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Friday, March 29, 2013

When the TAT bites back!

This is a video of a very hard crash on the TAT.

This is a link to all the rider's comments after the event. Read them all, there is much to learn.

It wasn't a Disney ending but it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Make my day, tell a friend about this blog!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

TAT - The Bike

The bike for the trip will be a 2002 ATK 605 DSES

This is it coming out of winter hibernation.

In case you're wondering what an ATK is I refer you to Greg Cifu's excellent history of the ATK brand and a picture of his bike that is inspiring me.

The bike is based on a Rotax 600cc air cooled 4-stroke engine. If you look closely you will notice that it has a most unusual asymmetrical frame. I'll have more pictures as I assemble the new bits to be added. Keith at American Dirt Bike is sending me new parts to make the bike even more robust and reliable.

These pictures show that it plays well in the dirt and can hold it's own on single track trails. It's big but all that torque is great when the going gets tough.

More to come as progress is made.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Honda CL72 Scrambler For Sale $25

The title and the pictures say it all. This is going to the metal recycle bin in a couple of days but I thought I'd give it one last chance to survive if somebody wanted to rescue it for parts.
  • VIN: CL72-317153
  • Engine: CL72E-317176
  • The engine is stuck
  • The tires are rotted
  • The chrome is bad
  • There is no paperwork other than a receipt for your $25
  • No, I will not break it down for you and send you bits or pieces. It's all or nothing.
  • I will hold it for a couple of weeks if you pay for it NOW. If you don't pick it up I'll keep the money and take it to the metal bin anyway.



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why does NYC hate its cops?

When I first came to NYC in the '60's I was just like Stevie Wonder, “New York City. Just like I pictured it.”* It didn't take long for the picture to change.

I was walking through the Bronx with a friend and as we stopped for a light I said “Hi” to a cop standing there and remarked that the weather looked like spring was finally here. As my friend and I walked away he asked “What the hell was I doing talking to a cop? You don't ever talk to a cop!”

In the '70's I remember NYC as a place where law and order had broken down. In the subway you put your back to the wall and scanned left and right, left and right. Once on the train you were regularly treated to gangs coming through, doing whatever they wanted. In many neighborhoods you walked fast and didn't look back.

Last week a motorcycle rider was killed in the Bronx when he ran into a police cruiser while trying to outrun the cops. Tragic but who was really to fault? Online, many exclaimed that the police deliberately ran him down. It had to be the hated police, it couldn't be the rider's fault.

I read the same news accounts and came away with a different view. Think of speeding toward a rail crossing. The lights are flashing, the train is blowing its horn, but the cops are on your tail and if you make it you'll be free. In the movies the outlaw hero makes it and the evil cops are stuck in frustration.

In the real world it's very different. The cop probably was trying to use his cruiser to block the getaway path and the rider took the chance that he could beat it. Since it wasn't the movies the end wasn't so happy. I wasn't there, I don't know the true facts. Neither were the cop bashers. I have to wonder why so many were so quick to jump to the defense of a person exhibiting criminal behavior in one of the most dangerous and crime ridden neighborhoods of NYC and so quick to condemn the cop trying to control the situation.

My guess is that a lot of the people weren't around in the '70's. My guess is that they don't live in the Bronx. My guess is that they know few, if any, cops personally. I'll also guess that if they were robbed, or burgled, or had their own motorcycle stolen they would call the police and not their friends. Very likely they would be online complaining about why the cops weren't doing more to make the neighborhoods safe and capturing the people responsible for such crimes.

Cops are real people trying to do a miserable job. There are good ones and bad ones. Some days they can do no wrong, on other days they make mistakes. They aren't helped by people who view them as an occupying force.

When was the last time you were on a street corner and said “Hi” to a cop?

* "Living for the City" is a 1973 hit single by Stevie Wonder for the Tamla (Motown) label, from his Innervisions album.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Getting ready for the TransAmerica Trail (TAT)

This summer I'm going to do another of those things I've wanted to do. I'm going to ride the TransAmerica Trail from end to end. And I'm going to do it solo. On a weird bike.

The TAT is the brilliant work of Sam Correro. It runs from Tellico Plains, TN to the Pacific Ocean at Port Orford, OR. Roughly 4000 miles. If you go to the TAT website and look at the pictures you'll see just how rough it can be. However, I think it should be 6 weeks of pure bliss.

This will be one of a series of cross country trips starting back in the '70's when I rode a Honda CB77 Super Hawk from Boston to San Francisco. The bike had clip-ons and a racing seat. I wore jeans, an old Army field jacket and a Bell helmet. I was as cool as Steve McQueen when I wasn't frozen like a Popsicle.

White Rim Trail, Moab UT

In 2007 I rode my Transalp on the old US-50 from Ocean City MD to San Francisco with time out to ride the White Rim Trail in Moab UT and the Sierra Nevada in Calif. I left my trusty bike with a friend and flew home.
Somewhere in Baja California Sur, Mexico
The following year I flew back and Marty and I spend 3 weeks wandering around in Baja looking for Fortune and Glory.

You go that way as fast as you want to!

2010 was the year to set a land speed record at Bonneville. We didn't make it but came damn close.

3 feet deep and running fast.
In 2011 I attempted to ride my CB1100F across country on US-6 but a major storm Irene flooded out the Susquehanna River to the point where the water was deep and fast. I was stranded for two days and then turned back. The wheel bearings were shot from repeatedly being submerged in the muddy water.

2012 was going to be another attempt to ride US-6. I was going to take the CB1100F and Beth was going to ride the CB900F. Unfortunately it never got past the planning stages because they kept extending my contract at work. I either have lots of money or lots of time but never both at once.

So, this is the year for the TAT. Come hell or high water. I'm getting the bits together and will chronicle the preparations as they come along. Then I'll post along the trail with shots of the good, the bad, and the ugly.