Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Gentlemen a word please.

I think that most woman think I'm a misogynist, I just think I have a shit sense of humour, but I have to say that I have been made increasingly aware of just how wide spread and blatant misogyny is still in this day prevalent.
I opened this up by calling myself a misogynist and then made light of it, so I am in fact part of the problem, but I want to be more aware of this and stop acting this way.
I grew up in a household that one could say was meagre, though we never were hungry, my parents were absentee landlords in our moral education. My mother worn out by 4 boys, and yes that included my father, never gave us any idea of how to treat a woman, and in a patriarchal Italian family, she never really stood a chance. My farther came from the school of knuckle draggers that believed the only way anyone learnt anything was beating it into them, especially after a few beer glasses of cheap box wine.
By the time I was 17 and kissed the first girl, I can honestly say that I did not have a clue as to what she wanted, needed, liked or expected from me. To be honest I can hardly remember the experience but I learned nothing about her, so my education in feminism is severely stunted, and that is no excuse because in 30 odd years I haven't really understood much more, suffice to say that I am starting to at last listen and hear.
My girl works around men all the time, and I am constantly about to loose my shit, when she tells me what men have said and alluded at. These men are not some perceived scum or hoodlums crawling out the sewer, these men are the the guy on the treadmill next to you in the gym, the guy at the next table in a restaurant, these are your fathers, brothers and sons.
What I want to know is gentlemen, do you speak to your mother like that?
Do you grab your sisters ass and tell them they have a great ass?
Do you sit in the locker room discussing how hot your daughter is on the treadmill?
But that gym instructor you all talked about fucking is someones daughter, someones sister and possibly someones mother, I bet if she was your daughter and you walked in on men talking about her like that, you would tear there heads off, yet you do the same, or even worse stand quietly by while others do so, feeling like one of the good guys, while being completely complicit in the degradation of the other sex.
These are our partners, they are our equals and they share our lives, yet we treat them as less than us, I know what I am saying here is probably nothing new and I have touched only the very tip of the iceberg, but we need to do better, I need to do better, be better.

Remember, remember

I need to do something, and I keep forgetting to do it, so here goes.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry if I don't remember your name, I'm sorry if I don't remember where we met, I'm sorry if I don't remember if I owe you something, I'm sorry if I don't remember where you work, I'm sorry if I don't remember if I tattooed you, I'm sorry if I don't remember your wife/husband/girlfriend... I'm sorry if I don't remember....

After being hit by a car in 2006, and recovering what was left of my health and life, I started to notice a small issue, I began to have a little trouble remembering things, though I wore a very good helmet, that was reduced to pulp. I was in an sedated state for a few days and I can't recall any scans were done of my brain. So I guess they felt it wasn't necessary, I guess when the main priority is making sure you stay alive some things are forgotten, ironic I know.

So I want to apologise if I at any point, if I have offended you, it was never my intention, I truly don't remember.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Forest road 250 Colorado


I was alone in Colorado and desperate to hit the trails. My guidebook had all the usual tourist crazy areas around Silverton and Ouray. This area is known as probably the best in the USA for outdoor motorcycle adventure. But I had my eye on getting to Summitville. Summitville is the site of Colorado’s worst eco mining disaster. The EPA even built a water processing plant on top of the 12k foot mountain. I wanted to go find it.




So down my road and west on 160 into Pagosa springs for gas and through to Wolf Pass. A breath-taking ride up and over the stunning mountain. The road is full of turns and hairpins and bike nirvana. It’s wide and easy to pass the huge dinosaur motor homes being towed by pick up trucks.  I’m sure if the truck could communicate, it would be shouting at its owner ”Why would you leave your suburban mansion and tow a suburban mansion across the country to park it in a suburban trailer park, with all the same suburbanites, what the fuck?” then you realize there’s more of them than you.
Maybe they are saying the same thing about me. “Bike looks like a bug, fucken wheels are not even the same size, and why the fuck is he dressed like a power ranger, whew thank our gracious God and his son Jesus we’ve gotten away from the neighborhood”.  

I wave at the state trooper always parked on the top, he’s not there to bust my balls, and he’s there to keep a keen eye on the overloaded vehicles descending the mountain. Get it wrong; the results are going to be ugly. For me the only concern is how much can I get away with on the Continental TKC80 knobblies, I just shoe horned on the bike that evening. Don’t dare try this yourself but I can tell you, they stick like glue. Honestly I rode the same manner I do with street tires on. Lets just say I was happy the trooper stayed on top the mountain.




For some reason I could not find the turn off to Forest road 330. I looked and looked. I checked the map, and from what I could conclude (at home) it was 8 mile’s west of South fork. I looked and looked to no avail. Although it never really showed where in South fork to measure from. Typical Andy, I had left the map at home, I had only my notes, and I must have fucked up somewhere as usual. Of I go, back over the pass, having a blast. Past my Buddy, and back down the other side. Past more dinosaurs.  Dinner at the “Lost Cajun” in Pagosa and back home.



Stunner pass.
Today I’m going to head down and start from the bottom end. The long way around. Typical me. If you don’t succeed try again, only make it more complicated. This time. Take map.  It’s 88 miles to Chama from my home. A stunning ride that would leave motorcyclists drooling and smiling.

Now guys and gals this ride back into Colorado (You are in NM briefly), and up 17 to La Manga and Cumbres pass .I’m not going to bother to try explain. I don’t have those fancy author journalist fancy adjectives. It would be like Gordon Ramsey saying,” yep bacons nice”. This road is why I ride bike.




I miss the road again. At Horca there is supposed to be a road. A sign. Something. I ride past searching. This is mad, turn around go back to Horca.  Well the only other road there is FSR250, my road. And 100 yards up the road is the sign. WTF.

The journey begins. First miles are wide washboard roads. Dinosaurs, tourists, fishermen and locals who don’t bother to stare, they know where the money comes from. Others, amazed, didn’t see shit in Roswell and here in the woods is a power ranger alien. 

Off I go, I don’t even know they’re there. The road gets bumpier, thinner, technical and the other humans are nowhere, perfect. The scenery is like from some “gone with the wind” movie. When I look, it’s amazing. For some reason my brain has goes to, I’m in Paris racing for Dakar (or Argentina or Brazil to China or wherever the fuck it is now). The Honda is brilliant and I’m shifting in manual with paddle shifters at my left hand. 2nd and 3rd in gravel mode (ABS on, it works perfectly) traction control on 2 for now. The TKC knobblies work well although those Dunlop trail max tires would have been fine to. Fuck it. Knobblies fits better in my Dakar fantasy.  Switchbacks, gravel, sand, turns, stretches of long high-speed. I have found my new heaven. I’m blasting around. Bikes brilliant. I miss FSR330 again; funny thing is I know where I missed it. But no matter, Forest road 250 is great.

I finally reach the flats at the Alamosa reservoir, the dirt road now opens up to what looks like a freeway on dirt. So wide 4 cars could pass, and for miles. I can’t resist myself. After a long stretch of scouting I return back a long ways. There’s no one around. Nothing I can see. I want triple digits on the dirt, just ‘coz.

Mission accomplished the road spits me out all the way in Alamosa. 90 something miles of trail riding fun. Fill up the trusty Honda and its back to Wolf pass, past my pal, down to Pagosa and off to Bayfield. 130 more miles of riding bliss. Smiling all the way home.
The total from that morning was exactly 301 miles. This was a perfect example of, it’s not the destination, it’s the ride.



Sunday, 7 October 2018

Buying the DCT Africa Twin by A. Marcer

We will be featuring articles written by Andy Marcer of Metric Motorcycles of Houston, this is the first of many more to come. Enjoy!


GETTING AN AFRICA TWIN
Finally the summer is here. Normally I would be sulking and angry. Not this year. This year I’ve retired and I’m away from that miserable heat in Texas. I am at home in S.W Colorado. For years I made a living in the motorcycle business, repairing, selling etc. 

Now finally it was my chance to actually just ride them. Of course I have my BMW RT1200, a new generation BMW, away from that huge clutch and flywheel spinning around that makes me feel like I’m on one of those kids gyro, throw up rides at the carnival. To me, the very best in motorcycling.  Period. And I have Yuliya’s MV Augusta. The worst in motorcycling.  Period. 

But before I left the adventure bike bug had bitten me. Well to be honest, I’d just given up on riding on the track. MSR Houston is a plain shit track. Yes it’s shit and dangerous, who the hell puts a wall at the exit of turns? Well in Houston they do. And the price for a day, while you share the track, is just plain silly. I needed a new bike world to go play in. Now, Rio Bravo MX track is around the corner, but if you really want to feel old, and shit your pants. Go try that. I came off one jump and saw Jesus, Mohammed and Buddha huddled together and they all had that “oh Fucking hell “ look on their faces. Packed my shit up,  and be thankful all my bones are still kinda orientated in the correct way.

So one hot miserable day in Houston I stop by the BMW dealer to test a F800GSA. Now I’m new to this ADV bike thing, and I’m in a giant city and yes that is the wrong environment for that bikes intended purpose. But I hated it. Riding down the road is terrible. Sure, sure, down the trails it’s probably awesome. So I stopped in at Honda to try this new auto thingy Honda has the DCT. Two miles down the road. Yep, buying one of these.

So off to Colorado, now don’t take your wife bike shopping. No, no not the nagging thing. My wife jumped on it. Took off. Came back and bought one for herself. It was supposed to be my birthday present. WTF? Ah that’s ok at least I wouldn’t have to see her sore face and deformed body after every long ride on that MV.



Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Just a little group riding info.


1. Hold a meeting before you ride
It helps to get together with all your riders beforehand to talk strategy (where you'll stop, how long you'll ride, where to go if you get lost, etc.) and ask questions. Trust us, it'll be easier to sort out concerns in a quiet room than over the crackle of the throttle.
2. Decide a riding order
First choose a lead rider (the one in front) and a sweep rider (the one in back). The lead rider is in charge of telling the group what's coming, be it a traffic jam, rainstorm, or stampeding horse. And the sweep rider sets the pace for the group. Everyone else should have a place in the formation, too. The least experienced of your bunch should be behind the leader, letting the pros line up behind them and lend a watchful eye.
You might be wondering, "How many riders should be in my group?" It depends on the situation. In the NHTSA study, though, several riders said they felt best in groups of 10 or fewer.


3. Come prepared
This includes simple things that everyone should do, like arriving with a full tank of gas and bringing a cell phone. It also means deciding who will bring a first-aid kit, bike tools, and other necessities.
4. Don't go rogue
In group motorcycling, there's no room for showboats or renegades (despite all that leather). Avoid competitions with your group mates, tailgating, or passing other riders.
5. Stagger your riding formation
Perhaps the trickiest part of group riding is perfecting the formation. That's because while you want to keep your group relatively tight (so you're easy to spot), you also want to maintain a space cushion within the ranks.
How on earth do you do that? The best way is to stagger: the leader rides on the right side of the lane, the second rider stays one second back and on the left side. The third rider stays one second behind the second rider and on the right side, and so on. You don't want to ride side-by-side since this will limit your maneuvering space if you need to swerve quickly.
Keep in mind that you may want to go single-file on very curvy or deteriorated roads, when entering the highway, when turning at intersections, or in bad weather.
6. Pass in formation
When it comes to passing other vehicles on the highway, group members should do so one at a time and then return to their spot in formation. So the leader would pass and return to the right side of the lane, then the next rider would pass and return to the left side, and so on.
7. Take plenty of breaks
If all these group riding rules seem a bit exhausting, that's because they are. In order to keep your concentration and energy (and avoid sucking the fun out of the experience), take frequent rests and just savor the moment.
8. Keep your least experienced rider in mind

Not sure how far to ride? How fast? How often to take a break? The answer is always to figure out what your least-experienced rider is capable of and comfortable with and use that as your benchmark.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Memory

"Time takes a cigarette, puts it in your mouth. You pull on a finger, then another finger and a cigarette"
Woken by the rain, a rare occurrence of late with the Westen Cape being in drought, the thunder woke me and memories of the highveld came flooding in, Johannesburg thunderstorms border on epic and truly something to behold. Memories like the falling rain wash over me, and my thoughts turn to my farther, in my opinion a difficult man, we had a combative relationship.
I was born on the 8th of June, and I am told that it was bitterly cold and it snowed, rare in Johannesburg, it's said that my parents wrapped me in newspaper as they were unprepared for it. 41 years and 363 days later 7am, I scale the wall of his house, armed to the teeth, the fact that Blaze his blind Siberian huskies pillow was still out in the driveway had made me afraid for his safety. My farther never closed the backdoor to his house, and I mean never, and Johannesburg being what it is, I immediately began to worry, he would always be up at 6am and take the pillow back inside, so it still being out set off alarm bells.
After years of not talking to each other, we had kind of began talking at my mothers death bed a year earlier, obviously we really didn't have much choice as arrangement needed making we needed to face each other, almost a year later he had popped by once or twice, he lived the blocks away, and we had slowly begun to communicate again, being careful not to get into the things that had made us argue before.
Firearm in hand I leapt over the secondary wall into the back yard and ran for the back door, I was hoping he hadn't been beaten and that he had just been robbed and left bound in the house. As I got to the open back door there he was, face down in the scullery, Blaze dutifully at his side, I felt for a pulse but there was none, he was still warm, it was the 6th of June 2004. Reflection isn't something that enters your mind at the time, it's just a series of reactions, calls and panic, the thought that he had passed away alone and I the errant son had been the one to find him had not entered my mind, but when it did, I was angry, I couldn't understand why I was so angry. I had been through the steps of mourning a year earlier, and this anger was not part of it, it was irrational and it turned inward and it gave way to guilt.
It's been 14 crazy years since he passed away, at 62 both he and my Mum were so young. The memories of them are slowly disappearing from my constantly fading ability to hold onto them, memory loss is my burden to carry through all this.
So why this memory comes flooding in, or whether it's all intact, I cannot say, but the emotion attached is, and will always haunt me.
This concept of linear time is the thief of our lives, nothing exists but this very moment, past has happened and gone and has no sway on this moment, the future the same. This moment and only this moment, is real, I want to be present in every moment. The conditioning of linear time will always be a difficult concept to escape, and in this moment I think of you, and I hope that the time you took to read this, has value for you, for me? I'm going to try and be present in the time left.
It's still raining, I'm going to go sit and listen to it.


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

THIS TOWN

This country... It pulls the bones from your back leaving you a wobbly mess, never having any purchase, it's irreverent abuse of everything, history, culture even humanity. While governed by sweaty fat men and women belching KFC as the deep fried oil oozes from every pore, glistening  and basking in their ego's

"He wore a leather mask for his dinner guests
Totally nude and with deep respect
Proposed a toast to the votes he getsThe feeling of power and the thought of sex" The Clash

Abusing the resources in every respect, for more and more, like peadophillic monsters raping everything and devouring it, washing it away with a simple shower. With the uneducated ignorance, giggling like children pulling wings bee, while they burn the hive.

"Why must the youth fight against themselves?Government leaving the youth on the shelfThis place, is coming like a ghost townNo job to be found in this countryCan't go on no moreThe people getting angry"  The Specials


While people collude in all aspects just as long as they climb over the next body, on an ever mounting body count just to be prostrate at the feet of the Harkonen like beast, grotesquely overweight, dressed in filthy garments and covered in large, black pustules which excrete the blood of the youth and potential they stole over the last 60 years

"The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient galleryAnd he walked on down the hall
Paid a visit to his brother, and then he
He walked on down the hall, and
And he came to a door, and he looked inside
Father, yes son, I want to kill you
Mother, I want to, fuck you" The Doors

He went into the room where his sister lived, and, then he
This is the end, but it's nothing new.



Gentlemen a word please.

I think that most woman think I'm a misogynist, I just think I have a shit sense of humour, but I have to say that I have been made incr...