Attending Church on a Sunday, So to Speak...

After meeting friends for rugby brunch (a Six Nations tradition), and getting the shopping done, I managed to pull out the bike and get in a few hours of riding. Unlike last weekend when I just did a quick half-hour jaunt through the neighborhood, this trip was out of the area and through a bit of the Northern Virginia countryside I hadn't visited before.

Originally the plan was to head up Rt. 15 into Maryland. Just south of the little town of Lucketts, I got the itch to turn left. So... I did. Ended up traveling along a nice twisty road that ended up in the tiny community of Taylorstown. Taylorstown was first settled in 1734 and counts two of the oldest homes in Loudoun County amongst its dwellings. It’s just south of the Potomac River and was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1978.



After a quick picture opportunity, I traveled on, paralleling the Potomac until I popped out onto Rt. 15 just south of Point of Rocks bridge. Hooked a left, and was in Maryland as soon as I crossed the river. Back on my original idea of the trip, I was only on Rt. 15 before deciding to take another left, this time at the roundabout that led to Brunswick. Some miles and one construction detour later, I was heading towards the downtown area. I was getting cold at this point, so decided to stop at a local coffee shop to warm up.

Beans in the Belfry is housed in an old church, crammed full of overstuffed sofas and armchairs, charmingly shabby tables, and, of course, coffee. As a bonus on this Sunday afternoon, there was a group of local musicians playing a selection of bluegrass, folk, and some older classic mellow rock tunes. It was a nice way to warm up; a good cup of coffee, a good selection of music, and a delightful atmosphere to enjoy it all in.






I stayed for a few songs, finished my coffee, and decided to head on back. It was getting later in the afternoon, and chillier to boot. Thankfully I had the foresight to pack the heavier gloves and my warm fleece neck gaiter (or wrap or whatever it’s called). Took the direct route home and even with the heavy leathers I‘m glad I did. The temperature was definitely dropping.

But hey, it’s hard to complain when you get some hours on the bike in the middle of winter!

Penned while wishing it was still the weekend on Feb 24, 2020

Making Time

The wife asked what my plans were for this past Saturday, as she was getting ready to go work at the winery. I mentioned that I'd probably do the dishes and laundry. She said it was too nice a day and to get out.

She was right.

Pulled Daisy out and we had a nice morning of going through some backroads that I hadn't been on before. One of the little towns I passed through was having their Octoberfest celebration, so I stopped there for a bit. Then on down through the hills and past a house for sale that we'd looked at the previous weekend. Nice house, way out of our budget. It would be nice to live that far out "in the country" (as it were). Nice not to have to fight traffic for 30 minutes to get to somewhere nice to ride. When I first moved to the area (Northern Virginia), it was just a quick 10 minutes and I'd be out in the country. Now, with the explosive growth, it's triple that.

But it's worth it. I went alone, and just took the rights and lefts as they appealed to me. No planned destination, just getting out and riding. It was a gorgeous morning.

And when I got back, I still did the dishes and laundry.

Put In writing while listening to the rain on Sep 30, 2019

Best Laid Plans, Redux

Craig and I had a nice weekend planned out; a nice, round-about trip down to Blackwater Falls State Park, where we were going to do some camping, and riding around the mountains. Alas.

About 50 miles into the trip, my engine light came on. I motioned to Craig that I needed to pull over, and the bike just died. After about 30 minutes, we managed to get her jumped (after buying jumper cables; the first guy to try and help us jump the bike had battery cables that looked like they were for jump starting a Mac truck) and detoured to Winchester HD. Verdict is a new voltage regulator is needed. And of course, they can’t get one until mid-week.

Naturally we were both disappointed. Craig turned around and headed back towards home, while I ended up waiting for my son to come get me. Thankfully he was available. I rewarded him buy filling his car with gas and treating to him to lunch at Sonic. I realized then that I'd failed at parenting, as that was the first time he'd ever tried Sonic. Shame on me.

Could've been worse - we could've been on the side of the road stuck. At least we managed to make it into the dealership. Hopefully we'll have a nice long Indian Summer and we can at least one over-nighter in.


She's back there somewhere...

Penned while listening to the new Tool album (worth the wait!) on Sep 04, 2019


I'm wishy-washy.

Reading over my entry from over a year ago, I thought I'd give a quick update. First, Daisy is back on the road! Huzzah! I took her to one of the local dealerships, and told them to make her road-worthy again. Essentially this was doing the 5K mile service, getting a new battery put in, new safety inspection done, and checking all the hoses, belts, and tires to ensure that everything was good.

Shortly after, my buddy Craig and I (who you "met" in my one-and-only travel journal entry) took a nice tri-state drive, up through Gambrill State Park in Maryland, through Antietam National Battlefield, down through Shepherdstown, where we stopped for brunch, and then through Harpers Ferry on our way home. Gorgeous day for a ride, and thankfully my hands did pretty well. There was still some numbness and tingling, but it wasn't to the degree it's been in the past.

So the site isn't dead yet. I have a full-time job now, and while plans for my other site haven't panned out like I'd hoped, I've not given on traveling more yet. I'm hoping to keep both sites active, and if there's some cross-posting, I'm ok with that.

Written while sitting in my office staring out at my bike. on Jul 24, 2019


If you're a regular visitor to the site (and I think I'm mostly talking to myself here), then you know that updates are practically non-existent. I've moved over to my other site, Come over and join me if you want!

Scenic My Way

Created while watching the wind blow the leaves, on Nov 27, 2018

When it rains...

So in my entry titled The Past Year, I mentioned my dad being in the hospital, among the myriad of other issues going on. 

Well...this past month my dad finally passed on. While sad, I'm not upset, as his quality of life had degraded to a point where, frankly, I don't think it was worth living. On oxygen 24/7, taking 16 different pills a day, unable to leave the house. Not a good life in my opinion.

And on top of that, we had to put my cat down last November. While not as big in the grand scheme of things as having a parent pass away, it was still sad. In our family, she was definitely my cat. She always slept in my lap when I was sitting in my recliner. Hell, she'd been part of the family for 18 years. That's a big chunk. So, yeah, that was sad too.

I don't know if I'll ever ride Daisy again. It's been nearly two years. My hands are to the point where they fall asleep when I'm just sitting at the kitchen table. I definitely need to get something done, but still having no job and sub-par insurance (thank all the gods we did have what we had... my daughter's chemo treatment bills are nearing 500K) means it's been put on the back-burner. 

Like everything else in my life.

Written while feeling morose on Jun 19, 2018

Am I Odd ?

Yeah, I'm still here. Yes, I'm still picking at the site, making small adjustments here and there. Even added a new entry. It helps remind me there's a site I want to focus on.

When I was laid off nearly a year ago, the bike's insurance was dropped. The bill came due a month after losing the job, so that was deemed "non-essential" and subsequently, I let it lapse. As the months rolled on, and I had yet to acquire a permanent job, I pulled the battery and put Daisy under cover. She's been that way for at least six months now. I'll admit, it breaks my heart a little when I pass her in the garage. I always pat her on the handlebar, or the sissy bar, and tell her she's awesome and that I miss her.

Is that weird?

Created while still unemployed on Feb 07, 2018

The Past Year

Let's see... last entry was a year and 5 days ago. In that time, there's been some ongoing medical issues on my part, my dad ended up in the hospital, where it was touch and go for two weeks, then the winter (hard to get out and ride during the winter season...). I was laid off in March, subsequent cost cuttings meant losing insurance on the bike, so no riding, then discovered my 19-year old daughter has cancer and, wow, did my world get upended.

In a nutshell, this past year has been a rough one.

I miss this site. Just because I've been having issues getting out and riding doesn't meant I can't update parts of it. The Decades section for certain can use some love, and hell, I just need to be in front of a computer for that.

I've also had a new site idea running through my head, which will tie in very closely with this one. Still travel-orientated, but less Harley-related. If it comes to fruition, you can bet you'll see it here.

In the mean time, the shiny, if dusty, side is still up. Gotta stay positive!

Penned after getting back from the pub on Aug 27, 2017

Best Laid Plans...

The plan was to borrow a GoPro, use my iPhone camera, and record the trip down to Lake Anna for a guy's weekend at a friend's cabin. Poker, BBQ, and beer were all to be had, and it's a great time. There's some pretty countryside to ride through as well, and I thought that maybe this could be my "inaugural" video post, and get started into travel video logging.


Two weeks ago I was hit with the worst headache of my life. The intensity and quickness with which it arrived was amazing. It was late at night, and I didn't want to wake the wife to take me to the ER (sleeping dragons and all that). Besides, it was just a headache, I thought. I quickly took three Advil and attempted to rest.

By the next afternoon, when the headache hadn't gone away, and I'd maxed the dosage of Advil and Tylenol, my wife finally convinced me to go to Urgent Care. Once there, I was scolded (literally), and sent to the ER. Ended up being admitted overnight and released the following afternoon. In-between were CT scans, spinal taps, and a failed MRI. 

Two weeks later, and I'm mostly OK. Saw my neurologist today, and he thinks it was a burst blood-vessel. Nothing to really do, other than just be aware of my current head state. And currently, I'm feeling mostly fine. I'd put myself at about 90%. Given the previous two weeks however, and the fact that the headache still spikes, and there was a lot of dizziness involved, I think it's simply safer to drive down with a friend, rather than take the bike. 

Hopefully in a few weeks I'm feeling better. Then I'll see about putting the travel blog plans back into place. In the meantime, here's to looking forward to a great weekend, pocket pairs, and better health.

Scribbled while pondering life on Aug 22, 2016

VW & HD Make A Nice Couple

Put In writing while wishing I had a cool VW van on Jul 19, 2016


Daisy, my 2000 FLSTC, is currently in the shop getting some maintenance done. I needed new tires and can't do that myself, so I took her to a local shop here to get those installed. I asked them to replace the front brakes, check rear brakes, get the fluids changed and do the safety inspection while she was in the shop. I could probably do the brakes myself, and I know I can do the fluids myself, having done it a few times before, but I figured I'd just get it all done at once.

And then, I have to decide if I'm going to sell her or not.

It figures, in that I finally get this website to a point where I'm happy with it, it's easy to maintain, easy to update, and fun to work on. But since my trip in August of last year, I've only ridden the bike twice and I'm starting to wonder if keeping her is worth it.

First, there's some health issues. I have carpal tunnel, and I can't drive five miles without one or both of my hands falling asleep or completely dead. As noted in my travel log from that trip, I acquired braces for the carpal tunnel. It's not to the point where I need surgery, but it is making riding a challenge. I know some might say just the fact that I can't ride for any period of time is reason enough for surgery, but there are other factors.

Such as traffic. The Washington D.C. area consistently ranks among the worst in traffic congestion in the United States. And it's only going to get worse. Aside from the amount of cars, there's also been an exponential increase in distracted driving. I can't count the number of times I've seen people on their phones, paying attention more to the screen than the road. This makes me super nervous as a biker. So much so that I've gone from a half-helmet and leather or jean jacket, to a full-faced helmet paired with a high-end motorcycle jacket with armor in the shoulder, elbows and back. And I'm still nervous. It takes 30-45 minutes to get somewhere where riding is fun again, and I'm focusing 100% of my energy on avoiding cars and instead, can enjoy the road.

The most recent reason I've been considering selling the bike is interest in motorcycling in general has faded, and interest in sailing has risen. I've never been sailing, so I don't even know if I like it. I'm going to spend a little bit of money and go sailing for a couple of hours on the Chesapeake Bay, before getting lessons (which can cost hundreds of dollars). If I do decide I like it, however, and want to spend more time and resources learning how to sail, well... that's another expensive hobby. The wife would be more willing to let me pursue a new passion of I sold off the bike.

For now, it's a waiting game. If I enjoy sailing when I go in a few weekends, I'll definitely need to start reconsidering the bike. 

Scrawled while confused on Jun 13, 2016

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I like the rain. When I lived in Oregon as a child, I got used to the gray, dreary days. Even if it was raining, we'd be outside playing. Granted, it was usually a soft rain, drizzle or mist. Not thunderstorms or hard, driving rain like we'd get in the desert. The rain in Oregon wouldn't drown you.

Oregon rain is the kind of rain we've been experiencing here in Northern Virginia now, for more than two weeks. Someone told me the area broke a record for most consecutive days with measurable rain for this period. I believe it. Even the ducks are starting to look drowned.

While I do like the rain, I like being able to do stuff outside too, that requires it to not be raining. I need to clean my garage. There's a lot more yard work to finish (who am I kidding, yard work is never finished). And I'd like to go riding, take a weekend, and throw the tent on the back of the bike. While riding in a light drizzle, or even moderate rain doesn't really bother me, given I'm probably attired, I do need new tires. Mine are getting a bit worn, and having worn tires isn't advisable even in perfect conditions.

Hopefully the rain ends soon. And hopefully, I pry open the wallet and buy some new tires soon

Created during a rain storm on May 12, 2016

Test Test, Is This Thing On?

I'm going to call it a "work in progress".

I'm sure there are bits and pieces lying around that I need to fix, or address, or figure out. But for the most part, this version of Harleyroads is now live and actively being maintained. I'll be adding more to the Decades and Travels section as time goes on. But for now, I'm calling it acceptable. 

If you see something that's broke, or just bugging you, feel free to drop me a line

Scrawled while hoping everything is correct on May 02, 2016

Getting Closer

I had wanted this site to be live by the end of March, but like the best of my intentions, things got in the way. From house issues (sewer pipe break) to personal issues (I'm just damn lazy sometimes).

I made some more progress today, which is good. I find if I can convince myself to just work on a small piece of the site, I'm more inclined to work on more than I originally set out to. 

There are a few more things to button-up before I'm comfortable making the site live, so...hopefully by the end of April? It's slowly getting nice in this neck of the woods and it'd be great to be able to launch the site, and take a trip somewhere to showcase it.

Fingers crossed!

Scribbled with fingers crossed on Apr 14, 2016

Harleyroads v3.0

While it's not done yet, I've decided to go ahead and start writing entries here as if Harleyroads was finished and live. As I type this, I'm still on my dev server, and still have a lot of bits and pieces to finish up. But getting in the habit of writing is important, so I figured I'd do that much at least. It has the added bonus of putting some text in place to see what this Journal section will look like when populated.

The title of this post is Harleyroads v3.0, but in reality, I'm not exactly sure what version this is. I'm arbitrarily calling it 3.0, because I have two pervious versions that I had before that actually stuck around. Utilizing the Wayback Machine, I found probably five or six different layouts, but they weren't around for long. At least I don't think they were. Harleyroads has been in existence since January of 2000, so there's been a lot of comings and goings of layouts. The layout below is the most recent iteration, having been in place for about three or four years now.

Hr V2

As well as an updated look, I'm pretty much revamping, well... everything. I'm changing the focus of the website, from a blog about news and info related to Harley-Davidson, to more a relaxed format, broken into three sections: the Journal, which you're reading and will be where I talk about anything that strikes my fancy, be it Harley-Davidson or not; the Travel section, which will (hopefully) be more of a photoblog, detailing my trips I take on my bike, and; Decades, which will explore the history of Harley Davidson. This is the only part of the old site I'll be carrying over. I'm leaving the bulk of the entries on the old site, which I'll zip up and archive once I push this one live. It's easier, mostly because I'm changing the backend of the site as well. I'm moving away from ExpressionEngine, and instead moving to Craft CMS. (#geekalert) Mostly this is personal preference, as I think Craft is better built and easier to use. Hell, the updater alone is worth the price of admission as far as I'm concerned. Updating ExpressionEngine was always a nightmare.

So welcome to the new digs. Hopefully you stick around. Hopefully I publish more content to make it interesting enough for you to do so.

Recorded while avoiding work on Mar 16, 2016