Insane Temps, Personal Goals and Devil’s Highway

When the high temperature is 98F and you think to yourself, “Hey it’s a little cooler today” your brain has finally suffered heat damage. The weather has been wretched here in Phoenix. I still ride my motorcycle everywhere, with a jacket, full leather gauntlet gloves and my full face helmet. I believe that wearing protective gear prevents accidents and more importantly, once I fail to wear it it will cause accidents. It’s little games like these that help me get through the heat.

Activity on my site has been infrequent, I know. My attention has focused towards other areas in life lately that don’t involve motorcycles. Perhaps it’s an aversion that’s formed from the heat. Three weeks ago I was going for a swim. I love swimming for a lot of reasons that are similar to motorcycling. The resistance of the water is akin to the 80MPH wind smacking my limbs around. The focus of the current task at hand. My heart rate is a little higher in the pool, but if you throw me in a set of twisties I’m sure I can match it. Onto my original point… after 10 laps or so my chest felt like it was being squeezed shut and I could hardly breath.

I had been smoking a pack a day for 10 years and lead a very sedentary lifestyle. 10 laps? I was completely disgusted with the state I let myself get into and quit smoking. No ritualistic “last cigarette”. No easing off by whittling down my daily dosage. Cold turkey. It’s been three weeks so far and I feel amazing. I literally forgot how it feels to feel good. I’ve been running every day for two weeks. I’m considering signing up for a half marathon being held in January. I think I have enough time to train for it. Are there running videos on the horizon? From two wheels to two feet? No, what a terrible idea…

I have been itching to go on a trip for the past two months. But I haven’t gotten off my ass and committed to it. One time I pack up everything with the intent of exploring around Utah, and then changed my mind at the last minute and stayed home. Overall I’ve just been a little weird lately I suppose. I finally came to my senses yesterday, and replaced the front tire that was wearing down past the wear bars. I take all my new tires for an obligatory “South Mountain” run. A bunch a twisties near by that I can practically do blindfold. The time between tire changes is long enough for me to forget how much I LOVE NEW TIRES. I love new tires more than Christmas. With no flat spots it’s like balancing the bike on a razor blade. The bike falls…no leaps! into the curves and grips beyond what I think it could. As with anything good, it doesn’t last forever. After about 1000 miles a flat spot will form. Before that happens I should get the most out of it, so I’ll be riding Hwy 191, also known as “Devil’s Highway”. 200 miles of twisties along the Arizona/New Mexico border. I’ve got a lot of ideas for some music videos to put together. I seem to be getting a lot of good feedback from viewers so I’ll be making these more often. Here is the last one I made:

I think I’ll be setting the video to Delta Spirit. I heard these guys for the first time yesterday and find them absolutely amazing. Maybe some trance…I know, everybody makes motorcycle videos with some fast beat techno, but this will be…different.

You’ll see…

  • kfallscody

    Let me first say congrats on the quitting smoking. I did that myself over 4 years ago and am still gratefull for doing so. I remember the feeling of being able to BREATH again, felt like nothing could stop you!

    Second, I had been wondering where ya ran off to. I always enjoy your videos and the trips you take, have been itching for more :).

    Make sure you keep the rubber side down on your trip. New tires feel sooo good, it can be easy to push them too far :).

  • Jim Howard

    Congratulations on your lifestyle upgrade!

    I appreciate the way you’ve shared your trips with us, keep up the good work.

  • Ken Linder

    Serious congrats on the smoking. I went almost three months last year but alas, I started again.

    I understand about the high temperatures. A few weeks ago, just before my clutch gave out, we had a cool-spell. Riding home from work, I think to myself, “…It’s not too bad out here this afternoon…” I passed one of those signs that display the time and temp. It read 5:45 – 101F.

    Sad when 101 is considered ‘cool.’ Well, it’s a heck of a lot better than 118!


  • Nutrix

    Well done on the smoking! I gave up 18 months ago but found my self climbing up the walls for the first couple of weeks. Hardly think about having a cigarette now, so I think I might have managed to quit after 20 years!

    It’s 15C (59F) in the UK today :( I can’t remember what being warm feels like 😆

  • Atlas


    Getting my breath back feels great. It is like night and day at this point. I’ve got a big queue of videos. I’m going to finally get off my ass and post’em. After 100 miles on tires I go nuts. Before that I’m still a little cautious.

    @Jim Howard

    Thanks, glad you like my trips. Appreciate the compliment.

    @Ken Linder

    It’s amazing what temps we can get used to after being exposed to them for a while.


    Congrats on quitting! The first week was horrible for me, but after that it wasn’t too bad. I don’t think about smoking unless I see people smoking or smell it. Luckily all my friends don’t smoke, so less opportunity.

    Ahhh 59F sounds so good to me right now. I can’t remember what cool feels like

  • Bucky

    Smoking = bad
    Quitting = good. Your lungs are starting to get pink again! …and think of the cost saving.

    Swimming = good. Offsets sedentary, smoker’s lifestyle.

    Running = ditto. Body of an old guy like me can’t tolerate much of this however.

    Lack of website updates = missed by many of us, but we are tolerant 😉 of other activities such as not smoking, running, and swimming.

    Heat/humidity = not so bad in Arizona: It is a dry heat, they say. South Carolina is NOT a dry heat. Sometimes 98 degrees, 60+ percent humidity and full leathers. Just about my limit if stopped. Not so bad if moving. I NEVER go out riding wearing less. Oh, and do you remember what Chicago weather was like in the winter months? Almost no riding possible.

  • Bucky

    Hwy 191 looks great from here:

    I may have to come out there to ride.

  • Darek

    Can’t comment on the smoking, but running CAN be addictive. I has a stint a couple years back where I ran every day, gradually increasing in distance. The first day I ran I couldn’t finish the mile. By the end of the month I’d do a 5 mile varying elevation run no problem.

    As for riding in the heat, BLEH! I couldn’t stand living in 100 degree weather. It’s finally dropped into the 60 and 70s here for a bit and I almost forgot how pleasant the ride could be without sweating off some pounds under the gear.

  • Atlas


    Cost savings will be very nice. More money for gas! :)

    I’m into running more than swimming lately. But the concrete has been banging away at my ankles. Might throw in some swim days for less impact.

    Please…don’t remind me of Chicago winters. I remember them all too well. So, yes I’ll take triple digits over double negatives.


    I’m already starting to get addicted. No joke. I just mentioned it to a friend yesterday. Two weeks ago I started with a mile with a break at the half. Now I just got back from a 3 mile run with no problem. I talk more about my running in this post: A Healthy New Atlas

  • Kano

    Congrats on quitting the cigs! I’ve been thinking seriously about quitting myself. It’s about time and your success at it can be an inspiration to me. I’d like to get back into shape too. I’m thinking about doing something utterly outrageous like making a goal of being able to ride a bike (bicycle)from coast to coast or something like that as a motivation to quit smoking. Good luck to you!

  • AtlasRider


    Something that help me quit was identifying my “smoking triggers”. Something that happens that wants me to have a smoke. Just identifying those helped me stave off the cravings. Here is my list:

    Waking up, going to sleep, hour before lunch, after lunch, mid-afternoon, arriving home from work, arriving at any location after a motorcycle ride, drinking, seeing others smoke, boredom, anger, and frustration.

    The only thing that still gets to me is seeing others smoke. Luckily none of the ppl I hang out with smoke. For everything else I found something else to do to counter-act the trigger. Chewing gum helps the oral fixation that has built up over 10 years.

    Aside from that, it’s a lot of positive thinking and exercise which can be done in your own backyard. But a coast to coast bicycle trip would be pretty kick ass too :)

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