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2014 In Review

January 1, 2015

Another year gone.  For G26 MotoBlog, this is the end of the second year of publication.  For me, this was not a big riding year. It was a great year as far as getting new toys goes, though, unless you take my wallet’s point of view…

Back in January I wrote my first year-in-review post.  In that post I stated that after a year of writing this blog I had not been told that I was wasting my time.  That still holds, though I have seen a few people roll their eyes at me when this blog manages to come up in conversation.  Their loss.  As I write this sentence, this blog has had 1,968 views from 70 countries.  Roughly 1400 of those views were in 2014.  There are even a few people that ask when new posts are going to be published.  By a few, I mean my father.  Thanks, Dad!

The biggest news of the year would have to be the swapping out of two of my bikes.  First, my 2007 Honda Gold Wing was traded in for a brand new 2013 Honda Gold Wing.  If you have read this blog before you couldn’t miss seeing a picture of this bike; I have plastered it all over the last several posts.  The other bike change was trading in my 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 250 for a brand newer (than the Gold Wing) 2014 Honda CBR 500R.  This change was not widely, or even narrowly, announced.  Here is a picture of both bikes in Grand Teton National Park:

Gold Wing and CBR Tetons

As fun as the CBR looks (It’s the white one), it is not my favorite bike.  In fact, though at the start of this blog I wrote that my 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 was my favorite bike, my tastes are starting to change and now I find that I like riding the new Gold Wing more than the V-Strom.  This could be from my brain trying to justify the fact that I bought a bike that cost more than my first four cars together.  On the other hand, as I mentioned in my last post, Let there be lights, the fact that I am able to build this into MY bike is actually making me enjoy riding it more.  Either way, this Gold Wing just seems to feel better than both the V-Strom and the old Gold Wing.  Around town, the CBR is quite fun, but on the open road, up around highway speed, I get too much wind on my body.  You wouldn’t think that would be a problem for a guy that is somewhat addicted to motorcycling, but it is.  I have spoiled myself way too much with bikes that have large, barn-door style windshields.

The other bikes did manage to get some time out of the garage, too.  The V-Strom didn’t get many miles this year.  I’m not sure what the future holds for that bike.  It is still in great shape and is still my primary local-ride (pronounced grocery getter), but I find myself riding the Gold Wing solo more and more.  I put many more miles on the 2009 KLR650 this year than I did last year.  The longest ride for that bike was around Flaming Gorge Reservoir, though I wasn’t the one riding it; one of the kids was piloting it for that trip.

That thought brings up something else that I find cool.  This year, two of my kids took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic RiderCourse™.  I took the course with them, though I doubt that I will be invited back – something about too many high-speed passes through the orange cone slalom (“Negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is full”).  After taking the courses, both of the kids were qualified to ride on the streets with me, though only one of the two has gone on to get a motorcycle license.  That should change in 2015.  I really enjoy riding with the kid that does have his license.  I’m not sure if it’s the fatherly instinct of passing on the things I enjoy, or just the fact that now I have a captive, on-call riding buddy.  Either way, it’s way cool!

Shortly after getting the CBR, my wife and I took the Gold Wing while the kid took the CBR up to Grand Teton National Park.  That is when I took the picture of the two bikes shown above.  For a new rider he did quite well as we dealt with wind, rain, traffic, and Jackson, Wyoming.  Nothing like a trial by fire!

At the start of 2014 I posted the mileage for the bikes I had in my garage at the time.  I will the same thing again this year, but just with the bikes in the garage.  I am out of town right now so I don’t have the ending mileages for the bikes I traded away.  When I get that information I will update the total yearly mileage.

The grand totals for 2014:

  • 2014 CBR500R:
    Starting Mileage – 0 miles
    Ending Mileage – 993 miles
    Total Mileage – 933 miles
  • 2013 Goldwing:
    Starting Mileage – 2 miles
    Ending Mileage – 3,266 miles
    Total Mileage – 3,264 miles
  • 2004 V-Strom 1000:
    Starting Mileage – 43,231 miles
    Ending Mileage – 44,515 miles
    Total Mileage – 1,284 miles
  • 2009 KLR 650:
    Starting Mileage – 1,048 miles
    Ending Mileage – 1,733 miles
    Total Mileage –   685 miles

The total mileage for these four bike was 6,226 miles, though for the first time I can’t claim all of the miles for myself.  The kid put miles on both the CRB and the KLR.  Sharing a house?  Fine.  Sharing motorcycles?  That’s gonna take some getting used to…

In 2013 I rode 8,907 miles, including the miles my wife and I put on a rented Gold Wing.  I am going to guess that I will have about 7,000 total miles for 2014, about 6,250 of which I put on the bikes.  Not quite as much as in 2013, but still not a bad year.

One of the joys I have on motorcycle trips, aside from the riding, is taking pictures.  On any random trip out of my home area (and some in the area) I may take upwards of 500 pictures.  Of those, I may actually like about 10.  That said, I will now shamelessly show my favorite pictures from 2014 – in many cases, again…

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All and all, 2014 was a good year.  2015 should be interesting, as well.  I have already registered for the Menage-a-Trois rally, basically a 36 hour/1500 mile photo scavenger hunt that will take place in late August, in and around Utah.  I also registered for the 2015 edition of the Big Money Rally.  This rally is also a photo scavenger hunt, though it takes place from 1 Jan through 23 May, and is pretty much area independent.  One final note, there is no Big Money involved in this rally.  Yeah, I knew that before I started…

One more way that 2015 should be interesting is that another one of the kids may start riding.  This one is fairly adventurous, so the riding opportunities may be photo worthy.   Whatever happens, it should eventually show up here.  Until then, thanks for reading and please check back every once in a while.


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