Taming the Dragon

The Tail of the Dragon aka Deals Gap aka Highway 129 in North Carolina is an 11 mile stretch of treacherous, pristine, twisty road that invites petrolheads from across America. Some (myself) are barely trying to make it to the end and back, others (California motorcycle nuts) bring their thoroughbred racing machines via trailer, with racing slicks that you wouldn’t want to use anywhere but a track, just to set lap records. It takes about 15 minutes to complete, go figure… The Tree of Shame is a monument to the vehicles that have been wrecked in the attempt Photo credits: Killboy

Wrenching on the Yamaha WR450

A noob's guide to getting trail ready

From zero to hero

3 weeks ago I bought a used 2004 Yamaha WR450 for a song, with the idea that it could be an affordable way to get into dual sporting and generally get more technical with my riding. It’s been 3 weeks of the most wrenching I’ve ever done, and the most fun that I’ve had getting my hands dirty in a long time. It’s been a year and a half since getting into motorbikes and also, fixing them. This was by choice. My 2011 Mini Cooper (Marvin, you are missed 😢) was an excellent first car but during my 2 years of ownership I realized that cars are expensive to operate, expensive to work on, and really expensive to race. Ever hear that saying, how do…

Road poetry #1

From the Oachita to the Ozarks

A Mighty fog blankets the Oachita and the Sun is reduced to a pale ghost And I slow down to take in this ethereal landscape. The trees expire, and I see their spirits dance above the thick grass leaving carpets of mist above clearings, lingering like a lover’s kiss from the night before The trees are shorter now compared to the trees in the midwest No dancing hawks like in the Smokies, or perhaps it’s too early and wet for them (it must be 7am) Backroads while the most scenic, can also be the most frustrating It’s now daylight and morning traffic has slowed to a crawl. Enough is enough, I decide to cross the double yellow line to overtake the slowpokes in front of…

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