Death versus Divorce

While my ex-wife and I were in the process of getting a divorce, I eventually gathered the nerve to tell my grandmother about our impending demise. Grandma (my only surviving grandparent) lost her husband to an aneurysm back in the early sixties, and never re-married. She’s a traditional white-haired, German grandmother, and does not appreciate the typical reasons for divorce. She felt a whole lot better when she found out that the divorce wasn’t my idea (my ex-wife will burn in hell, not me). After a few hours of conversation, she said something that took me by surprise.

“What you’re going through is a lot worse than me losing your Grandfather.”
Continue reading Death versus Divorce

Ivan’s Crash

During the 1997 Sunrun, Ivan Gregory and I shared a harrowing ride through Bear Tooth Pass (still migrating that story to the blog) and lived to talk about it. Later that year, I learned that my invincible riding partner had been t-boned by a cager and was in the hospital. When I first learned of the accident, it seriously bummed me out. I wrote the following haiku that afternoon:

Dark mountain riders
Thwarting cliffs of death like gods
Now struck down like men

The Definition of a “Cruise”

I call my bike Cruiser. Keep in mind that my definition of cruising does not involve repeatedly traveling the same 14 blocks of road with the adolescents of the community.

That begs elaboration. . . .

A Cruise (capitalized out of respect) is an escape. It can be 30 minutes or 30 days and absolutely, positively, requires no destination. It is an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and commune with a well-tuned mass of metallic kinetic energy and perhaps a beloved warm body as well. A Cruise is an expression of independence, staking everything on the durability of the machine and quality of your wits. It’s a quest for adventure, daring fate to put something interesting around the next bend. A Cruise is never boring; it’s a raw undiluted experience with no roof, no airbag, and no climate control. A Cruise is isolation, without visiting a deserted island. It’s meditation, with the drone of the motor serving as a mantra. It gives us the energy to endure our day-to-day lives . . . until the next Cruise . . .

This was originally posted to the Harley Digest sometime in 1997.

Memphis Cruise: Map, Stats, and Photos


Here is the map for the Memphis Cruise. Click on the routes on the map to navigate to the trip report for that day.


Retrospective Note (2016): Back in 1997, Apple Maps and Google Maps didn’t exist yet. Consequently, the map is tiny and based on a screen shot of a MapQuest map.



Total number of days: 6
Total miles: 1,807
Shortest Day: 62.9 miles (Day 4 – Around Memphis)
Longest Day: 400 miles (Day 6 – Corydon, IN to Ann Arbor, MI)
Average Miles/Day: 301.2/day
Number of States/Provinces visited: 5 (MI, OH, KY, TN, IN)
Average Miles per Gallon: 43.12


Lessons in the art of motorcycle touring