Things we think of while riding down the road

Archive for April, 2010

The Ride In Movies

The last Motoworld blog post was all about getting friends together to watch the season opener MotoGP, do some bench racing, eat, drink and plan our spring road trip. While everyone was arriving with pots and plates of food, boxes of beers and good munchies we had a great motorcycle movie on in the background. The movie going was ‘Riding Solo To The Top Of The World’ by my friend Gaurav Jani from India. Riding Solo is a wonderful travelogue that I believe every traveling motorcyclist should watch, it really put’s ‘Long Way Around’ to shame.While waiting for racing to start, enjoying all the good food and visiting with friends, more and more friends became captivated by the movie to the point of ” hey, record the race, let’s watch the movie, then the race”. After watching the races, we finished the movie. After the movie was over and everybody headed home a new idea was hatched…a way to get motorcycling friends together, and another good reason to consume mass quantities of food and beer, wait, who ‘needs‘ a reason for the last two?

Most readers of this blog are probably old enough to remember Drive-In’s and most of us who did go to Drive-In’s can’t remember the movie we ‘watched’…because the windows were too steamed up. The Drive-In in my town was $5.00 a carload… including Steve and Artie in the trunk along with a couple of six packs. So I got to thinking, with Drive-Ins extinct how can we motorcyclists recreate that wonderful piece of Americana, but on motorcycles? Welcome to the Ride-In Theater.

Here are the rules, you have to ride your motorcycle, no cars. Admission is cold refreshing beverages and your company. The Fillmore Ride-In Theater has popcorn, hot dogs and lawn chairs. But now, what to show? I went through my collection of motorcycle movies and came up with a selection that I’m sure will please everyone. We can’t show all of these on one evening so it gives us a nice summertime of motorcycling entertainment.

We start the Ride-In season with the best of all time motorcycle movie, ‘On Any Sunday’. If this movie doesn’t stir your soul, you should trade in your motorcycle for a minivan and call it quits. Next would be Peter Starr’s ‘Take it to the Limit’, truly the greatest motorcycle racing movie made. From Trials riding to Roadracing to Drag Racing, Desert racing and MotoCross, this movie is nothing but pure excitement and a great Saturday night Ride-In movie date.

About mid July, we bring out ‘The Worlds Fastest Indian’. A great feel good movie about a real legend in Land Speed Record Racing. Having been to Bonneville with a race team, ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’ brings back a lot of good memories and feelings. You have to watch this movie every once and awhile…just because.

August brings to the big screen…actually my barn door…Robert Redford and Michael J.Pollard, also known as ‘Little Fauss and Big Halsy’. There’s just something about this movie that just plain works. You’ve got Robert Redford at his hunkiest, Michael J. Pollard at his quirkiest, throw in some good racing…you can’t go wrong on a warm summer evening at the Ride-in. Oh, and Lauren Hutton doesn’t hurt the movie either.

Labor Day weekend we wind up The Ride-In Theater season with ‘Faster’. A good look at the inside of MotoGP racing. Excellent racing footage along with some great behind the scenes filming, interviews and commentary. Just in time for the end of the MotoGP season.

So, come on all you motorcycle movie fans out there, drive-in ‘s may be extinct, but Ride-In’s are alive and well. Oh and by the way, that little screen in the picture above isn’t what we’ll be using, I just couldn’t find a big ‘ol white sheet to cover the whole door for the photo, but I promise I’ll find one before Ride-In Theater season starts, but you get the idea anyway.

Steaming up the windscreen on my BMW could be a bit challenging but a lot of fun. I think I smell popcorn…see you at the movies.

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What’s the best way…

…to watch a MotoGP race when you can’t be there?

You get your motorcycling friends together at your house to watch the race on TV. Some are former racers (me and Jay), some are still racing (Craig and Howard), some that wished they were still racing (me), and those that never raced but love motorcycle racing…the wives. Throw in a few more motorcycle bums and you have a Race Watch Party.
Years ago, I started a tradition amongst our group of motorcycling friends of getting together to watch races, share some good food, drink some good beer (excepting my son, who likes Budweiser) and in general have a great time.
Over the years some friends have moved away, new friends have come into the cult, the races are being watched by little kids who can’t even reach the handlebars (but can reach the buttons on the TV!) and the food has gotten better and more plentiful…hence the ever expanding waistline and the need for a bigger motorcycle…good thing the Grand Prix racing season is only six months long!!! But who’s complaining?

So, when you can’t enjoy the crowds at the races, the cheering for a good pass or the ‘Oh sh*t’s when someone crashes…thanks to Speed TV and some great friends you can have most of the excitement right in your own living room. Now if only someone would invent ‘Smellevision’…I love the smell of race gas…


How many times can you say ‘UMM’???

…or, “Um, you know”, or…”so…um”??

The main part of The MotoWorld for years has been the podcasts. Great interviews, travel stories, opinions and MotoNews. Putting together a good program takes time; researching news, rumors and new products. Deciding which interviews go with which news pieces and / or rumors and of course choosing background music. But before all that, comes the dreaded interview editing.

In all honesty I love editing. It’s a whole zen of it’s own. I learned the skill while working as a disc jockey and commercial producer for a rock n’ roll radio station in New Mexico a number of lifetimes ago. At that time, it was splicing pieces of reel to reel tape together with a razor blade and editing tape, today it’s a mouse button…but it’s all the same and I still love it. I think.

This morning while editing interviews from the AMA Roadraces at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana California last week, I realized that other than editing myself out…which makes the interview sound much better…most of my time goes into taking out the “umm’s”, the “umm, you know’s” and the ever popular “so……….umm’s”.

A couple of years ago while interviewing a very popular racer, we were joking about the “umm’s” and he told me that at one time while being interviewed the PR person in charge would count on his fingers each time he said “umm”. It became a running joke…and don’t worry Jake, I won’t tell anybody who the racer is.

So this morning I finish my interview edits for the new MotoWorld show and I counted the “umm’s”, “you knows”, the “umm, you know’s” and the “so…..you know’s”. Then being the math wiz I’m not, started calculating how many of those edits have I done over the years. Counting on my fingers and toes….30,312…give or take 5. Who ever said being a motojournalist was easy. OK, ummm… back to work.


Geez it’s hot out today…

…maybe I need to turn the air conditioning on!? but wait, I’m on a motorcycle, it doesn’t have air conditioning. Wrong, hot weather breath…now you can be as comfortable as the person driving that deluxe Geo Metro in the next lane. Oh sure, your Gold Wing has a cup holder, CD player and now even an air bag but what about riding in those 100* plus days…dude I need air conditioning. Vented jackets just don’t do it anymore and riding in just a t-shirt is so 70’s well… Entrosys (www.entrosys.com) has solved your hot weather riding problems…Introducing air conditioning for motorcycles.
No longer do you have to stop at every gas station on Highway 395 or I10 and grab the water bib, soak yourself and ride off hoping the next gas station is only 20 miles away, now you can have air conditioning!! It’s as easy has loading the A/C unit on the back of your bike…you didn’t need that space for a tail pack for your luggage anyway…putting on a special vest and sticking what looks to be a vacuum cleaner hose up your jacket, assuming you’re wearing a jacket and hitting the switch, life just couldn’t get any better. Sheesh.


The Motor Company has been sold

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls…The Motor Company, Harley Davidson has left the building. With stock prices tumbling, motorcycle sales on a serious downhill slide, newly appointed CEO Keith Wandell…after collecting a nice $6,4000,000 paycheck, has, along with the pending approval of the board of directors, decided to sell the Harley Davidson Motor Company.

Originally, rumors were that ‘The Motor Company’ would become a Chinese based firm following in the footsteps of Jaguar, Volvo and Benelli. Today, it was revealed that Harley Davidson is going to Russia not China.

Russian motorcycle builder Ural, has found the funding to buy the iconic American motorcycle company for an undisclosed amount. Ural has been gaining market share for the past five years worldwide with their versions of early generation BMW motorcycles and have decided that the American V-Twin motorcycle is their next target.

We here at The MotoWorld wish the new company ‘Ural Harley’ the best of luck. It’s a good thing today is April 1st….