic break from riding. And Oct 1 marks the start of the off-season, so it was substantially cheaper than during the summer.

My bike. After taking this picture, I spent some time securing it to those pipes and ladder with some string. I'm glad I did:

The water started getting rough. The ferry ship was tossed. If not for my strong digestive fortitude, my pancakes would be lost. My overpriced pancakes with side of bacon from the ship cafeteria would be lost.

I lost count of the lighthouses along the waterway.

Misty mountains and fjords.

One of the many stops along the way. These towns are only accessible by ferry or small plane. Note the glacier in the background.

Finally, where I slept:

Just unrolled my sleeping bag on one of the deck chairs and slept under the roof here. I think I slept for nearly 12 hours. Which is just as well, because there is absolutely nothing to do on these ferries. I spent a good bit of time nursing a beer, chatting with the bartender, and staring out the window. Also read Cormac McCarthy's The Road in pretty much one 8 hour sitting. What a book.

Day 27: Prince Rupert, BC to Jasper, AB

No pictures. It rained almost the entire day. Lovely.

Day 28: Jasper to Great Falls, MT

Critters and mountains in Canada's Jasper National Park:

Day 29: Great Falls to Denver, CO

After getting rained on for much of the previous day, I fought some serious winds crossing through the Wyoming plains. Probably the most tiring day of my entire trip. And I got stuck with a speeding ticket. 85 in a 70 in middle of nowhere, Wyoming. Grumble, grumble.

Day 30-32: Resting in Denver

Took a break at my dad's place in Denver area. Did some much needed drying off.

Also replaced my rear brake pads and disk and changed my oil.

Day 33: Denver, Co to Gary, IN

1110 miles that day! Woohoo!!! And my butt wasn't even particularly sore.

Day 34: Gary, IN to Lansdale, PA

778 more!

Day 35-38: Hanging out with family in Lansdale

Back to Lansdale, the town where I was born and raised, to hang out with family and old friends and go to a cousin's wedding. A good way to end.

Day 39: Back to Boston

The Lansdale-to-Boston trip? I remember when that 300-odd mile trip seemed long. HA! I was back home before I knew it.

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