Archive for Triumph Bonneville

Eastbound 2016

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2016 by Pat Regan

After leaving Sturgis, I took the scenic route through the Black Hills. I went a little out of my way to check and see if these fellers were still OK.



Crazy Horse seemed to be doing OK too, so I moved on.


I took 385 South all the way to Hot Springs.




Route 385 serpentines through the Black Hills and cuts across the outskirts of Custer State Park where herds of buffalo roam. On this day I saw one lone bison on the horizon above and one more on the side of the road before leaving the park’s grounds.


The town of Hot Springs was quiet and the buildings downtown were made of local limestone.


I saw an old vintage bike shop on the main drag. I stopped and had a look. The guys inside immediately excused themselves for starting Happy Hour a little early. I was coming from Sturgis so it seemed like normal behavior to me.


The owner bragged that any bike in here could be started with one kick. Then he proved it on that old Bonnie to the left by the window in the photo below. Sucker was loud!



The Mammoth Site is exactly what it sounds like. They unearthed a bunch of mammoths and other prehistoric creatures at this one time mud pit.


They have built a large structure directly over the archeological dig where visitors can come and observe.



Entire skeletons have been slowly exposed from meticulous hours of brushing away the old mud.



A short faced bear like this one was dug up here as well.



The guys at the bike shop in Hot Springs recommended I take 71 instead of continuing on 385. They said it’s a nicer ride. I can’t compare, but it was a nice ride.


I took 71 to Crawford where I got a $50 motel room for the night.




I’m always attracted to the forgotten places.


I guess this was an old church. The piano is still on the stage covered in bird poo.




Carhenge is a sculpture just outside of Alliance, Nebraska. I rode through here a few years back but had no idea Carhenge existed. At the time I was preoccupied by a bird that had just committed suicide on my headlight and splattered all over my bubble shield.


It was a cloudy day much as you might expect at the site of which this is an homage.




And on this day, Bonnie turned 80. Normally that speedometer would be needling at 80 for the photo op, but I could not control the fact that I was approaching a small town. Gotta respect the small town speed limits. That’s where they get ya!


I saw a sign for old Route 66 so I took it. This brought me to the home of the upcoming Testicle Festival.



I was going to get off at the next exit anyway. And since none of my journeys is complete without a good, wet, hilly dirt road, here was my last opportunity. But there was something I wanted to see.


The Holy Family Shrine is an architectural masterpiece.


Though enclosed, you almost feel like you are outside.


It is a beautiful, serene space built atop a hill that overlooks miles of Nebraska land.


Then I crossed into Iowa.


I took Route 92 directly across Iowa from West to East.



I stopped for this ’73 Road Runner (above), but stayed on the road for this old classic (below).


These landscapes really do look like Grant Wood paintings.


A pleasant surprise along the way! Route 92 runs right into the birthplace of John Wayne in Winterset, Iowa! Below is the house where he was born.



The courthouse in Winterset oversees Madison County.


Yes, that Madison County. The one with the bridges. You could make a journey of just seeing the covered bridges. Many of them are miles down unpaved roads, so I did not explore too much on this visit.


Across the Mississippi!


As is often the case, once I cross the Mississippi River, I hightail it home.



I woke up knowing it was going to be a rough day. In my mind I was going to ride through a massive storm and still complete the 700 miles still to go. I did ride into the storm. At one point I saw that 80 and 76 split. My original plan was to take 80 all the way. For some reason I thought I could cut through the storm quicker on a Southwestern route. It was not to be. That storm was moving to the east at such a pace that it was riding with me. I rode 5 hours in that beast of storm.


The storm had been so bad that people actually congratulated me once I finally broke through and got to a service area. Really. Numerous people wanted to talk about it and one old guy even patted me on the back. I felt euphoric having blasted through that monster. At the same time I felt beat up, tired and puzzled by my will. It was like going into the day, I had something to prove and suddenly realized there was no need to go into that storm so aggressively. Perhaps a lesson was learned. That lesson was put into effect when the Interstate started winding it’s way directly into another storm. I wasn’t having it. I took the next exit.


Route 75 south led me to Route 30, one of the nations oldest highways. This is an old Tollhouse from the early days before Route 30.


I rode around a storm or two. Eventually I got back on the main road, but I was wiped out.


I shacked up in Carlisle, PA. Once there I realized where I was. When you want to get from 76 to 81 going east, you have to exit here. The town is basically a truck stop.


Tomorrow would be a simple ride home, so I checked out the local truck stop. A guy I met at the motel highly recommended the fries. I had a meal and a beer as I soaked up some of the local color. It was Karaoke Night. There was one fight but no one sang.


Now, back home to the hustle…


And the bustle.


Sturgis 2015

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2015 by Pat Regan

On the same day I crossed the Missouri River I would make it to Sturgis.


Welcome to the 75th Anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally!


This year at Sturgis would be the most crowded ever as the 75th Anniversary was predicted to draw over a million bikers!


My Bonnie celebrated the 75th in style as the odometer made that turn which represented the 75,000 miles of America’s highways and byways that we have traversed together. Thank you Bonnie and Triumph for making one tough and dependable motorcycle!


The Buffalo Chip


I arrived at the Buffalo Chip before dark, set up camp and immediately met a guy named Moose. Good start. That’s my site on the right beneath the camouflage tarp.


Alice Cooper

The first big show at the Chip would be the legendary Alice Cooper.



Besides ripping through some of his greatest tunes, Alice rocked some classic covers like Break On Through, Revolution, Foxy Lady and My Generation. I hadn’t seen Alice Cooper in over 20 years.  It was an excellent show!


Feed My Frankenstein!





The last time I visited Sturgis I had only one regret.

I didn’t bowl a midget.


On this visit there would be no regrets.


I grabbed Samson by the ankle and whipped him down the aisle! He is funny as hell and tough as nails.


I bowled a strike earning the honor of being raised above the Great Samson’s shoulders!



Motorcycles as Art

Motorcycles as Art was a jaw dropping display of unpainted meticulously machined masterpieces.


The show was curated by Michael Lichter the famous motorcycle photographer and included his photography along the periphery.



The raw mix of vintage parts with modern tweaks and touches complimented each other to create what truly is Motorcycles as Art.


The bikes were beautifully spaced out in this large hangar-like space.



I was also fortunate to be here at a time when there were no other people around. It was great to leisurely check out these fantastic bikes.



Twin Engine Motorcycle Dragster Stage Fright Triumph Bonneville Tiger T110 T120






The next morning I got up to get a new pass for the day. Instead of going out of the gate and around to the box office, I decided to park the bike within the fence and walk around to the box office. When I returned to the bike there was this awesome triumph T-Shirt on my seat with a note on a business card.


Then a guy called out. It was Danial James. He designed this bad ass Triumph shirt and left it there for me. So cool! Made my day!

We talked a bit. He said I should stop by their shop on Main Street and he wold hook me up with other Triumph stuff! Man, that was real nice.


I understand overpacking and bringing all the cool stuff you like to have with you, but you gotta keep it tight!


This dude’s bike is rad. It’s covered with all kinds of shit and if I’m not mistaken, he said he hadn’t changed the oil in 8 years. He was entering the bike in Thursday’s Rat’s Hole Contest. I don’t know how the bike did, but he won best beard and perhaps the tattoo contest as well.


Besides the big stage with the major acts, there are numerous stages throughout the Buffalo Chip. Bands play and rotate all day and night.


This Japanese band had a slick cool Western vibe.


The Living Deads had a solid, rad, rockabillly twang.




But of all the bands Mothership was off the hook bad ass. I will be keeping an eye on their tour calendar. If you like good solid hard rock n roll, I recommend you check this Texas trio out.






And there’s the dancing girls! Some dance for tips!


And some dance for corporate sponsors. Here’s The Jagermeister Girls.


I knew Fox made motorcycle jeans but I thought they offered more protection. These are The Vape Girls.


The Rat’s Hole sponsored various competitions throughout the week.


This one had no registration fee and various awards for best bike in it’s class.


The tank is the only thing Triumph on this bike below.


I got to talking to these guys Eric, Shawn and Bernie. That’s Bernie’s bike with the skeleton and Eric’s bike is the chopper. I believe Shawn is their machinist. Anyway, the subject of the Grateful Dead came up and I mentioned I had gone to Chicago. Bernie asked if I got into all three shows. As I was telling the story about getting a rear blowout on the way and negotiating a ticket for the first night, Eric interrupted and said “and you got it for face value!” Bernie says,”How the hell would you know that?” Eric says, “I read it on the internet.”


Later in the day I ended up riding right next to this dude on the bobbed out Triumph. We started talking as he rode to my left. I’m slobbering over his bike, but he really digs the new Bonnie’s too. Then he extends his hand. Hmmm, this was my first handshake while riding and I do believe it’s harder from the right. All formalities were taken care of cool and cordially without any signs of me thinking “I hope I don’t fuck this up”!





The first year I came to Sturgis I pitched my tent next to a 6’4″ trucker from Wheeler, Texas. Everytime I have come here since, I make sure to track down Randy. Things are going well for Randy so he’s not driving those big rigs anymore. Randy is a great story teller and good company.


Dee Snider played a great set. Like Alice Cooper, he did his own standards from Twisted Sister and Widowmaker but also some excellent cover tunes like Rocker, Real Wild Child and Rock n Roll.


Dee Snider was opening for Godsmack. Between bands I noticed some lightning on the horizon. Mind you there was nothing in the weather forecast that called for any precipitation on this night…But this is Sturgis. And when it comes to the weather, the only guarantee is that there are no guarantees! As Godsmack began their set I felt one big drop hit me. I wasn’t taking any chances. I headed back to the tent. Just as I got there KABOOM! Heavy rain and hail came pouring down. I had my gear buckled down tight. I wasn’t sure my tarp would hold up under heavy winds but it was doing fine so far and I was enjoying having a dry seat under my vestibule while watching the storm crash down around me. I planned on staying dry under my tarp when I heard a neighbor in crisis. One of my neighbor’s tents was not faring so well in the heavy rain and this dude Richard was out there by himself trying to help out. I went outside to lend a hand. So despite my awesome shelter which kept my stuff dry, I got soaked anyway. No big deal. It was fun.


My inner sanctum.


Downtown Sturgis


The bikes were lined up as expected and I was happy to join that line.


Tons of bikes lined the street. This isn’t a show. These are the riders and Main Street is the parking lot.





Indian Larry’s shop had a bike displayed along Main Street.


Even the side streets are lined with motorcycles.


I was doing laundry at the Buffalo Chip when I heard the sonic boom of a B-1 Bomber overhead. Lynn (who I met on the road) sent me this photo of the B-1 Bombers destination. It did a fly by right over Main Street!


Also on Main Street in downtown Sturgis there is a real decent little motorcycle museum.


This museum is packed with vintage goodies.



This Panhead was totally chromed out!




Triumph was well represented.








After seeing a woman in a vending booth eating a salad, I realized I had to do some shopping. One can not live on BBQ alone. I saw this guy with a classic do it yourself style chopper as I went to the grocery store.


Then I stopped by the Uhl Studio shop to see Danial James who had left that T-shirt on my bike. You can click his name to read more about the artist.


Danial was super cool. We talked about everything from motorcycles and riding to painting, Photoshop and technology. And how he partnered up with David Uhl to created Uhl Studios. I had seen David Uhl’s work before a few years ago at the Broken Spoke. Great stuff! True to his word, Daniel hooked me up with some beautiful Triumph shirts for Jillian and another for me with a Brando Wild One theme. I will be doing a separate post on Uhl Studios in the near future. Meanwhile link up with their site HERE. And some of the shirts are sold directly on the Triumph website HERE. Thanks again Danial!





 Lukas Nelson

Lukas Nelson was the only early act I really wanted to see from all the days I was at Sturgis. Lukas is Willie Nelson’s kid and he rocks! Jillian and I got to meet Lukas when he played with his dad here in NYC.





During Lukas Nelson’s set the Budweiser Clydesdales made their way across the amphitheatre.


The Clydesdales weren’t the only celebrities to grace the grounds of the Buffalo Chip.




This dude lives for Skynyrd! And tonight he had front row on his decked out bike with portraits of all the original members of Lynyrd Skynyrd beautifully painted on anything that wasn’t chromed.


And Skynyrd did not disappoint, playing a classic set of their unique Southern sound!


Lynyrd Skynyrd was by far the most crowded of all the shows at the Chip this year.


In addition to the Jagermeister girls on the bar, there are the shot girls. You can have a shot of Jager poured into your mouth by this woman on stilts.


Or if you find tall women intimidating, you can have a midget pour you one on the down low.


Mount Rushmore and Deadwood

Riding around during Sturgis can be a little nuts. It is so crowded. Especially this year. But I figured I’d take a ride to Mt. Rushmore then return through Deadwood.


The one stop light in Keystone was enough to back the traffic up for miles. Most of these guys gave up on letting the bike idle and cut the engines allowing the mighty hill do the work for them.



I pulled to the side of the road for a look at Mt. Rushmore but didn’t park and go in.



Bikes were darting around in every direction. Notice George in profile.


In Deadwood a green girl on a green bike promoted this shop.


Saloon 10, where Wild Bill Hickok was killed while playing cards. Deadwood actually burned down a few years after Hickok’s murder. This bar was built as an exact replica of the old Saloon 10.


Uhl Studios


David Uhl was taking a break from painting when I visited his studio in Deadwood.


Here is a painting David Uhl made of Dale Walksler unveiling his Crocker. Danial at the other studio was telling me a story about Dale. He had an auction going on back in North Carolina at his museum Wheels Through Time. He was auctioning off the Crocker. It turns out however that North Carolina had a law which forbids anything to be auctioned with a value over $250,000. The Crocker is worth three times that much, so the auction had to be cancelled. However those who bought raffle tickets will have their money returned and they get to keep a print of the awesome painting seen below!


I drew that same Crocker engine a while back from a photo I took of Dale’s bike.


Headed back to the Chip!







John Fogerty

Fogerty blasted out all the Creedence classics.



And of course he played his solo hit Centerfield with his baseball bat guitar.




The Miss Buffalo Chip contest was down to 3 contestants last I heard. The one in the middle was the crowd favorite.


If you are up for it, you don’t have to miss the show to get a tattoo. There is a parlor right in the concert arena.


This guy was forging interlocking hearts.



Then came the big Rat’s Hole Contest where the big bikes compete!
























Evel Knievel’s truck, Big Red.


I spent most of my time at the Buffalo Chip but I did stop by to have a look around at the Full Throttle Saloon.



The owner, Micael Ballard was on hand to do some shots of their Sloonshine!



Eagle 75

Earlier in the trip I visited the world’s largest boot, today I would take part in the world’s largest motorcycle sculpture.


They directed us where to  park our bikes and then we just waited for a photo op from a helicopter above.



This is John. He and his wife Shannon were camping with a group next to me.



And here is the shot from the air. I am at the crest of the bottom wave just to the left of the mermaid.






Styx opened for The Guess Who. I never really like Styx. Still don’t.


The Guess Who on the other hand put on a great show.



The chick lighting a cigarette punched a dude right in the face for being too close to her bike.



It was time to pack it up and hit the road. Richard (the guy I was helping during the storm) was have some electrical issues with his bike. Good luck with that Richard and hope to see ya at a future rally!


Time to hit the road!


Summer 2015 – Sturgis Bound

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2015 by Pat Regan

Plans change!

My original plan had me headed west from Chicago after seeing the Grateful Dead. Plans changed. I was exhausted and in my haste I realized I had not packed well for a cross country adventure. So, I went back home to NYC.

2015 - 01

No worries. Truth be told, I was having fun in NYC hanging with Jillian and friends. We went to a friend’s restaurant to celebrate Bastille Day!

2015 - 05

I kept setting dates to get back on the road and for one reason or another I justified a postponement. If it’s not too hot NYC can be a place to hang. Here is a situation of a guy who definitely paints what he sees. There are naked people in the sun all over his painting!

2015 - 02

This painter chose a shady setting with a less shady subject matter.

2015 - 03

Another cool thing about NYC is the things you run into. Here is a model shoot by Bethesda Fountain.

2015 - 04

But here’s my favorite model. Jillian took me to see the new Whitney Museum before I made my way West!

2015 - 06

2015 - 08

Donald Judd make for a nice frame.

2015 - 07

Time was passing quickly. If I was going to get any motorcycle adventure going I had to go. Now it was do or die. The coast to coast ride was out of the question. But I’ve done it 6 times and ridden 48 states already. At this point there was just not enough time for #7. But one thing I’ve always been determined to do was to go to Sturgis 75! Me at 50 and Sturgis at 75. It seemed like two solid numbers that had to be united!

2015 - 09

One last kiss and it was time to hit the road!


And he’s off!


So I am on my way. I couldn’t bare to take the same route as I did when going to Chicago, but I had to make time. So I took the Interstate but a different one than I had taken to see the Dead. At Harrisburg I shot north for my first night of camping at Clear Creek State Park. It was good to be back outdoors again!

2015 - 11 2015 - 12

I heard about a ghost town in Northwestern PA called Pithole City. It was the site of the first commercial oil well in the United States. More oil strikes nearby prompted Pithole’s population to rapidly increase to 20,000. Within 12 years time the oil was tapped. That and some raging fires dwindled Pithole to a ghost town status.

2015 - 13

Here is a diorama of how Pithole looked in it’s heyday! Unfortunately for me there is nothing left but a small museum and impressions of some of it’s streets. Any evidence of it’s structures had long disintegrated or burned to ground.

2015 - 14

The next day I crossed into Ohio. I took Route 244! I felt I had taken this road before. 244 seemed real familiar to me. The site of this grand old house confirmed it. I zipped passed it a few years ago heading East and neglected to take a photo of it. Not this time.

2015 - 15

2015 - 17

As I rolled through these old Ohio highways I realized there were no State Parks in the area. The only thing I could find was an off the beaten path private campground. In the past I haven’t done well at these types of places. Most are designed for RV’s. This one however had a great little tent spot right on their lake. It was like I was the only person there. So a thumbs up for Powell Creek Campgrounds.

2015 - 18

And here’s it’s namesake, Powell Creek.

2015 - 19 2015 - 20 2015 - 21

Last year I introduced Bonnie to Bonneville Dam in Oregon. This time around I notice a Bonneville Mill on the map. Or so I thought. My eyes aren’t as good as they once were. When I arrived at the mill I saw that it was actually Bonneyville Mill. It was still a nice stop on the journey.

2015 - 22 2015 - 23 2015 - 24

I guess they put these red and white tape strips on the chromed out oil tanks to prevent people from taking selfies.  I am not really sure why they do it. Anyone out there know?

2015 - 25

On this night I was headed to Johnson Sauk Trail State Park to camp for the night. I had stayed here a few years back. It’s a really nice wooded campsite and only cost $8 for the night. On the way I saw some vintage machines in a nearby town.

2015 - 26 2015 - 27 2015 - 28

I was taking photos of these beauties when a garage door open and a guy rolled out on a Bobcat. His name was Lynn and he invited me inside to see his man cave garage. Super cool! Inside he had it decorated with all sorts of automotive antiques. Also inside was this rare 1957 GMC Suburban. Beautiful!

2015 - 29 2015 - 30 2015 - 31

We hung out and talked for a while. Turns out Lynn is headed to Sturgis too. See ya at the Chip Lynn!

2015 - 32

And here is the campsite. Hammock heaven!

2015 - 33

Someone didn’t finish their meal.

2015 - 34

One of the coolest things at this park is an old round barn stable a farmer had made in 1910 for his Angus Beef herd.

2015 - 35 2015 - 36

I love riding cross country but for one thing. Storms. Further north there was a monster of a storm. I headed south to try to avoid it as I moved West. Unfortunately I still caught the tail end of it.

2015 - 37

I finally crossed the Mississippi River a lot further South than I had planned.

2015 - 38

As I entered Burlington Iowa, I figured I would have to change all my plans and set a new route West. It’s strange after leaving NYC I kept seeing the Statue of Liberty. There was one in the middle of a river in Harrisburg PA and here was another in Burlington Iowa.

2015 - 39

Also in Burlington is Snake Alley the once recognized crookedest road in the States by Ripleys Believe it or Not.

2015 - 40

I decided I could go North and resume my original plan. I was going to ride around this giant storm. On my was along the Mississippi I stopped by an ancient Native American mound site. They can be found up and down the Mississippi River valley.

2015 - 41

Then came a genuine treat to my detour. If you’ve read this blog you know I love to visit places of historical significance. But this next stop would take me to a site of significance that wouldn’t come for another 300 plus years! Welcome to Riverside, Iowa, future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk.

2015 - 42

2015 - 43 2015 - 44

I moved North through Clinton, Iowa. I passed through this town once before to try some Flava Flav’s Fried Chicken only to find out it had already gone out of business.

2015 - 45

I crossed the Mississippi again and headed up it’s East coast for a bit.

2015 - 46

After a crazy day of zig zagging in all directions I was wiped out. Tonight I would get a hotel in Dubuque, Iowa. In the morning as I was packing up the bike, I noticed that my kickstand was glistening. Then I noticed a drip stain under the bike. Uh oh, something was leaking. Not cool.


I’d keep riding and hope it was a minor issue. I would then go to a magical place just outside of Dubuque. If you have seen the movie Field of Dreams then you know what I mean.


The movie set is kept in pristine condition just as it was in the movie.


Kids play baseball on the same field where Ray Liota emerged from the cornfields as Shoeless Joe Jackson outfielder for the disgraced 1919 White Sox team.


Also on this day Frank Dardis one of the ghost players from the movie was in attendance.



I continued on up the river but that oil drip was really started to worry me.


On this night I would camp out at Frontenac State Park just outside of Red Wing MN. I bought a quart of oil to keep it topped off as it leaked.


I figured in the morning I would go to a Triumph dealer in Minneapolis, but when I started up the bike that drip was nearly a pour. It was really spewing out and I couldn’t figure out the source. I also couldn’t loosen  the cap to put more oil in. Luckily I caught Coach Ken as he was pulling out. Ken is a super nice guy, former teacher and football coach who happened to have a huge screwdriver that helped my pry that thing open. Thanks Ken.

I called a shop in Red Wing knowing I couldn’t make itand they said they could take me right away. It was just 10 miles away but with all that oil dripping I was afraid it might grease my rear tire and take me out. The problem could have been anything from the filter to a crack in the engine block. Lucky me, it was the filter. It ruptured. I was in and out of the shop in 15 minutes. Amazing! A big thanks to John at Red Wing Motorsports!


Then I could resume my real purpose for being in Red Wing. I was there to see the worlds largest boot!


The next stop is a place I’ve wanted to visit for a while. The Runestone Museum in Alexandria, Minnesota. The Runestone is a tablet discovered in Kensington that dates back to the 1300’s with Viking writings on it.



In the museum are also some creepy dioramas.


Outside they have some old homes, a school, a church and some cabins that were moved from their original locations.




The creepiest display of all was this one with a stuffed dog on a carpet. But it was good to finally see the Runestone.


I zipped across Minnesota and camped out at Roy Lake in South Dakota.


I got a beautiful spot right on the lake. Very nice.



From here I had one last stop before Sturgis. I wanted to visit Sitting Bull’s grave. So I crossed the Missouri River and paid a visit to one of the greatest Native American leaders of all time.


Sitting Bull’s grave overlooking the Missouri River.


Now it’s Sturgis time!

What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2015 by Pat Regan

The Grateful Dead

It seems that the Grateful Dead and I are both celebrating our 50th birthdays this year. When I first heard about the 3 final shows the Grateful Dead would reunite for, I readied myself at the computer and clicked away being repeatedly rejected as the 3 nights quickly sold out. I soon gave up hope of participating at this final event on July 4th weekend. Then in April my good friend Brian offered me a Sunday night ticket to the last Dead show ever in Chicago (or anywhere else for that matter) as a birthday gift. Thanks B.


July 4th weekend came around and it was time to get to Chicago. Many of my friends were headed there from various places. Some of them were flying in, some rented a car then would fly home, but no one was road tripping in both directions between NYC and Chicago. So I hopped on Bonnie and headed west.


I hadn’t time to plan or pack properly. I tried to pack as if I were going on an extended journey. I tried. Immediately I began to realize I had left things behind for a long trip. Whatever, I was going to Chicago regardless. Nothing was stopping me. Then POP! My rear inner tube blew! I’ve always wondered what happens in such a situation. In this case, it turns out it wasn’t that bad. I heard a muffled poof and felt a jiggle. Then it felt like bumps in the road. But when I pulled over I saw my rear flat tire. I called AMA for help. They are a reliable service. But while the operator put me on hold to check for places in the area, this guy from the Indiana Toll Road Service showed up. His name was Dennis and he was super helpful. Before the AMA operator returned to the call, Dennis had already dispatched a tow and called his wife to check the size of an old tire he had in the garage. He said I could have the tire and his wife would bring it to the place where I was being towed to. Thank you sir!


It turns out my tire was fine and I just needed a new tube. The tow truck came in a short while and the bike shop was in the nearby town.


Tragedy averted. The truck brought me to North End Cycle, a fully equipped bike shop and showroom.


My inner tube had completely exploded! They had my size in stock and I would be on my way toward Chicago in a little over an hour.


Besides a large showroom of new and used bikes, North End Cycle had this classic police trike in the back.



Back on the road. Another 200 miles and I rolled in to Chicago!



Because of the blow out I arrived in Chicago much later than planned. At this point all my friends had gone to the show already. I found the hotel where I would be staying this night, dropped off my bags, parked the bike, hopped on the subway and headed to Soldier Field.


I had no ticket for this night and I had a lot of company in that respect.


Folks all over the surrounding area of the stadium walked around with their fingers raised hoping for a ticket into the sold out show.




People everywhere were looking for tickets.






That dude on the left is holding up a wad of cash instead of a finger.



I figured there was no way I was getting into the show this night.


Then as I approached one of the tunnels into the stadium I heard someone offering someone a ticket for $250. Then he quickly went down to $200. The guy rejected the offer. I walked up and said that I just rode in from NYC and would love to see the show. He said “New York City! Do you know AJ?”  Uh, no. Then he offered me the ticket for face value! YES! I was in!


Amazing! I met up with my friend Gral and more than 70,000 happy people to see the end of an era.


There was some question about Jerry Garcia’s replacement. Those huge shoes were filled by Trey Anastasio from the band Phish. Trey took on the task with the enthusiasm of a kid in a candy store and did an exceptional job.


Set One

  • “Box Of Rain” (Phil Lesh lead vocals)
  • “Jack Straw” (Bob Weir and Phil Lesh lead vocals)
  • “Bertha” (Trey Anastasio lead vocals)
  • “Passenger” (Bob Weir and Bruce Hornsby lead vocals)
  • “The Wheel” (Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby vocals)
  • “Crazy Fingers” (Trey Anastasio lead vocals)
  • “The Music Never Stopped” (Bob Weir lead vocals

Set Two

  • “Mason’s Children”
  • “Scarlet Begonias” (Trey Anastasio lead vocals)
  • “Fire On The Mountain” (Bruce Hornsby lead vocals)
  • “Drums”
  • “Space”
  • “New Potato Caboose” (Phil Lesh lead vocals)
  • “Playing In The Band” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Let It Grow” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Help On The Way” (Trey Anastasio lead vocals)
  • “Slipknot!”
  • “Franklin’s Tower” (Phil Lesh lead vocals)
  • “Ripple” (encore, Bob Weir and Phil Lesh vocals)


I bumped into Rob, a guy I hadn’t seen in over a decade. And coincidentally he had sold my other friends extra tickets for Saturday’s show! Woo Hoo! I was good for all three nights!



The next day I moved to my friend Jake’s Hotel at the Langham. This joint was first class! Thanks Jake!


Happy 4th of July!

On Saturday we left early and headed toward the stadium.




Grant Park is between the hotel and Soldier Field. The Art Institute of Chicago is within the park much like the MET in NYC.


Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate is aside the museum. Commonly known as The Bean, it reflects the city and all who approach it.


The crew.



Also in the park is the beautiful pavillion designed by Frank Gehry.


We brought a nerf football. B Fox nabs a long toss from Elks.



Today there was time to do the whole scene. On the south side of the stadium is the parking lot where the Deadhead equivalent of a tailgate party is taking place. This is what is missing at any other event that has taken place in Dead reconfigurations or solo acts in the past twenty years. This scene is strictly Grateful Dead.


Chicago was truly welcoming to the Grateful Dead fans. Security was present but unnoticeable and people freaked freely!


This motley medly of friendly folk surrounded the stadium.


Pin Heads!


Captain Jack!


This dude was super proud to have ridden his bike down from Saskatchewan, Canada!



These ladies were offering ecrutrements as a little extra flashy accessory.


I’m Uncle Sam. That’s who I am!


The parking lot grill offering yummy kabobs!



I bumped into this girl who had done a cross country trip of her own which she proudly displays as a colorful tattoo on her arm.


People of all ages prepared for the big July 4th show.



…and young.


Of course people drove their old buses to the show.


This camper was hooked up.


They offered me a seat and a bottle opener as I passed.



You will see your share of cool old cars too.


And the vanity tags which say, “Please pull me over!”




It would not be a Dead show without a Hare Krishna pass by.



The files of people calmly flowed closer and closer to the stadium.


On this night, I didn’t need my ticket. I had one, I just didn’t need it. As I approached the stadium someone threw the door open at gate 5 and started waving people in. So I entered Soldier Field unimpeded. Between the Doric columns from the original 1924 facade and the 2003 renovation The flocks flowed for a second night of good times!






Set One

  • “Shakedown Street” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Liberty” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Standing On The Moon” (Trey Anastasio lead vocals)
  • “Me & My Uncle” (John Phillips cover, Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Tennessee Jed” (Bob Weir, Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby lead vocals)
  • “Cumberland Blues” (Trey Anastasio, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bruce Hornsby vocals)
  • “Little Red Rooster” (Willie Dixon cover, Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Friend Of The Devil” (Phil Lesh lead vocals)
  • “Deal” (Trey Anastasio and Bruce Hornsby lead vocals)

Set Two

  • “Bird Song” (Phil Lesh lead vocals)
  • “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)” (Trey Anastasio and Bruce Hornsby lead vocals)
  • “Lost Sailor” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Saint Of Circumstance” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “West L.A Fadeaway” (Bruce Hornsby lead vocals)
  • “Foolish Heart” (Trey Anastasio lead vocals)
  • “Drums”
  • “Space”
  • “Stella Blue” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “One More Saturday Night” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “U.S. Blues” (encore, Bob Weir lead vocals)













This dude climbed the lamp post like a monkey and swiped a few of the Steal Your Face banners hanging along the road.


I lost everybody I was with at this show, so I took the long walk back on my own and snapped some night shots.











This is it! The last show ever. But it’s more than that. It is the end of this scene that only happens at this event. An era in a place where even the grumpiest folks wear a smile.



Set One

  • “China Cat Sunflower” (Trey Anastasio and Bruce Hornsby lead vocals)
  • “I Know You Rider” (Tossi Aaron cover; Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir vocals)
  • “Estimated Prophet” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Built To Last” (Bruce Hornsby lead vocals)
  • “Samson and Delilah” (traditional, Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Mountains Of The Moon” (Phil Lesh lead vocals)
  • “Throwing Stones” (Bob Weir lead vocals)

Set Two 

  • “Truckin'” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Cassidy” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Althea” (Trey Anastasio lead vocals)
  • “Terrapin Station” (Phil Lesh and Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Drums”
  • “Space”
  • “Unbroken Chain” (Phi Lesh lead vocals)
  • “Days Between” (Bob Weir lead vocals)
  • “Not Fade Away” (The Crickets cover; Trey Anastasio, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bruce Hornsby vocals)
  • “Touch of Grey” (encore 1, Trey Anastasio, Bob Weir, Bruce Hornsby vocals)
  • “Attics of My Life” (encore 2, Trey Anastasio, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bruce Hornsby vocals)





The fireworks on this night were phenomenal!


We were sitting high, so the explosions were right before us!





So much fun was packed into a solid weekend with 3 fantastic shows and great friends!



Instead of flooding out with the masses we watched the 70,000 people slowly filter away corralled by the gentle touch of the hired security.


And then it was over. At least for most of us. We all packed up and headed to or respective homes. Most of my friends flew home. I packed up Bonnie and did a solid two days of riding back to NYC. My boy Gral however went to Gibson’s Steakhouse and had one last GD experience. Nice one Gral!


The ticket stubs to my first show March 7, 1981 and my last show July 5, 2015! In the middle is the first night of the weekend. The mail order tickets were printed from designs of envelopes people had sent in, (a Grateful Dead tradition).


Fare Thee Well

Staten Island

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2012 by Pat Regan

The forecast for this day was to be in the upper 50’s so I got an early start and headed to Staten Island. Staten Island? I really don’t know Staten Island at all. I’ve lived in NYC most of my life. As a kid you think Manhattan is it! The Yankees and the zoo soon introduce you to the Bronx. Later you realize there are girls in Brooklyn and Queens and that becomes interesting. In fact an ongoing joke here is…”I’m in a long distance relationship. She lives in Brooklyn.”

I had ridden the Staten Island Ferry on numerous occasions just for the ride and view. I even stepped off a couple times but got right back on the boat. I rode through Staten Island with blinders on to get the Jersey shore. But I’ve never stopped to have a look.  Now it was time to explore this mysterious island that geographically seems more like New Jersey than New York. My first stop would be just across the Verrazono Narrows Bridge at Fort Wadsworth.

Looking down on Battery Weed at Fort Wadsworth, you can see downtown Manhattan in the distance to the left.

Unfortunately the fort was not open today. I talked with a park ranger. He wasn’t very clear at all about when they are open. He said, “Sometimes on Sundays. You should check the website.” “The National Parks website?” I asked. He said, “No this one.” as he handed me a paper and pointed to this address…

The fort may be all locked up, but I was able to stick my camera through some open bars and peek inside.

Below is the former home of Alice Austen, a photographer from the late 1800’s.

This is the view of the city from her back yard. She lost everything during the Great Depression, but the house is now a museum to honor her.

Below is an old horse stable simply named Stable “A”. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, the Department of Street Cleaning (later to become the Department of Sanitation) used this place to keep their horses. Back then all their vehicles were horse drawn. It still houses trucks and equipment for the Department of Sanitation.

The Smith Infirmary Hospital. This is what first attracted me to investigate Staten Island. I read about this place online. From what I could gather it is not going to be preserved. The damage is too great and it’s slated for demolition. For all I knew at the time, it may have been gone already. But as I rounded a turn on Cebra Avenue I could see those spires still pointed upward.

There were large fences all around the front of the property so I rode around to the back where I was able to climb a stone wall and slip between a broken chain link fence. Once inside the walls I could see that the plywood had been pulled away from one of the basement doors. For me it may as well have been a welcome mat.

Inside it was everything I had hoped for. A decrepit mess. Time for the pictures to do the talking.

I tip-toed around the upper floors thinking I was alone, then these pigeons bustled and scared the %!@%#& out of me.

I rode toward the Western shore of the island and stopped by a small community turned cultural center called Snug Harbor. The chapel below was built in 1854.

Snug Harbor was originally developed as a home for retired sailors. Now it is a Cultural Center. There are some great looking buildings at Snug Harbor. A row of Greek revival buildings were heavily shaded and partially obstructed by scaffolding so I didn’t photograph them. There is also a long row of these small brick homes as seen below. I would have snooped around a little more at Snug Harbor but there is only so much time in a day and I had more to see.

Upon exiting Snug Harbor I chatted it up with an old security guy at the gate. He used to ride a Triumph. He also steered me in the right direction for some gas and my next destination, Historic Richmond Town.

I knew there were some old buildings in Richmond Town. I didn’t know it was one of those places where they try to make history ‘come alive’ with people dressed from the era. But it is winter and things were generally quiet. With few exceptions these old structures were moved to this location from other parts of Staten Island. The house below is one of those exceptions; it sits in it’s original place in this town once called Coccles Town.

Putting the camera up against the glass made for a good shot in this recreated general store.

I leaned on the glass again at the carpenter’s shop.

The house below is called Christopher House and was originally built in 1720. It was moved here from Willowbrook.

CLICK HERE to see an interactive map of Richmond Town.

While in Richmond Town I noticed a lighthouse in the high hills above. I asked a lady in one of the houses about the lighthouse. She told me the small creek that runs through town was once quite large. People used to travel here from the inlet on the west side of the island and the old lighthouse guided their way.

Another one of the sites I was eager to see was this old boat graveyard off Arthur Kill Road. Unfortunately most of it is behind the walls of a large salvage company with strict orders against photography. I went in twice to try and was turned down quickly. They said the boss flips when people try to snap shots of the rustic wonders. However about half a mile down the road there is a spot where you can view a few of the decaying beasts.

My final destination was the Conference House (AKA Bentley Manor) at the southern end of the island. It was build before 1680 and once housed an unsuccessful peace conference to try and settle the Revolutionary War. While here I talked to an old guy riding a HD Sportser. He was checking out my bike. He used to work on lots of the old British bikes and once had a BSA Gold Star with a Super Rocket engine. He said he had taken photos of the boats at the old salvage yard. He told me the guy’s name who owns it and described him as crotchety but said maybe if you catch him on a good day he will let you take some photos. I hope so.

Bring Back My Bonnie To Me

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 20, 2012 by Pat Regan

Another 3 weeks! That is how long it took for a part to arrive. The bearing under the gasket beneath the clutch adjustment lever was causing the leak. So now, all leaks should be sealed. It was time to ride and the weather was right. Last winter’s weather made riding near impossible. It was cold and we got dumped on a few times with tons of snow. This winter has been mild. I have missed some good riding days. Whatever, finally it was time to twist that throttle and test those weeping seals.

I returned to the area where I was forced to stop in the last post because of the leak. Back to the East River. There was one more place in Queens I wanted to explore before heading south. The housing and parks development along the river has been growing at a rapid pace. Over mountainous piles of dirt I found perhaps the last piece of untouched land along the river.

It’s almost impossible to believe that this hadn’t been developed long ago. But here it is. I think I will adopt this as my new clubhouse.

I was also surprised to find horse shoe crabs right here in NYC!

Here lies the entire carcass of an old rusted car!

Granted I did climb between fences to enter this site, but I had seen no signs to hinder me. So happily I rolled along. Then after walking to the other end of this pristine landscape I noticed the back of a sign. The sign itself is directed at the water. So, obviously it wasn’t meant for me.

I headed south into Brooklyn. I liked this old shack with the fire/police box.

The warehouse areas in Greenpoint and Williamburg have some great graffiti.

These artists were laying out a new piece.

Hope Street has some nice pieces including the Shepard Fairy below.

I stopped by Indian Larry Motorcycles for a photo with the new sign. Indian Larry is no longer with us, but they continue to make beautiful bikes at this shop.

Then I headed down toward DUMBO. On the way you pass the old Brooklyn Navy Yards. There are a series of old abandoned  homes beyond this big red wall.

The red wall turns to iron gate as you proceed along the old homes for Navy brass known as Admiral’s Row.

Then onto DUMBO. For those that don’t know, it’s an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. And just below the bridge is this small area with a decrepit pier. I took this shot of the wall to the right of the pier.  What is the purpose of the upside down arch?

The Norton Commando 750. I sat on the new version of this at the bike show. Gotta love like the cafe racer classic.

I continued down to Red Hook and had a look back at the city where the new WTC clearly dominates the downtown skyline.

I stopped by the Brooklyn Ice House to warm up and have a couple delicious pulled pork sandwiches (2 for $5) and a brew.

What could just as easily be a monalithic factory on a rural landscape, this monster sits at the mouth of the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.

The Gowanus Canal (once Gowanus Creek) was once a bustling shipping lane and now a putrid mess.

Actually the city is working on a 4 year plan to clean up the canal. You can see how the oil slicks just sit atop the water. There is no flow in or out of the canal.

But it seems no matter where I travel and no matter what the conditions, there are those who are happy to call it home.

Repairs Done?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2012 by Pat Regan

I picked Bonnie up from the shop today. Numerous gaskets were replaced as were both the sprockets and chain. I figured I would head to the spot where I had to call it quits last time because of the oil leak. I crossed the 59th Street Bridge (now titled the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge barf!) and headed back toward the East River.

I rode through Calvary Cemetery. It is surreal to be in a large cemetery with the view of the city so near in the background.

I headed south and back to the river. A good rule of thumb for getting good shots is…when you see a hole cut in a fence, walk through it.

When I went back to the bike, I was disappointed to see oil dripping. The gasket around the clutch adjustment lever was still leaking, so I took her back to the shop.

The International Motorcycle Show

A friend got me a free pass to the bike show at the Javits Center last week. We went on Friday night. In the past I went on Saturday or Sunday. Friday makes a huge difference as far as the crowd goes. It was nice to be able to check everything out without much hustle.

This big beauty didn’t feel as large once I sat on it. Just after this I bumped into a friend I met at a pow wow in Montana while traveling cross country in 2009.

This is one of Pauly Jr’s bikes.

Norton is back. I sat on this Commando. It may not be the bike for a long distance ride, but it sure feels like fun.

Coast to Coast 2011

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 27, 2011 by Pat Regan

Click on the photo below to view this years journey, all summed up in chronological order.