Rides

Have you been on a great ride lately? Share it with the rest of us, write a quick post about it and send it to us.

Looking for Garage Wrenchers to Show Off Their Custom Bikes

It’s easy to find the latest, most amazing build by one of the top shops across the globe. Just head over to BikeExif and they’ll hook you up with that. But I want to write some stories about those people wrenching away in their garages who are building beautiful and interesting bikes.

So if you’ve built a bike in your garage, I want to talk to you. The bike has to be done, and something that is being ridden on the street. If you have a race bike or you’ve built some crazy bike that was never intended to be ridden on the road, that’s cool too. My point is that the project need to be done, even though these projects are never really done.

If you want to be a part of this little project of mine, hit me up on my email at here.

My vision, which is subject to change is a few blog posts, maybe a video or two, and an eBook. I’ll need photos, preferably some before and after shots. I’d like an estimate on your financial investment. And I’d like to interview you over the phone to talk about the stuff you learned doing the project, mistakes that were made and things you would do differently next time.

I ride and I’m a garage wrencher. There’s actually few things in my life right now more satisfying than working on a motorcycle. I love it. I’m also a software engineer and a journalist by trade. So I’m going to use my journalism skills for this one because I think a book like this will be interesting to other wrench monkeys out there.

Why I ride

No one has ever asked me why I enjoy riding motorcycles, but social networks are all about answering questions that no one has asked, or cares to know the answers.

There are several reasons why I ride.

One is that I like to feel the wind in my face and smell the smells while riding. It’s an experience you can’t get in a car, even with the windows down, maybe in a convertible. You can get it on a bicycle, but you have to work a lot harder for it.

I also ride because it can be thrilling. Opening up the throttle and blasting through some tasty s-curves is about as fun as operating any motor vehicle gets. Leaning deep into a curve to the point where you feel like you’re leaning way too much, is amazing. You have to put faith in the bike and your tires and the road that the bike stays stuck to the road. I’m not trying to pretend that I’m some super-moto rider putting a knee down through every corner. I ride an old ’70s Honda, I’m not getting that fancy with my riding.

And that leads to my final reason why I ride, I like working on motorcycles. That’s why I have an old ’70s Honda – that and I’m basically broke, and it’s apparently impossible to make a living in Vermont. But knowing that because of my mechanical skills my bike stays safely on the road, feels really good.

That’s why for me, when I own a motorcycle – I’ve gone several years without a bike – it becomes a part of my life that a car never does. Cars are practical. Motorcycles are personal.

Vermont Ride: Montpelier to Bristol

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon, the kids were taking their afternoon naps and I needed a ride. I wanted to go far enough that I felt like I went somewhere but not too far that I’d be tired when I got home.

I went to Bristol and it was exactly what I had planned for on my ’78 Honda CB400.

I headed out down Route 2 to Route 100 towards Waitsfield. As far as Vermont roads are concerned, that stretch of Route 100 that runs along the Mad River is pretty good road.

Just south of Waitsfield I headed west on Route 17. That took me through the mountain pass and by the Mad River Glen ski area.

Route 17 through the mountains was really twisty with hair-pin curves. Unfortunately, unlike Route 100, Route 17 was in pretty rough shape. While it was tempting to blast through some of these curves, there is just no way to know whether there’s going to be a suitable road to ride on when you come out of the turn. Sadly, most of the Vermont’s roads are not safe for motorcycles. Route 17 had huge cracks that were as wide or wider than a motorcycle tire. I really had to pick my path and take it slow.

The views were spectacular though.
Vermont Mountain View
I had lunch at a small diner in Bristol called Snap’s. The cheeseburger, fries and two beers came to $21 including tip. The burger was decent and the beer was cold.

I went back the same was I came. The next time I do this ride, I’d like to check out some of the dirt roads that shoot off Route 100 and Route 17.

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