TwoWheelsGood.us is a sampling of works by John M Flores, a freelance motorcycle journalist and photographer. Email me.
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Vermont story published
My latest story - a tour of Vermont - has been published. Check out the June 2011 edition of RoadRUNNER Magazine to get your copy!
And now that the warm weather is here, more trips to come. Stay tuned...
Victory Party in Gotham
Victory Motorcycle introduced their latest bike on the eve of the New York Motorcycle Show. Got to shoot pool and talk two wheels with fellow motorheads - how cool is that? Also gave the new camera - a Panasonic GH2 - it's first workout. Click here to read my continuing observations about the camera.
Recently returned from a trip to Killington VT and the Green Mountains. The mornings are near-freezing, but there are a lot of hardy souls out there trying to catch the last bit of sweet pavement before the season ends. Story to appear in an upcoming issue of RoadRUNNER.
The Teton has interesting armor by d3o that is soft and pliable but stiffens on impact. Look for my review at an upcoming issue of RoadRUNNER Magazine.
Spent some quality time with the 2010 Kawasaki Vulcan Voyager this summer, quite possible the biggest bike I've ever ridden. Look for my thoughts in an upcoming issue of RoadRUNNER Magazine.
Does This Food Make Me Look Fast?
It’s one of the ironies of motorcycling — you sit there on the bike, the motor doing all of the hard work, and you get hungry. Really hungry. It’s understandable on a bicycle, your legs pumping like Lance Armstrong and your furiously beating heart making you regret that last piece of pie. But on a motorcycle, what’s the excuse for daydreaming of burgers and fries? Even more ironic is the fact that when you finally sit down to chow, there’s a good chance that your food has traveled farther than you. The beef is from Australia, the lettuce from South America, and the potato from Idaho. OK, maybe you traveled farther than the potato.
Here's a change of pace - a motorcycle trip about food. I spent a day riding with Brian J. Alberg, Head Chef of the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, to visit the local farms and talk about the local Farm-To-Table movement. Good riding and good food - what more can you ask for?
History Lessons in Central Europe
Morning arrives. We leave Novy Jicín and ride like shadows in the mist, the fog pooling in the low lands and hollows. We wander along quiet back roads, past rolling fields wet with morning dew and through quiet Czech villages. We raise our visors to avoid fogging and brace against the unmistakable autumn chill of late September. The sun breaks through just in time to highlight a field of vivid yellow rapeseed and a short while later the peaked spires of Bouzov Castle. It’s a picture postcard, the rough-hewn stone towers and red tile roofs of the castle rising above the thick forest just beginning to show its autumn colors.
My second trip of the year was pretty special - Central Europe with Edelweiss Motorcycle Tours. A trip that I will not soon forget...
Small is Beautiful
My trip begins next to an 11-foot-tall green frog. On a spool of thread. On a bridge. Seriously. In the Connecticut town of Willimantic that’s how they commemorate a peculiar bit of colonial history. One night in 1754, a terrible racket woke the local citizenry, and fearing an Indian attack, the men gathered, muskets in hand. Once day broke, they discovered the source of the din – hundreds of dead and dying bullfrogs that had been croaking their last notes because their pond had dried up.
"Small is Beautiful" a touring story in Eastern Connecticut and Rhode Island is published. Click here for a preview. My ride for this story was the Piaggio MP3 500, one of their funky 3-wheeled scooters. It was immensely stable and after 5 minutes you forgot that there was an extra wheel up front.
One Flying Goose
Don’t mistake the Moto Guzzi Griso 8v for a gentlemanly cruiser or a weekend toy for podiatrists and pretenders with more dough than go.
Moto Guzzi, the stereotypes suggest, is a lifestyle brand long past its sporting prime, coveted by riders more interested in heritage and logoed t-shirts than riding fast and cornering hard. And at the local watering hole, the Griso looks stylishly butch reclining on its sidestand, inviting second glances and cell-phone paparazzi wherever it goes. So while you probably wouldn't be alone in your curbside assessment – you'd be wrong.
"One Flying Goose," a review of the 2009 Moto Guzzi Griso 8v is published. Click here for a preview.While reviewing the bike, I stop by the local Italian cafe and snap some quick shots as the cafe owner and some regulars come out to oggle the Italian bike. The cafe owner is over the moon when I show him the magazine. It made my day.
Joe Rocket Airborne
Finally, I needed to take some product shots of a Joe Rocket Jacket Airborne that I was evaluating and nobody was around. I set up the tripod in the backyard and set the Pentax K20d to interval mode - shooting a photo every 5 seconds or so. Then with my cheap aviators and the bushes as the background, I struck a pose or 40. These are the best and they still make me laugh - my first modeling gig LOL! Click here for the review.
Around the Greater Lake
“I love this state. When I was in the Marines, I couldn’t wait to come back here,” says the state trooper as he hands back my license. Thankfully, that’s all he’s handing back – no reprimands, no strings and no tickets attached. Pulling over quickly must have helped. My cold, tired face probably helped too. But maybe, just maybe, he held off because I told him this was my first visit to the state, and the lake that bears its name, and that I’ve been blown away by the sheer scale and beauty of it all.
"Lake Michigan - Around the Greater Lake" is published. Click here for a preview. Kawasaki was kind enough to loan me a Concours 14, their continent-shrinking super-tourer. With the motor from the vaunted ZX-14, power was never a problem.
Deliciously Frantic: Four Days, Three Islands
Day 1: Bacolod City. It's close to midnight and I'm sprawled across my thin hotel mattress utterly spent. A naked ceiling bulb throws flat light on the bare walls, the air conditioner wheezes like a pack-a-day smoker, and road gear is strewn about as if a pannier spontaneously exploded. I should be asleep – we have a 6 a.m. ferry to catch – but the adrenalin of the day is still coursing. Finally, overwhelmed by fatigue, I pass out…
The Philippines story "Deliciously Frantic: Four Days, Three Islands" is published. Click here for a preview. Philippine Moto Adventures supplied Kawasaki KLR 650s for the tour. They were the kings of the road!