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Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Superbikes of the '70s

An excellent retrospective of the beginning of the Superbike Era. Unfortunately also the final nail in the coffin containing the British motorcycle industry.

Although the Triumph T160 Trident was every bit as super as the Japanese bikes (IMHO) the perceived lack of reliability and the dismal parts availability meant that it never had a chance. 

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Pony Express

It's amazing that the Pony Express only lasted for a year and a half. The story and legends always made it seem like a much bigger part of American history. 

Luckily the original Pony Express route ran through Salt Lake City on it's way to Sacramento. There is a lot of local history here and monuments are set up at each of the way station locations. Each rider rode 12 hours a day at full gallop, exchanging horses every 10-12 miles which was about an hour an a half. They rested overnight at the end station, then got onto a new horse and headed back where they came from as soon as the rider from the opposite direction came in at the end of their section.

In it's day this was hard core high desert. Some of it in the Salt Lake City area has become total suburbia but a few miles west and it's open ranch and farm land. What's great is that the people here consider it an important part of their heritage and have preserved most of the route in it's original state. 

It's a bit humbling to cover a day's worth of riding in only a couple of hours on my own trusty steed. No Native Americans were out to attack me so I had a pleasant ride along the way.

My plan is to map out routes like this for future rides. First I'll traverse the route to make sure I know where it goes and then go back another day to record the turns and mileage. I'll convert this into roll charts that I'll post for anyone interested

There is the second half of the Pony Express Trail to the Nevada border to check out. After that the California and Mormon pioneer trails across the desert beckon.

When it gets too hot in the summer I'll migrate up into the Wasatch Mountains to check out the mountain passes and mining towns. 

What could be more fun for a dual sport rider?

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Getting Ready To Ride

I woke up on Saturday with a wonderful feeling, No Chores That Must Be Done Today! Lots of things that Should be done but nothing that was Make It or Break It. What a great moment!

So I decided that it was time to pay attention to the motorcycles. It has been getting warmer by the day and that restless feeling was starting to make itself known.

I hopped into the truck with a hand full of Harbor Freight coupons and came home with a new Motorcycle lift ($299), a tiny air compressor ($39), and some miscellaneous odds and ends. When I got home it didn't take long to sweep out the dirt and leaves, move the toolbox, and get the Miata backed out. 

Unloading the 350 lb lift was a minor challenge. I backed the truck into the garage and slid the box containing the lift out until it tilted down to the ground. Then I piled up a couple of boxes under it and drove the truck forward. The collapsing boxes broke the fall of the lift as it dropped off the tailgate. Piece of cake.

This is what it looked like when I was done. The Africa twin is up on the lift as it is going to get a valve job. I've got the Transalp and NX250 to ride until that's done. Such a tough life.

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Why Utah is wonderful - Part 23

Here's a sign you would never see in New England or California.

Keep the gate closed - Play nice - Enjoy the beauty that is all around

People here know how to share, unlike the left and right coast where it's all self-centered and narrow minded exclusion.

This is what they share. Miles and miles, not just a few acres grudgingly allowed by the Green Taliban. I'm so glad I'm here!

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