Nikon D500 – Downtown Memphis and the Memphis Zoo – 2017

I did a couple of photo runs recently, one in downtown Memphis, the other at the Memphis Zoo. They were my first tests of my new Nikon D500.  This camera is really cool with advanced features and processing power I could only dream of a few years back.      ( click on photos to enlarge )

Downtown Memphis

Downtown Memphis

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Ktm 500 Playing in the woods. A perfect January day down south.

KTM climbing a hill

KTM climbing a hill

A couple of days ago, I had the luck to ride my KTM 500 in 3 separate wooded trail areas. All of the trails are lightly used. All total, we probably rode 10 trails all within a few minutes of each other. This is where having a license plate is so nice.  I have never has an issue with the police even back when a bunch of us rode KDX 200’s, but it is an extra piece of mind being street legal.

The KTM 500 I ride is crazy tall.  The suspension travel is extraordinary.  On my old KDX both feet were flat on the ground, on the KTM I can barely touch one toe in boots.   I have been fortunate to be able to log quite a few hours seat time in the past 10 days. I am starting to really understand how to make this bike do the dance. Not there yet, but I feel my riding getting more and more fluid. The other half of that equation is getting back into riding shape.

If you are in the market for a street legal dirt bike, KTM is a good place to start.  It is not a GS, DR, Vstrom etc. Those bikes can do dirt and gravel, but not much more. They are just too heavy, plus they don’t have a proper suspension.  I personally decided not to get a compromise, so I have both my BMW K1200RS and the KTM. Some of the places we go or obstacles we must clear halt most riders before they begin.  Funny thing, all the obstacles that caused a pause now are the area’s you look forward to hitting.

Youtube has a wealth of riders better than I will ever be who do a great job of explaining how to use advanced techniques that are not common sense to make obstacles stress free. Seat time is key, but if you learn proper habits from world class riders, you will find an enjoyment in nature that is pretty indescribable. Even after riding more than 40 years, I still find their are things I can  improve as a rider.

Here are a few videos from the 20+ miles we rode. 72 degrees in January…amazing  –   high 30’s today… bummer.  Click here to go to my Dirt Bike Video Page


1st ride on a new trail. KTM 500’s having Fun!

My buddy laid this trail out a few days ago. Today was my 1st time to see it. He made a very cool trail on a small parcel of land. We did 4 laps, or 12 miles. This is a bit from the 1st lap.  It has some small hills, slick sections, super tight twisty sections and the downed tree to hop over every so often.  I changed my Go Pro to 1280×960 48fps. I really like the orientation much better for the dirt bike. 30fps was just not fast enough to capture the craziness that happens when you are on such uneven surfaces.  Youtube does no justice to how perfect the video looks prior to upload. GoPro’s don’t do a very good job of captururing the terrain, it appears much less technically challenging.  It does give one who has never understood the appeal a look.  Dirt is so much fun. You just do your thing. If you want to pull a wheelie, get air, or rip full blast, no one is hiding around a bend with a radar gun. The freedom is completely liberating. Then add a machine that will take you anywhere on the planet and you just found a bit of heaven.

Clearing trail, Machete in hand.

Clearing trail, Machete in hand.

My dad surprised me with my first dirt bike over 42 years ago. I marvel that this bike has a license plate; I feel like I am getting away with something every time I go onto city streets. I still trailer it more often than not, but just having the option to legally drive on the roads is great. Continue reading for full post

Fun day Riding KTM 500 in North Mississippi Woods

Turbo and Bosco in the forest

Turbo and Bosco in the forest

What a crazy month. Highs not above 20s one week, then warm and wet the next.  However; yesterday,
we awoke to a beautiful blue sky and day time temps of nearly  70 degrees. Massive storms rolled
back in hours after I put the bike away. Today feels like January again.

I rode with a friend in an area of North Mississippi I had never ridden. Thankfully the woods did a fantastic job of absorbing the massive amounts of rain we have had recently. Other than a few areas, it was not bad. Of course it did have slippery spots, thankfully I was on a new front knobby and have a  massive hybrid rear tire.

I tested 960 48fps a few days after the video’s below; I like it much better. 960 format in the woods is spectacular and the faster frame rate helps tremendously with the constant movement of off road riding. Riding later today, will post some of the new footage soon.

Chillin' on a Jaunary Afternoon

Chillin’ on a Jaunary Afternoon

Here are the videos from yesterdays ride. I just wish Youtube looked as crisp and clean and the video prior to upload.

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BMW K1200rs Maintenance

BMW K1200rs Maintenance – dealer not required

BMW K1200rs without body panels

BMW K1200rs without body panels

As an avid 2 wheel fan, be it bicycling, mt biking, riding dirt bikes, or my big Beemer, maintenance can never be overlooked.  I just completed the yearly service on my BMW K1200rs and have started doing the same on a friends. The most intimidating part of the job is stripping the bodywork. It is basically a puzzle in that the pieces interlock over each other and have hidden tabs and holders you must understand before you begin.

Youtube is your friend and a great resource.  Amazingly,  you will find you are not the first person who wishes to save some money and have the satisfaction in knowing that they understand and can service their own machine.
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Time for some off road fun on a KTM 500 Exc

Spring is here which means it is time to ride my new KTM 500 Exc.

Andy and KTM 500

Andy and KTM 500

This spring I purchased a friend’s 2012 KTM 500 Exc. Unfortunately, it has been an unnaturally wet spring. It has recently started to dry out so I was finally able to enjoy a few rides as I get myself back into riding shape.   In preparation,  today was day 69 of the P90x3 program I started back in February. I am stronger and leaner than I have been in too long to admit. I have by no means reached my goals, but I can honestly say this program has shown amazing results. I have  shed 10% of my body weight since I began the program.

However… man handling a 510cc beast through the woods and in the mountains will take your fitness to an entirely new level. Off road motorcycle riding is an entire body workout. The cool part is getting strong and in shape is purely a natural by product of doing something fun and satisfying. No funky gym locker rooms for me.

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It has been a while since I updated the web page… it has been a tough year.
I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Lisa in New Orleans

Lisa in New Orleans

Last June, Lisa, my best friend and constant companion of 16 years passed.  She fought a hard battle with cancer, but her body finally gave out. Lisa lived her life with courage, strength, and dignity. Her spirit never failed no matter what came her way… and it was more than any one person should endure. I was able to be at her side through it all and held her hand at the very end.  She is missed greatly.

Here’s to making 2016 the best year yet.  The past few years have taught me just how fleeting life is, hold on tight and hug your loved ones.

Check back often, I have years of photos I am in the process of editing to be added.

Tail of Dragon, Moonshiners 28 and Cherohala Skyway – Pure Joy!

The last week of April, 2015, I took my K1200RS BMW on a road trip. I left Memphis and headed towards Knoxville with a side trip through Fall Creek Falls, Deal’s Gap aka The Dragon, Cherohala Skyway, Moonshiners 28 and ended up in Sapphire North Carolina.  It was unseasonably cool, with riding temps in the 40’s and 50’s.  One week later we were back to the upper 80’s.

Riding the Dragon

Riding the Dragon on a BMW K1200RS

Below are videos from my first pass on the Dragon. 600 miles into a 1500 mile journe

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Bob Allen

Bob on his Norton 750 Commando - Purchased in England, then brought to US where he personally chopped and painted it.

Bob on his Norton 750 Commando – Purchased in England, then brought to US where he personally chopped and painted it.

A few photos of my brother Bob.  He passed in 2012 and is missed every single day. Bob was originally from Memphis, Tn, but lived in Sarasota for the last 24 years of his life. He loved warm weather or rather hated the cold. 60 degrees was long john weather for Bob.

Bob was an artist. He designed and built beautiful and unique homes for 40 years. He was a life long guitar player who never quit searching for new and interesting music to play.

Bobby jammin' on his '03 Paul Reed Smith guitar.

Bobby jammin’ on his ’03 Paul Reed Smith guitar.

He had a great circle of friends in Florida who loved and looked after him, I will always be grateful to them all.

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The new and hopefully improved Corvetteman!

Corvetteman Sig 2002 2015 b is undergoing a major reconstruction

I have moved it over to a setup. This is a major departure from my previous site where it was built on Dreamweaver.  I see some advantages and disadvantages of both formats.  Being a photography site, working in PHP and SQL is a bit more difficult to manage large amounts of photos.  However WP offers so many themes, plugins, and widgets that are so simple, I thought I would give it a try.

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Thoughts on Photography

I have been shooting photos for over 40 years.  I started with a Nikkormat 35mm and got my 1st darkroom setup when I was about 10 years old. I moved up to a Nikon FE with a motor drive and then later to a Nikon F3 with a motor drive. Wow what a camera. It was a work horse. It has dents and scuffs all over it, but it just works. It has climbed mountains, lived on the beach, and generally had a rough-but-loving life.Tig bib


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