Blipping the Throttle

2016-04-13 11.34.40

Things haven’t change much in my 45+ years of riding motorcycles. Or have they? When I first got my start riding these crazy things, it was a much simpler time. Long, endless days of riding beneath the blue skies and hot sun in the pastures and back roads of rural Morris County. Our bikes were pure and uncomplicated and they did it all. A direct reflection of who we were and of course a mirror to who we are today.

Our bikes were pure and uncomplicated and they did it all. A direct reflection of who we were and of course a mirror to who we are today.

Little did I know that what I was actually experiencing in my little corner of the world was a culture not only defined by two wheels but whatever it was that bounced around in my head at the time. The same head that wore a helmet with a bubble shield much like the one I have today. Change? Some things will never change. I was becoming a product that was built from ideas of what I wanted it to be. In essence, I was creating a definition based on my perception of a culture that is ever evolving. And it still is. Now, within this culture of motorcycles is another underlying sub-culture of riders finding their own way and setting their own standards. The only rule is to be unique. Easier said than done, in a world of it’s all been done before.

I was creating a definition based on my perception of a culture that is ever evolving. And it still is.

This brings me to Ian Davis. The owner of a Kansas City coffee house in the West Bottoms called Blip Roasters. Ian is bringing two of his passions together whilst bringing us all together. From his vintage coffee equipment he succeeds in pulling in a mix of retro and custom hand-built motorcycles and an equal mix of riders that find that no matter how different we all are, there is always that mix of brew and bikes putting us on common grounds. How fitting to be in the industrial part of town.

I have to hand it to Ian. Both of his passions reflect a timeless tradition and will do so long after we’re gone. My only hope for Ian is his continued success in the Kansas City area and beyond. And thanks for promoting a lifestyle that has changed so little but changed so many lives, mine included. Follow along with Ian on Facebook and Instagram and check out their upcoming events if you’re in the Kansas City area.

Ride50at50 Part 1: Packing Light

Sydney Christmas

Sometimes you have to just jump right in and do it. When I think of planning a birthday party I usually think of finding a restaurant and having myself a nice meal with family and friends, opening a few humorous birthday cards or a gag gift or two. If I were to set some birthday goals, I would probably think of taking the day off and do something for myself. I know when I turned 50 years old there was little more than a reminder given to me that my father’s birthday was coming up in two days. Oh, and the 4th of July falls in between the two of ours. Who could forget that?

Somewhere within social media I stumbled upon Dave Berman and his life-long friends Adrian and Andy, who are planning a celebratory birthday trip to the United States from their homes in the United Kingdom to ride highway 50 in the U.S. for their 50th birthdays. An epic journey in another country riding Indian motorcycles picked from the fleet at Eaglerider Motorcycle and Tours in Washington D.C. sounds pretty good to me. Hell, even the plane ride to get here and back would be a pretty special birthday present, but they are taking it a step further. Air travel is fine, but the real meat and potatoes is hopping on motorcycles and immersing themselves into this landscape we call America. What better way to see this country than from the seat of an iconic brand and mingling with the locals every chance you get? I can’t think of any better way. And mingling is one of my favorite things to do.

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Now I’ve taken a week-long ride on my motorcycle before and I know the importance of packing light. Along with the daily necessities and toiletries you must also carry a wide range of gear to counter inclement weather should you run into it. I also prefer to save a small portion of storage for anything else you find along the way that you just can’t live without. We bikers are Master Packers.

We are just a few weeks away from the beginning of the 3 Amigo’s trip. I’m to meet up with this band of birthday brothers around the 8th of May in Kansas City to ride along to Council Grove Kansas where they hope to spend the night. After all, I’m somewhat of a local. The next day, with their permission, I will tag along for a few miles and re-acquaint myself with western Kansas. I know this trip will be a memorable one for you guys and I appreciate you letting me be a small part of it . Who am I kidding? Hold on tight, it’s going to be quite a ride.