Exploring the Unknown

Exploring the Unknown
Representing the 99%!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Interview With A Biker - Cory Ovans By Sahra Ross

Pic © Cory Ovans
No matter who you are or what kind of bike you own, you are a biker. There are many kinds of bikers; scooter bikers, dirt bikers and motorcycle bikers. Each and every one of them are bikers but the reasons they ride are different. I interviewed a biker and his name is Cory Ovans (a.k.a. Christmas (because every biker needs a biker name). He is 23 years of age and has been riding for about 12 years. He owns a dirt bike as well as a dark green and black Kawasaki KLR 650.

Monday, October 9, 2017

A Review of Motorcycling for Women by Nancy and Betty Debenham (1928) By BOKUS


The year this book was written was a period of great optimism; 62 nations renounced the use of war to resolve disputes and the sun shone, a fortnight in July that year recorded temperatures of 90 degrees and no rain. Significantly 'Motorcycling for Women' was published in 1928, when women achieved an equal voting age with men at 21. The book reflects a golden period when there were more motorcycles on the road than cars and anyone could ride a motorcycle at 14 without passing a test or wearing a helmet. You will see from the photographs in this book that the authors Nancy and Betty Debenham were attractive, adventurous and happy young ladies who thoroughly enjoyed their motorcycling. The sisters became poster girls for BSA motorcycles in 1927.

Interview With A Biker - Nick Q. Keeler By Emily Young

Living The Dream
Pic © Nick Q. Keeler
Nick Q. Keeler was born and raised in Quebec and spent most of his adolescent life in Ayer’s Cliff, Quebec. He went to Stanstead College for high school and went to many post secondary institutions in Quebec. Nick has recently written a book on Estate planning, and has happily been married to Gail for 50 years they had a son and now two grandchildren.

Interview With A Biker - Annie Wood By Joëlle Couture

Here is Annie on the front left with a bunch of other organizers of the Poker run!
Pic © Lac-Mégantic Poker Run
If we were to ask someone about what they think of the biker culture we would not be surprised if many people would say that they find them intimidating with their loud machines and their leather jackets. Well, I don’t know about others, but Lac-Mégantic Poker Run was started by bikers in 2006. The Poker run is an organization which mobilizes to help and amass money for sick kids from the area of the MRC du Granit. To know more about this organization, I interviewed Ms. Annie Wood, a female biker herself who has been volunteering and organizing the Poker run for several years now.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Interview With A Biker - Lyndon St. Laurent By Dillon MacLeod

Pic © Lyndon St. Laurent
My interview was with a man who is a friend of my mothers, Lyndon who also goes by Cowboy or Butch. He is a retired employee of the city of Sherbrooke where he was a small machinery operator, and now has taken up hobbies like Riding, building rat-rod trucks, bodybuilding, and hunting. Lyndon got into riding around the young age of nineteen in 1970 and he purchased his first motorcycle, a Honda 350. His best friend owned a Goldwing, which was what got him into riding and lead to the purchase of his first bike. The present owner of a 2005 Custom Softail 1450cc carbureted Harley, Lyndon said what caught his attention and love for Harleys was “that cool sound.” The sound everyone recognizes. Before he bought his Harley, he has owned 3 other motorcycles. The Honda 350 that was his first, followed by a Yamaha 650 special, than a Honda 750 Super Sport. Getting his Harley-Davidson was by impulse, sitting on it and loving the feel, and accompanied with a great price he was presented with, he couldn’t say no.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Inked By Todd Beck - Cuarta Parte!

Honda? Triton? Who Cares, It's Just great!

What to do when your too busy for road trips and frankly, you would rather spend time with your missus and kids anyways? Easy, visit Todd Beck and have him tattoo another motorcycle design onto your sleeve in progress whilst the missus and kids are at school. Todd finished this little number for me today at his shop in Lennoxville, Quebec. This was created by the same artist who originally drew the classic BMW Cafe Racer (name unknown/unreadable). I have always been drawn to bikes with 4into4 exhaust and Todd did not disappoint in recreating this piece on the back of my upper arm. In two weeks the fourth piece will be done! Give Todd a shout today if you're looking for a great tattoo!

Contact Information
Todd Beck Tattoo - Facebook
 30 Rue Academy,
Lennoxville, QC J1M 1P8
Tel: (819) 791-8686

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Bessie Stringfield (1911-1993) The Motorcycle Queen of Miami

"It's Got To Be Blue, It's Got To Be New, 
I Never Bought Anything Used - Except Husbands!"
- Bessie Stringfield
Every now and then you come across something so special that really, it boggles my mind that these people's lives are not celebrated openly by everyone. Bessie Stringfield (1911-1993), otherwise known as The Motorcycle Queen of Miami, is one such story. My better half, Jennifer, sent me a link to a Rejected Princesses the other day that celebrates women from history who were too awesome, awful, or offbeat for kids' movies, at least, according to Jason Porath, author of Rejected Princesses: Illustrated Tales of History Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics. The story of Bessie Stringfield is beautifully illustrated and gives readers a glimpse into an undoubtedly inspiring woman who defied convention and lived a life less ordinary. Porath sympathetically tells Bessie's story in such a way that leaves you wanting to learn more about her life and adventures. His approach, using illustrations, makes the story come alive all that much more. What's more, his entire website is a treasure trove of information about women from all over the world. My only problem with this entire series, let alone the wonderfully illustrated book about Bessie Stringfield is that I didn't think about doing this first. Well done Mr. Porath!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Inked By Todd Beck - Part Three!

BMW Cafe Racer
Todd Beck finished this little number for me today at his shop in Lennoxville, Quebec. This is the second tattoo of many that will make up the sleeve on my right arm. With a penchant towards vintage motorcycles, this classic BMW Cafe Racer is the perfect way to commemorate my love for two wheels. Todd finished this piece in just over two hours and I have to say, I'm chuffed. The picture doesn't do the tattoo justice. Stay tuned! In two weeks the third piece will be done! In the meantime, if you're looking for one of several great tattoo artist, give Todd a shout today!

Contact Information
Todd Beck Tattoo - Facebook
 30 Rue Academy,
Lennoxville, QC J1M 1P8
Tel: (819) 791-8686

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Anna Bernath - Inked By Val McBain!

Val McBain - Tattoo Artist Extraordinaire

This is the beautiful and talented Val McBain. She is located in Oshawa, Ont and works at Motor City Tattoos. She specializes in Realism but she is soooo talented she can do anything and make it look like a living piece of art!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Interview With A Mad Bastard By Jérémie Godfrey

2017 Mad Bastard Scooter Rally Group Photo
Pic © Mad Bastard Scooter Rally
Scooters, they are often the underdog of two wheeled vehicles; due mostly to their speed limitations or their esthetic appearance. But for the people of the Mad Bastard Scooter Rally, they are the coolest rides on the streets; and so I got in touch with KYMCO, the people currently in charge of this event, to find why they love scooters and what the event is all about. I had the pleasure of interviewing the Rally Master who is the main event planner/organizer of the Rally.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Victimization Of Sexual Assault Survivors On Campus

The Hunting Ground (2015)

I became a teacher because I thought I would be able to make a real difference. That I would meet like minded individuals who felt passionate about the same things that I did. I thought that by getting to my students before they set off into the world, that I could help them become more aware of the issues that they would be facing and in doing so help advocate on behalf of those without a voice so that they too could become empowered. I knew that academia was fraught with its own difficulties. Terms like academic mobbing were not even in my vocabulary. It never occurred to me that the administrators would be preoccupied with their brand instead of the safety and well-being of their students. It was and is still inconceivable to me that education itself has become nothing more than a mill churning out graduates without so much as a second thought to character development. I realized early on just how blind I had been as a student myself and even as a teacher when I first began teaching full time in 2006. I was painfully naive and despite my efforts to educate myself I feel as though that I still am.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Joys & Tribulations of Writing For The Sake of Writing!

All work and no play makes BugSpatteredJacket a dull boy!

This blog post is dedicated to books (or chapters within books) that I have written. I have also written three dozen or so articles over the last ten years, but what little has survived the test of time has since been brought over to this site. Though I have written many more books than what you see below, very few of them have ever seen the light of day. It's been akin to a personal journey into hell. Each page is a struggle as I am my own worst critic. I have several unfinished books collecting cyber dust as I write this. Itself a means of procrastination as I should really be focusing my energies on actually finishing one of the them. But what's a biker to do? Over the last few years I have also been highlighting several books that I have come across. Simply click on the Education Bytes! tab to see them. They include books not only from notable authors but I have also dabbled into publishing student work over the years! After all, students are marginalized when it comes to publishing but who better than to teach other students then students themselves!? In the meantime, if you have written something yourself and would like to have your work posted on this site, contact me!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Moto Guzzi V7 Racer Custom Made Luggage Rack Fabricated By Peace Spišsky

Finding The Right Rack Is Not As Easy As It May Sound!

When it comes to meeting the nicest people on a motorcycle, Honda has nothing over Guzzi riders! 😉 I met Peace on GuzziTech.com back in January after admiring his one off custom luggage rack for his own Moto Guzzi V7 Racer. Peace decided to fabricate his own rack so that he could keep using the Racer's rear cowl without it getting damaged from having things on top of it. Hailing from the Czech Republic this DIY fella has a knack for welding and fabrication so I mentioned that I may be interested in actually buying one off of him. It wouldn't be until this summer that we touched base again. So you can imagine my surprise when I received an email from him not long afterwards telling me that not only was my luggage rack finished but that he had already sent it to me without ever having received even the postage cost from me! 😲

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Popping My Cherry - Tattooing Todd Beck's Leg!

The First Time Is Never As Good As You Thought It Would Be!
I stared at Todd's leg for what felt like hours but could have only been minutes. The tattoo machine in my hand felt heavier than normal. I could feel it weighing my hand down as I fought it, holding back just enough to ensure that the tip of the needle was close to Todd's leg but far enough so that the needle itself was not penetrating his skin. Todd, being the sporting gentleman that he is, assured me that everything would be fine. I must have repositioned his leg in ways that surprised even him. In the end, I held my breath and just started. One of many first mistakes. Remember to breathe when tattooing. It will help prevent asphyxiation. The needle was barely touching his leg and as a result I could see my line was barely visible. I tried again. This time it was too deep and he flinched slightly. I'm sorry! I said nervously. Todd smiled and continued to guide me through my very first tattoo on a living, breathing person - he was literally allowing me to use his leg like some sacrificial lamb. Suffice it to say, nothing can prepare you to tattoo on a human being, let alone on someone that you actually really like and respect.

Junkyard Villain - Musician, Biker, and All Heart!

Percy Hart (aka: Junkyard Villain)
Riding and Playing Music to Fight Hunger

Here is a little interview that aired in August 2015 and although I put the album recording on the back burner while I completed other projects, I came to realize that recording my album would require more focus than I had the time to commit to in 2015 due to other fundraising projects, that I held off. I'm just a guy who uses music to share his story. So this is my life with help from everyone and everything around me. - Percy Hart (aka Junkyard Villain)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Introducing MarioRJCorbin.com!

Front of Business Card
Welcome To My New Website!
(click to view)
Since the unceremonial demise of The Wicked Academic in 2016 at the hands of those in power at an insignificant little cegep in the Eastern Townships I must confess that I have been rather reluctant to venture into the online world again. Like so many of my colleagues, I have been victim to various forms of academic mobbing. However, time heals and inevitably battles have been won and with it the realization that the world around us demand that we strive to keep up with the times, not revert back to a pre-internet era - although there is something to be said for simpler times. Thus, I am rather excited to be re-introducing various elements of The Wicked Academic including but not limited to student publications. In addition, I have also re-launched Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Studies - an online course designed to entice both bikers and non-bikers alike to explore the wonderful culture of motorcycling in its various forms. It's a strange day when an academic gets the opportunity to proudly combine his love for teaching with motorcycling. However, when I am not teaching or riding I am writing, drawing and trying to complete my tattoo apprenticeship. Yes, you read that correctly.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

‘Revolution’ Motorcycle and Art Exhibition 2017


"The Revolution Show will be held in the Baker Mamonova Gallery, 43-49, Norman Road, St. Leonards-On-Sea (Hastings), East Sussex. TN38 0EQ. The exhibition will be held over 2 days on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd September, opening hours 10am – 6pm. The Revolution exhibition brings together a unique collection of works from artists, designers and craftspeople who are inspired and influenced by the motorcycling countercultural scene. The exhibition is curated to challenge the current perception of motorcycling through a unique collection of conceptual design and contemporary art; celebrating the skills and craftsmanship of artists and engineers – all inspired by the motorcycle." 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Ride to the Surreal Maladevi Jain Temple, Gyraspur, Vidisha, MP By Sabya Sachi Ghosh


Maladevi, Gyraspur, Vidisha
Bing an ardent fan of Dali I think I had already seen the landscape around the Maladevi Temple in one of his paintings (of course dali did not paint the Maladevi Temple) and other times I often dreamt of such landscapes. But never have I seen a more beauteous ruin placed atop a cliff that overlooks a horseshoe shaped valley.  The Maladevi is a large structure that seems to be crumbling in parts but giving it a closer scrutiny one is relieved to see that this wonder will last for another thousand year or more. Here the MP govt. has taken great care to maintain the environment around the structure.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Cultural Analysis of Quilting - "A Place For All" Class Quilt!

My trusty assistant

This course was designed and implemented by yours truly for a cegep that I work for in the Eastern Townships in Quebec, Canada. It draws from an interdisciplinary approach including but not limited to anthropology, sociology, geography, and philosophy to show how material objects (in this case, textiles) can embody world views. Taking as a starting point the warmth, both physical and emotional, and the narrative symbolism represented by the quilt, the class explored the world views of the many different cultures that have or had some form of quilting as an element of their material culture. Students discovered the roots of the medium as well as its functions both social and cultural. The impact of modern technologies on these sociological forms were examined. As quilts were traditionally primarily made by women, this is an ideal forum to unpick some of the interpretations of the quilting bee as a site for feminist freedom and expression. Case studies were conducted to examine two themes - commodification of culture (regarding the Gee’s Bend quilters, and quilts made by the Amish community) and quilting for activism (the AIDS quilt and the Monument quilt). Students were also given the chance to gain a practical experience of the social and cultural power of quilting by interacting with the Quilt of Belonging project which is based in Canada.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Recent Tattoos By Crystal-Marie!



These were completed by yours truly yesterday at Forever Ink!

Contact Information
Crystal-Marie- Facebook
Forever Ink - Facebook
1576 Rue King Ouest #110, 
Sherbrooke, QC J1J 2C3
Tel: (819) 791 7766

Tattoos By Crystal-Marie (aka Eternal Sunshine)!

The Venerable Ms. Crystal-Marie 
aka Eternal Sunshine

This is a collection of Crystal Marie's work over the course of the last several years. Based at Forever Ink, I have been inked by her on several occasions and couldn't be happier with her professionalism, artistry and made skills and personality. Have a look! If you see something that catches your fancy or if you would like to have her design something just for you, contact her today!

The Ups and Downs of Life!


You know that meme that we always see , of the crying strung out person breaking down? With the words"me trying to find a balance life etc." then there is  the photo after? That my friends is artist life ( and life in general I suppose ). Well anyways it's mine, BUT, its worth it.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

DesTination: Musée de l'Auto Ancienne de Richmond Part Deux

Don't let the lacklustre exterior fool you - it's a treasure trove inside!
My last visit to the Musée de l'Auto Ancienne de Richmond was back in July 2014 with father in law who was visiting from the Republic of Ireland. I always knew I would return someday once our two boys shifted their interest towards cars. I credit the Dukes of Hazzard more than my own mechanical abilities and or passion for cars; although, to be fair, I grew up lusting over many a classic car as well when they were still reasonably affordable and deals could be had. Thus, I seized the opportunity to nurture their interests by taking them this past July for a visit and also because I was curious to see if the museum had changed its displays since my last visit. There is something magical about these old cars and often I can't help but wonder what will become of these relics when humanity manages to kick its addiction to fossil fuels.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Perspectives: An Open Invitation To Cultural Anthropology


"We are delighted to bring to you this novel textbook, a collection of chapters on the essential topics in cultural anthropology. Different from other introductory textbooks, this book is an edited volume with each chapter written by a different author. Each author has written from their experiences working as an anthropologist and that personal touch makes for an accessible introduction to cultural anthropology. The first peer-reviewed open access textbook for cultural anthropology courses. Produced by the Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges and available free of charge for use in any setting." 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Join Me This September 2017 On The Ride For Men's Health In The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride!


Whilst I may be anything but a gentleman, let alone distinguished, that should not stop you from supporting me in helping raise money for this year's Distinguished Gentleman's Ride (DGR) in Montréal! A notable cause, this event unites classic and vintage style motorcycle enthusiasts (and then some...) to raise awareness for prostate cancer and men's mental health. This year DGR will also be directly supporting the Movember Foundation.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

DesTination Village Québécois d'Antan

My Little Angel at North Hatley Farmers Market
A quick stop for picnic supplies before we visited Le Village Québécois d'Antan!
Le Village Québécois d'Antan boasts that their little village will take you back in time in Québec from 1810-1930! On paper, this village seems to be similar to Upper Canada Village located in Morrisburg, Ontario. At just under an hour from Sherbrooke or just over an hour from Montreal, this is a fun and generally inexpensive trip away from home for families and motorcyclists alike. The village is actually quite sweet but also boasts several modern conveniences that will suit folks who don't mind losing some of the authenticity found in other parks like Upper Canada Village. For families and bikers alike, there is even a sprinkler park to help cool you off. If you arrive early you'll also have the sprinkler park to yourself. There are also various concession stands selling cotton candy, ice cream and soft drinks and other modern amenities. If camping is your thing, there is also a camp site that shares a borderline with the park so that you can visit through the camp site as well for an additional, albeit rebated price. This blog is picture heavy so enjoy the journey!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

L'Institut Doréa - A Photo Album By Stacy Gaudreau & Sophie Lefebvre


It's no secret that I find myself drawn to abandoned buildings and towns. Thus, when I came across these pictures of L'Institut Doréa, I couldn't help but ask permission to share them with you. These pictures were taken by Stacy and Sophie earlier this July whilst on a ride together just over an hour outside of Montréal. Located in Franklin, Quebec, L'Institut Doréa has a history filled with more questions than it has left answers. Linked to the Duplessis Orphans, according to Stacy, there is speculation that the Dorea Institute was placed where it was to be close to an esteemed psychiatrist who just so happened to live very close to the Quebec border in Vermont, U.S.A. They worked on the CIA mind control projects and in doing so, mistreated orphan children falsely declared insane and forced into mental institutions by the gov't and church at the time. 😞 Abandoned in 1995, the former institute decays quietly and with it, the truth behind it what really happened behind its walls.

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Ride That Should Have Been!

Bike In Distress
We have all been there.  We get excited in the planning, mapping and the anticipation of the ride. We look forward to the experience of the journey into the unknown. We look forward to the free open road and we know that in the future we will be able to tell the story and share our adventure with anyone who understands what it means to be free on a motorcycle, and with anyone interested enough to view our pictures and hear about our adventure... after all, the ride itself is only part of the fun. This ride plan started in early spring. Bug Spattered Jacket, and Junkyard Villain had discussed taking an overnight ride into Eastern Ontario to continue our discussion on our joint project we are working on, and to just ride.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

PaRts BiN: Suzuki & Moto Guzzi (& Then Some) Parts For Sale!

SOLD!
HAYNES SERVICE + REPAIR MANUAL
SUZUKI INTRUDER MARAUDER VOLUSIA & BOULEVARD 85 TO 09

Over the course of the last seven years I have collected a few things over the years that were intended for either Serenity, my 1996 Suzuki Intruder and most recently, Bella, my 2014 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer. Some of the parts worked out really well whilst others, whilst no fault of their own, fell to the wayside as I am constantly tinkering with my bikes in some form or another. If you are looking for something in particular that I don't have listed, let me know. I may be tempted to part with some OEM parts for my Guzzi in particular. All prices are in Canadian dollars. Thus, use a currency converter when doing the math.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Visiting La Musée de l'Ingéniosité J Armand Bombardier On Bambi - My SYM Wolf Classic 150cc!


With moving week well behind us, it occurred to me that I've been neglecting Bambi these past few weeks as my attentions were on Bella. It has nothing to do with the quality of one bike over the other, per se, but rather, Bella has been helping me accompany learners in Montreal and the Eastern Townships. To date I have put in and around 900 kilometers (559 miles) on Bambi which admittedly, isn't much. But I am a firm believer in quality over quantity and I am pleased to say that I am still very much enjoying the little SYM Wolf Classic very much. So much so that I decided to take my oldest son out on a ride with me this morning. With no particular place in mind, we set off with a sense of adventure and excitement as we hoped to shake off the past week's flurry of moving, painting and all those other delightful (not) tasks that come with moving.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Simply Super! - Ruiz Burgos Artwork


Born in Granada (Spain). After working as a graphic designer for a while, I obtained a degree in Illustration at the School of Art of Granada. There, thanks to a classmate I discovered what I want'ed for my professional future. I started working as a cover artist in the comic book industry in 2013. 



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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Moto Guzzi Museum and Lake Como Moto Vlog: Meat and Motorcycles Italy

Moto Guzzi Museum and Lake Como Moto Vlog: Meat and Motorcycles Italy

The Moto Guzzi Museum tour in Lake Como - Mandello Del Lario plus Lake Como. First video from my recent vacation to Italy. Stopped in Lake Como to visit the Moto Guzzi Museum and do some serious Relaxing.  Thanks for watching and be sure to Like, Subscribe, and share.
- Guy Arnone (aka - Meat and Motorcycles)

Call For Submissions!


Would you like to be a Guest or Regular Contributor? 
Say What? is always looking for quality contributions to our blog!
Contact Us Today!

Monday, June 26, 2017

A Review of My Purchased Accessories For Bella - My Moto Guzzi V7 Racer!

A Jaunt With Bella: Testing Her NRP Exhaust With DB Killers!

It's been just over a year since I welcomed Bella into my life. Within the first two hours of ownership I had stripped many of the stock parts off of her and replaced them with aftermarket goodies that I had been collecting over the winter. Though not all potential accessories for my Moto Guzzi V7 Racer made it on the bike. It's part of the fun of owning a bike, any bike, don't you think? 😜 Whilst it is true, you can customize any vehicle to make it your own, there is just something rather special about customizing a motorcycle. Whether you are trying to gain more horsepower or you're simply looking to add a gremlin bell, the motorcycle itself is an extension of your personality. Having only recently completed my 6000 kilometer (3728 Mile) review, I celebrated my ownership of Bella with an array of new (to me) accessories courtesy of a lovely lad from the United Kingdom. The purpose of this post is to go over all of the accessories that I have purchased over the last year and give a brief overview of each accessory and whether the purchase was worth it or not. It may (or may not) help you in making your decision about how to accessorise your very own Moto Guzzi V7 Racer.

Riders Against Hunger - On Rock Community Services 6th Annual Fundraiser Ride!

1st annual Riders Against Hunger
I will never forget when I first met Kim Reid, and how I was taken by his story of  running a local food bank. I had a feeling at that moment that I wanted to get this know this dude. We had ended up on a ride together up through the mountain in Rigaud, Qc. It was a glorious day and we had joined a small group for an afternoon ride. It took me 10 seconds to say yes that I'd attend when Kim later that day told me of his first annual Riders Against Hunger in September of 2012.

Ride to Pitalkhora Caves, Chalisgaon, Maharashtra By Sabya Sachi Ghosh

Pitalkhora Caves
The ghosts of Pitalkhora Caves. On my descent to the caves I heard some people talk. This made me glad as I was all alone and thought that at least the guard and his companion will give me company. Tourists being there was out of the question since my bike was the only ride parked at the mouth of the stairs. On my reaching the site I was met with emptiness and those voices had ceased too. Perhaps the talkers were present inside some caves. Thinking this I kept an eye out for them while exploring the caves. I did not find anyone and got a bit alarmed not spooked though. Then while exploring the furthest caves on the other side of the cliff I heard humans again coming from the main chaitya hall. I looked up only to see some parrots making merry which uncannily resembled human voices spoken in an unfamiliar language. I quickly fixed my telescopic lens and captured those green goblins, those ghosts of Pitalkhora. Indeed I was the only visitor there, having spent 3 hours alone exploring the caves with not a soul in sight, not even the ASI guard was anywhere to be seen. On my climb back to my ride I met with a man headed towards the caves. He was the two hours tardy ASI personnel, amazing!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

My Moto Guzzi V7 Racer (aka Bella) 6000 Kilometer (3728 Miles) Review!

Bella Out and About in The Eastern Townships -
Semi-Abandoned Businesses Reminding Us of a Different Time
In just over a month of having picked Bella up from storage we found ourselves right back at Rock Moto Sport for my 6000 kilometers (3728 mile) service. To say that she has been the center of my attention is an understatement. 😉 From visiting the Boscobel Ghost Town and meeting up with B.A.C.A. Montreal to see them off on their 100 Mile Run to some Back Roads Therapy with Junkyard Villain and his lovely Harley Davidson Heritage Classic; we have even helped a couple of motorcycle learners by taking them to their motorcycle road exams at the SAAQ! Ownership of my Moto Guzzi V7 Racer has been exquisite. 😍 Indeed, if I had any complaints at all they would be mostly about some of the accessories that I purchased last year. Like any proper motorcyclist, I have also succumbed to purchasing even more accessories for Bella from a very lovely British fellow this spring (It's an addiction, I know). 😜

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Backroad Ball 2017 - Another Successful Year!


The Backroad Ball is not only a women's only motorcycle adventure weekend & campout. It's a celebration of female motorcyclists. Inspired by events such as California's "Babes Ride Out" and Washington's "The Dream Roll" the creators of The Backroad Ball are striving to create a sense of community amongst all female motorcyclists in Eastern Canada as well as surrounding states & areas. Registration is open to all licensed female-identifying motorcyclists as well as moto-curious women regardless of motorcycle make or type, club affiliation, or age (19+). The first year for the event was a huge success and we can't wait to share what we've come up with for year two with you! Check out #BRB2016 to check out last years good times! Come sit around a bonfire and swap stories, enjoy the talent of local musicians, take in the beautiful New Brunswick scenery on organized group rides, make new friends, get tattooed & rock out to your heart's content! We can't wait to meet you!
- K & B

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Start 'Em Young With A Kiddimoto Balance Motorcycle!

Birthday Girl Atop Her New Kiddimoto Kawasaki Ninja!

Kiddimoto kids balance motorcycle is the perfect gift for your little biker in the making. I found this little gem at Rock Moto Sport last week when I brought Bella in for her 6000 kilometer (3728 mile) service. The little wooden balance bike was hanging from the ceiling as part of their promotional advertising for Kawasaki Motorcycles. A Kawasaki Ninja no less (No. 66) it's fitted with a wooden frame, wheels with aluminium edge, air-filled tires and seat and handles made of foamed material. It's specifically made for children from 80 to 105 cm height. With my daughter's 4th birthday around the corner, I couldn't resist! 😎

Classic Machines Paris Circuit Carole 24-25 Juin, 2017!

Classic Machines, Le Week-End 100% Passion!


C’est ce week-end qu'aura lieu Classic Machines, sur le circuit Carole, aux portes de Paris. Comme depuis deux ans, c'est l'événement qui fait rouler et se rencontrer les amateurs de belles machines sur la piste du circuit Carole. Un événement 100 % plaisir, où plus de 200 motos - des années 1940 à 1991 et le café racers - et une vingtaine de side-cars roulent sur le circuit sans les contraintes d’une course, puisque ça n’en est pas une. Juste le plaisir de rouler, entre amis, au rythme que l’on choisit. Pas de course, pas de chronomètre, pas de classement juste l’éclate durant les séries qui s'enchainent comme des perles durant tout le week-end. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Review of Richard Hammond's A Short History of the Motorcycle (2017)


I'll be teaching Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Studies this autumn again and decided that in addition to the late Robert Pirsig's book which the course itself is named after (just replace 'Studies' with 'Maintenance') I also decided to include another book by Richard Hammond of Top Gear fame. Whilst Hammond has since moved on to bigger and debatably better things in the form of The Grand Tour and Drive Tribe with his lifelong friends and co-hosts James May and Jeremy Clarkson, it's nice to see that he still has time to publish a book or two every now and then. Unlike Top Gear, Drive Tribe allows room for more than just exotic cars as motorcycles are given their dues. Not surprising really given that both Hammond and May are avid motorcyclists, both boasting a collection that the majority of folks like us can only dream of. Hammond's newest book, A Short History of the Motorcycle is a testament to his love of two wheels and in keeping with his target audience, provides plenty of pictures too. That is a good thing. Me likes picture books. 😜

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Geoffrey Darwent: Biker, Painter, Storyteller!

I met Geoffrey Darwent back in 2014 on a ride to Venise, Quebec with the Dragon Riders. He was riding a Kawasaki Vulcan 800 at the time which was begging for a Blue Collar Bobber Kit. Even then I knew he was more than just your average biker. He is also a Canadian painter. Self-taught, his prolific technique is quite unique. His paintings often represent nature as well as life's mysteries, beauty and peace. Each painting is made using only the highest quality acrylic paint and tells a story. Below are just some of the examples on offer at present.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Becoming A Tattoo Artist - Draw Or Else!

Draw Or Else!
Pic/Gif © gifin.com
Over the course of the last seven months I have noticed that despite the prevailing belief that to become a tattoo artist you need to be an expert drawer, the truth is this is not always the case. It would be fair to say that any tattoo artist should have an artistic talent. However, many artists are opting to create beautiful and intricate designs via programs like PhotoShop. There are two schools of thought on the latter. Some argue that the technology is removing the artist from the art whilst others say that it is a natural extension of the artist's talent. Whatever your thoughts on the matter, as far as I am concerned so long as the artist can actually tattoo, it's all that matters. I use to draw regularly when I was younger but once I moved to Ireland I allowed it to fall by the wayside. It wasn't from a lack of interest. Rather, there aren't many people willing to pay for handdrawn images anymore. 😔

Ride to the Dhankar Monastery of Spiti By Sabya Sachi Ghosh

SuperGrass Enjoying The View Of Spiti Valley
This is a small collection of pictures from Sabya's (aka The Artist) trip to the Dhankar Monastery of Spiti. Enjoy! 😎

Ride to the Sun Temple of Nirath, Rampur Bushrar, Himachal Pradesh By Sabya Sachi Ghosh

Royal Enfield Bullet Classic EFI aka SuperGrass! 😜
The Nirath Sun Temple is a tiny 8th century structure dedicated to Surya. it stands beside the fast flowing Satluj River about 20 kms from the small town of Rampur Bushrar. Nirath is a tiny village and the temple is surrounded by kitschy ugly houses and attended to by an obnoxious castiest creature of a Brahmin Priest, who had the audacity to question my caste lineage and proudly proclaimed that had i been a 'bhangi' my entry to the temple would have been barred! Well I did give him a piece of my mind and that took away my peace. Also, like most uninformed 'morons' who attend lesser known temples, he claimed that this structure was mind mind bogglingly old, to be precise '4000 crore years and built by the Pandavas'. Well I did not correct him, that slimy lizard. inside its Garbhagriha there are some sculptures of Vishnu and Surya but their craftsmanship is of inferior quality. However, the sculptures on the outer walls of the temple are different and in a way attractive. I did ride to this place on my way back from visiting the upper Himalayan Monasteries of River Spiti. The monks of those places are not arrogant idiots like many temple priests that I have met. Unlike these imbeciles those monks are well informed about the antiquity of the monasteries they are living in. I have always wondered about the factual ineptitude of the priests of temples and their claim to prehistoric antiquity of the sites they look after. What do they get out of misleading a visitor, I wonder?

Friday, June 9, 2017

Becoming A Tattoo Artist - The Ugly, The Crooked & The Hopeful

Opening Soon!
Pic/Gif © WiffleGif
As my apprenticeship continues so too does my anticipation for the day when I can tattoo something other than pig skin. Nevertheless, there is more to tattooing than simply applying ink to someone or something. Todd has given me the opportunity to set up and take down his tattoo station for him. This includes but is not limited to sterilizing the area with antiseptic cleaners, preparing his tattoo machines, setting up the equipment that goes with the latter such as the appropriate needle sizes and all the other goodies that inevitably start to add up the overall cost of getting a tattoo. Stenciling and drawing, let alone actually tattooing inevitably is only two out of several parts of the job when you consider how much work goes into the hygienic and preparatory practices of tattooing. That being said, however, I wish I was learning to master the art of tattooing itself as quickly as I have learned how to actually set up a tattoo station.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Installing a Phatmx Carburetor on Darwin, My 1976 Honda CT70!

Darwin Foils Me Again! 😡
Darwin, my 1976 Honda CT70, seems to have a mind of his own! Despite having spent no less than four months at L'Amis Denis being restored he seems rather resistant to the idea of running at all this summer. According to L'Amis Denis, Darwin needed a new carburetor. With the help of a fellow CT70 enthusiast that I met via the Honda CT70 Trail Enthusiasts group on Facebook, I purchased a new carburetor from Phatmx for the princely sum of $93.39 Canadian. They packaged it and sent it the same day they received payment and within a matter of a few days it was at my doorstep waiting to be installed. I am not going to lie to you. I procrastinated about installing it. It's really not laziness but rather an intimidation by most things mechanical. Don't get me wrong, I've GrOwN a pAiR oF NuTs over the last decade and have wrenched on my bikes plenty of times. However, I am always hesitant to start a new project out of fear of screwing things up. I prepared myself by first watching How To Clean The Carburetor On A Honda CT 70 Mini Bike By Don The Small Engine Doctor. His instructions are so detailed that I figured installing a new carb would be half the work and time... or so that was the plan.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

RiDe iN PeAce: Richard Grondin (aka Bullet) 1961-2017

Richard Grondin (aka Bullet) in 2012 With His New Suzuki M109
Ride In Peace - 1961-2017

Carol Artico has informed me that Richard Grondin (aka Bullet) passed away on Tuesday, May 30th, 2017. 😔 I had the pleasure of meeting Richard back in 2012 on a ride with the Dragon Riders. He had literally just picked up a brand new Suzuki M109 (pictured above) and was naturally as happy as could be. We rode rode to Venise, Quebec together. He was an interesting man, passionate and opinionated. What biker isn't? 😉 Though we didn't stay in touch as much as I would have liked, I never have nor will I ever forget him. Someone once said, "four wheels move the body and two wheels move the soul". May his final ride be endless with clear skies and a warming sun setting against him.

Send Your Condolences

Friday, June 2, 2017

DOT. Sydney to London On A Wing And A Prayer From Make Your Bones


"This 14-minute documentary is perhaps one of the most honest illustrations of what life on the road is really like. It isn't just a rose-tinted travelogue of how wonderful the world is - it shows hardship, it shows struggle and it raises a few questions about the act of travel itself."

How To Clean The Carburetor On A Honda CT 70 Mini Bike By Don The Small Engine Doctor


Whilst I inevitably purchased a brand new carburetor from Phatmx for Darwin, I came across this helpful three part short series on how to clean the carburetor on a Honda CT70 by donyboy73, aka Don The Small Engine Doctor! Don is rather soothing to listen too as he takes you through a step by step process of dismantling and cleaning your carburetor. See below for the remaining two parts of this series. I'll be sure to let you know how Darwin is doing after I have installed his new carb! 😎

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

SAAQ Road Safety Knowledge Test: Because Knowing is Half The Battle!

Pic © SAAQ
(click to view)

As we near the end of Motorcycle Safety Month, I thought it would be interesting to share with you the chance to test your road safety knowledge! The Société de l'Assurance Automobile du Québec (SAAQ) offers you the opportunity to test your road safety knowledge with 60 questions divided over two vehicle types - automobiles (class 5) and motorcycles (class 6). Whilst it may be tempting to do just the test for motorcycles, remember that the best offence is a good defense! Whilst the test questions are not a direct replica of the knowledge test itself they are similar enough to help you gain insight into how to navigate Québec roads. The system chooses from roughly 500 questions so doing the test once doesn't mean that the same questions will present themselves a second time around. Below are some of the questions with correct answers to give you an idea of what to expect! 

Back Roads Therapy By Junkyard Villain



Montreal to Rigaud via Eastern Ontario. Special Mentions to Victor Labelle for the awesome slide and lead guitar on my tune Heavy Load 
- Junkyard Villain

Sunday, May 28, 2017

GoPro - Go To Hell!



In the short time that I have owned my GoPro Hero Session, I have managed to capture several pretty amazing moments. From the 100 mile run with B.A.C.A. last Saturday morning to some great twisties with my buddy Junkyard Villain on the same day. I even attached it to my kids' bicycles using the GoPro Handlebar Mount and got a bird's eye view of cycling along some great paths here in the Eastern Townships from a 10 and 7 year old's perspective. My oldest son and I even took our first dip into the river submerging ourselves and the GoPro in freezing cold water to the amusement of passersby. My wife used the GoPro to record our youngest son's very first piano recital. A co-worker even borrowed it for a day to record some footage. What a great start to an otherwise very simple, easy to use little camera. Unfortunately, the same can't be said regarding that hellish application Quik™ | Desktop.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Jasper Corbin's Piano Recital 2017



Our youngest son has come along way since his days shadow boxing with his older brother, Joel! Filmed by my wife, Jennifer, I put together a video paying tribute to my youngest son who has worked very hard this year and performed very well for his very first piano recital. Special Thanks to Roxane Johnson for her wonderful tutelage with our son. He has always loved piano but you have helped him live his dream. Main Music By Shane Speal - How Great Thou Art.  Jasper plays Rock Beat on the piano. Like his mother, a very talented little fella whose love of music is only surpassed by his love for dogs.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Inked By Todd Beck - Part Deux!

Classy Sassy
(Placed on my right upper arm on the bicep.)
Todd Beck finished this little number for me today at his shop in Lennoxville, Quebec. This is the first tattoo of many that will mark the beginning of my new sleeve on my right arm. As part of my apprenticeship, what better way to learn how to tattoo than to observe the master at work! He completed the outline/lining two weeks ago. Thus, today was an excellent opportunity for Todd to show me how to properly shade in a tattoo. I have been having trouble with the latter and so getting a bird's eye view helped clear some things up. With summer finally here (more or less) there are many projects to look forward to. Looking for a Tattoo? Contact Todd today!

Contact Information
Todd Beck Tattoo - Facebook
 30 Rue Academy,
Lennoxville, QC J1M 1P8
Tel: (819) 791-8686