RIP, Mr. Spock

Leonard Nimoy
March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015

California is dropping the MSF motorcycle training program and adopting a new one run by Lee Parks and his Total Control team

As some of you may already know, the state of California just recently dropped the riders' training program that the Motorcycle Safety Foundation had been providing for many years and replaced it with a new program developed and managed by Lee Parks, the author and creator of the very successful Total Control book and riding clinic. The change will become effective starting January 1st, 2015. 

This switch in programs has raised many questions, both from riders and instructors alike, so a few days ago I had the opportunity to discuss the subject with a friend of mine who is involved in the new program. He gladly agreed to answer some of those questions but, for privacy reasons, asked me not to divulge his name...

Pinnacles Range, a December Ride

So today I made the most of this week's nice weather and went on a 280-miles solo ride along the Pinnacles Mountain Range here in California. To get there, I had to ride across the whole Central Valley under a very dense fog.  Needless to say, I had a real blast.

The Route (
- CA180 from Fresno to Mendota
- Little Panoche (J1) from Mendota to Tres Pinos
- CA25 then CA98 to Coalinga
- CA145 and CA180 back to Fresno

I'm ready to cross the San Joaquin Valley (70 miles) in heavy fog.

This is why I ride!

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End of year run to Kings Canyon with Tim and Sean

End of year run to Kings Canyon with Tim and Sean.

Motorcycle Photography Tip - Horizontal Horizons

Unless you have a good artistic reason not to, when you snap a picture of your bike (or anything else, for that matter), try to keep the horizon line, well, horizontal.

Most of the times, a photo with a slanted horizon line tells something like "amateur photographer in a rush" instead of "good photographer who takes time to align his camera".

Most newer cameras (phones included) have an option to display guidelines on the viewfinder. Use it and try to align your horizon every time you snap a picture. You'll notice the difference yourself.

Compare the two photographs below. One is well aligned with the horizon, the other is not. The difference may be subtle but the effect on the viewer can be significant.

INCORRECT: Slanted horizon line

The horizon line is slightly slanted on this photograph, making the clouds look unnatural...