Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Adventure is a state of mind. Not a class of motorcycle.

Ok, so we all have gotten this email forwarded to us, or seen it on ADV rider before... but thanks to Tom Rose, I got a chance to review it one more time and remember just how good it was.
It is most certainly worth forwarding on to everyone in case someone missed it... and I don't all of your email addresses ... so here it is.
The infamous "Adventure Harley" email:

On Thanksgiving Day, as most of America was watching football, the Weber household was sitting around talking about bikes. We started looking though my dad�s old riding photos. These are so great that I had to share some with all of you�

My dad and some friends were Adventure Riders to the hilt back in the 1950�s. Sunday rides were the thing for these guys, with the occasional jaunt to Mexico City or somewhere thrown in for fun. First let�s introduce the characters. Here's the clan filling up for gas somewhere near Fort Collings, CO. We've got them from left to right:
Jerry Francis, 1950 Harley 74
Mike Sadusky, 1950 Harley 74
Warren Weber (my dad), 1950 Harley 74
Wendell Rea, 1942 Harley 45 CI. Notice the front knobby!

I guess the 1950 Harley 74 was 'all that', Just like the GS is (supposedly) these days. Seems pretty popular anyhow...

Here's the 'usual suspects' again taking a morning break on a nice Sunday ride.

One Sunday ride took 'em to the top of Mount Evans, elevation 14,264. This was back in the day before it was paved all the way to the top. It was, however, paved here if it hadn't been for the snow. I was recently in a similar situation on my Rally Twin coming over Pearl Pass. I thought it was touchy enough, and I didn't have a FOOT CLUTCH!!! Yikes!

Yet another 1952 Sunday ride ventured up Arapaho Pass - it's near Eldora, Colorado and is now all wilderness. Stupid lousy rotten environmental freaks, but I digress� (sigh)

The clan started out from my Dad's house in Wheat Ridge, which is a stone's throw from Golden, CO. They usually left about 8:00 a.m. If you didn't arrive on time, they'd leave you. Hard knocks. They headed up to Boulder, CO and followed the nice, twisty, scenic Boulder Canyon to Nederland. From there they headed through the town of Eldora and up Arapahoe pass.

Now some things never change. There's always that one person in the group that either insists that they absolutely positively know where to go, or that it "not that bad". In this case, the group ended up venturing down this:

Turned out that this the wrong way (DUH!). The Harley guys actually let the English bike riders be guinea pigs on this part of the ride. Must've been one of those hot-headed british riding know-it-alls that suggested it in the first place...

After some back tracking and de-mudding operations, they finally found the right trail and made it to the top at 11905 feet elevation. Nice day!

I also think these guys could've invented the "No Fear" logo. I have fear when it associates a 750 lb hard tail with a stream crossing on a trail. These guys really deserve some respect for being able to pull this off. Or they deserve to be taken away in straight jackets, I'm not really sure.

Not that they didn't dab once or twice. OK, maybe they dabbed about 100 times, but they still made it across. Now it's time to take a break and dry out.

Here�s a portrait of my dad taken in 1951, just before the start of a nice ride. Notice the cool stylish apparel. Helmet? I don't need no stinking helmet! Of course, this was pre-head injury days....

These guys also had a lot of fun just playin' around. Imagine getting a couple feet (OR MORE!) of air on a 750 HARD-TAIL Harley! This makes you GS-jumpers look like whimps, with your fancy rear suspension and all. Sheesh!

But the most insane (read: talented) member of the group in the area of piloting a Harley 74(7) through the air was a fellow named Kenny Erie. If Kenny was alive today and about 50 years younger, I'm sure he'd be one of the top names in freestyle!

These guys weren't shy of riding on a bit of snow, either. Here's Mike Sadusky on his 50 Harley. Man, I really envy this guy's legs. I bet he could straddle the 950 Adventure-S with his knees bent. Me, on the other hand, can't physically touch both toes to the ground at the same time. Mike used to drape his legs over the handle bars to stretch on those long road trips (no joking!). Who needs hiway pegs?

You'd think these guys would know when to stop. Apparently not.

These were taken up by my Dad's cabin on Mt Thorodin. Wanna park, but you're too lazy to put the side stand down? Just cram it in a snow bank and leave it like my dad did. Mike and Kenny are in the process of "parking".

You're not a real rider unless you can power slide.

Now really guys... I have said this before... I hope that you aren't buying into all that garbage out there and thinking that you can't ride to work, or ride a hour or two away on your rigid bike or your attack chopper.
And I certainly hope you aren't avoiding rain, gravel, dirt, mud, or rough terrain because your freind, or an aqaintance, or some dude on television, or some painter dude who that writes for a magazine that is suppose to be an "authority" on choppers has told you that rigids are toture devices, or that they aren't really usable forms or transportation or are less that a "real" motorcycle because they do not have a swingarm.
Cause that is all a bunch of crap.

Real men and women used to ride rigids everywhere without having to be commited to hospitals afterwards, and real men and women use to have a sense of adventure.
They use to understand that you don't need the most capable vehicle for the job... and they had a state of mind that accepted the adventure when they encountered it.

They didn't have a state of mind that sent them crying for their electric starts, or their GPS's, or their 8" of rear suspension travel, or their hand clutches, or their heated suits, heated gloves, heated boots, heated seats, heated grips and heated cofee mugs! (With their portable electric coffee bean grinders in their waterproof and armored aluminum panniers, right next to their armored laptops with aircards in them so they could Facebook their personal trainer about how many calories picking up a flopped over BMW GS with a cracked head would burn!)

It's about being ready to "Go Adventuring today" when you leave the house.
It's about overcoming and exploring and enjoying life instead of being seperated, sequestered, and coddled away from it.

You people bitch about those mindless masses riding in "cages" and how is seperates them from the world around you...and your 30 some thousand dollars worth of BMW GS with panniers full of lifes most frivoulous pleasures and your constant contact with the "real world" that you were suppose to leave behind isn't doing exactly the same thing?

You might as well drive an Escalade up that mountain pass buddy.

Get out there and use your rigid.

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