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Editorially Speaking

Blue Dog Diaries: Victory no more

Terry_Roorda

With the announcement on January 9 that Victory Motorcycles is being shuttered by parent corporation Polaris, the question that arises is not, “Why?” The question is, “Why did it take so long?” As a practical matter, the clock started running out on Victory with the purchase of the Indian motorcycle marque in 2011. While the two brands would be “autonomous” ...

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One for the Road: Never say never

Shadow Column Blurb

“I’ll never buy a new bike again.” That was my line of thinking back in 2003 when I acquired my gently-used 2000 FXD with only a few thousand miles on the clock. I figured, why pay a premium price when I can wait a few years and buy a still-great bike for a lot less cash? Since then, the Dyna ...

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Blue Dog Diaries: The Algorithm Almighty

Terry_Roorda

They’re coming, we’re told daily, and the arrival horizon keeps shrinking from decades to years to months. And I need to talk about it; I need to talk about autonomous vehicles—or “self-driving” vehicles, if you prefer—and the reason for that is, at my urging, my father recently bought the closest thing currently available on the market: a Buick Envision. The ...

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Blue Dog Diaries: Fun with Mom and Pop

Terry_Roorda

They’re called the “mom and pop motels” and they’re modest owner-operated vestiges of that bygone and sorely-missed era of American motoring before the Interstate and the proliferation of national chain establishments made highway travel the soulless McTrip it’s become for most. Most, that is, except the adventurous types, touring bikers in particular, who continue to patronize these places out of ...

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One for the Road: Where am I?

Shadow Column Blurb

Much as I love tech toys for my motorcycles, there a few I’ve resisted. One of those is a Global Positioning System, more commonly known as GPS. In my early years of riding, I would just mark up a map, stow it in my saddlebag and refer to it when needed, or maybe write out the directions on a piece ...

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One for the Road: Spreading the gospel

Shadow Column Blurb

“You meet the nicest people on a Honda.” That simple phrase, which was Honda’s then-risky, yet wildly successful, advertising campaign in the early 60’s, won over a multitude of Americans who were either indifferent to motorcycling or thought of bike riders as the dregs of society. Since then, there have been many ambassadors of our sport, from champion racers to ...

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Blue Dog Diaries: Short-timers

Terry_Roorda

They arrive with a bang and a lot of buzz, take their turn on the catwalk, loiter in the wings for a while, and then just as abruptly as they materialized they disappear, slipping silently into that dark night of obsolescence without a send-off; without so much as an “adios, been good to know you.” They are the spanking new ...

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Blue Dog Diaries: Stalking the wild truckadillo

Terry_Roorda

(Fade in: On a long straightaway of Interstate 80 east of Battle Mountain, Nevada, a heavily laden tractor-trailer lumbers along. A lone motorcyclist buzzes about the diesel behemoth like a meat-bee buzzing a burger. As the semi rolls down the road, its right rear outside tire begins delaminating and is suddenly slapping the pavement with a long wide whip of ...

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One for the Road: As the mileometer turns

Shadow Column Blurb

Our Western culture seems to be big on numerical milestones—for instance, it’s quite an accomplishment for a married couple to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary, or for a business to reach the century mark. I’m certainly not immune to this social phenomenon, even if it’s just a marketing ploy (“The 10th caller wins two tickets to see Bon Jovi!”). But ...

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Blue Dog Diaries: Birthrights

Terry_Roorda

In July of this year the town of Hollister once again staged their Hollister Independence Rally, a commemoration of sorts of the shenanigans that occurred there over the 4th of July in 1947. We all know the story. A gathering of motorcyclists in town for the Gypsy Tour races got rowdy at the time, of that there’s no doubt. But ...

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