Who am I and why the hell should you care about reading my blog?

Avid motorcyclist & freelance writer, specializing in motorcycles & motorcycle related topics, with a healthy dose of good humor, good vibes & general advice on simply being a good person.

Sunday, September 20, 2020


Living on the Gulf Coast is awesome    

Along America's Southern Coastal border we have around 10 months of great riding weather complimented by coastal breezes, beautiful scenery, friendly people and some of the best food that will ever cross your taste buds. In one day, you can ride next to beautiful white sand beaches, cross over bays, bayous and marshes and, just a few minutes later, be cruising past cattle pastures, old homesteads and rolling hills. Want a piece of big city action? No problem- to the West we have New Orleans and to the East we have Mobile, Gulf Shores, Pensacola and Destin. The roads are pretty decent, there are plenty of gas stations and restaurants to stop at and there is no shortage of motorcycle shops to keep you rolling. But, as is the case with any area that has so many benefits, there is the occasional drawback that is there to keep you humble. In our case, it's the Tropics.

Tropical storms and hurricanes 

Every year, beginning around the month of June, Southerners start tuning in to weather channels, begin checking their generators and re-stocking their supplies of canned goods and bottled water. The reason? June marks the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season. While the tropics don't always deliver storms to our estuary coastline, we always keep a watchful eye on anything that spins too close to the Leeward Islands. For those that are unaware, a Tropical Storm gets it's name when it reaches a wind speed of 39 miles per hour. At 74 mph, it becomes a full-fledged, "category one" hurricane. While a cat-1 storm is more of an annoyance to most of us, a cat-5 storm, with sustained winds over 157 mph, is a bonafide killer. The most recent cat-5 to hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast was Hurricane Camille in 1969. In 2005, we got hit by Katrina, a very powerful, well defined storm that had grown in intensity to a category 5 storm, but according to the weather experts, had dropped to a strong category 3 by the time it made landfall over New Orleans, unleashing it's most powerful and most damaging winds across the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. If you were alive, or at least awake in history class, you will know that Hurricane Katrina was a killer on it's own merit- claiming over 1,800 souls and causing over $125 billion in property damage. That's a billion, with a "B." Our coastline was, quite literally, leveled. If Katrina was a Category 3 when it caused that kind of death and destruction, just try to imagine what a category 5 would do. 

Scary stuff, to be certain.

This year has been a busy one

2020 has maintained it's consistent level of overall SUCK and, only three months into this season, it has given us over 25 named storms. We still have three more months of "in-season" tropical storms to contend with. With that said, we've been pretty fortunate thus far, in that all we've really had to deal with so far has been a few rain-making tropical storms and an annoying category 1, Sally, that finally decided to make landfall to the east of us. We still have to make it until the end of November and, God willing, we will make it to December 1st unscathed.

I'll ride in the rain if I have to, but I don't ever want to

Riding in the rain sucks, that's all there is to it. But sometimes, you can't help it. On a road trip for example, you just can't avoid running in to an occasional rain shower. It's not ideal, but with proper gear, it's manageable. You'll rarely ever see me leave the house in the rain, unless there are some kind of extenuating circumstances. Some people may call me a "fair-weather rider" because I'd prefer to wait it out than assume the extra risks of riding in the rain, with limited visibility on slick roads, but those that know me, know that I've been soaked to the bone while riding through torrential downpours. I simply choose to ride smarter, whenever I can.

The problem with hurricane season 

The biggest problem with hurricane season is the seemingly constant deluge of rain. As I said, I don't exactly mind if I get caught in the rain while I'm out riding, but I definitely don't want to leave the house in a torrent and it seems like that's been every day lately. I said previously that in the South, we have around 10 months of good riding weather, and that is completely true... just not 10 consecutive months. 

Choose your poison, so to speak

We don't always get to pick where we grow up, but we get to pick where we live when we do. As a kid, my family moved to the Coast from the Midwest. When I was just an innocent little freckle faced ginger kid, I remember riding in the back seat of our mid '70's Chevrolet coupe and watching the landscape slowly changing the further we got away from the home I knew, to the home I would later come to know and love. I watched as the trees grew taller and lost their lower branches and saw their leaves turn into needles. The rolling landscape of dirt and rocks, slowly flattened out, the black dirt turning into orange clay and the rocks turning into sand. When we finally stopped, I stood on the edge of the continent as the waves splashed across my 8 year old feet and I smelled the hot salty air. I watched as shrimp boats slowly trawled along the horizon in front of me and seagulls squawked at the setting sun. In this new home, I would later meet the girl that would become my wife and a few years later, she would bless me with the gift of fatherhood. I rode my first motorcycle in this balmy, humid Southern air and I have survived more than 30 hurricane seasons. My wife and I tried to move away once, but we just couldn't resist the beckoning symphony of summertime cicadas buzzing in concert with crickets, tree frogs and owls, or the smell of the salty ocean breeze blowing in off the Gulf of Mexico under a spectacular sunset. 

We chose to make this place our home and even though the, seemingly constant, deluge of rain during hurricane season puts a damper on my motorcycle riding, the rain always breaks, the clouds always clear and the sun always comes back out.

Ride safe and make good choices, y'all.

-The MotoWriter