On Thursday I leave for Moab, UT for the first shoot of the 2010 production season and from that point on, I’m pretty much traveling every week till about mid November. However, this past weekend wasn’t booked with MCC activities and I wanted to make the most of it so I invited my brother, Guy, to come down from Indy and go motorcycling with me. After all, I had spent all that time getting my Triumph Trophy running again, I figured I should get some benefit out of it.

Guy only lives three hours from me but we rarely see each other. It seems our schedules never coincide and we both have a lot going on. Life tends to be that way. However, this was something I’ve wanted to do for a long time so we decided to just pick a weekend, commit to it, and do this thing; rain or shine. That was the only way it was ever going to happen.

Dennis Gage & Guy

I’ve got two big, fairly modern touring bikes in my collection; the ’98 Trophy and a ’93 BMW R1100RS, and it looked like we were going to get lucky with the weather because the forecast was for a cool (highs in the 60’s) but clear weekend. So Guy drove down to E’ville Saturday morning and we suited up and were on the road about noon.

98 Trophy & 93 BMW R1100RS

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April 19, 2010 | CATEGORY: Events,Production,Television Show,Travel

Man, does time fly! Our shoot in Calgary turned out to be really interesting. We visited Fred Phillips’ extensive and eclectic collection, but we picked out a couple little Italian jobs as our focus; a ’53 Abarth and a ’55 Siata. These were both cars that I had never seen and in one case, never even heard of. I always like those kinds of experiences.

alberta-hawaii-british-columbia-michigan-03

The Abarth was a tiny two-seat sports/race car powered by an 1100 cc Fiat engine. That may not seem like much of a power plant, but considering the car wasn’t much bigger than a go-cart, it did just fine. Probably the most interesting thing about this car is that is was an asymmetric body design which did give it a distinctive and somewhat odd look.

The Siata looked a little like an early AC Cobra, but predated that car by almost a decade. It was very Italian and very beautiful. This baby was powered by a very unique 2-liter, 70 degree Fiat V8. This is a very rare engine and you don’t want to have to find parts for it!

Fred was a great guy, his cars were beautiful, and he let me drive the heck out of both of them. What more could you ask for?

We were only back from Calgary for a couple days before we were off to the Big Island of Hawaii for Cruisin’ Paradise. Bob McClurg, my good friend, automotive journalist, and now resident of Hilo, Hawaii turned me onto this event, and I’m really glad he did! It only takes place every three years, and this was the third one. (You do the math.) It’s a 10-day happening with runs and activities all over the island, culminating in a big car show in Hilo on the 4th of July.

It was unbelievable, and I clearly made a big mistake by not going over for the whole thing. I did my typical swoop-in/swoop-out thing and only came in for the last three days, with one of those largely being a jet lag recovery day. What was I thinking?!?

At any rate, I did manage to spend one day cruisin’ with Herb Leite, the host club prez, in his ’30 Ford coupe as we led a group to the stunning Waipio Valley and the memorial park at Laupahoehoe which was the site of the devastating 1946 tsunami. We also stopped by a really cool 50’s themed café in the middle of nowhere for lunch. Believe me, I didn’t see that one comin’. Bottom line tho, there are few places on earth more beautiful than Hawaii and what a way to see it!

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August 13, 2009 | CATEGORY: Events,Television Show,Travel

calgary01I’ve covered a lot of ground and have seen a lot of cool cars since my last entry. Not long ago, we were out in Joseph, OR for the Oregon Mountain Cruise. Joseph is an absolutely beautiful little western town situated at the base of the Wallowa Mountains in northeastern Oregon. The show took place right on Main Street and as you can see from the picture, it’s hard to imagine a more photogenic setting.

This was the 21st year for this show, and while it’s not all that big (about 250 cars) it really brings in some fantastic vehicles. I think my favorite was a ’53 Studebaker Commander coupe that had been made into a convertible.

Now, it’s no secret that I’m a Stude guy, but I don’t think there’s anybody that wouldn’t consider this car drop dead gorgeous.

calgary02

The day started out bright and sunny, but as clouds started to roll in over the mountains, it was clear that we were going to be playing beat-the-clock to get this show shot before the weather changed. The rain held off till about two o’clock, but then it really came down for about a half hour.

At a lot of shows, this is when everyone scrambles for their cars and heads for home, but to my surprise, I don’t think a single car left Main Street. Most folks had to come a long way to get to this show, and they weren’t about to let a little rain dampen their spirits. After a while the rain let up, the sun came back out, and the festivities went on. This really was a great show, and it’s going to make a killer episode.

As long as I had come all that way tho, I figured I may as well hang around for a few more days so after we wrapped, the producer and I embarked on a three-day backpack trip up into the Wallows. This is a range I spent a lot of time in when I lived out in that area in the late 70’s, and I’m pretty familiar with it. Ben, on the other hand, had never done anything like this, and I may have forgotten to mention that our packs would weigh about 45 pounds apiece.

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June 29, 2009 | CATEGORY: Events,Television Show,Travel

Windswept and interesting – That’s how my British photojournalist friend and Trippin’ riding buddy, Neale Bayly, often jokingly describes himself, but I think that phrase really sums up this photo which was taken just after putting the stands down at the end of our 1,000 mile, four-day epic on 40 year old motorcycles. And does my son, Sam, look like Peter Fonda or what?!?

Trippin on Two Wheels

Neale, Sam, and I rode from Evansville, IN to St. Augustine, FL last week and shot the sixth episode of our motorcycle touring series, Trippin’ on Two Wheels. Here’s a shot of the bikes we rode taken at an overlook somewhere in NC. As you can see, they look considerably better than we do.

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May 29, 2009 | CATEGORY: Events,Television Show,Travel
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