Les Claypool Spotted On KCAL 9 News

Was watching a KCAL 9 News report on an illegally-run junkyard in Granada Hills, California, when a neighbor identified as Les Claypool was interviewed (no, he is not the guy running the illegal junkyard). Les Claypool is the leader of Primus (and the creative force behind other bands and projects) and I’m pretty sure the Les on camera is the same guy. His hair is shorter and facial hair more conservatively cropped, but he sure looks like Les from Primus. Too cool.

The Grave Of Mary Morris

While riding in the Carrizo Plain National Monument, I happened upon the lonely grave of Mary Morris. Researching the history of Mary, I was moved and inspired to try my hand at a poem in her honor. The Grave of Mary Morris The grave of Mary Morris looks down the Carrizo Plain It is only here, the mother dear, felt unburdened of her pain. Ten children put to rest before the family headed West, Three left behind, four worked beside, a dad who lost a bet. A life so hard…

Godspeed, Master British Bike Restorer, Don Harrell

The first time attending the Mecum Motorcycle Auction in 2018, I froze in my tracks gaping at a group of exquisite BSA and Triumph motorcycles. These restoration projects were amazing and all of them looked better today then they did when they were first sold in the 60’s.  The bikes were the work of Don Harrell, a retired contractor and former dirt track racer living in Visalia, California. He may have been retired, but he was busier than ever restoring British motorcycles to perfection. I looked forward to seeing Don’s…

Are 250-Watt E-Bikes Too Underpowered For America’s Horsepower Appetite?

If you have visited your local bicycle/e-bike shop in the last six months, bet you were surprised at the lack of bike inventory. The pandemic has been very good for bicycle and e-bike sellers. Most brands can’t keep up with demand. So why is R.E.I. deeply discounting three Cannondale e-bikes? My theory is that these models are powered by 250-watt motors. Americans have always been horsepower obsessed. Most sold-out e-bike manufacturers figured this out early and offered their e-bikes with power as close to the 750-watt limit as possible. Why…

Kawasaki Mach III Running When Parked A Worthy Investment

The Kawasaki Mach III earned its “widow maker” nickname for good reason. Kawasaki started with an air-cooled, 60-horsepower, flame-throwing, oil-burning, two-stroke, 500cc three-cylinder engine. The bike could hit 60 miles per hour in 4 seconds with a top speed well over 100 miles per hour. Unfortunately, this engine was bolted to an ill-handling chassis with drum brakes woefully inadequate to stop this beast. The bike was introduced with much fanfare in 1969 and quietly removed from the Kawasaki lineup in 1975 (although it was greatly improved by that time). The…

Kiss Limited-Edition E-bike Ready To Rock ’N Roll

Australia’s Vallkree offers a line of retro-ish e-bikes that pay homage to motorcycles built around 1920 (like the Harley-Davidson Model F). While the style cues are antique, the components are modern with what appears to be well-sourced brakes, wheels and tires. Any of their bikes would look right at home cruising along the bike path in Malibu. They are stylish. KISSED BY KISS The company is offering limited collector’s Kiss editions of their Drifter and Scrambler models in honor of the band’s last world tour. Vallkree will ship to anywhere…

1980 Honda CR Frankenstein Mini

Official disclaimer: This is not a Running When Parked. No, this little wonder is a runner! What you are looking at in disbelief (and for good reason) is a Briggs and Stratton motor mated to a 1980 Honda CR80. The builder uses the Briggs and Stratton motor for power and Honda’s crankshaft and transmission to give the bike 5 gears. The kickstart even works. Why build this bike? Because he could! I’ll pass on a test ride, but I commend the builder for his ingenuity and creativity.  The owner is asking…

Masks Are The New Cigarette Butts

Cigarette butts drive me crazy. My eyesight may be blurry, but I can spot a cigarette butt while riding along a beautiful singletrack or while hiking or when setting up a campsite. My brain is wired to focus in on this trash and it really bugs me. It is bad enough that these butts “harsh my mellow” but now I’ve got a new nemesis on the trail. Face masks! Flicking cigarette butts has been glorified by everyone from movie stars to the Marlboro man. From combat soldiers to rock stars.…

When Updates Become Excuses: Park & Diamond Helmets Still Not Shipping – UPDATED

April 13, 2021: Park & Diamond released another update on April 11th with photos of the production helmet and manufacturing facility. The company also urges their backers to open a Shopify account because that is how the helmet orders will be fulfilled. Wait. Check that. First backers have to “lock in” their shipping address. AFTER everyone has done that, Park & Diamond will move all the orders over to Shopify where the orders will be processed. Got that? Good. Because I don’t.  It seems that Park & Diamond’s early promises…

People For Bikes Make A Bed We Are Forced To Sleep In

The trade organization People For Bikes was instrumental in crafting boiler plate legislation to get electric-motorized bicycles legally recognized and defined as human-powered bicycles. This trade organization made sure, through design or ineptitude, that identifying illegal e-bikes is difficult or impossible for consumers, land managers and police. They also included loopholes big enough to slip a shipping container full of e-bikes through. The Xion CyberX shows how easy it is to offer a bike that meets the e-bike’s legal definition but, with a push of a button, can become a…