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Tag Archives: Spare Parts

Spare Parts: Independent’s Day

Motorcycles have been a classroom for me most of my life. One of the electives in your motorcycle education can be photography. The man who sold me my first “real” camera over a 30 years ago, J.R. Pat Patterson, has passed at the age of 94. When I bought that first camera from Pat it was in his shop on ...

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Spare Parts: Orange Blossom Special

Like Martin and Lewis, Jake and Ellwood and Thelma and Louise I have someone who has my back on the road. Before there was “Bert and Ernie” there was Richard and Ernie. Since we were old enough to get motorcycle endorsements on our driver’s licenses—that’s 45 years or more—we’ve been riding together and before that Richard was my neighbor. We ...

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Spare Parts: When the shine wears off

It’s no secret that I like old things. Everything that’s older with moving parts fascinates me. From tractors to typewriters, for me, the older the better. As you may well imagine, I’m not the guy waiting in line overnight for the latest smartphone, tablet or technology release, but if someone was having a sale on 18th century English straight razors ...

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Spare Parts: Ton Up

The first time I remember hitting 100 mph was on a family trip to Disney World. I was maybe 10 years old as Dad opened up the butterflies on the family wagon. Today, you’d probably lose your children to family services for such behavior, but for me, it was better than any ride Disney had to offer. I was reminded ...

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Spare Parts: Artsy ads and worn-out clichés

I’ve often thought that the reason it’s so difficult to capture the essence of motorcycling on film is because the absolute freedom of the riding experience prevents it from being contained in any medium. It must be experienced in its totality. Whatever aspects of the experience you are able to address on film are just a fraction and without all ...

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Spare Parts: Heaven on earth

Ten years ago, we rode Tail of the Dragon, an 11-mile stretch of legendary road tucked into the southeast corner of Tennessee reaching to the western corner of North Carolina. At that time, we’d intended to make the Wheels Through Time Museum part of our trip but horrible weather had put us behind in our travel plans and it never ...

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Spare Parts: Rolling rude

I rolled up in the left turn lane behind a lifted red Ram truck. The guy riding shotgun in the rear had his arm out the window. We’d all missed our chance to turn left on the arrow due to the traffic, but there looked to be a break coming so I made ready for the opportunity. The truck rolled ...

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Spare Parts: What’s in a name?

The experience of being on the road has been elevated to an art form. If you flipped on the tube right now you could probably catch a show featuring roadside diners, roadside art, roadside hotels or just really cool roadside people. With all that is going on along the side of the road, it’s easy to get distracted and take ...

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Spare Parts: A lifetime of barn finds

I have privately wondered at times if I am a bike guy due at least in part to economics. Bikes are generally less expensive to buy and to restore than cars are and they definitely take up less garage space. During good times I have hauled home four or five bikes at a time in my pickup truck and laid ...

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Spare Parts: The Golden Rule

We were out of gas 10 miles outside of Columbus, Ohio. My dad and I were two hours from home along the shoulder of the Interstate highway, circa 1976. I was 15, he 45. No phone. No friends. No plan. From across the median another biker stopped, then ran over to our side of the highway to see how he ...

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