Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Crash


Marie and I plowed into a deer while riding in the Eastern Sierras near Mammoth Mountain. I saw the deer, a grey blur, running from my right and recognized that we were going to hit. I don't remember any else until I woke up the next day in the hospital in Reno.
     I broke a bone in my left hand, a rib, my nose and fouled up my collar bone and knees. But it was Marie that was far more seriously injured. Her right leg was so badly damaged that it required three emergency surgeries to stabilize the broken bones and repair the blood supply. She is still hospitalized six weeks after the accident.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Couple Seriously Injured After Deer Collides With Motocycle

Staff Writer

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Coati couple was seriously injured near the Crestview area of U.S. 395 after a deer jumped out in front of them and collided with the motorcycle the couple was riding.
The accident occurred on Oct. 8, at approximately 11:45 a.m., when California Highway Patrol (CHP) received a report of an injury collision involving a black motorcycle and a deer on U.S. 395 south of Crestview, according to the CHP.
The preliminary investigation indicated the couple, Raymond and Maria Watson, was traveling southbound on U.S. 395 southbound, just north of Mammoth Scenic Loop in the #2 lane, according to a news release. A deer jumped up from the west side of the road and entered the #2 lane, directly in front of the motorcycle.
The couple was unable to avoid the deer and the subsequent collision caused the motorcycle to go down. Both the driver and the passenger were ejected from the motorcycle and both sustained major injuries and were transported by ambulance to Mammoth Hospital and then later, air-lifted to Renown Medical Center in Reno.
CHP personnel from the Bridgeport area responded as well as Mono County Sheriff, Mono County EMS and Cal-trans to assist. —WG

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Valley Fire

The fire started on Cobb Mountain and pushed by strong winds blowing from the west, roared into Middletown. People left their homes moments ahead of the fire and considered themselves lucky to be alive. 

Cobb Mountain is north of Napa Valley and south of Clear Lake, California. The mountain has a very high fuel load and even when there is no drought is very dry in fall. 

Still, these Amaryillis called Naked Ladies bloomed within hours of being burned over, as if to say to the fire and the world, "in your face, we are here, undefeated."

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Strato-Streak

    Three wheelers and trikes are becoming a lot more popular. I finally found one I like.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Heading to Sturgis

A lot of California was burning when we headed out Highway 50. We stayed in Fallon, Nevada our first night. 

We stopped in Austin, an old mining town of 192 people, for lunch. We had a great burger at the old International Hotel.

Our plan was to camp out in the Great Basin National Park. Lehman Creek campground is located near Baker, Nevada. We stopped at T&D's Country Store, Bar and Restaurant in Baker. Terry, Debra and Kelli treated us like royalty. Terry even broke out the good tequila. 

We rode up the mountain to Lehman Creek Campground, which is at about 7200 ft. The night sky in this part of Nevada has no light pollution and after the moon went down, the stars were incredible.

During the night the wind came up and nearly blew the tent down. We hardly slept at all because of the wind.

Some where along the road we saw this strange animal lurking behind a fence. It wasn't a chupacabra but just a shy burro.

Highway 50 is known as the loneliest highway in America and Eastern Nevada is the loneliest part of Highway 50.

Spotted Wolf Canyon in the San Rafael Reef. The San Rafael Reef is a 30 mile long rock wall. Then on to Grand Junction, Colorado and into the Rocky Mountains

When we got into the Rockies the weather cooled down and we rode at a more leisurely pace. At Salida, Colorado, we jogged south to Alamosa then east to La Veta, Colorado.

We stayed with Marie's family in La Veta. I really like this area, its geologically interesting, historically interesting as well as beautiful.

We stayed a day in La Veta and a day in Colorado Springs visiting family, then headed north again.

We stayed one night in Scott's Bluff while Jason Lewison owner of Precision Cycle replaced a tire and cured a manifold leak. 

We arrived at Nemo Saturday, time to set up camp and relax.  

Sunday, August 9, 2015

There are Great People Out There

     After the Smoke Out I was on my way home and I was in a hardware store in Elizabeth Town, NC, looking for a bolt for safety wire. Neal said he lived nearby and offered to drill the bolt for me. Thanks Neal. Nice van too. 

     My front muffler bracket broke. I used some bailing wire to hold the muffler and went to Harley Davidson of Ashville, North Carolina. 
     Peaches, on the right in the photo, recognized my bike as a Stampede bike. I took the bracket off and Peaches took it to Justin, who is probably not really suicidal. Justin welded the bracket and I reinstalled it, perfect. 
     Neal, Justin and Peaches are the kind of friendly, generous people I find all over the country. Thanks guys.   

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

It Was All Fun and Games Till the Cops Showed Up


     As far as I know someone reported some type of traffic incident. We were still riding close together so it was easy for Pinehurst PD to pull us all over.


     Initially the police were nervous and cautious.

Pete, a Marine, is a master of camouflage.

     After a through investigation it was decided that we were all good, there had been no violations and it was all fun and games again.

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Ride in the North Carolina Countryside

     On Saturday everyone was invited for a ride in the country. Michael Lichter was going to take photos. It was a beautiful day, but very hot.

     We stopped at a roadside fruit stand. I sampled local fruit. The peaches were the best I've had in a while. We talked and visited while Lichter took photographs.

While we cooled off, Velarde intertained us with wheelies in the street.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Racing is Hard on Equipment

     It's not a saw blade, it is what's left of a rear sprocket on a strutted Sportster after a hard run across the country. 
     I first noticed extreme chain and sprocket wear during Stampede 9, when my Sportster was strutted. 
     I wrote about that unusual wear in my "belt vs Chain" post (click on the label below).
     I think that there is something about a strutted Sportster that causes heavy chain and sprocket wear. Perhaps it is the lack of any "cush drive", like we see in many other chain driven motorcycles. 

     Gordon Porritt (#4) finished 33rd despite the extreme chain and sprocket wear. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Terrible Accident

     On Saturday morning we all took a ride through the North Carolina country side. We stopped at a roadside fruit stand and I took this photo of Michael Lichter taking a photograph of Richie Pan. 
     Late that night Richard Pannarra and Michael Napolitano were hit and killed while crossing the street in Southern Pines, North Carolina. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Smoke Out 16

     The Smoke Out is, by far, my favorite motorcycle event. It's not the largest rally by any means, but it has more going on than all the others.
     The palatial Stampede compound, where we were front and center on the happenings at Smoke Out 16. And there's a lot to take in.

It's always fun to check out the mini bikes and mini bike racing.

Diesel bikes, could be the next big thing. 

Two stroke choppers are cool. I sure like this one.

There are bands to listen to,

cute girls to enjoy,
and loads of bikes to look at.