Sunday, February 12, 2017
FZ-07 & FJR1300 Ride: Dan Blocker Museum | Ghost Town of Soash
Join Clif and I as we explore the town of O'Donnell, Texas and visit its museum partly dedicated to Dan Blocker, best known as Hoss Cartwright on the legendary TV show Bonanza. From there, search through spooky ruins with us in the nearby ghost town of Soash. Let's ride!
ADDITIONAL NOTES ON THIS EPISODE
One of the unfortunate aspects of the motovlogging genre is that there is an unspoken time limit for each installment. At eleven and a half minutes, this one will be considered long by many in the audience demographic. The optimal length for viewer retention is about seven to eight minutes according to my analytics. Beyond that, the percentage of those willing to watch from beginning to end begins to drop. So for me to edit this video at the finished length presented tells you what a good time I was having on this ride. In fact, I left out a lot of really cool footage for the sake of brevity, as the video could've easily been twice as long. Still, I'm proud of this episode because, like so many others, I find it to be an enthralling documentation of my riding life, interests, and friendships. I hope you feel the same.
Part of the appeal of this episode for me is that I love little towns like O'Donnell. When I am in such places, I feel at home, and a piece of me longs to live in some similarly quiet little spot; a place with a main street still cluttered with turn-of-the-twentieth-century buildings and where the traditional charms of small-town life survive. It is a way of life that is dying at the hands of urbanization and modernization, and I often wonder if every small town in West Texas will someday be dead and abandoned as the population centers claim their denizens.
In the meantime, I'll continue to preserve these places on video when I can. They are, after all, Americana. Cheers and best wishes until next time.
Sunday, February 05, 2017
Do Loud Pipes Really Save Lives? Facts, Myths, and Rickey Holtsclaw
It's been a hot-button issue for over 50 years: loud exhausts on motorcycles. Do they really make the rider safer, or is it just an excuse to be loud? Or is it a little of both? Just as importantly, do the opponents of aftermarket exhausts have their own unfair social and political axes to grind? Are the laws governing exhaust noise just? Do some people simply hate it when they see other people having fun? Let's talk about it. Here's how I see the issue.
ADDITIONAL NOTES ON THIS EPISODE:
My opinion of Rick Holtsclaw is that he is not a bad person, just misguided, apparently to the point of being self-destructive in his zeal. I discovered that in early 2016, Holtsclaw filed a motorcycle-noise-related federal lawsuit against Fort Smith, Arkansas Mayor Sandy Sanders and Fort Smith Police Chief Kevin Lindsey, along with Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan and Fayetteville Police Chief Greg Tabor. It alleged that the defendants failed to regulate loud motorcycles attending the Steel Horse Rally and BBQ. Predictably, the suit was dismissed, but it certainly made me wonder more curiously about his motivations.
That curiosity led me to research his record as an officer, where I found multiple references to this story. According to various sources, Holtsclaw was put on administrative leave in 2010 and investigated internally by his department for allegedly harassing motorcyclists in the Houston area, writing a mountain of noise citations in the process. According to the same sources, he was eventually returned to patrol, but continued the same behavior. This reportedly led to community outrage, and by Holtsclaw's own admission, he was forced into retirement by his superiors. Let me tell you something; when a person is so fanatically dedicated to a frivolous cause that he or she is will sacrifice a career over it, you have to wonder about things like Martyr Complex.
And that's often the most frustrating thing to me about the people I consider anti-noise jihadists. In my opinion, they use the motorcycle exhaust issue as a persecution tool against the motorcycling lifestyle in general, a lifestyle they'd actually love to see done away with. The tactic seems eerily similar to other attempts at legalistic coercion here in the US, such as when anti-Christian groups go after public displays of the ten commandments and so forth. For them, it's not really about the so-called separation of church and state; it's more often about doing everything they can within the letter of the law to stamp out a religion. In the end, it's little more than intolerance and aggression toward a lot of good people.
The worst part is that politicians, government agencies, and corporations happily work together to take advantage of these social dynamics. For example, when the EPA smells blood in these situations, it quickly and invariably issues a mandate to "fix the problem", thereby giving itself more power and influence than it had before. In turn, corporations will rarely oppose the mandates if viable for implementation, because they can then profit more greatly from them. Adjusted for 2016 inflation, a new car in 1950 costed its buyer about $11,000. I ask you, how many brand new cars can you buy for that price today? There are several reasons for the massive jump in new-vehicle prices over the past generation, and one is definitely over-regulation of the industries through EPA and safety mandates. This over-regulation always comes at a cost, and both the government and the manufacturers profit from it. Until Americans decide to get serious about ending corporate cronyism and returning the federal government to the anemic entity it was intended to be, things will most assuredly get worse through bad lawmaking.
It's a loud, interesting, colorful world out there, folks. Complaining about bike noise is what shallow, pampered snowflakes do when they don't have any real problems to deal with. Welcome to the lap of luxury and the ever accelerating wussification of America. The bottom line is that there will always be hot-rodders. They are as American as apple pie and they will always modify their cars and motorcycles to be a little louder, a little faster, and handle a little better. The question we have to ask ourselves is, while some of them will go too far, what is the greater societal cost in regulating the whole of them into oblivion with things like nebulous 80dB sound pressure maximums and other draconian laws? To me, that's not an America where people would ultimately be freer and happier.
There is obviously no place for outright criminals in a free society. But there is a place for rebels and there is certainly a place for outlaws. This country was founded by outlaws who revolted over much less tyranny than we live under today. The outlaw mentality is part of what makes us who we are, and if we ever lose that free-spirited nature, we will lose America. Some would argue that it's happening already. Moreover, if dangerous-minded people and their oppressive ideas of social order are left to their druthers, it can quickly become a frightening, miserable place.
SHADETREE'S TAKE (WHICH IS AWESOME)
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
FZ-07 (MT-07) Ride : What Is Tex-Mex Cuisine? Plus, Exploring A 140-Year-Old House!
I go on a lunch errand for Suburban Delinquent, who asked me to explain the difference between Tex-Mex food and traditional Mexican cuisine. After that, I show you a 140-year-old house that is reported to be one of the oldest surviving structures in the area. Come ride along with me and enjoy the beautiful sounds of my Yamaha FZ-07 on a perfect winter day in West Texas.
Monday, January 02, 2017
The Abandoned Airfield
Happy New Year! In the first episode of 2017, I find the abandoned runways and observation tower of the now defunct Howard County Airport. The field was once used for initial Air Force pilot training until the 1970s, but like the former Webb Air Force Base nearby, it was closed down. Enjoy plenty of cinematics, including drone footage from my DJI Phantom.
Tuesday, December 06, 2016
Tim Kreitz Adventures : 2016 Year-In-Review Special
As is my usual custom, I take a brief look back at some of my favorite Tim Kreitz Adventures moments from 2016 as the year draws to a close. Enjoy this short retrospective on an excellent year and a look ahead at what to expect in 2017. Thank you for being a part of the Tim Kreitz Adventures family.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Making Good On An Old Promise : Kawasaki ZRX1200R Ride
I finally make good on my two-year-old promise to return to the newly renovated Petroleum Museum to show you a bit more of the inside. It's a short but sweet Episode 100. Thanks for watching two and a half years of Tim Kreitz Adventures. Here's to the next 100 adventures.
Monday, November 14, 2016
The Cradle And The Grave
I discover a vista in the farm sector between Stanton, Texas and Big Spring, Texas. Along the way, I show you the West Texas cotton cradle, and visit the grave of a friend who died too soon. Join me for a contemplative and cinematic adventure.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Epic West Texas Ride : The Davis Mountains
If you are a longtime follower of this blog, you know I love making this particular ride every possible October. Clif and I head for the scenic Davis Mountains of West Texas. Along the way, we visit historic Fort Davis, McDonald Observatory, and the tiny town of Saragosa, which was the site of one of the worst tornado disasters in modern US history. Join is for a special ride on a perfect autumn day.
Monday, October 10, 2016
2016 FJR1300 vs. 2006 FJR1300 : Which is Really Better?
Clif replaces his 2006 Yamaha FJR1300 with the redesigned 2016 model, and we compare the two in a head-to-head review. After a decade of ownership with the 2006, is he happy with his decision to replace a faithful but aging sport-tourer with its latest and greatest iteration? Let's find out.
Sunday, October 02, 2016
Yamaha FZ-07 (MT 07) Chinese Flyscreen : Tested at over 100 MPH
An inexpensive Chinese flyscreen for the FZ-07 (MT-07) and FZ-09 (MT-09) is tested at over 100 miles per hour. The results were both pleasant and surprising.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Infiltrating A Military Radar Station
While riding our Yamahas (FZ-07 and FJR1300), we find an air defense radar station in the middle of the West Texas plains and Clif uses the occasion to entertain.
Tuesday, September 06, 2016
Leveling A Masonic Cornerstone
On an extremely windy West Texas September day, I ride my Kawasaki ZRX1200R to a school in a nearby town where my lodge laid and leveled a masonic cornerstone. From there, I pay my respects at the cemetery where some of my wife's ancestors are buried.
Monday, August 22, 2016
The Creepy, Abandoned Water Park (Motorcycle Vlog)
While riding my Triumph Bonneville, I visit the abandoned water park I frequented as a kid and ponder my obsession with ruins and ghost towns. West Texas shows the scars left by decades of booms and busts in the oil industry.
Monday, August 15, 2016
SCMM 2016 Debrief : The Good, Bad & Ugly
This recap of my Southern California trip for SCMM 2016 features extra footage from our ride to Big Bear Lake, as well as my thoughts on what went right, what went wrong, and what the future might hold for the SCMM event. Lastly, I offer a rare look at bizarre 1960s roadside attraction "The Thing?" which we stopped to check out while passing through Arizona. Enjoy, and I look forward to seeing everyone again next year at SCMM 2017. Cheers!
Wednesday, August 03, 2016
California Love : SCMM 2016
We travel from Texas to California once again to participate in SCMM 2016, the SoCal Motovlogger Meetup. Join us and all your favorites in this episode, including Jake The Garden Snake, BakerXDerek, Suburban Delinquent, ArsonRides, EN187, Ninja Nero, Krazy Klaus, Brappy the Clown, Spacep0d, Red One, and many more. The motovloggers of YouTube invade Palm Springs and San Bernardino for another weekend of insanity!
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
The Ultimate 1960s Roadside Oddity
I ride to the small West Texas town of Lamesa in search of one of the most iconic American roadside oddities of the 1960s. This particular style of advertising statue came in several iterations (both male and female) and is one of the icons of its time.
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
A trip to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico offers some excellent HDR photography opportunities as we explore its vast cave system which descends almost 80 stories and contains miles of pathways. Enjoy a rare change of pace and an unforgettable experience.
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Along Came a Dragon
One year after we initially discovered it, a return motorcycle trip to an old theatre in Crane, Texas finds the historic building destroyed by arson. A piece of history has burned to the ground in West Texas.
Monday, June 06, 2016
Friday Night Lights: A Motorcycle Ride to Mojo & Memories of 1988
I visit world-famous Permian High School in Odessa, Texas, sharing my memories of 1988 and of being a high-schooler in West Texas during a time when high school football was a religion. Come ride along.
Monday, May 23, 2016
Infested With Bats : A Ghost Town Ride Double Feature!
We ride to the sister Texas ghost towns of Silver and Sanco on a perfect late spring day. There we discover everything from an abandoned church infested with hoards of bats to a robotic-looking automaton sentinel guarding one of the towns. Join Britt, Matt, Bobby, and me and we explore one of the loneliest areas of Texas on yet another motorcycle adventure.