Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve Day Joy Ride

What a beautiful sunny and warm (~60°) day to ride. Enjoyed the sights along some back country roads. Here's some brief video of grazing cattle and horses near Malvern, PA. Happy New Year!

View Map of my 40 Mile Ride

Monday, December 26, 2011

Post Xmas Ride

"It's one day after christmas
I'm crabby and I'm broke
I'm so full of ham and cookies
I think I'm gonna croak..." 

Not really. My spirits rose when I realized it was 45° - another balmy winter day in the burbs. Took my daughter on her second pillion ride today. Our hands were a bit cold, but we had an invigorating 40 minute ride. Finally got some pics taken of me on the bike.

Hope you're having a great holiday so far. If the weather keeps up like this, I will!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

First EZ Riders Club Ride

Actually, the group is called the EZ Riders Scooter Club and this was my first group ride with them. This was a joint ride with about a dozen members of the Philadelphia Motorcycle Riders Group. The usual plan is to meet at a cafe, tank up, and take great back country roads to a hangout for lunch. In this case, the lunch stop was Big Momma's Dog House in Milford, NJ - to celebrate their last weekend in business. Turns out this has been a favorite lunch venue and they wanted a last hot dog to say good bye. (Click photos to enlarge)

EZ Riders Tom and Rod (center right)
Three of us EZ Riders (Hammy, Tom and me) met up with the PMRG folks at Danielles Espresso Cafe in Ambler, PA. Had some espresso and talked bikes. Nice group with some pretty fancy bikes, mostly Harleys. From there the EZ Riders split off, led by Hammy around Lake Nockamixon to Milford, NJ - almost froze my fingers off. Guess what? The Dog House was already closed! After a parting photo op with Big Mamma, we had lunch across the street at The Ship Inn.

Clockwise: Hammy in front of Danielle's, Tom and Rod with Big Mamma and the Ship Inn

All in all, I had a great time despite the cold fingers, met some great people with a passion for riding in common and some (not so good) English food. I'll skip the tongue sandwich next time.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Joy Ride

What a great day and our daughter is home from College too. Couldn't resist the great weather. Took my daughter on her first pillion ride.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Piaggio mod: Givi Windscreen

With winter fast approaching and the temperatures dipping to 40 degrees, I thought I'd better get a windscreen. Ordered it from Helmet Head in Georgia but they had to order it from Italy - took about 6 weeks to arrive. UPS delivered it on Friday.

This morning I took off the faring and bolted in the new Givi windscreen. Took some photos before my test drive. Protects my chest from the wind, but directs the noisy blast right to my helmet - oh well.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Coffee, Cars and Careers Meet-Up

Today, my Saturday morning joy ride took me to my first C3 Meet-up (Coffee, Cars and Careers). There were quite a few exotic cars such as a Ferrari, Porsche, Lotus (2), and one crazy 3-wheeled Piaggio.

The meet-up was organized by Matthew Levy (Global HR Lead, Career Coach, Author & Speaker).

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Norristown Car (& Motorcycle) Show

Sunny day. Great excuse to ride and gawk at the some beautiful cars and cycles at the Annual Norristown Car Show.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Philadelphia Ride for Kids

I learned about the Philadelphia Ride for Kids through my EZ Riders Scooter Club membership. This was a great event benefiting the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. I got to ride with 100 other motorcyclists for a police-escorted 40 mile ride. Intersections were guarded - didn't even have to put our feet down!
"When you join hundreds of other motorcyclists for this scenic ride through the Pennsylvania countryside, you'll have a great time while raising funds for the PBTF's medical research and family support programs! Riders on all makes and models are welcome. The police-escorted ride starts at 10 a.m. sharp, rain or shine! After a light lunch, participants will enjoy a Celebration of Life program that features interviews with young brain tumor survivors—the Ride for Kids® "stars" of the day."  
Learn more at:
Some very interesting bikes and people. That's me in the center frame.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Experienced Rider Motorcycle Training Course

I had my learner's permit, but that meant I couldn't take anyone for a ride or ride after dark. Instead of just taking the usual auto driving test to get my license, I elected the free PennDOT Motorcycle Safety Training Course. I qualified for the "Experienced Rider" course rather than the Beginner course since I have a few years of riding under my belt, albeit a long time ago.

I spent 6 hours on a very hot Saturday morning in August with Harley and sport bike (aka "crotch rocket") riders. Out of a dozen students, I had the only "scooter". Kind of intimidating. Interestingly, three of the other men were "middle-aged" like me and had a similar story - kids in college, time to have a bit of fun! One was an obvious hot-dogger sport bike adrenaline junky and bragged about doing 120 mph on the expressway coming to the class.

You can see my Piaggo above in the right-side of the left-hand frame. Two bikes needed to be pushed to start because their batteries died because of all the low-speed maneuvers.

A couple of riders said they take the course every couple of years to keep up their skills. A wonderful free service. Learn more at

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mid-life Cycle Ordered

Now it was time to make the move again. My daughter is in college and would be less likely to pester me to buy her a bike.

I think another stimulus was the odd periodic pain and other miscellaneous infirmity one develops as a 60+ y.o. Will I get macular degeneration? My father had it and my sister has it as well. It also might have had something to do with the fact that my cousin, one year younger, just died from esophageal cancer.

If I wasn't going to return to one of my passions now and have some fun, when would I?

I ordered my Piaggio MP3 500 from Crossroad Powersports in Upper Darby - less than 2 miles from my house. None in stock, so they have to order it from Georgia, so it would take about two weeks.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Piaggio Dreaming

I don't know where I first saw it, but I was intrigued by the strange 3-wheel scooter/motorcycle. Back in 2008, Piaggio started to import their MP3 series of maxi-scooters to the US. I read about 70-year-old retirees Bob Chase and Bernard "Buddy" Rosenbaum who tackled all 3,400-miles of the country's first coast-to-coast road - the historic Lincoln Highway - from San Francisco to NYC:
"They've enlisted the unique talents of the Piaggio MP3 scooter, an automatic twist n' go 500cc machine, because it's as stable as a car, leans into the curves like a sports bike, has a top speed of 92 mph and sips fuel at the rate of 53 to 55 mpg."
These 70 y.o. adventurers challenged the notion that chronological age and the freedom and fun of riding are mutually exclusive.

If they could traverse the country, I certainly could ride around Pennsylvania! Time to do some research. Where could I see one of these cool machines?

Learn more about the Piaggio Lincoln Highway Ride.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Recumbent Detour (2003)

Ok, it's not a motorcycle or even motor bike or scooter, but it's different. Looking for an easy way to keep up with my wife and daughter on those long bike rides, I researched recumbent bikes and settled on this beauty, a Sun EZ-1 Sport.  
Rod on the EZ-1 in 2003
I know... there is something wrong with this picture. Either I need a bigger bike or need to lose a lot of weight. I got a bigger bike!

Actually, I promised myself I'd loose 10 pounds before I got a motorcycle - and I did - eight years later!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Graduate Cycle (ca 1977)

Rod's Suzuki 500
(anyone know the model number?)
The last time I rode a motorcycle I was a pharmacology graduate student at Temple University Medical School circa 1977. I owned a used Suzuki 500cc 2-stroke twin which I bought from a fellow grad student, Len Jacob.

I can't believe I never took riding lessons or read a book on motorcycling. I did have a helmet though. I commuted to grad school and my adjunct instructor job at Drexel University.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Early Cycles (ca 1967)

Rod, Guy Irwin & Terry Hersh
Rod on the Jawa
Even before driving age, my friends and I somehow found a rusted old Czech Jawa WW-II era motorcycle. Having no real mechanical skill we could never get it to start up, but we had fun pretending.

I saved all my grass cutting money until I had ~$400 to buy a brand new Yamaha 80cc 2-stroke when I was 15. You could ride MCs back then with a learners permit - no lessons required. And my parents ALLOWED me. How crazy is that?
Rod on his new Yamaha 80 (1966 YG-1). Where's the Helmet?
I rode it to high school and commuted to my summer job at Fabri-Tek in Ft. Washington, PA. I eventually bought a helmet.