Trans New Jersey Trail

vegan, motorcycle, travel, elefant - 4 Comments » - Posted on July, 7 at 9:56 pm

So yesterday I hooked up with a few guys and did the first 4.1 legs of the Trans-New Jersey Trail. Basically a couple of guys from NJ decided that their state has some great roads and similar to the Trans_Continetal Trail they put together a mixed ride of pavement and dirt from the top western corner of New Jersey (high Point State Park), to the south eastern most point (Cape May) the entire route is about 770 miles and all withing the third smallest state in the U.S. Though all of the parts were ridden no one has ridden the entire route and this weekend was going to be the maiden trip. Three days with camping Fri. and Sat. night. I only planned on riding Friday since my new bike is big and heavy, doesn’t have true off-road tires and my off-road skills are no were equal to my on-road skills. Friday was the easiest off-road day so I went for it. Lots of fun road almost 400 miles and my average moving speed was only 38 mph, and I was doing 70-75 on the 70 mile ride up there. Needless to say it was slow going, but good practice.

We stopped for lunch at this general store/grill/deli, I had a hummus sandwich which was the biggest I ever had, I should have taken a picture of it. I enjoyed it as others ate their death around me, but so it often is when riding. Towards the end my riding partners peeled off and I rode one section which was about 70 miles of the next section alone. As much as I like riding with people I prefer to ride on my own. If I want to ride fast I ride fast, if i want to ride slow I ride slow, no worries about making someone ride above their head, or riding so slow you bore the people behind you. The true beauty of riding is that it is you and the ride, alone with your thoughts and feelings.
That said I enjoyed the company and would gladly ride with that crew again.

Posted in vegan, motorcycle, travel, elefant | 4 Comments »

Doofus and Dingus

vegan - 2 Comments » - Posted on July, 5 at 9:22 pm

Last year I bought a used GPS for pretty cheap and played with it. I enjoyed putting some routes in it and having some pretty accurate such as speeds, distance traveled and average speeds and such, but never really used to for plotting routes since it was a bit slow and had only a small amount of memory.

i recently just finished reading Roadshow Landscape with Drums, a Concert Tour by Motorcycle by Neil Peart. It is was an excellent read, and I really like his style of writing. Just in case you don’t know Neal Peart is the drummer from the band Rush and many consider him the greatest drummer alive, he is also the lyricist and can put his words to paper really well. In the book he and a friend are traveling by bus and motorcycle around the U.S. then Europe as the band plays a tour, and the book talks about reflections of touring, riding and friendship. In the book his friend Michael has a GPS and it is always doing really silly things so Neal nicknamed it Doofus, later on he gets his own and calls it Dingus. GPS’s have improved but they still do silly things.

I was out riding with a friend the other day and trying to remember the name of restaurant that was on the Long island Sound and I put the name of the beach in and we started heading there, it was great until we hit a dead end and could see the beach but it would have required us to ride around a piece of armco barrier and over about 20 feet of sand. I was willing to go for it, but Marge not so much so. So I used the old tried and true method of “figuring it out” and we did a three mile loop to find the beach and figure out it was the wrong beach. Luckily we asked someone and she knew the restaurant but not where it was. I typed the name into the GPS it came up and we followed it right to the door and had a great lunch. Well OK the food was only decent, a pasta marinara with sauted broccoli rabe on the side, but the company and views were excellent.

Posted in vegan | 2 Comments »

New Elefant for Me

vegan, motorcycle, elefant, ducati - 5 Comments » - Posted on July, 4 at 11:10 am

So last week I was browsing ADVRider.com and saw an ad for a Ducati E900 Elefant in my area and the price was right and I always wanted one, so I called the guy and looked at it and we made a deal. That was the easy part getting it home was the fun part.

My plan was to register it in the morning, get the plates and take the train then PATH train to go pick it up, sounded simple, right?

I got to DMV and after an hour and half line they were unable to pull the VIN up as a valid VIN and sent me on my way. I had this neat little green piece of paper to cut the line after I took a VIN tracing. I came home from DMV and sold my other bike to a nice guy who was a German diplomat working at the U.N.

I called the seller double-checked the VIN and checked with the Jersey DMV and found out for $5 I could get a 20 day temp.tag so I trained to Jersey walked to the shop. Speaking of the shop his place QuattroHaus was a kick ass shop, with all kinds of neat rally cars, Porsches, racing Karts, a few bikes, a fun toy house and seemed to be a popular place to get your German car worked on. Jose drove me and waited with me at the DMV (did I say he was awesome?), got the temp plate went back to his place and prepared to ride home. As I was leaving he told me to get gas and where the nearest station was. I spaced out and missed the station and figured I’d hit the next one, well I didn’t hit one and I knew the bike had a reserve, as I was heading back to NYC on the Pulaski Skyway I ran out of gas, flicked it to reserve and the bike died. I couldn’t get it started and I was screwed. This road is basically a highway, which is a series of bridges that go over all of the NJ industrial area heading to NYC. I was as close to the wall of the bridge as I could get and tried to start it, couldn’t get it fired. I called Jose to see if he knew any tricks and he didn’t, he also told me he never used the reserve. He also told me there was a gas station over just up the road. So I stepped up onto about a 2 foot high curb and got the bike as close to possible to it and started pushing, cars zipping by me at 70mph plus inches from me. I leaned over and pushed up over the first bridge (maybe a ¼ mile push) then rode coasted down the other side until I ran out of steam and got off and pushed maybe another ¼-1/2 (did I mention it was super hot, humid and hazy that day?) to the next bridge and right before it I saw an entrance ramp for my side and an exit ramp for the other side.

I rested until I gained some strength and looked for an opening and ran the bike across two lanes of a highway and started to coast down the ramp, I tried pop starting it since the battery was dead by this time and no luck, when out of the blue the red Audi that drove me to DMV pulls up and it is Jose with some gas in a can (Like I said he was awesome), we filled it up and couldn’t fire it but I got enough momentum down the hill that I was able to pop start it and ride it to the bottom of the ramp, where Jose and I chatted for a minutes and he led me to a gas station where I filled up and he made sure it started, we shook hands and I was on my way.

A few morals I learned:
Make sure you buy a bike from a great guy
When he says get gas, get gas
The reserve doesn’t work on my Elefant
Pushing a bike while hunched over a two-foot curb is not great for your back
I think I am going to like this bike
Not my pic, but a pic of what i pushed it over though i was heading in the other direction. Info on the skyway
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulaski_Skyway

Posted in vegan, motorcycle, elefant, ducati | 5 Comments »

Track Food

vegan, motorcycle, travel - 2 Comments » - Posted on June, 24 at 11:01 am


I used to race motorcycles and then I then worked in the racing industry for most of my adult life, which has brought me to racetracks all over the U.S. and a handful abroad. I hadn’t been to a track in a few years, but the burnout has worn off and I have returned to the track. I was at three different racetracks over the last three weekends, first it was Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ, then Moto338, in Southwick, MA, and finally Budd’s Creek, in Leonardtown, MD.and these tracks did nothing to change my mind about crappy track food.

Before I was a vegan the only track that had decent food in all of the U.S. was Road America in Elkhart lake, WI., but as a vegan you basically starve. Looking around you could get hamburgers, cheeseburgers, barbecue pork sandwiches, sausage and peppers, but not one piece of vegetable, unless you count the iceberg lettuce and tomato on the burgers.

Luckily Cliff bars, and Luna bars are available almost everywhere and an apple will usually last in a tank bag, so I didn’t starve, though it wouldn’t have killed me to miss a few meals. I can’t wait to the day where there are some vegan food options at racetracks and everywhere for that matter. I have seen some more options being mentioned at baseball stadiums so maybe we are heading in the right direction, but for now I guess I will bring my own food to the tracks or just eat dirt.

Posted in vegan, motorcycle, travel | 2 Comments »

No Fear

vegan, motorcycle, animal rights - 2 Comments » - Posted on June, 11 at 10:04 pm


I was at the AMA Motocross National in Southwick, Ma. yesterday and I was struck by the amount of young men in wheelchairs watching the race. I do not know their stories but I know a handful of riders who were paralyzed either racing or riding streetbikes, and my sad guess is that a large portion of the wheelchair spectators I saw were paralyzed on bikes. During the intermission there was an auction for Doug Henry a local pro who was paralyzed this past March in a racing accident. I can’ claim to be Doug’s friend but our path’s have crossed a few times and he has been one of my favorite racers for a long time. He has no always been the best rider on the planet but a true competitor who would do anything for anyone, from the top pro’s to some fan who didn’t even know his name. There were auctions, raffles, and candy sales to raise money to help offset some of his expenses and I know I was happy to throw a few bucks to help him out.

On the ride home I was thinking off all the young guys I saw in wheelchairs and it got me thinking. As a kid and into my early twenties I lived a fearless life. I would be the kid to take the dare no matter stupid it was, the teenager who jumped his bicycle across the gap between two six-story apartment buildings, the motorcycle racer who didn’t care if he crashed, and somehow I survived it. Yeah there are some scars, healed and unhealed broken bones, and I wake up achy sometimes, but I survived.

Though I no longer race I still ride motorcycles and I may not ride like I did, I am not at all conservative and one day I might step past the point of no return. If I am paralyzed I am sure I will not regret riding , it is such an important part of my life. Just like all those race fans sitting there in their wheelchairs watching racers race. They took a risk and paid the price but must not have any regrets if they are watching racing again.

As I was thinking about this I thought of other people who have paid dearly for what they love or desire and I thought of some of the imprisoned activist. In my opinion there are those activists who knowingly broke the law and did so with no regrets, and those who only broke some mystical laws that were invented after the fact. I know activists’ like Peter Young have no regrets for the price he has paid in rescuing and shutting down mink farms(read his sentencing statement to the court here). But I hope those SHAC 6 defendants caught in the Green Scare do not regret the price they are paying. They did not do anything willfully wrong, but are sitting in jail for practicing free speech.

We all need to be activists to end animal cruelty, to some being an activist is breaking into mink farms and setting minks free, some prefer to protest, for others it is a letter writing campaign, some just do not consume or use any non-human animal products.I do not regret what I have done in the past, and I may not live a life of “No Fear” anymore, but when it comes to supporting abolition of the animal industry we all need to live a life of “No Fear”

Posted in vegan, motorcycle, animal rights | 2 Comments »

The Wind in My Crotch

vegan, motorcycle - 2 Comments » - Posted on June, 9 at 4:37 pm

It has been hotter than hell this week and feels like summer already. Temps in mid 90’s and humid and I have been sweating while riding. It was bad enough I drove my car a few times which sucks to do. So yesterday I decided to go buy some vented rising pants. I did some research and decided I wanted to buy a a pair of Olympia Airglide 2 Overpants so I headed over to a local shop to try them on, it was sort of annoying since I was between sizes, with the liners in and a pair of jeans they were tight with no liners they seemed OK, but a bit loose. I decided to buy them and hope it works out.

I wore them the next day to go to the AMA Supermoto race at Englishtown,NJ and there were so cool, I wore shorts under them and it was so breezy, like wearing almost no pants, but with the piece of mind of protection. never having owned vented non-leather riding gear I was truly impressed. As a bonus when I got to the track I slipped off the pants, easily due to their full length leg zippers and popped off my boots and socks and threw on a pair of Chaco’s and walked around the pits in the comfort of shorts, sandals and a t-shirt. During the day it started to rain and I rode home with my rain pants on over them, which brings me to the review of these pants.

Obviously being vented they are not water-proof, though they do come with an insulted water-proof liner. The problem is that in the summer when I will be wearing them I’d rather be wet then sweating, so I still have to carry a rain suit with me. The legs are very long for me and need to be hemmed, luckily the design of these pants make them very easy to hem, so they will fit me better soon enough. The one thing that frustrates me is the lack of any kind of integrated adjustable waist/belt. If a pair of pants are designed to be worn over jeans, with a insulated liner and then worn over thin bicycle shorts why would they not come with some kind of adjustable waist sizing system? I own a pair of First Gear HT Overpants and they have a near perfect adjustable waist and fit me no matter what i wear under them. the problem is they do not breath or offer the armor the Airglide’s come with. Speaking of armor, there is some cheap soft foam for the hips, I think these will offer almost zero protection if i decide to do an asphalt hardness test with my body. the knees though are another story, they offer some excellent CE approved pads which are made up of some thin hard foam (similar to a helmet liner), with some thin memory foam type stuff behind them. I think these would do an excellent job of protecting my knees in a fall, but for me they are uncomfortable. I have some pretty beat up knees with a minimum of cartridge left in them and the pad grinds against my knees and hurts. The cure was simple I took the soft knee padding from my First Gear pants and put them behind the Olympia armor.

Overall I really like these pants, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up selling them one day and buying a pair of First Gear HT Air 2.0 Overpants to replace them, I like the fit and the adjustability of the First Gear pants better. As a side note Beanie (my cat) was very interested in these pants, he must have smelled the cat I blogged about earlier who stowed away in a container going to Olympia. OK, I am sure this was not the case, but he did obsess over these pants more than he usually obsesses over things.

Posted in vegan, motorcycle | 2 Comments »

Adventure Kitty

vegan - No Comments » - Posted on May, 26 at 10:46 am

I saw a post on a motorcycle forum I frequent about a cat who stowed away in a shipping container and ended up in North Carolina. Ironically the container was heading to Olympia Motorsports, the company who makes my toxic yellow jacket. From the article the cat was very defensive against it’s would-be rescuers so they called animal control who caught the cat, and have to quarantine him for six months. One of the employees is going to keep “China” after the six month quarantine is up.

This is one of those feel good stories about how a cat was stowed-away at see and lived for at least 35 days with no food or water and was rescued and all turned out well. But of course there is the other side of it maybe someone in China lost a beloved pet, or what if the cat died a slow cruel starvation death by starvation or dehydration?

I couldn’t imagine my cat Beanie escaping from my house and ending up on a ship heading for god knows where and never seeing him again. So yeah kudos for the staff at Olympia for saving this kitty, but thumbs down for someone making the mistake to ship a cat half-way around the world.

Posted in vegan | No Comments »

Frustrations With Getting Gear Info

vegan, motorcycle - 3 Comments » - Posted on May, 23 at 9:44 pm

I stared this website because of the great website Carl Olsen built Non-leather Motorcycle Gear, his site became outdated because of other projects he had going so i dropped him an email and asked if he minded if I started a “competing” site, his reply was go for it! So thanks Carl.

I wanted to make sure my site is as accurate as possible so I am emailing companies to verify what gear that have that is vegan. Some are very cooperative and replied in details, others have ignored my requests. It is frustrating and systemic of customer service these days.If you are not going to respond to emails, or not going to clear your inbox so emails do not bounce, do not publish your address. I may be a teacher now but I worked in retail and wholesale for almost 20 years prior and I answered every single email I would receive. Even if it was to say “I am sorry I do not have an answer for you” I am not ready to bash all the companies that did not reply yet, but I want give kudos to those who did reply.

Olympia Gloves replied within a day with a list of what gloves are vegan. Joe Rocket gave me a detailed list of their vegan gloves and mentioned that they are not currently making any vegan gloves or boots, but may make them again. Alpinestars and Rev’it replied that they do not make any vegan gloves or boots but both make jackets.

My gear guide is growing, but it is very time consuming and growing slowly, but you can visit it at http://www.veganmotorcyclist.com/gear.htm

Added 5/24/2007

Got a reply from a company to my question about any specific gloves and boots they make that are 100% leather-free, this is their response. ” _______ no longer makes boots. However, most of our gloves are made from leather materials. We do offer a few styles that are a Mesh material which is made from polyester. The remaining is made form nylon which is also from polyester materials.”

Thanks for offering me the exact info I needed, ugh!

Posted in vegan, motorcycle | 3 Comments »

Thinking About C

motorcycle, travel - No Comments » - Posted on May, 22 at 8:56 pm

I rode dirt bikes as a kid and when I was 19 I decided to get my first streetbike. A family friend who rode told me even though I know how to ride I should get a smaller bike, so I bought my first bike a 1988 Kawasaki EX500 and decided to go on a long ride with it. No idea where I wanted to go, so i asked . Since he was the motorcycle traveler and he said Nova Scotia is beautiful and Cape Breton Island has some amazing roads. So I went to the library took out a travel book and off to Nova Scotia I went. Seemed rationale to have been riding for less than two months and go on a 2.500 mile round trip ride. I didn’t even own rain gear so when it started raining i pulled into a K-mart and bought a rain suit. I made it through that trip though it rained something like six of the eight days i was there.

The following year I decided to go on a longer trip on my second bike, a 1989 Kawasaki Ninja 750, this trip was to have no time limit, and no destination. It ended up being almost five months and 28,000 miles. My only plan was to ride and ride far and often, I had a Reader’s Digest Pocket Atlas and I was going to just use it and go. Before departing C. called me up and asked if I needed any advice or help and I told him his advice was always welcome. He told me some places to go and things to do and asked if I was going to be around on Tuesday he wanted to see me. We met up and he gave me a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance which he inscribed. I brought it on the trip and that book and that trip changed my life. Years later I lent the book to someone and never got it back. Sad since I long forgot what it said.

C. and I never road together, he wasn’t into riding with other people, since he had a friend die riding with him. We would sometimes run into each other on the road and he was a fixture at the Americade Rally in Lake Geroge, NY and I would sometimes be up there at my families place and we would meet for lunch or something. We barely ever talked and were down to a Christmas card maybe every other year. But he always had a place in my heart, a few months back my uncle, who was his best friend called me and told me C died in his sleep from a stroke. I was heartbroken because he met so much to me, but I never really expressed it. I have had a lot of people die in my life, and for C.’s death touched me more than most.

Today i was riding and I saw someone on a gray Goldwing and I thought of C, Americade is coming up and I think my uncle said they may be spreading his ashes up there. I am not into the whole ash thing, or Americade but I think i’ll take a trip up there. though this time if it rains I will have a rain suit.

Ride On Ceotis, Ride on!

Posted in motorcycle, travel | No Comments »

Riding for Food

vegan, motorcycle, travel - 2 Comments » - Posted on May, 20 at 10:16 pm

I brought my nephew to see Black Sabbath(OK Heaven and Hell, so Sharon Osbourne doesn’t sue me) last night, and we both really had a great time. The problem is I didn’t go to bed until 2am and I wanted to meet some people and go riding and needed to be up at 7:30. Well I overslept and tried to make it on time but didn’t so I rode my KLR650 all over northwest New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, and was getting hungry. I remembered I had Vegan Treats in my GPS so I programmed it to take me there and off I went.

I was sort of disappointed that they only served desserts, I though they also had a cafe but oh well, I guess it was going to be sugar for lunch I ordered a cinnamon bun and I was not disappointed it was amazing. i am glad it is about 80 miles or more from my house, makes it safer not to go there more often.

While riding out of there I thought about how so many group rides revolve around food. Be it a morning breakfast ride, always loaded with meat and eggs, or a lunch ride to some famous barbecue place that smells of death. I rarely ride with groups but if I do I always end up going and not eating and being disgusted. I think we need to plan a motorcycle road trip to Vegan Treats from all over the north east.

Any takers?

Posted in vegan, motorcycle, travel | 2 Comments »

« Previous Entries Next Entries »