Friday, May 18, 2018

Royal Enfield joins in Ride Sunday, June 3, 2018

Map shows some of the Ride Sunday events in the U.S. Sunday, June 3, 2018.
Royal Enfield is pitching in for the worldwide Ride Sunday charity event Sunday, June 3. Now it's your turn to help a good cause of your choice.

Ride Sunday's sponsors — Royal Enfield, Triumph and Harley-Davidson — are each offering a motorcycle as prizes for the top fundraisers. Royal Enfield is going farther, adding a factory tour and Himalayan Adventure for one of the winners.

But I'm sure most of the riders and pillions hitting the road for the inaugural Ride Sunday won't be looking for a prize. They'll be riding for fun, friendship and the chance to gather donations for a favorite charity.

Ride Sunday hopes to raise more than $1 million for more than 50 charities around the globe. Ride Sunday was founded by the team behind “The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride.” You'll recognize their high degree of organization when you visit the Ride Sunday website.

You'll also notice that a lot of the activity is in Australia and New Zealand, where the DGR began. But there are many rides planned in the United States, and U.S. charities are among those you can register to support.

You can join an existing group ride, join a dealer ride, host a ride of your own or ride solo. All motorcyclists and scooter riders regardless of bike style or brand are welcome.

Register first. You can filter the rides by country (and even "difficulty"). There are even some off-road rides.

Riding solo? Choose the charity you want to support. The list of charities is here.

Ride Sunday hopes to become the world’s largest motorcycling charity event by 2020, with a goal to raise more than $500 million for charity over the next 10 years. Oganizers are also calling on motorcycle brands to unite and get back to the basics of riding, while supporting a positive change.

Sounds perfect for Royal Enfield.

“Royal Enfield globally supports efforts that encourage everyone to get out and ride — no matter what your experience level. It’s very exciting when these efforts are paired with the opportunity to make a positive impact in the world and in the motorcycle community. We couldn’t be more hyped to sponsor and participate in the Ride Sunday event,” said Breeann Poland, senior marketing manager, Royal Enfield North America, in a press release.

Unfortunately I personally will be far from my Royal Enfield on June 3. So I plan to make a donation to sponsor one of the riders.

I may support Tracy Champness, riding a 2014 Royal Enfield Continental GT with the Newcastle, Australia Cafe Racers to benefit White Ribbon Australia's efforts to curb violence against women.

Or perhaps Steve Smith, riding a 2018 Royal Enfield Classic 500 with the Enfield Riders Club of Auckland, New Zealand for KidsCan Charitable Trust.

Here's a short Ride Sunday video you may find inspiring.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Motorcycle photos so great I wanted to be in them

A great vintage photo of the past, but who is that rider?
It's me!
Doctoring Internet photos of vintage motorcycles started as a way for me to fill trapped time when I worked on the photo desk of a daily newspaper years ago.

I felt I was liberating the artistic potential of photos shot simply to sell old motorcycles on eBay.

It was fun, and the amusement factor soon prompted me to begin playing with the images as a joke. I began adding my own head — and sometimes my wife's head — to historical photos I found on the Internet.

Here was a way to go back in time, like the way I felt when I rode my Royal Enfield Bullet to work.

Who didn't want to be this happy man?
I certainly did.
I could almost imagine myself living in the times depicted, and riding those motorcycles.

But it really was just a gag. I never published the photos. I shudder to think that one of these doctored photos might someday be mistaken for the real thing. I don't know how to prevent search engines from finding them now that they are on this blog. (They are reproduced here in very low resolution.)

As an absurd technical challenge to myself I insisted on using the same photo of my own head (sometimes flopped to reverse the direction faced) in every shot.

The results were far from perfect. Matching the resolution and resulting sharpness of each photo was difficult.

I used the images as holiday cards for my wife and kids (who quickly tired of them, I'm sure).

The whole gang looks up to NOT Marlon Brando.
That's me with the big smile.
A photo with my head replacing Marlon Brando's in "The Wild One" I hung on the wall of my office cubicle. No one ever noticed or, if they did, they were kind enough not to react negatively.

Looking back the activity seems foolish, of course. But, when I see myself with all that (now long gone) dark hair, well — it was worth it!

Something I would never do.
But it looks as though I did!

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