Monthly Archives: September 2013

Fall Riding

Victory Motorcycles just posted on Facebook about adding a windshield to your motorcycle so you can better enjoy fall riding.  While it cuts down on the wind, a windshield isn’t the only reason to get out and ride this fall. There’s the sunlight on your back and shoulders, the fresh breezes and, of course, the fall colors.

The colors here in Minnesota are delayed by a couple of weeks, thanks to the winter that lingered into … May. Ralph and I were in north central Minnesota last weekend, and the ash trees were the only yellow we saw. Poison ivy or Virginia creeper (who’s going to get close enough to find out which?) provided splashes of red. Otherwise, everything is still summer green.

The weather-guessers have already changed the weekend forecast from rain on Saturday to showers ending by early afternoon. In a couple more days, the rain may evaporate completely!

If you’re out riding on Saturday, stop in at Northway Sports for their fall open house. I’ll be there, selling and signing copies of Ride Minnesota.

“Beyond the Bookstore”

Record snow depth on Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula is 139 inches.

Record snow depth on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula is 139 inches.

Once you’ve sold the first 100 copies of your book to your family and friends, you have to work a little harder. I just received notice from Amazon that the book I ordered, “Beyond the Bookstore,” has  shipped. It’s supposed to be filled with ideas for unconventional ways and means of selling books. I’ve been doing some of that on my own, making appearances at motorcycle dealerships with a saddlebag full of copies of Ride Minnesota.

Showing up at unexpected places is a fun way to market a product, if somewhat time-consuming. In the next few weeks, I’ll be at Northway Sports (September 28), the Twin Cities Book Festival (October 13, sponsored by Rain Taxi) and the Home Improvement & Design Expo (October 19-20). I have no idea what to expect from the last one, but Northway is going to loan me a hot new motorcycle to attract attention and keep me company in the booth.

Showing up at unexpected places reminds me somewhat of motorcycle touring, when you often find things at unexpected places. This summer Ralph and I took the Lake Superior Circle Tour. One of the great places to ride along the way is the Keweenaw Peninsula in Upper Michigan. That’s where we came across this gigantic thermometer that measures snow depth in the area.  It’s something we never expected to see. The record snow depth, by the way, is 139 inches. I’m damned glad I didn’t have to shovel it.

Online Book Club Gives Ride Minnesota 3 Out of 4 Stars

I recently uploaded an electronic copy of Ride Minnesota to and waited patiently for the book review to appear on-screen. It didn’t take long, only about a week. I’ve never been sure just what to expect from my brain-child, so I was pleased to learn that it was awarded three out of four stars.

The anonymous reviewer sounds British (“Having never been on a motorbike or considered one, I was not sure quite what to expect …”), but I don’t hold that against him/her. Five years ago, I was a non-rider myself. Despite the reviewer’s inexperience (I’m sure he’s a he!), he recommends the book to motorcyclists who are thinking of touring Minnesota.

I especially like his last sentence: “The book is written in a very easy to read format and while it may fall into the category of travel guide, it almost feels as if you are speaking to an old friend who recently took the journey and is offering wholehearted recommendations for you to enjoy.”

I consider that high praise!  To read the entire review, click the link above.

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