Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hey there everybody,

Matt Gardner Here, I wanted to take a few minutes and introduce you to a new project I am going to take on this year. I call it the forgotten Highway project.

This year I want to plan my rides around the forgotten scenic routes that I can discover accross the country. On last years Long Ride to Sturgis I came accross several such roads and some of them were the most majestic places I have ever ridden.

 CA. ROUTE 40 - The forgotten Highway

My first research project and ride for 2013 is going to be the Highway Route 40 and the alternate route in California.

This route has significant historical significance. From the Donner party and the gold rush to secret military installations during the second world war this route has had a huge impact   on american history and the development of the WEST. Im starting with the project because it is close to home  ( reno) and because I have found a few significant resourses for my research.

I will be drawing a lot of information from this website.
Apparently the author of the site is planning on writing a book on the subject, but the website istelf is a treasure trove of information on the subject.

Wish me luck as I get started here and if you have anything to add to the project feel free to shoot me an email at

Many of the post you will see from me in the next couple of months will be my research related findings on the route and the planning of my ride. If any of you guys want to come along for the ride stay tuned and we can find a way to hood up on my next adventure. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

In Loving Memory of Connie Ferlingere

Although this is not motorcycle related, I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you my recent story.

A little over a year ago, my mom, Connie Ferlingere was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. The type of Cancer she had was called triple negative. The worst kind one can have. Her odds were not good, but she was a fighter, and had a big, big spirit.

My mom lost her battle on January 19, 2013 at 5:17pm pacific time after 16 months of a hell of a fight. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you who she was, and what she meant.

Connie Joyce Hedrick-Ferlingere was born October 8, 1949 in Raytown, Missouri. She lived most of her life in Missouri until we moved out here to Reno in 1991. She has 3 sisters and a brother who all still live in Missouri. They were all here for her in her final days.

Connie worked for Sparks Florist for 21 years. Flowers were a passion of hers, and she loved working there. She was also a big camper. She camped more in her life than I ever will in mine. She loved being in the outdoors and experience this beautiful world.

One of the toughest things for me through all of this was watching person after person that I didn’t know stop by her house to visit. Watching them breakdown by her side was very tough. Tough because, it showed me just how much of an impact she had had on so many people’s lives. And why should I have been surprised about this? She was an amazing person. Her personality was infectious. She had such a big heart, and made everyone she knew feel special. She never did anything for herself. It was always for us kids, or those around her. When I first set out on my own, she would occasionally show up with bags of groceries. She was always worried about me. She would still to those recent days, have me call her to let her know I was okay if she knew I was going any long distances on my motorcycle.

Her reception was taken care of by her work. Sparks Florist. They did an amazing job. And back to the impact she had on people. There were around 4 to 500 people there. I was amazed. So many people came to me and introduced themselves, and told me how they knew my mom. It was very touching.

I wish there was a way to even remotely put into words the kind of person she really was and what she meant to me, and so many others. That is an impossible task. I couldn’t get that out if I wrote a book about her. One thing I can say, during the entire Cancer battle, she never once complained. Not once. Nor did she not keep her sense of humor and smile on her face. She was being strong for us is what I think. She was such an amazing person, and she will be forever missed immensely.

I want to thank those of you who read this, and took the time to get to know my beloved mom just a little bit. I’m sorry you and the rest of the world never got to know her. You would have loved her.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Legend of the Amazonian Clustka Motorcycle Girl

The beautiful Sierra Nevada during the winter.
On a recent ride through the Sierra Nevada’s winding roads, enjoying the beautiful mountains winter has brought us, I desperately needed to find somewhere to warm my feet and fill my stomach with some delicious grub. Riding outside of South Lake Tahoe I was able to find a small, family owned deli that I decided on as soon as I saw a sweet Harley with the most peculiar paint job.

The old Road King was painted a deep green with waves of black that slightly reminded me of a thick forest.  On the tank was a girl in pin up fashion colors wearing what looked like gorilla tactical gear.  She stood out in detail against the abstract background of forest colors.

Upon entering and getting settled with a nice bowl of soup, I was expecting to find a fellow stereotypical biker that I could strike up a conversation with and inquire about his Harley that I become very interested in. Anxiously waiting for my sandwich I looked around only to find one other soul in the entire shop.  The tiny old gentleman who had taken my order behind the counter. I asked, “Excuse me sir, have you seen the owner of that bike parked out front, did he come through here? I want to ask about the paint.” He patiently smiled and replied, “Let me tell you the story behind my bike.”
The original 1910 Harley Davidson logo.

I wasn't prepared for what this very unlikely rider was about to bestow upon me. The epic legend of the Amazonian Clustka Girl was an old folktale common in the central regions of South America of a woman traveling throughout Peru, Bolivia and Brazil on what could have been one of the first Harley's in the early 1900's. She was the only survivor of her village, which had been tragically overrun and pillaged by savage burglars when she was still at a very young age. She fled to the mountains to keep hidden from the enemies that took the only things she had away from her.

One of the earliest models Harley Davidson produced.
She found refuge in the home of an old hermit who lived off of the land in a small mountain shack. He couldn't bear to see such a beautiful woman struggling to survive all alone without a family, and took her in. They spoke of what had happened to her and the old caring hermit was infuriated. He swore the young girl would have her revenge. He spent countless hours training her how to defend herself, how to keep an advantage over the ruthless men of the mountain and most importantly how to move swiftly through the mountains on a motorized two-wheeled vehicle unfamiliar to the locals of these areas.

After years of intense training and familiarizing the young girl with the rough terrains of the Andes mountain range and his first edition Harley Davidson, the old hermit decided it was time to make their move. Instead of searching the vast mountains for these ruffians, the old man decided the best plan of attack would be to find a similar village to those that have been targeted and destroyed to use as bait.

As with the legend, the old man and the young woman sprung their trap upon the arrival of the wild pack of burglars with a guerrilla style hit and run tactic while both riding on this hermit's motorcycle. They blazed through their prey like knife through butter using a wide variety of weapons. The brutes were so amazed and taken aback with the loud noise this new, awesome vehicle that they were stunned and defenseless in the attack. The young woman and old man were able to defeat every single last member of the pack with merciless vengeance.

The kind deli owner brought me my sandwich that I had forgotten about with a steady grin on his face. He knew I was enthralled with his tale, be it myth or true retelling. I was very impressed with his detailed explanation of this stunning woman and her tale of vengeance  He stared at me in silence for a few minutes before going into detail just how breathtaking this woman's magnificence was. I glanced out the window and could see that she was clearly the inspiration for the painting on his Harley.

Without any defining conclusion to the story, the old man brought me my check and wished me a good day. He simply told me that he and his girl “AndrĂ©a” had spent a lot of time with a very fulfilling journey of protecting other villages and innocent residents from these unruly mountain men of the Andes. I returned a blank stare as I was confused on whether to believe that he was the man from this far fetched tale. I wanted to believe so badly. He smiled his smirk and told me he will finish the tale upon my next visit, which I absolutely cannot wait for.

Tune in for our follow up when I make another trip to this very unlikely sandwich shop. I couldn't comment on the food because I have only been able to think about the woman from his bike ever since my visit.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Can Global Warming be put to bed yet?

We've been having a bitterly cold year here in Reno, NV.  It's upsetting for so many reasons, but mainly it's upsetting because even I won't ride when it's 10 degrees outside.  Call me what ever you like but if my hands don't work 10 minutes into my ride, how do I expect to get out of trouble when it crops up?

That's right, I'm calling it a safety issue now just to feel better about myself.  However, safety issue or no, I think even the most hard core of us can agree that winter does not offer the most comfortable riding weather.  Our fans from around the country are writing to tell us how cold it is around them.  Some of them are more hard core than us and they haven't put their bikes up this year.

What this National Weather Service Chart tells me is that when I ride when it's 10 degrees outside, the air that hits me at free way speeds is actually -19 degrees.  I'm sorry, but no thank you.  I'll use the cage.  With a good percentage of the nation experiencing cold temperatures this winter, riding is almost out of the question.  So where is this weather coming from.

When I was a boy, in grade school, I remember having science class which taught "global warming".  Only then it wasn't global warming, but the natural cycle of the earth heating and cooling.  Then one day someone decided that people would panic if he told them the earth was getting hotter because of us.  Not only would the world as we know it become unlivable for all of us humans but before it became unlivable it would flood causing worldwide catastrophe beyond measure.

Well, take heart our efforts really helped and the temperature just about everywhere plummeted this year.  Plummeted!  I'm sorry but I'll take global warming again next year.  Are we really supposed to believe that the time the earth was at it's peak health was during the Ice Age?  Are we also supposed to believe that driving or riding every day will be the cause of the apocalypse?  I'm sorry I just still don't buy it.

Seems to me that we're always looking for something to be afraid of.  Most recently guns, carbon emissions  bird/swine/bug/octopus/monkey/rodent flu of any type, rioting, the Mayan Calendar or any number of other "Terrible Calamities" that would change the world as we know it.  Are we just out of real things to worry about?  Why can't we worry over normal things that effect our day to day lives in more meaningful ways and find solutions to our own problems?  Are our own problems just so mundane that we seek a catastrophe that could end civilization as we know it?

I guess, long story short i just don't get what there is to be so afraid of.  Scientists can barely predict the local weather accurately, how are we supposed to trust them to predict the global weather for the next 1000 years when they can't get this afternoon right?  In any case if Global Warming is a real thing I'm simply going to plan to make the best of it and ride all winter long when its 60 degrees outside.  Seems like that is the change of pace I'm looking for this cold season.

Safe riding everyone,

Saturday, January 12, 2013

LRS Mythical Monster Hunt!

It's been snowing here almost non-stop and it doesn't make for the most comfortable riding.  So distract ourselves from the weather we're on the look out for more Myths, Legends and Tales from the road!  We want you're tall tales too.  Photographs would be a huge plus, but stories are a must.  Here is a list of monsters we're on the look out for...

Yeti - Traditionally from the Himalayan mountains along the snow line, this fierce creature is at the top of our list.  Have you seen a yeti?  Submit your adventures to us so that we can share them.
Did you see:  Huge humanoid figure covered in white fur, stomping through the snow or tearing off bits of bear carcass in it's gaping maw?  You may have seen a Yeti.

Big Foot - A lesser version of the Yeti in our eyes, but much more common in the mountain states.  Practically everyone has seen this creature, but no one has been able to land a good photo.  Make it your mission and tell us how you came upon such a creature.

"Nessy" - Not the traditional Loch Ness Monster but the version of it that lives in a lake near you.  Here in Nevada we have two major myths regarding local "Nessy's".  The Pyramid Lake monster lives in deep underground caves and moves freely between the ocean and the lake through deep underwater caves.  It's said to breed in the lake and the breeding can cause the lake to turn over and become incredibly murky.

In Lake Tahoe however the "Nessy" is a more reclusive beast.  Sometimes said to upend reckless boaters or help drowning children.  We know there is a "Nessy" near you, so take a ride over the pass to your local lake and snap a picture of that water dragon!

The Minotaur - The large human with the head of a bull and deep red eyes that gleam with the fires of hell.  Be warned if you're tracking this creature we believe you're in serious danger.  Snap the picture fast and leave your bike running for a quick get away.  It may not be as rare as the others but so few people survive encounters with the beast that pictures are incredibly hard to come by.

 Mermaid - And not a sea cow.  That may have worked for sailors dying of scurvy and thirst but we're looking for the real deal.  This one is on you coastal cruisers.  Take a trip to your favorite cove, bay, inlet, outlet, marina, tide pool or where ever else you might find the mythical creature and remember to wear ear plugs, because we're not going to recover your camera from your body once they lure you into the depths.

We're sure there are more and we'd love to include your local legends two, so the second round of Monster hunting will begin when you submit your stories and pictures and we get an idea of what you might be searching for on your wilderness rides.  Good luck, stay safe and remember when hunting Medusa our shields my protect from her gaze if you got the right tint.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Chupacabra Attack!!!

We have a story from one of our Texas friends today.  He's been known to tell a tall tale or five and once had us convinced he was abducted by aliens, but he tells a compelling story anyway.  Believe what you will but we couldn't pass up a tale like this! Join us in today's Myths, Legends and Tales from the road as we hear from the survivor of a horrific attack from the infamous Chupacabra!

I had a long day of riding after a charity event in San Antonio and a small get together directly after.  We'd partied for a good time and when things were wrapping up I got my stuff together to go home.  I said a long goodbye to my buddies and hopped on the bike. 

I live in Helotes and I was coming from Floresville.  About an hour and a half drive depending on route.  The last stretch of the ride goes up into the hills a bit and there is a lot of ground cover all around the highway there.  It was when I was coming around a bend in the road when I caught a flash in my headlight.  I turned to look for what it was but couldn't see anything in the dark brush and trees. 

While I was looking off the road something leaped up at me from the opposite side and it was more than I could do to keep my bike under me.  I laid my bike down and I slid off the road into a shallow ditch.  I was stunned and confused and it took me a minute to take my feet.  Once I had gathered up some of my wits I looked over to my bike, where two creatures were biting at it and had already torn my custom seat up.  They snipped at each other once and made little yipping sounds.  They weren't much more than skin and bone and mostly shadows at that.  

I shook my head and hauled myself to up to my feet and stomped toward them.  I wasn't injured to bad.  Wear a helmet and thick pants kids, this is the third time I haven't regretted that.  Those creatures the size of a large dog they sniffed at my bike and glanced at me not taking much notice though.  For a moment I thought I might have to kick em off my bike before checking it for damage.  But lucky they ran off at the last moment into the brush and trees just yipping here and there. 

I got my bike together and headed home to inspect the damage in my garage.  They did a number on me and my bike.  The skid bar took most the damage but them creatures tore up my seat as if it was their meal.  Custom sheep skin seat, most comfortable seat I ever bought.  As my bike worked and I was home I didn't see much point fussing over much until the next day. 

It was when I told my good buddy about the night that he said to me it was a chupacabra.  I'm not a crazy person and I don't want to make some claim that just isn't true but one of them animals leaped onto my bike going thirty or thirty five and knocked me off the road.  I since looked at some pictures of what them chupacabra are supposed to look like and damned if they aren't the same things I saw on the road.  

They're getting more aggressive and I advise anyone ride safe and keep an eye out.  

Good Rides and God Bless

Hope you enjoyed his story,
The LRS Team!

Hearing Loss?!
Most motorcyclists understand the effects of a "silent killer" which follows them every time they enjoy riding their bikes. Unfortunately, several people still believe the causes of hearing loss are due to how loud the bike sounds, and/or that it affects only the people who do not wear full shell helmets. This is true to a certain degree.
Based on several research studies, the major contributor to hearing loss in the motorcycle industry remains the "silent killer" known as "wind noise." Generically termed as the amount of noise turbulence produced around the head while the rider is in motion. Its inherited consequences result in irreversible hearing loss damage over a period of time when adequate hearing protection is not worn.
Similar to the shooting and aviation industries, if this issue is not addressed correctly from the beginning the amount of exposure to the inner ear is compounded every time the rider ventures out on his/her bike for hours at a time. Constant duration of harmful level noises gradually force the rider into becoming another statistic of the "silent killer."
To put this in perspective, according to OSHA's regulation of industrial noise exposure, an average worker surrounded by levels around 85-90dB for an eight hour day will not exceed the limits of exposure time within a 24 hour period of time.
However, when the sound levels exceed 100dB, your exposure time is reduced to two hours. When sound levels exceed 115dB, your exposure time is drastically reduced to 15 minutes. This puts riding a bike a whole other realm as "wind noise" at highway speeds can measure up to 103dB, or comparable to a running chainsaw. At these levels the rider is not only fatiguing physically from the excess noise exposure, but it also puts him into a position of needing a hearing aid later in life.
Another common ailment of motorcycle riding is a condition known as "Temporary Threshold Shift," commonly referred to as TTS by audiologists and hearing healthcare professionals. TTS is caused by excessive noise exposure for a duration of time, which drops your actual acute hearing pattern to a lower level temporarily. Meaning, your hearing is less than what it was before the initial exposure. Continuous TTS exposure will result in permanent damage.
Everyone has experienced this phenomenon at one time or another, whether it is from going to loud dance halls, or concerts, or even work. Even some of today's movie theatres can cause this to happen, but this is a specific certainty for motorcyclists who disregard adequate hearing protection while riding their bike.
Riding position and style of windshield help in preventing "silent killers" ability to fully be experienced. But even the best helmets on today's marketplace provide little help when considering "wind noise" levels at normal highway speeds. Obviously, this factor is increased in half shell models as well as skullcaps, but the common helmets used in today's marketplace are designed to fit entirely over the head providing a snug fit. These types of helmets have the best attenuation value (reduction in noise) regardless of any airflow modifications done to the outside. But these helmets still produce wind noise readings of 110 to 116dB's, from 35mph to highway speeds. When reflecting back to the comparison chart, 116dB will only be suitable for 15 minutes of riding a day. Not a lot of time to enjoy your hobby.... Is it?
Although there are several versions of hearing protection devices on the market, a custom set of earmolds is still the best answer in suppressing sound. They provide excellent attenuation values and are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. They can even be molded with high-grade transducers, which allow for stereo compatibility or communications. To find out more about these products search under our "Product Links" listed on the navigation bar.
We also suggest checking with your local state officials on the regulations of wearing hearing protection. Several states have motorcycle laws regarding earplug use. For a quick reference, see the AMA web pages on State Motorcycle Laws -
There is no significant difference in wind noise level as a function of speed, no matter what the helmet brand or model (all being full coverage).
Neither the riding position nor the brand or style of motorcycle make significant difference in noise level.
Padding inside the helmet, open or closed vents, or added weather stripping on the helmet to alter flow patterns, does not significantly alter the noise level in a helmet.
Stopped at a stop light at a busy intersection with your helmet visor closed produces a sound level of 80-90dB SPL. (Lawn mower, loud restaurant levels)
When not wearing a helmet, the wind noise at highway speed is nearly 10 times greater than when wearing a full coverage helmet.
Below 30mph, machine, exhaust and environmental noises are heard. Once speeds exceed approximately 30mph, wind noise dominates completely.
Some helmets resonate at approximately 500Hz, and actually enhance wind noise.
Legal speeds of 65mph can produce wind noise levels at 103dB SPL, (chainsaw, pneumatic drill). This noise is loud enough to cause TTS in your hearing, tinnitus and permanent ear damage.
Do You Hear What I Hear, Parts 1 and 2/David L. Hough/
Do You Hear What I Hear, Part 3/Norm Matzen/Motorcycle Consumer News, November 1999 Comparison Charts/A.W. McCombe, 1994
Noise Levels Under Motorcycle Helmets, Mike Lower, D.W. Hurst, A.R. Claughton and A. Thomas, 1994, 1996/ISVR Consultancy Services