Sunday, February 21, 2010


Blue skies, sunshine, and going over the ton

After crying like a pretty little girl for weeks about the cold, wet weather here in West Texas, I was pleased to take full advantage of a dang-near perfect weekend for riding yesterday and today. We did the usual West Texas stuff for local rides, but it had been such a long time since we've had days like these, it just all felt new again. The following are a few pictures I took since I happened to have my wife's little Nikon with me.

Hanging out at the Nine Mile:

Crazy Dave makes some adjustments. Check out the custom flamed bodywork he just installed. Very nice, indeed:

The bluest sky you'll ever see was hovering overhead today:

And of course, everyone ended up at the Buckhorn in Goldsmith at the end of the day:

So really, nothing special. In fact, barely enough to blog about. But at the same time, wondrous. As I wrote on my Facebook update this evening, there are few things better than spending a Sunday afternoon riding motorcycles with people you care about, and whom care about you. At 40 years old, I still have the nerve to dream of fortune and fame once in a while. But if life never gets any better than this, it'll still have been pretty darn close to perfect.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I simply cannot overstate my readiness for springtime's arrival

Back in the mid-nineties, I was playing in a band called The Atomics that, much like my current band Dingo Sanctuary, played a wide mix of original and cover songs. One of the songs we covered back then was by a band called Cry of Love, and was entitled Too Cold in the Winter. I thought of that song often over the past few months, because I can't remember a drearier, wetter, colder winter here in West Texas. I'm so sick of being cooped up that I've almost gone stir crazy a couple of times. No lie.

For the first time in years, I have stabilized the fuel in all my bikes and semi-mothballed them because the riding opportunities have been so few. We had a halfway decent riding day yesterday, but I didn't get free to roll until late in the afternoon, and by that time the temperature was starting to drop off drastically. Sad stuff. This time last year we were doing day rides and having a ball. This year so far, uh, not so much.

For those of you who live in the northern USA and other locales where it gets genuinely cold in the winter, know that I've never envied you and never will. I just don't see how you can stand it, especially if you're a rider. Prolonged cold snaps like the one we're experiencing in West Texas right now strengthen my opinion to that affect. I want it to be warm again.

Anyhow, here's a little Cry of Love from 1994 or so. Yes boys, in 2010, it is indeed too cold in the winter:

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Farewell American Chopper

TLC aired the final episode of American Chopper earlier tonight, and for my money it was a sad, somewhat heartbreaking end to the on-TV saga of the Teutul family.

Say what you want about the bikes featured on the show over the years. Insult their quality and functionality, make fun of chopper culture -- do all that stuff. To me, the show was never really about motorcycles anyhow. It was about Senior, Paulie, and Mikey. It was also about guys I think I would probably really like to hang around with like Vinnie DiMartino and Rick Petko. Maybe I'm just being too sentimental in the wake of the show's abrupt cancellation, but I'm gonna miss certain aspects of it.

I'll admit that I thought some of the drama was staged along the way, and some of it indeed may have been. But considering that Senior filed a million-dollar lawsuit against Junior a few weeks ago over ownership of Junior's shares in the OCC company stock, I'd say the animosity and tension were generally very real. TLC apparently knew it was real, too, and pulled the plug.

The episode ended with Mikey selling his house and apparently moving away, Junior getting officially engaged to his girlfriend and moving on with his own company, the remaining core of the OCC build team delivering a Kobalt Tools-themed chopper to Lowe's, and all the family wounds still open and bleeding. It was a real bummer.

That said, the show survived probably a lot longer than it should have, outlasting every other chopper-related show on television by a mile or two. Without question, the chopper fad of the 2000s is over. Choppers are fashionable items, and like any other fad, they come and go in and out of style. It was the Teutuls themselves that made the show last so long. So who knows; maybe in 25 more years when the chopper craze returns, it'll be Paulie Junior duking it out with his own son on "The New American Chopper" with occasional visits to Senior in the old folks home. Time will tell.

I can only hope that the Teutul clan will realize that money, fame, and TV shows all eventually go away, but the love of family should always endure. So here's an offer of best wishes for peace and reconciliation. I hope they learn to love each other again and get along. Those are the things in life that really matter.