Posted by: nativeiowan | September 25, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… Time Travels never end

I am sitting in the departure lounge at LAX. It has been a couple interesting days.

Part of what makes things interesting is I have not managed to keep very good track of the days lately. Knowing what DAY it is, let alone the DATE, well, really. Its common, isn’t it? To simply not know what day or date it is. Well, in my retired life It has become common for me not to know what DAY it is, and often I have no clue what the DATE is. I got stung by my own inability to manage time this past week…

I started the week thinking my flight was on Tuesday. The date is/ was meaningless. The 24th is the date but all I had in my head was that I flew on Tuesday. And when it wasn’t Tuesday it, in my mind, became Wednesday. I was lucky that it was indeed Thursday… not sure if I could have managed so many fallow days fudged through inattentiveness.

So, it is Thursday the 24th of September and I am heading back down south. After a couple false starts I am heading back to the land of Oz.

Been on the road a bit over 3 weeks. It has all been good…


The long miles through this glorious landscape. The hotels and diners and roadside stops. All good for a story and helpful for a wandering soul.

Drove through Washington and Oregon. My first time to tour both. Each worth the time and energy. I need to decide what states I have not been to. Need to make an effort to get east, east of the Mississippi… Of the lower 48 US states I have never been to Florida, North or South Carolina, New York – state or city, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, Maine, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island… Been to Virginia but not West Virginia. And I don’t think I have been through Mississippi or Alabama. Guess next spring has a plan forming…

As the past weeks flashed past I thought of many topical comments worth my words and my readers’ time. The Pope’s past few days here in the land of the Free has been interesting. He is charismatic. Let see if his influence is indeed influential.

I like the idea he turned down much with the US Congress, instead he went to a soup kitchen. No doubt there is much better company in a soup kitchen than in the US Congress.

I see a lot of waste where ever I go. Not just the USofA, but most everywhere I travel I see too much waste. One thing I see wasted too often is time and energy… Our society(s) spend far too much time playing up n dancing around issues of import but not of Priority. Makes me think we are afraid of some of our more pressing issues, afraid to confront or inspect or discuss many issues… so we make a big deal out of matter of a lower priority… The Race-card, the gender-chip, the sexual bias or the PC-based concepts of what is acceptable… I get confused… The likes of Al Sharpton can be a racist-shit but you can’t call him one. Black lives matter, but white lives are not PC so can’t be sloganeered. Calling Pigs, PIGS is not new. But targeting them is unacceptable. But a white cop shooting a black is news. A Black cop shooting either a black or white kid is less than news. And a black citizen shooting another black citizen is so common place it is no longer news at all.

We want and need more so we can waste more… the US spends heaps more than any country, per capita, for medical care. But offers so much less, much less than one would expect for the money invested. And I simply do not get it.

But that’s OK, I don’t get a lot of things… like what day or date it is… Call me Retarded… er, Retired…

More later

Posted by: nativeiowan | September 21, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… images of recent miles…

IMG_2734 IMG_2735 IMG_2736 IMG_2746 IMG_2747 IMG_2756 IMG_2759 IMG_2760 IMG_2764 IMG_2765 IMG_2767 IMG_2769 IMG_2770 IMG_2772 IMG_2796 IMG_2803 IMG_2809 IMG_2817 IMG_2818 IMG_2822 IMG_2829 IMG_2830 IMG_2836 IMG_2839 IMG_2841 IMG_2844 IMG_2848 IMG_2852 IMG_2857 IMG_2859 IMG_2861 IMG_2866 IMG_2871 IMG_2875

Posted by: nativeiowan | September 13, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… 4 wheels through the USA

Been a while since I did much herein. I blame it on facebook! It is all too easy, all too easy to snap a pict n shoot it off. It is much harder to write.

This trip started on a Tuesday, when I landed in LA. I grabbed the rental on Wednesday and spent that night in Mesquite, NV. I overslept on Thursday and drove an OK distance, sleeping in Frisco, CO. Considering I had derided my self for being an ol-fart (yes, it is one, hyphenated word) I pulled a long-haul n drove from Frisco to Des Moines on Friday. Lets see…

pas - dsm copy

So spent five nights in Iowa. Saw a lot of people n drove around quite a bit. Iowa is an interesting place.

I headed west outta Des moines Wednesday morning. I had been undecided thinking I might drive south into Texas. Had considered driving into the east-coast. But I heard Montana calling.

On my way out of Iowa I stopped by Baxter’s at Marne, and slept that night in Vermillion, S.D. Thursday found me spending the night in Gillette, WY.Friday was a fun, fun drive into the Rockies. I really, really enjoy and am inspired by Montana. What a landscape!

dsm - spk copy

Had a fun, fun night with Cath n the kids in Missoula. A late breakfast with the Fam and Grandpa Roger, then I hit the road.

I had a short drive today but it was cool… I got three states in as many hours… Montana to Idaho to Washington… All good, good drivn country.

wc copy

I forgot the reverse time-travel and arrived in Spokane thinking it was 3pm. It was 2. I checked in and was told I get to sit an hour before the room is ready. Which is good, better than good… It is grand that I “had-to” sit here. I didn’t want to drive anywhere. Today is a rest day of sorts. I am on my down-hill run and may do it fast or do it slow. I’ll decide later. There are many miles yet to come.

But today, this eve… no rush or fuss. I’ll check in with ol’ friend Hal. I am told there is good live music at 6pm so I-Am-In.

Time to grab a key, have a bath n prepare…

Posted by: nativeiowan | September 12, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… Baxter Motorcycles ROCK!!!!

Gotta say… Baxter Motorcycles Rock…


Gotta say… been throwing them fast balls n curve balls and “wobblies”, as the Britts would say… and every time I get my parts.

I am rebuilding a 58 SuperRocket… IMG_2348

This is a couple year project… IMG_2346 IMG_2345 IMG_2342 IMG_2063 IMG_2060 IMG_0676  IMG_2068

And we needed a ship-load of parts… A 57 yr old bike… I need parts… I contact Baxter Motorcycles in Marne Iowa…

I get my parts!

As a NativeIowan, this makes me feel real good.

Randy is a legend.

Chris is a champion…

Baxter Motorcycles ROCK!!!!

Posted by: nativeiowan | September 4, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… Ol fart travels…

 Love drivn’ cross country…. This is such a glorious landscape… 

Tunnels through the mountain… 

 The mighty Colorado River…


Posted by: nativeiowan | September 2, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… White lin’n … ol farts style…

Only 350 miles today. A busy morn and spent too many hours “fixx’n” this morn. Will crank it tomorrow. Up early, drive long. White lin’n it with intent…

White lin’n, HWY 15, between Baker and Vegas… IMG_2735

Mesquite, NV… IMG_2736

Posted by: nativeiowan | September 2, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… Time Travel

About 5am here in Pasadena, CA. I have been up for about an hour. Will make a small pot of coffee soon. Plan to grab a rental car pretty soon, then hit the road.

Ioway bound…

I think I have my Time-Travel illnesses all in order. I managed to keep moving until about 8pm last eve. I was awake enough so I can state with confidence that I turned the TV off in the early parts of the movie, “Top Gun”. Woke at least twice to pump the bilges, was pretty much awake around 3am and lights on by 4.

Time-Travel can be a bitch.

So I sit, in the pre-dawn quiet of the city. The only noise I hear is my refrigerator.

My bags are packed, I’m ready to go… or so the song goes…

I always like cross-country road-tripping in this vast land. There are maybe, MAYBE; lands that offer different, or more, or exotic or… But the US of A is the land of the long-straight-road. I am always inspired by the landscapes, and the people, and the road-sides, and the adventure a few thousands miles travel can offer here.

So, it’s on the road again… another song… I’ll head through Vegas and through the Rockies. Nebraska looms large and boring out there. But Ioway is on the other side of that expanse called Nebraska. A very Catholic thing in my mind… gotta go through Hell (Nebraska) to get to Purgatory (Iowa). “Where is Heaven”, I hear you ask…

I have found many heavens in my time. Heaven, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder…

For me, these days; heaven is hanging with my grandkids, or scratching a mangy dog’s belly and watching the dog smile in delight, or making a 50 yr old engine come back to life, or a great big pot of ol-skool beans that took me 10 hours to cook, or my garden busting with veggies… or, maybe-  OR… roses in bloom. OR: A chilled morning where the fog hangs like a bridal veil over our property in Queensland. OR…A blazing red and orange sunrise seen from the waters between Gizo and Simbo. Heaven is polishing a vintage motorcycle to showroom brightness… Heaven is so many things that I gotta smile and idiot’s grin of pleasure and childish delight…


Posted by: nativeiowan | September 2, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… Pasadena Time…

Thoughts from Pasadena…

Flying into LAX is always a bit of a trip. Today was interesting in that a heavy, low cloud covered the city. As we flew in to land, I could see the world below, through thick cotton puffs.

I have learned that 12 hours on a plane ain’t that difficult. I dredd flying to London from Oz. It’s a double 12 hr hop with a few hours somewhere; Hong Kong, Thailand, Abu Dabi… a long time to be sitting on your arse.

My taxi driver, Rodrigez, was an affable older dude with lots to say. A native of LA he had informed opinions. I enjoyed talking to him. Traffic was average for a Tuesday morning. Lots of Police on the road.

Got in and started sorting things out. The main thing when you -Time Travel- is to get into the local time immediately…

I slept little on Monday night in OZ. I was up and going by 5am Tuesday morn. On the road by 6am. At the airport by 8am. Taking off by 11am. So from 5am to 11am, on Tuesday I was in Oz…

I landed in LA at 6am, on Tuesday. Thats what I call -Time Travel-

I have been awake for 31 hours, not counting some dozing on the plane. I am floaty and kinda giddy. Tired but well aware… I wouldn’t get on my bike, and I probably shant go walking very far, but I am good for another few hours. Sun sets about 720, I can make that.

On the road toward Ioway tomorrow morn…

more later

Posted by: nativeiowan | September 2, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… on the road n flying high…

I am sitting in a departure lounge in Brisbane. Leaning the land of Oz, again.

I got up early, too early, n got here too early because Connie has an appointment at 9. My flight is not until 11, so I get to sit here and observe.

I have done what little emailing and “work” I must, have read a local paper, and sit here as the lounge fills. It was pretty empty when I got here.

I fly a lot so end up with a platinum frequent flyer rating, which means when ever I travel I get the use of The Lounge. Not that it’s amazing, but it is convenient.

A guy behind me is snoring quite loudly. He does that -snort n swallow then gasp- every so often.

The Auckland flight just got called so Mr snoring is packing up to go.

The efficient n friendly staff do a good job. They offer coffee n pastries n shitty scrambled eggs n mini wieners. The coffee is from a self serve button pusher machine. One cup at a time… Latte, flat white, espresso are only a button push away. The line at the coffee machine is always long.

The bizzy beaver bizzyness types are all plugged- in. Computers charging as they yakk into their phones. A couple puss-gutted lawyer types, with monstrous brief cases, discuss their pending case. The married couples sit quietly by each other.

I can only peg one couple as the “dirty weekend” goers. He is older, has some grey and shows his $. She is younger but not that young. They are over hapi , too gay, too anticipatory. They touch a lot. Laugh loudly. I bet they are heading to Fiji.

Looks like I am the only drinker this morn. My flight is long, we fly into the day so within a few hours it’ll be night. I will hit LAX at 6am, so don’t want coffee. Coffee is not good right now. I don’t want food either. But a bit of sedative, what a fine idea…

Just called my flight…

More later

Posted by: nativeiowan | August 27, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… 50 years of Triumph Coooool…

Sorting a new project out, a new double-headed project…

I call the repainted 2013 Thruxton “The Joker”…IMG_2611

I have dusted the ’63 T120R off…  IMG_2609

I’ll do the ’63 up, thinking of changing all that is black to purple; keep the vintage green as is, polish it up and…

I will have a “pair of Jokers”… side by side you see 50 years of Triumph way cool.

IMG_2610  IMG_2612


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