Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Motorcycle Book: The Upper Half of the Motorcycle

Press Release

Center Conway, NH, June, 2010—Whitehorse Press is pleased to announce the release of an English-language edition of Bernt Spiegel’s seminal work, The Upper Half of the Motorcycle. The original German edition, which has been hailed by European motorcyclists for more than a decade for its provocative approach to improving riding skills, is currently in its third edition and ninth printing.

Bernt Spiegel, a behavioral psychologist, brings a unique perspective to the subject of motorcycling, drawing on related topics in the fields of anthropology, biology, physics, and numerous other disciplines to tease out the underpinnings of an accomplished motorcyclist’s integration with his machine, a relationship that, when fully realized, approaches virtuosity. Spiegel imparts this insight with a wealth of interesting and often humorous illustrations and lessons from everyday human activities to keep the discussions lively and practical.

Skillful motorcycling involves a lot more than just balance, turning, and stopping; it requires a sophisticated self-awareness that can anticipate, monitor, and react to an everchanging set of potential hazards and variables. The Upper Half of the Motorcycle brings fresh understanding that will allow a rider to access the ideal states of mind that lead to instinctive reactions, in balance with the influences of conscious thought.

Spiegel begins first by exploring how the human brain was shaped by evolution to utilize built-in “programs” which optimize foresight, and explaining exactly how we learn and perceive the world around us. The second section builds upon how these programs interact with our consciousness, and how they relate to our use of tools (one of which is the motorcycle). Section three deals with the subsequent integration of man and tool (rider and motorcycle) that creates a singular unit with unique properties. Section four focuses on the techniques that allow a rider to train himself for higher levels of performance, and the fifth section offers many practical exercises to improve one’s riding.

In this book, motorcycling enthusiasts will discover new insights, unique perspectives, and many ways to challenge and improve their riding style, making it much more satisfying and enjoyable, and perhaps, with practice, even bringing it to the point of virtuosity.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Canadian Maritimes Ride Report

Tread to Spare

The sky and road are the same dull shade of gray, they meet neatly at the horizon. A steady rain is blipping into my helmet. Water is getting in somewhere on my face shield, spraying a tiny mist onto my cheek. It's about 55 degrees. A full face shield, a wind triangle, 4 sets of zippers before you reach my shirt.
Look at those fools on the bikes, don't they know it's raining.
Yeah, I know it's raining. It's been raining steady all weekend.
It's my day off, I'm having a good time. You wouldn't understand.

We're in the Canadian Maritimes and as best I can recall, I've never seen the sun in New Brunswick. Yet when the call comes in for another trip up north, I'm the first one to put in for a day off. Short term memory loss is a grand thing.

Historic photo from 2005 Black Fly - look, sun! (is that me?)

2005 Black Fly

It's been 5 years since the last Black Fly Rolling Rally. Come to think of it, it rained then. The formula seems to be sunny leaving, sunny getting home, nothing but webbed feet in between. And a good time was had by all - not necessarily all the time.

I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story...

Our Route, started with pie detour to the Moody's Diner in Waldoboro, ME

Black Fly Route

Penobscot Narrows Bridge is a must stop scenic rest area. Apparently this lovely weather did not have a passport to enter Canada.

Sunny Day Travel

By 8:00AM we were ready to roll into Canada. Kevin and I knew we would not camp after a long day in the rain, and at time questioned why we were heading to Tracadie, NB.

Breakfast Bikes

Happy non Campers, but a little sad not to be hanging with the rest of the Fly-boys and girls.

Until they all rolled into the parking lot!
I went to Black Fly and all we got was this hotel room.

Hoteling it

Irene's Stitch left her with some very wet pants. Yet she still swears by it. I swore at mine when it let me down, and sold it on eBay.

Wet stitch

After a stay at a warm hotel in Orono, we had a fantastic ride home.

Had the Kanc to ourselves.

RTE 16 S

Good trip for a waterproof camera!

Rear View