Unpublished & Miscellaneous Articles

Sportbikes Behaving Well; the Harley, Not So Much

A little vignette from one of my day rides. I originally published this story on my blog (September 27, 2010). I wanted to also post it here on my main website in order to retain its accessibility.



The Eagle Has Landed

Can one say... paradigm shift?!




A Little Trip South

This is one of only a couple of stories of mine that Kent (Kunitsugu) has turned down. It's around 2400 words and its length is at the outer bounds of what is possible in Sport Rider magazine (the longest piece of mine that Kent has ever published was 2500 words - and that just once; most stories are around 1500 words). Since I didn't feel that the story would work as well were it shortened, I elected to let it go unpublished.



The Real Rolling Thunder

In 2002 I went along on a ride with MAD, the Mid-Atlantic Ducati club < http://www.mad-ducati.com/ >. When I got home I wrote up a little story on the experience and posted it on the MAD list server. It's since been published in a couple of Ducati rags.




This is a (longish) description of my first CLASS session with Reg Pridmore, back in 1995. It had been fourteen years since I'd been on a racetrack and the delight I felt from this experience was the trigger which prompted me to do dozens of track days and other CLASS sessions over the next half-dozen years. If you've never been on a racetrack, this story will hopefully give you a sense of what it's like.

Reg is slowing down as he gets older - he doesn't come east nearly as much as he used to. But his school is still one of the best out there. If you ever get a chance to experience it before he retires for good, by all means do it! Very much recommended. < http://www.classrides.com/ >



Lawrence of Arabia

"In speed we hurl ourselves beyond the body. Our bodies cannot scale the heavens except in a fume of petrol. Bones. Blood. Flesh. All pressed inwards together. "


Why I became interested in motorcycling has always been a bit of a mystery to me. None of my family or friends rode. And it's not like I grew up thinking much about motorcycles. For most of my childhood and adolescence they hardly registered.

I do recall walking outside to the back parking lot one afternoon during the late spring of my senior year in high school. There a couple of guys were goofing around on their small (80 or 100cc) Suzuki enduros. My interest was piqued as I stood there and watched them. I remember thinking that looked like it might be fun.

An evening or two later I stopped by the drug store and bought two motorycle magazines, just to explore that then-mild interest. They were the first two bike magazines I had ever looked at. One was the October 1971 issue of Cycle World. That issue, in addition to tests of the then-new Honda CB500 Four, Bultaco Sherpa and a Montessa Cota 25 trials bikes, articles on the Isle of Man races (the 500 GP won by Agostini), features on Bart Markel and the AMA National title race that year, and the lovely Norton girl gracing the inside front cover - there was an article by Jack Woods titled "Lawrence of Arabia, A Mystic With A Love Of Speed."

The essay by Lawrence (originally published in the book The Mint, in 1936) included in Woods' article cemented for me that this thing - motorcycling - perhaps had a hint of magic about it. It would be another four years before I actually bought my first bike. But this article was where it truly all began.

"It's usually my satisfaction to purr along gently about 60 mph, drinking in the air and general view.  I lose detail even at such moderate speeds, but gain comprehension.  When I open out a little more, as, for instance, across Salisbury plain at 80 or so, I feel the earth moulding herself under me.  It is me piling up this hill, hollowing this valley, stretching out this level place.  The earth almost comes alive, heaving and tossing on each side like a sea.  It is the reward of speed.  I could write you pages on the lustfulness of moving swiftly. "



The Blue Ridge Beemers

Here are several articles I wrote for the Blue Ridge Beemer newsletter back in 1994-1995. They were the first motorcycle articles I ever had published.