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works and words from...

Ed Caldwell (Bear)
Canton, Georgia USA
ed@eds-art.net

Photo credit: Phoebe Chen

Light in Darkness 

darkness seeps... 
only 'til light casts it back to the deep

Light is beginning to break but 2020 has not been a winner's dream... evil abounds!


A deadly virus spawned from China, liberal lying anti-American politicians trying to dismantle our rights to freedom in an attempt to restructure America into a socialist or worse nation, a police officer turned bad murdering George Floyd perhaps for Floyd’s criminal behaviors, criminal rioters looting and burning down businesses killing police officers in the process, anarchistic sociopaths creating chaos in the streets of Seattle and New York, politically motivated murder charge for a police officer trying to do his job in Atlanta, criminals vandalizing statues and national monuments, politically motivated left wing media distorting reporting news to conform to their agenda... All this and more anti-American barbarism making everyday life more dangerous for law abiding citizens.


We are faced with living in a left wing inspired social Hell created by radicals and bigots wanting us to live without law and order and our fundamental freedoms. Even our country's heritage is threatened. Thank God President Trump has our American back! He deserves everyone's help in fighting these evil atrocities. 

Golden Rule...

I treat others with respect and kindness because that’s how I want to be treated. I believe I share this trait with the vast majority of Americans. If you’re nice to me you can expect nice in return. If you believe that you are oppressed or privileged, inferior or superior then you have the problem not me. You and I are equals especially in God's eyes! I believe that I also share this sentiment with the vast majority of Americans. If you think that I owe you restitution then you are wrong... I earned what I have and you can earn what you get too. This is a free country where we all have the right to pursue happiness but not at the expense and detriment of others. If you vandalize and destroy art, steal from businesses, burn them down, do violence against your neighbor and especially the police you deserve to be punished and not heralded in some demented way. You are not a hero... you are a criminal against common decency.

We Need God...

If we are spiritually without God, we are left to our own designs and understandings. Without God we have to explain away our world so that the universe conforms to our man made rules... And without God our rules are imperfect leaving us with an artificial sense of purpose or no sense of purpose at all. Without God we become our own flawed god and remove ourselves from the great goodness and reward that comes from seeking a relationship with our Creator. Without God we easily hate and raise ourselves above others since we perceive ourselves as the highest authority. We need God because we cannot grow properly without Him. Without God we are like lost spoiled children living without supervision pretending to successfully fend for ourselves. We need God because without Him we are self-righteous. We need God to guide us into properly loving our brothers and sisters to celebrate that we are all different. We need God so we can more easily love and respect one another and overcome evil.

 

Jesus tells us not to worry. I know that is a tall order but trusting in His goodness and light is what He wants us to do especially in trying times. Not all of us are equipped to battle evil at the same level but all of us can certainly trust in God... Evil can win a battle but it cannot win a war... In time, goodness and light will prevail. 

Strong Leadership = Strong USA

There's a clear path to our country's success by supporting President Trump... he is an astute businessman not a career politician and he has clearly shown that he knows how to successfully run our country. 


China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea and others know they could never impose their form of government on the United States with President Donald Trump at the helm. But I think our greatest threat is not foreign powers, instead we are becoming our own worst enemy because we are not a totally “United” country. It’s almost like our very freedoms spawned division among us. Notwithstanding a China born virus, we are facing an even worse evil threat to our freedoms from within our own borders. There are powerful left wing liberal Democrats and radical anarchistic Bigots that want to change our free capitalist society into a socialist or other controlled country. It wouldn’t shock me if they insisted on changing our country’s name. 
 

It’s difficult for me to understand why some people are so violently opposed to our fought and died for inherited freedoms. I think those dangerous people are made up from two extremes... one living in deplorable conditions with little perceived hope of succeeding in life and the other having lived in “spoiled” conditions neither of whom were taught by their parents or learned to properly respect others. I started with no money and worked diligently toward success from a humbling background. Anyone can do the same thing because that’s how Americans succeed. We work for what we get. It is a wrong mindset to not have hope! The spoiled folks prefer that others do the work while they reap the benefits. Those “spoiled children” want the government to continue the “spoiling” where their parents left off. 

 

Unfortunately, the liberal left Democratic leaders and especially the “fake news” believe it’s ok to lie and misreport for political reasons. The Democratic leaders placed their socialist political agenda as a higher priority than the health of the people then lied blaming the Republicans for holding up the stimulus bill. What they meant was... the Republicans would not let them have their way with the bill designed to help struggling citizens. The Democrats wanted their political projects funded as well and were acting like those spoiled and disrespectful children, disrespecting the American people by trying to blackmail the Republicans. 

 

The fake news hates President Donald Trump for whatever reason therefore are constantly attacking our President with insulting questions and politically opposed biased reporting instead of supporting him with the respect he is due. I think if President Trump resolved practical space travel to distant galaxies the Democrats and fake news would find a way to criticize it... or maybe they just wouldn’t report it! The fake media refuse to report the positive accomplishments of our President and his administration. By their unscrupulous actions the fake media do not deserve to be called journalists. Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley, David Brinkley along with other great media journalists are probably rolling in their graves.

 

I love my country and good hardworking friendly people are what make it a great place to live. So far the majority of people want to “Make America Great” as is illustrated by the election of Donald Trump as our 45th President. However the current media polls indicate former Vice President Joe Biden is ahead. Make no mistake... if Joe Biden is elected we will have a puppet President who will be doing the radical left’s bidding. This is demonstrated in Seattle, Atlanta, New York and other Democratic cities where anarchy has been spawning. America’s healthy growth will decline and our global economic competition opposition will profit if Biden wins 2020. On the other hand, if we re-elect President Trump we will continue to make this country great like it is meant to be. “Great” is demonstrated by the good things that have transpired against all odds during his first four years in Washington D.C. as a first time politician! 

Below are three media warriors' on point videos! I'm proud to feature them in my website!

Call of the Wind

My inspired rider's poem and collection of good time motorcycle highlights!

 

"It's not the destination, it's the ride!"

Image credit: Indian Motorcycle

feathers to the wind

feeling my spirit ascend

past our clouds beyond our star

bound by earth but only so far

leans and greens

thundering machine

wrangling angles

riding with angels

metal and man

traversing land 

spirits as one

feathers to the sun

Born to Ride

 

I very much enjoy the sense of spiritual freedom that I get from the highway wind and the reassuring feel of a solid two wheel machine supporting me. It rejuvenates and lifts my youthful spirit. Riding alone with my thoughts tends to smooth out the rough edges life can throw at you. It’s medicine that I highly recommend!

 

I’m also riding with friends from Indian Motorcycle Riders Group (IMRG) Chapter 1964 out of Indian Motorcycle Marietta Georgia USA and having a great time! Riding with a group is much more fun than I initially thought it would be! Riding with a group that shares the same safety goal and love for motorcycling is a rewarding and pleasurable experience. This I also highly recommend!

Yona


Yona is my 2019 Indian Chieftain Classic retirement present to myself that I purchased October 2018 for all my years of working for a living. My dad rode an Indian before I was born so I expect he would have been proud of this black and cream beauty as my selection. Her color scheme reminds me of a police motorcycle so I named her "Yona" the Cherokee Indian word for Bear in honor of our public protectors.

Yona sitting at Two Wheels of Suches sporting her new quick release trunk and extra comfortable heated touring seat

This model has three selectable ride modes (touring, standard and sport). It almost feels like I'm switching between cams! The throttle is fly by wire so the selections are actually electronic switches. Each mode has a different throttle response for engine acceleration and deceleration. I ride in standard mode most of the time but it's nice to have the sport option for the twisties and touring mode for wet road conditions. The stereo sound system is techy awesome too! I was skeptical about having stereo on a motorcycle but it really works quite well. I love the modern performance engineering combined with the beautiful Indian Motorcycle legacy tailoring. I especially like how her saddlebags and front fairing design was inspired by the early 20th century Art Deco styling of the streamlined locomotives. (My grandfather was a railroad engineer until he retired in the mid 1960's.)

 

Yona is a made in the USA Thunder Black and Ivory Cream 111 cubic inch fuel injected Thunder Stroke V-Twin from Polaris. It’s a rider that completes this beautiful art and engineering work. There's not a much better feeling than cutting through the highway wind with the sense of spiritual freedom that this awesome machine brings. She's a dream... comfortable, powerful and pretty!  Long may I be riding and smiling!

Reflectivity

Taking a break at Talking Rock ... Yona and I are on an excursion to the Georgia Dragon AKA Suches Loop... not in a hurry and taking a long way around route to get there! - Pareidolia - In my right mirror I can see my guardian angel’s eyes! I am sure they are telling me to not make their job any more difficult than is necessary! You see, I had given them a run for their money in my younger days.

A bit unconventional but I mounted my daughters' Guardian Bells At the top of my highway bar under the upper frame. I know we’re supposed to only have one and it should be mounted lower close to the road so the evil spirits will dispatch sooner. But the first bell that I ever received and mounted underneath turned out to be too far starboard and sadly got ground down by the pavement from leaning into those right hand curves... I don’t know what the penalty is for defacing a Guardian Bell on the pavement... maybe I don’t want to know!

An "Old" Flame 

November 2017 until October 2018 – This was my 2017 Indian Chief Classic... she got me back in the saddle after a 30 year motorcycle hiatus! This baby got me reacquainted with two wheel fun and got me singing again! But I only sang while cruising down the highway... so as not to annoy folks too much!

Leaping Bear Encounter

 

July 4, 2018 - It all happened so fast!... As I rounded a GA 136 curve near Burnt Mountain, there was an SUV coming from the other direction and a bear running across the road just in front of the SUV into my lane. Fortunately my approach was from far enough away that I had plenty of time to react. (Keep in mind that when riding a motorcycle, you have to concentrate more on the road and what's in front of you than details about the scenery... oh you do get views of the beautiful animals and greenery all right... but riding focus is primarily on the road)... I expect the SUV startled the bear and I'm pretty sure my thundering Indian approach was worrisome such that the bear was running at a pretty hefty clip and jumped the guardrail onto a steep bank. He cleared the guardrail easily but I worried about him jumping what appeared to be so blindly onto what appeared to be such a steep bank. But since I know nothing about bear CPR and the possibility that he may have made that jump before (maybe he knew what he was doing)... I decided not to stop... Besides, I've heard that bears eat people.

Hawk Eyes

 

September 30, 2018 – Fall is a great time to ride a motorcycle, especially in the mountains on the curvy roads amidst the “getting sleepy” forests and busy critters. You just have to watch out for the critters and be ready to brake at all times. I get lots of enjoyable moments on my Indian and today was no exception. For the first time in my life, I witnessed a red tailed hawk attack almost head on from very nearly the victims vantage point. The hawk was targeting something at the roadside with his eyes focused and talons about to be extended. The hawk’s attack and my approach put my head (helmet) nearly in his direct flight path such that I got close to a view of what his prey would see if his prey were to see him coming. It was so cool! (Cool for me that is, not the hawk)… I knew there were no vehicles behind me so I quickly braked and the hawk veered off so it was just an awesome view for me and an unfortunate distraction for the hawk. I was sorry I interrupted his potential meal. I know how I feel about food so I expect the hawk didn't appreciate my presence.
 

This time of year you have to be especially aware of critters while riding or driving. It seems that I see more flattened critter bodies on the road this time of year than any other. So we should all ride and drive with a sharper awareness of the busy animals since they don’t have a built-in natural awareness of mankind’s creations. Deer for example, will run right into your bike or automobile path as if blind. But always use good judgment when it comes to critter encounters on the road. Many years ago, I think it was 1967, I had a friend die in an automobile crash dodging a critter on the highway. I still wish he had made a different decision. While as many know, I am not very good about keeping in touch, it doesn’t mean I don’t keep friends close in my thoughts. Ride safe, drive safe and enjoy the great fall weather!

Suches it is Group Ride

 

November 17, 2018 – IMRG Atlanta Highway Chapter 1964 - There were eight bikes and one passenger. We rode to Cleveland via GA-400 and GA-115 for a quick break at the Chic-Fil-A then headed up Helen Hwy toward Richard B. Russell Scenic Hwy on to GA-180 (part of the "Georgia Dragon") and Two Wheels of Suches for a fun lunch. It was a little sparse of animal spottings on this trip but on my previous trip to Richard B. Russell, I crossed paths with a momma bear and her cub... I rounded a curve just as momma was hurriedly crossing the road with her cub trailing behind her. They didn't see me so I shifted to the opposite lane and pulled in my clutch to quiet my thundering Indian which put me farthest from where they were going. Coasting, I was able to witness the cub stop at the road edge and with nose up, sniff the air and look side to side until he caught sight of me as I came up behind him and the little guy took off towards momma... I love the mountains!

Ball Ground, GA - Burger Bus


February 2, 2019 - Fun group chowing down some great burgers after a fun ride in the mountains! No bear sightings this trip though but the weather might have woke them up!

Photo credit: Kat Walders Anderson’s cell camera and our waitress. L-R Brad Mitchell, Jerry Woods, Greg Payne, Leon Alexander, Jay Anderson, Jim Holt, Kat Anderson, Me, and Jim Looft 

Pisgah Mountain

 

May 15-16, 2019 - Postcard Ride - This was more fun than you could shake a stick at! Five of us Atlanta Highway IMRG members rode up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoyed the great amenities at Pisgah Inn!

Photo credit: Jim Holt - Richland Balsam Overlook and Indians right to left belonging to Jim, Jerry Woods, myself, Brad Mitchell, and Jim Looft 

And talk about views! I had as much fun off the bike as on thanks to the great group of riders I was with!  A diverse bunch that all shared the goal of a good time and a safe ride. If you ever get the chance... you should ride the Blue Ridge Parkway. Every inch we experienced was a postcard!

Sunrise in the Pisgah Forest - God’s bridge between darkness and light painted with color.

darkness seeps... 
only 'til light casts it back to the deep

I woke up to a sleepy early morning “cloud”.

I can't remember which overlook this is where I took this shot... but it lives up to the "Blue Ridge" name!

This was a side trip we made to Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley, NC. It's well worth a visit! Lots of cool machines to see and friendly folks working there.

Little Switzerland, NC

 

June 26-28, 2019 - If you’ve ever ridden the Blue Ridge Parkway you won’t be surprised to hear that I had an awesome experience. If heaven has roads for touring oriented motorcycle riders I expect they are very similar to the BRP. It’s so easy to ride and beautiful to look at... it’s also very much a stress reducer... it feels like it was designed for motorcycling. I am now spoiled and hope to eventually ride the entire parkway. It stretches in sweeping curves from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina to Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. 

Jim Holt and Jim Looft and our Indians - Blue Ridge Parkway 

One of the spectacular views off Blue Ridge Parkway 

Y’all know I like bears right? I was fortunate to see four bears while riding in the Georgia mountains over the course of my first year back on a motorcycle after a 30 year hiatus. That was incredible. Well I’m seven months into my second year back and finally spotted a momma bear and her cub in North Carolina as I rounded a curve along the BRP about a half hour from the Switzerland Inn on the way back home Friday morning. The momma was standing on the edge of the parkway in my lane looking at me and then toward the short bank leading into the woods then back at me. That clued me in to look up the bank where I spotted the cub. I gave them a wide berth pulling my clutch in to quiet my Thunderstroke. No reason to stress a momma bear anymore than necessary. I almost stopped to take a picture but my survival instincts kicked in and rescued me from myself. I had visions of a protective mother defending her cub from an overzealous inexperienced bear admirer. I very much enjoyed the close up encounter but wished I had a video camera mounted on Yona. Maybe next time I will!

 

Topping things off the Switzerland Inn has a resident bear statue named “Ed”!!! That in addition to BRP and the live bear sightings almost sent me into the fringe of over excited human behaviorial tangents. How many bears do you think have my namesake? I’m betting one. Below is a shot of Ed the metal Bear and Ed the mesmerized human. 

Photo credit: Jim Looft

A view from the Blue Ridge Parkway on my way back home after the Switzerland Inn stay. The little cloud caught my eye. I was traveling alone at the time so the little cloud and I became kindred spirits. It's moments like this when I feel closest to God. I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

Dragon Ride

 

August 6, 2019 - Jim Looft and I rode up to Robbinsville, NC spending the night at River's Edge Treehouse Resort and rode the Dragon. It was a blast! Such a beautiful road. I had to pay close attention to the 11 miles of 318 curves keeping an eye out for wacky doodles but only encountered one crotchety rocket that went zooming past me as I stayed on the right side to leave him room. The Dragon was great fun! I hope to ride it again soon!

129Slayer.com  Image capture from the Dragon... Yona and me leaning and greening.

KillBoy.com  Image capture from the Dragon... that's Jim and me rounding one of the 318 curves.

Video clip from the Tail of the Dragon taken 6 August 2019

Photo credit: Jim Looft - This metal sculpture at the south entrance to the Dragon is just plain awesome! 

Jim, Indian Chief Classic and Dragon - You might recognize that beautiful bike... it used to be mine until Jim customized it... Cool flag! Classic leather! Stage 2 horsepower!

Jim took this shot when we stopped for a quick break after riding the Dragon’s Tail on our way to pizza and back to our treehouses. Notice how my head is aligned with a big puffy cloud!

River's Edge Treehouse Resort's backyard

Cherohala Skyway

 

August 7, 2019 - Jim Looft and I rode from Robbinsville, NC back home via the Skyway. What a beautiful motorcycle friendly road. Parts of it reminded me of the BRP.

One of the Overlooks on the Skyway 

Video clip from the Skyway taken 7 August 2019

Unfortunately we didn't spot any bears on this ride but we did get to meet some at the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center. We watched a video about the conservation efforts surrounding our wild bear population. It was very interesting. The most poignant point regarding the bears is that we should NOT feed them... no legs no arms... not even a crumb. This is usually a death sentence for the bear as they will quickly learn a too dangerous for humans habit and likely wind up having to be euthanized.

Photo credit: Jim Looft

This is a picture of me and my new buddy Fred. I asked Fred where he got the cool vest but he wouldn't tell me. Maybe I don't want to know!

Murder Mountain Run & The Diamondback 

September 20-22, 2019 -  Jerry, Jim and I headed up the Blue Ridge Parkway to Little Switzerland for a weekend of great motorcycle weather in the Appalachian mountains. Friday we had a fun uneventful ride up and ended the day with a relaxing evening at the Switzerland Inn. I was disappointed that the "Ed the Bear" sign was missing but at least Ed the metal bear was still there! (There's a photo of Ed the Bear and me with the missing sign above in the earlier Little Switzerland NC excursion notes... I asked around but no one knew what happened to the sign... maybe they removed it because it prompts photos of Ed the Bear's behind... I don't know about you but if I'm in the woods... that's the end of a bear I'd rather see!)

 

Saturday morning after a good breakfast we rode out on to a local route called the Murder Mountain Run. It’s 114 miles of North Carolina and Tennessee mountain roads. It started out great... twisting through the beautiful highland forests on a perfect riding day. At Roan we stopped for lunch but we decided later that next time we would ride twenty minutes further east to Banner Elk for more food choices. After leaving Roan we headed south on 143 toward Roan Mountain State Park. Unfortunately my GPS wanted to take a shortcut and steered us around the park. Next time I'm adding a stop at the park to the GPS route plan so we don't wind up in that wacky shortcut. Dang shortcut got us lost! We eventually meandered our way back to the Inn for a great dinner and some good old biker buddy talk!

 

Sunday morning we capped off our weekend adventure by heading out on to the Diamondback... a popular 38 mile route with 12 miles of 190 steep climbing curves. The ride takes just a little over an hour and starts and ends at the Switzerland Inn where we were staying. After Diamondback we headed home via the BRP but detoured down 215 toward Rosman to refuel. 215 turned out to be good riding fun with lots of mountain forest lined twisties! We wound up going through the nice towns of Cashiers and Highlands on the way back. I can't wait to do the whole trip again with the route tweaks that we learned!

Photo credit: Jerry Woods

Left to right, Jim (Gadget), Ed (Bear), that's me (how do you like my antlers?) and Jerry (Jammin) BTW - We're taking donations so Jammin can buy some new pants :)

Photo credit: Jerry Woods

Jammin Jerry on the move!

Photo credit: Jerry Woods

I'm writing myself a ticket for having too much fun!

Talking Rock

June 7, 2020 - Yona and I rode to one of my favorite stops at Talking Rock Town Park. The rocks were exceptionally gabby today and kept making cracks about being stonEd. Of course I had no idea what they were talking about and wasn't going to let them chisel me into a debate!

Gallery 

Photo credit: Jerry Woods

Jim (Gadget) Looft's decked out 2017 Chief - What a gorgeous motorcycle!

Photo credit: Jerry Woods

"Dragon" - Jammin Jerry's beautiful 2017 Chieftain Elite!

Photo credit: Jerry Woods

"Yona", 2019 Chieftain Classic, my very own wind machine!

Photo credit: Jerry Woods

"Riding a motorcycle is like going out for a long walk without all that walking!"  Unknown author

Summertime 2019 video of a portion of the Georgia Dragon AKA Suches Loop

feathers to the wind

feeling my spirit ascend...

...leans and greens

thundering machine

wrangling angles...

Riding with Angels
 

I ride the speed limit on the two lane highways and back roads. On the multiple lane highways I ride with the traffic flow. On the two lanes and back roads, when I know someone behind me wants to go faster than the speed limit I slow down to let them pass when it’s safe to do so. That reduces stress for me and them. Sometimes I’ll catch up with them at a traffic light… which I like to call the “equalizer”. If we were on a race course I’d likely never see them again once they’d passed me. As for me, I don’t belong on a race course… especially since I managed to get “old”.
 

Maybe I shouldn't admit it but I was once a wild young lead footed kid... like when I bought my first motorcycle… It’s a miracle I didn’t die. I was 17 and it was a six year old 1962 Triumph Thunderbird 650 that I bought from a Hispanic gentleman. I was attracted to the high rise handlebar and intrigued by what promised to be roaring great fun! Well the first thing I did was ride to Interstate 75 and open it up… I mean full throttle… to see how fast it would go!... Well, when the speedometer approached 100 (it registered 0-120) it had begun to bounce so wildly that I couldn’t really say how fast I was traveling. There was so much vibration it was impossible to tell but I suspect I was doing at least 90… then the cool high rise handlebar (they call them ape hangars now) spun in its two mounting brackets lurching me backward! A little scary… so I slowed down below the speed limit and gently pushed the handlebar back to an upright position. My first thought was… what if it had broken free at 90 mph? I figure angels were riding with me… Jesus’s helpers! The angels saw me and said, “That boy needs help… lots of help!”. People die on motorcycles… mostly because of riding too fast for conditions.

 

I think that incident was meant to teach me a lesson... It did make a strong impression but the lesson wasn’t quite over yet. With the handlebar back in position I rode cautiously the rest of the way home. I made it to my driveway and as I slowly leaned into the driveway the left side of the handlebar broke at the mounting bracket. Fortunately, I was able to control my stop with the right side handlebar. Turns out the handlebar was a bicycle handlebar which is less beefy and has a smaller diameter than the actual motorcycle handlebar and had been rigged to fit in the Triumph brackets with shims (strips of thin metal to take up the slack). I presume that the handlebar had rotated many times and discovered that the homemade metal shims had sharp edges and had been cutting into the handlebar weakening the area where the bracket clamped the shim finally breaking in my driveway. The fact that I've made it to be this old credits my ability to learn from my generous God given lessons!


Please always use proper riding gear and only properly engineered accessories for your motorcycle. And above all, please ride safe and that goes for all you cage dwellers as well… please drive aware and drive safe!

If you're not a motorcycle rider you may have wondered why riders signal when passing each other on the road. This is usually a downward or side extension of the left arm or nod of the head if the left hand is busy. It's a friendly and respectful gesture symbolizing that all riders are brothers and sisters. I believe the common message is... "Congratulations, I see you're still alive too!"