Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Another toy

My 2004 KTM 525EXC.

Last Saturday I brought home my first dirt bike. On Sunday, I fell in love with riding my first dirt bike.

I went riding with my friend Terry in Angeles National Forest at Rowher Canyon O.H.V. park. Even though it was hard to find a place to unload in the parking lot that Sunday it was easy to find trails where no one else was around.

Terry's 1999 KTM 300MXC (2 stroke).

Terry and I are both KTM fans.

On Monday, my body felt like I had run a race after doing a couple hundred push-ups. I had no idea how physical and fun riding in the dirt was. Don't worry Mom and Dad there are no cars that can crash into me when I'm riding up the side of a mountain.

Rowher Canyon OHV park

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I rode across the country and all I got were these crummy magnets.

My magnet collection.

In forty-five days I rode 11,274 miles through 28 states and passed by 17 University of Phoenix campuses.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nashville to Los Angeles in 3 days

I-40 Westbound outside of Amarillo

After leaving the Nantahala and Cherokee National Forests in the Smoky Mountains I headed to Nashville, TN. I was able to get ahold of an old friend that is studying at Belmont University and she was kind enough to put a roof over my head for the night. Thanks Aubrey.

From Nashville I headed straight back to Los Angeles along I-40.

Changing my oil behind an Autozone in Nashville, TN.

When heading toward Amarillo, TX on I-40 every other billboard is for a Free 72oz steak at the Big Texan. After awhile the ads start to make it very tempting.

The other billboards are quotes from the Bible or directions to a giant cross.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Route 129 "The Dragon's Tail"

I survived the Dragon.

Since I left Los Angeles I looked forward to riding in and around the Smoky Mountains. Even though I have to expedite my trip to get back to Los Angeles I scheduled time to ride a couple well known routes. In order to get to these famous roads I decided to drive through the Smoky Mountain National Park on a Sunday during peak leaf-peeping season and it took me two and a half hours to drive thirty miles. Once I headed into the park there was no turning back and I kept telling myself that traffic will speed up.

Just looking at this photo makes me want to vomit.

I guess you really have to experience sitting in traffic on a motorcycle to really appreciate the distain I have for it. You are constantly balancing a 500lb machine at 10 miles an hour or slower, or you are holding up a 500lb machine waiting to move forward 10ft all while it radiates a few hundred degrees of heat between your legs. After so much of this you justify to yourself passing a few cars whenever you get the chance. I found a chance and passed a few cars only to notice there was a police car behind me.


I was pulled over by the nicest Officer and after bullshitting about my trip for awhile he let me go with a warning.

With only a couple hours of daylight left, I made it to Deals Gap motorcycle resort which is located at the bottom of The Dragon's Tail. People from all over the country trailer in their motorcycles to ride on these roads.

Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort

Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort

Bikes that didn't survive Route 129. I'm not sure if I feel more sorry for the tree or the idiots that crashed their bikes.

Riders getting ready at the top of The Dragon's Tail.

View from Route 129

That's me. I took the luggage off of my bike and locked it to a fence at the bottom of the route.

Sunset from the summit of the Cherohala Skyway. I had to drive through those clouds when the road starts to descend.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Back in Brooklyn

Train stop in Brooklyn.

After 8,200 miles I made it back to Brooklyn for the second time. I had planned to stay for a few days or so with my oldest brother, Joe, and make a rough plan for my return trip to the west coast.

For the first time in the last four weeks it looked like I had a pretty solid plan for my trip. Then I got a call with a job offer back in Los Angeles and it was to good to pass up. The problem was I had to be back on the other side of the country in less than a week.

I left New York as soon as possible and was able to get my tires changed on a Saturday at Ridersville Cycle in Berkley, WV. Kevin is the KTM tech there and took care of me right away.

I didn't get a chance to explore the western states when I left on this trip and now it looks like I won't be able to explore very much on the way back.

My oldest brother Joe.

Goodbye Brooklyn

Route 114 in Rhode Island

New tread in West Virginia

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hell yes, GPS!

There is no HDMI connection for Blu-ray

After a week of exploring back roads with Erica and never getting lost I became jealous of her GPS technology. I found a great deal on craigslist for a Garmin Zumo 450, which is a weatherproof motorcycle designed GPS device. Despite a few annoying limitations in the programing I am very excited to try to get lost.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Walden Pond State Preservation

The first Natural Historic Landmark in American history.

Walden Pond

Site of Henry David Thoreau's cabin. Sign says: "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life. And see if I could not learn what it had to teach and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." Thoreau

View of Walden Pond from Thoreau's cabin site.


Edward Hopper's Highland Lighthouse, North Truro 1930

A quick google and wikipedia search couldn't confirm that peninsula-phobia actually exists, but if it does I may have a slight case. I'm not afraid of being nearly surrounded by water I'm just bothered by a place that has mainly one road going in and one road going out. There is no variable for change, everything comes in from one road and I'm sure even less comes out. Florida is a good example and I never plan on traveling through there on purpose.

But when I saw that the Highland Lighthouse was located at the tip of Cape Cod I was willing to make an exception.


Provincetown, Cape Cod

To Erica


You take the good, you take the bad,
you take them both and there you have
The Facts of Life, the Facts of Life.

There's a time you got to go and show
You're growin' now you know about
The Facts of Life, the Facts of Life.

When the world never seems
to be livin up to your dreams
And suddenly you're finding out
the Facts of Life are all about you, you.

It takes a lot to get 'em right
When you're learning the Facts of Life.
Learning the Facts of Life,
Learning the Facts of Life.

You got the future in the palm of your hands
all you gotta do to get you through is understand
you think you rather do without,
you will never make without the truth
the facts of life is all about you

Shiny side up!

See you in LA.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

One Last Ride

Just before leaving Maine, Marc and his long time friend, Jim, that he's known since High School took me on great riding route through north west Maine and parts of New Hampshire. I wish I had photos of the warning signs for one of the roads we went on that is called Hurricane Mountain Road. It was a quick 5 or 6 miles stretch of road that twisted and elevated at random with 15% to 17% grade warnings. It was a bit crowd on the Sunday that we were there but if you timed it right you can set yourself up with nice little run.

Thanks Jim for showing us the sites and some great roads.

Marc and Jim

Hurricane Mountain Road

White Mountain National Forest

Four for the road

Friday, October 2, 2009

Acadia National Park

Taken from the summit of Cadillac Mountain.

Cadillac Mountain Rd in Acadia National Park.

Bar Harbor, ME

A rare form a rock moss. Photo by Erica.

Rockhurst Inn, Bar Harbor, ME

Treasures Trash Barn

This is the most organized trash barn I have ever seen. Thought it was worth sharing.

En route to Acadia National Park I came across the Trash Barn.

It was filled with the coolest little tools and pulleys. Each individual hung from the head board.




Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ahsome people

Marc and Nanci

Not only did Nanci and Marc take me surfing for the first time but they cooked me lobster which I had never had before, at least not a whole lobster. It definitely was a day for the memory books.

Marc works as a contractor, engineering specially designed mobile structures like the ones used to launch rockets and also loves to ride motorcycles. Nanci owns and operates the local surf shop and also teaches surfing lessons. Her shop is called Aquaholics (www.aquaholicsurf.com). It isn't unusual for them to have guest at there home on a regular basis. They are unbelievably generous and both love to surf.

I am so glad I was able to meet both of these people. The shitty thing is they live over 3,000 miles away from me.

Thank you Marc and Nanci for the roof over my head, the seafood in my stomach, and the surf board under my feet. You guys are just ahsome.

My first plate of lobster and mussels.

It's worth it.

I like Nanci's Mother's painting.

Old Orchard Beach, ME


Stock photo of me surfing.

Nanci and Erica looking at her cankles.