May 6th 2015
Today was an interesting day. Not driving but people. 2 random acts of kindness and a confession. 2 men paid for my coffees today after they heard I was moving, jobless and homeless. Of course I elaborated but they both at different times felt compelled to help, and get this…they both thought I was in my 30’s. Flattered to say the least and thanked them without saying you didn’t have too. The last guy actually threw me a $20 bill…and said “you seem pretty smart, are you? I know you are but here’s a $20…now put it to good use and best of luck.” 😇
Next guy I ran into owns a cattle feed lot. OMG, I hate those lots and they also make me really want to be a veggie. In any case, not about me. He told me this funny little story. He had cattle that did not like being kept in a small area full of food. He swears this cattle was starving himself to death because he knew what was up. This particular male would stand by the gate, refuse to eat or even have anything to do with the other cattle/herd. He went on to say he was forced to let him out and roam. He named this male determined. Now a family “pet” and is healthy and eats. I said politely, that is one smart BULL. He laughed and we parted. Continue reading “2015 Long Island or Bust Tour – Day 14 & 15 – Wall/Badlands”
The Choice Is Yours: Sweat Or Bleed
By Adeyemi Bennett – July 09, 2013
My COMMENTARY: Most accidents end up in road rash or more seriously DE-gloving of the skin. You don’t die right away. You are treated like a burn victim sometimes days to months. Skin grafts after skin grafts. Worst case scenario you develop an infection that can lead to sepsis. There is no cure for sepsis, aka blood infection except antibiotics and crossing of the fingers. If you die it’s counted as a medical complication secondary to the bike accident. Motorcycle stat deaths do not show how many die from road rash. So, wear gear, be smart…not everyone is lucky enough to die at the scene from a head injury or become a donor. My 2 cents.
It was over 100 degrees out that day, so a friend who’d just started riding decided it would be a good idea to ride to work without his jacket. Long story short, it wasn’t. Especially when he t-boned a car at 35mph. Here’s grizzly proof that getting a little hot in full gear isn’t such a bad idea.
We’d been in the middle of a heat wave here in LA, with the usual 72-and-sunny replaced with humidity and temps in the high 90s and low 100s. In conditions like that, riding around in a leather or textile jacket may seem like an insane thing to do. But to me, it’s the most sane. I’m not here to preach or sound like an elitist to new or inexperienced riders, I only want to share with you the consequences of some of these choices. Maybe they’ll even scare you into making smarter decisions. Continue reading “ATGATT????”
Nice addition to your kit. After my last trip many recommended I get something like this as I needed to get a jump numerous times. This is an awesome idea to maintain your independence. I have the XP 1, hopefully will only need it to charge my phone and not jump my bike. Part of my car kit and bike kit from now on. 😉
Incredibly easy to use and highly efficient, the Antigravity Micro Start Power Supply is a great tool for any gear closet. Coming in a variety of sizes, powers, and prices, Antigravity has really come in on top of their game with this one and offered up a hugely beneficial accessory that can be utilized in a variety of situations. Look, we all go hard and push our electronic devices along with us, sometimes it helps to have a little mobile jolt to kickstart things back into good working order so that we can be on our way.
A dear Virtual friend writes from his heart about a topic not many talk about. I congratulate George for taking the time and having the courage to share his own personal story and journey.
Please visit George’s blog by clicking the below link….👍
I’ll get straight to the point—I’ve been going through a rough patch. In brief, my last remaining grandparent, my maternal grandmother, is quickly reaching the end of her life. Combined with a very busy and stressful time at work at the moment, this has caused me to re-evaluate my own life—doing so has caused depression and anxiety (D&A) to bubble up after so many successfully years of keeping it under the surface. This has caused some apathy and a loss of focus on the things I normally love doing, such as motorbiking and keeping my blog regularly updated.
Many (and I will boldly say the majority of) people suffer D&A to varying degrees. I believe genetics play a part in being prone to D&A, as I can trace it up my family tree on my mum’s side. Because D&A is an ‘invisible’ illness, there is a stigma associated, and I feel the need to share what it’s like, from my perspective, to live with this, in the hopes that it will be of value to someone else. Doing so makes me feel exposed and somewhat vulnerable, but the stigma needs to be broken one person at a time.
In my own words:
- Depression: When you don’t care about anything.
- Anxiety: When you care too much about everything.
Like many people, for me these come as an ironic, vicious circle of a package. D&A leaves me conflicted—getting into a rut means I start worrying that I don’t care about anything, escalating into my mind running a million miles an hour. This triggers the fight-or-flight response meaning frequent adrenaline highs (butterflies in the stomach) and preventing wind-down at night which means really shitty sleeps—compounding everything.
My D&A causes me body/self image issues. Those who know me casually or professionally would likely say I am a confident, self-assured person holding my head up high, but in reality I have simply mastered the ability to project this image, or mask, or ‘gloss’. It’s what people expect—they don’t want to know what’s going on under the surface… and rightfully so, they have their own things to deal with.
In my own words:
- Self image: When you can’t see yourself the way other people see you.
- Narcissism: Seeking approval from others for your appearance, then hating yourself for doing it, then doing it again, over and over.
I fight with my self image every day. At its best it might be wishing I didn’t have dark circles around my eyes—at worst it’s coming to a realisation that other people love me more than I love myself. At the same time I recognise how stupid and illogical it is to suffer from this ridiculous condition.
Like a lot of people, I post far too many selfies of myself (aka gpoys, headshots etc). There is something oddly comforting about having people on Facebook or Instagram say nice things said about you and it gives a ‘quick fix’ to self image problems. However, it’s like opening Pandora’s box—do it once, and you want to relive the ‘high’ of the experience, so you do it again. My D&A then causes me to worry: “What if the next time no one likes the photo?”
Selfies allow so much control through lighting and angles that they are really an idealised image of one’s self. They give you the ability to present what, in your mind, is the perfect image of yourself—but they are not how other people see you. In essence, they are frauds—everyone knows this. So they don’t actually help improve self image issues in the long run.
Seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes, however, does help.
The photos at the end of this post were taken by one of my closest friends Andy, who has little photographic experience. I knew he was taking them but not *when* he was going to start snapping away, so there is an element of candidness—they are not posed. As a photographer, I know when people pose, they are attempting to form themselves into what they believe is their best look—facial expression, posture, angle etc—but this is almost never the case.
These are rare photos I can look at and not pick myself apart so much—I feel like I look a confident and sorted person for once, and I feel good about myself. I believe changing my appearance by growing out my beard to the ‘big’ stage has played a part as well. The picking is still there a little bit, bubbling away just below the surface—my shirt is one or two sizes larger than it should be, my beanie is turned up on one edge, I have sweat marks where my camera bag’s padded strap was pressing my shirt onto my skin (we’d just briskly walked more than 10 miles). Nevertheless, this is a huge step forward for me.
I completely understand that self/body image issues are ‘only in my mind’—yet I can’t stop it. Others may look at the photos and think ‘how could this person have body image issues’, or ‘he looks intimidating, I wouldn’t want to run into him in a dark alley’, or ‘he looks cuddly’, or ‘what a bruiser’—everyone applies their own preferences, tastes and biases to photos.
But for once, I’m ok with my appearance… ok that my Nordic/Viking genes have made me a barrel-chested, stocky-built person… ok that my Mediterranean genes have given me dark circles around my eyes… ok with the person I’ve become after 40 long years on this earth. And that makes today a good day.
One step at a time. For the minute I’ve moved forward with my self image—next is to move a step forward with my D&A. When my grandmother’s time comes, the funeral will help provide closure to that particular source of D&A. Spring is coming which means trips out to the byways on my bikes—one of my favourite ways of distancing myself from my troubles. Motorbiking requires 100% concentration—no time to dwell on other things.
I think the most effective way to deal with D&A is to believe that you will come through it. This
empowers you to make the changes required to choose to be a happier person. For some people that means changing a job or school, moving to a different city, removing the negativity from their lives. For others it is distracting themselves with activities they enjoy and not allowing themselves to get bored to the point that the D&A resurfaces. Everyone is different and there is no single answer.
Once things get better again—and they will get better—I will be in a good place to make regular blog entries again. Right now I’m taking some much-needed ‘me’ time. Until then, I continue to appreciate all the people who have read and commented on my past entries and hope to welcome you back soon. As always I will be monitoring and replying to comments, and I would be particularly grateful for your thoughts on this entry.
As a final note, thank you to Leslie from Advgrrl for encouraging me to publicly post this entry in the hopes that others may find benefit in reading it.
If you buy from Revzilla buy through my blog…maybe help out a bit with the costs? Worth a shot asking 😌 Seriously, great online store! Continue reading “2015 Motorcycle Helmet & BT Buyers Guide at RevZilla.com”
February 10th 2015 – Day 28
I had a great short visit with my best friend from undergrad and her partner. Ann Marie and Allison are two very genuine people who do amazing things within their own careers. As always gracious hosts and a place I could call home. Thanks guys for the hospitality and welcome. Continue reading “Amazing Ride Williamsburg to Chestertown, MD – Day 28”
UPDATE:MY LED BULB SEEMED TO HAVE FOGGED MY HEADLIGHT GLASS. THIS WAS AFTER THOUSANDS OF KILOMETERS. NOT SURE I WOUKD USE THIS KIT, Just my opinion.
Cyclops H7 LED Kit install for BMW F800/ 650 GS
Guest BLOGGER installation…thanks Mike for the descriptive install…and shhhh…I was the friend who had an extra LED 😏
I was fortunate to have a good friend that had an extra H7 LED kit from Cyclops and thought I would give back by showing a picture install. I did the original install with removing the headlight but thought I would document the installation without the headlight removal as it was equally as fast if not faster.
For this project you will need :
January 21 2015 – Day 8
I am usually much more efficient with updates as I put day 8 together on Day 11. This trip more than any other trip has not only been about a little bike issues but more importantly taking time to enjoy myself with detours and meeting so many virtual friends. This trip riding SOLO has been for some reason my most enjoyable trip. Go figure after I have been on about 130,000 KM’s of trips since 2010. Continue reading “Day 8 – GO-AZ & SPOOKY FAST – A very warm WELCOME”
Track my Winter Ride by CLICKING HERE
This will go live as soon as I leave in the morning, Wednesday, January 14th 2015. Did a little more tweaking to the bike, not much time to really plan anything between trying to sell my house and hanging out with friends etc. So, let’s see how this trip unfolds this time around compared to May/June X Country 2014. 😉
Click the pics
Got myself a little entertainment for this trip…my Mini Bose
Yesterday, January 10th, 2015 my new buddy and friend Mike came over to assist with checking over my bike before my trip. Mike is like family now, met through the virtual world, rode together on a Dual Sport BC ride, have the same dealer and he even bought my ex’s 2013 F800GS White Fluffy bike. 😉 Hopefully he will post some pics of what he has done to that bike.
Hope to leave January 15.
Okay SET BACK…On December 22nd, 2014 I spoke to BMW USA about importing my bike…they made it sound so easy and I have been waiting for my letter of compliance. Now, this morning I called BMW USA AND because it’s a MOTORCYCLE AND NOT an AUTOMOBILE, I have to use an importer. I was asked about this by a blog reader and I though I knew the way…he was correct…it’s not easy and I was misinformed. It’s a bike and I AM FRUSTRATED. They should have told me this back in December. I have a call out to an importer to see how much this is going to cost me. I have a feeling $1000. UGH! I am going to go on my trip anyway…worry about this crap later. 😉
My initial reason for heading down to Washington State yet again was really to get to Gerbing
All pictures can be clicked for higher resolution and open in a new tab
and to add to my heated gear collection so I can ride x country this month sometime soon I hope to drop my bike off at my folks in New York. I added heated socks and pant liners plus a dual controller. After I get my letter of compliance from BMW USA I can legally import my bike as the first part of my transition back to the States. Continue reading “Green, White, Brown – Winter in the PNW (Gerbing, what I know)”