Saturday, December 12, 2009


My mother and grandmother stopped by yesterday afternoon. They brought me a t-shirt. My mother had seen it and thought it totally suited me. ( Harley colors aside, we all share the same humanity! ) You know how it is when you have a reputation for having a certain avocation for which you have great passion. Although riding is more than just a hobby for me, but you get the point.

I'm lucky to get to ride for work so life ain't all bad. Although there are times when I would like to get on the bike and just keep going. I would wander wherever I felt like it, soaking up each moment to the full. I'd take photos and write a journal. Maybe some day I could sell the stuff. Not to get rich, but to finance further time on the bike. I don't know, Conch, does that still qualify as freedom if I sell something to finance it?

The expressed sentiment is especially poignant to me this weekend. I was prepped to ride to Seattle and take in the bike show. More so, I wanted to meet Bobskoot. It would have been nice to meet some other folks, too, like those who belong to Pacific Northwest Riders. Alas, it is not to be.

A person who was to cover an assignment this weekend had a death in the family. The intent isn't to throw things out of perspective here. Losing your father is a bad thing. Much worse than having to miss a bike show because of having to cover for this person. Godspeed to the family. I am now covering the assignment today. Such is life.

On the plus side, I was spared the decision on whether to travel today. We have had freezing rain all up and down the Willamette Valley. As I write this the temperature is below freezing and the roads are a sheet of ice. The Oregon State Police reports accidents too numerous to individually recount. At 4:30 AM they were over 20 and counting. I'll ride in all kinds of adverse conditons but I try to not even drive in heavy freezing rain., let alone ride.

We should have a warming window later today which should allow for doing what we need to do today and get safely tucked back home before the next batch.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Miles and smiles,



Steve Williams said...

I think the t-shirt fits you well --- message wise. Can't speak to it physically.

Like you I have wondered/dreamed about making a living riding and writing and taking pictures. Sounds like a fine way to live...

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Jack Riepe said...

Dear IronDad (Dan):

You wrote:
“I'd take photos and write a journal. Maybe some day I could sell the stuff. Not to get rich, but to finance further time on the bike. I don't know, Conch, does that still qualify as freedom if I sell something to finance it?”

Why would the sale of a creative endeavor impinge on freedom?

There are few things in life that compare with the initial sensation of getting paid for doing something that you love and are good at. Success at this would make anyone inclined to think that if they could fund a small part of something they loved to do through the sale of what amounts to insight or personal interpretation, why not risk a greater investment of personal time and talent to fund the whole obsession? This is a logical progression of thought. And after all, what is motorcycling if not the management of risk?

In which case, the sale of the creative endeavor could forever free the author from the time clock, office politics, and stupid decisions on the part of upper management.

Yet the end of the perceived freedom might be a gradual one that accompanies the metamorphosis of a passion into a job. What happens when you are eventually confronted with the choice of offending readers by having an unpopular opinion, or you must tell a manufacturer (who may be a supporter) that one of their products is pure shit? It is the umbilical cord between income and reality that ultimately determines freedom. The least encumbered of us are those who are not afraid of cutting that cord so their freedom can never be compromised.

This leaves unaddressed the legions of demons that assail the creative mind with the thought, “What if I am the only person who thinks this crap is any good?”

Regrettably, I still find the limits of my umbilical cord every day. But look at the miles you do. I’d start the journal tomorrow if I were you. It’s not like writing is real work or anything.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Conchscooter said...

Er, the short answer is no. Not necessarily.
Freelancing sucks because you have to sell yourself.(I used to years ago and hated the pressure).
Thats the longer answer. The longest answer I'll leave to riepe who is a tad pissed off these days about freelancing.
Wear the t-shirt and keep on keeping on.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Conch Et Dan:

Touché... Your point. I do tend to go on, eh?

Fondest regards.
Jsck • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

bobskoot said...

Mr IronDan:

I think Mr Conch sums it up nicely,

"Wear the t-shirt and keep on keeping on"

Once your job turns into a deadline with critics it will seem more like a burden rather than an escape.

Not unlike a professional photographer who takes photos as a hobby, or a riding instructor who runs his own Riding School.

I think that the reason your passion for photography is progressing so nicely. Riding is merely the conduit to get you there, sort of being independant and inter-related at the same time which enhances your focus.

I am really disappointed that our paths did not cross this weekend. I had a great time with Brad, Trobairitz, Rick and Chuck as you will soon see in some of our photos which have yet to make their way into our Blog community.

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Chuck Pefley said...

Dan, any hobby that is pursued for love and joy but becomes a business changes focus from fun to that of work. Enjoyable work, but work nonetheless. Definitely not a reason to resist the urge and perhaps a good reason to chase the dream. The trick, though, is making that dream a reality in terms of remuneration while maintaining your autonomy.

Sorry you missed out on the trip to Seattle. Sounds like your fill-in assignment was canceled due to weather as well?

Chuck Pefley

Dean W said...

Dan- Look at the bright side. If you'd gone to the bike show, you might have seen the revised Concours14... then you'd have to explain that to Elvira.

(Tell Elvira that Connie girl may talk a good time, but Elvira is still slimmer, prettier, and has longer legs.)

irondad said...

Steve W,

It fits physically, too. I wonder if making a living that way would suit you better than me. Or maybe it's that you would appreciate it more than me. I tend to want to stir up the action more than to watch and report.


You speak wisely. I would avoid advertising a product, though. I figure that if I am selling things of my own originality, people can either buy them or not. No bullsh88t would be involved.

The reason I questioned the freedom issue is that Conch made a statement about accepting ads on our blogs as selling out our freedom. I guess that selling the actual blog posts would be different.

Take care,


irondad said...




That's always the sticky part, isn't it? When the avocation becomes the vocation. I'll look forward to the photos on your blog.

Take care,


irondad said...

Chuck Pefley,

I'm so honored you graced my blog with a comment! I look at your photos on your two blogs with enjoyment.

I guess my next goal is to find an outlet. Your profile says you sell prints out of your place at Pike's. Is that the extent of the commercial side? Wouldn't seem so.

Dean W,

I appreciate the comment, but then there's you. If you can be committed to an FJR but sorely tempted by the Concours, what hope have I of staying faithful?

Take care,


irondad said...

P.S. to Chuck
We actually got the training in. There was a window between freezings that seemed to work out. Having it scheduled in the afternoon helped.