Hello all and welcome to my blog. My name is Mark and this blog is all about fellow motorcycle enthusiasts who share a common interest. Just what is the interest? Well, its all about being out on the open road on two wheels and not in a cage.
It doesn’t matter what type of bike you ride. Although the name of this website may be a bit deceiving, the fact of the matter is, I’ll ride with anyone who is riding anything so long as they’re not a 1%er or in a hurry to get nowhere fast because I just don’t ride that way.
So a bit about myself. As I mentioned, my name is Mark and I’m from sunny Southern California. I’m 53 years old. I’ve been riding motorcycle for the past 39 years. I consider myself an “Advanced Skills” rider with a lot of experience. I’ll explain more about that later.
My first exposure to riding motorcycles came at the age of 14. My neighbor Ray, bought a 1977 Kawasaki KZ400. That bike was a rocket ship back in the day. He would let me ride all over the neighborhood even though I didn’t have a motorcycle license or a drivers license for that matter. Heck! There wasn’t even a helmet law back then. After a few times on that bike I was hooked.
Over the years, I’ve owned several bikes. My first bike was a 1978 Kawasaki KZ650. They used to call this bike the “Bull Dog.” Talk about speed on wheels, that bike was super fast! Back in the day, this bike was the ultimate crotch rocket. I installed drag bars and a 4 in-to-1 Kerker header on it. I remember riding that bike from my home in Ontario, California to Solvang, California with a group of friends.
My next bike was a brandy new 1988 Honda Shadow. I owned that bike for about a year. I sold it after I became a motorcycle officer at the police department where I retired from this past December.
This is where my “Advanced Skills” riding came from. I use those skills to this day and I am willing to teach them to anyone willing to learn. Out of courtesy to my brethren riders, I will never criticize nor critique their riding skills as I feel that would be offensive. Let’s just say I know who to ride close to and who to be mindful of when riding in a group.
As a motor officer, I rode from 1989 to 1998. The bike during my era was the Kawasaki KZ1000P Police Special. To this day, I truly believe that bike was the best police motorcycle ever made. It was reliable, light weight, nimble, forgiving with relatively low maintenance costs. Unlike the BMW’s or Harley’s of today, you could drop it , kick it abuse it and it didn’t have to worry about it.
Today’s futuristic police motorcycles are so advanced, I would hate to drop one as this would be a rather expensive repair.
I came off the bike just as the department was transitioning to the 1999 Harley Davidson Road King Police bikes. Nowadays, the BMW seems to be the bike of choice for many LE agencies although Honda and Harley Davidson still have their share of the market. In fact, the CHP is ending their long time relationship with BMW and transitioning to the Harley Davidson Electra Glide/FLHTPI. This has met with mixed emotions when you speak to some CHP officers.
After coming off the bike, I decided to buy another commuter bike and landed on a sweet deal on a 1999 Honda 750 Night Hawk. It was a great bike and served it’s purpose, I sold it to a friend who I believe still owns it to this day.
In 2012, my Brother-In-Law Thom showed up at my house with my Sister on the back of his 2004 Harley Davidson Electra Glide CVO (Custom Vehicle Operation). After not having owned a motorcycle for 12 years, once again I was hooked, just like that 14 year old kid 39 year ago.
A few months later, Thom sent me an email about a couple of bikes for sale at two shops. One called Back Alley Motorcycles in Temecula California and another shop just down the street. One shop had a black 2008 Harley Davidson Street Glide (FLHX). Back Alley had a 2008 Harley Davidson Electra Glide Police Special (FLHTPI). To be honest, I was actually on my way to the other shop that had the black 2008 Street Glide for sale. I had my heart set on that Street Glide. When I showed up at Back Alley, I met one of the owners, Mike Page. Super cool guy and very low pressure. He actually had a black 2008 Street Glide there so now I had the two bikes right there in front of me to compare. I ended up buying the Electra Glide for several reasons. The price, low miles and the fact it had the 103ci as opposed to the 96ci on the Street Glide.
I had that bike for two years and put about 12,000 miles on it when yet, another sweet deal fell in my lap. A 2008 Harley Davidson Crimson Red Sunglo Street Glide with 6,700 miles on it. When I found out it had the 103ci upgrade, I jumped on the deal and bought it even before I had my Electra Glide sold. Lucky for me, a friend from work bought it a week later. Whew!!
I still have that bike today and I will never sell it since I have too much $$$ invested in it not to mention I get compliments and offer’s to buy it all the time.
Last April, I committed to riding in the SCMA Annual Three Flags Classic Ride. Tombstone AZ, to Kimberly, BC, Canada. I was going to make the ride on my Harley. Once again, an email from Thom with a craigslist add for a Honda Goldwing planted a seed in me.
I was on a mission now and after a weeks long search, I found a white 2006 Honda Goldwing with 47,780 miles (not even broken in by a Goldwing’s standard) on it. It was loaded with all the bells and whistles. I jumped on it and couldn’t be more happy. I ended up taking that on the 3FC Ride.
So now that you’ve heard a part of my life story, let me tell you what this blog is about. It’s about being out on the open road on my Harley Davidson or Goldwing motorcycle with friends and fellow riders. It’s about my/our experiences on the road to include lodging, dining, road technicality and many other things. You’ll see posts on product reviews, parts and accessories.
My good friend Russ is going to teach me a thing or two about a thing or two when it comes to wrenching on these bikes. Although he vowed not to touch the Goldwing, he has already broken that vow.
Every now and then I’ll drift off topic and blog about things totally unrelated to riding motorcycles. That’s pretty much the exception and not the rule. I’ll post lots of PICS of places I’ve visited and plan to visit in the future.
I have to give thanks to my wife Janet for indulging me when I go on these trips and or day rides. She never holds me back or complains because she knows how much of a stress reliever it is for me. And although I wish she would join me more often, I understand when she’s not having it. So for now, I appreciate the short day rides we enjoy together from time to time.
You’ll also hear a lot about my Brother-In-Law Thom who was my inspiration and motivation to bite the bullet and and finally become part of the Harley Davidson and Honda Goldwing culture. He introduced me to a riding group affectionately know as, “The Mild Hogs, ” Rick, Steve, Larry and Mark. These guys have become more than just a group of guys I ride with, they are now great friends.
When I’m not riding with the Mild Hogs, I do most of my riding with my good friends Craig, Ted, Markos and Kevin. They will be featured quite often as will my good friend Russ. Not only is Russ a good friend, but he’s a great Harley Mechanic. So if you’re looking for an honest HD Mechanic with very fair labor rates, Russ is your guy. He’s located out in the Inland Empire. Send me a reply with a contact number and I’ll put you in touch with him.
Thanks for visiting my page and check back when you have a chance and watch my blog as it grows.