Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of you, my dearest friends and family! It's a quiet New Year's Eve as we sip eggnog by the fire. The Christmas tree is beautifully decorated but the presents have long been whisked away, from under it.

Christmas came and went and New Year's Eve will soon be behind us while the new year lays ahead. December has broken all records for snowfall and we are somewhere above 46" in one month. I hope January will be less snowy or I won't be able to get the bike out of the driveway when spring comes, thanks to the ice build-up.

Our planning continues for Sturgis. We've picked a campground and we've set the dates. We'll arrive in Sturgis the week prior to the rally and get some riding in before it gets crazy busy. I hope to shoot a lot of photos along the way and while we're there. Jerry will pack his pc so I'll try to send posts during the trip.

Over the holiday week, I shopped at LL Bean, in Freeport, ME and picked up a couple of camping supplies. I found this great little LED lamp from Coleman for inside the tent and a LED headlamp for those midnight trips around the campground. I want to find a Therm-a-Rest mattress ( but LL Bean had few available after the holiday rush. I'll take a peek at EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports) or buy online, as we get closer to camping season.

I buy a lot of my gear at EMS. They understand outdoor gear and bad weather. I probably stop in to one of their stores every month, just to review new gear. I plan to stock up for the new riding season. Motorcycle camping is a lot like backpacking in that the amount of space is limited and you need to minimize weight.

In the coming months, I'll post a camping gear packing list and other preparations for our epic trip. We plan to do 1900+ miles in 4 days and then do some exploring once we land in the Sturgis area. Additionally, I'll post my bike plans, including the aftermarket seat, lights, etc. to modify it for the ride.

For now, I'm going to have a glass of champagne or wine, sit by the fire and daydream about the coming riding season.

Happy New Year and a safe riding season in 2008.

Joe Rocket

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Diet update

Just a quick note to (lightly) brag about losing 10 lbs in @ 3 weeks. What I'm doing is working.

So, maybe I'll allow myself a beer or martini tomorrow night at the Biker Bash. No, Snowy, I won't puke. At least, I'm not really planning on it.

Bones - I promised I'd blog about you next but, I've known you for 30+ years and I need to do it right. So many stories I could tell. Some of them are even true....

Peace out!

Joe Rocket

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Okay, alright...I hear you already!

Sheesh! I wanted an audience and now they're throwing tomatoes! Who knew?
Three times this week I've been nagged to post to my blog. I'm sorry. Work is hectic and the holi-daze are here. Last week, I was single-parenting while my spouse was on a biz trip to a much warmer climate. Lucky her!

This week, I'm just trying to hold on until the Christmas holiday is over and then I can relax. I plan to have some time off and use it wisely to make this a better read. So...don't give up on me yet.

Regarding Sturgis, we've got a planning meeting coming up. We're going to try to decide on a location for there and maybe do some trip route planning (yeah, I know, turn left at Chicago...). So many miles between here and there and we want to make good time. Unfortunately, that will probably mean interstates a good part of the way. We'll see.

We did that (rode the interstates) the summer before last on a trip to Quebec, for dinner. It wasn't planned that way but the weather forecast did not cooperate and a 4-day trip putting around Canada turned into an overnight. We did manage to find a nice KOA campground (with beer!) right outside the city and a great french restaurant with very attractive servers a mile, or so, down the road. Almost stumbling distance.

That was the trip that nearly crippled me. The VFR got real uncomfortable to ride. I'm not sure if the seat or my knees were shot but I had excruciating pains shooting down my leg. At a rest stop, I joked about swapping bikes with Jerry but he remembers it as me begging to switch. Whatever. Speaking of Jerry, here's one of my favorite pictures of him, from last year's bike show. I call it "Squid Jerry". He mounted a world-class MV Augusta for this shot. Too funny!

Anyway, it's Tuesday AM and I need to get moving. Time for (another) cup o' Joe. It's F'ing cold out (7 degrees Fahrenheit) and I have to make the trek across the mountain. Boy do I miss the warm sun-kissed summer days. Nothing better than riding in a t-shirt with the sun lightly toasting your forearms. Oh yeah, winter arrives Friday.

Happy Holidays to all. I'll see some of you this week at the Biker Bash. The rest, drop me a note to say hello.


Joe Rocket

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


As I sit here, at my desk, eating raw broccoli, I wonder how I ever got to this point. My closest friends know that I started a diet last week and, I am happy to report that I have lost the "easy" first five pounds. But it has been anything but easy. I should have done more homework.

Yes, I know that there are a million different diet options. My decision to call a halt to the growing waistline was in response to a poor fit from my favorite (big boy) jeans. I REFUSE to buy a larger pair. It was the proverbial straw and I guess that makes me a hump...

So, I quickly flashed upon the last commercial that made an impression on me: Dan Marino touting Nutrisystem. I went online last month and ordered a month's worth of food. This will be so easy (I thought) with all of my meals already prepared and in the proper portions. What I hadn't counted on was the taste. As a paying customer, I feel that I am entitled to my opinion. Okay, I'll temper it somewhat: Ugh.

If fact, some of the meals are so bad, I skip them entirely and just have the salad that you're allowed. The breakfasts and dinners aren't too bad but some of the lunches leave me with this thought:

Nutrisystem is Soylent Green!

For those of you old enough and with a sense of humor, you'll be smiling right about now. Yea, Chuck Heston!

Speaking of Chuck, we watched The Omega Man (again) recently. Will Smith is making a splash with the third theatrical release of the story "I Am Legend". Charlie did it back in 1971 and Vincent Price did the original, way back when. For you movie buffs, check out NetFlix and you can find it (them) there.

Where was I? I want to send a shout out to my new friend Sandy. You can read her blog here:

She works in PR and is the Social Media expert at her firm. She's been a big help in answering my "newbie" questions about blogging and very supportive, in general. A very cool gal.

Anyway, I have to get back to work. Since I'm not eating much, I had a moment to update this. If you've read any of my blogs, please add a comment, offer some feedback. And check out the nice ads from our friends at Google.

When I have more time, I will take the constructive criticism that I've already received and make this worth your time. For now, it's just me venting. But I'm blaming it on the broccoli......

Best wishes and Carpe Carp (seize the fish)!

Joe Rocket

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bikes I like

The list is long, but...I wanted to share this photo of a bike I saw this past summer. It is a mint (or fully restored) Honda 175. Not sure of the year so, if you can ID this bike, let me know.

I spotted it in a park outside Halifax, Nova Scotia. Absolutely gorgeous! Proof that one can ride a small displacement bike happily.
Let me know what your favorite bike is.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Public Service ads, et al

Hi Kids!

Just a short note to let you know that I "figgered" out AdSense. Well, okay, I had some help. I met a nice young woman at an industry function and she gave some great insight. Thanks Sandy! Is it okay to plug your blog here? Let me know...

There's still so much to learn. I just printed out a small mountain of legal-ese from our friends at Google. It was part of the deal for AdSense. For now, you'll see some small public service ads in the periphery of this document. As I learn over time, I'll make some adjustments that will benefit all (but mostly YOU, dear reader).

Car problems were solved today. The Volkswagen Passat shorted itself out due to a crushed interior light. It just so happens that the fuse that controls the windows also controls the electronic "thingy" in the ignition that IDs your key. Hmm. Cars. What a pain.

Anyway, enough of that. I plan to muddle through the rest of my latest issue of Motor Cyclist magazine and dream about riding season. If you read my earlier posts, you'll see that I want a new Sport Touring bike from Yamaha. Come on. Admit it. That bike is hot!

Yes, dear cruiser friends: I would LOVE to take this ride on a Harley-Davidson Street Glide. If I win the lottery between now and August, perhaps. For now, with my bills, pending home repairs, Christmas, etc., etc. I'll aim a little lower.

I bought the Blue Beauty with Sturgis in mind. After one season (and following two sport bikes) I think it's too slow, has too small of a gas tank and lacks storage. It is the perfect bike for my normal "dubbing around" but a bit too small for a long ride. Before I put any serious money into it, I'm going to try to afford a replacement. If that fails, well, we'll see.

I guess that's it for tonight. I hope I'm not speaking to an empty room here. Let me know if you're out there. Maybe we can hook up for a ride sometime.


PS - Big thanks to Zak, my personal mechanic. He does killer work for Porsche, VW and Audi. Later.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bikes versus cars

What is it about cars? Why do they break down ALL the time???

Last night, late, my teenager's car wouldn't start. Granted, it's an older car but, when was the last time your motorcycle wouldn't fire? Can you recall? I can't.

Do the major bike manufacturer's make a much better/more reliable/higher quality product than car manufacturers?

I've not owned a Honda car but I can imagine that they hold up well. Even if you do ALL the services on a car, it seems like you are ALWAYS spending money on SOMETHING! Services, repairs, tire rotations, alignments, oil leaks (okay, H-D has a reputation on their older bikes). You get the idea.

The average bike rider rides his motorcycle many fewer miles than an average driver drives. I get that. But, mile per mile, I would argue that motorcycles are a much more reliable (and fuel efficient) machine. So, why don't more people ride?

Well, I had a good year this year but, compared to some, they'd call it minimal. My latest issue of Motor Cyclist magazine (THE BEST bike mag) has an article about the Iron Butt Rally. 11,000 miles in 11 days. Holy Sore Tuchas! I'd like to qualify for an Iron Butt someday, but I'll need a more comfortable ride and to be in better shape.

Finally, do any of you have any ideas as to how to attract advertisers to this space? I'd keep it relevant and on topic. Bike stuff, gear, etc. All you'd have to do is check out the links and buy something if you thought it would make your ride a better one.

Thats all for now. It's been a long day, dealing with car problems. Hope to hear from you soon.

Best regards,

Joe Rocket

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Hi All! It's Sunday night (almost) and I am only here for a few moments. I have to go burn some meat on the grill before it gets too cold and snowy to use the grill.

The long weekend is almost done and we can expect some rain and more chill in the air. I washed my bike today and threw it on a battery charger before covering it for the winter. How sad! I always feel wistful on this day. Sort of like a death...

Here's a picture of the new object of desire for me. I had been hankerin' for a Honda ST1300 for sooooooo long but did not buy one due to the cost. I saw a recent article and have spoken to some owners of the Yamaha FJR 1300 and spent a few minutes reading the specs online recently. Wow! 145 hp and a wet weight of 548 lbs. Holy crap.Here's a photo and maybe you'll get it. Of course, my cruiser friends won't understand why I am not buying a Harley Davidson....maybe it is the $25,000+ price tag!

Cheers! Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Stinky Cheese

One more thing...........

We're on our way to Jerry & Marie's for a Stinky Cheese Party. This will be their fourth and our second. I'll have to describe it in detail later but, it is a whole lot of fun. Okay, maybe the cocktails and wine have something to do with that! Afterwards, we plan to participate in the Holiday Stroll, in downtown Nashua. I just hope it's not too friggin' cold!

Details tomorrow!

Oh yeah. One more thing...I'm trying to locate some pictures of my VFR800A that I last owned but can't come up with any. I want to post pix of all my bikes here but, I may have to do with a stock photo from Honda.



Hi All:

Bear with me while I give this a go. I hope that this will work out and, if so, I'll share that news and success with you right here.

I could have called this "Blogging for a bike" but, I am hoping that the Sturgis reference will help me get more hits. Yes, sadly, this is somewhat of a commercial endeavor but don't stop reading this yet. Let me explain.

I ride motorcycles, as I am sure a lot of you do. I'm also employed in a marketing capacity for a company here in New Hampshire and I stuggle to find that eternal balance between riding all the time (like some of my retired friends) and work/life/family obligations. I'm not 50 yet and have been riding, more or less, most of my life. More on that later.

The goal of this blog is to help me to afford to buy a new bike in time for Sturgis 2008. To that end, I will try to find relevant topics and content that will keep you coming back to see my progress, to root for me and to help me reach my goals.

I hope that this works for all of us and I will try to find compelling information about riding, bikes, gear, camping and trip preparations that will keep you coming back.

For now, I'll sign off as it's the weekend and there's "stuff" to be done. I'll be back soon to ramble on.

Best wishes for a very warm and short winter,

Joe Rocket