This week marks the completion of four years for this blog. Not that it really matters. We humans, however, seem to have this propensity for observing milestones. Some of these occasions, like anniversaries, always seem to inspire contemplation in us. We look back at what was. We ask ourselves questions. How was it? What worked? What didn't work? Did we accomplish our planned objectives? Then, armed with those answers, we turn our focus forward, into the future. More questions. What will we leave the same? What will we do differently? Do we have new objectives or are we still working on the current set?
I was out at Camp Adair the other day. Once upon a time it was a World War II army base. If you click on the link you can read more about it. The house I'm living in was part of a development built for military personnel stationed at the camp. Now Camp Adair has a diverse variety of uses. There are both hunting and hiking opportunities. Hopefully in separate areas! A lot of it is a wildlife refuge. I wanted to play with the Nikon on a foggy, wet, day. There's some enclosures where a few game birds are on display. Some are native and some aren't.
Katie went with me. There was a bit of drizzle. We'd packed a big umbrella. I felt like such a celebrity with Katie holding the umbrella over me and the camera. When I'd finish with one group of birds she would carry my camera bag for me to the next place I would set up. What a doll!
I took many photos. I found myself especially drawn to eyes, though. Maybe it was partly because of the time of year. New Year's is another time for contemplation. The anniversary of the blog was on my mind. Eyes tell the story. They reveal character. Vision, to a large extent, controls our pathway in life. We go where we look. Specifically in our riding. More generally speaking in our overall lives. Much of the input that affects our lives comes through our eyes.
Looking back on the blog, I sort of apologize to those of you who came here recently looking for motorcycle information and mostly saw photos. Photography has become a new passion for me. The more I learn the more intrigued I get. I don't totally apologize, however. It is my blog, after all, and should reflect what's on my mind. On the other hand, I do bill the blog as motorcycle related. So the content should consist of that primarily.
Then again, there's the photography thing! Oh, I mentioned that already, didn't I? It's been a fascinating journey so far. I see a lot of books on the subject. I've read what seems like a ton of them. Not many reflect the actual journey of discovery. I think there's a lot of folks like me who would venture further with it if they had someone to follow. On a personal and simple level. I'd like to provide that pathway for people. However, I don't really want to start another blog to do it. Maintaining one blog to any level of competence is enough for me. There has to be time for actually riding a bike, you know!
The plan for the blog is to concentrate primarily on motorcycle content. Motorcycles are still my world and huge love. There remains so much information to share about riding and managing risk successfully. I enjoy sharing that kind of thing. My passion as a riding instructor still burns. Those of us who ride a lot, especially as motorcycle commuters, need all we can get in the way of useful weapons and tactics. There's practical information on dealing with weather and other stuff to pass on, as well. I like the fact that I've developed the reputation of being a source for training information. I want to keep that part going.
Somebody recently asked me a question after I put Clement Salvadori's article here in the blog, for example. The article mentioned how many riders have one year's experience repeated several times over instead of actually having several year's experience. The question was about how to actually build that experience, even with a short riding season each year. It's a great question that beckons to be explored.
Riders continue to fall short in their visual lead and scanning habits. Even if they do look, a lot don't actually have a plan for what they're looking for. There's so many things like this that still beg to be addressed. The plan is to spend some time with these kinds of things here.
I'm also finding that I've become increasingly fascinated by my students as individuals. Not that I haven't been involved with them in that way all along. Primarily, though, it's been from the perspective of making sure they get what they need as students. That will always be my primary goal with them. On the side, though, I'm becoming more interested in their individual personal stories. I want to develop this aspect more in the blog. I deeply believe we can all learn from each other. In addition, humans are more alike than they are different. It's so much fun to read about somebody and find that we can really relate.
Somehow along the way I'm going to try to weave in the photographic journey. Not just in the photos about riding. I have this vision of sharing a sort of "here's what I've found if it helps you" thing. It will always be paced at the level I'm at. Which isn't real high, right now, but is increasing. The trouble is that most of those who read here are already pretty good photographers. I've learned from you, not the other way around. The trick will be to attract photography newbies to a motorcycle blog. Hmm, if it could be done successfully there might be some riding newbies, too!
I don't know how it will work out. My crystal ball is a bit foggy at the moment. It might turn out that, if I still feel the urge to share, a separate blog may be required. For now, though, I'll try out this way. I hope it doesn't turn out to be a turkey like this guy.
This friendly Tom was so close to the fence that I couldn't get the wire out of the photo. For the most part I put the lense close to the wire which got it out of the way. What to do when the subject hugs the fence? Just call the wire an artistic effect!
As the new year begins, I raise a glass and toast year five. I cherish the friendships I've developed here over the last four years. Here's a wish that these friendships deepen and may more be added to them!
Miles and smiles,