Heading out the door this weekend, for a quick tour around town on my bike, I found myself looking at the same pair of lightweight leather gloves I have owned for the past 20 years.
The nondescript black gloves are nothing special, in fact they have a tear in the palm I sewed up with an unseemly blue thread, making them look like the hand-me-downs they were.
They came to me along with a 1978 Suzuki GS 750 I bought from a young man who had just moved back to Albuquerque, New Mexico in the US Southwest, where I was living, after his divorce.
For $575 he threw in a helmet, and the gloves.
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – If you read this blog, you know I don’t care much for moto-hogs – motorcycles the size of a small house that will do everything short of brushing your teeth.
Therefore, I was all tooth and grin last week as I scoped out the 2012 Triumph Tiger 800 with WRS’ Susan Flory, at the local Geneva Triumph dealership, a fine balance of athletic muscle and off-road machine.
Check out Motoring On and listen to what I found not only about the Triumph bike but also on the Honda VFR750.
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Riding home tonight on my bicycle I was caught up short at the sight of the new Kawasaki Versys 1000 sitting out front of my neighborhood motorcycle shop.
Most of the recent Japanese bikes leave me completely nonplussed aesthetically, but Kawasaki’s new Adventure-Tourer strikes just the right balance of technological innovation and no-nonsense styling.
The big in-line four cylinder engine (1043 cc) reminds me of my old KZ and Gpz, 700 and 1000 bikes and indeed the motor is borrowed from Kawasaki’s z1000 naked sport bike (which was apparently designed by a Manga artist).
Furka Pass, Switzerland – There’s nothing like having friends visit to inspire the exploring spirit.
Last weekend, with a friend in town from London, we packed the car with water and food supplies and headed out on the open road.
With Geneva in the rear view mirror, I felt my bones settle into the cocoon of the firm driver’s seat and my mind plotted the secondary roads we would discover haphazardly as we made our way towards the Valais.
I had been traveling through the Furka Pass in my mind, ever since I tried to drive out of the Valais one afternoon in April four years ago, only to find the pass still closed for the season. Read more…
Geneva, Switzerland – The 30cm chute de neige of the past 3 days has left me nostalgic for the snowbound days of my youth, when a good storm could leave you holed up for days in a home tens of miles from the nearest convenience store. Often there was nothing to do but break out the board games, and enjoy whatever company you were marooned with.
Resignation to nature’s whim was a reality; I remember some winters making the 3 km walk up the hilly road to our house, when cars became just so much metal, your legs were your best asset.
Aside from the inevitable accidents this windfall has brought, I have enjoyed the slowed pace of the city, and the forced reliance on foot traffick when even public transport has been forced to a standstill. For me, the slow down has meant moving from two wheels to walking through the carpeted city.
Geneva, Switzerland – After having been tailgated, high-beamed and passed in a no pass zone by an overzealous school marm in…yes, a Honda civic, this evening on my motorcycle, I am thinking “Turkeys on Four Wheels,” would be a better title for this blog.
But the fact is, we are celebrating Turkey Day here in Geneva tomorrow, and it’s all about the love… So, what do turkeys and two wheels have in common you say? How about 24 pounds of France’s finest bird making its way across town on the back of my motorcycle.
Yep, after picking the beast up at Aligro, I stuffed it in my backpack and headed home on my bike.
On the way imagining, oh this could be a really messy exchange if some driver takes me out, there will be, a large bird flying through the air and various poultry parts strewn all over the road.
One of my favorite aspects of living in Geneva is the visible presence of two wheeled vehicles in the streets on my way to and from work. And one of the most pathetic sights to my sense, is that of a motorcycle or scooter laid over in the street; even the expression “laid over” is too passive a voice to describe the visceral response a “tipped” bike elicits in me.
My first reaction is to lift a motorcycle that has been laid down, but like an injured pedestrian made to lie still, I worry that a cracked turn signal or some other injured extremity may fall off if moved unnecessarily.