Thursday, October 20, 2011

35mm Film and Motorcycles

In a previous post I mentioned my old 35mm film camera.  It was just a simple Kodak point and shoot from the late 1980's with the door in the back to load the film canister.  My mother gave me the camera as gift about the time I graduated from high school and I carried it with me during my military service.  These pictures I took the summer of 1991 on the cliffs overlooking the Spokane Valley in Eastern Washington State.  I've long since lost the negatives but the pictures themselves have stood up fairly well over the last twenty years.  I thought I better get busy digitizing them and add as original content to my blog.

Pictured is my first motorcycle.  I'm not just a fan of human powered cycles. I also like bikes with motors.  Even as a boy I was motorcycle crazy.  I had that plastic box and hand grip on my bicycle that made an engine revving sound when you twisted the grip.  And of course I had the wind up Evel Knievel motorcycle toy, It was the seventies after all.  Later as a teenager I subscribed to motorcycle magazines and grew quite informed in the world of gas powered two-wheelers.  However there was one fly in the ointment.  My mom would not allow me to have a motorcycle while I lived under her roof.  I had some limited experience riding friend's mopeds and three-wheeled all terrain vehicles (remember those?) so the seed was sown and I would just have to bide my time.

1988 Yamaha XV250UC

Once I had established myself at my permanent duty station and saved up enough scratch for a down payment I bought this little cruiser brand new.  I still remember riding it off from the dealer and putting 50 miles on the machine that first day cruising the Eastern Washington countryside.  20 years and 11,000 miles later the bike sits in my garage today looking very much like it does in these pictures with maybe a scratch or two to show for all that time. 

The bike needs a carburetor rebuild and is not currently licenced so I'm not riding it at this time.  The little V-twin doesn't take up much space in the garage and just seeing it in passing brings back a flood of great memories.  I don't know how many times I've heard guys say "I wish I still had my first car" or whatever from back in the day. 

I have a local mechanic whom I've relied on for years for help with more advanced maintenance issues so one day we'll get the bike back on the road.  


  1. Hello Mike,

    Although I've never owned one, I've rode a little bit. My wife Marilyn asks me to please wait till after she's passed before I hit the road again. She suggests I'll meet her much quicker this way.

    The governor of West Virginia once said " only a biker can understand why a dog sticks his head out a moving car window". Perhaps there's the truth......

  2. Hi John, Yea the "comfortable" riding season is pretty short here in Ohio. That's why I would just as soon pedal. At least that keeps you warm. I've found that sticking to the back roads and keeping speeds down around 50 mph is the secret to survival on motorbikes. I don't like the wind noise much over 50.