(SullivanSightWorks.com) - If you ride Motorcycles, and haven't heard of "Malcolm Smith", you should totally click the picture below. It's a great article on the man, the myth, the legend. He is easily a big part of the reason I and many people love motorcycles. He's probably one the reasons you love them too, you just didn't know it :-) Click the pic below for the full article.
(SullivanSightWorks.com) - What is a 'real' biker? For some it means Harley, leather, and tattoos. For some it means the hours and miles you've ridden. For others it's who has the most expensive ride.
I don't know what a real biker is. I do know what pop culture says a biker is, but let's change our point of view....
Sport Bikes: I have some buddies in our Carolina Motovloggers group that exclusively ride Sport Bikes. They ride much more often than I do. They do not worship chrome. They do not own chaps. They do love everything motorcycle, from the bikes to the gear. They chat about such things daily, 365 days per year. It's obvious that riding motorcycle is in their blood. So are they bikers? I say yes.
Bicycles: There's this guy in my hometown. He's never owned a car or motorbike. He rides a bicycle everywhere. He used to visit my son when he was a baby. My son is now 16yrs old, and that guy is still riding his bicycle, In my view he is the purest of the pure biker. Sometime he does 30 miles per day. He rides in every type of weather, every day of his life, with no aid of a motor to help him. He does this by choice, not because of lack of funds or punishment. Yet, he faces the same dangers that every motorcyclists faces on the road, maybe even more so. Is he a biker? I say yes.
Scooters: Just because you ride around on a 49cc scooter, that doesn't disqualify you from being a biker. If that's all you can afford, so be it. Scooter riders also face the same dangers on the road as larger motorcycles. If you'd rather ride your scooter than ride in a car, If you love that scooter, I'd say you're a biker. I'm also aware though that a good portion of the 49cc scooter riders are riding them as a last resort. Their last option for transportation after they've lost their driver's license due to some infraction. These folks are generally not bikers in my view. For them, their two-wheeled machine is just a means to an end.
Cruisers: Of course, right? This is what pop culture says a biker is. Anywhere from a "Hell's Angel" to a "Weekend Warrior" gets you in the club right? I say no. Owning a motorcycle doesn't make you a biker in my view. Wearing the Cut of some motorcycle club doesn't get you there either.
What about me? Am I a biker? I don't ride everyday, but I sure want to. I ride less often than my closest biker friends, but I generally ride more miles than they do. I ride a cruiser, but gear up like a sport bike or adventure rider. I mostly build or re-engineer my own accessories for my moto, I generally don't buy off the shelf stuff. I speak to my motorcycle, she doesn't reply :-) I feel I 'must' ride. I love my motorcycle. I love the challenge of battling winds, g-forces, weather, and traffic. I love that nature and weather have a big impact on when and where I can go. I love that I can experience any place on earth in a whole new way just by arriving there on a motorcycle.
So am I a biker? I'd say yes. It's in my blood. I crave that next ride. I'd say that for you too. No matter where you are on the biker spectrum, anywhere from a bicycle to MotoGP, if you crave that next ride, in my view, you're a biker too.
Below is video by Chris Lonsberry. It is a great take on his view of what a biker is, and the catalyst for this blog post. Chris's videos are well thought out, with great quality and editing. I'll put links to his channel below and mine too :-) Subscribe!
(SullivanSightWorks.com) - #EpicRide2018 - As more and more people inquire as to the details of Epic Ride and what all it entails....Moto Camping eventually enters the conversation. Now there are many kinds of camping of course. Some involve $100,000 motorhomes & toyhaulers. Some involve just a tarp and couple of sticks. Moto camping falls somewhere closer to the sticks end of the spectrum. There's not a lot of space to store things on a motorcycle, you take only what you really want/need. Anyhow, I saw this commercial today. I know it's an ad for JackLinks but I found it very applicable to Epic Ride too. If you run WITH Sasquatch, you're good. If you run FROM Sasquatch, epic ride might not be for you. Check out the video below, enjoy!
Epic Ride is only 8 weeks away and I need your help! Please read below and see if you can possibly help guide my way, rest my head, or maybe even fund another mile. Anything from somewhere to pitch my tent to sponsorships....Details below:
Events/Sites - Do you know of something or somewhere really cool that I should check out along the route? Let me know! CONTACT US
Rest/Sleep - Do you of someone or somewhere along the route that may let me camp overnight? Preferably for free, every little bit helps. CONTACT US
Youtube - Subscribe to me on YouTube please! Google owns Youtube. Google pays for views on my YouTube channel. It's free for you, it's pennies for me, but every little bit helps.
Sponsors - I will be documenting every mile of the Journey on Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, and IN Fast Lane Biker Magazine. If you know someone that's willing to donate gear, meals, hotels, tickets, etc., in return for a bunch of exposure, Please let me know. CONTACT US
Thank you so much for checking out this post, and possibly contributing to Epic Ride 2018. The final route will be published soon, then the final schedule will be published, then you can plan to meet me along route and ride for a day, a week, or the whole thing! :-)
EPIC RIDE 2018 DETAILS
(SullivanSightWorks.com) - Timonium, wow! This was the first time I had been at such a comprehensive motorcycle show. This was also the first time every that I've set up a spot to promote SightWorks and Good Motorcycle Morning. It was awesome! So many nice people, so much interest in Epic Ride, so many beautiful bikes. I'll be back next year for sure, I hope you're there too! Below are a couple pics and a video, all the content from the show is here: https://www.sullivansightworks.com/timonium-motorcycle-show-2018.html
(SullivanSightWorks.com) - I was soooo stoked to get out and ride today in January :-) It seems I made a lil' vlog....
(SullivanSightWorks.com) - Since 2011 I have been a loyal YouTube creator. Since 2012 I have been I have been a YouTube Partner. I have always adhered to the community guidelines and kept a squeaky clean channel free of offensive material. As a YouTube partner I have from time to time I've weighed in on the direction that YouTube takes in certain situations or helped to determine if some content is offensive for other channels. Since my start back in 2011 I have over 58,000 views in over 140 countries.
As of yesterday, that all changes. I am no longer a YouTube partner. Not because I've done something wrong. It's just because I'm small. My 200 or so subscribers is not enough, they say I need 1000. My 58,000 views are not enough, they say I need somewhere around a quarter of a million.
I'm not alone either, millions of YouTube channels have been affected. It's mostly due to the recent content scandals where YouTube was advertising on top of videos that contained offensive materials or content. Better know as the ad-apocalypse. Although most of the offenders are on much larger channels than mine, all of us little guys have been wiped out.
I understand why they did it. YouTube gets almost 400 hours of new video every minute. There is no way for humans to police all that content. They've tried algorithms, but those failed. Now there on to a more human/less algorithms plan. So now only the bigger channels with more views and more subscribers will be supported .
The biggest effect from this is demonetization. For the longest time, creators could upload a video, and if they're a quality channel with good standing within YouTube, they could share in the ad revenue that YouTube makes when they place ads on or in the video. Don't get me wrong, it's a tiny amount, but it's something. All the content you consume on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc, is FREE for you. But trust me when I say the Creator is paying to make that content. Paying for access, equipment, etc. So what YouTube has done here is effectively wiped out the little guy, the people that need that monetization the most. My status is now "You can keep creating your great content on YouTube, but you cannot earn money from it". Below is a snippet from that email:
Here's a link to an article about the latest video from the biggest Youtuber on the planet. I would show you the video but it has been taken down...yet he's still being paid, and promoted.
THE LOGAN PAUL VIDEO SHOULD BE A RECKONING FOR YOUTUBE
Now here's my latest and best stab at a good video, it's not the best, but it's much better than what I was making way back in 2011.
SullivanSightWorks.com - I was so stoked to see the January/February issue of Shape magazine. On the cover is a pic of Mandy Moore on a sweet BMW Cafe Racer. Alas the article had nothing to do with motorcycles, it was just a photo shoot. At any rate, it was a great reminder that winter is almost over, and it's almost time for motos and Epic Ride 2018! If interested you can check out the video from Shape magazine HERE.
SullivanSightWorks.com - Wow, it's so easy to get caught up in current happenings that I almost forgot everything that had happened this past year in 2017. It was a big year for sure. But instead of me hitting on my highlights, let's take the nine most liked photos on my instagram, which were chosen by you, and let's relive a little of 2017....
#1: That's a video actually. A video of my power breaking portion of my 3rd Dan(3rd Degree) Taekwondo/Hapkido test back in 2012. I posted in 2017 during my testing for 4th Dan. I'm so happy to announce that I am now a 4th Dan(4th Degree) Master Instructor in Taekwondo & Hapkido. This was huge for me in 2017.
#2: That's a photo from the 2nd Annual Carolina Motovloggers Meetup in July 2017. This photo was taken in Little Switzerland, NC. This is one of the favorite places for motorcyclists to stop for a break in the North Carolina mountains. Later that day, I would have my first motorcycle wreck in 23 years. I lived though :-)
#3: That's a photo of a pumpkin on the back of Shady. It was taken around Halloween 2017. Not much of a story there, but it is one of the more picturesque photos I've taken this year.
#4: That's a screen shot of my early plans for Epic Ride 2018 from July. It has changed quite a bit since then, but it's still going to be so awesome. Planning and preparation is pretty much my entire life at the moment. Follow me on all the socials to keep track of when, where, why, and how. If you like :-)
#5: That's a photo of everything I was using as of September 2017 to capture video from my motorcycle. The motorcycle season was winding down. I had just got back from the Ocean City Bikefest in Ocean City, Maryland, and was suiting up to head out to the Capital City Bikefest in Raleigh, North Carolina. Both were pretty epic.
#6: That's a photo of the Harley I got to ride at the Capital City Bikefest in September 2017. It had ape hanger handlebars. I sure felt cool riding it, but it's no good for long hauls.
#7: That's a screenshot of the opening sequence of the OC Bikefest video. It's one I'm pretty proud of, and one of the most viewed videos on my YouTube channel for 2017. OC Bikefest was a blast!
#8: That's montage of photos for my flight from Washington DC to Lima Peru in March 2017. Peru may have been the most epic 2 weeks of my life. Unfortunately, I did not get much video in all the chaos, but I did make a summary video about Peru 2017.
#9: That is yet another photo about Peru 2017. That was me grabbing a bus from Richmond, VA to Washington DC to meet up with my friend David, and head off together on a flight to Lima for a crazy couple of weeks. So Awesome.
Just to recap...in 2017....I went to new Continent, a new country, Peru, Wow!....in 2017...I lost my beloved Moth-In Law and my wife lost her mother. You'll never meet a kinder, selfless person. It's a whole new world without her, so sad....in 2017...I became a travel writer for a magazine, who'da thunk that?, Wow!...in 2017...I completed a 10 year journey to become a 4th Degree Master Instructor....so awesome. Needless to say, it was a big year. Honestly I don't hope 2018 is bigger, 2017 was a lot, but I'm sure 2018 will be....here we go.....
Thank you so much for your support!
Happy New Year!
SullivanSightWorks.com - I find this video VERY interesting. As I plan Epic Ride 2018, there is no end of warnings from everyone that learns that I'm venturing into Mexico on a motorcycle. Though as well meaning as these warnings are meant to be, I hope you find it interesting to see the way Chinese folks view the United States.
Lots of people, especially when planning to travel somewhere, ask "Is that place dangerous?!". My answer is , "Yes".
And it's true. There are bad people everywhere. There are otherwise good, yet desperate people everywhere. There are knives, guns, flames, bacteria, and animals, everywhere. There is risk in everything that you do, at home, or abroad.
But I say "Go anyway".
Most of the people there don't give a flying flip that you're even there. They're too busy with their own life's trials and tribulations to worry about you.
There will be fewer people there who do care that you're there. They'll be busy trying to help you in some way to somehow enrich their own lives, which is respectable.
There will be just a few people there who truly wish to make your day better somehow, with no thought of reward.
And there will be a couple bad people there too. Try and avoid those people, or at the very least, try not to be a target.
Now for SightWorks' top 3 tips for travel:
1. Research: Look up the places you want to go. Not just the country, or the city. Look up the neighborhood, the hotel, the attraction, etc.. If 500 people survived that place long enough to post a positive review of the place online, chances are you'll survive long enough to get back to your computer too. :-)
2. Language: You can't "know" a place if you don't speak the language. That said, learn enough to be able to communicate the important things you need to say. A huge part of feeling safe, is knowing what's going on around you. If you don't understand, you'll be scared.
3. Image: If you look like you can pay $500, you might as well paint a big bulls-eye on your forehead. Either the mugger, or the taxi driver, or the hand crafted clothing store lady is looking for you. If you look like you can pay $5, you're not worth anyone's time, including the bad guys.
Ok, Ok, just one last thought before the video.
Poverty is not dangerous. Desperation is dangerous. Be humble, be generous when applicable, and be kind. You'll be fine :-)
So far I have spent some time guiding myself through the USA, Canada, Mexico, Korea, and Peru. While I'm no expert, I'm definitely not guessing here :-)
SullivanSightWorks.com - 2018 will bring with it a new upgraded version of the Honda Africa Twin with a much larger fuel capacity/range. It's looking like a strong candidate for Epic Ride 2018. But I think the Suzuki V-strom still has my ticket(Barely) Click the pic below for the details about the new Honda...
SullivanSightWorks.com - As I dream about my future travel to far off places, it makes me so happy to discover extraordinary places right here in the USA. I follow many 'off grid' nomads on the social networks. I find their/our world fascinating. This one will be added to an Epic Ride for sure!
SullivanSightWorks.com - I know the old saying of "Safety In Numbers" holds true for may situations, but there are advantages to going alone also. Click on the pic to check out the great article by Spencer Hill below....
SullivanSightWorks.com - An acoustic version of the TaeKwonDo song. Walk off the Earth is a super talented group out of Canada, and at least 3 of the members are martial artists studying TaeKwonDo. I very hope I get the chance to run into these folks one day during my travels for a chat :-)
SullivanSightWorks.com - This past weekend we headed to the NC State Fair on it's last day of 2017. The fair was awesome! I am a little miffed though, for some reason YouTube has deemed these videos unsuitable. You better give'em a watch while you can during the appeal process. If these vids aren't wholesome videos suitable for everyone, what is? Idk. Thanks for watching!
SullivanSightWorks.com - This year in Ocean City, Maryland at the 2017 OC Bikefest, I witnessed a beautiful contradiction. There was this young early 20's 100lb Caucasian girl. The kind of girl, you'd think would be no where near a Harley, but there she was on the meanest Harley bagger you can imagine. If that wasn't enough, she was also decked out in hard core 70's version of Hell's Angels garb, patches, cut, rank, everything, though she obviously was not part of any MC. Now you'd think, Harley, Leather, she should be rocking out to something in the electric guitar/death metal sphere of tunes. No, no, no, she had Eminem rap music going full blast trying to win out over the trumpet blasts of her bad-ass Harley. Not butch, yet not cute either, just a 100lb girl on a 800lb motorcycle surrounded by leather and purpose and poppy rap music. If I qualify for a Man Card, so does she. Beautiful Contradiction.
Alas, click the pic below for an article no so much about a contradiction, more about a rarity, awesome.
SullivanSightWorks.com - My insurance company sent me this article in an email. It's great to hear that I'm not the only crazy still riding in cool temperatures, hehe. Click on the pic to be transported to the article. Enjoy!
There's a whole bunch of geeky pop culture in this video. It's soooo awesome!
Want to know what is scarier than Mike Meyers or Jason at Halloween? A scorn mother with a flip flop. Happy Halloween!
I know Epic Ride 2020 is a good ways off, but today I saw this video about the Lava Beds National Monument in California, and it's not too far from where they hold the Burning Man Festival, so consider it an official stop of Epic Ride 2020. Awesome!