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Editorially Speaking

Southern Rail: Sacred ground

I was a sickly kid growing up, plagued from birth with acute bronchitis. Hasty visits to late-night emergency rooms resulted in confinement to an oxygen tent on an almost-monthly basis (before steroids and breathing treatments). Confined to bed and often absent from school, I grew up in the company of many books, hot-rod magazines and Rat Fink model car kits. ...

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Blue Dog Diaries: Dream rides

With the holidays over and winter settling over the hemisphere like a fat, malevolent brood hen, it’s time once again to engage in the mid-winter biker tradition of sinking into a mean, morbid, inconsolable funk. I know that’s what I’m gonna do. Grrr. The source of the funk is self-evident. It’s the combination of crappy weather and fleeting daylight that ...

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Blue Dog Diaries: The hog in the flower bed

Garden art takes many forms, from the kitschy gnomes, toadstools, birdbaths, and sundials to the more pretentious neoclassical statuary and fountains to the bewildering postmodern sculptures of the sophisticates. But none of those pieces hold a candle to what I had in my flower bed: an immaculate 1999 Harley Fat Boy resting upside down, enigmatically ensconced rubber-side-up amid the roses, ...

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One for the Road: Asphalt surfer

It’s early December and here in northern New Jersey a damp chill is settling in, foretelling the first snowfall of the season. This time of year, my road trips are much fewer and farther between, and I’m already getting a bit stir crazy. Planning for next summer’s adventures is the only thing that keeps me sane when the roads are ...

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Southern Rail: Off the leash

It was in the early 80’s and there were four of us riding two-up from Texas to attend a wedding somewhere in Vermont. I knew neither the bride nor groom but it was an excuse to ride. Plus my riding buddy Blackjack and I had scored a cool grand by skirting around some tie-wearing sales geek and convinced my boss ...

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One for the Road: Leave home without it

I’m motoring along US-202 in New Jersey, heading southwest to NAMZ Custom Cycle Products for an install project on my 2000 FXD. I’m about 45 miles into the ride, mentally checking over the parts I’ve brought with me, when I’m suddenly hit with a horrible realization. My hand comes down to touch the left pocket of my jacket where I ...

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Blue Dog Diaries: Through the past darkly

The archaeologists unearthed the dwellings of an ancient civilization and in each dwelling found vast collections of photographs depicting life in the distant past. It was a find of staggering value, an intimate and detailed glimpse of what life had been like in that time. But that glimpse ended abruptly somewhere around the year 2004 C.E., with only a smattering ...

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One for the Road: Ode to the lowly

I like to think that as bikers, we’re always prepared for anything while we’re on the road, and as such, most every rider I know has their favorite tools stowed somewhere on their bike. Of course that includes wrenches, sockets, screwdriver, spark plugs and the like, but most motorcyclists depend on smaller aids such as electrical tape, zip ties and ...

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Southern Rail: Attention deficit dummy

I was rolling south from Lubbock, my last day on the road after a long week at the 75th Black Hills Classic. I was tired, aboard a sketchy rental bike and eager for home. And while those factors can make for a deadly combination, I then committed the cardinal error of motorcycling. I had a lull in my attention span. ...

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Blue Dog Diaries: The rally diet dilemma

You are, in fact, what you eat. That’s an inescapable molecular truth. Every cell of every tissue and organ, every particle of your physical being can be chemically traced directly to whatever it is you’ve been shoveling into your pie hole. There is no other source of matter. There is no photosynthesis to fall back on, no airborne nutrients to ...

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