Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Three days left of work. Date of departure undecided due to last minute "fix ups & dialing ins" on the chopper. I'm hoping everything will come together in the next week or so. Still need somebody to fab. and install a sissy bar to strap my pack onto, otherwise I'll need to lay my pack flat on the fender; not the best option, but will due if need be.

The weather has been rider friendly lately reminding me to buy sunscreen, aloe vera, and bug spray. With all the rain and sunshine the mosquitos seem to be having an orgyastic time out there and do enjoy tasting some non-MN blood.

As the trip is rapidly approaching I'm filled with excitement and anxiety. I can't wait to drop everything and hit the road... it might even get me out of this early summer writing slump (not that my effort to sit down and write has been heroic). Better get my ass in gear if I plan to pull anything out of this to help guide my thesis. Poetry? (unlikely). Fiction? (not my stong suit). Creative nonfiction? (what is that anyway). Plans are to "just write," but every would-be writer has said that line before. And I'm sure I'll say it again the first time I set up camp and pull out a fresh notebook: one I'm aspiring to actually fill.

As requested... bike pics on the way with a little help from my photographer.

Monday, June 13, 2005


This rain won't stop:
outside this box.

Who killed the spider?

Saturday, June 11, 2005

seeking sissy bar

11 am. Sunny and clear in Bemidji. Thought I'd head out to a shop in Park Rapids named Itasca Thunder in search for some sissy bar fabrication. The traffic cleared as I headed out of Bemidji onto 71 South. I had the wind in my face and the sun on my back; the only problem was what the wind was carrying: dark clouds ahead. I pushed on gauging my speed by using the trees as reference. Stopped for gas in Lake George... the attendant asked, "so what is that thing" as I paid. My cycle is unique, but I never heard anyone refer to it as "that thing." "Must be a conversation starter" he added which seemed kind of redundant considering the conversation in progress.

I continued down 71 into spots of stinging rain. Drops tattooed my face. And I thought bikers grew beards so they would look tough. Facial hair actually dampens anything splashing or exploding on your skin at 65 mph. The only drawback being the half crushed bugs still buzzing to life somewhere in the tangled mess.

Once arriving in Park Rapids to a closed bike shop for the weekend I decided to give my ass a rest. Note to self: keep your tongue out of the way of your teeth while riding a rigid frame. Potholes and bitten tongues... sounds like a collection of poetry.

While waiting at a gas station a guy asked me if he could take pictures of "the punisher" (coined by Sean Hill). He claimed to build bikes in his free time, but the family sedan and three kids in the backseat suggested this guy's free time was rather limited. While riding today I realized this trip will allow me to meet and interact with strangers frequently... I can only see this as a positive considering the road can be a lonely place... and anybody on it, whether four wheels or two, can help pass the time while healing some cramped up legs or waiting out the rain.

Side note: Lake George Road between highway 71 and Park Rapids is a must ride for is long swooping curves, smooth tar, and hilly terrain.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Some thoughts...

A quote from a writing teacher and person I admire inspriring my upcoming ride and writing project:

"I also sometimes notice that failing common to writers: intense self-absorption. We writers can be a tiresome lot. We get so wrapped up in ourselves and the page and so delighted or disgusted with our production that we can be annoying creatures. We fill up with I. I, I, I. That comes from too much concentration on writing and not enough time out in the storm risking getting hit by lightning. Writers need to get out of themselves. How?

My best solutions so far are, again, from old Ben: service and humor. Doing things for other people gets us thinking about other people. Humor requires multiple perspectives, which means more than just self-absorption. Franklin was famous for his humor, too. Read Poor Richard and you’ll find lots of it. Read his piece on choosing a mistress and try not to laugh. He made a whole life out of public service, in addition to his money-making work. He really was a rounded guy. "

You can find this at http://biro.bemidjistate.edu/cgi/christensenwiki.pl?TeachingHerman

Saturday, June 04, 2005

A Must Read...

Just ran across an old favorite that I'd like to share. Strange Gardens, by Michel Quint, is a novella that provides a complex story well told. Within 85 pages Quint captures coming of age (without the typical senario), world war (with a human touch... since people make war happen), and relationships between father and son. Be prepared to sit down and read the entire thing in one sitting. The "single effect" factor of this work drives the artistry. Although labeled by fiction, the story is something you want to believe because of its honesty. A truely inspirational experience. Worth the time... enjoy and let me know your thoughts.