Ride with Norman Reedus: 'Norman is Back w/ Dave Chapelle & More' Season 2 Official Teaser - YouTube
I have to be honest, I don't watch that much TV. So if I'm jumping into the second season of Ride with Norman Reedus a little late, don't hate me for it.
I was inspired to write this for a few reasons. 1) I already did a review of the first season, and it seems if someone took notes over at AMC. Although I'm only commenting on this one show, it's improved.
2) I used to live in Charleston, SC for a brief time and I know Savannah, GA pretty well. Charleston speaks to my soul and there is just something about that city that says "I'm home." I have friends in Charleston today that I've known for close to twenty or thirty years.
3) When I lived in the area I often took the same route that Reedus, and his riding partner - Dave Chappelle - did. They crossed the same bridges that I crossed, rode the same roads. Although they obviously didn't drink in the same bars or go to the same haunts that I did in my early 20's.
In other words I'm feeling a bit nostalgic.
Even way back in the early 90's the two cities were completely different. Charleston was a painted lady of a bygone era, full of old money and a feeling that the world could carry on around it. That nothing was going to change it.
The last time I was there it felt that the city was, begrudgingly, entering the 20th century.
Savannah on the other hand felt like it was out of place a bit. It seemed a place that would accept the odd and unusual. The artist, the musician...and a young man still trying to figure out his place in the world. When I read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil the events portrayed in that book were still fresh in the cities collective memory...but instead of being an open wound, were seen as scars of pride.
Savannah, with it's one way streets and near impossible ability to get anywhere directly also adds to it's mysterious atmosphere. It's been nearly 20 years since I last stepped foot in Savannah, and based on what little I saw of it with Reddus...nothing has changed.
Depending on the route it would only take about 2.5 hours hours to get from one city to the other, separated by about 110 miles. Due to the wonder of television however, it takes our brave travelers two days. OK, I'll grant they just getting up and going would be boring and a very quick show, plus, the most interesting stuff I've always found is off the highway and on the back roads.
They started in Charleston, riding the flat and boring route 17. This would be, or was the last time I was there, scrub lands. Swampy ground broken up for the most part by long barren stretches of pine forest. The road is a nice two lane highway but the challenge for the rider is to stay awake.
While I'm sure I've traveled on State Route 21 through South Carolina at one time or another, I can't tell you much about it. It travels deep into the salt marshes and winds it way through Beaufort. If memory serves it's full of some wonderful wildlife and some beautiful sunsets, but I only had brief adventures in places like Saint Helena Island.
In a way, I'm glad they stopped in Saint Helena. When I lived in Charleston I was introduced to Low Country cooking, which can best be described as a mix of seafood, fresh veg, African spices and rice with a little bit of French thrown in. It's not quite Cajun, but not that dissimilar. Trust me, you haven't eaten till you had authentic low country, and both Chappelle and Reedus do. Plus a history lesson about one of the first majority black communities in the United States. Reedus and Chappelle treat this place with the gravity it deserves and, unlike the first season, it doesn't come off as "jokey" or lightly touched upon. "Gullah" history, traditions and language are unique to the American experience...and they treat it with honor.
Finally, in a way Reedus and Chappelle find a kindred spirit in each other. They don't spend a lot of time talking about bikes, although there is a running joke about Chappelle leaving his blinker on. They talk a little bit about the creative process, about family, about the pressures of being on something successful that then gets out of your control (which is a veiled comment about the never ending Walking Dead I'm sure). Chappelle in particular seems to have built up a myth about him, intentionally or not, which questions why someone would leave a successful career to simply disappear for a bit.
There is no ground shaking revelations, no laugh out loud moments, Chappelle plays it mostly straight and Reedus; wisely, lets him. In the end what you got is something closer to the original Bourdian "No Reservations" show that "Ride" is based on. It's good to see, and enough for me to want to watch a little more...and get back to Charleston and Savannah soon.
In the end it ends on a positive note..."We will ride again.". I hope so too.
For the first times in months I rode. For the first time since the accident, I was on the back of a bike.
A woman in my community is selling her former husband's Honda Silver wing. She is asking a fair price for it and Sue prompted me to go and take a look. Sue knows how much I enjoyed riding and owning a bike. The owner told me the year but I don't remember exactly. I think it was within five years old and she had a tad over 17K on her.
In didn't take me long to grab an old helmet and a borrowed set of gloves to take her for a test spin. I'm not sure why I consider motorcycles women, but to me they are.
So I started her up and she didn't roar to life, she didn't have the "oomph" that Kimmie did despite being a bigger engine. Of course, she was also a bigger, heavier bike than my old Xciting and that matters.
I rode her around a bit, through some local twistie's I know of on a back road, I opened her up slightly on a straightway and I did feel comfortable, despite wearing none on my safety gear except a pair of borrowed gloves and an old helmet I picked up somewhere along the way.
It felt.....odd. I don't know what I expected, taking her gingerly through a turn. Where was the excitement? Where was the feeling of awe? Of being on the edge? The tires seemed a little squirrel'y but they were brand new, still having the nubs on them and the bike had sat for about a month so the pressure was probably off. I took my time and was careful.
I knew I was also probably gun shy too.
There were things I like, the former owner had put a Givi windshield on it and that would come in handy on the cooler days or in the rain as the wind and rain where whipped around me and not into my chest as with Kimmie. The storage was nice, and the previous owner had placed a pretty decent, but now great top box on it. All the storage departments locked with a singe key. He really did take good care of the bike and it had undergone a full maintenance review about 1000 miles ago.
Maybe it's just the fact that I never really cared for the looks of a Honda Silver Wing. Maybe I'm still afraid, still touchy after the accident. Truthfully Sue and I can afford the bike and still have a good chunk of change left over, so I can't say "I can't afford it."
I just don't know if I'm ready yet. Maybe I never will be. Maybe this is just not the bike for me. I just don't know yet.
I'm out on Kimmie, it been a bit due to a head cold that I can not seem to shake. It's a lovely day, perfect for riding and I've no destination in mind.
I let here choose the route through the back streets and country roads, I've got a lot on my mind lately and I'm hoping the simple act of riding, of having to pay attention to the road ahead of me will silence the competing thoughts in my head.
The Sena plays some older jazz from the 50's and early 60's in my headset, Cannonball Adderley's quintet hums in my ears as Kimmy eats up the miles. I'm lost but I'm not worried, the phone is charged and my GPS can get me home. I have a rough idea of where I'm at, a blue dot superimposed on the map in my brain.
I come to a fork in the road, and stop.
One road is paved, it appears to be well traveled and more or less smooth. The other, well it's paved as well but appears to be less traveled, more of a paved dirt path than anything.
Robert Frost's poem leaps to the forefront of my brain and I sit there for a moment, torn by direction. I'm facing this very same issue in my professional life.
I like my job, I like the people I work with and am in year number 3 of doing it. However I expected a bit more from it, I was over promised some things. While I've learned a lot and have accepted new responsibilities and such it also occurs to me that for a variety of reasons I'm not going to advance beyond my current standing. This has less to do with my ability and everything to do with how the upper management thinks and operates.
Recently I've seen managers step down or even resign their positions do to the manipulations of upper management.
I turned off the music, removed my helmet and shut Kimmie down. I got off the bike and stretched. What a sight I must of been to the lonely cows as I thought to myself in the middle of the road in the middle of nowhere.
I have two choices. At 50 years old I have to start thinking about my retirement, my future and other things and even though I've been preparing for this since I first started working all those years ago, I'm also hurting. I'm not where I need to be. The great depression cost me greatly, and even lead to me leaving the financial and insurance field for about 7 years because I was sick of it.
Even though I've recovered somewhat, I'm not where I want to be financially.
A few months ago a former boss of mine started his own company and I've joined him, not in any official paid capacity but I've been willing to help him where I could part time. It's been slower than either of us would like as we build something new.
It occurs to me that I really don't know much about marketing as I try to build something for myself. As I put ads in the local papers and hang flyers. As I arrange to give talks at churches, senior centers and health fairs. It's not costing me much but it's not making me any money currently either.
About the same time I was offered a chance to do more or less the same thing with an existing organization part time. I could still work my current job till my feet are under me and, once I establish myself, leave my current employer. It's well established, it has the support structure that I feel I need at this time.
Being established, I should start to make some money quicker with this option than the other. However it's still a uphill climb and I may not have as much freedom to pursue what interests me in the field.
The path I took was to go with my former boss, however I see now that may have been an error. It's nothing he did or I did but more of a difference in goals and desires. I'm looking down the road trying to see 6 months into the future...and I'm not sure if option A is the right choice.
Option B is still open, and truth be told it's not a "either or" situation. Their are other options, other paths that are open to me. All however, much like riding my beloved Kimmy, are fraught with dangers...and rewards.
Financial sales, like riding a motorcycle, is a learned skill set. You try to mitigate the dangers, you try to be as safe and secure as you can...but the world always has a surprise. How you react to that surprise is what matters.
"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood" I mumble to myself as I place my helmet on and turn Kimmie around, going back the way I came...going home.
I see no reason why I can not take both paths for a bit, eventually I will have to choose but not at this moment, not at this time. Other roads are open to me and worth exploring as well...the world is full of possibilities.
This morning I woke up and Facebook told me that I bought a new Suzuki 4 years ago today. Which I know is wrong because this very blog states that I bought Kimmie in February 2013.
I guess it's alternate facts for the reality we now live in.
So I owned Kimmie for just under four years. I've been wondering if and when I'll be getting back on a bike. A local place near me has a Honda NC700 which as my five to ten regular readers know I've had my eye on for some time.
I've not stopped in to ask about it, I've not climbed up on it...for the very same reasons I've stated before. I made a promise. That does not mean that I'm not tempted to. Sue asked me about that the other day...and I told her my reasons again.
It's not fear of crashing or dying. It's fear of losing those I love and care for. It's not a subtle difference. Still though when you see the biker across the way lean into that curve, a tree lined avenue where your transported back to when your a kid and you stick both arms up and out....your flying.
Riding a motorcycle they say is freedom, and I disagree. It's about feeling connected to the road, the earth, the weather. It's that mindfulness you have as you lean and feel the bike react under you....that being on the edge. It's knowing that letting your mind wander....even for a second or two can result in an accident.
That's what happened to me.
I'm healing. The accident itself was not that bad. My gear did it's job. My head is still attached and functioning. My scabs are healed and other than a little pink area you would never know that I suffered some road rash.
My wrists took the worst of it, and the strength is coming back in each of them stronger than it was before. I still have my Fox gloves..they didn't even rip and I have every intent to never buy cheap gear again...if I ever do ride again.
Truthfully I think I will. Just not now. I want to heal, I want to get my small half-assed financial business off the ground first. As of February 1, 2017 I can hang my shingle in the window so to speak I am doing this in addition to my regular 9 - 5 job. So no more Saturday afternoons off for a while.
No, I'm not going to start up a financial or insurance blog. I am planning a website but you have to get approval from the various carries and that takes forever and a day. I'll link it when the time comes if your really that interested. I have to smile however. I worked in banking for over 10 years, then got sick of it during the Depression.
I literally argued with my boss over what we were doing and why it was going to end in chaos. It did, I lost a 65K a year job and then spent the next five years pursuing my first love. While my time at 3M was good, it ended badly as well. Maybe...just maybe I'm better off working for myself!
Recently Sue and I picked up another delivery route which is under a 12 month contract, I was ready to let that small end of the business die but that contract alone makes our business twice as profitable.
I have 12 months of car payments on two cars and the largest debt I have is gone. I will be 51 years old and completely debt free, at least till I need a new car. My retirement plans may be moved up five years if this continues.
So its a question of time...and if there is any more bounce in this old bumble.
Despite the crash and relative bad luck that was November and December of this year...I can honestly state that 2016 was a good year at the Wilson home.
My dearly departed Kimmie and I managed to put some 6000+ miles on her before her death. It's hard for me to believe that a mere 3 weeks ago I was looking forward to the adventures of 2017. Now we are in the closing moments of 2016 and I'm seriously debating if I'll ever get on another bike again.
It's been a year of connecting with old friends and making new ones. It's been a year of kitchen remodeling and getting involved with projects that took up a lot more time than I originally expected they would. While I loved having Scooter Bob here, I was unable to do everything I wanted with him due to my work schedule and other issues. He hung out with the cats a bit more than I would have liked.
I raised over 600 dollars to help fight Prostate Cancer and Men's Health issues. I received a very nice imprinted poster for my efforts. As well as a wonderful feeling that I was part of something bigger than me. As I rode with some 150 other bikers in and around the city of St Petersburg and Tampa proper I was truly the happiest I've ever been on Kimmie. I'll probably have that poster framed one day, although I'm not sure where I'll hang it.
It was a year where I finally got out of my comfort zone and rode out to the central parts of the state. Spending time in Winter Haven and around Orlando. These are roads that I wanted to spend more time on in 2017. It was nice to finally take the time and ride over to St Pete and that part of the Tampa Bay area in general.
I guess that won't happen now. Or at least not for some time.
For now I'm looking at physical therapy although I do feel relativity well. Despite a overnight stay in the hospital because of the accident I walked away from it more or less intact. This one though...honestly has put the fear of God into me.
We will see what the future brings...but I could not let the year pass without some sort of review. Some thing to keep up with tradition.
So I want to wish each and everyone a Happy New Year. May you be healthy, safe, wealthy and wise in the coming year.
I have a lot to be thankful for this Holiday Season. I'm not a religious guy, preferring the world of math and science to any spiritual realm. It's been a week since Kimmie and I went down and even though their is nothing that physical therapy and a little bit of grit can't fix...I've been hurt in other ways.
For the first time in a long time I've been reminded that my actions affect others. Well a Can-am or a trike may be in my future, Susan feels they are more stable and therefore "safer", I'm not sure if and when I'll climb back on. My faith in myself and my ability has been shaken to the core.
So I just want to thank my friends, my family for their support and love during the last few years of this blog. I have met a few of you. I have smiled and laughed at your adventures. I've made friends. I've gone on adventures that I would not have otherwise; and hope that you smiled, laughed and enjoyed the ride as much as I have.
I don't know what lies ahead. Maybe I will take up cheese making, or finally get around to that home brewing kit that I've threatened Sue with for years. All I know is this...your always welcome into my life and into my home.
Happy Holiday's my friends. May the New Year be full of adventures. I'll be reading them.
As some of you know, I was involved in a motorcycling accident on Saturday, December 17th 2016. It was completely and totally my fault and was the third such accident I've been involved in in the six or so years that I've been on a scooter.
It may also be my last.
I made a promise to the woman I love that if I was involved in a third accident that I was done. I fully intend to keep that promise, interestingly enough Susan is seeing this from a different perspective than I am, She thinks that I should continue to ride, although on a three wheeled machine. At some time in the near future I may change my mind and climb on a bike again. At this time though...I'm done.
My day started simply enough, I was riding around on Kimmie through Zephyrhills and Dade City. I had a plan in mind to slowly make my way down towards Ybor City and my favorite watering hole. It was a clear day, warm and sunny. I jumped on the highway and started making my way down towards Ybor. I don't like riding the highways because things can happen so quickly but at the same time they are open and give you a bit more "escape routes" if something does go wrong.
I was less than 5 minutes from my destination. In an area that I know can have stop and go traffic, I was traveling in the far right lane near the emergency exit lane for that very reason, leaving myself an exit lane just in case. That just in case happened. The brake lights of the car went on suddenly and I saw them a second or two to late, pulling back hard on my brakes...then I started to aim to the emergency lane....then, sadly, I ran out of room.
It's funny how the mind works, I don't remember hitting the car or going over. I do remember the tumbling. I can tell you exactly where my visor broke off my helmet. What I was thinking..."Try to tumble away from the car"..."That's it...I'm done riding."
I'm not sure where I stopped but I knew it as I slowly got up. Something, somewhere, was seriously wrong. Nothing felt broke...I was in pain but that is understandable. I went into diagnostic mode. I was lightheaded and sick to my stomach. I was conscious but dizzy... "Call 911." I told the other driver. "I'm seriously hurt."
I took off my helmet (which on second thought I should not have done) and watched another biker set Kimmie upright. A 30 second look told me all I needed to know...poor Kimmie was dead. The biker and I exchanged one or two words. Than another biker pulled over. The other driver let me sit in her car and I laid down in her back seat.
It took longer than I would have liked but the ambulance showed up shortly. My blood pressure was 70 over something. It was low, to low...I had guessed right, I was going into shock. They started a IV with saline solution and within a few minutes my pressure started to climb. Now the EKG was showing something that worried them.
So I'm lying in the gurney in the emergency room hallway, trying to stay lighthearted as each and every Doctor and Nurse that pass thank me for wearing a helmet. Even the cop that takes my statement thanks me. The nurses poke for blood work that needs to be done, as the machine I'm on beeps intermittently. One of the doctors tells me they are keeping me overnight because they think I may have had a very mild and very brief heart attack according to the EKG. But they won't know till the blood work is in.
Thanks love for the undignified photo.
So I am staying the night. All the blood work, thankfully, comes back negative and the EKG settles into a pattern that the doctors feel is normal. No heart attack...just shock.
Overall things could have been worse. I have scrapes, I have bruises. I have sprains and swelling. I had to suffer the indignity of going to the bathroom in the hallway. I am however very much upright and alive. It could have been much worse.
It's not the accident that got me scared. Going down is part of riding. If your afraid of that...then you should not be on a bike in the first place. I already miss riding, I truly do love the freedom and peace of mind it brings me. I was finally starting to feel "part of the local two wheeler community" whatever the hell that means.
Kimmie and I had plans. Plans for longer trips to the center of the state and to explore the south of Florida a bit more. I was planning on running her down to my favorite winery in the state sometime after the new year. For the first time in a long time the future looked bright for Sue and myself, and getting out on the bike was part of that future. I had already managed to put some 6000 miles on her, which was about 1000 more than I had in the last two years.
For hitting the back end of the car and a scary hospital stay, I'm actually in wonderful shape. I have bruises and scrapes to my knees and a nasty abrasion to my right foot. My left wrist suffered some soft tissue damage but nothing that time can not fix. I walked away...thank God for good gear.
The jacket tore and I got a minor scrape
What "scares" me is hearing the fear in Susan's voice as the paramedic tells her they are taking me by ambulance to the local Hospital. What scares me is her telling me...that she does not want to buy a funeral dress anytime soon.
What scares me is my elderly mother and father not being prepared for their son's demise. What scares me is putting anyone through that. Riding is selfish. It brings pleasure only to ourselves, but in a case like this, it shows it's ugly side. Accidents effect everyone...even if they are not on a bike with us.
I know...I know. It's an accident and accidents happen. Funny thing is that this one is my own fault and I know it. A second or two longer and it would not have happened at all. Playing "if only" games however don't change facts.
I'm also 50 years old and am not bouncing back like I did 25 years ago. It takes time to heal and I don't want to break a leg at 53 or 63.
So I'm not really sure what the future holds at this moment. I may climb back on a bike within three weeks or three months. I may sell what good gear I have and never climb up on it again. I can honestly say I don't know.
Goodnight sweet chariot
I am however going to say this. Please, please, please get good gear and wear it at all times. Be Well and Ride Safe. Rob Wilson
I have to be honest, one of the reasons that I wanted to attend the AIME expo (American International Motorcycle expo) was the opportunity to ride bikes that I would not normally get the opportunity to ride. As it so happened I only was able to ride one bike. The Can-Am RT.
As much as I hate to admit it, I've always took issue with the Can-Am. It's not exactly a motorcycle and people have told me they steer like sleds or lawnmowers. The price has always been a little daunting and the size made me question if I would be able to handle one.
I can honestly say that starting today, they are on the list to replace Kimmie. The ride was smooth, and although I had a little issue with low speed turns, in that I kept wanting to counter steer or lean when I could not - that would be corrected with time, I was impressed. The bike is semi-automatic meaning it has a thumb shift to climb gears but the computer handles downshifting. It took me about five minutes to get used to shifting that way but once I did it was seamless. The bike had solid, but not stellar, acceleration and handled very well. A few rough patches on the roads around the Convention center were handled without issue by the bike I rode.
Susan was also able to get on and off without much issue and that was another plus in the bikes corner.
I could have rode Kymco scooters, a few off road vehicles, the Beamers, the Suzuki's and others. However we were alternatives to ride the Can-Am and waited over an hour in the hot Florida sun to do that. Each demo ride out lasted anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. Some dealers required you to supply your full gear (helmet, jacket, boots at minimum) where others were OK with you in long pants and a helmet (Can-am supplied Nolan helmets in various sizes for examples).
Inside the convention hall was a variety of dealers. Most of which frankly didn't interest me. I don't go off road riding, I'm not really that interested in the mechanical side of things. Yes, I want the best performance out of my bike for the longest time possible...but I've not desire to go to your booth unless you have some nice swag. So that left me looking at bikes and oh what a selection there were!
I showed Susan the Honda NCX 700 that is on the short list of "new bikes" when its time to buy a replacement. I ended up have to defend a Suzuki Burgman 650 from a few people that were putting it down, but the woman there kept looking at it wistfully and I think I convinced her it was a good touring bike.."A lounge chair on wheels" is how I described it.
Vespa and Piaggio was both represented well and truthfully I didn't spend much time looking at their products. While I love scooters I'm probably moving away from them and going towards a semi-automatic or fully automatic motorcycle.
I did however want to look at helmets and fell in love with a new Shark helmet. It will not be able till March of next year in the US and will probably sell for $700 dollars. However it was amazing, a full sun shield at a touch of a button, good venting and most amazing to me...I put it on and the ambient noise around me was reduced to zero. I mean, nothing. I could still hear, still focus on what was around but it was a several decimals lower than before.
For a cheap bastard like me to want one right then and there, and probably would have paid full price, told me I was going to take a closer look at Shark in the future. Somehow I missed the Bell Helmet display even though I wanted to stop in.
one of the more interesting bikes on display
Overall I enjoyed myself and would love to go a second day. Just to ride some of the bikes I am considering in the future. To compare the smaller Kymco's to my beloved Kimmie (Kymco is discontinuing anything bigger than a 400 in the US for 2017). To ride the BMW's and others that were there.
To take in some of the lesser know companies and display's. To just look.
Later on today I'm supposed to pick Kimmie up from the mechanic. Her new rear wheel cost me $175 bucks (including labor). It's a price I'm not that worried about. Even though the tire didn't look that damaged and I feel pretty confident that the sidewall was not damaged, I decided in the end not to take that risk.
I've driven cars where the brakes have failed. I've driven cars where a tire has blown. I've no desire to push my luck on a motorcycle tire.
Road hazards happen, belts will break, oil changes need to be made, accidents will happen. Generally speaking it seems that 2016 was a year of repair. It was also a year of accomplishment. It's been the first year in a while where Susan and I were in generally good health.
It's not over yet, I still have about 3 more weeks to add to my millage, which is already over last years total making me a very happy camper indeed. My main goal for 2016 was to ride more. To do more, I feel that I've succeed there.
My main goal for 2017 has not been determined yet. Susan and I are looking at some options. We're considering our options, and yes a new bike may be in the cards. Although I'm against it for a few reasons, I would like to get at least two more years out of Kimmie. Maybe a bit more. She and I are not done exploring yet.
I'm not saying it is....but it may be
Even though I consider myself to be solidly agnostic, I've been blessed. Looking ahead to 2017 it seems full of promise which, considering the last few years, seems odd. So I for one am looking forward to new adventures. Happy Holiday's everyone!
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