Monday, December 28, 2009

A Scent on a Frigid Cold Ride

It got above freezing in Western New York today so I took the opportunity to go for a ride. It is rare this time of year that there are no ice patches on the roads. If you have a chance to exploit Old Man Winters grip on this place then you need to take it. As I drove my Honda along the shores of Lake Ontario, I smelled a scent reminiscent of a winter’s hike up Mt. Evens in Colorado that I trekked more than decade ago. A strange déjà vu kind of moment struck me which was brought upon by this snowy scent. Physically I was on my bike but mentally I was transported from my motorcycle directly into the memory of a winter hike up a mountain which I took a long time ago. Then as quickly as the recollection came, it was over and I was back on of my motorcycle scanning north along the waters of the lake. This is the third time in my life that a smell has caused such a dramatic mental recollection. It’s like certain scents have the ability to directly “Main Line” your conscious to a specific memory from ones past. Along with the reminiscence of the moment come the feelings associated with that memory which make the memory that much more dramatic and fresh. For that split second I was there and back again. It was a rather surreal refection on a specific moment from my past and I am thankful for its recall. As I write this short blog, I am reminded that it’s great to remember the past but I never want to lose focus upon the creation of new memories and adventures which will occur in the future. Hopefully all of you find all that you’re looking for in 2010. Keep Safe, Ride Hard and Be Well!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

When Is It Safe to Ride with Your Kids?

I was fortunate enough to be able to spend some quality time with my two boys while home on vacation. We took a great hike, got muddy and climbed some trees. The day could not have been better! Often I have thought that I would love to take one of the boys on a cycle ride. Heck, my wife used to ride with me all the time, but now she refuses stating, “If we got into an accident then the boys would have no one”. Her logic is clear enough, and it stems from her love of our children, so who am I to judge. Now my oldest child is turning seven, and I would love to include him in my love for anything motorcycles. I am not talking about a two week trek. What I am talking about are just quick jaunts to local hiking trails, the park, the lake and the ice cream stands. The quality time we could spend together would be immeasurable. The argument is moot because my wife will not allow it, but I still wonder about the question “when is safe for a child to ride on a motorcycle?”
I believe ultimately that it must be the parent’s choice, but I know that there must be some individual state laws that say something about it. Any thoughts on the subject?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kiss a Veteran Every Day

We live in the microcosms of our own lives, and we rarely self reflect on the ills of our fellow man. Every day we should think about those less fortunate than ourselves and hopefully take action to assist others in need. On November 11th we celebrate the service of our Veterans. It is my belief that Veterans should be honored on a daily basis not just once a year.
Veterans Day gets its history from the end of World War I. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Germans signed an Armistice to end the war, which was supposed to end all wars.
Legislation was passed in 1938 to make Armistice Day a National Holiday dedicated to the cause of world peace and gave tribute to World War I Veterans as well. In 1954, the United States officially made Armistice Day into Veterans Day.
Veterans Day is a special time to remember deceased veterans as well as thank and honor living veterans who served honorably in the military. Memorial Day honors service members who died in service to their country.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Jury Duty Has Its Privileges

It was a call to perform Jury Duty which brought me home from Atlanta, GA and I was able to slip one last ride along the Erie Canal before Old Man Winter covers this whole region with a blanket of snow. The Erie Canal connects Lake Erie with the Hudson River along approximately 363 miles of artificial waterways. Construction of the canal began in 1817 and was completed in 1832. Back in the day the Erie Canal was immensely successful. The railroads, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the New York State Thruway sealed the Erie Canals commercial demise. In the 1990’s the Erie Canal received a major overhaul and now is a recreation way which consist of mostly pleasure boats.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Distance to Travel

Being on a cycle moves me, literally and figuratively. There is nothing like going for a quick jaunt down to the local park or taking a day ride through the rural areas of your own back yard. These expeditious trips do much for the betterment of mind and body. After a few hours on the cycle, I usually feel bliss beyond measure. The day’s journey on the road does its part by making me a better husband, dad and provider. For many of us two wheeled fanatics, these trips serve us as a quasi fountain of youth. We may look old on the exterior, but inside we’re as new and vibrant as our fondest memories. Though these excursions are fantastic, it is the 6 to 8 day road trip that brings my soul to another dimension. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to take 3 different far-reaching adventures on my cycle. Each excursion has been approximately 1500 miles of pure soulful joy. It’s not about the places I have been; it’s about how I felt getting there.

Rules of My Road Trip-
1.Itineraries are for office dwellers. Leave them home along with your watch.
2.Locals are the best resource for great routes and places to see.
3.Live outside the box. As long as it’s safe then give it a try.
4.Take in all the wondrous moment while on the road and save them for a rainy day.

Last year my goal was to get to Nova Scotia. Well I never did make it into Canada, but had the time of my life trying to get there.
In reality every individual is different in the way in which they like to plan their route and trip. No way is better than the other. The important thing is that you are out on two wheels searching for that permanent smile beyond the horizon.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


The following photos were taken at the Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. A portion of the movie Amistad was filmed at this location. The film was based on true events which took place back in 1839. A ship named Amistad was caring a cargo of 53 slaves on route to Cuba when the human cargo revolted against their captors and took control of the ship. The boat made its way into the Long Island Sound and was eventually escorted into New Haven, CT by the US Navy where the slaves were taken into custody. The slave’s freedom was then fought for in the court room. In the Supreme Court Case, United States VS. The Amistad Africans, an aging John Quincy Adams successfully argued that all human beings were naturally free people and were entitled to their freedom under American Law. The Amistad Africans were then set free. John Quincy Adams served as President of the United States during the years 1825-1829 and lost his re-election bid to Andrew Jackson. President John Quincy Adams often took an early morning nude swim in the Potomac. A young writer who unsuccessfully requested an interview with the President caught wind of his naked baths. One early morning the insistent journalist collected the President’s clothing while he swam and refused to give him his garments until the exposed President conceded to an interview. Reporter Anne Royall was the first female correspondent to interview an American President. John Quincy Adams is the only person to be elected to the House of Representatives after serving as President. What most impressed me with John Quincy Adams was his extraordinary service after his tenure as President.

Monday, August 31, 2009

New Port, Rhode Island

Above are my photos of my trip to New Port, Rhode Island. If you like mansions, the beach, architecture, history, sea food and boats then this may be a good place to visit.

During my trip I had a chance to try some genuine Boston Baked Beans at a few New England Restaurants. In the early 1700’s the grand consumption of the meal gave Boston the nickname Beantown. Back then cities such as Boston and New Port were part of the Triangular Sea Trade where Sugar would be produced in the Caribbean. The sugar was then shipped to ports in New England and made into Rum. The rum would then be sent to Africa and used to buy more slaves which were brought back to the Caribbean and West Indies. Molasses made from sugar was very inexpensive in Boston during this time and beans were grown throughout the North East and were inexpensive as well. The surplus of beans and sugar made it possible for the masses in the area to consume Baked Beans on the cheap. The credit for the respite of Boston Baked Beans goes to the Native Americans of the area who were eating the dish long before the colonials.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Lost Battle of Bunker Hill

On June 17, 1775, the second major battle of the American Revolutionary War began with the British advance on Breeds Hill outside of Boston, Massachusetts. After 2 failed assaults the British Regulars captured positions from the Colonial Forces defending the hill. American Militia then retreated to Bunker Hill where the Colonials were ultimately defeated by a well disciplined and motivated British Force.
The resulting victory for the British Army was truly a credit upon the dedication and honor of the British Army advancing up those two hills. The British tactically met their objective but suffered their greatest losses of the entire war. Colonial Forces stood and fought against the greatest military power on earth and wreaked a 42 percent causality rate upon the enemy. British General Clinton stated, “It was a dear bought victory, another such would have ruined us.” Nathanial Greene who was a Rhode Island Colonial General put the encounter in perspective when he said, “I wish we could sell them another hill at the same price.” The Lost Battle of Bunker Hill soon became a rallying cry for American Patriots across the 13 Colonies and served as a betterment to the cause of liberty. (The photo at the top of the post is of the Monument at Bunker Hill. The photo below was taken from the top of the monument and shows the Boston Sky Line.)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Have You Seen a Giant Sea Turtle with a Gun Turret Mount on its Shell?

I am a loner by birth but I am also a social creature by habit. I love hanging around others until it’s time to go and love to contemplate life alone until I get bored. I have driven half way across county on my cycle alone without feeling solitude because I was lost in the moment. Then there are times where it would be nice to have someone to ride with down to the local ice cream shop. In the most part, I would define myself as a solo rider not because I dislike riding with others but because an itinerary is not an option for me. The other day I was riding with a group of friends. We were driving down a back road and for some reason there was a statue of a huge Sea Turtle with a Gun Turret Mount on its shell sitting in someone’s yard. Well as an Iraq War Vet, that sculpture constitutes my definition of modern art. That turtle had character and is something you just don’t see every day. Everyone was in such a rush that I did not have a chance to stop and take a photo. It’s not all that easy to stop and grab a picture when you have 5 riders ahead of you and 3 behind you. You need to understand that the last camera my riding buddies probably had was a Polaroid. For me to stop, I would be interfering with everyone else’s definition of a good ride. Maybe I need to find some folks to ride with that have the same need to take photos of strange things? I guess I could always lead the group of riders then people would be forced to do what I wanted. The sad part of this story is that I have no idea where I was when I saw that Giant Sea Turtle or I would go back and get the photo (when not leading a ride I tend to day dream and have no concept of my geographical location). Strange thing is that I really would not have been happy to just get a photo of that battle ready tortuous. I would like to have found out why the owner of the home had such a monstrosity sitting in their front yard. That story would have made for a better post then the actual photo. Oh for missed opportunities, well next time I see such a thing I am stopping!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It’s Not Just About The Dressing.

Have you ever heard of Thousand Island Dressing? Have you ever heard of the Thousand Island Region of Upstate New York? This past weekend I was fortunate enough to visit Alexandria Bay, NY and if you have not yet visited then give it a try.

Let’s get back to the dressing. In the early 1900’s a women named Sofia Lalonde concocted a dressing which became a local Favorite. Sofia lived in Clayton, NY which was nestled in the Thousand Island Region on New York State. The Respite eventually made its way to a part time summer resident George Boldt who happened to own the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. He was so enthralled with the flavor of the dressing that he ordered it on the Waldorf Astoria’s Menu which catapulted the dressing to become the Thousand Island Dressing which is so famous today.

This takes us to George C Boldt and his famous castle (please see the photos above). The story goes that he builds this castle for a summer home for his wife. Four years into the project, she passes away. Mr. Boldt then halts all constructions and vacates the property. The unfinished Castle actually sits vacant for 70 years until the mid 70’s when NY State Acquires the property. They hype this as the saddest story ever told. Don’t get me wrong, love lost is a tragic event and I can only sympathize with the sorrow Mr. Boldt endured. As sad as his loss was I feel that his emotions could have been channeled in a more positive direction to lay a tribute to his diseased wife. Instead all the effort that was put forth to construct this glorious Island Castle becomes wasted along with his grief. Why not finish the castle and pass it along to charity in her honor. In the End it was Mr. Boldt’s money to waste. I truly believe that grief and intense emotions can be channeled in a positive direction and it saddens me that the man could have turned a horrifically ugly and sad situation into something positive. To let this castle just waste away for 70 years just seems criminal given that it could have been used for other such positive endeavors. Either way you look at it the story of the Boldt Castle is a sad one but it’s a wondrous site to behold and is worth the trip alone.

Monday, August 10, 2009 has passed on this award to MotoPhotoAdventure with a request that it be passed on to other deserving blogs.


1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2. Pass the award to as many or as few other blogs that you have newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

So I pass this award on to:


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Conviction or Bust

The post below has nothing to do with the common theme of MotoPhotoAdventures but I felt compelled to share my thoughts.

Below is an article which was published today in the Seattle Times. It’s about a bank teller named Jim Nicholson who was fired from his job for chasing down and catching a bank robber. In the defense of the bank there are many reasons why the banks have rules against tellers doing such heroic acts. Some may say that Mr. Nicholson may have put others in danger through his actions but he also had the courage and fervor to act on his own conviction. Mr. Nicholoson exhibited behavior that should be celebrated and not punished. It just seems that too many people lack the fortitude to take a stand on principal and are willing to sell their morals to the highest bidder.

Our society seems to openly promote us to look the other way when others are in harm’s way. It’s an issue that plagues America. It starts in our schools with bullies terrorizing others and continues on the streets where the week and less fortunate are taken advantage of every day. I think as a population we need to focus more on what is right and wrong and worry less about law suits and financial gain. I spent a year in Iraq back in 2003 and have seen ugliness beyond disbelief but in that same place I witnessed immeasurable courage, kindness and love. As a people, I believe we must begin to look beyond ourselves. We must grasp the concept of humanity and fight for the common good. It begins with simple work of charity and manifests its self to a more splendid world.

Seattle bank teller chases robber, loses job

via the Associated Press from the Seattle Times

Sun Aug 2, 1:24 pm ET

SEATTLE – A Seattle bank teller has lost his job because he ran down a would-be bank robber and held him until police arrived. Jim Nicholson, 30, who had worked for more than two years at a Key Bank branch near the Seattle Center, says he understands the bank's strict policy that employees comply with robbery demands and avoid confrontations.

But he told The Seattle Times that instinct took over when a thin man in a beanie cap, dark clothing and sunglasses pushed a black backpack across the bank counter on Tuesday and demanded money.

Nicholson threw the bag to the floor, lunged toward the man and demanded to see a weapon. The man bolted for the door with Nicholson in pursuit.

He chased him several blocks before knocking him to the ground with the help of a passer-by. Nicholson then held the man until police arrived.

On Thursday, Nicholson was fired. Key Bank spokeswoman Anne Foster declined to comment on Nicholson and his actions.

Police and the FBI discourage such heroics. Bank tellers are trained to get robbers out the door quickly and are advised against possibly escalating a situation over money that's federally insured.

Nicholson said he understands why he was fired.

"They tell us that we're just supposed to comply, but my instincts kicked in and I did what's best to stop the guy," he said. "I thought if I let him go he would rob more banks and cause more problems."

Seattle police Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said the best course for citizens is to be good witnesses to crimes.

"When confronted by a violent criminal, it is best to comply unless they feel their personal safety is in jeopardy. It is possible that taking action and confronting the criminal may lead to the injury of the victim or other bystanders."

"You want tellers to be proactive, but you want them to do it safely," said FBI Special Agent Fred Gutt.

The would-be robber, a 29-year-old transient, has a lengthy criminal history, including convictions for theft and robbery, according to court records. Charges in the attempted robbery were not immediately filed.

Nicholson said he has run after shoplifters while working at other retail jobs.

"It's something I almost look forward to. It's a thrill and I'm an adrenaline-junkie person. It's the pursuit," he said.

Information from: The Seattle Times,