Old Motorcycle Pics

Here are a few images from my early, pre-BMW, days of motorcycling. They would have been taken anywhere from 1977 (when, by happy coincidence, I got my first good camera - a birthday gift from my then-girlfriend - some months after buying my second bike, a Yamaha XS-750). Alas, I have no pictures of that first bike, a Yamaha RD350B, or those first couple years of riding. Pictures are important, but we often don't realize that until it's too late...


This shot was taken, I believe, at Occoquan Reservoir, circa 1980-1981. Long hair, engineer boots, and that beloved XS-11 back when it was still pretty new.




Here is one of my little sister Martha, probably taken on the same day as the one above. Martha, or "Mops" as we in the family affectionally call her, was quite a serious rider for a few years back then. She started on a small Honda, rode that for a year or so, then moved on to this beautiful, white Yamaha Seca 550.




And here are a couple of me at Massie's Corner, in Rappahannock County. These also would have been circa 1980-1981, though not the same day as above.





And here is one of my long-time friend and riding buddy, Jay. This was taken the same time as the two above.




And here are a couple more of Mops, this time out on the sidewalk in front of the house in Springfield where I used to live. It's wintertime - that's a Stern's snowmobile suit she's wearing (de rigueur attire for serious, cold weather motorcyclists at the time) and you can just see the plug from her electric vest in the second shot.




Here's a shot of my XS-11 during a trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway.




This one is on a trip, I'm pretty sure (note the duffel bag on the back), but I don't recall where.




And here is one more of my XS-11, during a day-ride one weekend.




In October 1979 I embarked upon a solo, week-long, trip on my then several-month-old XS-11. I intended to ride the entire length of first the Skyline Drive and then the Blue Ridge Parkway. The first day was cold and rainy. After becoming chilled from my ride to Front Royal (the northern terminus of Skyline Drive) from my apartment in Falls Church, I stopped at the visitors center and bought a pair of long johns. That helped a little, but it was still a long, slow, chilly slog down Skyline Drive. I spent the night at a hotel in Staunton.

The next morning dawned clear but even colder. After spending a while at the BRP visitors center at Humpback rocks, I continued on down the Parkway. The next four images are from that day - the first three during the ride that day; the last one at my camp near the Virginia/North Carolina border.

I woke that night sick with flu. After breaking camp the next morning, I bailed off the Parkway, found my way west to I81, and booked on home, where I spent several days in bed. It would be fifteen years before I'd finally complete that end-to-end trip of the BRP.