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works and words from...

Ed Caldwell

Canton, GA, USA

ed@eds-art.net

 

Photo credit: Phoebe Chen

Excursions

Offline Outflow

 

My 2017 Indian Chief motorcycle - It’s the rider that completes this beautiful art and engineering work. There is nothing better than cutting through the highway wind with the sense of spiritual freedom that this awesome machine brings. Plus, there's the occasional sidebar bonus from airborne insect protein... Long may I be riding and smiling!

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

feathers to the wind

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 is 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 am pretty sure my thundering injun noise was worrisome also such that the bear was running 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.

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. Many times I’ll catch up with them at a traffic light… which I call the “equalizer”. If we were on a race course I’d likely never see them again once they’ve passed me. As for me, I don’t belong on a race course… especially since I managed to get “old” (I put “old” in quotes because it’s so relative). I consider me “old” in experience but was once a wild fresh child... 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 handlebars he had installed 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 handlebars (they call them ape hangars) spun in their two mounting brackets lurching me backward! A little scary… so I slowed down below the speed limit and gently pushed the handlebars back to an upright position. My first thought was… what if they 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 be a lesson for me… it did make a strong impression but the lesson wasn’t over yet. With the handlebars back in position I rode precariously the rest of the way home. I made it to my driveway and as I leaned into the driveway the left handlebar broke at the mounting bracket. Fortunately, I was able to control my stop. Turns out the handlebars were bicycle handlebars which have a smaller diameter than the actual motorcycle handlebars 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 handlebars 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 onto the bicycle handlebars finally breaking in my driveway. The fact that I have 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 ride. And above all, please ride safe and that goes for all you cage dwellers as well… please drive safe!

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