Your Sport Touring Motorbike Fix

May 1, 2024TranscriptCommentShare

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Filosofía Diabólica

Robin details his ride between NM and CA while Brian philosophizes about devilish tarmac. Music by Otis McDonald. Download our feed here.


As legible as we are intelligible ...

Brian: Great to see you did not get sick of you. Uh, even though we had the in person experience, uh, recently, Robin, tell me the tale of the California journey. Cause I think when we were in New Mexico, which is another tale that needs to be told. Yes. It was still very fresh. We didn't hear a heck of a lot about it. It needed to be that way. He needed a little processing time and I would love to hear the tale of, of everything, the route, how it went, how you felt. How's your ass? You know, how's it, how's it all going? The trip from

Robin: truth of consequences, New Mexico to Monterey beach, California for my brother's memorial. I do, I will start backwards. We'll get a little bit retrograde here and say that I do have right in my hand, one of the three shells that were fired in his honor, and it's curious to me that there were three shells fired and there were three siblings in place, so we all got our shell. And I figured there's probably a way to use that to fix the, uh, mis measured helicoil that I performed on the bike. Maybe I can fix it with a bullet shell. How do I share my screen?

Brian: Oh, here we go. Share screen. Beep, beep, boop, boop. Yeah. Robin, uh, you, you click the, uh, share screen button, oddly enough. Crazy, isn't it? And share.

Robin: I still see all of the different hotel reservation stops and all that stuff. Maggie was my gal in a chair the whole time. She wasn't going to be able to make this trip with me. So she followed my progress. And whenever I was like, Hey, uh, it's time I need a place to stay. She would get on the computer, find the localized zone and be like, okay, this, that, this, that pricing, pricing, Airbnb, hotel, motel, bing, here's where you're going and it was right along the way, which was a huge, huge help just to make something, you know, something this big happened. It was hell of a journey. First thing I wanted to do was use this opportunity going due West to scout our New Mexico tour. So from truth or consequences next to the Walmart, jumped on the slab road down to the Hillsboro ride, we're not going to, we're not going to mention the route numbers cause we want to keep these roads secret,

Brian: nobody, nobody there, and you want to keep it that way. Precisely. Epic.

Robin: Went and did what you've gotten to experience. And we'll talk about that in a second here.

Brian: Yes.

Robin: And went through the same motions, checked out some stuff to make sure we were all going to be okay. Investigated some little map glitches that were of my own making. Went all the way. I had not ridden devil's highway, the real devil's highway, the original devil's highway, the actual devil's highway, but once, and that would have been either last year or the year before, I think it was last year because the main road through Hillsborough to silver city was well covered in about a mile of dirt. That's a little bit of an exaggeration. But I got to do it again. I got to see this again and remind myself of, Oh, this is not for the timid and past old Santa Rita, the mine, all of that through Santa Clara up to the junction of one 80 and 78, which. What we learned, well, we can talk about that, but let's just remember that 180 is a wonderful ride. 180 is a perfectly lovely ride to Alpine. If you would like to multiply the curve count by between three and five, well, you take a left and you had due West on 78, right? Pick up one 91, head into Clifton. And that's where I had my first bite. Now, like I said, we'll get to this in a moment. Road, devil's highway, made it all the way up to the top. I got gas and eager, continued on. And my first stop was in Greer. It's all resorts. It's all hunting destination, vacation type places. Mine was the only one that did not have a plow drive. There was a quarter mile of sheeted ice and rocky snow that went up and down various hills to get to my lodging that night, which by the way, was beautiful. Now, by the time I got there, it was plenty warm because all the swearing I'd been doing in my helmet, lo and behold, the people that were working there actually came out, helped me create a parking spot, put up a hazard cone for me, helped me move the bike under my suggestions, like, don't hold that, hold this, make sure I don't tip it away from myself. They were brilliant and lovely. And they felt

Brian: nice.

Robin: So bad. Yeah. For not plowing the road, they felt terrible. So I said, thank you so much. Nevermind. I'm going to have a hot meal. I'm going to tip really well. There was snow on both sides of the road all the way there. Then after day two, I go from career. Yeah. I went from career. It was a downhill, icy, rocky snow. So no brakes, no handling and momentum. So the whole time I'm loosey goosey. The bike is going, I brought the backend around about two and a half times. Really felt like, well, if you got to go, go with a smile, managed to get out, got the picture, sent the message to Maggie who responded with, you know, we use Voxer a lot, like CB communication, Voxer, just, okay, I made it out with a response of her going, Oh, thank God. Okay. You know, no more of that and started rescouting everything else. Went through Show Low, which was beautiful. Went through Crandall Peak, got gas down to Payson, which is 260 through Strawberry. Up to Camp Verde, Clarksdale, and then Prescott. Now the thing I gotta remember is, is this Jerome? Yeah, I did not zoom in on this map enough. Jerome isn't a place to go riding a motorcycle. Just, if you look at Jerome and you think, Eh, maybe the, maybe the, you know, Spanish Italian Irish looking combination architecture stacked on the side of a hill and tourist trap with pizza joints and views and views. Maybe Jerome is empty. It's never empty. So this became a absolute nightmare. Here's where I was just banging my head on the wall. I've been there. I didn't zoom in to see that I was going through it. All I saw was a twisty line. It just did it. And I've been through Jerome, Megan. I spent, it took a day to get in. It took a day to get out.

Brian: I've also stayed in a bed and breakfast in Jerome. What was that like for you? We flew into Phoenix in February, uh, rented a Mustang convertible and, uh, drove around for a couple of days. It was, it was just the stupidest vacation. It was so much fun, but yeah, Jerome, yeah, it's not, yeah, it's really pretty crowded. Lovely town. I get what you're saying. Yeah. It could be a twisty road if it weren't so full of dump trucks and people.

Robin: So 89 a through Jerome, like you're right. I got to give it to you. Like going there on foot and walking around, taking a scooter up the way, having some pizza, drinking a beer. Like that's a beautiful town and lovely people. It is not a motorcycle best destination at all. No, the backside of it got, okay. Once all of the stop and take a picture here, Al types. We're no longer in front of me, uh, following AZ 89A down into Prescott. Prescott was not so bad at all. My Airbnb host lives there and was just absolutely splendid company. Just the kind of company you want to kick back, have multiple drinks with and talk shop, and we did, which was great. It kept my mind off things and I was very comfortable. Well taken care of. Grateful to that. Airbnb wins again. Next morning. This person thought perhaps I'd be coming in from the Southwest, Southwest. They didn't know I got to ride it Southwest out of town instead. And that was an absolute hoot. This was a great time. A lot of traffic because Arizona by and large, I don't enjoy riding motorcycle in Arizona because every curvy road goes to something that is going to have a huge draw.

Brian: Yeah. Arizona's full. Everybody stay out. Arizona is full. Stop going there.

Robin: Yes. There's no room. So great ride, but I got lucky cause there was no traffic that day. Crossed over through Yarnall, through Congress, got gas in Aguila, Aguila, I don't know, continued on to through Parker and following non highway, followed this all the way to Joshua tree, uh, and had sort of a standard hotel. This is where the story really begins because. I'm not a cruiser person, but I really enjoyed the downtime while riding the bike to just be mellow in a straight line and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Sometimes it's not so bad. This was one of those times. And during a break, I saw that there was a wing ding parked under one of the awnings. It was pretty hot. So I pulled up next to him and totally polite, totally sociable. Talked about what I was doing, where he was coming from, where we were all going. And when I told him of the roads, I wanted to ride the ones that were recommended to me, which were a lot of mountain passes, a lot of good stuff. He said, well, you might want to rethink that because all of the mountain range, the entire fault line is going to get hammered by snow. So I looked at the forecast and lo and behold, they had it ranked by altitude. The higher up you were, the deeper it got. And I think at the highest road altitude. They were expecting 16 inches of snow, 16, dang early April,

Everyone: early April. Yeah.

Robin: I understand it's going to be cold. It's going to be snowy. What's the safest way for me to get there on time? And that's going to be, well, I actually did think what would Brian do? First thing that I was thinking was lower elevation, follow the ridgeline, get as low as you can and get on main roads. They're going to be maintained. And. The best conditions I had from Joshua tree all the way to Santa Paula, getting through the passes, staying low, a fairly consistent 40 to 50 degrees with ice rain, hitting me horizontal chest to helmet, constant ice, hail, and rain for about three and a half hours.

Brian: That sounds like fun. Followed

Robin: 10 all along the ridgeline there through the North side of LA. Okay. Stopped at my lodging in Santa Paula, which I, if I remember right. Oh, this was a Kichi little, like a boutique hotel. I remember this.

Brian: Okay.

Robin: I enjoyed that thoroughly. It was the kind of place where they did their best. It's clean, but you're not going to get service. The kind of place where you walk in and you're like, Hey, is there any chance I could, I was soaked, absolutely drenched. So I thought, Hey, do you have a spare dryer? Could I put these gloves and my boots into a dryer for about 15 minutes? And they kind of smiled and said, no. That was, that was it. Yeah. No. Okay. I couldn't even be mad. I didn't, wasn't going to hold it against them. I didn't use it as a demerit on their review. I just thought, don't ask them for anything else ever again and stay there. If it's all you can, if all you can find, it was worth it. The story grows from here. Hop on the bike next morning and I go to ride the roads that are recommended to me by our own friend, Daniel Graves. Daniel says, you got to write this. You got to ride that. So if I look at the ride that I did, the beginning of this is the gateway into somebody's yard. Keep out, no trespassing. Okay. Double back. And then I come back. I'm like, well, fine. I'm going to go take one 51 50. You'll get me someplace. It's beautiful. I'll be able to enjoy that all the way to 33. Take a left on one 66 through new Kiyama. However you say that respect. Uh, I was immediately stopped by signs that said road closed. Maybe five miles ahead, landslides all over the state because of the heavy snowfall and I double back and I'm like, I surrender. And I got on a little bit of good old fashioned one, one to the one Oh one. And I followed one Oh one, which was beautiful. And I kept cutting down the storm, like butter. Like I was in between the rain. My, I had rained on my right. I had rained on my left and never touched me, but maybe one time followed that all the way up to. Carmel by the sea and Monterey beach and arrived at my destination where I met lovely, wonderful hippie types who wanted to sing songs around a piano and drank and ate and laughed, and it was, it was a Airbnb where multiple rooms, multiple guests, everybody got on, everybody got along, good conversation, generally respectful, it was a pleasure.

Brian: Nice.

Robin: Next day, got to see my fam and, uh, went to the Memorial. The next part is all just family and blabbering and. I will say that when I got on the mic in front of the memorial service, that was immediate emotional devastation. I don't know how people do it. My brother is an AA. So he got up there and I saw that he was like, take a deep breath, exhale, bring it back in. He was ready to crumble, but he, he held on tight, spoke his words. My sister of course was, she's always been the strongest. And then I get up there, I've never done this and I didn't have my glasses. So I'm looking at the words that I want to say, and I'm having to focus hard enough on the words that it's bringing more tears out and I just, you can't, it's just too late. I lost it for about, I think I had 10 seconds to like get a grip and I said, I'm sorry. And then just ran it down and gave him the, the do that I could and stepped off and asked my brother for lessons. I'll pay the man for that. Yeah. Yeah. This is the halfway point. What do you got for me so far? And do you want to hear the B side?

Brian: Yeah, I want to hear the B side. I, um, uh, what I did for my mom's funeral. Yeah. Cause I knew I wouldn't be able to get through anything. You know what I, what I wanted to put out there. So I sent an email to the pastor who was running the service for my mom. And I just said, here are some things to talk about. He read it verbatim. And like my sister was mad at me because it was really good info. So there's a hint, a life pro tip, uh, hand it off to a professional, write it out, hand it off to a pro to present might be a good one. Absolutely. Like the high, the devil's highway you talked about, um, I like how in your article you never refer to it by its current modern name because it's, you know, the modern name just sucks.

Robin: The modern name is bullshit.

Brian: Yeah, it's a one 91 or one 81. One of the, you know, it's one, it's, it's just has a number. You took four or five days. What was that? I took four evenings to get there

Robin: if I remember right.

Brian: Yeah. Okay. So that's, that was still, you know, not, that was still pretty much a haul every day, but it wasn't 500 mile days. Hit me with the B side for evenings. I believe to get out, to get out there, hell of a long way.

Robin: One evening to get back. I wanted an iron butt certificate. So I rode directly home by way of the North route, which put me on 66 at one point, I rode 700 and that's right. I went to Sedona. That was also a mistake.

Brian: Yeah.

Robin: So riding Sedona as a halfway point on your iron butt to truth the consequences. You know, I had friends there that I wanted to see, but the fact is it took me in there via, pretty sure I rode to Flagstaff and then went due south and that is another, Oh, look, Larry, there's the picture I wanted. Let's make a stop real quick. You know, like just a wagon train of cars, like our horses pulling all of you. Are you connected to the bumper by rope?

Brian: Yeah. Like I said, Arizona, Arizona is full. Stay out people. It's not a motorcycle state. So

Robin: I stopped there for dinner, continue on, try to bang it out the next day. And barely conscious by the time I make that last stop, almost ran out of gas just before the last stop. And right when I was about to scream at the sky, I was delivered into a small gas station with a mud parking lot, gassed up the bike. Then, uh, did the math and I believe that I was exactly one hour late to the thousand miles and 24 hours iron butt effort.

Brian: Oh, okay.

Robin: And did not care. Honest to God, from there on, just cruised home and here I am.

Brian: There you are. There's the tail.

Robin: You should take a turn. I got to Resc Scout, a large portion of the NM three New Mexico tour, the Truth of Consequences tour. On the next episode, we should get the group together that went and have a round table discussion about everything. What do you got? What do you remember?

Brian: Yeah. One of the things you remarked on the California or when you were somewhere in Arizona, even on the straight and boring, when the road was straight and boring, the scenery opened up and it was still, it was still an amazing ride. And that's, you know, that's the way New Mexico is. It's like Arizona, except not as many damn people. It's overused, but the world, the word is otherworldly, you know, it looks like a different planet. And, you know, I don't know how you'd ever get used to that. I've, I've been there, I've been to New Mexico many times and never really have gotten used to it. And that's a good thing. It is. There's so many contrasts and it's so wild and you're out in the middle of nowhere and you're far from anything. And you have to think about. Okay. Am I going to get gas here? You know, the next gas is 50 miles. It's not like Indiana where it's 10 miles. Yeah. I just, you know, and all the, the, the challenges of it. Yeah. I don't know how many ways you can say Epic roads, you know, like the, the devil's highway, can you put some reverb on that? The devil's highway, highway,

Robin: highway.

Brian: That was really pretty awe inspiring. I thought it starts in this gigantic copper mine. And so you have all these mixed feelings. You're like, is this a horrible thing to see? Is this, this is awe inspiring? Like what, look what people can do. Yeah, we're, we're getting the stuff we need to lead our lives from this vine. It's like this, it's this really wild mix of feelings as you're going through this, just incredibly weird and industrial landscape. Yeah. Oh, and yeah, by the way, it's a really twisty road, you know, as you're going through. And then when you clear it, when you get past the mine and all that, you know, it's just this wild road. Like it's paved technically, but covered, you know, like there, there was so much, uh, crap on the road. You kind of, you know, we kind of slow, well, not that slowly, but we kind of, you know, we learned to cope with it. I'm kind of used to crap on the road here in Indiana.

Robin: Who was it that said, don't get comfortable? Yeah. Cool. That was you. I had, somebody said it to me and I'd never heard that before. I think it was Greg. I think it was Greg who said, bottom line, Robin, you're saying don't get comfortable on devil's highway on any of these roads, do not let your guard down.

Brian: Yeah. Anything can happen or pop up in a road at any time, you know, and there were elk, there were mule deer, there were squirrels, there were, I don't know. Yeah. And, and, and the elevation changes were just stunning, you know, and. I flew from Indiana and I plopped down in Albuquerque. I hopped on a bike, you know, so it was like a really rapid change. And I think, you know, there are other trips, like I've gone to the Smoky mountains from Indiana. If you have the time. There's really a lot to be said, like in your journey to the memorial, there's a lot to be said for doing the whole journey from the ground, seeing everything, seeing the land change, you know, really, you can really soak it in. I mean, there's a lot to be said for airplanes. Yeah, that's great. But there's a lot to be said for. Experiencing it and experiencing the changes and really getting a handle on the scale of things as you go along. And as you spend the time doing that, yeah, being more connected to it. Yeah. You're, you're a lot more connected to where you are, uh, where you are in the planet, that kind of thing. It was an interesting structure. Like we went out the road that shall not be named the road of secrecy, the road with nobody on it. Uh, the other thing that's interesting about that, the mountain riding is a lot of times, you know, especially out West and, and, you know, in the Rockies and so forth, there's kind of only one way to get there. A lot of times, like if you're in the smoky mountains, or if you're in the hills of Indiana or Ohio or West Virginia and so forth, There's a lot of different possibilities. If you're in, if you're in one place and you want to get to another and entertain yourself, there's always a lot of possibilities, you know, in New Mexico and often in Arizona, you know, if you're in the mountains, if you're in the real mountains, you know, like snow on them and stuff, there's only one way to get there.

Robin: Roads are expensive to build. So there's the road.

Brian: Yeah,

Robin: we've talked about that in the past, but like Colorado, when they're carving things out of granite and diamond to make a way to get to whatever it is you need or needs to be delivered on the other side, they're going to put the bucks in that one time they'll maintain it. But that's the road.

Brian: Yeah. Well, and it's kind of like one thing we always have to remember as motorcyclists is roads. And I put this on one of my articles, I forget what it was, you know, the need for speed or whatever it was, but you have to remember roads are economic objects. They are, they're there. They're not there for us. We're just, we're just a little by product that nobody cares about. Uh, they're there to connect economies. And so. You kind of have to have a little respect for people live there. There's a reason this road is here and you have to kind of have a little respect for the reason the road is there while hauling all the ass you can. Yeah. The trip back from like, one of the things you remarked on was if you're taking the devil's highway way, way, you want to do it South to North. You want to do, you want to go North, uh, because you're basically climbing the hill. And if you go south, it's a lot more,

Robin: Oh, it's mortifying. Brian mortifying is the word

Brian: possibly mortifying is maybe not as enjoyable. I don't know.

Robin: Well, cause you've got all that downforce momentum, no runoff, decreasing radius, blind downhill corners with a cliff where there should be a guardrail. No.

Brian: Yeah, it's, it's, uh, I think you can still have a good time, but yeah, it's, it, it, it, it takes like a very high level road and cranks it up a notch or 30. Well, and what was cool was the, the, the different experience of taking one 80 out of, out of, out of Alpine, uh, you know, and it's mountain road, but it's more open, more sweepers. And then we, and then slowly over time, you kind of end up down on the planes or not. It's not a plane. It's more of a Valley. Yeah. Yeah. Getting back into, uh, Pleasanton area and then Buckhorn and Silver city. Yeah. Silver city, all that stuff. That was really, that was a really great contrast. And again, you can't get bored. There's so much scenery. It's it's not cornfields, uh, at all, which is, that's all I ask.

Robin: There are still tons of curves to be had, but it's a new day with a fresh morning and the first. I'd say quarter of the day is spent. Yes, in twisty roads, but a lot more breathing room to process all that's ahead of you and also be inspired by it and kind of overwhelmed. I would say, you know, it's like, that is a lot to take in and just enjoy the day. Not as tiring. And you can, you can get into third and fourth gear once in a while, you know? And one, yeah. Once or twice or thrice. And I do remember that Mr. Howard, who will get to mention this himself after devil's highway. He was like, I could have used about two hours less of that. I was like, sorry, that's not what we do. Also, if you're on devil's highway and you say, well, I could just use a couple hours less, so I'll just stop. Okay. You have nowhere to sleep and you might get eaten by wildlife. We'll catch you later. You know, but he might

Brian: actually become consumed. Yes. Bear.

Robin: Yeah. If you make it to the halfway point of devil's highway. There is nothing until the whole way point.

Brian: Yeah.

Robin: Even then it's kind of hard to get it. But the point is that, uh, anybody who is like, I, I now have a reason to create a multi helmet ranking system, whatever helmets are the dividing point will be blinking on and off or something. But if you don't want to do something that is level five, which clearly devil's highways, level five, five Oh five. You can then just take one 80 and enjoy that because it's a damn fine time. It's a good ride.

Brian: Damn fine time. Yeah. It's, it's a different kind of lots of fun. Yeah. And I really enjoy it. Like, um, like Greg and Kelly, you know, Kelly was having a possible bike issue and Greg was tired. And I think that, you know, whenever anyone decides to tap out of something, that's always a really good decision. So in silver city, they kind of had it more, more or less straight back. Although. There was still the, the unnamed road, uh, with nobody on it, that is absolutely wonderful and epic.

Robin: I'm not going to say what we did

Brian: to

Robin: that road. I will not mention on the podcast, but your wording for it was absolutely perfect. We didn't just wreck, but

Brian: it was, we didn't just ride the road. It was a hate crime. I think the first thing I said, I will say that we didn't, didn't leave much to the imagination. Yeah, that was fun. The, uh, and, and that little out and back. And again, this is, you know, the mountain roads, they, they go somewhere and then they stop sometimes. Yeah. And this out and back was great. I mean, that was so much fun. Filthy, nasty, dirty, just grotesque, bad shape road all the way up to the cliff dwellings. Oh yeah. Okay. No, you're talking about 15, 15 up to the cliff dwellings. Yeah. Yeah. Like I was so much to me, I was so much fun. That's one of those roads that would probably, that would make some people angry. You know, you kind of, you kind of made sure you explained what it was before we got there.

Robin: Yep. A good tour leader is going to explain what you might not want to do before it begins.

Brian: Yeah, this, this road is essentially a gravel road on top of a paved road. The devil's highway was kind of that way too. Yeah. Yeah. You just got to be ready for that. And it got, it was so much fun. It'd be really beautiful scenery. It, it's really interesting. Like it really rides along a ridge the whole way you, you have epic. Anytime you have a break in the trees, you have this epic view off this ridge. It was really cool. I looked, I did. Yeah. And then, and then out of there, you know, we're, we're kind of back the way we came again. You know, what other route is there over the mountains in between silver city and truth or consequences? There are none

Robin: without the ADV platform then? No. Yeah. And you were going to talk about that some today, which we may get to, but like without an ADV bike, you're basically, if you're doing paved sport touring versus an eight, an adventure ride, you know, something from like the, uh, Bureau of land management stuff, then, uh, you're limited to what's there. And what is there is freaking amazing.

Brian: Yeah.

Robin: Which is why we don't talk about it.

Brian: I'm never mad when I have to ride a great road twice because it's completely different the other way. You know, uh, there've been times, you know, we turn around and do it a third and fourth time sometimes, uh, if there's enough gas, we kind of had to make sure we thought about that.

Robin: This is not a place for a super Hawk. The super Bach has like a A pint of gas. Eight ounce, soda

Brian: of fuel strap on a five gallon can or something. Yes. Yeah. And I'm, and I'm on a bike. I don't know. And I have no idea how far it can go, but yeah, anyway, we obviously we lived. And, and again, you know, the next week we got back to truth or consequences. And then the next day we did this really, really great out and back trip again, over a mountain Ridge and, and, and then it just like stops. Dirt and gravel, uh, the payments done screw you, you know, there was a lot of filth on the road, but this was like interesting filth because it was usable. Yeah, it was usable. I kind of figured that out as we went and we were like, yeah, that's weird. This, this, this kind of pinkish stuff is like gritty and grainy and sharp. And so you can actually dig into it. You know, and I think one of the things you said was, as long as you can actually see some road, you've got traction in it.

Robin: If you can't see the road, avoid it. If you can see the road through it, use it. And it is, uh, it's like a red clay.

Brian: I don't know if, yeah, I don't know if it's a clay or it's, it's more like crumbled granite or something. I, it, that makes sense. Yeah. It was rocks. It was a little bitty rocks. All these, especially when you're dealing with crap on the road, you know, and we've talked about this before. You have to be, you have to be able to put your tires exactly where you intend to put your tires. You see the road and you have to be able to put them where you saw the road two seconds before, because you're looking as far ahead as you can. You can't be one of those people that stares at the road and, and stares at your front tire. So you have to, over time, you have to develop the, the ability to put your tires on the square inches where you need, where there's a little bit of traction. And be able to do that while you're planning the next curve.

Robin: You, you, you feel where your line is going to be and you use peripheral vision to hit that line while judging where the next line needs to be. Repeat the hell of a mental stride.

Brian: And it's fun. It's so much fun. But yeah, it's, it's definitely, definitely up in that four or five helmet category.

Robin: Yeah. I think a blinking fifth helmet,

Brian: big blinking for him. Yeah. That kind of thing is, yeah, that kind of thing is just so much fun. Uh, it was so gorgeous. Uh, very light travel. People were generally very, uh, like they'd pull over and let us play through a lot, quite a bit.

Robin: Yeah, mostly wave at everyone, leave a distance when people see you blaze up behind them and then arrive within three seconds following distance. And then you just sit there and you responsibly hang out. They know how fast you got there. They know that you were cooking. And they also know that you're not pressing them to get out of their way. You're not owning the road that they are sharing with you. They're

Brian: just being

Robin: polite. They tend to be like, yeah, just being cool. And you know, okay, I'll take, I'll take this many seconds to judge what's going on around me and determine if I enjoy five minutes. And then, okay, now I'm going to take responsibility for me and me alone. Everybody else behind me can screw off. You'll find your way around on your own. I will find probably a safe place to pass. Well, I mean, safe, yes. Legal. Touch and go, but the point is lots of judgment, lots of,

Brian: I saw, I didn't see anything. I know nothing. Yeah.

Robin: Well, also because most of the time they were just like, you know what? These guys want to have some fun and they would carefully make space and then invite us, invite us to pass them. How nice is that?

Brian: That was so nice. Yeah. That was, you see that in a lot of places you don't see it in Indiana, but, uh, you do see it, uh, you do see it in places people, Hey, these guys are spending money, you know, enjoying. Wilderness, uh, let's, you know, let him, let him play through. It's truly kind.

Robin: Well, we've done a lot of talk about the routes now. We are not going to do map testing mayhem today. That's for sure. All of this we can go back to. I'm going to force the hand and steer the ship here for one moment, because we need to field a question. This, this person shall remain nameless.

Brian: No clue.

Robin: How do all the video reviews have such clear audio of the reviewer while riding? Is it a thousand dollar helmet? Is he only going 20 miles per hour? Do they overdub the audio in post production like Kung Fu movies? I rode home on my new Tracer GT on Saturday. Top speed 70 miles per hour. RPM is well under brake and 5300. Windshield tallest setting. Elgin ruckus earbuds. HJC FG 17 full face helmet. I could barely hear myself think. Plus chin curtain but no extra neck pads and he couldn't get the audio. As an audio person, as the person who produces the pot, these podcast episodes. It's all you, Robin. It's all about the microphone. Microphones are very complex things. If you don't get a directional mic and you don't position it very carefully, you will get instead an ambient mic effect, which picks up the earth around you, possibly the core of it and its volcanic behavior. Especially those speeds. You know, if you've got an ambient microphone, that's just, it should pick up everything. Well, then it's going to pick up everything. Second off, what you're recording to, is it capable of handling all the input that's coming in? Is it being overloaded? Is it being distorted? The truth is you want a very carefully positioned and directed directional microphone. You also don't want noise canceling involved. You, you could put in noise canceling, but that's pre producing what needs to be done in post production. So if you get a really good directional microphone inside your helmet, aim directly at you, and then you record. And at the end of it, you use all kinds of processors. I can tell you right now that these podcasts that we produce, they go through a pink noise, filter, separated, isolated noise, filter, volume, limiter, a gate, one type of compressor followed by an expanding compressor, a volume chaser, an EQ, a limiter.

Brian: EQ me. I want to sound like Barry White.

Robin: Three limiters, two compressors and an EQ with noise filtration. That's with us sitting down in a quiet environment. So what you're talking about, it's very doable. I mean, Maggie, when we're, when Maggie and I are riding along, we got our SMH tens on seen as old school SMH tens, which allow earbuds and such. She can hear me perfectly clearly. I can hear her perfectly clearly. There's no audible engine noise in the background. It's got noise canceling, but that's for interactive communication for pre production. You want to get everything you can, so long as it's directional and pointed at your mouth for post production, you want to make sure that you do the work to get rid of anything, but that takes experience. So, uh, anyhow, uh, if you email me at, uh, give Robin a bunch of money. com. I can do that kind of stuff for you. I do have, uh, the expertise.

Brian: Yeah. Like, for example, where would, where the hell would you get a mic that you can put in a helmet that is directional? I wouldn't even know where to start.

Robin: I'm going to suggest there's a microphone, I don't know if they still make this, but we used to use back in the days when it was Tim Travis and myself, we use something called the U mic, which is a lavalier

Everyone: mic. A

Robin: lavalier mic is not bad. It'll catch some pretty good direct audio. It's what I used in our orientation video. When I was standing in front of my phone out in the road, I was wearing a separate synced audio device with a lavalier mic right here. And it just wanted to pick up my voice, but I was, I was aiming out here, but it was picking up down here. A directional mic is one that you would put in your helmet right against, and it's going to pick up everything that's spoken at it with a certain, an adjustable Y field that allows it all to make it into the mix. This all, this has a lot to do with motorcycling, doesn't it?

Brian: It's something like, uh, Like a high end headsets for pilots, for example, have a, have a mic that sits like right here. Uh, you know, it can reject a ton of noise.

Robin: Yeah. They're chewing on it. It's right there. I mean, I'm sitting here with the freaking Samsung recording device pressed up against my freaking nostrils. And that's why my voice sounds so, uh, lavish.

Brian: Resonant. You're like Barry White, except not. Okay.

Robin: I'll notch down the listener question. Let's do a segment. Let's do a thing. Maybe two.

Brian: Do we want to do the writing resistance idea? Let's go through the writing resistance. Let's do writing resistance. This is kind of related. Like we, we, we talked about this with Melissa Holbrook Pearson episode, whatever it was. Uh, she said one of the most common questions she get is she gets is, is from men who want to talk their wife into writing or letting, or letting them ride more, that kind of thing. We had a really good discussion about that, but yeah, the, like the New Mexico trip. And then I have, uh, like Greg had, Greg had a, uh, had a little motto. His motto for the year is ride more in 24. Yeah. He's laying down monster miles already. And that's kind of been, you know, I have a lot of plans for this year. Uh, and it's already, you know, already this year, there's been so much, you know, there's so much pressure from like, I have the amount of vacation time I get with, it would really make you weep if you, you know, it's just terrible. Uh, and I, you know, I have a good job. It's just very little vacation time. And when I am gone, you still have to be plugged in. You know, you can't just ignore your email and stuff like that. And don't get me wrong. I enjoy it. I enjoy what I do. I enjoy helping the people I help, but it's unplugging completely is not an option and that's fine, but I'm still catching. I'm still catching up from a trip I took a month ago and now I'm even further behind. So that's kind of always the biggest challenge, you know, writing resistance, you always getting the time and space and resources to go ride because it is mostly a solo activity. It's always a big challenge, everyone in your life and everything, you know, they want you at the desk. They want you driving a minivan to go do something, uh, go grocery shopping. They want you up on a ladder, working on your house, uh, produce cog produce. There's a trip that I had planned with some friends for the Smoky Mountains in May. That's not happening because of how several people have are having surgery.

Everyone: Oh, yeah.

Brian: I, I guess we're getting old or something, but yeah, that that's part of it too. There's always something, you know, quote, better you should do. And so the question, and again, this ties into some of the stuff we talked about earlier with Melissa Halbert Pearson. Is it selfish to take that time to claw it back and say, no, this is what I'm doing. I stand on my hind legs, I hold down a job I put on clothes so I can do this so I can buy tires so I can have a nice motorcycle so I can go to cool places and do cool shit.

Robin: There are so many of us that are anchored and buried under the word can't for reasons that are already lined up in front of us. The only way to forcibly take charge of how you want to represent yourself and your actions and your activities is to keep your eyes on the word can while You're stepping through all of this can't. And when you realize you have opportunities to hint that, you know, what can't got to take a step, you got to go away and start reaching for it. The, the bosses and the critiques and the bad reviewers and the recruiters can all, they, they will

Brian: heed that because it's for us. That's one thing I found is if you say, this is what I am doing, uh, in general, people do. Have respect for that. I know that sounds simple or simplistic, but it's kind of like I am a self actualized human being, and this is what I'm doing. And unless they're just a raging asshole, people will adjust themselves around that. You know, you kind of have to be, you kind of have to be the rock and let them, let them flow around it and figure out how to flow around it. Uh, I know that sounds really conceited, doesn't it? And it kind of is, and it has to be.

Robin: I'm in a very fortunate position. It's not a lavish life. And yeah, I I've heard the envy from friends, but you know, we all get what we get and there's some things that we don't get that we may have wanted that we just, it just didn't work out that way. So, okay, fine. I've got, I know what I've got going good for me. So I try to project that the deal is this in the work that I do, I market myself as somebody who does not accept being valued based on, you know, How much weight is on my shoulders, how much I'm sweating about it and how stressed I am at the end of the month, dip in your toe and a bit of a psychosis about the world and life. And as it is, it's got to be lived. Otherwise it already isn't. I don't accept the, uh, is this guy sweating? Put, you know, put them under the grinder, make sure he's really sweating this. I can't do those jobs. I won't do this job. So my job is to sit. And let an answer arrive in my head, implement that answer with careful calculation and solve people's problems. That's the gig. And I don't know if that's me getting old, but it is how things are going. That's what I've arrived at. That affords me a lot of like, you know what? Are you happy with the work I just did for the past three, two, three days? Yeah, cool. I'm taking the next three days. I'm unavailable. Catch you later. I will have my computer on me. If anything blows up, sound the alarm, I will take care of it. Otherwise leave me alone. And everybody does, everybody's cool. Everybody's so cool. So I'm really grateful for that.

Brian: Yeah. And, and related to that is surround yourself with cool people. Um, I've mentioned this, I've mentioned this before many times. Um, my wife is the absolute awesomest and coolest at this sort of thing. Yeah, she's, she's not happy. She wasn't here. Uh, you know, she wasn't, didn't go on this trip. Like I go do stuff she's not interested in, you know, but it, uh, fundamentally she's like, yeah, go do this. Uh, you know, one of the things she said, I wouldn't want to be with you. I wouldn't want to be with him if he didn't get to ride. So she understands what riding does for my mental health, you know, that it is part of me and part of what I need to do. You know, I need to do these things. That's one of the things that attracted us to each other, is we're not trying to tell, in the first place, we're not trying to tell each other what to do, that kind of thing. We are their support, so you have to have that support, and obviously you have that support too, right there on your own box on wheels. And, and, and having, having that somewhere in your life is, is super important. It's not perfect! But it is good. I don't understand people who put up with not having support. You don't have any support. You don't have any validation. There's an old psychology principle called Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Whatever. It's, it's just, it's just a useful model for thinking about the way brains and psychology works. But at the bottom, you've got the stuff your body needs. You need air, you need food, you need water, you need a place to hide that kind of thing. Physiological needs,

Robin: safety and security. Love and belonging, self esteem and self actualization. That's just off the top of my head. I just happen to know.

Brian: Yeah, just totally off the top of your head. Yeah. So the self actualization is like the peak of the pyramid. And I would put at the very top of, you know, for me and for you and for other people, we know maybe not everybody. Motorcycling is the top of that pyramid. Maybe it's a sixth level. It's about self actualization, you know, motion and space and physicality and rapid fire decision making and scenery and experiences and all the weirdos you meet and all that stuff is part of that. That's how important it is.

Robin: For those who motorcycling is for, that is the vehicle that will take you to the door of self actualization. I made that into a poem. Did you hear the poem?

Brian: Nice. Did you like it? Yeah. You, you might say we are obsessed,

Robin: maybe.

Brian: Oh, the writing upsets. Yeah. TR to bike. Yeah. TR to bike branding, branding, branding. Anyway, what I'm getting at is things and people will try to stand in the way of self actualization and it's not selfish, it's not selfish. It's not wrong to seek yourself actualization, to do what you need to do, uh, in spite of the other pressures. You do have to balance, of course. But like, I know a lot of people, a lot of riders who have hobbled through an entire summer so they can schedule a surgery they need for November so they can recover in time for March to go ride again. I mean, that's happened a lot. I've heard of that happening a lot. So you have to balance and, you know, sometimes you have to sacrifice. Sometimes, um, you got to come up with the money for tires and travel and my gas. And you can't just go do what you want with no consequences, you know, and you have to own the consequences. You have to own the risks. You have to own the effort that it takes, but yeah, it's not selfish or anything like that.

Robin: Well, I think that's the trick of the tale is that if you're going to go into it, you can actually try to own the anticipated result. Is this acceptable? Is that a way of life? Um, Ready to contain and project as, Hey, here's why I did this. And quite frankly, being me, mostly what I get is either you're fucking crazy or the balls. I've heard both of these comments about existing the way that I do. That's hard to hear because it just made, it's very isolated. Fortunately, the people who like the same things. That validation, as you were putting it before, that kind of brings a lot together where it's like, you know, there's been some rough water here and there about it and I've gotten help. I've had friends that have had my back. I've really have. Otherwise for a lost family member, I would have ridden all the way to freaking California. You know, I would have flown. I made it a mission. I made it a peace offering of my own kind, you know, my own how to deal with something. And it went the way it did. I think it, Definitely caters to what you're talking about, man. This is a weird episode.

Brian: I

Robin: like philosophy,

Brian: I guess. Absolutely, man. This is great. I would say one thing we've said before too, is, and, and is people have asked me, I always go, oh yeah, I, yeah, I kind of thought about getting a bike. I'm like, well, don't get one. Not to be an asshole about it, but.

Robin: Like, it's not my job to like push you, get in there and like,

Brian: Unless you're obsessed, unless you need to do this, uh, it's not probably not worth it. But if you do need to do this, then get in there, get the training, learn how to do it, get the gear. Don't get into the writing resistance! Let yourself Breathe it

Robin: in.

Brian: I don't want to say, you know, there's only one way to ride motorcycles, but it's basically understand what you're getting into and, and be rational about this irrational thing you want to do. Manage risks in whatever way you see fit, but manage them. Don't just become a passenger. So yeah, I've told, I've told a lot of people, it's like, eh, yeah, you should probably, you should probably get a Miata. I've told a lot of people that, if you're just thinking about fixing up that old bike and maybe you're driving around once in a while, then it's not, you know, you're not going to end up with something that makes your life better and you're going to end up with a significant problem.

Robin: Maybe you're right, but you'd like a good argument. I'll give you a good argument right here real quick. I got this from the wisdom of my friend, Scott Haas. Scott Haas is the man who trained me to be an MSF instructor. When somebody asks like, well, what kind of bikes should I get? Or whether or not they should ride at all? How do I know? Yeah, I have no idea what you can and can't handle. I know what you did in this class, maybe after the fact, but I still can't market to you what the right bike for you is. Shit. Go to go get a freaking rocket ship. Go get the Batman motorcycle. I don't care. I mean, I do, I actually do, but I don't know what they can crash best on. Telling somebody to get like a Miata, you told him to get a Miata.

Brian: Hmm. Yeah, that's true.

Robin: I like your voicing of it. You're basically saying like, stop putting me into the position of being that, which is the resistance, the riding resistance. I'm not the resistor. You have to focus on your own decision making. That's what you tell the person that alleviates the resistance and allows them to either deviate from the destination for a better destination on their own terms, or get the fucking bike, go get a motorcycle. Learn to write at first, of course, go take the class, get better at it and, and go get the bike, make, make your life good, do the thing, have the smile.

Brian: Yeah. And try, try the bike. You know, the first bike you get is probably going to be lousy and wrong. You get, you just got to live, you just got to do that and like, okay. And then you got to fine tune, you know, you got to figure it out.

Robin: But if I'm going to put this in, in the, in words that reflect what you're saying here, it's like, if you want to ride, you got to really want it and you will. So make the time, find the space, provide the influence and inform people that you are going to do this. As far as like how you manage that time. Well, are you doing it so that you can become the image that you see yourself being on a motorcycle? Or do you see yourself actually managing that time, grabbing onto life by the freaking balls or the horns, whatever you want to say, and making something of your effort to go after what it is you want, honestly, it's the ultimate opportunity to be an asshole because it's completely forgivable for you to, as you put in here to claw out or to. Inform everybody that you are putting a foot down and saying, this is what I see happening. I want it. I'm going to do it. And I'm going to be good at it because I've already made the decision. As my wife takes off on the scooter, I just watch. Maggie's like, you guys won't shut up. I just watched her right up the road.

Brian: She's hauling all the ass on that scooter. And what, and one of the things, one of the things I think is important too, is that it's been a really chaotic spring for me and writing is something you have to do regularly to stay good at it. Super stupidly want

Robin: it's a perishable skill.

Brian: Yeah, it's a perishable skill. And it's one of the, you know, it's like flying. It's like a lot of other complex things. I've, I've been so busy on every damn weekend, the spring that it was, it was almost becoming a safety issue. Like, do I remember how to do this? Fortunately, it got, it sort of came back to me as you see, but, uh, so you're

Robin: on half the power of my bike with half the power of what that bike should have, and no matter what we were doing, if we were going downhill, you

Brian: Yeah, we, we can talk, we can talk about that little BMW later, but man, it may be slow, but at least it wasn't fast. Um, but anyway, it, uh, but yeah, anyway, part of it is, you know, it's kind of like, you know, you know, you have to carve out the time and just for just to be safe on the thing, you know, at the spring rallies, a lot of times we'll see people show up on our vintage bike. You look, you're like pulled it out the night before, knocked the dust off. And it really doesn't end well, a lot of times for them. Um,

Robin: there have been times when you give me a month and a half, maybe two months, I'll go into a corner and I'm just like, I don't, I don't remember. I know I'm good at this somewhere. You know, I don't remember how it feels. I don't know if the bike's going to slide out from, I don't know about a low side, you know, but I go into the corner. Remember? And so there's a lot of awkward, like tip of the body upright bike. Yeah.

Brian: You have to think about the steps. Yeah.

Robin: The English is, the English is not there yet. And that's all right. I'll tell you what. So here's what we'll do for this episode, because this is a weird fricking episode. Now we're going to do the opening banter. What was supposed to be the intro of this episode. First off, I want to correct you. Uh, at one point you were like, well, Robin, I've always known Robin to be a one bike guy. My correction is there was a point where I had four bikes and a scooter in my garage at the same time, plus a friend's bike who never learned to ride. I think at one point in time, we had five bikes and a scooter. So it was a Nighthawk 250, a Hawk GT NT 650, the wife's 675 Street triple R, the bandit 1200. And the R 1200 RS plus the buddy one 25. So those were all in the same one car garage. That is a deep, it's like a shoebox garage, super deep.

Brian: This is back before your house had wheels on it. Okay. Got it.

Robin: Right. So this would be like 2016 to 2018 somewhere in there vaguely. There was a lot of shuffle. And I think it was only for one day that I had that many bikes. Once I saw five, I was like, no, no, no, this has got it. No. I can't, I'm not that good. I'm not good enough to maintain all that. All right. Um, real quick website updates. I noticed a long time ago that our RSS feed for those that use feed readers like Vienna, which is a great open source feed reader, uh, Vienna is excellent. Look it up. I noticed a long time ago that our feed was broken because of my custom work on our custom template that was all custom deemed. Can't keep your mitts out of the PHP. Okay. Basically, I've been rebuilding the site so that it'll look correct in the RSS feeds and now it does only the, none of the short codes work. So you can see all my handiwork in behind the scenes fashion in the text you're trying to read. Don't worry if you can learn code, it'll all make perfect sense. So in order for that to happen, just go to your RSS feed reader, delete your subscription, then add it again. And then every time I update it, delete it. And again and again and again. We also, I'm looking to set up rate limiting for some of these API calls. Cause we keep hammering our third party services to the point where they are like, no. So like our weather stuff, if you don't have your own API key, it'll be like, yeah. Everybody used them in 30 minutes for the day or for the next couple of hours, things like that, or, uh, Amazon products that we linked to for, to help the site profit, things like that. If you click a link to a bow tie on the website and you don't buy the bow tie, but you buy something else, we make a penny or two. So that's how that is. Thanks to evil overlord Bezos. All right. We are preparing to expand our social media presence enormously, or so I hope. Cause I finally dropped the coin on an IFTTT. com account. So we have a lot of predetermined login. IFTTT. com does that for me only for our social media presence. I've got a bunch of applets set up there. Basically every time I post a new post, it's going to blast to social media. That's it beyond that, just ride more on 24.

Brian: Onto the anecdotals. Tell me about your exhaust, Robin. I am intrigued because I have spent, I just spent four days listening to the damn thing. Brap, brap. You might've been ingesting

Robin: some of it.

Brian: Yeah.

Robin: Brap. You know, there's a little, what did they say? There's a little Barbie in all of us. Yeah, because microplastics.

Everyone: Yeah.

Robin: So here's the deal. I pulled the carbon fiber exhaust off. We have an article about the max torque cans. Third party exhaust adaptable to a lot of different bikes quite good. Very happy with them I took their carbon fiber model. We cut it in half We restuffed it and we made it pretty much as pissed off loud as we possibly could In fact, it actually blackened one of my turn signal lenses, but that's okay, too Cuz it looks kind of cool point is I the bike hasn't sounded right in a while and I kind of felt like changing things up a little bit I also have their titanium model. Cause they sent that to me to review. Uh, they sent me three exhausts that here, right, right. Article about it. So I wrote 1, 500 words on the matter and I was like, well, I've got that titanium one, and I know that it does not have the silencer in it, just the stuffing. And it sounds gorgeous. So I pulled the luggage off and I loosened up the carbon fiber version. I sprayed some WD 40 on the cold metal, started wiggling around a bit. And as I was wiggling around a bit, I got a lot of really good grip. On the carbon fiber exhaust. Cause my thumb went through the shell and really gave me that bowling ball effect that just, Oh, there's no problems getting these songs. Cause it's got, it's got finger outlets now. I peel this thing apart off of my bike and I just hear it feels soft and pillowy and scrunchy in different spots. I peel this thing away and I turn it and I look at the side and yeah, I mean, jokingly, yes, it's got my hand imprint in it, but I see like five pinholes in the side of it, carbon fiber just isn't. The way you're going to have to replace it. It's a bandaid at best. That looks pretty cool. Sounds really cool for about a month. And then you're like, I think there's something wrong with my exhaust gaskets. No, you have a straight pipe for an exhaust now with some carbon fiber. That's basically a decoration. So I slapped the full length titanium on there and lo and behold, I remember putting that titanium exhaust on there and it just sent a bombastic when I first did it. And now it just sounds like, I can't hear it. Now I'm old. That's the

Brian: story. This was after the New Mexico, it was after everybody was there. I made a decision for trip sevens. Interesting. Yeah, no, that was really annoying, you know, cause you come out of the corners and I've got BMW F 700s got, you know, 12 horsepower or whatever it was, and, uh, it was a dog. Uh, the, the one thing you, you did say, yes, it's forgiving. So that was good. Uh, it's a forgiving bike, but yeah, we, we come out of a corner exit. We're maybe in second gear, you know, and you can just, you can just turn the throttle off and on, it's not going to hurt you, it can't, but I'm a full throttle and then, and then I hear Robin go brap and then he's gone, you know, and then you're brap, You with your power and stuff. Geez.

Robin: And I mean, it's still a BMW R motor. It's not like it has a lot of power. It just makes a big dumb noise and then goes kind of quick. Still better than a Harley. Oh, he said it. Now you're going to get letters. Yeah. Send them right to the shredder. This has been an obscure radio TRO. I highly suggest that for next week's segment two, we go with tiny tasted tool and I'll fill in like one detail for anything, because we got big tasks to conquer in Maptastic Mayhem. And what Brian has completely morally dubbed, The Stranger.

The Gist

Robin returns from his memorial trek to California, with minimal twisties logged, an hour late for an iron butt placard. Mama nature made herself known every step of the way, be it through unplowed snow, landslides or cold rain. Fortunately, AirBnB kept him warm every night.

Meanwhile, Brian's reminiscing about New Mexico's bizarrely tenacious red clay, which somehow holds a tire's grip so long as you can see tarmac underneath. There's also the matter of polite cagers kindly pulling over before waving motorcyclists by. Riding the road that shall not be named, what planet is this?

Eventually, the duo philosophise about personal time management. You know ... guilt free and steadfast self actualization. Because in the grandiose theater of existential self-actualization, where the metaphysical intertwines with the corporeal, it is within the unencumbered expanses of our discretionary leisure time that we, as sentient beings, find ourselves straddling the chromed-out, two-wheeled mechanical steeds of liberation, their engines throbbing with the rhythm of freedom, as we traverse the labyrinthine highways of life, each twist and turn of the throttle serving as a tangible manifestation of our relentless pursuit towards the zenith of our individualistic potential.

Announce, Acknowledge & Correct

Brian only remembers "singular bike Robin" but at one point, there were four motorcycles and a scooter in his garage.

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