Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Well.  Well.  Well.  You stumbled into the Church of the Open Road Press, a blog about motorcycles and motorcycle journeys.  The content is my own and, unless noted, the photographs are my own. 
I am a sixty-plus-year-old Northern California motorcyclist who has been riding off and on since about age 17.  I have served three-and-a-half decades as a public school educator in both teaching and administrative roles.  Having majored in Geography in college, patterns on the land have always been a fascination.   
Although I’ve hiked, strolled, bicycled, and paddled, I’ve found that motorcycling is one of the most engaging ways to see those patterns.
Over the course of my riding I have owned two Honda Trail 90s, a CL 360, a KLR, four BMWs: an R65, R1100R, R1150RT, and currently have an R1200GSA along with a Moto Guzzi B1100 Breva.  I’ve never owned a bike I didn’t like and didn’t, sooner or later, regret getting rid of.  And I’m always curious about what “scoot” might be next.

Content of the blog revolves around places I’ve discovered, the routes to them, sights along the way, history that came before and some personal memories that are rekindled while in the saddle.   Often a post will include a Resource section with links to related places, attractions or literature.  Also, sometimes the reader will find a note called Today’s Route.  This will give a general idea about where the ride took place but it is not intended to replace a good map. 
Danger, Will Robinson!  Sometimes I will wax political or speak to issues related to education and literacy.  Readers will forgive me my biases, which I believe are centrist and middle of the road.  But, then again, everyone believes their beliefs are mainstream and that those who disagree are simply out of the mainstream.  Such is life.  My opinions on such things should carry no more or no less weight than just about anything else one might read in the blogosphere.
Occasionally, I’ll review a product with which I have been favorably impressed, but I’ll not blog about a product that’s a bust.  If I have an issue with something I’ve purchased, I contact the retailer or the manufacturer.
Also, this blog is not about wrenching.  Repairing most things mechanical is not among my proclivities.  Therefore, I don’t fix my bikes.  If something breaks, I take it to someone who can fix it so when I get back on the road, the thing actually works and I can focus on enjoying the ride.

The Church of the Open Road lives on the Blogger format created by Google.  The current state of the cyber wars is such that Blogger format blogs are not compatible with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, but seem to work with Apple’s Safari, Google’s Chrome and with Firefox – which is a free download.
The most recent post is always first.  Clicking on a picture in the right hand column will link the reader to a specific post related to that picture.  Tags at the bottom of any post will link the reader to posts of similar content topically or geographically.  Further down that right hand column is a listing of all the tags.  The bigger the tag-listing font, the more posts on that topic. 
Click on “Church of the Open Road Press” in the banner at the top of the page to always return to the most recent post.
Some folks, with little better to do with their time, become ‘members’ of the Church of the Open Road blog-site.  I think this means that they get notification when something is posted, but I’ve heard that isn’t 100% true.  I, myself, am a member, and I don’t get an e-mail notification after I’ve posted something.  There’s a “Google” button way down the right hand column you can click if you’d like to join.

The Church of the Open Road appreciates comments from readers and, at times will copy a comment from a forum to which the blog has been linked.   That comment is then pitched into the comment section of the piece to which it is related.  This provides a little conversation, adds to the overall content and enhances the post commented upon.   It shares with the reader additional perspective and, sometimes, corrections.

The “Church” does not accept SPAM except when it is offered with hash browns and eggs over medium.  Folks sending links in their comments may find them automatically routed to the SPAM folder.  The coupled factors of "Anonymous" and an imbedded link seem to trigger the auto-SPAM response.   I check that folder regularly and will sometimes rescue a legitimate link or comment from oblivion there, but there seems to be an increasing number of not-so-nice links making their way to the site as of late. 

Know that the “Church” does not monetize any of its elements.  Readers should find no advertisements and should not respond to any if they somehow appear.

Note:  Clicking on the typewriter in that column to the right will always steer the reader to the latest political or education/literacy-based post.  To avoid those, don’t click on the old Remington Standard.

The phrase “Church of the Open Road” was co-opted from a long-ago contributor to either Rider Magazine or the BMW MOA’s early publication.  Since that guy’s no longer writing, I took the liberty of swiping the term.  It’s catchy and it speaks to what many of us many feel when we’re out there sweeping around a curve, cresting a hill or inhaling the fragrances of a meadow, a high country forest or a far-off campfire.

The Church of the Open Road is about riding, appreciating, sharing, and enjoying the gifts and mysteries of the roads that unify us.  It should be viewed as my way of giving back to the many who have offered me tips, counsel, direction and advice while on the road.

Be safe and remember: they can’t see you.  Ride accordingly.

© 2009, 2013
Church of the Open Road Press


  1. If your readers use Internet Explorer as a browser then they have *more issues* than just an inability to see Blogger pages.

    Just saying.

  2. Blogger and IE do not play well. I have noticed issues on my blog as well, but mostly it has been fonts not loading etc. but the pages themselves do load, albeit slowly. IE is a big load of unmentionables!!

  3. Keep them coming, Mr. Brilliant. I always enjoy your posts.

  4. You must be related to me as Ellie is my Aunt! Uncle Ziba was my fathers brother!

    1. Ellie and "Ziba," we knew him as Zibe, were neighbors living across Chico Creek from us when I was growing up. Erik was three years ahead of me in high school. Dad and Zibe were best-of-hiking-buddies and our families camped together often. That's how Uncle Ziba introduced us to Simpson Camp. It is just about my favorite place in the whole world.

      Would love to hear your stories of the place. You may e-mail me at dave@churchoftheopenroad if you'd like.

      Thanks for stumbling across the blog.

  5. Thanks for taking the time, great blog. I have been reading for a few years and got a few ideas of places I will visit when I next get over to the states to do another ride from your travels and writing here. Regards,

  6. Great Stuff, I too enjoy roaming the back roads, fire roads. I received my first California driving citation at age 13 while exploring China Camp on my ct90. I'm sixty and still ride every week somewhere. I have a vintage cabin in the Mendocino forest that I visit and then ride out of. Your tale about Simpson camp has me interested in discovering. I've ridden from the cabin to Dicks peak, Black Bute lodge for lunch. I grew up in San Rafael and now live in Fort Bragg. Lots to explore out here on the coast. I'm trying to find roads from Branscomb to Usal. If you have any ideas please share. James (pops)