There are certain things that are well-established elements of the motorcycling mythos...
Freedom, the open road, wind in your face, the lure of the canyons, Easy Rider and the Wild Ones. I rarely if ever hear of anyone extolling the joys of an urban environment. I come across all sorts of riders that think riding in the city is just too dangerous or something to be avoided at all costs.
I'm coming out here and now to say I really enjoy riding in the city. I love cities in general, their energy and vibrancy. Riding a motorcycle through a city is a great way to stay connected with the city itself. It may not be my absolute favorite kind of riding but its pretty far up on my personal list.
This isn't a relaxing ride, certainly different from a sedate cruise down country lanes. It's a high adrenaline thrill ride. I love being able to slice through traffic, it's like Frogger but without a restart button. Running through the gears while accelerating away from a light and leaving the traffic behind is one of motorcycling's simple pleasures.
Being on a bike lets you connect with what's around you; I can smell the Thai barbecue as I ride by, I can hear the ranchero music from the truck next to me. For me being on a bike is one of the best ways to feel the heartbeat of the city. A car shuts you away from so much, you are merely traveling through rather than a part of it. Insulated from the ever-changing swirl of cultures, colors, sounds and smells.
Get out and ride, join the carnival.
The Doctor, the Tornado and the Kentucky Kid
Mark Neale has a new movie coming....
If you don't know the name, he is the director of Faster which in my opinion is one of the best motorcycle movies out there. If you haven't seen it go and watch, its great. The new movie is called; The Doctor, the Tornado and the Kentucky Kid
This one focuses on last years Laguna Seca GP. Just what I need to get amped up for this year.dtkmovie site
Life...Liberty...and the Pursuit of Maximum Speed
Glendora Mountain Road / Glendora Ridge Road
This weekend I finally got back out in the canyons for a real ride. Between the weather, visitors and trips, it's been far too long. It was a great ride and I always enjoy seeing people and hanging out. Lunch at Mount Baldy Lodge was fun. I love Glendora Ridge Road (GRR) but I never seem to get a good rhythm on Glendora Mountain Road (GMR). The ride also highlighted some of my personal shortcomings as a rider. I have spent a significant portion of my riding miles on the same road. It's when I come out of that comfort zone that I realize how much I depend on knowing the road and running sweeping curves.
The majority of my canyon miles have been on the Angeles Crest Highway, which is a fairly fast and sweeping road. It has also been under heavy speed enforcement since I started riding there. I choose to ride that road at a legal pace and the vast majority of the time I'm capable of going though it faster than I choose to. It doesn't really matter how fast I think I can take the curves because I know I am capable than going faster than the speed limit. In some ways its confidence inspiring to know that my speed is limited by the law and not my ability.
The problem comes when I'm on significantly tighter and unfamiliar roads. This was the first time this year and probably only the third time total that I have been on GMR. It is one of those roads that I have never gotten a good flow on. One of the great cliches of motorcycling is "ride your own ride" That's all well and good but how do you know what your ride is? I generally know how fast I can go in wide sweeping turns but I tend to find myself at loss with the technical stuff and slow waaaaay down because I'm just not sure just how fast I should be going. The problem is that on some roads and some corners I still just don't know what my ride is yet.
I know that is one of those things that come with experience. In order to get past it I need to spend more time on more technical roads. I really do need to open up my riding horizons. I'm doing myself a disservice by not varying my motorcycle road diet. So I'm planning in the future to spend a little more time in Malibu, taking my medicine with GMR so I get the treat of GRR.
It's never a bad thing to look for things to improve.
Glendora Ridge Road