Wrapping up Mariposa…

We’re home now, after a weekend in Mariposa that was both fun and disappointing.   It was fun because I was able to see old friends and make new ones, and I was able to share the stories about my RX3 adventures in Colombia and China.  It was disappointing because of the attendance.  I would guess the attendance at HU Mariposa 2016 was less than half of what it was last year.   But it was still fun.   Hopefully, next year will be a better-attended event.

I gave my presentation on the Colombia ride Friday afternoon, and I had a nice crowd with lots of questions.  That was fun.   We stayed for Sam Manicom’s late evening presentation on his travels through Asia and Iran, and that was extremely interesting.   He’s a cool guy who tells a great story and gives a wonderful presentation.

When we arrived at the Horizons Unlimited event Saturday morning, it was so empty that Sue and I decided to take a ride up California 49 (the Gold Rush Highway) to Coulterville.  It’s a little town 27 miles north of Mariposa.  The road was spectacular….


That’s the Merced River you see off in the distance, with a very photogenic bridge.  It had a sign warning people not to jump off of it.


The scenery that morning was as good as any I have ever seen in California.  I’d like to organize a run up there just to ride Highway 49 again.  If any of you folks are interested, let me know.

We were lucky…there was car show going on in downtown Coulterville, and there were lots of photo ops…it was the perfect place to play with the 8mm wide-angle lens…






Later in the afternoon on Saturday, I gave my presentation on the China ride.  It was well attended.  I think the road photos impressed people the most…the folks in my audience had no idea the roads in China were as good as my photos revealed.  China sure was an exotic trip.

Our good buddy Rob was at Mariposa this weekend.  Rob is a real RX3 aficionado…he rode an Iron Butt day on his RX3 (I wrote about that previously right here on the CSC blog), and he rode with us for a few days on our 5000-mile Western America Adventure Ride.   It was good to see Rob again…


We went to another incredible talk late Saturday afternoon presented by Peter Day, CEO of Mosko Moto luggage.   It turns out that Peter loves to travel the world and his approach is this:  He flies into whatever third-world country he wants to tour with no motorcycle and no firm plans, he finds and buys a used Chinese motorcycle wherever he goes (central America, Africa, you name it), he rides for a month or two or three, and when he feels like returning, he sells the bike there.  Peter especially likes Chinese bikes based on the CG engine, and he was very excited when he saw our TT250.   He threw a set of his luggage on the TT250 and used our bike during his presentation, which we thought was great.   Peter’s presentation was as much a commercial for the TT250 as it was about his travels, and that was okay by us!


And folks, that was about it.  We made the trek home from Mariposa today just fine.  It was a good weekend, and it made me anxious to get back out on the road on my motorcycle.  I’m riding my TT250 to work tomorrow, and I’m already looking forward to it.

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Mariposa 2016 – Friday

Sue and I were up at 3:00 this morning for the drive up to Mariposa and the Horizons Unlimited event.   We rode up in the heated comfort of my Subie.  I had fun with the 8mm lens on my Nikon…



We arrived in Mariposa around 10:00 this morning, and we walked around a bit.  I got a couple of cool shots of a father-and-son team, both riding Buell Ulysses ADV bikes…



Switching over to the more conventional 24-120 lens, I caught a photo of Flip, one of the event organizers…


Then I saw this interesting arrangement on the side of big Yamaha.   As near as I can figure, this thing uses radiator heat for warming food…


Next up is a photo of my good buddy Sam Manicom, author and rider extraordinaire.  I bought two of his books and he signed them for me….


Sue and I attended Sam’s presentation this evening and we really enjoyed it.   He spent 8 1/2 years on the road.   It was an amazing story.

Then we saw Jeremy Kroeker, yet another author and rider extraordinaire.   I bought all three of his books, and he was happy to sign them for us.  We’re going to his presentation tomorrow.   I’m told you have to be careful around folks who write three motorcycle books…


Jeremy had a really interesting story about the old Honda he rode to Mariposa.   I’m going to try to get a photo of Jeremy with that motorcycle to put on the blog.

There were three folks I saw today who rode their motorcycles to Mariposa – Sara, Wade, and good buddy Rob.   I grabbed one photo of Wade, and I’ll try to get more showing the rest of the RX3 crew in the morning.  Here’s Wade with his RX3…


One more photo for tonight and I’ll call it a wrap.   Folks, meet Cliff Danger and his 300cc, 2-stroke Minsk (named Lucy)…


Cliff gave a great presentation about his travels  through Cuba on Lucy.  It was a great story.

That’s it for now…more to come, my friends, so stay tuned!

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The TT goes to college…and we’re off to Mariposa!


The fall quarter started at Cal Poly today, and I’m using the TT250 as my commuter bike.   It’s perfect…torquey, light, maneuverable, and just fun to ride.  I enjoy getting around campus on it.    My students like it, too…my guess is that we’ll start seeing more of these bikes around the engineering building.

Sue and I are rolling up to Mariposa tomorrow, and that’s going to be a hoot.  I’m giving two presentations…one is on the ride through Colombia, and the other is on the ride through China.  For those of you who aren’t lucky enough to participate in the Horizons Unlimited event, I thought I would include copies of the slides for you.

The deal on the galleries below is you click on each slide you want to view, and it opens full size.

First, the Colombia adventure…

And next, the China ride…

That’s it for now, folks.   Enjoy the slides…I sure enjoyed living the adventures!

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Randy’s well-reasoned rationale…


Hey, you have to check this out…our good buddy Randy (a real adventure rider) just posted a sterling writeup on why he choose the RX3!  It’s a great article, and you can read it here!

Randy, that was a well-written piece!  Our compliments and thanks to you.

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Harleys in China?

Yep, there actually is such a thing.   We saw just two Harleys on our ride across China…a Sportster in Luoyang, and a big twin with apehangars just outside of Beijing (the Chinese guys in our group had a good laugh when they saw those handlebars).   We were on the move both times, so I didn’t get any photos.  Anyway, my son-in-law sent a link to me today with a story about Harley-Davidson motorcycles in China, and you can read it here.

It will be interesting to see what happens when those Harleys hit the magic 13-year mark in China.   It’s illegal to keep a vehicle older than that in China, so when your car or motorcycle is 12 years old, it’s in its final year of life in China.   Shocking, I know, but it’s why you don’t see any older cars or bikes in China.  There’s no exemption for classics, collectibles, or anything else.  I guess it keeps the economy going and gets older (and presumably more polluting) vehicles out of circulation.   But wow, it sure is draconian!

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A smoking price…


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Matt’s TT250 video

I saw this pop up as a recommended video earlier this evening…it’s good!  Matt, we’ve never met, but I sure would like to.  Your video is awesome!

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How wide is wide?

8mm, to be specific…


I was playing a bit with an 8mm Rokinon lens earlier today.   I’m going to bring it with me to Mariposa…stay tuned, folks!

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Tibetan confetti…

I’m putting the finishing touches on the two presentations I’m giving this week.   You know, for Horizons Unlimited, about my trips through China and Colombia on the RX3.   Boy oh boy, I sure miss being on the road.   It’s a funny thing…when I’m on the road, I think about getting home, and when I’m home, I think about being on the road.   I shot close to 10,000 photographs on those two rides, and in going through them, I am realizing all over again just how lucky I was.   Both rides were amazing.  Not many people get to do what I did, and don’t think for a minute I don’t realize just how fortunate I am.

Anyway, I’m finding I shot more video than I remembered, too.   One of the nice things about the current generation of DSLR cameras is that they have built-in video capabilities, and that makes it real easy to switch over to video when the mood strikes.    The video you see above shows my good buddy Lu, who is easily the most graceful man I ever saw on a motorcycle.   He’s releasing a batch of confetti, which is something the Chinese do whenever celebrating a major event.  The major event we were celebrating was but one in a string of major events, and we pretty much experienced them two or three times a day, every day, on our ride across China.  We were up on the Tibetan plateau when I recorded this, probably at about 13,000 feet, and the camera crew was grabbing photos and video for Zongshen’s marketing use.  Cool stuff, to be sure.

I hope I’ll get to see you at the HU event.   I’ve got lots of photos to share.  You’ll like them.

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Asphalt and Dirt

Asphalt and Dirt is an online motorcycle magazine I just discovered courtesy of a Facebook post by my good buddy Joe Gresh.   I spent a few minutes on it earlier today and I like it.   It’s something you might want to check out.

Hey, are you planning on going to the Horizons Unlimited meet in Mariposa?  I am, and I hope to see you there!

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