Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"I'm sorry sir, but you're not allowed to take a hammer into the boarding area."

True story. But I was actually giving the hammer to my buddy to send to me since my bag was 1 kilo too heavy. I think everyone in the baggage check in line was praying that they were not going to be on my flight as I pulled out knives, lighters, my bayonet and finally my hammer in an effort to loose some weight.
Easy, but long flight. Still a little jet lagged, but I think I'm passed the walking zombie phase. It's weird looking around and seeing California again. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to be back, but I think Europe had become my comfort zone, and it's taking a little time to adjust. Another adventure.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Adios Amigos!

Well this is it. Less than 16 hours left here in Europe, at the end of my wild and truly fucking awesome adventure. I owe a lot of thanks to everyone whom I've met here and took me in while I zig-zagged across the country. Without everyones shared passion for motorcycles, and the trust that I wasn't a psychopath, this could not have been as great as it was. Thank you again, you will see me another time for sure, and you are all welcome in California!

13000 kilometers, approx (only kept track on the highways)
3 flat tires
1 ignition system (my fault)
Crossed 30 borders
1 rear tire (both will be replaced as soon as I get the bike back)
3 taillight bulbs
4 motor oil changes
5 tranny oil changes
Over 130 gas stops
7 kebab sandwiches (not sure why I remember this)
Pulled over once
0 tickets
Asked to show papers and passport twice
Saw Matt from Dice 3 times in 3 different countries
3 bottles of Ricard
Welded sissybar 3 times
3 pairs of intake bands
Rewired taillight twice
Rode with a brake light, none
Dropped the bike once
1 primary belt
1 chain
2 broken zippers (on my colors and cold weather jacket)
1 shattered GoPro camera on the autobahn (mother fucker)
I think this list could go on and on, but you get the point. It was a great trip! See you all next time...

Thanks to Giuseppe and Simone from Lowride for the picture

Thursday, July 26, 2012


On the road

Not sure when and where this was taken.

Past time

The old man, 1970.

Parked for the night

This one is for John and river ranch

Camping trip

Yes that is one keg for 6 of us!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Last Couple of Days in Holland

Parties, riding, tattoos and more parties. I leave for Bavaria this afternoon on the high speed train. It's a good thing that the bike is boxed up, I think I would ride right into a canal this morning.
I'll be in Bavaria for a couple more days, trying to pack up all my shit. I've been pretty good about leaving at least one thing at every stop. Gifts from the road.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A afternoon ride!

An Animal in his Cage!

The next time I see the bike, it will be in California. Built a box with the help of Mick and his father the other day. Packed it full of everything I won't need for my trip home, like my rain suit! And it will be taken to Rotterdam early next week, and then it's into the Atlantic for its second trip across the ocean.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Support !! 404......thanks pat

The Grand Fanale

Well my trip here in Europe is quickly winding down. I left for Holland and the Rogues the other day from Kaufbeuren. This was going to be my final ride with my bike here in Europe. Almost three months ago, my trip here started with this exact ride.
Unfortunately this one would end a little before the border of Holland with a burnt up charging system. Thankfully Michel from Antwerp was heading up to meet me and the Rogues in Opmeer, so a slight (3 hour) detour into Germany and I was loaded into the van and would finish the trip dry for once!
A warm welcome and several cold beers were had at the club house once we arrived. Another great time and trip, but this one was a one way deal for the bike. Shipping and building a crate for the bike is now the priority. Reality is setting in that this is the end.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Why do 400K when you could do 600k!

Spent an extra night in Italy at the Sbarbari Klan CC birthday party. The plan was to stop in for one beer, and then continue on over the Dolomites, into Austria and then over the Alps back to Bavaria. From the campsite of the party, I could see north into the mountains, and the entire sky was black. So the one beer turned into two, and the camping looked good, so a third beer was in order.
A slight hiccup in the morning put me back an hour, but I was on the road, winding through the Italian back roads. In Trento, I jumped on the highway, made up some lost time, and quickly crossed into Austria.
I had my directions taped to my tank, but I ignored them in some traffic in Innsbruck. And instead of checking the map immediately, I ended up doing a 120k detour through Austria. Nice country.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Ahhh, great fucking ride! Took pretty much back roads the entire way to Milano on tuesday. Up, over and down through the alps, and came out just north of the city near this huge fucking lake.
Of course I left Kaufbeuren late and ended up in the rain somewhere near Maloya Pass. Thankfully it cleared up just before heading down this massive set of switchbacks. Would be a lot more fun going up without rain.
Met up with Giuseppe from Lowride magazine and Romano from Rumblers CC, both whom I met in Chimay.
Went on a good little ride today. In, out, around and then back through the city. The bike was running shitty all day, and eventually put me on the side of the road. A quick look into the bowl of the carb, and we discovered water in the gas.
So I'll start tomorrow with wrenches in hand!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Last Couple of Days

Well, where the fuck do I start. After Chimay I followed Michel back to Antwerp to try and attack the massive list of things to do on the bike before I ventured back to Bayern. It was a nice change of pace, hanging out, enjoying the sun, working on the bikes, and small talk, in Flemish, with his two little daughters. But the family life must once again be put on hold. Bikes got fixed and the weather had held out, so it was back to the road to explore northern Belgium.

 "I want YOU, to babysit me!"

 New air filter!

 Angelo, Keith, and a beer menu that includes 800 beers.

 Downtown Antwerp

Bikes are running again. Lets go for a shakedown ride... to the bar!

So I am not really that superstitious. I don't think I'm anywhere close to a baseball player, or sports figure when it comes to doing certain things the same way every day, or keeping momentos for good luck, or not washing a jersy or T shirt. But this trip has changed me a little bit. I never wash my jeans or cut-off, never have and never will. The rain is the only water on these things. And then the other day, I pulled out part of my throwout bearing, which went out in Bretagne almost 2 months ago, out of my pocket. Didn't know it was there, but I put it right back into my pocket, just in case. Things have been pretty managable up until now, so maybe that little shredded piece of metal had something to do with it. Who knows. Some of you might have noticed I added "knock on wood" to the post No Easy Days. I did this, but after my ride south to Bayern.
I don't trust the weather, especially here, but I had gotten my hopes up when it was saying sun and warm weather all the way south. This was the first of a couple upsets for the day. As soon as I left Belgium and quickly crossed over a corner of Holland, the sky closed up, and began to pour. It dumped on me bad. No big deal though, because it was warm, really warm, part of the forecast was actually right. But this wasn't it though. As I pulled into the gas station to get gas and put on the rest of my rain gear, I noticed that my front tire had gone flat. Slow leak, but a leak. So I filled up the tank and the tire, and hauled ass. I repeated this little pit stop routine until finally, about 200K later, I was really afraid the tire was going to come off the bead, and put me into the guardrail, or over the side.
Thankfully the sun was out by now, and I got to spend 3 glorious hours on the side of the road, somewhere west of Frankfurt, drying all my clothes out, waiting for the tow truck. He did finally arrive, and took me to the fastest tire shop around, and I was on my way again, 3 hours late, but on the road.

 Sunset, 200K from home!

 More maintenance. Frame rails are finally level with the ground again.

With most vacations, you forget the date, what day of the week it is, your name, or whatever. I am no stranger to this, almost forgot my birthday until I read some emails from family! So we celebrated 4th of July, on the 5th. Fashionably late. Either way, a great BBQ, good German beer, on ice, a new concept for Europe, but I insisted, and just so we were not thinking too much of the sun in California, a fucking rain storm that flooded the entire lot and almost the shop.

Russian night vision

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wheels and Waves-Biarritz 2012

I'm finally by a computer again, and this entire time I don't feel I've given you all a decent picture of this event that happened three weeks ago on the Atlantic ocean in southern France, within view of Spain and the Pyrannes mountains.
Right now the entire custom scene in the U.S. is probably still feeling the hangover and buzz from the Born Free show in southern California, but for me, I can't stop thinking about this event in France. I'm glad it was not even close to the size of some of the other events in Europe and the U.S. I felt that I was able to witness the beginning of a new custom scene, gathering here at this show. There were less than four Harleys there, but one needs to understand that if you don't have one, or most likely can't afford one here in Europe, this is what you do. If you are really about the machine, then your passion for the bike itself outweighs all stereo-types and molds. We have the bike scene from the 60's and 70's to look back at and pull ideas from. These guys have a real race history here, but I don't think much of a custom scene, so they are doing it themselves, and I got to see the early stages of this here!
I love my bike and the style it represents. I want to build another one, replecating even more aspects of our Northern California/Bay Area blood line. But I was blown away by all the really cool shit that showed up for this event. And like I said, we went on two rides, and both times we rode the living shit out of our machines. These things blew minds, and the wheels off!

So my plan was to put a post on here with links to all the sites and pictures, but Vincent from the Southsiders did this already. Here is the link to his page, check it out. Southsiders


On´the coast heading south to Spain, top
Niko (UK), Ben (New Zealand) and yours truly (California) Fucking tight pack!
Huge thanks to Vincent and the rest of the Southsiders

Photos: Sam Christmas and Benoit Guerry

Sunday, July 1, 2012


2nd annual Swap Meet september 29th. Estes Customs.  Parts,Food,Bands,Booze,Camping,Choppers,Hot Rods.      
 More details and Flyer to come soon

A Couple from the Road

Whitby Abbey, UK
Thanks Gaz