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Old 30-08-2006, 23:49   #1
Bob Norson

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Why do so many people I run into (figuratively speaking) on boats have a rev head, motor head, alter ego? Freedom of the road? Freedom of the sea? Have I just met a strange cross section of sailors?

Do you have or have had motorcycles.. especially fast ones? How about racing?

I've been meaning to pursue this subject for years so I'll ask this mob. Seems the perfect sample so please let me know.

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Old 31-08-2006, 01:31   #2
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Hmmmmm, I don't have my own motorcycle, but I have riden and enjoyed them. I love going fast in cars, but I am supposed to act mature now, so I don't "speed" anymore. But I loved Rally driving in my younger years. I would love to fly, but that is too expensive. So I guess I boat. Doesn't really matter what boat, sail or power, just as long as I am on the water. Do kinda like power, but the fuel is expensive, so it is sail for me and my wife and our budget.
Oh yeah, as for a V8, both Dawn and I love V8's. (Please insert the Tim the Toolman grunt here)


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Old 31-08-2006, 04:16   #3
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I raced bikes when I was young and then later competed as a trials rider. Back in the 1970's I was the 100th best trials rider in the state of Florida. I still have an old road racer and trials bike that I keep as a souvineer but haven't ridden in decades.

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Old 31-08-2006, 04:28   #4
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I guess adventurous people are just that, adventurous people. For me it was growing up in the pits in the '60s, fast bikes and a sting of (often broken) GTOs in the '70s, mountaineering in the '80s and sailing ever since. They all can be risky and require mastering specific bodies of knowledge and physical skill sets to participate (unlike TV).
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Old 31-08-2006, 07:10   #5
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oh yea

For 12 years and 189k miles I rode a 1972 BMW /5 from Honduras to Alaska, but mostly in the lower 48 especially central Texas. Sold it and got a crotch rocket, Kaw 750 Ninja. Sold that when I purchased a Miata. Installed a turbo system(300 hp). Spent several years doing autocross. My only racing these days is via dirt oval gas RC. Seems I tend to prefer a sail over ripping the asphalt. Yes, I guess I really am getting older. 3 1/2 years and I'll be retired and can finally do some serious sailing. Can't wait...

Randy Cape Dory 25D
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Old 31-08-2006, 07:53   #6
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In 1983 I pedaled a bike from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada and back.

After going to wind on a bike for over 5000 miles I decided to get a sail boat and use the wind.

However, nothing really changed. The wind is still coming from where ever I want to get to.
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Old 31-08-2006, 09:00   #7

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I think you are way over generalizing, and it might depend on what type of sailor you are hanging out with. I suspect the gung-ho high testosterone racers might be the speed junkies you are talking about. I personally don't socialize with anyone like that. Not that I am avoiding them, they just don't move in the same circles, or stay at the same marinas.

Looking at the cars in our marina, the only people would fit into the category you describe are a couple of owners of big flashy motoryachts that use 100 gallons of diesel just to get to the fuel dock.

We have several "real" sailors (i.e. long distance, long term cruisers) and they all, without exception, own old, beater cars. In most cases these cars are way below what the "typical" person with their incomes would be driving here in status conscious California. I know I for one would much rather devote that kind of cash to the cruising kitty.

I think you will find that people who need to impress others with fast, fancy, and expensive boats have the same needs on the highway. People who are slow, quiet, careful on the water are the same on the road.

In our marina there is one person who drives a motorcycle, and he hasn't taken his boat out of the slip in 5 years.

And finally, I'll leave yoiu with Bill's Rules of the Road:
Rule #1: Anyone who drves faster than you is a jerk.
Rule #2: Anyone who drives slower than you is an idiot.
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Old 31-08-2006, 11:08   #8
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I bought my first BMW around the same time I bought my first sailboat.

R75 / 5 and Santana 21

Now I own my fourth BMW and my fourth sailboat.

R100GS and Hylas 49 and an old Mustang 5.0 Convertible

I LOVE tooling around St Thomas with the wind in my hair and hope to be able to bring the Beemer with us when we head back across the Pacific. If it's too much of a burdon - I'll ship it to Ozzy from Panama.

To Life!

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Old 31-08-2006, 13:28   #9
Bob Norson

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I see BMW well represented!

An example... Peter on Niaad rather an institution on this coast, built his 10.5 metre sloop 20 years ago, I popped in for an interveiw and noticed a photo on a bulk head, He was a formula II GP guy! A national rider. He Had never said a thing. It's when you start asking you find the people in the old cruiser cars often had another life.

We have to have transport for the paper so a beat up van ( the cruiser mobile) and a nice reliable Honda ... but I'm looking for a set of heads for the 65 malibu SS with the Ed Hale stroker. (Kay's car actually)

Hey Jeff.. I've got one of those too. Souvineer... TZ 125, last time it was used was at Willow Springs Ca. Keep threatening to haul out to a local track for old farts day!

And Great Ketch.. I see this point escapes you, thats OK, I know not everyone has this kind of background but there may be more than you can see.. and mate, speaking for myself, it's not about impressing people anymore than the cruiser who keeps his brightwork shiny. There is a personal satifaction to it. On the race track I found a 'clarity of existance' a total focus that was good for me but the bike was usaully held togther with duct tape!

Yeah Kirk! Your GS would be a good tool for the job... 5.0 mustang/St Thomas... (insert "drooling" sound here)

Adventure is a word mentioned a few times so far...

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Old 31-08-2006, 13:28   #10
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I hate noisy motorcycles and the heard mentality that these Harley people seem to have.

I love silence and these people don't seem to understand how their noisy habit drives other people crazy... or maybe that's why they do it?

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Old 31-08-2006, 13:40   #11
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I enjoyed motorcycle track days (did I see you out at Willow Springs?) and still enjoy riding bikes of all sorts. Sold my Ex500 based franken-bike racer last year. I have a BMW for long distance with my wife and a Honda for weekend rides with the friends. Both are on the block as we get ready to move onto the boat. I would love to bring an enduro on our travels with us but that's not very realistic. Dirt bikes are also pretty hard on the natural world.

Perhaps one of the dualities you see in the posts here lives within many sailors. They love competition and the thrill of adventure (racing sail boats, motor bikes, or anything else) but they also love the natural outdoor world (sailing, hiking, climbing, diving ...). The balance may swing in different directions, and I find myself mellowing with age, but the love of the outdoors and the relationship between man and machine is ongoing. Especially when the machine, be it boat or bike, is so materially entrusted with your life while aboard.

Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe. -- HG Wells
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Old 31-08-2006, 15:07   #12
Bob Norson

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Wow Randy.. that was really good! "...The balance may swing in different directions, and I find myself mellowing with age, but the love of the outdoors and the relationship between man and machine is ongoing."
I had an EX.. tried to set it up for the La Carrara in mexico but couldn't get it to handle so borrowed my wifes 250 Ninja and smoked it ahead of most of the big bikes and took my class hands down. Great motor but 16" front wheel... no good. Sounds like you had a good version! We have so similar a background! Currently have a K75S and CBR 600 but they are on the block for same reasons

Was at Willow a lot in mid eighties.. 600 SS and mod prod, 750 SS and SB and formula III also Laguna Seca and Firebird. AFM, ARRA and AMA clubs.

defjef.. totally agree but whatever turns their crank I guess. But we are talking performance stuff! But then.. there seems to be a sailing mag for that crowd too. Guess which one? (not mine!)

Though I admit a love of the scream of 10,000 rpm, I usauly kept stock pipes on my road bikes so I could have more fun while looking innocent!

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Old 31-08-2006, 16:08   #13
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Originally Posted by Bob Norson
'clarity of existance' a total focus that was good for me
That just may be it. One thing I can say about having a couple of hundred feet of air between you and the top of the pines there is absolutely no question what the game is really about.
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Old 31-08-2006, 17:46   #14
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For what it's worth ... rode the daylights out of (of all things) a Yamaha 650 twin! Up to 850 cc's (as I recall) down to around 400 lbs ... made 92hp at the rear wheel ... ran pricey road race tires on it ... and had a blast! I lived in Santa Cruz ... buddies would come up from LA on their bigger more powerfull bikes, but I could run & hide from them on my home turf mountain roads.

Having said that ... couldn't pay me to get on a bike these days!
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Old 31-08-2006, 18:38   #15
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I rode for a few years, and, like sailing, there seem to be two crowds: the racers and the cruisers. For cyclists, the Goldwing touring crowd (long distances, and as a group, the quietest bikes on the road) seems to corelate most closely to sailing cruisers.

Cruisers of either pursuit seem to value the sense of freedom, tranquility, "smoothness," and independence. Yeah, I get it, and see how my experience on a roadbike achieved similar goals as my cruising under sail.

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"Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them." ó G. K. Chesterfield
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